11 Seriously Tough And Best Winter Work Boots For MEN And WOMEN
How do you choose the best winter work boots when winter brings challenges such as snow, ice, and slush. Plus you need improved traction on treacherous surfaces, warmth, and a high degree of weather resistance.
That depends on your own personal circumstances. For example, if you are working on hard cold surfaces outdoors, such as making deliveries, you may only need winter boots that offer you warmth, cushioning, support and traction in the soles. However, if you work on a construction site, you will likely need additional safety features, such as steel-toes or electrical hazard protection in the soles, as well as warmth and comfort.
Whatever your working conditions, a pair of reliable, sturdy winter work boots improves your overall working comfort and safety.
In this article, I have put together a collection of the best winter work boots for both men and women that meet the demands for all kinds of working conditions.
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Best Winter Boots For Men And Women
How The Reviews Are Organized
In this article, I will first focus on the eight best winter work boots for men, followed by the three best winter work boots for women. I've thought about form, function, and affordability, and will provide a comprehensive discussion outlining them all. As discussed above, some of the them will only offer warmth, cushion and traction, whereas others will also supply additional safety features. Afterwards, I have provided a Buyer's Guide to help you understand the important factors to consider when buying your winter work boots.
In this article, you will find many insulated work boots that will supply warmth, comfort and protection to you. However, if you would like to explore other non-insulated work boots or sneakers, please take a look at the following:
- 14 Best Reebok Steel Toe Shoes: Comfy And Safe (Review). These provide a selection of steel toe sneakers with electrical hazard protection or static dissipative protection to avoid damage to sensitive electrical equipment.
- 11 Best Skechers Steel Toe Boots And Shoes (Review). This article highlights Skecher steel toe footwear with electrical hazard protection, slip resistant outsoles, and water-resistant or waterproof options.
- 13 Best Waterproof Work Boots (Review). Here you will find a selection of waterproof work boots with different levels of toe protection.
Best Winter Work Boots For Men
Carhartt Men's 10" Waterproof Insulated PAC Composite Toe Boot are 100% leather boots that are offered from men's shoe sizes 8-15. They have molded rubber soles which provide secondary electrical protection to ASTM F2413-18 EH standards. The composite toe area protects against crush and impact injuries. Further, a TPU heel guard adds ankle stability, side-impact and heel protection.
Carhartt Men's 10" Waterproof Insulated PAC Composite Toe Boot are waterproof and breathable, with 1000 "LiteFire", the equivalent of 1000g of traditional insulation. LiteFire is an insulating material using aluminum to provide a breathable, waterproof membrane that reflects heat back to the foot. This technology offers insulation but with less weight and bulk than traditional insulating material.
The soles provide excellent traction, and the removable EVA insert gives good padding and support to the feet. They are lace-up boots, so you adjust the fit to suit your foot and the thickness of your socks. In conclusion, these are one of the best winter work boots to keep your feet warm, dry, and safe in subzero working conditions.
EVER BOOTS "Ultra Dry" Men's Premium Leather Waterproof Work Boots are one of the best work boots for cold weather if you are on a tight budget. They are good looking, come in men's shoe sizes 6-13 with some half sizes, easy to wear with soft leather uppers and flexible rubber soles.
The insoles of the EVER BOOTS "Ultra Dry" Men's Premium Leather Waterproof Work Boots are soft and cushioned and removable. The boots are waterproof (seams, leather, soles) and suitable for indoor or light outdoor work.
They don't class as heavy-duty safety boots, but they do the job for most outdoor working conditions that don't require personal protection equipment or warmth from extreme cold weather. They look smart, and at this price, they are an economical solution to having winter work boots.
Runs 1/2 size bigger than Timberlands, Caterpillar, Wolverine.
Timberland PRO Men's 6" Resistor Composite-Toe Waterproof Insulated Work Boot are one of the best winter work boots for jobs that require less stringent safety requirements or are in less frigid winter conditions. They come in men's shoe sizes 7-15, with lots of half sizes, and offered for wide feet.
Timberland PRO Men's 6" Resistor Composite-Toe Waterproof Insulated Work Boot look smart, but the suede finish needs care and maintenance to retain its good looks. With only 200g insulation, you would not consider them suitable for extreme cold. Still, they are packed with comfort technologies to absorb shock, reduce fatigue, and generally make them comfortable to walk around on hard surfaces all day long.
The soles are hard wearing with deep lugs, resistant to oil and slipping, and provide plenty of bounce and flex. For most workplaces and typical winter conditions, they are ideal winter work boots that are comfortable to wear and provide good foot protection.
KEEN Utility Men's Davenport 6" 400g Ct Waterproof Work Boots are one of the best winter work boots that offer safety features and insulation for extreme winter cold. They are offered in men's shoe sizes 7-15, with lots of half and wide sizes available.
These boots have no metallic components, an important feature for those who must clear security machines at their employment. The composite toes provide crush protection and the 400g of insulation supplies warmth in extreme cold.
KEEN Utility Men's Davenport 6" 400g Ct Waterproof Work Boots are lighter than traditional steel toe caps. A lighter boot makes the working day easier on your feet and still provides protection, support, and warmth in subzero temperatures.
The traction in the soles includes "micro-cleat" or increased grip on ice, they are resistant to oil, and offer protection from live electrical cables. A breathable membrane combined with probiotic technology helps keep feet cool, dry and fresh smelling.
Georgia Boot Lace-To-Toe Gore-Tex Waterproof Insulated Work Boot are excellent work boots for winter. They are a solidly made pair of boots in full grain leather in men's shoe sizes 8-14, with wide fitting options and half sizes.
A steel shank adds support and protection, and their steel stud-hooks and washers enhance its durability and wear. The Vibram soles give excellent traction while offering slip-resistance to chemicals and oils. In addition, they include a "Kiltie" (a breathable and dry foot environment that allows air to get in while keeping water and mud out) that you can remove if it doesn't suit your needs.
Georgia Boot Lace-To-Toe Gore-Tex Waterproof Insulated Work Boot keep your feet warm with 200g of insulation and dry with its Gore-Tex construction. They are excellent work boots for cold weather that keep your feet warm, dry, and well supported in a traditional "logger" style of boot.
Irish Setter Mesabi Steel Toe Work Boots are known for their red leather, comfort, durability, and performance. These work boots provide the safety features of steel toecaps and steel shanks for protection against crush and puncture injuries, while also keeping your feet comfortable with a removal Eva footbed and padded tongue and collar.
The rubber sole of the Irish Setter Mesabi Steel Toe Work Boots are heat resistant, as well as providing traction in slippery conditions. A substantial 600g of insulation means these boots are suitable for extreme cold weather and the waterproof full grain leather uppers are durable and attractive.
Its' "tricot" lining and ultra dry moisture management system provides breathable comfort and keeps out wet elements for a drier foot environment.
These are some of the best winter work boots for loggers, foresters, and other outdoor workers that require protection and comfort in challenging environments with frigid cold weather.
Danner Men's Vicious 8" 400G NMT Work Boots are one of the best winter work boots suitable for all-round work both indoors and out. They come in men's shoe sizes 7-14, with some half and wide sizes. They have all the technology expected in safe working boots with a Gore-Tex lining to wick away sweat and prevent moisture penetrating to the feet. The "Vibram Vicious" outsole and low-profile heels give plenty of grip in harsh terrain, and for getting in and out of vehicles in slippery conditions.
These boots are comfortable with the right amount of padding and a generous 400g of insulation to keep your feet warm in very cold temperatures. The removable EVA insole adds extra support and comfort, as does the padding around the top. The easy lace system makes getting in and out of the boots quick and easy.
The safety features of the Danner Men's Vicious 8" 400G NMT Work Boots - outer soles that are slip resistant to oil and other products as well as electrical hazard protection - with its composite toe, make this boot a good option for construction and industrial sites.
Columbia Men’s Bugaboot Plus IV Omni-Heat, Waterproof, Thermally Insulated work boots are an attractive all round winter boot. The leather upper is bonded to the rubber soles with an injection molded shell to create a water-resistant boot. Your feet are able to breathe with its nylon and leather uppers, but also remain dry and warm with its thermal insulation, making it cozy down to -25˚F.
Columbia Men’s Bugaboot Plus IV Omni-Heat, Waterproof, Thermally Insulated boots offer full length lace up support and "indoor-friendly Omni-Grip" outsole that makes this boot perfect in rocky terrain or crossing difficult terrain. In addition, its lightweight midsole supplies excellent cushioning and long-lasting comfort.
They do not offer extra safety features which would make them appropriate on a construction or industrial site. However, they are excellent winter boots for work that requires you to spend time walking in snow and ice in subzero conditions.
Columbia Men’s Bugaboot Plus IV come in an incredible range of men's shoe sizes from 7 to 17 with some half sizes. You can choose from three colours - a classic black or grey, or stylish phoenix blue. The price is very competitive.
Best Winter Work Boots For Women
A selection of three best winter work boots for women styled for a female fit for added comfort and support.
Timberland PRO Women's Direct Attach 6" Steel-Toe Waterproof Insulated Work Boots are one of the best winter work boots for women who need certified safety boots in a woman's fit. These boots have steel toe caps to help protect toes from injuries, and the rubber sole provides traction on snow and ice, as well as oil.
The additional padding, comfort, and arch support offered by Timberland PRO Women's Direct Attach 6" Steel-Toe Waterproof Insulated Work Boots mean that you can wear them all day with minimum foot fatigue. With their 200g of Thermolite insulation, your feet will stay warm in cold weather.
These boots look like smart hiking boots rather than clunky safety boots, which makes them wearable inside and out. They are offered from women's shoe sizes 5.5 to 12.
Carhartt Women's CWP1150 Work Boots are some of the best winter work boots for situations where you don't need a steel toe protector or aren't facing extreme cold weather. In appearance, they are a combination of fashion boot and wellington boot and are ideal for working outdoors in a wet cool environment.
The oil-tanned leather uppers are waterproof and resist abrasion. The inner membrane allows moisture to evaporate and prevents water from coming in. Plan to wear thick wool socks if the weather gets too cold to compensate for the lack of extra insulation.
These are smart, stylish winter work boots that come in two colours - brown and black - and in women's shoe sizes 6-11. Carhartt Women's CWP1150 Work Boots are not classed as safety boots, but they are ideal for wet jobs like stables, gardening, and yard work. They are smart enough to wear indoors and while commuting.
Muck Boot Arctic Extreme Women's Winter Boots are one of the best winter work boots for women. They are ideal for wet, muddy, slushy and snowy conditions by keeping your lower legs and feet warm and dry while walking or working outdoors.
Muck Boot Arctic Extreme Women's Winter Boots are made from neoprene (5mm thick) to fit your foot and leg and avoid rubbing and blistering. The insole provides support and comfort, and the outer sole provides traction to avoid slipping. They are 100% waterproof and its fleece lining supplies warmth up to -40˚F.
These boots were designed to fit a women's foot. They come in women's shoe sizes 5-11 in multiple fun colours. Although they are not recommended for a construction site, they are an excellent choice for most other outdoor activities.
Buyer's Guide to the Best Winter Work Boots
You want the best winter work boots to protect, keep warm, and comfort your feet during the harsh winter weather. Work boots aren't cheap, and that is especially so when they are designed for cold weather. They are subjected to a lot of stress and outdoor challenges, so you want to make sure that you are investing in winter work boots that will last as well as keeping your feet safe, warm and dry.
Key Factors For The Best Work Boots In Cold Weather
When you are trying to determine which ones are the best winter work boots for you, the crucial features are:
- Warmth – provided by insulation;
- Dryness – supplied through exterior waterproofing and interior breathability from hot, sweaty feet;
- Grip – outer sole design and anti-slip materials;
- Safety features – crush resistant toes and whether outer sole has electrical hazard protection;
- Support - targeted to heels and arches;
- Comfort - supplied with cushion and flexible inner sole
- Durability – provided by materials and construction
The best winter work boots provide most of these features with variations depending on different working environments or climates.
Insulation In The Best Winter Work Boots
Insulation keeps your feet warm, and the amount and quality of insulation affect the comfort of your feet. The quantity of insulation that you may require depends on the winter temperatures in your working area – regularly subzero with snow or relatively mild with an icy rain. When you have an idea of the number and type of cold days, you can assess the amount and type of insulation you need.
Insulation materials include natural materials like wool and synthetics, like polyester and Thinsulate.
Wool has the advantages of being breathable and warm even when wet. It also has antibacterial properties. However, it does not suit every person, and it adds weight. Wool can also suffer from insect damage as moths are drawn to it for food.
Polyester is good for insulation, however the colder it gets, the more you need and the weight of the boot increases.
Thinsulate is synthetic, lightweight, durable and one of the warmest fabrics on the market. Its fibers are small and thus allow more of it to be fitted into a smaller space. The material also dissipates moisture so that as your feet stay warm, they do not sweat.
You judge the quantity (and the warmth provided) of Thinsulate insulation by weight. Accordingly, 200g is the minimum for cool winter weather. However, for subzero, harsh winters and anyone who suffers from cold feet, 400g (or rated for -25˚F) is the minimum amount for which you should be settling.
Winter weather covers snow, ice, frost, hail, slush, and rain. Accordingly, a winter boot must be waterproof, not only from the outer sole, but also its "upper" or you will have many problems. As most outer soles are made of rubber and normally waterproof, the issue is mostly about paying attention to the upper. If water penetrates, you will suffer with wet socks, chilled skin, and rubbing and chafing. Even if the feet stay relatively warm after getting wet, you still run the risk of getting unpleasant fungal infections and, in extreme weather conditions – frostbite.
Most people expect that, as a bare minimum, the best winter work boots keep their feet dry. The upper materials should either be leather, nylon, or a combination of the two. In addition, you should look for an assurance by the manufacturer that the boots are waterproof.
The necessary degree of waterproofing depends on your working conditions. A construction site may need you to walk through deep puddles of slush and water frequently. Alternatively, a warehouse may provide dry conditions for your working day.
As well as the initial amount of waterproofing you may need, consider how much maintenance the boots may need to retain the waterproof outer shell. Leather needs frequent applications of polish and waterproofing but is durable. Other materials may require less regular treatment.
Keeping Feet Dry
A separate issue is moisture in your winter work boots from hot sweaty feet. The best work boots should have membranes for air circulation or some other means for wicking sweat.
Hot feet become moist, and a winter work boot with breathable materials like Gore-Tex, or moisture wicking capabilities allows this internally generated moisture to leave the boot, keeping your feet dry and fresh. Some lining materials also have an antibacterial treatment to eliminate odor.
If you know that you suffer from sweaty feet, you may also want to find socks that will help to reduce or eliminate sweaty feet. For some additional information about this, please take a look at my article 12 Best Socks For Sweaty Feet for MEN and WOMEN.
Traction In The Best Winter Work Boots
One of the biggest hazards in winter is slipping on snow or ice, and hurting yourself. Accordingly, you want your winter work boots to provide enough traction for you to go about your duties.
Deep crevices or lugs on soles and rubber material are key to good traction. In addition, you need to pay attention to how the rubber performs in cold conditions. Soft rubber that deforms and "sticks" to the ice gives improved traction in some situations. Deep grooves provide less risk of clogging and an element of suction when walking. The sole of your winter work boot is like a winter tire on your car – you need it to grip the surface.
Your employer may insist on winter work boots that provide protection against one or all of the following:
- heavy objects falling onto your feet;
- stepping on sharp objects and puncturing your feet;
- slipping on oil and other chemicals; and
- electrical shocks.
Steel toe caps are a safety feature in some work boots to protect toes from heavy impacts. Leather or rubber may cover the steel. You may not need steel toe caps for your job, but still require some extra protection for your toes. Accordingly, the toe cap may be molded rubber, composites, or leather.
On a separate note, the toe of the boot is an area that is prone to wear and abrasion – resulting in loss of waterproofing. When purchasing a winter work boot, pay close attention to make sure that the toe area is durable, waterproof, and going to remain weatherproof.
For extra support and durability, you can add rubber toecaps that adhere directly to the toe of the boot. In practice, it is best to invest in winter work boots with excellent toe construction, reinforcement, and quality materials.
The sole in a pair of winter work boots can have many functions:
- Provide snow and ice traction;
- Stop water penetration;
- Resist slippery surfaces such as chemical and oils;
- Protect against cold;
- Providing insulation between the bottom of the foot and the ground; and
- Protect against punctures from sharp materials, and electrical hazards.
When deciding between the best winter work boots, consider the sole material, thickness, and any additional features meant to offer you one of the functions described above. Also, check that the sole is securely attached to the upper with a durable, waterproof seal.
As for safety, if you are going to be working on a construction site, you will likely need to make sure that your soles are specifically resistant to oil spills and offer electrical hazard protection.
The best winter work boots provide support for the feet against rough terrain, the impact of hard surfaces, and sudden twisting motions.
Feet are not flat (except in certain medical conditions). On the contrary, they have a natural arch which acts as a natural shock absorber and puts a bounce in your step.
Most winter work boots do not offer arch support, but you can add some through your socks and swapping the insoles with ones that offer arch support. For more information about socks and insoles that provide support, please take a look at my articles 10 Best Boot Socks For MEN And WOMEN and 10 Best Shoe Inserts For Standing All Day
Good winter work boots have heels that provide sufficient surface area for traction. In addition, you want one or two inches in the heel to elevate the back of the foot out of water.
Internally, you want work boots that secure your heel with limited movement to avoid rubbing. If you will be on your feet for long hours, you should also look for winter work boots that offer padding and additional shock absorption in the heels.
Firm support around the ankles provides resistance to potentially twisting your ankle. If you will be faced with uneven terrain, you should purchase lace-up winter boots so that you can secure the boot to the thickness of your sock to minimize movement.
Most winter work boots are high enough to cover the ankle and provide some support and protection from the elements.
In winter, your feet spend most of the day sealed into your winter work boots. Accordingly, you need your winter work boots to be comfortable to wear.
Padding and Shock absorption
Padding for comfort and shock absorption appears:
- In the footbed – in the arch and heel area.
- Around the top of the boot to protect calves from rubbing.
- In the toe cap to protect toes from rubbing on steel components.
- In the heel area – as the foot slides forward and back in movement, it absorbs and cushions the heel.
- In the calf area to provide additional insulation.
You invest a lot on your winter work boots, and you expect to get a lot of use out of them. The amount of wear you get out of your winter work boots will depend on the quality of the materials used, craftsmanship, and what you subject them to at work.
Leather, nylon or rubber are flexible and durable materials that should last for a long time. You should also be looking for reinforced seams, superior connections of the uppers to the rubber sole with strong seals for waterproofness, metal eyelets to withstand aggressive lacing, and proper insulation, like Thinsulate, to withstand dampness.