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Winter is here and snow is on the way depending on where you live. You know you need to get some winter walking shoes or snow shoes for trudging to work and from the car to the mall to grab shopping.
Take a look below to find some good looking ideas on shoes that will keep your feet dry and warm while you handle winter's weather.
Last Reviewed on 12 March 2019 - Minor Update
Best 8 Insulated Waterproof Women's Winter Ankle Boots
Last Reviewed on 22 January 2019 - Product Check
Sorel Women's Snow Angel Lace Boot
Sorel have almost done the impossible with their Snow Angel Lace Boot. Buying shoes you can wear in the snow always puts me in a quandry. Either they look great, and are totally impractical or they are practical but look like you work on a farm.
The Gordian Knot has been untied with these super cute and warm ankle boots from Sorel. They are waterproof like wellington boots from the rubber sole up to the instep, so you can traipse around in light snow with no problem.
The uppers are suede leather which is waterproofed and looks fantastic and they are super easy to get on and off thanks to an open throat laced section.
The tongue is moved outside of its normal position and keeps blown snow out because it overlaps.
The faux fur lining, which is super luxurious by the way, makes this boot exceptionally comfortable.
Don't let fashionable design fool you into thinking this is some delicate, weak ankle boot - it's not - it is a durable and well constructed unit. A pretty cover to a strong personality beneath!
Looking inside the boot there is not too much to say; the plush microfleece lining is good for very cold weather down to around minus 25°F (-32°C) so is good for most conditions, even arctic cold.
One caveat here is if you are out in freezing conditions all day - I mean for 5 hours or more constantly - then the liner will not be warm enough as the rubber sole eventually conducts the cold which gets trapped. The solution there is to grab some warm socks - or get a different job!
There is a reasonable insole which provides fair support and is removable. If you regularly need orthotics then you should still expect to add them if the supplied insole does not give enough support. In this case take a size larger when you order unless you have narrow feet.
Otherwise your regular size should work as these snow boots run pretty true to size.
As for the outside, the shoe has a rubber sole with excellent grip for those slippery surfaces.
But if you are walking on ice then you should invest in shoe cleats to be sure of not slipping.
For light snow and mud though these boots will work great and you will look unstoppable!
Muck Boot Arctic Apres Casual Slip-On
This Muck Boot is a rubber winter boot. The Apres Casual Slip-On ends a little higher than a full ankle boot - sort of low calf area. In that way it is better suited than the Sorel Snow Angel because the waterproof section extends well above the instep.
So if you have to navigate thicker snow or standing water and slush, it will be a better solution for that harsher environment.
The bottom of the boot is somewhat alike a regular rubber boot with a designed upper section to provide a great fashionable look and resist chafing your lower calfs.
The boot is 100% waterproof unless you are wading in streams deeper than the boot.
The top of the boot has a cozy faux fur trim leading into a soft fleece lining inside the boot and it is the lining that keeps your feet warm.
It is not quite as insulative as the Sorel but will still do a great job of keeping your toes warm even in very cold conditions; -20°F (-30°C) say Muck and I am not going to muck about arguing with them!
The boot has an EVA midsole for a bit of extra cushioning whilst keeping the boot quite lightweight.
The sole has good definition to provide a great level of grip. But I'll repeat the need for ice cleats in very slippery, icy conditions.
The boot comes in several colors and designs other than those shown here so please check them out.
Columbia Bangor Shorty Omni Heat Ankle Boot
The Columbia Bangor Shorty is a new insulated winter ankle boot from Columbia sportswear.
Columbia are a very well known and respected apparel brand producing top quality women's boots and all manner of other apparel.
This boot is a new addition to their range of boots with OmniHeat™ technology which provide better insulation qualities without bulking out the insulating material.
It works via a silver pattern in their proprietary lining, which has reflective properties that directs heat back from your feet - a bit like those ice cream bags you sometimes get at the store but more microscopically space aged.
Little silver colored particles (I expect they're nano since everything else seems to be these days), are the design genius behind the technology. It certainly keeps your feet warm which is all we care about - right?
So the 100% synthetic lining will keep your feet cozy within limits - about -20°F (-30°C) or maybe a little lower so on a par with our two top boots.
The upper is waterproof treated suede leather which is bonded to the waterproof rubber sole.
I have not had a chance to try these yet, but the upper waterproofing needs proving. Any suede upper that is treated to make it waterproof will need retreating and care.
That said, it IS a super looking boot.
Columbia have obviously taken note of complaints that were made about the slip on model which preceded this regarding how hard it was to get on.
Now with the side zip, that issue should be resolved.
The shoe has a Techlite™ midsole - what is that you may ask? Simply it is a springy foam material that your foot rests on. It absorbs the pressure as you put your weight onto your foot and springs back to help you step off again.
The ankle boot sole is constructed from a Michelin™ winter compund which is anti-slip and has good abrasion qualities.
Combine the excellent sole with the lightweight and insulating qualities of the boot and you have a good multi-purpose ankle boot for wearing when you are out and about shopping in very cold, or just plain cold, or icy weather.
The downside, compared to our top two ankle boots, is that the upper materials that start at the sole/upper join, are not inherently waterproof. Rather made so by an waterproofing application that will need some maintenance.
That is true of most winter boots that have any degree of style to them. The point is don't expect miracles if you neglect to re-treat them with waterpoofer from time to time - and clean first.
As for sizing then our suggestion is to get one half size bigger than normal. It is a judgement call as to whether you need to go a full size if adding orthotics and heavy socks.
Once again ice cleats are wise if walking on true ice.
Our pick for regular wear in very cold weather and snow but less suited to handling standing water.
Columbia Women's Bangor Omni-Heat Ankle Boot
There a three main differences between this women's insulated ankle boot by Columbia and the one above.
They are the general look, the upper material and laces over zips.
If you want to read about the benefits of the Techlite™ springy and comfortable midsole or the relfective insulative qualities of the OmniHeat lining, please allow me to refer you to the Bangor Shorty Ankle Boot review above.
From a personal perspective, I find smooth style leather easier to handle than suede.
Suede certainly looks the ticket when you first get the boot but after a while ....
I am not the most careful person, so just get on with things. So hitting the odd puddle or taking steps to avoid the ravages of salt from the roads are not in my vision.
I am not such a fan of laces if they are not easy to pull and find most slip-ons a pain to get on and off. And I find zips a real nuisance when the zipper tab thing breaks. Infuriating!
Anyway, nothing's perfect and I do like the look of these boots; so the hassle of the laces I'd accept.
The OmniHeat™ lining and consequently the rating down to -20°F (-30°C) is the equivalent of the Bangor Shorty as well as the other super insulated boots in this review.
The soles are equally as good as the Bangor Shorty but the design and laces win it for me and there is nothing in the scores.
Only available in black or brown limits choice a bit but the brown is a very nice shade!
Keen Elsa II Ankle Wool Waterproof Boot
Keen, another big name in the shoe, walking and hiking apparel space, are the manufacturers of this range of smart looking winter ankle boots.
This boot is new for 2018.
Another boot perhaps not so suited to the very arctic snows of mid winter but perfectly suited to the run out of August into December.
Let them take a breather if there's deep snow or slushy pavements from the mid winter.
Unless it's mildish; a bit below freezing is OK but much less your toes will feel Jack Frost despite their insulated linings good down to -4°F (-20°C) so Keen says.
Mine will be out again as we come out of the coldest spells and into the chils of early spring when design infuses with nature to cheer our moods.
The boot stays fresher for longer with Cleansport NXT™ treatment to control foot oder and the lining is breathable mesh so your feet are in a better, less sweat inducing environment.
This is one beautiful looking boot and my personal favorite from the lighter winter boot section that excludes the -20°F capable offerings. Horses for courses, as they say.
There is a plethora of designs to choose from and far too many to show you here. Rest assured though they have a style that will please the socks off about anyone.
It has to be said that these boots are not as rugged as the Sorel and Muck Boot offerings but then they serve a completely different purpose.
If you are looking for a fashionable, cute boot to wear in cold weather that is not snow drifts or storms, but capable of handling a quick turn in the weather from dry to wet, then these will do you well.
The rubber sole and premium leather waterproofed uppers do a great job of keeping light wetness out. They are not going to handle running water or slushy conditions like the Muck Boots though which is OK if your expectations are realistic.
These are a town or city boot. Made to look awesome and be utilitarian enough for all day wear, utilitarian enough to keep your feet warm and waterproof enough to handle a downpour.
The biggest complaint I hear is people saying that boots rated as waterproof are not really waterproof. If it is made of leather or canvas then don't expect it to be hiking style or Wellington boot style waterproof. And expect to do some work to keep the waterproofing barrier effective every season - more often if you wear every day.
Again best to take a half size bigger than usual, especailly if adding thick socks or orthotics despite the roomy toe box.
I'm getting these!
Merrell Chateau Mid Pull Waterproof Snow Boot
Merrell is another great name in shoes and these designer snow ankle boots are a good example of their quality.
Despite the fact it is a pull on, the opening at the top of teh ankle boot is around 10.5 inches and the lower back makes getting it on and off easier than most.
If needed there is a zip to the side - I used that but half way was enough. I am always careful of zips as they break so easily where they attach. Either the puller or the zip itself get me every time.
The comments I made above about leather and waterproofing are valid here too. In case you didn't have a chance to read - the waterproofing will not last for ever and needs retreatment and maintenance to keep you dry. Different use and wear will determine how often.
I went for the laced up version which is shown above as the laces were easy to pull up and use and I prefer the styling to be honest. The black color (not shown) seemed to suit me better.
The shoe has an MSelect Grip outsole which has excellent grip qualities but ice cleats are better. In any case this shoe is better suited to warmer weather and doesn't stand up to the very cold as do the others I considered.
Merrell have a good reputation for the support in their insoles and once again they excelled, making this a really comfortable boot for all day wear. Sizing also typical for Merrell - order a half size larger than your usual or maybe even one size if you have wide feet or want to wear thick socks in colder climes.
For me, the boot is comfortable because the support suits me and they are quite lightweight as well as waterproof with enough insulation for just below freezing temperatures.
A great casual boot, for everyday wear means you'll get the best use out of it.
Propet Women's Blizzard Ankle Zip Winter Boot
These boots are our budget submission being from a somewhat less well known brand and at the lower end of the price scale.
The first thing to mention is that the shoe comes in M, W & XW width fittings but the boot last (or template they are made from), is a bit narrow and short. So order XW if you have wide feet and W if you have normal feet. Narrow footed people get the normal size width fitting.
Also you'll need to size up half a size. So if you take a size 5 Medium you'll be ordering 5.5 W.
The rubber sole is well welded to the upper and the boot is overall very good at handling wetness. So great for snow or rain as long as the snow is not too deep.
The upper is a mix of materials 50% nylon and 50% leather and has a zipper up the front. As soon as you are sure you are not returning them for size issues, you'll want to give the zipper a little care with silicone spray or a thin smear of light Vaseline to make it easier to run.
The insulated lining does a good job of keeping your feet warm as well and the Vaporex insole adds warmth to the flat of your foot.
The boot is on the heavy side, but no so much that it is readily noticeable after alittle while but might be an issue for older people.
The looks are OK and the boot is function and a pretty good price which makes it worthy of consideration if you are on a bit of a budget.
Aren't we all these days?
Sorel Tivoli III Light Snow Boot
I love Sorel as a brand and am rather sad not to be able to have this as one of the top boots which is where it needs to be.
The shoe has rather narrow entry sizing around the top of the instep and heel area. This may not be a problem for some, but is certainly for others.
Loosening the laces doens't really help this issue very much so far as the heel goes anyway but they do 'wear-in'.
The bigger issue is the piping betwene the rubber upper section and the leather upper section. This just started to peel off within a pretty short time which made the boots look old.
It's a shame because other than that the boots are wonderfully comfortable, once you have them on and assuming you are not wide footed. They look fantastic until the piping peels and they are great in the wet and light snow if it isn't too deep.
The microfleece lining keeps your feet warm and the sole is well defined for good grip.
Really the only thing I don't like about the boot is the piping issue, which several have complained about and the rear width problem which seems to be foot shape dependant.
As I said they are a great looking, comfortable, well insulated ankle boot so you might want to take a chance on them. If you do order one half size larger.