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The 5 Best Cold-Weather Boots

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When you're walking in chilly weather, the last thing you want is footwear that's soaked through. Luckily, the best cold-weather boots will protect your feet and keep them dry — without any awkward bulk.

Before you buy, there are a few key things to look for in a good pair of boots

  • Waterproof material. Because most cold weather is accompanied by snow, freezing rain, or ice, choosing boots that are waterproof, or at the very least, water-resistant is essential.
  • Excellent traction. A pair of snow boots with extra deep treads to help prevent slipping if the ground turns icy, which — let's face it — it will.
  • Double layers (or an extra interior lining). You'll also want to make sure your boots are insulated well on the inside. While some boots are lined with luxe suede and authentic sheep's wool, even just an extra layer of fleece lining can help trap in more warmth.

With so many choices out there, it can be tricky to figure out which boots are worth the price and which ones will end up leaking. Here, shop a roundup of some of the best cold-weather boots to help keep your comfortable as the temps drop.

1. Best Tall Boots: Columbia Women's Minx Iii Mid Calf Boot

The outer shell of these mid-calf winter boots is 100% waterproof, and insulated with 200 grams of filling to keep your calves warm and dry. A contoured polyurethane footbed allows you to stay in these boots for long periods of time with no foot pain. And, these boots are seam sealed to prevent any water or moisture from getting in. A faux fur collar adds a cute touch of style, and the extra long laces can wrap around the top of the boot to trap heat, so your toes are toasty warm.

And if you're worried about slipping, you can forget about it when you're wearing these boots. The outsole features an omni-grip traction rubber that makes it easy for you to trek through snow without sliding around.

What fans say: "I absolutely love these boots! My toes have never felt cold. Feels like a fuzzy blanket inside my shoes even with thin ankle socks on. I live by the Canadian border with snow up to our knees and harsh winds and these boots are perfect up here. Love the fact I don’t have to untie my boots, they just slip on easily and stay on snug right up to the top (just below calf)."

  • Available sizes: 5 - 12

2. Best Short Boot: Keen Women's Elsa Waterproof Winter Boot

These short cold-weather boots are perfect for tackling frigid temps without the added height. The outer shell is constructed of synthetic and waterproof leather, and the thick, rubber sole is waterproof. On the inside, the leather lining is both soft and breathable, so it traps in just the right amount of heat to keep you warm without making you sweat.

What fans say: "Love these. I wore them while walking my puppy to break them in and they didn’t really need to be broken in. Comfy, warm, and I love the higher top. Wore them while walking in a snowy, icy area and didn’t slip once! I have Sorel Joan’s and wanted something less bulky. Ended up wearing these most of the trip."

  • Available sizes: 5 - 11

3. Best Boots For Heavy Snow: Columbia Women's Ice Maiden Ii Snow Boot

These durable snow boots feature a .25-inch rubber sole with deeper treads to help you find (and keep) your foot on slippery surfaces. Inside the boot, the plush, Techlite midsole both anchors your feet and cushions them for maximum comfort. They also feature a faux fur lining for added warmth, and a waterproof leather outer shell to protect you from heavier snowfall.

What fans say: "These boots are awesome. comfort: 10+, Style: 10, fit as they should: 10. They do not make my calf feel like its in a cast like most of the heavy duty cold weather boots do. They are soft inside and have a great sole. They also have a really good grip on the bottom that does not slip easily; its the rubber they used. I really love these boots and they are pretty cute too."

  • Available sizes: 5 - 12

4. Best Dress Boots: Dream Pairs Women's Faux Fur-Lined Winter Boots

While these dress boots don't look like a classic winter boot, they feature a rubber outsole that's 100 percent waterproof to keep your feet dry. Plus, their lightly-cushioned insole provides support and extra comfort in even the coldest weather. The zip closures and internal faux fur lining make them easy to seal the boots and trap in heat.

One thing to keep in mind: While the soles are waterproof, the boots themselves are not, so you'll have to be careful to stay out of the snow when you're wearing these.

What fans say: "These are really nice and comfy, and fit well. I got a size up, like others suggested. I was worried that they would be too large, but they were just right. I have gotten many compliments on them, they look fabulous with leggings, and the soles are perfect for the weather here in Ohio. I would definitely buy again, and probably in another color. (This brown is nice, but I might like to own the grey ones as well)."

  • Available sizes: 5 - 11

5. Best For Indoor Wear: Koolaburra by UGG Women's Victoria Tall Boot

Fair warning: These suede boots are not meant for snow or rain. But for those days when you want to curl up by the fire, these cozy boots are a great choice. The outer shell is crafted from luxe suede and the inside is lined with 100 percent authentic and cloud-like sheepskin. What's more, the synthetic sole is waterproof, so you can tread on damp ground (if the snow has mostly melted).

What fans say: "Love, love, love these! They are so comfortable and soft on the inside. They are slightly big in the feet portion, but not too bad. I like the size around my legs. They keep my feet so warm. I used Ugg Waterproof Spray and haven't had any staining issues so far. Totally worth every penny!"

  • Available sizes: 5 - 11

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