The Best Winter Boots for Women in Canada
There is no place in Canada where winter boots would be of no use (even on Vancouver Island where rain prevails over snow, a pair of warm, waterproof footwear is essential). Unsuitable footwear can lead to wet and cold feet, runny nose, coughing and fever. Hence, buying a quality pair of winter boots can be considered an investment in your health. As per Canadian Business, “Canadian households spend an average of over $450 on shoes every year, and with the typical cost of winter boots starting at $100, it’s safe to say the majority of that shoe budget is spent on a sensible pair or two to wear in the snow.”
However, a pair of winter boots for someone who commutes daily in the city would be different from boots for someone who lives in the countryside. That is why we decided to divide this article into two categories. The first one will explore the best winter boots for snow-filled hikes in the woods, regions where the temperature drops below –30C, and for anyone who cares only about superior waterproofing and warmth. The second category of the best winter boots will cover footwear that is both warm and stylish.
Overall, we also included the best reviewed winter boots in 2023, the most elegant or casual looking winter boots, and considered various budgets.
Our Top Picks
Why Trust Us
Choosing the best winter boots for women available in Canada we based our selection on the following factors.
First, we analyzed customers’ reviews and made sure there were words of approval from people living in different parts of Canada.
Second, we selected only those winter boots that earned at least four stars on online retailers.
How to choose winter boots in Canada
A pair of winter boots should not only repel water but also provide proper breathability. As you walk in a range of temperatures, your feet might sweat. That means if winter boots are not able to get rid of the moisture, they will make your feet feel damp and cold.
Winter means slush, puddles, rain, melting snow and other conditions that can quickly turn your feet from warm and dry to cold and wet. To avoid feeling uncomfortable, if you accidentally step in a puddle, choose boots that are waterproof or at least water-resistant. Besides rubber, which is known as a waterproof material, Gore-Tex, membrane fabrics and genuine leather (treated with a water-resistant coat) allow water vapor to escape a boot, while not allowing cold liquids to get in.
It might be a good idea to buy the warmest winter boots on the market. However, if the boots you are wearing at –15C are designed for –35C (or even lower temperatures) your feet will sweat causing an uncomfortable walking experience. On the contrary, if boots are not warm enough for the climate, your feet will constantly get cold.
Despite various styles and types of winter boots, there are two kinds of insulation suitable for various temperatures.
- Natural insulation includes shearling, felt, wool and fur. Those insulators help to retain body heat and keep your feet warm for a long time.
- In the recent decade, synthetic insulation went far beyond the imitation of fur. Among popular kinds of insulative layers that trap body heat inside a boot are Primaloft, Optiwarm, 3M Thinsulate, Zylet and Heatseeker. (They are used widely by outdoor brands like Keen, Columbia and others.)
To prevent injuries from falling on ice, choose winter boots with proper traction. Certain models also come with spikes that can be pulled out and placed back whenever needed.
While the cost of quality winter boots is typically higher than $200, keep in mind that the better traction, insulation and waterproofing are, the longer you will be able to wear them and the warmer and dryer your feet will stay. Reviewers of brands that we selected today (Sorel, Rudsak, UGG) repeatedly confirmed that they wore one pair of winter boots throughout several seasons.
The Best Winter Boots for Outdoors and Extreme Cold
The Best Luxury Winter Boots
MACKAGE White Conquer Boots
Since 1999 Mackage has specialized in luxury outerwear including footwear and ski collections. Their technical innovations and attention to design make them an iconic outerwear brand, and their boots are no exception.
The enduring construction of Conquer boots lies in handcrafted quilted padded nylon twill and sustainable smooth-grained leather. The material is not only durable but also waterproof. The tank tread sole ensures a proper grip even if stepping on ice takes you off guard.
Despite a high price point, this moon boot is rated to keep your feet warm down to –35C and has been tested by several reviewers to perform perfectly in Canadian winters.
Conquer’s ankle silhouette is designed for an easy pull-on, while the adjustable drawcord prevents warmth escape.
- Made in Italy.
- Rated down to –35C.
- High quality nylon and grain leather.
The Best Casual Winter Boots
UGG Adirondack III
UGG does not only make those Instagram-trendy Tasman slippers. Among styles you can find on their website (or other retailers) take a look at Adirondack III. This sturdy winter boot is made with premium leather, suede and waterproof membrane. The insulation is made of natural wool that feels warm and plush which keeps your feet dry even if you step into melting slushy snow.
Speaking of keeping your feet warm, UGG states that Adirondack III rates as –25C boots. However, based on several reviews, it holds warmth best at temperatures of –15C. (You probably will feel comfortable in lower temperatures as well, but we do not advise going for an eight-hour hike in the mountains in those boots.)
The Adirondack is designed with versatility in mind allowing you to roll the cuff up and down styling it with both leggings and pants in different ways. Overall, those casual winter boots are an ideal choice for such activities as shoveling the driveway, walking your dog, city commuting and playing with your kids outside.
- Casual versatile style.
- Premium materials.
- Grip sole.
- More expensive than other UGG styles.
The Best Winter Boots Overall
Sorel Caribou Winter Boots
Sorel Caribou is the most classic pair of winter boots on our list. The ideal combination of comfort, performance and style makes Caribou boots popular among Canadians. The removable liner is a soft and cozy Sherpa pile cuff that not only keeps your feet warm, but also can be taken out to dry.
The upper part is made of stout leather and wraparound rubber ensuring protection from slush and promising longevity of wear.
As per one satisfied reviewer from Ontario, Sorel Caribou are quality winter boots that will keep your feet dry, comfortable and warm during winter. She suggests not to downsize for those who have wide feet. Finding the right size will help you eliminate the discomfort of having blisters, the reviewer added. She noted that nylon soles are perfect for heavy snow and rain. “In -20C my feet are still warm after staying outside for more than an hour.”
The only downside some reviewers noted about Sorel Caribou boots is their weight. The boots are heavily built (about three pounds for the pair) and feel much bulkier on the foot than Mackage Conquer or UGG Adirondack. Hence, they are a suitable choice for walking your dog or running errands but might exhaust your feet if worn for several hours.
- Timeless look.
- Cozy and warm lining.
- One of the warmest boots on the list.
- Durable and long-lasting.
- Might feel heavy on feet when worn for too long.
The Best Winter Boots With Studs
Olang Sound Winter Boots
As we continue discussing boots that feature outstanding warmth, increased traction on ice, water resistance and style, there is one pair that combines all those qualities.
The Sound, by Olang comes with stainless steel studs mounted on a framework of durable polyurethane. The studs increase grip on ice and snow and could be conveniently placed back inside the outsole when you no longer need them.
Additionally, the Sound boots are made with patent leather upper and (Breathex membrane) that is waterproof and stylish. The design also features laces with sturdy eyelets for easy adjustment around the ankle depending on the thickness of your winter socks, and eco wool lining that keeps your feet warm at –30C.
- Stylish versatile design.
- Keeps warmth up to –30C.
- Increased traction.
- Breathtex waterproof membrane.
- This particular model might not offer the best fit for wider feet.
The Best Winter Boots on Budget
Columbia Bugaboot Celsius Omni-Heat Infinity Boots
The Columbia Bugaboot is known as snow sport boots which means a stiffer design and a better ankle support (keep that in mind if cracking your ankle bone when hiking or slipping on ice is a concern of yours). At the same time, as per several reviewers, Bugaboot’s outsole offers average performance compared to other boots.
Besides ankle support, the Columbia winter boots are also one of the warmest on our list. If UGG Adirondack only provides enough warmth when walking at –15C as the lowest temperature, Bugaboot will keep your feet comfortable even when hiking in the mountains or walking your dog in a park on colder days. They also feature a waterproof membrane that prevents any moisture from penetrating through. Onmi-tech technology allows your feet to breathe inside the boots keeping them dry and warm for as long as you walk.
- Suitable for snow sports.
- Impressive warmth.
- Ankle support.
- Outsole has limited ice traction.
The Best Winter Boots for Extreme Cold
Manitobah Women’s Waterproof Tundra
Manitobah started back in the ‘90s when a young Metis entrepreneur saw a great demand for authentic Indigenous footwear. The brand was established with a focus on trading between Indigenous artisans and consumers who look for handmade moccasins, boots and mukluks.
Sean McCormick, the founder of the brand created a successful company that is known not only in Canada, but also globally, and already made a positive impact in Indigenous communities across North America.
Those particular winter boots are called Tundra for a fair reason. They feature the brand’s iconic Glacier Grip Tipi sole and a classic mukluk construction. Manitobah partnered with Vibram to design a flexible sole that allows your foot to bend, which helps with proper blood circulation and freedom of movement.
The Tundra’s sheepskin-lining and genuine shearling footbed make them one of the warmest on our list, rating down to –32C. Besides, grain leather is waterproof and durable, keeping your feet warm and dry through winter months.
- Canadian brand.
- High quality materials.
- Keeps warmth in low temperatures.
- While ideal for walking in snow, the sole might have the best traction on ice.
The Best-Looking Winter Boots for City Commutes
The Best Patent Leather Winter Boots
Rudsak Madely Women’s Foldover Boots
Another Canadian brand we want you to keep in mind is Rudsak. Starting in the ‘90s, this Montreal-based company first made leather jackets. Later they expanded their collection to wool and down-filled coats, and boots, including winter-appropriate models.
Their Madely boots are not only stylish (looking especially chic paired with leather leggings, chunky sweaters and oversized puffer coats), but also provide enough warmth to take you through winter months. The glossy finish repels water and adds a fashionable statement. The lace-up front allows you to adjust the boot on your foot regulating tightness around the ankle.
Madely also features a rubber sole that makes it easier to trek through the snow and keeps you steady on an icy surface.
- Canadian brand.
- Stylish sporty design.
- Glossy waterproof finish.
- Not the warmest boots on the list.
The Best Chelsea Winter Boots
Blundstone Thermal Chelsea Classic 566
Blundstone boots are like Birkenstock sandals—essential in wardrobes of Canadians. Their Chelsea boots have become more popular than ever in the last few years thanks to (Instagram influencers), well-made design, impressive wearability and versatility of the style.
The Thermal Chelsea boots are no different. Featuring the brand’s attention to detail and classy design (wear it with both dresses and pants, they truly are easy to style), this model is built specifically for winter. The Thinsulate-lined leather and removable sheepskin footbed are added for ultimate warmth and comfort when running errands.
In addition, Blundstone Thermal boots come with a durable TPU outsole to make walking on snow-covered sidewalks as comfortable as possible, and premium waterproof leather to ensure durability of the boots.
The only downside factor we want to mention is that Blundstone Thermal is not designed for hiking, snowshoeing or any other extremely cold conditions. Those Chelsea boots are ideal for wearing during city commutes, (and at work without having to change into lighter footwear), and on days when the temperature does not drop lower than –15C.
- Classy design.
- Versatile appearance.
- Refined construction.
- Durable materials.
- Not ideal for outdoor extreme cold conditions.
The Best Winter Boots on Budget
Sorel Tivoli IV
Compared to Sorel Caribou, Tivoli IV offers a more stylish and versatile appearance. (That is also the reason we decided to add them to the second category of our selection.) Available in five colour combinations, Tivoli is a suitable footwear for winter street style when paired with jeans and puffer coats.
However, although it offers more warmth than Blundstone Thermal, Tivoli still loses in competition to Caribou or Manitobah Tundra. Those boots feature 100-gram synthetic insulation, combined with fleece lining—insulation that will be able to keep you warm during city commutes. (We would not advise you to wear them during several hours hikes in temperatures below –20C.)
As per one reviewer, Sorel Tivoli are very comfortable. It is nice to have a boot that is still stylish and does not look like “a granny or mom” boot, she added. These boots have awesome traction, as per the same reviewer.
- Casual streetstyle design.
- Quality upper leather.
- Rubber sole and a great ice traction.
- Not the best choice for outdoor or extreme cold conditions.
The Best Stylish Winter Boots
La Canadienne Andy Shearling-Lined Suede Boots
While La Canadienne (another Montreal-based brand) has several winter boots to choose from, —those that respond to the latest trends and offer ultimate warmth and comfort, —we wanted to focus specifically on the model called Andy.
Handcrafted in Canada, Andy boots are an ideal choice for winter street-style outfits paired with either a sophisticated wool coat or a down-filled puffer. The upper suede leather not only looks luxurious and stylish, but also is waterproof due to City Dry technology. However, we suggest you treat those boots with a protective spray to ensure they keep the same look despite muddy, snowy street conditions.
Andy boots are lined with sheepskin shearling that is not only meant to keep your feet warm but also to decorate the outside of the shoe as a shearling collar. As one satisfied user noted, she loves her La Canadienne boots in taupe brown so much that she bought a second pair in black. They are so cute and stylish, keep her feet warm and dry and the traction is amazing, she added. The only downside the reviewer noticed is that shearling is getting worn out with time.
- Handmade in Canada.
- Waterproof suede.
- Classy and stylish design.
The Best Trendy Winter Boots
Maguire Estrella Lined Cream Boot Shearling-Lined
Maguire was founded by two sisters, Myriam and Romy, as an independent footwear company that focuses on fashionable, yet comfortable and quality boots and shoes.
This particular pair we picked, was handmade in Portugal with genuine leather on the outside and sheepskin lining inside. The upper material will resist water while the lining will keep your feet warm and provide proper air circulation.
Technical Vibram sole is made for making it through slushy and snowy conditions on city streets.
However, it is not necessarily the technical features we want to highlight, but the design of Maguire Estrella. Responding to the latest trends, those boots feature a zip-up front. As per several reviewers, a front zipper does not bend and wears out as fast compared to a standard side zipper.
Estrella is available in four colour combinations, and if you are worrying that creamy beige boots would easily get dirty, choose black or brown options.
- Trendy design.
- Sheepskin lined inside.
- Water resistant.
- Not for extreme outdoor conditions.
Frequently Asked Questions
What boots to wear in Canada in winter?
Canadian winter means harsh weather conditions, often extreme amounts of snow and drastically low temperatures. That is why a pair of proper winter boots is essential for both countryside outside chores and city commutes. While Sorel Caribou is not losing its first place among the best winter boots, UGGs are also rising in popularity due to Instagram trends. At the same time, those who are looking for more style-driven winter footwear can find several options in such Canadian brands as Rudsak and La Canadienne.
What winter boots are in fashion for women?
Cold weather does not mean sacrificing style ambitions. Fortunately, the apres-ski aesthetic has been trending over the last few seasons showing the best winter boots appropriate for colder climates. Take inspiration from the Moon Boot (by Chloe and Miu Miu), Chelsea boots, UGGs and lace-up retro-style hiking boots to find an ideal pair of winter boots.
What is the difference between snow boots and winter boots?
The main difference between snow boots and winter boots is in their water-repelling features. Typically snow boots are designed to resist any moisture from penetrating through, while other boots marked as ‘winter’ do not have to be waterproof.
Should winter boots be leather?
If we are talking about casual winter boots, then yes, there is no better material than thick, treated leather. Winter boots made with genuine leather (look for at least six oz thickness) are durable and will last you for seasons to come.
Are winter boots worth it?
Paying $300 for a pair of winter boots might seem like a lot. However, if you count how many seasons and cold days per year (or years to come) you would wear those boots, the price turns out not as intimidating. With most winter boots on the market the saying ‘you get what you pay for’ comes true. Buying high-quality boots means paying for advanced technology in insulation, sole traction, overall design and wearability.
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