Best Boots For Snowshoeing: 9 Cozy Boots for Winter Wandering

Winter is coming! If you’re planning some adventures on the white stuff, we have you covered. Our guide to the best boots for snowshoeing will help you find the perfect boots for your needs and provide all the info you need to make the right choice.

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Best Snowshoeing Boots for Men and Women

Looking for the Best Snowshoe Boots for Adventures on the White Stuff?

You’re in the right place! In this guide, we will be covering the following:

    • A selection of 9 toasty warm, snowshoe-specific boots
    • Advice on how to choose the perfect snowshoeing boots for you
    • Our recommendation of the best boot for snowshoeing out there

If you’ve ever tried snowshoeing in regular footwear, you’ve learned the hard way that keeping your feet warm and comfortable, and avoiding injury, necessitates wearing something a little more substantial and specific to the task at hand.

To help you find that “something”, we’ve put together a list of 9 of the best boots for snowshoeing. Our list includes everything from budget buys to top-end models for more extreme environments. Below our reviews, you’ll also find detailed buying advice to help you choose the best snowshoeing boots for your needs.

Best Snowshoeing Boots by Category

Budget: Columbia Bugaboot III, Columbia Ice Maiden II, Merrell Thermo Chill Mid
Men’s: KEEN Revel IV Polar, Baffin Impact, Vasque Breeze WT, Merrell Thermo Chill Mid
Women’s: KEEN Revel IV Polar, KEEN Women’s Greta Waterproof Chelsea, Oboz Bridger, Columbia Ice Maiden II, The North Face Chilkat 400

Editor’s Choice

KEEN Revel IV Polar 

KEEN Men's Revel 4 EXP Mid Height Polar Snow Boot, Black/Magnet, 10

In choosing the best snowshoeing boots for this year, we wanted a boot that is warm, breathable, waterproof, supportive and offers great value for money. The Keen Revel IV Polar (click here for women’s version) ticks all of those boxes.

Boasting 400g of insulation complemented by a Thermal Heat Shield insole and burly, waterproof leather upper, the Revel IV Polar are a solid winter boot for all but the most frigid conditions.

They also have a KEEN.DRY waterproof-breathable membrane and a PFC-free DWR coating to keep your feet dry in slush or on days when it’s dumping it down. An extra-grippy outsole, meanwhile, provides great traction and grip on non-snowshoe days or when you’re hiking to the trailhead.

Bottom Line: Burly leather boots with enough insulation and waterproofing to keep your feet dry and warm in temps well below freezing.

At a Glance: Quick Recommendations

  • Editor’s Choice:  KEEN Revel IV Polar
    “Performs well in every important metric and offers great value for money to boot.”
  • Best Value:  Oboz Bridger
    “Stylish, warm, waterproof, and more versatile than most competitors.”
  • Best for Warmth:  Baffin Impact Winter Boot
    “Overkill for some, but ideal in truly frigid conditions.”
  • Best Gore-Tex:  Vasque Breeze WT GTX
    “A relatively lightweight, waterproof, and highly breathable boot that’s ideal for snowshoers who live to move fast.”
  • Bargain Buy:  Columbia Bugaboot III
    “Offer the most warmth per dollar of all the boots we tested.”
  • Best Budget:  Merrell Thermo Chill Mid
    “A versatile boot that offers a little less support than others but is otherwise mightily impressive.”
  • Best Women’s:  KEEN Women’s Greta Waterproof Chelsea
    “An incredibly well-made and comfortable slip-on boot that’s comfort rated down to -25°F.”
  • Runner Up Women’s:  The North Face Chilkat 400
    “Toasty warm and pillow-like feel for your feet.”
  • Women’s Budget Pick:  Columbia Women’s Ice Maiden II Snow Boots
    “Less technical but plenty warm for the needs of most users and offers outstanding value for money.”

Best Boots for Snowshoeing: Our Top 9 Picks

Keen Revel IV Polar

Editor’s Choice

Choosing the “best in class” of any product is always a tricky business. Different people and different conditions, after all, always call for different attributes and qualities in your outdoor gear. We chose the Keen Revel IV (click here for women’s version) as our top pick, therefore, because we believe they’ll be the best snowshoeing boots for most people.

And how did we come to that conclusion? Well, simply put the Revel IV tick all the boxes. They’re relatively lightweight, warm enough for frigid climates, waterproof, agile, supportive, and fairly priced. Importantly, we also found these the most comfortable of the bunch after several hours of traipsing on the trails.

The Revel IV Polar uses 400g of KEEN.WARM recycled insulation and are comfort rated to -40°F/-40°C by the brand. While we believe this rating might be a bit of a stretch (and will vary from person to person), we found them to be among the warmest options on our list, after the Baffin Impact.

The Revel IV also have a KEEN.DRY waterproof-breathable membrane to complement the all-leather uppers and a PFC-free DWR coating, so they’re standout performers in slushy snow or otherwise wet conditions.

These aren’t the most lightweight boots on our list, granted, but they’re a great pick if protection and warmth are higher on your list of priorities.

  • PROs

    • 400g of KEEN.WARM recycled insulation
    • Rated to -40°F/-40°C
    • Thermal Heat Shield insole captures warmth
    • Very comfortable
    • Roomy toe box
  • CONs

    • A touch heavy

Bottom-Line: Tough, well-made, uber-comfortable waterproof boots that are warm enough for frigid climates and breathable enough for spring snowshoeing adventures in most areas.

Oboz Bridger

Best Value

The Oboz Bridger (click here for 7” women’s version) are perhaps the most versatile boots on our list. In addition to being a great snowshoeing boot, they’re stylish and agile enough to wear around town or as winter boots on regular hikes in the cold season.

The upper material of the Bridger is made from a classy-looking nubuck leather, 200g of 3M Thinsulate insulation, and an Oboz B-DRY waterproof/breathable membrane sandwiched in between. This combo makes them waterproof, supportive, and warm enough for temps of 15-35 °F. There’s also a burly rubber toe cap to protect your tootsies against the binding mechanism of your snowshoes.

Underfoot, things are equally impressive. A single-density EVA midsole provides a cushy feel and plenty of arch support, while the OFit Thermal wool-topped insoles insulate the bottom of your feet. The Granite Peak outsole, meanwhile, is made with special winterized rubber that is infused with silica to improve your grip on icy surfaces (ideal for the approach!).

  • PROs

    • A tree is planted for every pair sold
    • Insulated sole
    • Waterproof
    • Cushy midsole
  • CONs

    • All-leather upper makes them less breathable than some

Bottom-Line: Stylish, waterproof, warm, and as comfortable as they come.

Baffin Impact Winter Boot

Best for Warmth

If you tend to do your snowshoeing in extremely cold weather, the Baffin Impact (click here for women’s version) is the best boot in the biz.

The Baffin Impact are comfort-rated down to -148°F, making them the warmest boot on our list by a long way. Given the lowest temperature ever recorded on Earth was -128.6°F, these should have you covered for all eventualities unless you’re planning a spot of space travel.

Warmth aside, the Impact has a shedload going for them. The upper and outer boot reaches about ¾ of the way up the shin, providing added insulation for your lower legs. This part of the boot is made with a combo of ripstop nylon and leather, too, so it’s tough as nails.

The Baffin also has nice, springy EVA midsoles and nylon shanks that support the arches and help to prevent foot fatigue, and an aggressive outsole that will keep you upright when slogging over ice and slush before and after putting on your snowshoes.

And the downsides? Well, with all that insulation, the Baffin are sure to be overkill for some, and their 7.42 lbs. weight means they’ll give your legs a serious workout.

  • PROs

    • Ideal in extreme cold (comfort-rated down to -148°F!)
    • Removable inner boot
    • Ripstop nylon and leather upper
    • Knee-height cut
    • Surprisingly comfortable
  • CONs

    • Pricey!

Bottom-Line: Will keep your feet toasty no matter where you choose to take them.

Vasque Breeze WT GTX

Best Gore-Tex

If you plan on racing or simply tend to move fast when snowshoeing, the Basque Breeze (click here for women’s version) are an excellent pick.

The Breeze are blessed with 200g of Thinsulate insulation, so are warm enough to keep your feet toasty in temps down to around -20°F. However, courtesy of a waterproof-breathable Gore-Tex membrane and air-mesh panels in the uppers they breathe better than any other boot on our list.

The Breeze WT’s lightweight insulation and ventilation also make them highly versatile. When you’re not wearing them on snowshoeing trips, they’ll serve you well on cold winter hikes or days around town.

The Vibram® Contact Grip Megagrip outsoles also mean the Breeze provides plenty of traction and grip in sketchy underfoot conditions, while the all-terrain EVA midsoles provide plenty of cushioning and the more rigid PU shanks provide more support and underfoot protection when moving in rougher terrain.

  • PROs

    • Relatively lightweight
    • Grippy Vibram outsole
    • Comfortable
    • Waterproof and breathable
  • CONs

    • Not as warm as the alternatives

Bottom-Line: Highly versatile the Breeze WT will serve as waterproof hiking boots as well as breathable snowshoes.

Columbia Bugaboot III

Bargain Buy

If you’re an occasional snowshoer looking for an affordable boot that can moonlight as a winter hiking boot, the Columbia Bugaboot III (click here for women’s version) is a great option. This isn’t the warmest, tallest, or toughest boot on our list, but its versatility, combined with its all-around, high-quality construction, makes it an absolute steal.

This is one of the only boots on our list that doesn’t have a waterproofed membrane, but the all-leather uppers and injection-molded shell provide robust enough waterproofing for excursions in all but extremely soggy snow.

The Bugaboot III use 200g of synthetic, Omni Heat insulation and we reckon they’d be good in temps down to around -25°F if moving slow, and a little lower if you run warm or tend to move fast. They also have a cushy Techlite midsole and a beefy rubber outsole that provides great traction.

At 24.5 oz per pair (size 9), the Bugaboot is also one of the lightest insulated boots on our list.

  • PROs

    • Warm for such a lightweight boot
    • Available in wide sizes
    • Affordable
    • Comfortable
    • Thick soles
  • CONs

    • No waterproof membrane

Bottom-Line: Not completely waterproof, but water-resistant enough for most conditions and one of the most comfortable (and affordable!) of all the boots on our list.

Merrell Thermo Chill Mid

Best Budget

If you’re looking for a good winter boot that won’t break the bank, it’s hard to go wrong with the Merrell Thermo Chill Mid.

The Thermo Chill boasts enough insulation to ensure your feet stay warm in very cold conditions but weigh a mere 2 lbs. 4 oz. per pair (men’s size 9). A waterproof-breathable membrane ensures wet feet won’t be a problem, with a beefy EVA midsole, contoured insole, and lightweight synthetic upper making them feel more like trail runners than a winter boot.

The grippy snowshoe-compatible outsole on the Thermo Chill is also great for approaches or days around town in the cold season.

We found the Thermo Chill to be a little less supportive than some of the other boots on our list, and have doubts over the synthetic upper’s long-term durability. However, given their modest price tag, a few (potential) shortcomings are to be expected.

  • PROs

    • Versatile
    • Waterproof
    • Very comfortable
    • Lightweight
  • CONs

    • Less supportive than heavier models

Bottom-Line: Cheap, cheerful, and one of the most versatile winter boots on our list.

KEEN Women’s Greta Waterproof Chelsea

Best Women’s

We’ve been big fans of the Greta Chelsea from Keen for as long as they’ve been on the market.

At first glance, these waterproof boots look more like a burly summer hiking boot or even something you’d wear on a night on the town (depending, of course, on the town in question!). On closer inspection, however, and after a few trial runs on the trails, they’re way more technical, trail-ready, and snowshoe-appropriate than first impressions suggest.

At 2 pounds per pair, these are among the lightest boots on our list – surprising, given that they’re packing a waterproofed membrane, tough leather uppers, a dual-density midsole, and 200g of KEEN.warm insulation.

The thing that first made us unsure about the Greta was their slip-on style. For snowshoeing, after all, don’t you need lacing to ensure the boot doesn’t get pulled off your foot by the weight of the snowshoe? The Greta prove not! We took them for a spin in damp snow, hard-packed, and then fresh snow, on each occasion the elastic ankle gores provided a very secure fit.

Interested in the men’s version? Check out the Keen Anchorage III.

  • PROs

    • Lightweight
    • Durable
    • Rated to -25°F
    • Grippy outsole
  • CONs

    • Slip-on style won’t suit everyone
    • Don’t wick moisture as well as synthetic options

Bottom-Line: A toasty warm, lightweight slip-on boot that looks good and performs even better.

The North Face Chilkat 400

Runner Up Women’s

If you’ve ever wandered the streets of cities and towns as diverse as Denver, NYC, Vancouver, Sante Fe, or Moab in winter, the chances are you’ve clocked the Chilkat 400 (click here for men’s version) on many a passersby’s feet. These are, without doubt, one of the most popular winter boots out there.

But are they any good for snowshoeing? The response from our testers was a resounding ‘yes.’

The Chilkat 400’s main selling point is their plush insulation – 400g PrimaLoft Silver Insulation Eco, which is not only toasty warm but feels crazily comfortable against your feet. The Chilkat are comfort rated to -40°F, so areideal for extremely cold conditions.

The Chilkat doesn’t have a waterproofed membrane but does have waterproof nubuck uppers and a huge, impermeable rubber rand. Their 7.5-inch height also means it’s unlikely that any snow will sneak in at the cuff, even if you’re hiking in deep snow and don’t wear gaiters.

  • PROs

    • Very warm
    • Comfortable
    • Waterproof construction
    • No waterproof membrane
  • CONs

    • Quite heavy (2 lbs. 14 oz. per pair)

Bottom-Line: Cozy, comfy, and versatile, it’s easy to see why they are so popular!

Columbia Women’s Ice Maiden II Snow Boots

Women’s Budget Pick

Looking for low-cost winter boots that make very few compromises in the important metrics? If so, pencil in the Columbia Ice Maiden II on your shortlist.

The Ice Maiden pack 200g of cozy insulation and are comfort rated to -25°F. They have a waterproof membrane and are tall enough to keep your feet dry even if hiking or snowshoeing in deep powder. While not as warm as the Chilkat 400, they weigh around 10 oz. less, so are a great pick if you’re prone to leg fatigue or simply don’t expect near-Arctic temperatures.

In terms of comfort, the Ice Maiden II are up there with the best of them. They have a lightweight but super-springy midsole, and that fluff insulation feels great even after hours on the trails.

  • PROs

    • Affordable
    • Plenty of size options
    • Excellent grip
    • Rated -25°F
    • Great if you have wide feet
  • CONs

    • Less supportive than Chilkat 400

Bottom-Line: Comfortable, cheap, and warm enough for most winter adventures.

Hiking Boots Vs. Snowshoe/Winter Boots

Snowshoe boots should have most of the same attributes as regular winter hiking boots with the exception of a grippy sole (though this is also useful when moving on slippery surfaces between your vehicle and the trailhead if snow cover is minimal).

The main difference between most winter hiking boots and snowshoe boots is insulation. Most snowshoe boots use some form of insulation to keep your feet warm, whether a removable liner or built-in insulation. The reason for this, of course, is that we do our snowshoeing in cooler conditions.

snowshoe boots with the view
Snowshoes have additional insulation to deal with wintry conditions.

The other notable difference between the two is the cut, i.e., the height of the boot. Most snowshoeing boots are a little taller, rising an extra inch or two up your shin than your average hiking boot. This provides better ankle support, helps to prevent snow flipped up by your snowshoes from entering the boots, and of course, extends the insulation.

How to Choose a Pair of Boots for Snowshoeing

Warmth/Insulation

The amount of insulation you need will, naturally, depend on how cold conditions are where and when you do your snowshoeing. 

If you’re hitting the white stuff in seriously frigid conditions, you want a well-insulated boot like the Keen Revel IV Polar or Baffin Impact, which is fit for forays to environments as chilly as the Arctic Circle. If you’ll be heading out in temps in the 15-35 °F range, a lightly insulated boot like the Oboz Bridger or Vasque Breeze WT GTX will do the trick and prevent your feet from overheating. 

snowshoe boots insulation
In choosing the level of insulation, you need to consider the conditions you intend to hike in.

Another factor to consider is what kind of snowshoeing you plan on doing. 

If you are racing or simply tend to move at a fast clip, then it’s wise to opt for a boot that places more of an emphasis on breathability and performance than insulation. For this, we recommend a sleek, lightweight, performance-oriented boot like the Vasque Breeze or Merrell Thermo Chill.

Bear in mind, however, that not all people feel the cold in the same way. If your feet tend to run cold, buying boots that are better insulated will give you a buffer. Conversely, if you frequently find your feet sweating excessively on hikes, a lighter, less insulated model will likely suffice.

Waterproofing

Even though snowshoes are designed to keep us above the snow, our boots inevitably come into contact with the white stuff frequently on any snowshoeing adventure, particularly in deeper snow. 

To keep your feet dry, most boots for snowshoeing use a waterproofed membrane sandwiched between the upper and the insulating layer. Others rely on sealed seams, PU-coated uppers, or the natural waterproofness of leather. 

View of resting feet wearing ice boots at the top of a snowy mountain
Waterproof membranes, sealed seams, and PU-coated uppers are some of the ways waterproofing is added. 

All of the models above kept our feet bone dry in testing, though we should mention that most of that testing was done in powdery, dry snow. If out in slushy snow, our go-to snowshoeing boot is the Vasque Breeze, which uses a Gore-Tex membrane to complement its DWR-coated upper.

Support

As with regular winter boots for hiking, ankle support, arch support, cushioning, supportive insoles, and heel support are key features in snowshoeing boots. 

While ankle support comes mainly from the rigidness of the upper, arch support and cushioning are delivered by the midsole. Heel support is determined by the heel cup and heel counter, which should ideally be deep and firm.

support of snowshoeing boots
Snowshoeing boots should be able to support your arches, ankles, and heels.

In the field, we found all of the models we tested offered ample support throughout the foot and ankles, though the Merrell Thermo Chill’s mid-height cut made them feel a little less supportive than others. The three standouts were the Vasque Breeze, Baffin Impact, and KEEN Revel IV Polar. 

Breathability

A good boot shouldn’t just prevent cold air and moisture from getting in, but also let moisture (i.e. sweat) out. If boots aren’t breathable, your feet are likely to become soaked with sweat when you’re moving fast, uphill, or in slightly warmer temperatures, which can lead to serious discomfort and blisters. 

When that sweat cools down, moreover, you’ll start to feel the chill even more, because water conducts heat away from the body far more quickly than air.

mesh upper of snowshoeing boots
A good snowboot will be able to let moisture out.

Here’s the rub: as important as waterproof membranes and insulation are, boots that use them are typically less breathable than those that don’t (the Vasque Breeze are a notable exception). Given this, you might want to choose a boot with no membrane and lighter insulation, like the Columbia Bugaboot, if you plan on snowshoeing in warmer temps or tend to move fast. 

Weight

One of the first things newcomers to snowshoeing notice is how tiring it is on the legs. All that added weight on your feet, of course, takes its toll when you’re racking up the miles.

A good example of this is found in the lightest and heaviest models on our list, the Columbia Bugaboot (1.85 lbs.) and Baffin Impact (7.42 lbs.). The Baffin is the warmest and one of the most waterproof boots on our list, whilst the Bugaboot is only lightly insulated and better described as water-resistant as opposed to waterproof. 

weight of a snowshoeing boots
Extra warmth and waterproofing most often come at the cost of added weight.

Best Snowshoe Boots: The Verdict

While we believe all of the options on our list for the best boots for snowshoeing will serve you well on your winter adventures, let’s have a little recap to summarize our top picks per category.

The best of the best? Without a doubt the Keen Revel IV Polar. This boot scored above the best of the rest in every category, but most notably in comfort and agility. If you need a little more insulation, however, the Baffin Impact are a better option. And if your budget won’t stretch to either of these, the Columbia Bugaboot III are a solid alternative.

Our favorite women’s models are the Keen Greta, though we were also mightily impressed by The North Face Chilkat 400 and are huge fans of the women’s version of the Keen Revel IV Polar. 

If you liked this post, let us know in the comments box below! And if you’d like to share it with your friends, share away!

Last update on 2022-06-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Kieran James Cunningham is a climber, mountaineer, and author who divides his time between the Italian Alps, the US, and his native Scotland.

He has climbed a handful of 6000ers in the Himalayas, 4000ers in the Alps, 14ers in the US, and loves nothing more than a good long-distance wander in the wilderness. He climbs when he should be writing, writes when he should be sleeping, has fun always.

Kieran has taught mountaineering, ice climbing, and single-pitch and multi-pitch rock climbing in a variety of contexts over the years and has led trekking and mountaineering expeditions in the Alps, Rockies, and UK. He is currently working towards qualifying as a Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor and International Mountain Leader.

Kieran’s book Climbing the Walls—an exploration of the mental health benefits of climbing, mountaineering, and the great outdoors—is scheduled for release by Simon & Schuster in April 2021.

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