Many of us will likely be relieved of our daily commute through the rain, sleet and snow this year, but one thing remains true: Winter is on its way. You may be focused on stocking your closet with sweaters, joggers and other warm layers for now, but the most important part of a cold-weather wardrobe is your footwear. The tricky thing about shopping for the best winter boots, of course, is finding an affordable pair that’ll hold up through the weather — and also look stylish all season long.
“Flat boots will be a big trend this season,” says Mecca James-Williams, a New York City-based stylist and creative. “While everyone loves a heel, it’ll be nice to see the flexibility of a flat boot that is more versatile during these times.”
Of course, not every winter boot needs to be lined with shearling, have a lug sole or be primed for a snowstorm of epic proportions: Unless there’s precipitation, most fall boots will work for the winter too. Cassandra Dittmer, a Los Angeles-based stylist specializing in sustainability, says she’s looking forward to trends like chunky Chelsea boots, square-toe styles and wider mid-shaft boots to take center stage into fall and winter seasons. “I love styling boots with shorter dresses and longer coats, as I think it’s a cool juxtaposition.”
Ahead, scroll through the best winter boots that are as affordable as they are stylish.
Columbia Women’s Ice Maiden II Boot (starting at $59.96; amazon.com)
One of the most reviewed clothing items on Amazon, this snow boot has more than 9,000 5-star ratings. It’s not a mystery as to why. Available in nine colorways, the boots are super cushioned, feature a rubber sole for slip-free movement and are crafted from waterproof leather. And of course we love the faux fur lining.
Dream Pairs Women’s Mid-Calf Winter Snow Boots (starting at $45.99; amazon.com)
If you’re looking for a taller, more standout boot this winter, take a gander at these fashionable boots from Dream Pairs. With lacing up the front, sweater detailing and faux shearling up top, and 12 different colors to choose from, this is a boot that’ll surely last more than just one season.
Timberland Jayne Waterproof Hiking Bootie ($109.95, originally $159.95; nordstrom.com)
From classic boot brand Timberland, we love these modified hiking booties with a leather exterior that are available in black, dark brown and light brown. They pack an ultra-cushy footbed and extra grip on the sole that can help you from skidding across ice.
Ugg Classic Mini II Genuine Shearling Lined Boot (starting at $149.95; nordstrom.com)
You didn’t think you could get through this list without seeing a pair of Uggs, did you? Not exactly made for skiing, these boots are a mainstay for anyone experiencing milder winter weather with just a few flurries.
Sperry In For The Cozy Climb Boot ($139; modcloth.com)
A fashionable take on the traditional boot, Sperry’s all-weather style features a rubber duck shell, a secure lace-up fit and side zip to make getting them on and off as easy as possible.
Hunter Original Insulated Slipper Boot (starting at $125; nordstrom.com)
If you’ve been plagued by ultra-slippery weather — whether it be wet leaves on the ground or ice — you know the importance of having a boot like this. Think of it as a rain boot but shorter (and more comfortable) with fleece lining to keep your feet ultra cozy.
Mishansha Winter Anti-Slip Leather Snow Boots (starting at $36.99; amazon.com)
Available in both men’s and women’s sizes, if you’re anticipating snow in your area, these boots might just be perfect for you. With an anti-slip grip, faux fur lining and water-resistant (note: not waterproof) finish, more than 1,500 reviewers have raved about these for their warmth and support for comfortable wear all day.
Sperry Cold Bay Duck Boot ($120; nordstrom.com)
When it comes to waterproof boots, a duck boot from Sperry is a good way to go. This one goes up higher beyond the ankle and features extra traction on the sole for slick surfaces. You can also score a shorter Sperry snow boot for just $110 at Nordstrom as well.
Columbia Men’s Bugaboot Mid-Calf Boot (starting at $89.95; amazon.com)
From trusted brand Columbia, this waterproof boot gets big points from reviewers for its ability to keep feet toasty warm even in the most frigid conditions. They’re also not nearly as bulky as so many winter boots tend to be.
Ugg Harkley Lace-Up Boot ($149.95; nordstrom.com)
This surprisingly lightweight Ugg boot is all about the comfort, with faux shearling lining the entire boot and a lugged EVA sole.
Golden Fox 6-Inch Boondocker Service Boot Pro (starting at $98.90; amazon.com)
Reviewers love these extremely comfortable, versatile leather boots, which come in brown, black, khaki and “fudge.” Writes one reviewer, “I was looking for a boot that would work with jeans as well as khaki pants for casual days at the office. These boots fit the bill. They are not too dressy and shiny that you can wear with jeans, but also not look like you are just getting off work at the construction site. They also work well with khaki pants and button-up for a not-too-dressed-up look.”
UO Gemma Utility Boot ($74, originally $89; urbanoutfitters.com)
James-Williams calls flat boots the trend of the season. “There’s something about how the pant hem meets the boot,” she says. And we’re deeply in love with these, which feature a flatform sole and are available in black or a striking white.
BC Footwear Fight For Your Right Bootie ($99; modcloth.com)
A lug-sole boot is an all-weather must. “I love wearing chunkier shoes with a slender skirt-and-tight combo,” says James-Williams, who likes to play around with proportions when styling in cold weather.
These taupe faux-suede leather ankle boots have elasticized panels to make them easy to slip on and off. Wear them with cuffed dark denim for a rugged look.
Vagabond Kenova Lugged Chelsea Boot ($140; nordstrom.com)
Vagabond’s all-black lug-sole Chelsea boot was made for the snow. Reviewers love how comfortable and sleek they are too.
Sam Edelman Women’s Jacquie Zip-Front Lug Sole Booties ($150; macys.com)
The vamp zipper closure on these lug-sole boots give them a trendy feel. And we dig both the brown version with faux shearling at the top and the all-white.
Franco Sarto Women’s Stevie Mid-Shaft Boots (starting at $95.77; amazon.com)
A mid-shaft boot — especially one that’s wider in the calf — is especially on-trend for the upcoming winter season, Dittmer says. Franco Sarto’s mid-shaft boot comes in three hues, but this deep green is a favorite.
Caradise Chunky Heeled Boots Zip-Up Square-Toe Ankle Booties (starting at $32.99; amazon.com)
One of the biggest trends for fall 2020, square-toe boots have a distinctively stylish feel. Both James-Williams and Dittmer loves the look.
A red pair of boots is *already* a statement, so why not make it a big one with an on-trend silhouette too?
Circus by Sam Edelman Palmina Boot ($99; urbanoutfitters.com)
A timeless silhouette meets a trendy crocodile-embossed upper in this subtle square-toe boot.
UO Remy Chelsea Boot ($79; urbanoutfitters.com)
One of the most timeless boot silhouettes, a Chelsea style is a cold-weather go-to. The chunky lug sole, the elastic panel, the in-sole cushion, the $79 price tag… What’s not to love about these?
J.Crew Pull-On Chelsea Boot ($118.80 with code SHOPNEW, originally $198; jcrew.com)
One reviewer called J.Crew’s Chelsea boot “just about perfect.” Style them with leggings or a silk midi skirt now, and with rigid denim when it gets truly frigid.