It provides some (small) stability on smooth ice surfaces. We didn’t look at the Bearpaw Elle, a budget knockoff of the Ugg Classic, because the ones we saw had synthetic linings and no weatherproofing, but that seems to have changed, so we’ll take a look for our next update. With no knowledge of what was under their feet (testers were not informed of what their boots were made of), our team reported better traction walking on smooth ice in these boots and in the Danner Arctic. A looser fit is okay unless you want excellent winter hiking and snowshoeing performance. That said, the lugs on the women’s boot are almost better, able to bite into and around ice that has a lot of texture. In our ice category, we’re testing the Icebug Metro2, both with and without spikes. The interior liner is also removable, which can help the interior dry faster. Why it’s great: The Danner Arctic 600 Size-Zip boot (available in men’s and women’s sizes) had the best traction on smooth ice of anything we tested. A bigger issue is the tall stack is relatively tight and so there is often a fair bit of lower pant leg adjustment needed in the form of stuffing and straightening. Each model in this review has insulation to keep the cold at bay, but different brands use different materials, such as Thinsulate, Primaloft, or perhaps something proprietary. Cost: We haven’t spoken to a single friend, colleague, or acquaintance who bought their boots at full price, unless it was an intentional fashion purchase. Though sticky, winter-specific rubber gets all the attention, we discovered there are four ways a boot can gain and improve traction on snow and ice: Style options: What’s better, a slip-on or a lace-up? Identical to the men’s version, the women’s Danner Arctic 600 has exactly the same traction pattern and rubber that make both models so grippy. Best Overall Winter Boot 1. Sorel’s original design, the Caribou, is a better snow boot than most, and it excels in wetter, slushier weather. However, they’re not as warm as our other picks. Best Waterproof: Vasque Coldspark Ultradry Snow Boot at backcountry.com It’s easy to dismiss these boots since people wear them year-round, but there’s nothing better for winter travel, winter driving, or après-ski. A final consideration, especially if you are looking for a reliable winter hiking boot, is its weight. Columbia Women's Ice Maiden II Boot. The Kamik Sienna 2 boots are cute but have no nubby traction like the Sorel Caribou or the Columbia Heavenly boots. These boots are a legitimate piece of outdoor gear, originally invented to keep surfers’ feet warm after getting out of cold water. Our expert testers, who live in snowy western mountain towns, have tested these boots by standing in puddles, slipping on ice, and tromping through snow in order to help you find the best pair. Rubber is just not the solution if you need to stay completely sure-footed on frozen water. But you may not notice or care if you don’t regularly deal with large drifts of fresh snow, and the faux fur offers at least a small amount of protection. Shiloh Boot. It’s the only rubber we found that had any noticeable impact on surface friction. He also has raced ultra distances on four continents and spent 100-plus days teaching skiing in Colorado. The wide, flat sole plants firmly against smooth ice, the nubby lugs grip textured ice, and the close fit of the lining provides stability. That means one square meter of insulating material weighs 200 grams. The leather-suede outsole is practical and looks at home whether you're in the forest or strutting about town. Particularly good for walking over snow drifts on: Waterproofing: a waterproof sole is hard to separate the classic! 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