In this Guide
It’s hard enough to find good work boots during the warm months. What about for the deep cold, when you need your feet to stay warm, as well as cushioned and safe?
Well, we’ve devoted this whole guide specifically to work boots that are ready for winter! No matter what your job entails, there’s something for you here! We chose a few industrial, steel-toe boots, a few soft-toe boots, and a range of men’s, women’s, and unisex options!
There are in-depth reviews of all our favorite cold-weather companions below. At the bottom of the page, you’ll find a quick buying guide, as well as a helpful table showing all our favorites!
To start, here’s a glance at our Top Three picks!
Best Winter Work Boot Reviews 2018
- The Original MuckBoots Adult Arctic Sport Boot
- Timberland Pro Men’s Direct Attach 8″ Waterproof Workboot
- KEEN Utility Men’s Milwaukee Wide Work Boot
- KEEN Utility Women’s Salem Mid Steel Toe Work Boot
- The Original MuckBoots Adult Chore Steel-Toe Boot
1. The Original MuckBoots Adult Arctic Sport Boot
These Muck Boots are phenomenally good in the snow. They aren’t safety boots, and they aren’t the most industrial footwear in the world. However, if your work primarily involves a lot of walking around in snow and cold temps, they’re just about perfect! We think they’re ideal for surveyors, traffic people, zookeepers, delivery people, farmhands or anybody else who deals with deep snow, cold weather, and lots of time outdoors!
Safety rating: N/A
They’re nice and high. These boots go all the way up to your knees, so you have plenty of coverage for trudging through snow drifts, deep puddles, and creeks. They’re waterproof all the way to the top, too!
Both the rubber lower sections and the synthetic shaft are completely watertight! The flexible, soft shaft material moves easily with you, and helps to keep you warm, without letting any water in! These are much more comfortable than a traditional rubber boot, especially if you’re wearing them for a full shift.
They’re pretty heavily insulated. The Arctic Sport’s are rated to stay warm down to -40, so you know they’re winter-ready! Both the shaft material and the removable sock liners are insulated, and reviewers were overwhelmingly pleased with how comfortable these stayed, even at subzero temps! Even people who had taken them to Antarctica and Alaska said they had no complaints.
The footbeds are deeply padded, and so are the removable sockliners! Snow usually isn’t too hard on the feet, but if you’re working on concrete in the cold, or tramping on gravel, you’ll appreciate the impact absorption.
There’s also a lot of room for thick socks. These are designed to be worn with thick, winter socks, so you don’t need to size up to get that accommodation.
They have good traction in snow and on ice. The outsoles are lugged to give you plenty of grip, whether you’re in slush or crunchy snow. They’re still safe for indoors, though!
They’re very lightweight. One of the reasons we love these as a work boot instead of just a casual boot is that they’re super easy on your feet. You won’t feel them clunking around or dragging you down like other snow boots.
They aren’t as rugged as the Muck Boot Chore line. They don’t have steel toes, torsion shanks, or any of the other features we generally look for in an industrial work boot. We prefer these in winter for their extra insulation, but they can’t handle super rough work.
For instance, we think they’re great for doing chores around a farm. Just don’t expect them to protect you from stamping animals! If your chores require steel toes, or if you want something you can use year-round, check out the other Muck Boots we’ve recommended below!
They occasionally do spring leaks, or separate at the soles. It’s rare that anyone has issues before the second year of use, though. If you need something even more rugged, definitely have a look at the steel-toe Muck Boots below! They have molded soles which don’t have any seams. However, these are much warmer.
They have lots of cushion, but not much in the way of anatomical support. If you need strong arch support, or an orthotic, you should be able to fit it in with no issues!
2. Timberland Pro Men’s Direct Attach 8″ Waterproof Workboot
These Timberland’s are another high-shaft choice for cold climes. They’re slightly more industrial than the Muck Boots, and they feel like more of a traditional work boot. We like the all-leather uppers, and we’re huge fans of the amount of padding they have! There’s room for thick socks, and insulation in the linings. If you want something that’s good for winter but versatile enough for an all-season, all-purpose work boot, give these a try!
Safety rating: N/A
They’re great on varied terrain, thanks to the lugged, non-marking rubber soles. They can easily handle being in the snow, but they’re also comfortable on foundations at worksites. We’re especially impressed with how they do on ice! They’re oil-resistant, and they have excellent traction in slush or on finished surfaces.
They’re a lot more durable than other Timberland soles we’ve come across, too, since they’re made with a direct injection process.
They’re also attached differently than a lot of other Timberland soles. These are glued straight in, instead of being sewn. That’s better for keeping water out of your boots, if you’re in slush or cold puddles.
They’re super cushioned! There’s a blown-thermal plastic midsole to give you lightweight cushion. The midsoles have a nylon shank inside to distribute impact and keep your gait even. On top, there’s an open-cell PU insole for support and cushion. Reviewers were especially impressed with the arch supports in this model. Most Timberland’s have relatively level insoles, but these have ample support!
The best part is that they’re comfortable out of the box! The leather takes some time to break in and soften up, but the soles are comfy on day one!
These Timberland’s are more than up to the challenge of keeping you warm! They’re insulated with 400g of wadding, and the generous sizing leaves room for thick wool socks. Buyers said they were very warm in snowstorms, even if they’re not rated for as extreme conditions as the Muck Boots.
They’re all-leather. So, from the outside, they look like a typical work boot instead of a winter boot like the Muck Boots. They also have seam-sealed uppers, to keep water and cold out.
The insoles and linings are treated with an antimicrobial material. It keeps odors and fungus at bay very nicely.
Even though they’re insulated, they can be all-season boots. Reviewers said they make great boots for trail work, farm chores, and general handyman work that doesn’t require steel toes–in any weather!
They’re not technically waterproof. These are water-resistant, and they do a very good job at keeping water and slush out. With that said, we’d be sure to treat them before you start wearing them around. And they’ll never compete with Muck Boots for imperviousness.
They don’t have steel or composite safety toes. If you’re in need of something with drop protection and rated toe shielding, have a look at our next recommendation!
As with a lot of Timberland’s, they have a mixed track record for durability. Cracked soles and separated seams are the most common issue. We wouldn’t count on these lasting more than a full year, or two winters.
3. KEEN Utility Men’s Milwaukee Wide Work Boot
These Keen’s are our hands-down favorite winter work boots for men. They’re not loaded with insulation, but they’re easy to get into with thick winter socks, and their rugged, waterproof construction can handle any elements. They work well inside and outside, and they’re safe for any work. Wear them with thick socks for winter warmth, or pair them with light socks and shorts to stay cool in the summer!
Safety rating: Meets or exceeds ASTM F2412-11 and F2413-11 I/75 C/75 EH standards
They have steel toes, unlike the Muck Boot’s and Timberland’s above. They’re fully safety-tested and certified for any type of hazardous work.
What we love about Keen’s steel toes is their asymmetrical design, which fits comfortably on each foot without pinching or rubbing anywhere. They’re far less restrictive or irritating than other steel toe boots we’ve used.
For some extra toe protection, these Milwaukee’s also have Keen’s patented wraparound outsoles. They stretch up and over the toes, so the whole front section of each boot is protected by a rubber bumper. They’re ideal for knocking ice off equipment, kicking frozen doors, or just protecting you even further from drops. They’re also a great barrier against scuffs and scrapes, and protect the seam between the sole and the upper.
The soles are rated slip-resistant, and they protect you from electrical hazards too. They’re thick, natural rubber, with a mix of lugs and flat, grippy sections. They’re great for any surface, but they excel on ice, cold concrete, and other terrain you’ll deal with in winter.
The toe boxes are nice and wide, which keeps you comfortable through to the end of a shift. By contrast, boots like the Timberland’s above have narrower toe boxes, which can get restrictive as your feet swell–especially if you’re wearing thick socks.
The overall sizing is generous with the Milwaukee’s, too. They’re meant to be worn with thick socks, so winter woolens feel perfect.
The uppers are all leather, with wicking linings and some nylon reinforcements around the toe and heel to prevent wear and leaks. These leather panels are super thick, and they’re finished to be scuff and scratch resistant. They have thick welt seams and the cuffs are padded for comfort.
They’re completely waterproof, right up to the cuff! In addition to the tight leather seams, these are lined with Keen’s waterproof mesh material, which keeps water out while also maintaining some breathability. They hold up very well against water, snow, and slush. Buyers said that even in ankle-deep slush and icy puddles, they had no issues with leaks.
If you have a great pair of winter work socks, these won’t let you down. They’re essentially a great shell that you can insulate as needed. The thick leather helps keep warmth in, too, so these are a better choice than your average all-season boots. There aren’t any mesh panels like on other Keen Utility models.
They’re extremely stable and supportive to walk in. There’s a 90-degree heel, a wide counter, and a nice weight to the outsoles. Inside, there’s a padded EVA midsole, and a nylon shank for stability. All in all, they feel very secure in uncertain winter terrain with ice and snow!
They also have anatomical footbeds, which are far better than the level, unremarkable footbeds in a lot of work boots. These have strong arch support and metatarsal relief that you don’t get in most other boots without adding a different insole.
They’re pretty close to indestructible. Most buyers got as many as 2 years of daily wear out of these!
They don’t have any insulation in the linings. While most reviewers agreed that they’ll keep you warm when they’re paired with socks, they’re not going to keep your feet warm in winter if you’re wearing thin socks.
Some people did have issues with durability, mostly concerning leaks. They’re covered by a 1-year warranty against factory flaws like leaky spots, but it’s always annoying to run into problems early. And, as with any work boots, a few reviewers managed to wear them down by the 6-month mark.
They’re heavy. These can feel a bit clunky at first, but we think that once you get used to them, the extra weight is a reasonable tradeoff for the comfort and versatility these boots have.
Some buyers didn’t like the anatomical footbeds. They’re certainly a departure from a lot of other work boot insoles. If you like flatter footbeds, you can always swap out for a level gel padding.
4. KEEN Utility Women’s Salem Mid Steel Toe Work Boot
The Keen Salem’s are our top overall quality pick for a women’s work boot. They’re an obvious choice to include here in our winter guide as well! The all-leather uppers help your warm socks insulate your feet, without being unbearable in the summer. They have fantastic traction, stable footbeds, and lots of padding. We don’t think women can do any better!
Safety rating: Rated ASTM F1677-96 Mark II for non-slip testing standards, ASTM F2412-11 and F2413-11 I/75 C/75 for electrical hazard protection.
A lot of women’s work boots are either bulky, rebranded men’s boots, or chintzy women’s boots that aren’t up to the rough and tumble of real work. These are the real deal! They have all the safety features you need, packaged in a female-specific format. The Salem’s are steel-toed, they protect you against electrical hazards, and they’re very slip-resistant.
They have asymmetrical steel toes and wide toe boxes, which set them apart from a lot of other companies’ boots. These are very comfortable to wear over the course of your shift. They give your toes lots of room, and keep the steel caps from rubbing against your feet or digging in at the edges.
They also have Keen’s wraparound bumper sole on the fronts. It covers your whole toe area, giving you extra padding against impact and protection for the seams on your boots. Just like on the men’s Milwaukee’s, the toe bumpers here are ideal for winter work where you need to kick, nudge, or knock equipment around.
They’re completely waterproof, like the men’s Milwaukee’s. They have all-leather uppers, from the toe to the padded cuffs, and they have a breathable, waterproof lining inside.
While they don’t have insulation themselves, they’re a nice, impervious shell to use with thick socks. Reviewers said that paired with a good set of warm socks, they were very comfortable even in Minnesota or Alaska winters!
They’re ideal for snow, slush and ice. They don’t let any water through, and they stand up very well against salt staining and other winter problems.
They have lots of traction, too. The slip-resistant soles have a nice combination of lugs and grip sections, so they feel sure on pretty much any surface, whether it’s wet or not.
They’re also generously padded and anatomically supportive. They’ve got lots of padding in the midsole, thanks to molded EVA cushioning. It’s a lot more durable than the padding you’d get in Timberland’s, for instance. There’s also a nylon stability shank in the core of the soles. We don’t have any complaints about these in the comfort department! They’re even comfortable for standing on concrete all day!
They also have female-specific footbeds, with anatomical support for your arch and metatarsal area. Again, most boots that are marketed to women are either rebranded men’s boots or clunky unisex styles. These are molded and shaped just for women, and you can definitely tell the difference!
They’re simple a great all-around boot, whether you’re walking around or standing. They’re very popular among female railroaders and construction workers who have to be trudging around outside for long shifts in the winter.
They’re sized slightly large, so you have room for thick, warm socks.
They’re super rugged. We couldn’t find any complaints about durability with these boots!
They’re expensive. You should plan to spend at least $150 for a pair of these, which is no small investment. However, since they last years, we think it’s more than worth it.
We think the footbeds in these are great, but they won’t be for everybody. Thankfully, you can easily swap them out for an orthotic or your personal favorite insoles.
They aren’t insulated by themselves. They do a great job helping your warm socks keep all the heat inside your boots, but they aren’t going to be warm with lightweight socks.
5. The Original MuckBoots Adult Chore Steel-Toe Boot
Our final recommendation for winter work boots is the Muck Boots Chore Steel-Toe. These boots are essentially a more rugged twist on the plain Muck Boots Chore model, and they’re a good all-season alternative to the Arctic Sport boots we recommended above. They’re much more hardy for tough jobs, and they protect your toes. As long as you pair them with thick warm socks, they’re an excellent choice for farmers, ranchers, and anyone else who needs lots of waterproof coverage and durability.
Safety rating: Meets ASTM-F2413-11 M I/75 C/75 EH.
They have a lot of the same features as the Arctic Sport boots we reviewed above! They have thick, sturdy rubber soles, and a waterproof but breathable shaft. Inside, there’s a deeply padded footbed, and a removable sock liner. Like those boots, these are flexible, completely waterproof, and very comfortable.
The big difference is that these add a steel safety toe, and a steel stability shank in the sole. They’re much more stable, which is important for heavy lifting and using power tools on icy or snowy surfaces. The safety toes are rated to workplace standards, so you don’t have to worry about impact or crushing hazards.
They’re also rated for electrical hazard protection.
They’re some of the highest steel-toed work boots we’ve ever found. They’re right at home walking through drifts, but they’ll still keep your toes safe for construction and working with stomping animals!
The soles are also a lot heavier than the Arctic Sport’s, and they’re not glued together. Instead, they’re cast from thick rubber, so they don’t have as many seams. That’s one reason we recommend these for harder work. They’re able to stand up to intense tasks much better.
They also feature some key reinforcements at the toes and heels, which protect the spots where wear and tear most affect your boots.
The footbeds have lots and lots of padding and impact protection. That’s partly thanks to the thicker soles, which provide a lot more bounce than the Arctic Sport’s. They also leave more room for EVA padding under the insoles!
They provide a roomy fit to accommodate thick socks, and they have nice wide toe boxes to help you stay comfortable under the steel caps.
Even though they aren’t insulated to the same degree as the Arctic Sport’s, they’re still rated to be comfortable down below zero F. We think they’re comfortable in all seasons, even though you’re going to sweat in any boot at 90 degrees F.
They’re quite simply bad-ass boots! If you’re stomping around in these, you feel like you can do anything! Cross a stream, knock snow off your truck, kick open a frozen door, you name it. They’re perfect for people who do a little bit of everything in the winter, especially outside.
They don’t have perfect durability. The occasional buyer reported getting leaky boots, or having their boots develop leaks fairly quickly. The neoprene material on the shafts can also break if you tear into it by accident. However, the vast majority of buyers found they could get through a few seasons with no problems.
They’re pretty expensive. They usually cost at least $100-$150.
They don’t have a lot of arch support. If you need stronger arch support, you’ll want to add an insert to these.
They’re not quite as warm as the Arctic Sport’s in the extreme cold. They’re rated down below 0, but not quite to -40 F!
Best Warm, Insulated, Waterproof Work Boots For Winter
# of color options
|Muck Boots: Arctic Sport Boot|
|Timberland: 8" Waterproof Workboot|
|Muck Boots: Adult Chore Boot|
So, which of these boots should you take out to work this winter?
The Muck Boot Arctic Sports are the clear choice for anyone who primarily walks around in snow and slush, rather than working in an industrial setting. These are super warm, completely waterproof, and very comfortable. Just don’t expect them to protect your feet from dropped objects, or plan to subject them to very intense work conditions.
The Timberland’s are a good alternative for people who want something lightweight with high coverage like the Muck Boot’s, only with a more traditional leather build. They’re well-insulated, but versatile enough to wear all year round. They aren’t as durable as the Keen’s, though, and they’re not completely waterproof. These also don’t have safety toes.
The Keen Milwaukee’s are the obvious choice for men working in industrial or tough jobs during cold weather. They’re completely waterproof, they have steel safety toes, and they stand up well to just about anything. We don’t really have any complaints about them, so if you need a rugged safety boot for cold weather, get these! Remember to wear them with thick socks, though.
Likewise, the Keen Detroit’s are clearly the best options here for women who need safety boots. They have all the same features as the Milwaukee’s, but in a frame that’s anatomically-correct for women. They’re waterproof, protective, and incredibly durable. The only downside is the lack of built-in insulation. As long as you pair them with warm socks, though, they do a good job of holding in the heat.
The Muck Boot Steel-Toe Chore’s are a more rugged alternative to the Arctic Sport’s for people who work primarily outside, on a farm or in the woods. They give you knee-height coverage against slush and water, and they stay reasonably warm. They’ll protect your feet, and they’re sturdier than the Arctic Sport’s on tough terrain and in difficult jobs. They will need some thicker socks to keep them warm, though!
What you should look for in your winter work boots:
The key thing to look for in a good pair of winter work boots is insulation! You need your boots to keep you warm in cold temperatures, especially if you’re trudging through snowbanks or standing in icy puddles.
If you’re looking for specific boots to use just in the winter, you probably want to look for something with Thinsulate or other insulation material built into the uppers and the lining. This insulation might make your boots too warm to use in the spring and summer, but it’s sure to keep you warm in extreme temps.
If you’re looking for boots that are good in the winter but can also be used year-round, the best thing to do is get thick leather boots that can hold in heat when they’re paired with warm socks. That way, you can simply switch socks as the seasons change.
Many work boots have temperature ratings listed in the specs, so you can see how cold of weather they’re good for.
No matter what you buy, make sure your boots leave extra room for thick winter socks. You also want some extra breathing room, because having very snug work boots can actually make you colder, as well as cramping your feet.
If you’re working in the winter months, especially if you’re outside, you need water and snowproofing! Snow can be harmless at first, but remember that it’ll melt and turn to water as soon as you go indoors!
Look for tough leather, rubber, or nylon uppers, or a neoprene waterproof membrane like Muck Boot’s use to keep water out.
With leather boots, you should be sure to check that they have tight, welted seams, and an additional waterproof lining! You can also treat the outside leather with wax or other weatherproofing substances before you take your boots out.
Aside from water getting in your boots, you also have to think about slush staining, salt decay, and the other ways that snow, slush, and snow-melt chemicals can destroy your boots. Look for super rugged leather uppers, and always choose something thick than can resist scuffs! Scuffs and scratches in leather are where the slush can get in and cause bigger problems. Rubber and nylon materials are great at standing up to slush and salt.
Finally, winter weather can be a nightmare in boots that don’t have good traction! Look for soles with a good balance between flat pieces that grip indoors and lugs for digging into snow and icy surfaces outdoors.
And, of course, you need to think about everything else you’d look for in a normal work boot! Comfort, safety, stability and durability are all important factors to consider. You can find more detailed hints for shopping for any work boot in our main guide to work boots!
To see more details about any of our recommendations and to check current prices, simply click on any of the links to view these boots on Amazon!
Or, if you’re still searching for your perfect pair, head to our main guide to the best work boots!