Women's winter boots are fun to shop for. There are so many styles, colors, heels, and other options, from high-style fashion objects to extremely rugged get-through-the-weather must-haves. Whichever boot you choose will have a major impact on the look of your outfit and the way you move through your day.
If you need a pair of winter boots that will help you handle the slippery sidewalks of your town with confidence all winter long, here's what you need to consider.
Let's start with the anatomy of a winter snow boot. The bottom of the boot is called the sole and it will tell you all you need to know about whether it's made for walking in wet weather. Winter boots with rubber bottoms are usually designed with traction in mind. The sole's tread, which is the pattern on the bottom of the sole, can range from straight lines to waffle patterns or even a fun image. On the inside above the upper is a footbed, which is what the bottom of your foot will touch. The footbed isn't visible, but it determines how insulated the bottom of your foot will be from the icy ground below, so it can have a major impact on how comfortable a boot will be when you wear it.
Moving up the boot from there is the upper, which is the part of the boot that covers the top of your foot up to about the ankle. You might think of it as the “shoe” part of the boot. The insulation the upper offers and how well it defends against wet conditions make this the business part of the boot when it comes to trying toes.
Next, there's the shaft of the women's boot, which is essentially the tube that stretches up your leg. The height of the boot's shaft will determine how much precipitation you can move through and how much of your calf will be insulated against cold and wind. The look of the boot's shaft can have a major impact on the style of the boot, based on its materials and other design features.
Finally, there are those extras that can take even the most practical boot over the top style-wise. Features like laces, zippers, and pull-tabs or elements like visible faux fur and fleece linings can impact the boot's overall style.
Boot options that are designed for traction on the ground will have non-leather soles. Here are some to try this winter.
This first super-traction footwear option isn't a boot at all, but does much of the same job as a boot when there isn't much snow on the ground. Mocs are slip-on shoes, which makes them easy to get on and off, which is convenient when you're running out to get the mail or walk the dog. They're usually made of leather or suede material and they come in colors from neutral blacks and browns to trendier, funkier hues. Mocs have a thick sole designed for maximum traction and come in insulated options that add extra warmth for days when it's cold, but there isn't much snow on the ground.
Wet conditions have no chance against the duck boot, which is an iconic option for women who want plenty of waterproof traction. Duck boots are known for their all-rubber bottom, with a sole and overshoe that are made from waterproof materials. They usually feature a removable washable insole, which is an excellent way to keep boots that aren't naturally breathable fresh.
A duck boot's shaft typically runs from just above the ankle to mid-calf, which is perfect for fending off slush and a few inches of snow. It can be designed in a range of materials, from puffy insulated versions to cute houndstooth prints.
Duck boots are often considered the ultimate rainy day boot, which is ideal if you live in a warmer climate. Insulated versions make it easy to wear when the temperatures drop, too. Accents like cute pull-on tabs or comfort-enhancing laces add to your ability to wear them with more personal style.
If you're looking for a functional classic, opt for a pair of women's winter snow boots. The features that typically define snow boots are its height; they keep you covered up to a foot, which is helpful when snow accumulates. But you should also consider a boot's insulation, as well as a grippy rubber bottom necessary for icy sidewalk commutes.
Beyond those elements, though, the design options for snow boots are incredibly broad: They come in virtually every material and color in styles from fun-loving to very practical. Look for a pair that's warm enough (but not too warm), waterproof, and comfortable to wear all winter.
The tall boot is a snow boot that's– you guessed it–taller than your typical snow boot. These boots generally reach to the knee or even above.
Because they have a striking, high fashion feel, tall boots are outfit makers: They pull the pieces you're wearing together visually into strikingly stylish outfits. Add in a sidewalk-gripping sole and tall boots give you confidence that you not only look great, but that you can conquer icy conditions with ease.