A Guide to Buying Women’s Snow Boots

A Guide to Buying Women’s Snow Boots

A great pair of women’s winter boots can make all the difference to your comfort during the coldest months of the year. At a bare minimum, you need them to lock in body heat and keep your feet warm. But if you live in a tricky climate that brings plenty of wet weather, you need them to remain dry while you go about your daily routine.

The right pair of boots does all of that — and so much more. Sure, some are more functional than they are fashionable, but it’s entirely possible to find styles that resonate with you on a more sartorial level. So what’s the best way to select a pair that meets all of your needs? Here are some suggestions to keep in mind as you browse the many options.

Table of Contents

Things to Consider When Shopping for Women's Snow Boots

Keep Purpose in Mind

If you aren’t quite the budding winter athlete with visions of gold medals in her eyes, do you really need a pair of heavy-duty boots? Well, yes, especially if you tend to spend a good portion of the season outdoors and live in an area where snowfall is common. Why take a chance of being unprepared? 

At a bare minimum, you’ll need a pair of sturdy boots that you can pair with your winter accessories and an ever-reliable coat. These styles are great for playing outside with the kids, going on hikes, and generally putting your footwear through the wringer throughout the season.

More casual boot styles are also available, and these are more for keeping you warm than for supporting you in the snow. Yet if there’s a chance you’ll be at all in the vicinity of the powder, you’ll be more than glad that you thought to snag a pair that at least features all of the hallmarks of quality snow boots — think rugged soles and flexible materials to start.

Focus on the Insulation

What’s inside your winter boots matters just as much as the quality of the exterior. Warmth is key no matter how light or heavy the snow — it’s still cold, after all — but you have a few options available to you. Pay attention to the amount of insulation the product contains to get a fair idea of its “fluff” factor. That fill level determines just how much body heat the shoe will lock in, so you can be certain you’ll stay comfortable on even the chilliest days. It’s the same principle that applies to down coats. A boot with 400-gram Thermolite® insulation, for example, is warmer than one that contains 200 grams. One isn’t superior to the other; your needs simply depend on your environment.

The advantage of synthetic fill materials is that they naturally resist water, so even if they get a little bit damp, you aren’t likely to feel that unpleasant chill tickle your toes. They also compress, so you don’t have to worry about your boots appearing overstuffed when you walk around. The average winter boot with quality insulation is sleek and stylish, not heavy, and not difficult to wear.

Consider the Boot Height

Sometimes the height of the boot’s shaft comes down to aesthetic preferences. But during winter, it’s ultimately far more important to think about staying warm. As it turns out, many taller boots offer the added advantage of a distinctively fashionable appeal. Boot height does matter, however, when taking into account what you’re wearing with them. Leggings, for example, look right at home with a taller boot.

If you plan to wear protective gaiters to prevent the elements from working their way into your boots, height matters a little bit less. You may just have your eye on a low-profile pair, in which case some lightweight gaiters can come in very handy. And you can also get away with a lower boot if you’re wearing snow pants, which typically fall over the boot’s shaft and provide optimal comfort in cold weather.

Think About Its Style

If you’re looking for something to wear during a winter hike or while running around with the family in the snow, then your focus should be on comfort over everything else. Some winter boots are more comfortable to wear while you’re walking the short distance from the train station to your office, or when you’re meeting up with friends for dinner after work. If there’s any snow on the ground, then you definitely want a pair of appropriate boots to wear with your knit dress.

What sets them apart? It’s all in the details. More hardy winter boots have thick and sturdy shells designed to keep you comfortable as you trudge through the snow. But if you’re skirting the snow and merely walking near it or through a light dusting, you don’t need something quite so substantial. A pair of low-profile duck boots or a cute bootie accented by faux fur adds a dash of style to your winter wardrobe while keeping you toasty at the same time.

Our Go-To Snow Boot Styles

1. The Zip-Up Snow Boot

There's just something about a zippered boot that looks sleek and on-trend. The zip-up winter snow boot is a footwear option for cold weather that keeps your feet warm while braving slushy or snowy conditions. The zipper closure helps you save time when getting dressed since you don't have to deal with laces. Look for a water-resistant upper material like suede, which is fashion-forward and resistant to the elements.

You'll want a lined boot to ensure your feet don't get cold. Fleece is popular as a lining for women's winter boots because it's thick and soft. Plus, it has a trendy appearance that complements many outfits. A zip-up boot with Thermolite insulation is recommended, especially if you plan to spend extended time outside. The higher the insulation weight, the warmer the boot will be.

Wear zip-up snow boots with skinny jeans or leggings and a top with an oversized sweater for an outfit that's comfortable, warm, and flattering. You can even wear them with a long skirt, turtleneck, and fleece-lined tights for added warmth. For choosing a boot color that looks great with almost anything, go for a neutral hue like black, gray, or brown.

2. The Lace-Up Snow Boot

Winter snow boots that lace up are another cold-weather essential that's good to have. Boots with laces have a classic appearance, and the laces make it easy to tighten or loosen the feel of the boot. If you like a snug fit, pull the laces tight. For more foot room, leave them a little loose. Consider a boot in a material like waterproof nubuck, which has a high-end appearance and withstands rain, snow, and ice.

For maximum warmth, go for an insulated boot with 600 grams of insulation. You might also want to choose a lace-up snow boot with fleece lining to add a soft, plush feel. You'll find many boots of this type that have faux fur around the ankle for added comfort and style. Once upon a time, snow boots were something you wanted to take off as soon as you got inside. Today, they're made to be super-comfortable and fashionable, so you can wear them all day if you want.

Lace-up snow boots can be worn with all kinds of outfits. Slip them on with a pair of high-rise jeans and your favorite hoodie, or wear them with corduroy leggings and a tunic top. They also coordinate well with straight-leg jeans and boot-cut styles. There are plenty of options when it comes to casual outfits to wear with these stylish women's snow boots.

3. The Duck Snow Boot

Splash through puddles and stride through the snow in a pair of duck snow boots. They have the look of a classic duck boot, with a waterproof rubber shell that repels water to keep your feet dry. Some have removable insulated footbeds that contain Thermolite insulation for toasty warmth. When it's rainy but not that cold, take the footbeds out. They're easy to put back in when it snows, making the duck snow boot incredibly versatile.

Many duck snow boots also have heel pull tabs, which make putting them on easier. For ample traction on slick surfaces, look for boots with rubber outsoles. A tread pattern on the bottom provides even more grip, which is a good thing to have in rainy or snowy conditions. This boot goes well with cold-weather accessories and women’s winter coats because it has a classic, rugged appearance.

Wear your duck snow boots with your favorite jeans and a casual top. You could even pair them with a dressier outfit, such as a pair of black or brown slacks and a cashmere sweater. No matter what you wear with these boots, you'll love how they keep your feet warm and dry—even if you indulge your inner child with some puddle-splashing.

4. Women's Insulated All-Weather Boots

Another go-to for winter weather are insulated all-weather boots that can stand up against almost any type of weather with their robust materials and warm layers, like women’s cardigans. These boots tend to be around mid-calf height and protect the foot, ankle, and lower leg from any arctic temperatures. 

Using a thick but lightweight insulation, all-weather boots are sure to keep your feet warm while still being lightweight. They come equipped with rubber soles to grip the ground in slippery settings, and their secure zippered fasteners ensure they'll stay on and comfortable all day long. Perfect for commutes or any outdoor activities, these boots also lend themselves to some stylish details like a faux fur trim for subtle fashion statements even in the snow.

5. Women's Plush Tall Boots

For a more stylish option that is perfect for relaxing by the fireside, women's plush tall boots are less suitable for outdoor adventures and more suitable for indoor relaxing and cozying up. The soft, weather-friendly suede can withstand the elements, but it's better to keep these stylish kicks dry and clean for full effect. Falling at about knee height, tall boots protect the leg from cold weather and lock moisture and other elements out. 

You'll enjoy the absolutely luxurious interior of these plush tall boots with faux fur lining and hefty insulation. A simple zippered closure skips the eye and is easily fastened, although we can bet you'll probably never want to take these comfy boots off. Pair them with boots, leggings, and an oversized knit sweater for relaxing at home or running quick errands.

Outerwear to Pair With Snow Boots

There are all kinds of winter coats that look great with snow boots. You can wear almost any style with this boot, from wool coats to down-insulated puffer jackets. For an extra layer of warmth, wear a winter vest beneath your coat. Add a fleece beanie, scarf, and gloves, and you're prepared for the frostiest temperatures.

The great thing about winter is that you can layer different apparel pieces and create a wide assortment of looks with a few signature pieces—like a cute pair of snow boots or the perfect parka. As you'll see when you shop for footwear at Lands' End, it's easy to dress for the weather and still look stylish.

Keep these tips in mind when you're shopping, and you'll be sure to find a pair of boots that can withstand the snow and icy temperatures wherever you are and for whatever you are doing.


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