It’s the middle of winter and as I’m typing this, giant snow flakes fall outside my cabin window while Jackson Hole Mountain Resort reports almost 400 inches of snow fall by the second week of February. An Arctic blast is covering most of the Midwest and it frigging snowed in Austin, Texas. From coast to coast, we are in the thick of winter. And that damn groundhog decided that winter is sticking around for 6 more weeks. After 13 looooong winters in Wyoming, I know boots. We get A LOT of snow every single year with it first hitting the ground usually in October or November, and staying put through April. Boots are such a part of my life, and style, that I wanted to put together a list of my favorite winter boots that have been tried-and-true for my life in the mountains….and to share where to shop them! All of these are quality winter boots that will last you for seasons to come.
So folks, I’m here to bring little warmth and style to your toes until spring flowers start to bloom – which for here, means May. I have to admit that I have a lot of boots, like way more than featured, but these are my essentials and all of these boots live at my front door. That’s how often I wear them. I like to invest in a pair that will last me for years and some of these certainly have!
WHAT I LOOK FOR IN WINTER BOOTS
- WARMTH – Are they warm enough? Will they keep my toes from falling off when temperatures dip below zero?! This is a serious life or death question here, peeps!
- WATERPROOF – My boots are going to ONLY see snow for the entire season so I need to make sure they won’t be ruined when it starts to nuke. Waterproof also equals as more warmth so it’s crucial.
- DURABLE SOLES – The boot sole is probably the most important thing when shopping for boots in the mountains. Is there anything worse than falling on your ass on the ice? Make sure there is a grip under your feet to prevent accidents (and embarrassment).
- STYLE & FUNCTION – Are these cute enough to wear to work and out to dinner, while still keeping me warm and preventing any wipe outs? I want boots with style! You do not have to sacrifice style for warmth.
- PRICE – I’m willing to invest more if the quality is there and I know that they will last for many wears and many years.
I cannot emphasize this enough but you cannot go wrong with a pair of Sorel boots. A few years ago they came out with these funky soles in the Sorel Kinetic™ Caribou and at first I thought they were too trendy for me with those wavy lines, then I tried them out and realized they are a GAME CHANGER on ice and snow. Those soles have mad purpose and grip like no other. I like to think of these as my winter sneakers as they are a sneak-boot hybrid. Sorel has come a long way from their original chunky boots, they have so many awesome styles to choose from and every year their collection keeps growing.
Would you believe me that I’ve had this exact pair since 2009?! These L.L. Bean 10″ Shearling-Lined boots have truly passed the longevity test. My first winter, these were my only boots so they got a lot of use then and continue to get a lot of use now. The leather has only gotten softer and more buttery, while picking up a nice wear along the way. Highly suggest getting L.L. Bean boots with shearling inside as it adds an extra layer of warmth their other boots just don’t.
These Marc Fisher Izzie Ankle Combat Boots are probably my most stylish pair of winter boots. At first I thought they were too trendy, then I waited a season and found myself thinking about them so splurged. The tread on the sole is absolutely amazing for snow and ice, and I can rock these with skirts and dresses. They are feminine enough but also get the job done. This is my second winter in these and they are also aging nicely. I love that fur detail which adds some warmth!
Okay, okay, hear me out. These have been around for forever (this chelsea boot style dates back to the 1960’s!) and I always thought they were kinda fugly. Then I started seeing them styled in a more urban environments and was like wait…I need those. I don’t know why I waited so long because these are the most durable boots ever! Sturdy as hell, waterproof, and immediately comfy. These are the kind of boots you will have for the rest of your life. For the mountain life, I recommend the Blundstone BL1391 winterized boots. Sizing can be a bit tricky so try a few different on. Can’t wait to scruff these up more!
My wardrobe consists of what seems like a constant revolving door of booties, all year round, so when I find ones that work in the winter, I gotta let you know. I found these beauts and loved how they combine a chelsea boot plus western flair. My kinda style wrapped up in a boot! The Western Bootie from Everlane has elastic making it easier to wear with thick winter socks.
Anything shearling lined is a winner in my book and these shorter boots are what I throw in my car for apres-ski. They are short enough to easily put on with ski pants (and waterproof) but still cute enough to wear with jeans. A versatile winter boot for the win!
I wrote a blog post dedicated to my Muck Boots which you can read here but the gist of it is….these are so great to slip on all year round. These live right next to my front door so for any dog walk, I can quickly throw these on and they are easy to take off after tromping through the snow. They have become my lazy boots for running errands around town because I know my feet are guaranteed to stay dry.
So there ya have it! I’m sure my collection will continue to grow as new styles and trends evolve, but I know that this core group will always have my back.