Best Snow Boots

It’s getting to be that time of year when the snow starts to gather on the soil of several states across America. We don’t want you trudging through the icy slush in tennis shoes and Ugg boots.

Instead, you should be prepared with the best possible cold and snow protection for your toes and soles in the form of USA-made snow boots. To help you pick the perfect boots for the winter season, we’ve put together the list below and categorized each pair into popular styles.

Our Findings

We found 5 American manufacturers that have consistently produced top-quality snow boots over the decades. After researching each one of these bootmakers according to our selected criteria, the boots listed below stood out as the absolute best choices according to the associated categories.

Top Recommendations

Best Snow Boots Best for:
L.L. Bean Sherling Lined Bean Boot Style
Softstar Phoenix Walking Boots
Schnee Extreme Extreme Cold
Vintage Shoe Company Molly Vintage Boot
Steger Mukluks Tall Snow Boots

Recommendations: Going Deeper

To learn more about why these boots were chosen and why they may be the best pick for you, see our reviews below.

Best Style

L.L. Bean Sherling Lined Bean Boot

While most snow boots prioritize functionality over looks, this L.L. Bean pair touts both. The authentic Maine handcrafting is readily apparent in the boot’s unique construction.

Beautifully distinctive stitching separates the upper and lower portions of the boot, complemented by the intricate patterning lining the sole, visible from the sides even when the foot is flat on the ground. One look at the sole design shows why L.L. Bean refers to it as the “chain-tread bottom.”

The premium full-grain leather comprises the outside of the boot in two subtly different shades, the bottom, darker than the top. The Sherling-Lined boots are aesthetically pleasing from all angles, including from behind, where the triangular shaping continues in the durable triple-stitching.

You don’t have to sacrifice functionality for looks, as they are equipped with natural sheepskin shearling and 200-gram Thinsulate insulation to keep you warm, no matter what.

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Things we like:

  • These are lined with both natural sheepskin and Thinsulate insulation
  • Triple-stitching provides unmatched durability
  • Full-grain leather is waterproof, shielding your feet from both rain and snow

Things we don’t like:

  • Because of their unique shape, sizing isn’t consistent with most boots – these can run small or large

 

Best Walking Boots

Softstar Phoenix

You’ll feel like you’re going barefoot thanks to the incredibly soft leather that allows great flexibility – unusual for a snow boot – and plush sheepskin lining the inside of the Softstar Phoenix boot. For continued comfort throughout the season, these also include a replaceable sheepskin innersole.

Plus, you don’t have to worry about your feet getting too warm and sweaty after extended wear. The sheep skin’s natural moisture-wicking qualities will keep your toes and soles dry and comfortable for as long as you’re wearing these Phoenix boots (which may be for quite a while, thanks to the lightweight zero-drop Lightning Vibram soles).

If you’re looking for something similar to Uggs that are made in America, these boots from Softstar are a great option.

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Things we like:

  • Very lightweight and flexible
  • The zipper makes these easy to slip on and off
  • Includes replaceable insoles

Things we don’t like:

  • Not great for activewear

 

Best for Extreme Cold

Schnee Extreme

If there was ever a boot made to resist the coldest of winters, it is the Schnee Extreme. Equipped with 600g of Thinsulate ultra insulation, these boots are sure to protect your vulnerable toes from the most extreme chill and lowest temperatures.

For further protection, the Extreme boots come with a removable 400g Thinsulate liner to ensure that your feet remain protected even after your first innersoles wear out. The upper portion of the shoe is enveloped in handcrafted Bozeman top-grain cowhide to keep all snow and water out of the shoe.

These are rated to be comfortable at temperatures as low as -20°F for inactive wear and -40°F for activewear, so you know that you’re getting the best defense possible no matter what you may be doing.

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Things we like:

  • These are equipped with the equivalent of 1000g of warmth protection
  • They are comfort rated for -20°F inactive and -40°F active
  • The 400g Thinsulate liner is removable

Things we don’t like:

  • None

 

Best Vintage Boot

Vintage Shoe Company Molly

We all like to embrace nostalgia now and then, and these boots allow us to do just that. These boots transport us to simpler times with the throwback design, including both leather and canvas on the boot’s outer surface, and the beautiful lacing upfront.

Yet, the materials are not the only source of their value. The design is rooted in a major part of world history, specifically World War II. The full-height lacing and cap toe are reminiscent of the Paratrooper’s boots in this war, helping to embody Americans’ fighting spirit both then and now.

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Things we like:

  • The historical significance of the design, particularly the shoe cap and full-height lacing
  • The unique combination of genuine leather and canvas

Things we don’t like:

  • Canvas material does not contribute significantly to the warmth and snow/waterproof qualities

 

Best Tall Snow Boots

Steger Mukluks

Directly inspired by Indigenous North American shoe designs, the Mukluks are crafted for adventurers embarking on “major expeditions.” They are made of all-American materials, including moosehide, weather-treated canvas, and 9mm wool that lines the inside of the shoe and comprises the insole.

Steger bootmakers kept adventurous North Americans at the forefront of their minds while crafting these boots. They are specially made to withstand the extreme environmental conditions of Alaska, Canada, and several more locations around the globe.

Whether you’re cycling, riding horseback, ice fishing, or sledding, you can rely on the snow-proof, water-repellent moosehide to keep your feet warm and dry, no matter how cold it may be.

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Things we like:

  • Unique design, reminiscent of Indigenous North American footwear
  • Moosehide is incredibly reliable for cold protection

Things we don’t like:

  • You have to get Mukluks Snow-proof water repellent spray to reinforce moosehide parts of the boot

Factors We Considered

Materials

Choosing which snow boots you will wear throughout the winter season is not as simple as picking out a random pair of tennis shoes. You’ll need to consider how compatible the materials are with your intended activities and the predicted weather.

Keep the points below in mind when selecting your preferred snow boots:

  • Snow boots are divided into three main parts: upper, midsole, and outsole. Think of what types of activities you may be doing, as there are different types of outsoles (e.g., deep-tread vs. icy-grip) to help provide traction in various environmental conditions.
  • How cold will it be? Manufacturers normally include a temperature rating to show what conditions you can reasonably expect to be comfortable in.
  • Determine whether you need water-resistant boots or waterproof boots. You’ll need to pay special attention to the materials of the boot’s upper portion for this decision, as some are not as protective as others.

Durability

Snow boots are an essential part of daily life in cold environments, whether you are highly active or not. The durability level you need may change depending on what you’re doing, so you must consider your planned activities when choosing your boots.

For example, although the Softstar Phoenix boots will keep your feet warm, they won’t do a great job of protecting you in the outdoors like the Schnee Extreme boots would, due to their relatively low durability.

Snow Protection

As mentioned above, snow boots can be either water-resistant or waterproof. While the former can keep most water out, over time, your feet can still get soaked. On the other hand, waterproof boots are designed to be completely hydrophobic, meaning no water will get in at all.

Aesthetics

Your boots are a central part of your attire, whether you’re out hiking in the backwoods or strolling down Main Street. Reasonably, you want to look good while doing both! While this isn’t always a make-or-break, as snow boots need to be more functional than pretty, it is important when choosing a pair for daily wear.

Comfort

Snow boots are often expected to be bulky and heavy, but you don’t have to settle for those characteristics, especially if you’re planning on wearing your boots every day.

If your boots are too burdensome for your feet to lift throughout the day, they’ll present more hassle than protection. Make sure they’re weighted and constructed appropriately for the level of activity you’re expecting.

For more shoes research, check out our shoe brands made in the USA page.

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