Best for: Summit to Saloon
These performance boots can get you through the toughest winter conditions…and you won’t want to take them off when the adventure is over.
1. Ahnu Tahoe II
Why We Like It: The Tahoe II is truly the best of both worlds. Warm, waterproof, and stylish, this boot can take you seamlessly from snowshoeing or hiking to that hot toddy waiting for you at the lodge. This is an updated version of the Tahoe, with 200 grams of insulation and an eVent waterproof liner (waterproof up to the ankle). Slick streets? The burly Vibram outsole is tough enough to provide traction on ice and snow. We especially appreciated the full lacing for a snug fit and no draft through the calf. $240; ahnu.com
Pair it with: We fell in love with Icebreaker’s merino Aurora Zip for its old-school-ski-sweater style and thoughtful functionality (the flattering fit, thumb loops, and a media cord loop in the pocket are nice touches). Shown here with Icebreaker’s super cozy Villa Legging.
2. Merrell Nikita WP
Why We Like It: Equal parts fashion and function, we love how the Nikita turns a fully weather resistant boot into a wardrobe staple. The beautiful full-grain leather upper is combined with a waterproof-breathable membrane to keep your feet dry no matter how deep the slush puddle. Got cold feet? 200 grams of top-tier Primaloft insulation will keep your feet toasty. For the price, this is one of the best deals we found out there. $165; merrell.com
Pair it with: One of our new favorites: Horny Toad’s PrimaLoft insulated Cloudcover Skirt, made with an eco-friendly, 100% recycled polyester shell. Winter dog walks or coffee shop runs have never been so cozy. If you like this, you’ll also want to check out Isis’ take on a softshell skirt: the Lindsay Skirt.
Best for: Luxury
This boot pulls out all the stops when it comes to pure, unadulterated comfort.
Tecnica Moon Boot Butter
Why We Like It: Tecnica is the Grande Dame of après boots, and they didn’t disappoint with the Butter. Here, the classic Moon Boot profile is paired with an opulent soft suede upper and faux fur collar. Although you won’t want to stomp around too much in salty slush with these boots, the fairly rugged rubber outsole will get you over the inevitable ice patch with ease. The bottom line: we couldn’t think of anything we’d rather put on after shedding those painful ski boots. The over-the-top luxury of the fully (synthetic) fur liner had us cooing the first moment we slipped our bare feet into them. $180; tecnicausa.com
Pair it with: No après adventure will be complete without Horny Toad’s Dresspass Dress, made with 100-percent organic cotton. They’ve basically taken your favorite comfy sweatshirt and transformed it into the perfect winter dress. The hood, hand pockets and flattering cut make this one of our favorite cold weather picks. Shown here with Horny Toad’s Leap Legging.
Best For: The Urban Diva
We found these elegant leather boots to be as suitable for a nor’easter as they are for the fashionable city streets.
1. Chaco Mara WP
Why We Like It: Waterproof full grain leather upper, zipper for easy in/out access, recycled rubber outsole, and Chaco’s legendary comfort, for starters. These classic boots are so smart and tasteful, you’d be forgiven for wondering if they’re tough enough for winter (yep!). The best part: Chaco’s ‘Luvseat’ platform will keep your feet super comfy all day, so there is no need to change your shoes after slogging to work in the snow. And trust us – you won’t want to take them off. $195, chacos.com
2. Keen Laken High Boot WP
Why We Like It: If we could take our favorite fashionable leather high boot and infuse it with the brawn of a winter boot, the Laken High Boot would be the result. The gorgeous full grain leather upper is waterproof, and the leather/textile lining is packed with 150-grams of Keen’s proprietary insulation. The beefy midsole, weather-ready outsole, and thick toe bumper are a welcome armor for when you’re caught in a Weather Channel highlight reel. Pair these with jeans or leggings for the perfect cold-weather city boot. $190; keenfootwear.com
Pair it with: Moving Comfort’s Flex Hoodie is an ideal layering piece for cold weather running or Nordic skiing (it features odor resistant material, thumb loops and a fitted hood), and is comfy enough to double as part of your après outfit. Here we’ve paired it with Icebreaker’s Villa Legging.
Best for: Toasty Toes
What would a winter après boot be if it didn’t keep your paws toasty? We loved how these boots were like a soft, warm blanket for your feet.
Cushe Quilty Conscience
Why We Like It: We love Cushe for their super comfy and surprisingly weatherproof winter styles (see last winter’s review of the Cabin Fever), so we couldn’t wait to get our toes into the Quilty Conscience. The waterproof full grain leather and suede upper is fused with a cozy thermal fleece lining to keep the wet out and the heat in, and the basket-weave rubber outsole gives you just enough traction for icy winter walks. Style points: We love the quilted felt detailing and lacing along the calf. (Fair warning: those with smaller calves might find these a bit roomy if worn with leggings or tights.) $180; cushe.com
Pair it with: The ideal post-yoga winter clothing: the Tadasana Wrap-Ture Tunic from The North Face. We love the asymmetrical-zip design, thumb loops, and hood. Shown here with Horny Toad’s Leap Legging.
Honorable Mention: Although we couldn’t get a sample in time for this story, an après boot review wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Columbia’s Minx Electric WP. Columbia uses their customary Omni-Heat reflective lining and combines it with 200 grams of insulation, plus adjustable battery-powered heat to give your feet an unparalleled pampering. Throw in the waterproof nylon upper and grippy rubber outsole and you’ve got yourself the ultimate winter boot.
Editor’s Choice Award
We just thought these boots were too awesome to ignore.
Sorel Chugalug Tall
Why We Like It: Slip these beauties on after a day of skiing and brace yourself for the onslaught of compliments. We loved how the cozy fur lining snuggles up to the calf to keep the chill out: the to-the-top lacing allows a custom fit above the ankle. Although the Chugalug is not meant for foul weather excursions (this is a true après shoe), the textured clear rubber outsole is just enough protection for puddles or light snow. Bottom line: These boots will make you long for the next post-adventure lounge fest. $260; sorel.com
Pair it with: Horny Toad’s Surpass Jacket (made with 100% organic cotton) and Leap Legging are so comfy you’ll feel like you’re in your (very tasteful) PJs all day; we couldn’t think of anything we’d rather slip on after a long day on the slopes. The Chugalug is also shown here with Prana’s fair trade certified, organic cotton blend Kaya Sweater Dress.
Honorable Mention: Sorel has such an extensive selection of sweet winter boots that we had a hard time choosing which pair to feature. For the more adventurous at heart, we suggest taking a peek at the Conquest Carly. If you’re more of a cold weather fashionista, we also love the Crazy Cable Wedge.