The best winter boots to keep you snug and stylish

The best winter boots are the ones you reach for season after season. Here's where to find them...

collage of the best winter boots
(Image credit: Future/Duo Boots/Clarks/Russell & Bromley/Zara/Sorel)

The best winter boots are an investment worth making. They'll keep feet warm, dry and comfortable, and for many of us, we'll wear them more than 6 months of the year.

There are some things you can buy on a whim: a basic t-shirt, a pretty skirt—a chocolate bar that caught your eye as you queued in the supermarket. Then there are the purchases that are more considered. They’re more expensive, and therefore the shopping stakes are higher. There are questions that need to be asked before adding to basket. Will they last? Are they practical? Do they really suit you? And ultimately, will you wear them often?

In our opinion, this is the category winter boots slot neatly into, nestled among other wardrobe staples such as a timeless winter coat and your dependable best jeans. Choose well, and you’ll be wearing your new boots winter after winter.

“We're seeing a focus on longevity and versatility in fashion at the moment, which means classic pieces are being championed more than ever,” explains fashion journalist Frankie Graddon. “If I spend money on great boots I want to be wearing them for the next 10 years.” 

Approach shopping for the best winter boots in the same careful consideration you would buying a designer handbag. “This means looking for styles that have been beautifully made from good quality materials (be that leather, suede, or a premium faux leather) and with attention to details such as good fastenings, walkable heel heights, and balanced proportions.  It's smart to choose styles with minimal embellishments and in a classic colorway that won't date: black, brown, tan, burgundy, grey.” 

That doesn't mean you have to ignore trends though. Keep classic silhouettes in mind when deciding which style of boot to opt for too. “AW21's spotlight will be on timeless styles such as the riding, biker, hiking, and 70s stacked-heel,” says Frankie. “The catwalks favored longer lengths, so we can expect knee-high and over-the-knee iterations to be more of a focus than ankle-length.”

“When looking for forever footwear styles think heritage: equestrian, desert, hiker, Chelsea, biker, and even cowboy boots have stood the test of time. A stacked heel is also a classic.”

“I think we are still going to be sporting last year’s quite chunky, flat boots for a more casual look,” adds stylist Karen Williams. “Pointed kitten heels will be making a comeback too. They’ll be a big trend because they’re not too high and the point just makes it feel more dressed up.”

The best winter boots—according to our fashion editor

arket boots

(Image credit: Arket)

1. Arket

Best stylish winter boots

Reasons to buy
+Fashionable designs +Prices that won't break the bank

Scandi brand Arket specialise in simple silhouettes that are both cool and timeless all at once. These are trend-led winter boots, but not overtly so that they’ll feel tired by next season. Shop here if you’re after simple, fuss-free silhouettes, quality fabrics and prices that won’t make your credit card recoil. Their chunky bikers are our top pick for laid-back dressing, and their over-the-knee styles for evenings out. 




clarks boots

(Image credit: Clarks )

2. Clarks

Best winter boots for wide feet

Reasons to buy
+Built with comfort in mind+Good range of styles 

If you’re looking for the best winter boots for wide or the best shoes for flat feet, allow us to point you in the direction of Clarks. With more than 200 years of experience, Clarks know a thing or two about what makes brilliantly fitting, and most importantly comfortable, footwear. The desert boot is their real heritage icon, with clean lines and a supersoft suede upper. If that’s not your thing, there’s Chelseas and bikers and everything in between. Choose between wide and regular fit depending on your needs. 




Dr. Martens

(Image credit: Dr. Martens)

3. Dr. Martens

Best classic winter boots

Reasons to buy
+Cult designs+A winter boot that will never date

While some trends come and go, Dr. Martens outfits popularity never seems to dwindle. A style staple since the 60s, DMs have the benefit of being practical and stylish all at once. Spot them by their yellow tab, stand-out sole and lace-up shape. You can still invest in some of the original designs now, or mix it up with new shapes and styles. Traditionally all Dr. Martens shoes were made from leather, but now they have an extensive vegan-friendly offering. The possibilities for Doc Martens outfits are endless, from distressed denim to pretty floral dresses. 




duoboots audrey boot

(Image credit: DuoBoots)

4. DuoBoots

Best winter boots for wide calfs

Reasons to buy
+High quality materials+Choice of calf widths 

A boots brand with a difference, DuoBoots understands that it’s not only shoe size you need to consider when selecting your perfect pair. That’s why they offer seven different calf widths too, and even have a handy “belt” to help you measure yours at home. Mary Alice Malone, founder of premium footwear brand Malone Souliers, has just joined DuoBoots as Creative Director, bringing with her a confident yet classic aesthetic. 




Grenson boots

(Image credit: Grenson)

5. Grenson

Best designer winter boots

Reasons to buy
+Beautifully made+Built to last 

Are Grenson boots expensive? Yes. Will they last a very long time? Also yes. It’s true in fashion that you get what you pay for, and splashing out on a pair of Grenson winter boots will reward you with years of wear. All of their boots are made using a technique from the 1800’s and take up to 8 weeks from start to finish. Expect military-inspired detailing in the form of chunky soles, contrast laces and metal hardware. 




Sorel

(Image credit: Sorel)

6. Sorel

Best snow boots

Reasons to buy
+Functional designs +Good choice of colours

When the weather turns, how your best winter boots perform suddenly becomes far more important than how they look. Luckily, thanks to Sorel, there’s no need to compromise on either. Founded in 1962, their speciality is footwear for all seasons. Their premium boots have been carefully crafted to withstand unexpected showers, plummeting temperatures and uneven terrain. Their range of boot liners is worth a browse too, for extra comfort and warmth. 




UGG boot

(Image credit: UGG)

7. UGG

Most comfortable winter boots

Reasons to buy
+Durable+Very comfortable

UGG’s classic boots are instantly recognisable. They might have spawned a thousand high-street copies, but no boot quite matches up when it comes to fluffiness or comfort. Crafted from plush sheepskin, the outside of the boots are treated to lightly repel water and reduce the risk of marking the fabric. The soles are super durable too, with built-in cushioning for a walking-on-clouds feel. The designs have varied slightly over the years, with a choice of lengths and colours and the addition of detailing like zips and buttons. 




zara boot

(Image credit: Zara)

8. Zara

Best designer dupe boots

Reasons to buy
+On-trend designs +Affordable pricing 

If you’re anything like us, Zara is already your go-to for could-be-designer pieces for under $100/£100. And their designer dupe boot offering gets better and better each year, with a broad choice of styles, shapes and shades. A fair amount of their winter boots are crafted from leather, but there are faux options too, if you’re vegetarian. For a special occasion or night out, look to a tight-fitting sock boot with a pointed toe and elegant narrow heel. For day, stompy boots with a wide track sole are our top pick. Ankle or knee length, the choice is yours. 




Jess Beech

Jess Beech is an experienced fashion and beauty editor, with more than eight years experience in the publishing industry. She has written for woman&home, GoodtoKnow, Now, Woman, Woman’s Weekly, Woman’s Own and Chat, and is currently Deputy Fashion & Beauty Editor at Future PLC. 


She caught the magazine bug during a stint as Fashion Editor of her university newspaper alongside her English degree, and hasn’t looked back since. As for the fashion bug, that came as part and parcel of growing up in the 90s, but the less said about that the better!


Jess’ average day in the office is spent researching the latest fashion trends, chatting to industry tastemakers and scouring the internet to bring you this season’s must-buy pieces - as well as advice on how to wear them. Weekends are equally fashion-focused, and Jess has been known to visit no less than five Zara stores in a single day in search of the perfect occasion dress. 


The only thing that comes close to a buzz of finally tracking down that much-coveted dress is the joy of discovering a new beauty wonder product or hero ingredient. A beauty obsessive, Jess has tried everything from cryotherapy to chemical peels (minus the Samantha in Sex and The City-worthy redness) and interviewed experts including Jo Malone and Trinny Woodall.