best winter work boots for men and women

10 surprisingly durable and best winter work boots for men and women

Finding the best winter work boots can make all the difference to your comfort especially considering all the challenging curveballs that winter throws at you.

Most of the time, the best winter work boots for you will depend on your working environment. If you mostly do non-hazardous outdoor jobs like making deliveries, then you will be very satisfied with winter work boots that offer cushioning, warmth, support, and traction in the soles. On the other hand, if you work in places that can hurt your feet, like at a construction site, you will likely need additional safety features, such as steel-toes or electrical hazard protection in the soles, shock adsorbent soles, as well as warmth and comfort.

Whatever job you need to do in the winter, a pair of reliable, tough, durable, and comfortable work boots is crucial to keep your feet comfortable and safe for long periods of time.

That’s why I have put together this buyer’s guide with a selection of the best winter work boots for both men and women that meet your needs for most working environment.

TL;DR – These are our picks for the best winter work boots;

For Men:

  1. Best Overall: Timberland PRO Men’s Boondock 6 Inch Composite Safety Toe Waterproof Work Boot
  2. Under Armour Men’s Infil Ops Gore-tex Ankle Boot
  3. Bogs Men’s Bozeman Tall Winter Work Boots
  4. Timberland Pro Men’s Steel-Toe Boot
  5. Columbia Men’s Bugaboot III Snow Boot

For Women:

  1. Best Overall: SOREL Women’s Winter Carnival Waterproof Boot
  2. SafetyGirl Steel Toe Work Boots
  3. Timberland Women’s 6” Premium Boot
  4. The North Face Shellista II Mid Snow Boot
  5. Timberland Women’s Nellie Ankle Boot

A few considerations

If you’re looking to buy work boots, it’s important you think about the activities you need them for before choosing which ones you get. Some prioritize comfort, whereas others prioritize functionality, so the better an idea you have of what you need them for, the more likely you will be to get the perfect product.

Steel toes are important if you work in areas where large objects could roll or fall onto your feet, and you’ll need outsoles with great grip if you’re going to be outdoors in varying weather. You should also consider getting orthotic insoles for your work boots to ensure you are as comfortable as possible while working. Prices for boots vary wildly too. You can get a great pair of boots for a low price, but if you’re willing to spend more you’ll get a far more durable and reliable product.

Best Winter Work Boots For Men

Timberland Pro Men’s Steel-Toe Boot

10 surprisingly durable and best winter work boots for men and women
  • Made from leather
  • ​Slip-abrasion and oil resistant coating
  • ​Antimicrobial cover
  • ​1.5” heel
  • ​Available in three colors
  • Steel toe

Timberland has designed this work boot to be safe, tough, and resilient to ensure your feet are well protected in unforgiving environments. There are some great features to this boot that makes it withstand virtually anything you could put it through.

The steel toe of this boot adheres to ANSI safety standards, and the rubber outsole is designed to keep you sturdy by being slip, oil, and abrasion resistant. They have designed more room for your toes in this boot to help maintain comfort when working for long periods of time; added traction grip to allow work on slippery surfaces; and electronic hazard protection that will enable you to work near circuits without any concerns.


Under Armour Men’s Infil Ops Gore-tex Ankle Boot

Under Armour Men's Infil Ops Gore-TEX Ankle Boot, Black (001)/Black, 11
  • 100% Leather upper
  • Reinforced rubber sole
  • Molded rubber toe cap
  • Breathable 100% waterproof GORE-TEX membrane for moisture wicking
  • Textile and material padded inner
  • TPU stability chassis for heel lockdown & support
  • Scratch rubber heel overlay for durability

These boots from Under Armour are designed to be light, breathable, and practical to allow you to do tough jobs without risking the comfort and safety of your feet.

The boot is lightweight and has a reinforced shank to add protection and support. This makes it a great boot if you work up ladders, for example, but the lack of steel toes may not make it suitable for you if you perform particularly intensive tasks.

They are designed to be rigid without limiting movement. They are 100% waterproof and are well insulated to keep your feet warm and dry. The Gor-Tex choice of insulation makes this Under Armour tactical boot very versatile as they can be used in a wide variety of environments whether it is wet and snowy where the water resistance is useful, or hot and sunny when the open, breathable design ensures you stay comfortable.


Columbia Men’s Bugaboot III Snow Boot

Columbia Men's Bugaboot III Snow Boot
  • Waterproof 100% leather upper
  • ​Slip-resistant rubber sole
  • ​Shock-absorbent cushion insert
  • ​Breathable lining
  • Molded rubber toe cap

These boots from Columbia look great and are not nearly as bulky as a lot of other boots their size. It has an excellent amount of insulation that keeps your feet warm and leaves it feeling like having a plush blanket covering them. The drawback to that level of insulation is that the fit is off by one full size, so you do have to get a size higher than your regular size to get a nice fit.

When they do fit nicely, you get a great degree of support around your ankles and heels as they do not let your feet rock around. They have a slip-resistant outsole, a moisture-wicking lining, padded collar, and a shock-absorbent cushion insert. You do not get a steel toe cap with these winter boots, but the model rubber toe cap is tough enough to prevent minor injuries and toe stubs.

I highly recommend these boots for the especially great insulation that they offer, in addition to looking good, being comfortable, and lightweight.


Timberland PRO Men’s Boondock 6 Inch Composite Safety Toe Waterproof Work Boot

Timberland PRO Men's Boondock 6 Inch Composite Safety Toe Waterproof Industrial Work Boot, Black Full Grain Leather, 11
  • 100% Leather upper
  • Synthetic sole
  • 100% waterproof, slip-resistant, shock guard material
  • Moisture-wicking inner
  • Removable comfort insoles.

If you are looking for a premium winter work boot, they don’t come better than the Timberland Pro Boondocks boots. What you get from this boot is a complete, uncompromised boot that exceeds at almost every feature that I love.

They are hardcore winter work boots by any metric. On the outside, you get a superb rubber and synthetic sole that is tightly sealed to a 100% leather upper that is waterproof, shockproof and oil-resistant. The soles are highly serrated with deep crevices to provide a solid grip and stand an enitre 6 inches thick above the ground.

You also get a steel toe cap, surrounding a wide toe box, which is embedded into the leather upper for super toe protection from heavy falling objects.

On the inside, these Timberland boots are padded to the teeth with shock-absorbing and moisture wicking patented material. They are heavily insulated and can keep your feet warm even in the coldest winters as you go about your business.

What you get in comfort, build quality, stability and support, durablitiy, and safety feature, you lose in bulk and looks as these Timberland pro boondock boots are heavy, big and ugly. But, I’ll put my neck on the line and say that looks don’t matter if you’ve got all the features you need in one boot!


Bogs Men’s Bozeman Tall Winter Work Boots

Bogs Men's Bozeman Tall Waterproof Insulated Rain Boot, Black, 7 D(M) US
  • 100% – 60% Textile, 40% Rubber
  • Synthetic sole
  • Shaft measures approximately 13″ from arch
  • Constructed with 7MM Neo-Tech Waterproof Insulation.
  • Comfort rated to -72 F/ -60 C
  • Slip-resistant sole

Bogs have a good lineup of winter work boots, but I prefer these Bozeman winter work boots over the rest of them. Unlike most of the other great winter boots, these boots have a uniform slip-in design which is very easy to slip in and out of your feet. It also means that there are no eyelets or holes where water or snow can possible leak into.

They are very lightweight, have solid sole grip in deep snow, are warm and comfortable. Inside the boots are heavily padded for insulation and so it runs into the issue of being one size smaller than normal. This means that you have to order one size up to get a great fit. It also has decent ankle and foot support which Bogs refers to as “rebound technology that provides a shock-absorbing cushion throughout the entire footbed and gives responsive support that lasts the life of the product.”

If you want long boots to trod deep snow paths or rain, or even some riverside fishing, the Bogs Bozeman tall winter work boots are a very good pick.


Best Work Boots For Women

SafetyGirl Steel Toe Work Boots

10 surprisingly durable and best winter work boots for men and women
  • Made from Nubuck leather
  • ​Waterproof membrane to keep feet dry
  • ​Steel toe
  • ​Durable laces

These boots from SafetyGirl have steel toes, a rubber outsole, and are made from Nubuck leather with a waterproof membrane. If that wasn’t enough, they are pink, so you’re sure to stand out on the worksite while wearing them.

These boots have steel toes to keep your feet protected from falling or rolling objects, and they keep your feet dry by featuring a waterproof membrane. The leather upper and rubber outsole ensure that the boots are sturdy in tough environments, and the laces are durable and easy to quickly fasten.


Timberland Women’s 6” Premium Boot

10 surprisingly durable and best winter work boots for men and women
  • Made from waterproof leather
  • ​Rustproof eyelets
  • ​Heavily padded collar
  • ​Anti-fatigue comfort technology
  • Provides traction on wet surfaces

These boots from Timberland provide you with everything you would expect from a leading brand, which focuses on comfort and durability being at the fore of the design process. They are made from leather, with a synthetic sole, have rugged outsoles to give traction across all surfaces, and have an EVA midsole to provide all-day comfort.

These are incredibly durable boots that will protect your feet in virtually all scenarios. If you are looking for a pair of top of the range boots that are tough and comfortable, these are a great choice to think about.


Timberland Women’s Nellie Ankle Boot

10 surprisingly durable and best winter work boots for men and women
  • Made from leather
  • ​Padded collar
  • ​Rust-resistant eyelets
  • ​EVA cushioned midsole
  • Stylish design

With these boots, Timberland has designed a sturdy, durable product while remaining stylish and comfortable. They are made from tough leather, have a strong rubber outsole, are fully waterproof and have anti-fatigue midsoles and removable foot-beds.

If you are looking for an all-purpose product that can be worn at all times while providing that extra sturdiness when activities require, then these boots could be exactly what you need. They come in a great design that matches well with any outfit and is certain to keep your feet warm and dry through any conditions.


SOREL Women’s Winter Carnival Waterproof Boot

Sorel Women's Winter Carnival Boot,Black/Stone,10 M US
  • Made from nylon and seam-sealed rubber upper
  • ​Slip and oil-resistant rubber outsole
  • ​Breathable lining
  • ​Removable cushion insert
  • Tall design to provide better insulation
  • Padded tongue
  • Padded wool inner

These boots from Sorel have been designed to be heavy and durable while being comfortable and not affecting your movement. They are big and heavy but that can be expected, considering the degree of craftsmanship and quality of materials used. They are designed primarily for outdoor use in heavy snow and blizzards, so they have been constructed with amazing detail to ensure that your feet are warm and well-insulated as you go about your outdoor business.

Despite their weight and size, they are actually cute and pretty to wear, so you will not look out of place putting these on. They are very comfortable, with a padded tongue and a shock-absorbing insole that provides support through high impact activities. The wool inner lining is breathable, moisture-wicking, and is treated to be antibacterial.

If you are looking for rugged, comfortable, and well-made winter work boots for those awful weather days, these are well worth your consideration.


The North Face Shellista II Mid Snow Boot

The North Face Women's Shellista III Mid, TNF Black/Zinc Grey, Black

  • High grade rubber anti-slip sole
  • waterproof leather and nubuck upper
  • ​Padded Thinsulate inner
  • Reinforced rubber toe cap
  • Lace-up closure

These boots from The North face are surprisingly lightweight when you consider their size. They are also extremely comfortable and easy to walk in. The size fits as expected if you go a half size up, the insulation is great and they keep your feet warm and dry even in the harshest of winters. They have an amazing grip, so much so that you don’t need to bat an eye when working on smooth surfaces or worry about slipping.

As per safety, you have to be wary that these Northface boots do not have a steel toe cap, but are solid enough to prevent any injury you might get from stubbing your toes on a hard surface or a rock.

The inner Thinsulate linning is a big plus and there is enough grip for your ankles that ensure that your feet don’t wobble about. Additionally, you can also use your custom inserts in these boots.

Overall, the Northface Shellista is an amazing winter work boot for people who don’t need a steel toe cap boot. You can check out my picks for the best boots with steel toe caps if that is exclusively your need.


A Guide for buying the Best Winter Work Boots

Right off the bat, good winter work boots are not cheap. This is because of the level of workmanship and craft in these boots, as they are often made from water-resistant, shock-absorbent, anti-slip, and durable materials. Winter work boots are made to keep your feet warm, protect, and comfort your feet as you navigate the harsh weather conditions. So, you want to make sure that you are investing both your time and cash into getting only the best boots in the market that will last a couple of winters while keeping your feet safe, warm, and dry.

Some things to consider when shopping for the best winter work boots.

The key factors to consider when you’re shopping for the best winter work boots – which I also heavily factored into my top picks are:

  • Insulation – or how warm the boots can keep your feet.
  • Waterproofing – because you don’t want your feet to be wet and soggy at the end of the day
  • Support – to be sure that you’re getting the best fit for your heels, arches, and ball of your feet. 
  • Anti-Slippage – to make sure you don’t have to watch every single step you take or sustain fall injuries at work.
  • Comfort – how well the insoles or inserts are and generally better if they can be replaced with custom insoles. 
  • Durability – are your new winter work boots able to last long?

I admit that it can be very hard to find winter work boots that have all of these features, but many of the best ones provide a variation of these features and can be a great purchase for you, depending on your working environment.

Insulation In The Best Winter Work Boots

Insulation is the key quality of a shoe to provide a nice warm space for your feet which is a stark contrast from the cold floors around you. The amount of insulation a winter boot can provide depends on the type of insulation material used, as well as the overall build quality of the winter work boots but you generally need a decent level of insulation to keep your feet warm throughout the day as you go about your  business. 

Some of the main materials that boots manufacturers use to achieve great insulation include wool, thinsulate, and polyester blends. As outlined in a previous post about socks that can help to keep your feet warm in winter, wool makes for a great natural material for insulation. It’s even more fascinating as wool can be as expensive as Alpaca wool, or as posh as Merino wool. Wool also has the advantages of being breathable and moisture wicking (it can trap and remove the excessive moisture in your feet) in addition to having some antibacterial effects. The downside of a wool material is that it adds a bit of weight to the boots and can be harder to clean.

Another material that insulates boots is polyester which is synthetic and lighter than wool. It can wick moisture, but not as good as wool and generally used in cheaper boots. 

Thinsulate, which is a synthetic, durable, and lightweight material is one of the best insulation materials in the market for boots. It is both excellent at wicking away moisture and being lightweight, thus combining the best properties of natural wool and synthetic polyester materials to keep your feet warm and dry in your new boots. Thinsulate is a weighted insulation material, which means that the quality is judged by weight and therefore, 200g is the minimum for cool winter weather.

In reality though, many manufacturers use a blend of their own patented materials to create the insulation of their boots and some are better than others when it comes to this property. 

Waterproof

If you’ve ever walked home with wet and soggy feet inside your boots, then you can never underestimate how important it is for your winter boots to be waterproof. Also, it’s important to note that waterproofing shouldn’t be just about the soles, but also on the upper parts of the boots. For this reason, many boots are made of rubber which are quite waterproof. Their upper parts, however, are sometimes a bit of an after-thought for many manufacturers. As a rule of thumb, if it is made of fabric, orany other breathable material, it’s not waterproof. That’s why I can only recommend boots that are made from leather, nylon, rubber or a combination of either of these materials. 

Waterproof winter work boots are really important as they can reduce your risk of getting unpleasant fungal infections and frostbites in some extreme cases. 

Another consideration about waterproof winter work boots is where you work and how you get to work. If you work outdoors or need to walk a lot during your working hours, then you will greatly benefit from a much higher degree of waterproof boot without lace holes and often as tall as reaching your knees. However, if you work indoors and only occasionally step outside in your winter boots, then the regular waterproof winter work boots will do just fine.

Also keep in mind that you may have to maintain your boots, for example, by polishing the leather boots regularly in order for them to maintain their waterproofing for a longer time. 

Some thoughts on moisture wicking

One thing you have to keep in mind with insulation in winter boots is that they can be very good at keeping your feet warm so that it becomes uncomfortable. This leaves your feet feeling sweaty and hot, especially if you intentionally or incidentally forget to wear any socks. The best work boots handle this issue by having membranes for air circulation throughout your feet. This action removes hot air, and returns cold air and is known as moisture wicking. 

While it’s not necessarily a must-have feature (as you can get some of the best moisture wicking socks for cheap), many winter work boots have breathable materials that allow them to wick away moisture, keeping your feet dry and fresh. 

So, if you regularly suffer from sweaty feet, you may also want to pair your winter work boots with moisture wicking socks that will help to reduce sweaty feet

Anti-Slippage in the best winter work boots

It might surprise you to know that slipping on snow or ice is a fairly common workplace injury in the winter season and poses a big hazard for many people. This is why you would want your winter work boots to provide enough traction and grip for you as you go about your day. 

Most winter boots achieve a great grip by having deep crevices or lugs on their soles, which combine with the rubber anti-slip material. But you should also make sure that the rubber sole is not a poor quality rubber sole that shrinks or deforms when the temperature is low. Some of the best winter work boots are made of soft rubber soles that are able to stick to ice and improve your balance and grip as you walk. The deep crevices ensure that there is a reduced risk of clogging and smoothing out of the walking surface, as well as produce some suction and friction when walking.

Safety

Many employers now insist on your work boots having one or more safety features such as protection from:

  • Slipping on chemicals and oil spills
  • Having heavy objects fall on your feet
  • Stepping and puncturing or cutting your feet on sharp object
  • Electrical shocks

And some of the best winter work boots take care of these dangerous situations by having features such as steel toe caps, anti-slip rubber soles, anti-shock materials, and dense rubber soles that are not easily penetrated or cut by sharp objects that you might step on.

Steel toe caps are steel coverings at the tip of some work boots, around the toe box or toe area. They are an important safety feature that help to shield the toes from impact of heavy objects. Some steel toe caps sit on the outside and are visible, while others are embedded into the leather or rubber material of the boot for a more uniform look.

As with anything made of steel, they add a bit more weight to the already heavy makeup of most winter work boots. So if you don’t strictly need steel toe cap work boots, then you can make do with toe caps made from molded rubber, leather, or composites. 

In addition to steel toe caps, the sole of winter boots are another important part that serve to protect you from some hazards, especially those related to:

  • Slipping and falling on ice
  • Slipping on chemicals, oils, or other slippery surfaces
  • Stepping on sharp objects
  • Electrical shock from conductive surfaces
  • Insulation-related injuries such as frostbite and blisters.

This means that the sole of your winter work boots should be an important factor to consider. Some key details to look at are the sole material, thickness, build quality, crevices, and any additional features that can perform the roles listed above. Also, check that there is a solid seal between the sole and the upper of your work boots, as this can be an obvious weakness in many poorly constructed work boots. 

Support

Support is a bit of a mixed bag as different people have different shapes, sizes and feet configurations. So it’s very likely that one shoe may be very comfortable for your friend and be a pain for you. 

That said, the best winter work boots should at least be structurally solid and supportive to make sure you don’t feel any strong impact on your ankles, knees, and back when you walk on hard, uneven surfaces. 

So you should take into consideration;

Your foot arch

Feet arch is the small curve on the inner surface of both your feet. They are usually not flat (except you have a medical condition known as flat feet or fallen arches) and the natural curve acts as a shock absorber for when you walk.

For some people, they can have high arches, which make their feet slightly more uncomfortable and ‘floaty’ in many shoes. You should definitely factor this in when choosing the best winter work boot for yourself. 

One thing to note is that most winter work boots do not offer adequate arch support, especially if you have high arches or plantar fasciitis, but you can achieve very comfortable arch support by using dedicated inserts/insoles. This means that you have to make sure that your winter work boots have removable insoles in the first place. Here is a buying guide for the best inserts for your work boots.

The heel traction

Good winter work boots have elevated heels that provide excellent traction. This small elevation (usually one to two inches tall), is responsible for making it easier for you to lift your feet off the ground, especially when trodding through snow or water.

On the inside, you want your winter work boots to provide some cushioning on the ankle area that reduces the amount of shock you feel on your heels as you walk.

Ankle grip and support

Having a firm grip around your ankles is a  great way to provide resistance and improve traction and grip against potentially spraining your ankles. This effect is even more pronounced if you commute or work in an area with uneven terrain. It’s recommended that you get lace-up work boots with thick cushioning around the ankles to provide the best support.   

Comfort

Most of the time, when you’re working, you’d rarely have the time to take off your winter work boots and so they tend to become an extension of your feet. It makes a lot of sense that what you’re going to have your leg stuck into, all day, should be very comfortable to wear. You don’t want winter boots that’ll cause you pain and make you to limp after only a few hours of wearing them. 

To achieve comfort, the best winter work boots have ample padding around the insoles and also make room for removable insoles or inserts. The areas that you might look at for ample padding are:

  • The footbed area – especially under the heels and arches.
  • The sides – to provide grip and more arch support.
  • The toebox – it should be spacious enough so as to not cramp your toes inside.
  • The ankle area – to provide additional stability and support.

Durability

You probably already know that winter work boots are not cheap. Certainly, it is natural to expect a bit of longevity from your boots if you have spent good money on them. So the durability of your winter work boots should get a mention too as one of the things to consider. A pair of durable boots would ideally be made out of high-quality materials, detailed craftsmanship, and be able to withstand some of the rigors of your daily use. 

In my experience, one key area to spot the quality of construction of work boots is in the toe area. When you look at the seam between the sole and the toe box, you can easily tell if it is solidly reinforced and put together. 

Another thing to look out for is when winter work boots have a 2-piece sole. It’s usually a weak point where one part can start to tear open. The best winter work boots should have a single block of high quality rubber sole that is tightly bound with the upper.  

As for the upper part, leather, nylon, and rubber are all flexible and durable materials that should last for a long time, but you should look out for good craftsmanship. The edges should be sealed or woven so that they don’t rip apart, and the lace holes should be reinforced with metal eyelets that can withstand aggressive lacing.

Bottomline

If you have a job that requires you to be on your feet for long periods of time or in tough environments, your choice of footwear is crucial to keeping you comfortable and effective. There’s a wide range of options available, depending on your needs, so it is worth looking around through the various products.

Our choice for the best work boots for men is the Timberland PRO Men’s Boondock 6 Inch Composite Safety Toe Waterproof Work Boot and the SOREL Women’s Winter Carnival Waterproof Boot as the best shoes for work for women. They are designed to be sturdy and durable while allowing you to move quickly and in comfort.

Justin
Hello, I'm Justin, a full-time freelance writer, and shoe freak. I love to travel and work from some of the most amazing remote places you've ever heard about. I'm happy to be a part of the amazing team @ Kickschoice and to share my content with everyone!