When you hear the words “winter waterproof footwear,” what’s the first picture that comes to your mind? Is it knee-high lug-sole chunky boots?
While it might sound redundant, it’s important to note that “winter shoes” is a broad, encompassing term. While boots are definitely the archetypal winter shoes, there are so many other options out there.
Between sneakers, trainers, formal shoes, fashion boots, and running shoes, you’ll be spoiled for choice.
What To Look For In Winter Waterproof Footwear
As we said, there are just too many winter shoes out there to lump them all in one big category.
That being said, there are certain defining elements that are pretty standard across high-quality winter shoes. Here’s everything you need to keep in mind when shopping for winter waterproof footwear.
Apart from the outer material, most winter footwear uses some type of temperature-regulating fabric that lines the inside of the shoe.
Natural shearling or wool is a common insulation material for high-end winter boots.
However, synthetic Thinsulate has become a more popular insulation material for lightweight, breathable, and waterproof footwear.
Leather and suede are pretty typical winter shoe materials. They are especially popular for boots since they are naturally insulating.
However, leather isn’t breathable in the slightest. Keep in mind that your feet sweat in the winters as well due to the layers of woolen socks and thick shoes. That’s why it’s important to have well-ventilated footwear.
Athletic waterproof footwear for the winters usually uses synthetic materials that are both warm and breathable. Additionally, these synthetic materials are often waterproof, which brings us to our next feature.
Waterproof footwear has gained a lot of traction recently. Water-resistance is a neat feature for all modern footwear. But when it comes to winter shoes, it is an absolute necessity.
Some materials such as natural and synthetic leather are naturally waterproof to a certain extent. But after a certain saturation point, they can get soaked, especially if you’re trudging around in the snow.
The water damages the material's integrity and forces you to retire your beloved shoes sooner than you expected.
Most modern waterproof footwear uses a little something called Gore-Tex technology. If you've never heard of Gore-Tex before, it's basically a lightweight synthetic waterproof fabric impermeable to water but permeable to air and water vapor.
In other words, Gore-Tex seals the water out while still allowing the moisture from your feet to escape through the fabric.
Snowy blankets and icy pavements aren't the best at providing traction. That's why you need shoes with a superior grip, so you don't slip and potentially injure yourself.
The first thing you need to do is look out for lug-soles, which are pretty standard in hiking boots. Basically, these teeth-like protrusions help grip the ground better- be it mud or snow.
The second thing you need to be mindful of is the sole material. Vulcanized rubber, such as the one used by Vibram outsoles, is the best material for icy conditions, mainly because they don't lose their integrity in colder conditions.
Additionally, these hardened rubber soles are waterproof and protective.
Honestly, as long as it's warm, waterproof footwear that feels comfortable to wear, it has our stamp of approval.
With that said, let’s take a look at some of the best waterproof winter shoes you can buy in 2021.
Top 5 Warm Waterproof Footwear For Winters
As we said, there are a lot of different winter shoes out there. Therefore, we included one of each- from athletic to formal to casual, we’ve picked the best of the best.
Finding the right running shoes is difficult enough as it is. But finding the right running shoes for the winters is near impossible. Luckily, Loom's waterproof sneakers are perfect for any weather.
The shoes are made of a knit material that has been treated with Loom's patented waterproof technology. Additionally, the knit outer allows constant airflow, which absorbs and releases moisture from your feet.
This H2-Go technology ensures that your feet remain nice and dry regardless of the weather conditions.
But do they remain warm?
While they may not look it, the shoes are exceptionally cozy in the winters. This is mainly because Loom uses a double merino wool interior lining intended for extra cushioning. A side benefit of this is that it regulates your body temperature very efficiently.
And the best part? Loom sneakers are 100% slip-resistant.
Made from non-marking rubber soles, Loom sneakers have a tread similar to that of high-performance trail boots. No longer will the icy ground and freezing temperature stop you from achieving your fitness goals.
When you’re running out to pick up the mail or shovel the snow, fumbling around with chunky boots is a bit unnecessary. Then again, you can’t exactly wear flip-flops either.
These wool slippers by B-Moc are the perfect blend between winter boots and casual slip-on shoes. They Are ideal for lounging around the house, tending to the garden, or even walking your dog.
The shoes are easy to slip on and take off, much like a regular summer slipper. Unlike regular slippers, however, the B-Moc slippers provide maximum thermal regulation.
Thanks to the textile upper and inner plush lining, your feet will remain warm and cozy throughout the day.
Moreover, these boot-style slippers are made from 100% waterproof materials. Not only that, but the shoes make use of advanced biotechnologies to fight odors and evaporate sweat.
The textured rubber outsole adds to the functionality of these slipper-boot hybrids. Believe it or not, they actually provide exceptional traction on wet, snowy, and icy surfaces. Additionally, the rebound cushioning keeps you comfortable throughout the day.
Who said you couldn’t wear wedges in the snow?
The Joan of Arctic Wedge II reminds us why we love winter apparel so much- the iconic Chelsea boots silhouette brought to life by a black suede outer is the pinnacle of classy, fashionable footwear.
The shoes have a three-inch wedge heel and a one-inch platform. Now, we know what you’re thinking: heels are tricky enough in normal conditions, so how are they ever going to hold up against wet and slippery surfaces?
The answer is simple: molded rubber outsoles. These textured lug-soles generate enough traction not only to keep you sure-footed but also to keep you stable.
Not only that, but the boots are made of top-grade thermal and waterproof materials. You can choose between a waterproof full-grain leather or a waterproof suede upper. On top of that, zonal Gore-Tex along the lateral and medial sides further reinforces this waterproof footwear.
Red Wing is a well-known and celebrated designer of leather footwear. They’ve been making work-appropriate leather boots for well over a century now. It’s no surprise, then, that the Heritage Classic Moc Boot is as high-performance as it is.
The outer is made from- you guessed it- a full-grain leather. This tough leather moccasin is initially difficult to break in, but it’s extremely worth it.
The Heritage Moc Boot was built with two things in mind: comfort and safety for tough work environments. That’s why Red Wing went all out on the traction tred rubber sole welted with water-resistance. The indentations are enough to generate maximum traction without being too chunky or weighty.
But while traditional work boots don't prioritize fashion, the Heritage Moc Boots are super in-style. They come in four different colors, although our favorite has to be the Briar Oil Slick Leather with golden-accented laces.
If you’re looking for a stylish walking shoe that will keep you as sure-footed as it will keep you fashionable, then the Metro2 by Icebug
Icebug specializes in winter apparel, so it’s no surprise that they have some of the most functional winter shoes available on the market.
The Metro2 W BUGrip was made specifically for the purpose of walking on icy pavements. Their main function is to reduce slips and falls. So how do they achieve that purpose?
The secret lies in the soles.
BUGrip soles use specialized carbide steel studs to optimize traction on ice. Usually, you have to get these ice traction cleats as a separate, slip-on accessory. But Icebug integrated these studs directly into the soles.
Be careful, though- the steel studs can damage hardwood and marbled floors, so don’t wear them indoors.
The upper is made from suede, which itself is treated with Protex PU. This makes the boots extremely resistant to water. Additionally, the suede is ideal for sub-zero temperatures, both in terms of integrity and insulation.
Speaking of which, an inner fleece lining adds an additional layer of insulation. Rest assured, if you’re wearing the Metro2 W BUGrip, you won’t have to worry about numb toes or frostbite.
Winter shoes are the most versatile waterproof footwear out there- especially in terms of style.
That being said, there’s no reason why you can’t go about your daily routine just because a little snow set in. Trust us; winter shoes can be as functional as they are stylish.
From work shoes to running sneakers, you can get pretty much anything for the winters- it’s only a matter of looking.