Winter Boots Guide: How to Find the Best Boots for You

woman wearing duck boots

The winter months bring along the holidays, new trends and of course the constant battle against the elements to stay warm. The latter often sends many of us into sheer panic, with preparation that usually begins at our wardrobe.

Finding a good-looking boot is fairly easy, but finding a boot that is also functional and comfortable can prove to be a challenge. Fortunately, there are a variety of winter boots up for grabs, all ready to serve different occasions and purposes. Certain iconic styles will always remain in vogue, no matter how many times the toe shape or color of the season changes. It’s these classics that you’ll be happy to have in your closet, year after year after year.

Types of Winter Boots

So what are those iconic styles every woman should own? What are the pros and cons of each? Not sure which pair will best suit your bundled up look? Below, we're breaking it down.

Whether walking to work, running errands, getting active or having some weekend fun with friends, these winter boots are the best picks for facing the cold-weather season. Once you’ve picked your favorite (or favorites, let’s be real), be sure to protect them with a waterproof spray if needed and break them in a bit before hitting the streets!

Riding Boots

riding boots

These equestrian-inspired classics are a wardrobe staple. Seriously, they’re like the LBD of the boot collection. They can be dressed up, dressed down and fit in just about anywhere. A riding boot generally hits at the knee or higher, and we’re guessing you probably won’t have these with the intent to actually go hop on a horse, so the height of the heel is totally based upon preference.

They tend to be made of stiff leather or another structured material that doesn’t slouch, and a good, durable pair should last several years. You’ll likely see this style everywhere during the winter months, as they’re easy and fashionable enough to wear with most outfits and keep legs warm.

Ankle Boots

ankle boot

Ankle Boot

Ankle boots, as suggested by the name, are any style of boot that stops right around or just above the ankle. These boots tend to have a short heel, making them a great option for wearing to work or more formal occasions.

A classic, ankle boots are the perfect shoe for just about every season – even stretching all the way into the summer months. This is because they’re so versatile. You could have a handful of versions, and still find another pair that does something a little differently.

Choosing a leather style in a neutral color will complement the most clothes in your closet. However, if you’re looking to add a bit of flair to your outfit, feel free to experiment with bright colors, bold patterns and fabrics such as velvet.

Over the Knee Boots

Whether flat or heeled, over-the-knee boots help to lend a very fashionable and sultry look to any outfit. Finding the perfect pair can be tricky, but once you do you’ll be happy you have them. While a little impractical if much walking is involved, they’re warmer than most other boots, making them ideal to pair with a skirt or dress to make your bare legs feel more covered up during the colder months. Perfect for date night!

Moto Boots

moto boot

Moto Boot

The idea behind the moto boot is that it should be a bit edgy; definitely black leather and perhaps with a hint of hardware. Similar to conventional ankle boots, moto boots can keep your feet warm in the fall and winter, dry in the spring and add a bold statement to any outfit come summer. The chunkier sole on moto boots is great for traction and the more slippery terrain that winter often brings. Look to buckles and studs to push the panache.

Duck Boots

Duck boots are an American classic; a waterproof boot with a rubber bottom and sole and a fashionable upper often made of leather or canvas. They’re a lightweight and trendier version of the traditional snow boot. There are several variations in terms of style, including the lacing and tread, but the basics seem to remain constant. Duck boots are hot once again and have been for a quite a few years. Add a pair to your collection this year and the snow, slush and rain won’t stand a chance!

Snow Boots

snow boot

Snow Boot

For women in areas that have particularly wet and icy winters, a good-quality pair of snow boots is an absolute must. When the temperature plummets it becomes harder for our bodies to keep extremities warm, and if you aren’t prepared, winter weather can really do a number on your feet.

Snow boots should be weatherproof, have good traction and keep your feet and ankles insulated against the cold- preferably fleece lined. Fret not, many modern snow boots have contemporary features including faux fur, shearling linings and even wedged heels.

Tips for Buying Winter Boots

With these 6 boots you’ll be ready and looking fantastic for every occasion this winter. Whether you’re just trying to get from point A to point B or wanting to make a statement, this collection has you covered.

It’s important to note that you should choose winter boots based on the activities you’ll be doing and the weather conditions those activities will take place in. How a pair of boots look, while no doubt significant, is less important than choosing winter boots with the right features.

Features to consider include:

  • The proper height
  • Materials
  • Cuff and closure
  • Outsoles
  • Overall comfort

Here’s a quick recap:

  • Heavy-duty snow boots with thick insulation are best for sub-freezing conditions and walks through deep snow. While snow boots provide excellent weather protection, they are less ideal for fashionable settings.
  • Lighter insulated boots or duck boots are best for longer walks in cold weather and shallow snow. These are often seen as trendier than heavier, chunkier snow boots as well.
  • Riding boots are the perfect balance of style and practicality. They also elongate the legs and compliment everything from leggings and jeans to dresses and skirts.
  • Over the knee boots are a real fashion statement (but still provide warmth), and are the dressiest option in the boot world.
  • Ankle booties and moto boots will carry you through the winter season, but can also be worn during spring, summer and fall, too. You’ll likely find the most variety, in terms of material, accents, etc., with these styles.

Find Your Next Pair

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Tags: winter

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