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Winter boots lined up against snow. Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The Best Winter Boots For Women in Canada of 2022

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Winter boots lined up against snow. Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

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Product image of Sorel Women's Caribou Boots
Best Overall

Sorel Women's Caribou Boots

The Sorel Women's Caribou boots won high marks in all categories for their superior insulation, sturdy rubber sole and style. Read More

Pros

  • Removable liner
  • Sturdy rubber sole
  • High-quality insulation

Cons

  • Bulky
Product image of Ugg Women's Adirondack III Boots

Ugg Women's Adirondack III Boots

These stylish boots feature the same real sheepskin lining of the classic UGGs but performed surprisingly well during our testing. Read More

Pros

  • Stylish
  • Warm
  • Reasonably water resistant

Cons

  • Runs small
Product image of Sorel Women's Joan of Arctic Boots

Sorel Women's Joan of Arctic Boots

The Sorel Joan of Arctic is a good blend of fashion and functionality with its stylish faux-fur cuff and high-quality insulation. Read More

Pros

  • Removable felt liner
  • Sturdy rubber outsole
  • Attractive design

Cons

  • Runs small
Product image of Timberland Women's Jayne Waterproof Fleece Fold Down Boots

Timberland Women's Jayne Waterproof Fleece Fold Down Boots

The Timberland Jayne Fold Down boots could be a good choice if fashion is important to you, but we found them lacking in several major categories. Read More

Pros

  • Fashionable

Cons

  • Poor traction
  • No insulation
  • Narrow sizing
Product image of Columbia Women’s Ice Maiden II Boots

Columbia Women’s Ice Maiden II Boots

The Columbia Ice Maiden II Boots are very affordable and could be a good choice if you live somewhere with a mild winter. Read More

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Suede stretches easily

Cons

  • No arch support
  • Minimal heat retention

There’s no better feeling than having warm, dry feet in cold, miserable weather. That’s why having a capable pair of winter boots is so important. The best winter boots should keep you just as warm and dry commuting in the city as they do on rugged terrain during a snow-filled hike in the woods.

We spent nearly three months bundled up in a warm winter coat so that we could research and test several pairs of winter boots to tell you that the Sorel Women’s Caribou Boot (available at Amazon) are the ones to get. Its balance of superior waterproofing, warmth, and a timeless, cute style won both our hearts and our tests.

Whether you're shovelling deep snow in your driveway or just walking your dog on an icy street, Reviewed has you covered.

Here are the best winter boots for women we tested ranked, in order:

  1. Sorel Women’s Caribou Boots
  2. UGG Women’s Adirondack III Boots
  3. Sorel Women’s Joan of Arctic Boots
  4. Timberland Women’s Jayne Waterproof Fleece Fold-Down Boots
  5. Columbia Women’s Ice Maiden II Boots
  6. The North Face Women’s Thermoball Lace Up
  7. Sperry Women’s Maritime Repel Snow Boot w/Thinsulate

Girl walking in Sorel Women's Caribou Boots.
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

After a lot of testing, we decided the Sorel Women's Caribou boots are the best you can buy.

Best Overall
Sorel Women's Caribou Boots

The Sorel Women’s Caribou boots were the best women’s winter boots that we tested. With their superior insulation and sturdy rubber sole, they yielded the best results of every boot that we called in for testing. The Caribous are instantly comfortable and keep your feet warm without overheating, protecting your feet in temperatures as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit. They’re perfect for heavy snow and are stylish enough to wear on your daily commute. Featuring a synthetic fleece-trimmed cuff, they’re available in black, tan, and grey.

During testing, the Caribous provided excellent traction on ice. The seam-sealed leather upper kept my feet bone dry and the vulcanized rubber shell covering the bottom half of the boot offering excellent protection against deep snow and heavy slush. The best part? The Caribou’s removable recycled felt liners can be swapped out if they get wet, left out to dry, and are replaceable if they wear out. Our testing suggests that you should go a half size up from your regular shoe size when buying these boots, as the Caribou run short and wide.

The only downside to these is that they’re a bit bulky, which could make taking the stairs or driving difficult.

Pros

  • Removable liner

  • Sturdy rubber sole

  • High-quality insulation

Cons

  • Bulky


How We Tested Women's Winter Boots

Testing winter boots in a tub of ice water.
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

During testing, we weighed each boot down in a tub of ice water and measured its heat retention using a wireless temperature data logger known as a "button."

The Tester

I’m Cailey Lindberg, the Updates Staff Writer at Reviewed and lifelong New Englander who has owned many pairs of winter boots. I decided to use my years of cold weather experience to help keep your feet protected from the elements.

The Tests

I put each pair through a variety of tests to see how they would hold up.

I travelled to my childhood home in New Hampshire and went on an hour-long walk with each pair in temperatures of twenty degrees and below. It’s a remote area, with dirt roads, ample ice, snow, and rocky footpaths. To test the traction of the boots in our test group, on ice, I walked up and down the front steps of the cabin where I was staying, five times in each set of boots.

Once these practical tests were complete, I brought the boots to Reviewed’s test lab in Cambridge for objective testing. Under controlled conditions, I also walked in place in four inches of ice water for five minutes, in each pair of boots. This was to test whether or not each pair of boots would be able to keep feet dry, even in the face of deep, slushy puddles.

Finally, I weighed down each of the boots in ice water for 15 minutes and used a wireless temperature data logger known as a “button” to record how much heat retention each pair can provide.

Girl stomps in place in a tub of water wearing Muck Arctic Ice Tall boots.
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

Our testing procedures included walking in place in 4 inches of ice water to see if each boot will keep your feet dry.

What You Should Know About Winter Boots

A great pair of insulated boots should be versatile, capable of helping you track through deep snow on a hike through the backwoods, or of keeping your feet warm as you walk your dog around the sidewalks of your neighbourhood.

You’ll want to match the temperature range of the boots you pick with how cold it gets where you live. If the boots you wear are too warm, your feet will sweat. This can lead to them feeling cold and getting blisters. If they’re not warm enough, your feet will, not surprisingly, be cold.

You should know that there’s no oversight for measuring the temperature rating of boots: every manufacturer uses their own means of the testing temperature range. A large part of this is due to the fact that there are so many different types of boot insulation materials out there:

  • Synthetic Insulation: some synthetic insulations, like 3M’s Thinsulate, are practically household words. Others, such as Primaloft, Optiwarm, Heatseeker, and Zylet, not to mention the proprietary insulation used by outdoor brands like Keen and Columbia, might not be known as well, are designed to do the same job: keeping your feet warm. No matter the kind of synthetic insulation in your boots, most work in fundamentally the same manner. The insulation, made up of artificial fibres, creates an insulative layer, designed to trap your body heat inside of the boot.

  • Natural Insulation: materials such as felt, shearling (the tanned skin of a yearling sheep that was sheared of its wool, just before its life was ended), and wool (the fibrous layer of hair shorn from a sheep) work in much the same manner as synthetic insulators do. They’re natural insulators that, when used to line a boot, will help you to retain your body heat and keep your feet warm.

Breathability and waterproofing play just as important a role in keeping your feet warm as a boot’s temperature range does. If your boots aren’t able to get rid of the moisture inside of your boot, such as sweat, the boot’s insulation will become damp and, in some cases won’t be able to keep you as warm as it would if it was dry. The same goes for keeping water out: if your boots aren’t waterproof or at least water-resistant, water from puddles, slush, and melting snow will get into the boot, lowering the temperature inside of it, making you feel uncomfortable.

Materials such as Gore-Tex and other membrane fabrics allow water vapour from inside of your boot to escape, but won’t allow liquids to get in. Rubber has been used to waterproof boots for years. It may not allow water vapour to escape a boot, but there are few materials better for keeping the elements out.

If you decide to buy boots other than the ones we recommend, take the time to research the materials used in them to keep your feet dry before pulling the trigger on a purchase.


Other Winter Boots for Women We Tested

Product image of Ugg Women's Adirondack III Boots
Ugg Women's Adirondack III Boots

The UGG Adirondack III Waterproof boots were the most stylish boots we tested. Fortunately, they have more than just good looks going for them: they performed surprisingly well during testing.

Beautifully designed and luxurious, they feature the same real sheepskin lining of the Classic UGGs with gorgeous high-quality leather, which stretches out quickly.

The Adirondack III can protect your feet in temperatures as low as -25.6 degrees Fahrenheit. During testing, my feet felt comfortable and supported while hiking. They gripped ice surprisingly well and proved to be reasonably water-resistant.

You should know that they run a half size small in the toe box and are made for narrow feet.

Pros

  • Stylish

  • Warm

  • Reasonably water resistant

Cons

  • Runs small

Product image of Sorel Women's Joan of Arctic Boots
Sorel Women's Joan of Arctic Boots

The Sorel Joan of Arctic is a good all-around winter boot. Like Sorel’s Caribou boots, the Joan of Arctic features a removable felt liner, seam-sealed waterproof construction, and a vulcanized rubber outsole. During testing, we found that they didn’t grip ice as well as our Best Overall pick, nor did they provide the same level of comfort and support while hiking.

These boots run small. So, you may need to go a full size up from what you normally wear if you plan on wearing thick socks with them. Beware of them if you have thicker calves, as Sorel doesn’t provide a maximum shaft circumference for this model.

Despite these drawbacks, the Joan of Arctic Boots are a solid choice for winter that offers a good blend of fashion and functionality.

Pros

  • Removable felt liner

  • Sturdy rubber outsole

  • Attractive design

Cons

  • Runs small

Product image of Timberland Women's Jayne Waterproof Fleece Fold Down Boots
Timberland Women's Jayne Waterproof Fleece Fold Down Boots

The Timberland Jayne Fold Down boots are stiff leather and take time to break in comfortably. During our hiking test, I found that they had poor traction on ice and, thanks to their poor insulation left my feet feeling cold after twenty minutes outside. These boots accumulated salt stains easily, so be prepared to do routine maintenance on them if you want to keep them looking their best.

If fashion is more important to you than warmth and you insist on purchasing these, know that they run true to size length-wise, but are narrow in the toe box.

Pros

  • Fashionable

Cons

  • Poor traction

  • No insulation

  • Narrow sizing

Product image of Columbia Women’s Ice Maiden II Boots
Columbia Women’s Ice Maiden II Boots

The Columbia Ice Maiden II Boots were the most affordable out of all of the products we tested. They might be an acceptable choice if you live somewhere with mild winters. Despite being rated as keeping your feet warm in temperatures down to -25 degrees Fahrenheit, this was not my experience. During our hiking test for these, I noticed that my feet felt cold, almost immediately. These boots run true to size, with soft suede that stretches easily and offers moderate water resistance.

Unfortunately, I found that they provided no arch support, making them a bad choice for someone with flat feet or another orthopedic foot condition. This could, however, easily be solved by inserting an insole or custom orthotic as the suede conforms to your foot.

Pros

  • Affordable

  • Suede stretches easily

Cons

  • No arch support

  • Minimal heat retention

Product image of The North Face Women's Thermoball Lace Up
The North Face Women's Thermoball Lace Up

The North Face Thermoball Boots are constructed using soft fabrics and are lined with synthetic fleece, giving them a luxurious feel. Sadly, they performed poorly.

During testing, the Thermoballs offered no ankle support, which puts you at risk of injuring yourself while tromping around in the ice and snow. I found them to be narrow and tight in the toe box when I first wore them. Once they were broken in, they stretched out, leaving my feet to slide around uncomfortably inside of them. This threw off my balance while hiking.

During testing I found they can get damp easily, making them less than ideal for withstanding winter at its worst.

Pros

  • Soft lining

  • Stylish

Cons

  • No ankle support

  • Get damp easily

Product image of Sperry Women's Maritime Repel Snow Boot with Thinsulate
Sperry Women's Maritime Repel Snow Boot with Thinsulate

Despite their name, the Sperry Women’s Maritime Repel Snow Boot with Thinsulate are not snow boots.

During our lab tests, we found they offered minimal water resistance and, while out on a hike my feet were colder in them than any other boot I tested. As these boots feature the same no-tie laces as Sperry classic sneakers do, it’s not possible to tighten them in a manner that will support your ankles.

My time with these boots was such a bad experience that I can’t recommend them.

Pros

  • None that we could find

Cons

  • No-tie laces

  • Thin lining

Meet the tester

Cailey Lindberg

Cailey Lindberg

Staff Writer, Updates

Cailey Lindberg is a Staff Writer at Reviewed and full-time Dog Mom to @sandor_thebassethound. In her spare time, she writes about music and history for Mental Floss.

See all of Cailey Lindberg's reviews

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