Choose winter boots that are both stylish and can keep your feet warm, whether from cold temperatures, wet conditions, or snow. Keds design director Holly Curtis says, "Everything is more fun when you look cute and you're comfortable. Invest in a few great styles and you'll be out-and-about no matter what the weather has in store for you."
Although it may be tempting to select winter boots solely on how they look, consider the function of boots as well to ensure your feet don't get cold and you're not slipping when you walk.
"Fit is key," says Curtis. Boots should be comfortable and feel secure. Heels are not preferable if you are navigating snowy terrain, but if you prefer heels you should consider chunkier heels or wedges to give you more solid footing.
"Make sure you think about traction," advises Curtis. "Waterproof materials and warmth are always important features, but nobody wants to be slipping and sliding all over the sidewalk. A rubber outsole goes a long way!"
Curtis states, "I love being outside all winter long. In a frigid climate that means you have got to gear up!" She suggests finding boots that will keep your feet warm while in cold temperatures, but adds that the right socks can help make boots even warmer. "Try them on with warm socks and consider layering socks over your tights or leggings when wearing them with skirts and dresses."
Curtis suggests that shoppers "opt for waterproofed and warm-lined styles." Durable material that is breathable helps protect the feet if you're being active in the boots. If you will spend far more time indoors and just need fashionable winter boots to protect your feet from the walk from your car into the office, leather is an excellent option because it will keep moisture out.
Color becomes a consideration if you will find yourself trekking through snow or puddles and want to avoid stains. If this is the case, darker colors are best. Note that road salt can leave stains on dark leather boots, but these stains can be removed.
If, on the other hand, you'll likely experience cold but no stain-causing events, select colors that complement your wardrobe and style. Curtis says a pop of color on your feet can really add to an otherwise-dark winter wardrobe.
I received review pairs of winter boots from a variety of companies. The very best (based on style, comfort, and warmth) are discussed here.
BareTraps boots feature SDS technology, which provides waterproofing as well as breathability. Flexible soles make these boots a good choice for navigating slippery sidewalks and the soft inner lining helps keep feet warm.
I tried the Kinship boot, which is a knee-high boot featuring a small heel and buckle accents. I was impressed by how warm my feet stayed while wearing this boot in below-freezing weather and truly enjoyed the style of the boot. This particular boot retails for around $135 and comes in three colors, but I recommend any BareTrap boot as long as it features the SDS technology.
If your winter plans include plenty of outdoor activities in sub-zero temperatures, Muck Boots are an excellent option. Waterproof and fleece-lined, these boots are rated to minus-twenty degrees. The soles provide impressive grip, making you less likely to slip while trudging through snow or walking on ice.
I tried the Arctic Adventure Suede Zip boot. I was immediately impressed by how secure my feet felt within these boots and could tell they are especially designed for colder weather. These boots are ideal for active folks who don't stop their activities just because the temperature drops. Retailing for around $170, this tall zipper-back boot is available in four colors.
Lamo Suede Water Resistant Boots
If you're looking for slip-on ankle boots that will keep your feet comfortable and warm throughout the winter, Lamo Footwear offers boots with textured soles and water-resistant suede. The stand-out feature with these boots, however, is the cozy fleece lining.
I tried the Cresson boot, which is a best-seller on QVC. I don't hesitate to state that this boot provided unparalleled comfort and kept my feet nice and warm regardless of the temperature. The style of this boot is attractive and the boot is quite durable. Retailing for around $48, this boot is available in multiple colors.
Marc Fisher Tall Shaft Riding Boots
These sleek, stylish boots are an excellent option for someone who needs to stay on-trend and professional while keeping their feet from getting cold. This knee-high length of the boots help keep feet and lower legs from getting cold while protecting feet from the elements. The short heel and the gold buckle accent add a touch of elegance, while the textured outsole helps keep you from slipping.
I tried the Kabie style and loved the look of the boot right away. I found it to be quite stylish and liked how the boots work with a variety of clothing, from dressy leggings to jeans. I felt safe (and stylish) walking in these boots despite the slick, icy sidewalk. Retailing for just under $100, these boots are available in three different colors.
Isaac Mizrahi Leather Riding Boots
With a short heel and leather uppers, Isaac Mizrahi's leather riding boots are durable and comfortable while also managing to be fashionable. The leather of the boots help keep moisture away and their length keeps the cold out. The quilted back makes the boots flexible and adds style.
I was happy to find these boots to be much more flexible than I originally expected. They were quite comfortable and my feet and lower legs stayed warm and overall. I received several compliments on the look of these boots when I wore them. Retailing for around $225, these boots are available in four different colors.
Because winter boots go through rain, snow and other bad weather, it's important to make an extra effort to maintain them. Make sure you always dry your boots out after wear. Don't just throw them in the closet until next time, or you'll end up with damp feet and warped leather.
Warm, Stylish Feet
Cold weather doesn't have to mean dreary footwear! Try a variety of styles to find a pair that keeps your feet warm while speaking to your personal sense of style.