The best men’s winter boots 2024: stay warm and dry on and off the trails

Collage of eight of the best men's winter boots on white background
(Image credit: Future)

The best men’s winter boots need to be both warm and waterproof if they're going to see you through the very worst conditions. During the coldest months it's more important than ever to have the best quality kit, as you take on freezing wind, rain, hail and snow, sometimes all in the same day!

Whatever your preferred outdoor pursuits, few pieces of kit matter more than those that protect your feet, so in our best men’s winter boots guide we've subjected the top models to a wide range of winter sports and tough conditions.

When choosing your boots you need to think about the type of activity you'll be using them for, what kind of weather you'll be facing, and of course your own sense of style. Some winter adventurers will prioritize extra insulation and grip for hiking when trails are at their absolute boggiest, while others will be looking for a snow boot capable of withstanding the severe winters at northern latitudes. And some people just want a stylish waterproof boot to slip on after a day’s skiing, for when they hit the après bars. 

If you don’t see what you’re looking for here, head over to our best women’s winter boots guide, or for footwear for tackling more technical trails, check out our best winter hiking boots guide, or peruse our best hiking boots or best hiking boots for women guides. 

Meet the expert

You can trust Advnture Our expert reviewers spend days testing and comparing gear so you know how it will perform out in the real world. Find out more about how we test and compare products.

Jack McKeown
Jack McKeown

Jack McKeown is a Scottish journalist, hiker, skier, runner and beach volleyball player. Having walked many of Scotland’s long distance trails, last year saw him tackle his first ultramarathon. He lives in Dundee and in his spare time Jack and his golden retriever Bracken are often to be found exploring the mountains, forests, lochs and rivers of Highland Perthshire.

The quick list

The best all rounder

Danner Mountain 600 Insulated winter boots

With great support, a waterproof membrane and decent Primaloft insulation, the Danner Mountain 600 Insulated boots are a great trail-ready winter boot (Image credit: Pat Kinsella)
Best all rounder


Weight (per boot): 567g / 20oz
Insulation: 200g PrimaLoft
Colors: Dark Brown & brick / Pinecone & brick red
Compatability: Cold-weather trail walking and hill hiking up to low alpine level

Reasons to buy

Excellent Vibram outsole
PrimaLoft insulation will keep you cozy
Well made and should last well

Reasons to avoid

Less breathable then some other winter boots
Not rigid enough for technical winter ascents

Comfortable straight out of the box, the insulated Mountain 600s from Midwest-based brand Danner have a chassis made with beautifully soft full-grain leather, backed by a waterproof membrane and lined with 200G PrimaLoft insulation. They offer excellent warmth and good weatherproof protection for trail traipsers and hill hikers who like to keep on trekking through the harshest winter months, but there is more to the Mountain 600s than warmth. 

The mid-height over-ankle design, heel cup and fast-hook lace system combine to supply good all-foot support. There’s a rubberized EVA midsole, which cushions footfall on all sorts of terrain. Beneath this midsole, sits the impressive Vibram Nisqually Arctic Grip outsole, which is made from a high-traction compound and has a split heel and large lugs intelligently arranged to provide serious grip in wet and icy conditions. 

The excellent thermal protection does come at the expense of breathability. They feature a removable OrthoLite footbed, made from open-cell polyurethane to aid air circulation and help dissipate some heat, but the insulated version of the Mountain 600s (which are available in many other iterations) do run warm. You need to ensure that you wear them in the right (sufficiently chilly) conditions, and accept the fact that – unless you live close to the top or the bottom of the globe – they’ll probably be in storage for 9 months of the year.

The toe protection is pretty minimal, with a small toecap that doesn’t supply much cover if you need to kick some steps into snow. And the nylon shanks don’t supply enough rigidity for any really technically edging, or to be combined with crampons for serious mountaineering either. 

But that’s not what these boots are designed for. They’re intended for hiking on snowy trails and more modest, non-technical hills and peaks in freezing cold conditions, and for general wear in countryside areas during the depths of winter, and in all of these circumstances they’re excellent. 

Read our full Danner Mountain 600 Insulated winter boots review

The best for custom fit

Ariat Moresby winter boots

Made from leather that will mold to your foot shape in time and with great cushioning, the Ariat Moresby boots combine traditional boot-making methods with sports shoe tech (Image credit: Jack McKeown)

2. Ariat Moresby

Best for custom fit


Weight (per boot): 680g / 24oz
Insulation: N/A
Colors: Oily distressed brown
Compatibility: All-weather adventures on non-technical trails

Reasons to buy

High cut keeps out water and snow
Quality full-grain leather
Good cushioning

Reasons to avoid

Not insulated

Founded by two Stanford University students in the 1990s, Ariat aim to combine traditional boot-making methods with the kind of technology used in sports shoes. The Ariat Moresby is a high-cut, full-grain leather boot that has the level of cushioning you’d expect from a pair of basketball shoes. A four-layer foot bed combines support, stability and shock absorption. 

They look every bit as good as most casual leather boots. A rubber toe protector and the sharp teeth of the sole’s grips are the only suggestions that these boots are designed with more extreme activities in mind. Fully waterproof, the 6in boot is cut high enough to keep your feet dry through most conditions. Deep lugs offer grip across a variety of terrains, from snow to mud and slippery rock surfaces. 

Loops on the tongue and heel make them easy to put on and take off. There are six metal lace-hooks, though, so tying them takes time. Once tied they offer a secure, weatherproof fit.

Built in a medium width, the Ariat Moresby should be suitable for most foot shapes and the soft leather will mold over time for a personalized fit. 

The best for warmth

Columbia Bugaboot Celsius Plus Snow Boot

An extremely warm snow boot with unique heat-reflective system, the Columbia Bugaboot Celsius Plus Snow Boot is perfect for people who spend a lot of time in harsh winter conditions (Image credit: Jack McKeown)

3. Columbia Bugaboot Celsius Plus Snow Boot

Best for warmth


Weight (per boot): 666g / 23.5oz
Insulation: 400g synthetic plus Omni-Heat reflective lining
Colors: Black / Gray / Brown / Black
Compatibility: Best for wearing in very cold conditions, walking on non-technical but snowy trails, and exploring winter resorts

Reasons to buy

Outstanding warmth
High ankle for deep snow
Good grip levels

Reasons to avoid

Inflexible materials means correct sizing is important
Not an all-rounder – best suited for snow

If you regularly spend a lot of time in very cold and snowy places, the Columbia Bugaboot Celsius Plus should be on your radar. With a remarkable 400g of insulation, these were the warmest men’s winter boots we tested. As well as all that padding, the Bugaboot Celsius Plus benefits from Columbia’s Omni-Heat system, a special lining that has hundreds of gold dots to reflect your body heat back into the boot. 

The uppers feature waterproof leather, textile, webbing and metal. They feel incredibly tough and should be good for many winters. However they are hard and inflexible so getting the correct size is crucial. These are not boots that will break-in and mold themselves to your feet over time. 

The rubber Omni-Grip sole is designed specifically for snowy conditions and should ensure you can make your way up along the trails or around the ski resort without taking a tumble. Huge heel loops make them easy to put on or take off with winter gloves on. These are boots that are very specifically designed for life in the snow and cold. If you spend a lot of time skiing or live somewhere with harsh winters you’ll be very glad you bought a pair. If you only hit the slopes once or twice a year you might be better of picking one of the more all-round men’s winter boots from our guide. 

The best lightweight boots

Haglöfs LIM FH GTX Mid winter boots

The Haglöfs LIM FH GTX Mid is a lightweight boot that's well built and super comfortable (Image credit: Jack McKeown)
Best lightweight boots


Weight (per boot): 381g / 13.5oz
Insulation: N/A
Colors: Black / Nordic Blue
Compatibility: Mid-level trails in milder winter conditions

Reasons to buy

Lightweight, with a sneaker-like feel
Comfortable on long hikes
Breathable for changeable weather

Reasons to avoid

No insulation

These boots from Swedish outdoors company Haglöfs are good for fast-paced, active winter activities. At just 381g per boot, they’re incredibly lightweight and a joy to have on your feet, and despite barely nudging the dial on the scales they’re well featured and ready for winter adventures. There’s a Gore-Tex lining, reinforced fabric uppers, a thick foam midsole and padded ankles for extra support, but they’re not insulated, so if you’re standing around in sub-zero conditions your feet will soon start to chill. Active winter activities are what these boots excel at. They’re in their element on a brisk hike up a mountain or through a forest. 

Excellent breathability and plenty of flex mean they remain comfortable after a long day on the trail. The sole’s 4mm lugs offer plenty of grip on wet or slippery surfaces but aren’t quite rugged enough to deal with the kind of deep mud Scotland’s mountains all too frequently offer in winter. These boots will be out of their depth in the very harshest weather, but if you want a boot that offers a superb weight-to-performance ratio for winter days when the forecast isn’t dreadful, these will be your go-to choice. 

The best for hiking trails

Merrell Moab Speed Thermo Mid winter boots

An insulated four-season version of Merrell's classic hikers (Image credit: Jack McKeown)

5. Merrell Moab Speed Thermo Mid

Best for hiking trails


Weight (per boot): 480g / 17oz
Insulation: Primaloft
Colors: Black / Rock
Compatibility: Everything from winter hiking to wearing around a snowy ski resort

Reasons to buy

Out-of-the-box comfort
Good warmth levels
Trail-shoe feel

Reasons to avoid

Less ankle support than some others

Merrell’s Moab Speed have been a firm favorite with hikers for years and now there’s an insulated version. The Merrell Moab Speed Thermo Mid is a winter-oriented iteration of the American company’s popular 3-season trail boots. They have all the features of their stablemate the Moab Speed GTX – including being fully waterproof – and add a useful extra dose of winter warmth thanks to 200g of Primaloft insulation. 

At 480g they’re not feather-light, yet the numbers don’t tell the full story and these Merrells never feel heavy or cumbersome to wear. Indeed, a neat design makes them look a size smaller than they actually are. 

Price-wise, they’re not bargain basement but neither are they at the higher end of the price spectrum. A Vibram sole with deep lugs makes it easy to find traction in snow or mud, while that Primaloft layer ensures your feet don’t feel the chill when the mercury plummets. Soft fleece trim inside the ankles and tongue gives a little bit of extra comfort and warmth.

The best for all day hikes

Salomon Men’s Ultra Trek GTX High Rise winter boots

Grippy boots with good ankle support that are comfortable on day-long winter hikes (Image credit: Jack McKeown)

6. Salomon Men’s Ultra Trek GTX High Rise

Best for all day hikes


Weight: 861g / 30oz
Insulation: Synthetic
Colors: Black
Compatibility: Hill hiking on proper trails in cold and snowy conditions

Reasons to buy

Superb grip
Good ankle support

Reasons to avoid

Narrow fit
Flex may not suit climbers on more technical routes 

Salomon has built a deserved reputation for shoes that are capable and long lasting. The Ultra Trek GTX range is available in low, mid, and the high version tested here. 

Aimed at year-round hiking but perfectly capable of holding its own in most winter conditions, this 3-season-plus boot has a sole with deep lugs that can handle anything from thick mud to snow. Salomon don’t give insulation info for the Ultra Trek GTX but the uppers are thick and well padded. As long as you’re active they should keep you warm in most conditions, but it’s not a fully specced winter boot.

However, high ankles give extra confidence that snow and water won’t find their way into these boots. Salomon have a reputation for build quality and these feel like they will go and go. A flexible sole is great for day-long hikes where long miles are covered and comfort is key. Those tackling difficult rocky ascents may want something stiffer, however, in which case we recommend the AKU Tengu GTX

The best for mountaineering


The Aky Tengu GTX is a lightweight and capable mountaineering boot with a neat and nimble feel – though the lacing system seems to make it a little tricky to dial in a precise fit (Image credit: Matthew Jones)


Weight (per boot): 725g / 1lb 9oz
Insulation: N/A
Colors: Blue & Black / Black & Orange
Compatibility: Four-season B2

Reasons to buy


Reasons to avoid

Lacing system not the best
Not insulated

On paper, the AKU Tengu tick virtually all the boxes when it comes to the best winter walking boots. The design incorporates a high-ankle cuff for plenty of support and protection, tough uppers with a wraparound rand for durability, a Gore-Tex lining for reliable waterproofing, and a Vibram sole for reliable traction underfoot. 

Actually, there’s even more to the boot than that – it’s just that most of the really clever stuff is hidden from view. Structurally, the boot is made up of a dual-density PU midsole with a carbon fiber shank. This consists of a durable “Exoskeleton’”along with a lightweight inner section for better cushioning. As a result, they feel supportive yet comfortable, being stiff enough to take a C2 crampon (check out our guide to the best crampons you can buy) and climb competently, yet with enough cushioning for easy walking. The burly toe box is equally good for scrambling or kicking steps in snow. 

AKU boots are generally known for their excellence in terms of fit, with sophisticated tech and lasting to try and guarantee a close, precise fit. Indeed, some reviewers have praised the Tengu in this regard. Unfortunately, we didn’t get on quite so well with it, experiencing noticeable heel slip no matter how tightly we laced the boots. Even trying a thicker insole didn’t help. It’s a minor niggle though, and one that may not affect all foot shapes and volumes. Just because it didn’t suit us doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t suit you.

Read our full AKU Tengu GTX winter hiking boots review

The best value

Decathlon Quechua SH500 X-Warm Waterproof Lace-Up Snow Hiking Boots

The Decathlon Quechua SH500 X-Warm Waterproof Lace-Up Snow Hiking Boot offers superb warmth and comfort with a bargain price tag (Image credit: Jack McKeown)

8. Decathlon Quechua SH500 X-Warm Waterproof Lace-Up Snow Hiking Boots

Best value


Weight: 490g / 17oz
Insulation: Thick fleece
Colors: Brown & Black / Black / Pebble Gray
Compatibility: Snow play and après chilling

Reasons to buy

Exceptional value
Very warm

Reasons to avoid

Not fit for technical trails

There really is no limit to how much you can pay for a pair of men’s winter boots. But do you need to spend all that money? Isn’t there a boot that offers good performance for a lot less outlay? Step forward this snow boot from Quechua, budget sporting goods retailer Decathlon’s house brand. 

The fully waterproof boot has a thick fleece lining that offers exceptional warmth. In fact it’s second only to the Columbia Bugaboot for warmth in this test. According to their makers they’ll keep your feet comfortable to -8°C (18°F) when static and -17°C (1°F) when on the move. Costing less than £50, they’re incredibly good value for a boot that will keep your toes toasty down to temperatures as low as all but the most gung-ho adventurers are likely to encounter. 

The sole is designed to offer maximum traction on snow and the boots have a high cut so you can wade through a fresh fall of the white stuff without soaking your socks. 

The combination of a flexible synthetic upper and deep, soft fleece lining makes for a very comfortable winter boot. In fact we sometimes wore them instead of slippers on cold days working from home. However, these boots are not designed for hiking or any real general wear. They’re for wading through snow. But their combination of warmth, protection and comfort at an astonishing price make them a perfect purchase for après-ski footwear.

The best minimalist boots

Vivobarefoot Tracker II FG winter boots

The Vivobarefoot Tracker II FG are minimalist men’s winter boots for barefoot enthusiasts and as such come with limited cushioning or insulation, but heaps of trail feel (Image credit: Jack McKeown)
Minimalist men’s winter boot for barefoot enthusiast


Weight: 329g / 11.6oz
Insulation: Thermal insole
Colors: Bracken
Compatibility: Low-level, non-muddy trails

Reasons to buy

Minimalist design
Featherlight at 329g
Wide toe box
Exceptional feedback from the trail

Reasons to avoid

More expensive than most
Not very warm
Barefoot shoes take time to get used to

Can a barefoot model be used as a men’s winter boot? Minimalist footwear specialist Vivobarefoot think so. Their Tracker II FG is billed as a hiking boot that can be used all year round. 

Vivobarefoot believe footwear should be foot-shaped and have minimal distance between you and the elements. The Tracker II FG has a sole that’s just 2.5mm thick, with 4mm lugs to stop you slipping. Such a thin sole doesn’t give much insulation between you and the ground so Vivobarefoot include a removable thermal insole that improves underfoot warmth. 

At 329g, they’re the lightest boot we tested – you barely notice you’re wearing them. On test we found them to be waterproof, handling waterlogged trails without letting any wetness in. Our feet didn’t get cold but the temperature didn’t reach truly frigid conditions. Even with the thermal insole it’s likely to be only the hardiest of hikers that will wear them in the depths of winter. Barefoot shoes also take a bit of getting used to. Your calves do more work so if you’re new to barefoot-style hikes it’s best to build up distances gradually while your muscles adapt. 

Also, those 4mm lugs are perfect for bone-dry winter trails, but for muddy conditions hiking you need more aggressive indentations to grip when the going gets boggy.

That said, no other boot on this test offers the same sensation you get standing on a rocky outcrop in Vivobarefoots. Feeling the ground beneath your feet really does connect you to the landscape you’re walking through. 

See our full review of the Vivobarefoot Tracker II FG hiking boot.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Best men’s winter boots
BootPriceWeight per bootInsulationCompatibility
Danner Mountain 600 Insulated$220 (US) / £220 (UK)567g / 20oz200g PrimaloftCold-weather trail walking and hill hiking up to low alpine level
Ariat Moresby$195 (US) £175 (UK)680g / 24ozN/AAll-weather adventures on non-technical trails
Columbia Bugaboot Celsius Plus Snow Boot$170 (US) / £160 (UK)666g / 23.5oz400g synthetic plus Omni-Heat reflective liningVery cold conditions, walking on non-technical but snowy trails
Haglöfs L.I.M FH GTX Mid$170 (US) / £160 (UK)381g / 13.5ozN/AMid-level trails in milder winter conditions
Merrell Moab Speed Thermo Mid$170 (US) / £155 (UK) 480g / 17ozPrimaloftWinter hiking to après-ski
Salomon Men’s Ultra Trek GTX High Rise$190 (US) / £170 (UK)861g / 30ozSyntheticHill hiking on proper trails in cold and snowy conditions
AKU Tengu GTX£270 (UK) / €319.90 (EU)725g / 1lb 9ozN/ACapable of everything up to winter mountaineering
Decathlon Quechua SH500 X-Warm Waterproof Lace-Up Snow Hiking Boots£49.99 (UK)490g / 17ozThick fleeceSnow play and après chilling
Vivobarefoot Tracker II FG$240 (US) / £190 (UK) 329g / 11.6ozThermal insoleLow-level, non-muddy trails

How we test men’s winter boots

Our expert gear testers have put all of the following boots through their paces on a wide variety of terrain in thoroughly winter conditions, in Scotland and the Alps. Each pair has been performance assessed against a range of criteria, including thermal insulation, waterproofing, comfort, functionality, grip and style.

Choosing the best winter boots for you

Man hiking on rocks wearing AKU Tengu GTX winter boots

The AKU Tengu GTX are boots you can hit the hills in, no matter the conditions (Image credit: Matthew Jones)

What kind of men’s winter boots you need will depend largely on what you want to do with them and where you intend to use them. If you live in a temperate climate you’ll need something that can cope with wet and muddy conditions. People who live in Canada, Norway and other northerly climes will require a warmer boot that offers traction on snow. Skiers are likely to want something comfortable to ease into for an evening at the après bars. Whatever kind of men’s winter boots you want there are a few factors you should bear in mind. 


It would seem to go without saying that a winter boot needs to be insulated. But that may not be the case. If you’re hiking up mountains at a fast pace your exertion levels are high and your body temperature will be elevated. Overheated, sweaty feet are going to increase your discomfort level. So while you’ll still need grip, support and weatherproofing, you may not need insulation. 

If it’s extra cold or you’ll be out for extended periods then insulation becomes much more important. Most insulated boots use a synthetic, breathable insulation such as Primaloft. Snow boots often come with a thick fleece lining that offers warmth and comfort. The former is better if you’re going to be active in cold conditions, while the latter is fine for outdoor ski bars. 

Man wearing Merrell Moab Speed Thermo Mid boots

The Merrell Moab Speed Thermo Mid is fully waterproof (Image credit: Jack McKeown)


All the boots tested here are waterproof. But how long they remain waterproof for is likely to vary a great deal depending on the type of boot you go for. 

Models that are extremely lightweight with thin fabric uppers will be relying on a membrane liner such as Gore-Tex to keep water out. A couple of broken stitches or a tiny tear in the lining is all the opportunity water will need to seep in and soak your socks. 

The more hardcore winter boots will feature much thicker lining that is a lot more robust and will stand up to abuse. Waterproof boots with full grain leather uppers are also likely to remain waterproof for years rather than months of hard use. As with everything, however, there’s a trade-off and you’ll pay a weight penalty for boots with waterproofing that’ll never let you down. 

Man standing on rock wearing Salomon Mens Ultra Trek GTX High Rise boots

The high ankle Salomon Mens Ultra Trek GTX High Rise means that you’re less likely to have water slopping over the top and into the boots (Image credit: Jack McKeown)

Ankle height

Winter is when streams are high, puddles are everywhere and there may be snow to wade through. It doesn’t matter how waterproof your boots are if snow or water goes over the top of them. That’s why ankle height is an important factor when considering which men’s winter boot to buy. Many models of outdoor shoe come in low-, mid- and high-cut versions. If you’re likely to be walking through snow or splashing through streams aim for a high-cut boot to avoid wet feet. 

Pair of AKU Tengu GTX boots showing sole

The tread of the AKU Tengu GTX (Image credit: Matthew Jones)


No single hiking boot sole has the best traction overall. They will all perform at their best on different kinds of terrain. If you’re most likely to encounter mud or snow you want deep lugs that will dig in and find traction. Soles with shallower, wider grips will cling better onto wet rock or ice but are more likely to slide around in deep mud. If you’re attacking steep ascents and descents you’ll want V-shaped lugs with braking lugs that face the opposite way and help with downhills. 

Jack McKeown is a Scottish journalist, hiker, skier, runner and beach volleyball player. Having walked many of Scotland’s long distance trails, last year saw him tackle his first ultramarathon. He lives in Dundee and in his spare time Jack and his golden retriever Bracken are often to be found exploring the mountains, forests, lochs and rivers of Highland Perthshire.

With contributions from