It might be difficult to visualize the ideal winter walking shoes in your head. That’s because it’s challenging to find ones that are cozy, strong, comfortable, and fashionable that also don’t fall into the winter boot or everyday walking shoe categories.
Furthermore, even though fashion is always important, function and safety are crucial. To help with our cold weather shoe shopping, we sought the advice of an expert. Michael Fishkin, a certified pedorthist at Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists, has a ton of suggestions.
How to buy walking shoes for the winter?
Look for materials that are waterproof and insulating.
We all know what happens when snowflakes melt, so the term “water-resistant” can also mean “snow-resistant.” According to Fishkin, some shoes have a waterproof membrane called Gore-Tex that will help keep feet dry. He advises searching for shearling or a Thinsulate lining for warmth. They range in weight, expressed in grams, and each is best suited for a particular level of activity:
- 200 grams works best for little to no activity in cool temperatures, or high activity in cold temps.
- 400 grams works best for moderate activity in cold temperatures.
- 600 grams works best for low activity in colder temperatures.
- 800 grams works best for low activity in very cold temperatures.
- 1,000+ grams works best for very little activity in extreme cold weather conditions
Stay away from a tight fit.
According to Fishkin, if a shoe is too tightly fitted, your feet will be directly exposed to snow or cold air. “Winter shoes with some airspace allow the heat your feet generate to be trapped inside the footwear.”
When possible, Fishkin advises choosing footwear with a lugged, chunky outsole. Due to the unpredictable nature of icy conditions, it provides the best slip resistance.
Below, we’ve provided a list of excellent winter shoes appropriate for all of your seasonal activities, keeping Fishkin’s advice in mind and including some of his recommendations. And let us warn you that—gasp!—there are no UGGs in sight before you find out for yourself. They’re not actually that good, according to Fishkin: They have no structure or support, the suede uppers absorb moisture, and they don’t offer enough traction. Salt can also damage the suede.
Find out which sneakers did make the cut by reading on.
1. RAVE REVIEWS FOR BZees Golden Ankle Booties
This ankle boot and sneaker outfit is equally cozy and adorable. The reason for the numerous five-star Amazon reviews is that they come in 15 different styles, have a comfort cone gel insert for supportive shock absorption, and are machine washable. This pair of shoes is amazing. They are lightweight, supportive, and cushioned. The fabric is amazingly soft, one customer said.
2.KEEN Revel IV Polar Boot
“For winter walking, I like to suggest a mid-boot or high boot.
These will prevent snow and water from getting inside your shoes, according to Fishkin. This pair in particular has great traction, 200 grams of KeenWarm insulation, and KeenDry, the company’s take on Gore-Tex’s waterproof lining.
3. BEST VALUE Skechers Easy Going Heighten Boot
This set of casual, inexpensive boots is a great choice if you need something you can quickly slip on without slipping down your ice-covered driveway. Their air-cooled memory foam insert will keep your feet comfortable and dry, and just look at that adorable ankle cuff that resembles a sweater.
4. THE BEST OPTION FOR BOOTS IS EAGSOUNI Snow Shoes
All the benefits of a snow boot without the bulk or weight of a snow boot are available in these cool fur-lined shoes. Additionally, they have a non-slip rubber outsole, are water-resistant, and even have a reinforced anti-collision structure to protect the toes.
5. BEST TRACTION North Face Sierra Mid-Lace Waterproof Boot
Fishkin’s waterproof leather upper, Surface ControlTM rubber outsole, and 100 grams of synthetic insulation all fit the bill. With this pair, you really can’t go wrong, and they’re also incredibly adorable.
6. BEST FOR WARMTH Ryka Everest Boot
We are not sure what else will scream cozy winter footwear like these boots. You’ll appreciate their cushioned memory foam insert and toggle-closure bungee laces, which keep snow out. Reviews claim that they are also incredibly light.
7. KEEN Winter slip-on clog Kaci 2
These shoes stay dry and sturdy with an upper made of full-grain leather and oiled nubuck. Additionally, they are insulated to keep warm in temperatures as low as -4°F. They are extremely suitable for winter weather conditions due to the high traction rubber outsole’s slip-resistance.
8. Skechers On-the-Go Joy Bundle-Up Chukka Boot
These boots are made entirely of leather, so they will withstand time and the elements just fine. With over 3,500 Amazon reviews, they have a strong 4.5-star rating and a rubber sole for good traction. They also have a faux fur lining.
9.SOREL TivoliTM IV
Fishkin claims that while many Sorel models are excellent for the winter, his favourite has 100 grams of insulation and superior traction.
10. Hello Wendy Corduroy Shoe
These slip-ons are an obvious choice for winter footwear thanks to memory foam insoles and a cozy faux fur lining. One Amazon customer exclaimed, “I love these Hey Dudes!!!” “They are so cozy and will keep my feet warm this winter,” said the wearer. They continue to receive over 1,000 reviews, and their impressive five-star rating.