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Outdoor Activities | November 20, 2023
August 8, 2023
Hiking boots are the most important piece of gear in your entire hiking kit. They need to be comfortable, waterproof and sturdy enough to keep your feet dry, warm and blister free. And for those of us keen to continue exploring the trails deep in the middle of winter, choosing the right footwear is even more crucial. The best winter hiking boots can really set you up for an amazing snow adventure. So how can you make sure you pick your perfect match? The SAIL team shares their top 2023 picks from all the best outdoor brands.
In this article, you will discover the best winter hiking boots of 2023:
Merrell designs products that enable outdoors enthusiasts to have bigger and better adventures. The focus of the brand is on creating durable, high-performance gear, and its winter hiking footwear range is no exception.
One of its flagship models is the Cham 8 Thermo, offered in both men’s and women’s sizes. Its upper is made using waterproof, vegan-friendly leather, yet the boots remain surprisingly lightweight compared to other hiking boot options. The M Select™ Dry barrier stops water and snow from coming in while allowing moisture to escape, keeping your feet nice and dry. The 400 grams M Select™ low bulk insulation is also lightweight, and the fleece-lined interior feels cozy and warm even on the coldest of winter days.
As for traction, the Merrell Cham 8 Thermo winter hiking boots feature a Vibram® rubber outsole, known for its resistance to wear and tear and its durability. With 6 mm deep lugs, the boots allow hikers to confidently explore icy terrains.
Columbia is well known for its innovative technologies, which the brand uses to constantly improve the waterproofing, breathability, cushioning, and protection of its footwear offering.
Those searching for relatively affordable boots that perform well in harsh conditions should look no further than the Bugaboot III. Available in both men’s and women’s sizes, this model features 200 grams insulation and is rated to -32 ℃. The lightweight midsole also offers superior cushioning and high energy return, reducing the amount of energy lost with each stride. Add to this an Omni-Grip™ traction rubber outsole for added grip and you’ve got yourself great winter hiking boots that can handle most terrains and some tricky conditions.
If sustainable practices are on your list of criteria when purchasing winter hiking boots, Keen is the brand for you. However, its footwear range isn’t just a great environmentally friendly option; it also comes with a bunch of cool technical features. The Revel IV Mid Polar model, for example, is made with 200 grams of recycled PET insulation and a Thermal Heat Shield insole to capture warmth. Rated to -32 ℃, these men’s and women’s boots offer plenty of protection against the cold. The waterproof-breathable membrane keeps your feet dry, warm, and odour-free. As for traction, hikers can confidently take on snow and ice thanks to the multi-directional 5 mm lugs and the traction outsole.
Founded over 100 years ago, European brand Lowa started off as a small shoemaker and quickly became a global outdoor company. Combining both tradition and innovation, the manufacturer only focuses on one thing: producing great footwear.
The Renegade GTX is the brand’s best-selling model. Add to it a GORE-TEX Panda fleece insulation and you get the Renegade WARM, a high-performance winter hiking boot that keeps your feet warm, dry, and comfortable.
Built with a super grippy Vibram® Evo Icetrek® outsole and a stabilizing support frame, the Renegade WARM is a sturdy, versatile outdoor model that can be used during wet fall hikes as well as on deep snow trails.
Salomon knows a thing or two about snow. The brand started off as a ski manufacturer and branched off to produce the kind of winter gear that enables sports enthusiasts to explore the outdoors year-round.
Its Toundra Pro winter hiking boots, rated to -40 ℃, pack a serious punch of warmth thanks to the company’s Aerotherm™ Aerogel technology, developed in the 1930s and first used by NASA. In addition to space-level cold protection, these boots feature ClimaSalomon waterproof booties that guarantee moisture will not enter your boots, as well as a warm and cozy faux-fur lining.
The aggressive treads on the outsole offer great traction on slippery terrain. The outsole is also made using a unique compound that maintains adhesion even when the temperature is at its coldest.
For more advice on how to prepare yourself for a long winter hike, have a read of our blog article.