The Best All-Weather Boots — Editor-Tested & Approved

A pair of cheapie date heels, the flats you only wear at the office: These are shoes that can afford to not be top quality. One place where flimsy won't fly is your winter boots. Those babies are the only thing standing between you and the dreaded condition known as "slushfoot," so anything that's not completely cozy, 100% waterproof, and consistently slip-preventing in the sleetiest snow is a non-starter in our book.

Because we, too, have owned way too many pairs that don't fit that bill, we decided to put winter boots to the real-life test. This author wore them in rain, slush, below-zero weather, and New York's recent #Snowpocalypse. After weeks of stomping around, I found seven boots that could put an end to cold, wet feet and squishy socks forever.

Read on for seven styles that are not messing around.
1 of 7
Best In-Between Boot
You know those days when it starts to snow, then changes its mind and starts to rain, and the forecast ends up being a kind of repugnant, gray Slurpee? That's when you want to pull on your Blundstones. This Tasmanian brand has been making boots since 1870, and while they're not massive in the States, they have a loyal following among Subaru-driving outdoorsy types, and Bushwick-style hipsters.

I liked these because they're lightweight, stain-resistant (an important consideration in NYC for reasons I shan't go into), have a non-slip sole, and while they're not technically waterproof, my socks were still dry after a half-hour walk in a few inches of snow.

The only drawback for me was the fit. Unlike many boots, these are true to size, so they get downright snug with cozy socks. They also are somewhat tight across the top of my foot, but that could be due to my weirdly wide feet. Anyone else afflicted with dinosaur feet, definitely order up accordingly.
2 of 7
Best "Too Cool For Snow Boots" Boot
The thing that shocked me about the Flora is that they actually passed the "comfy on first wear" test — unlike the many pairs of lace-up Docs I've owned, which chew the skin off your feet for six months, then become heavenly overnight.

The best part is they just look cooler than normal winter boots. So, if you haven't yet embraced your daggy, "warmth above all else" side, these are for you. They look good with skinny jeans, and got me lots of compliments.

Pro-tip: These things scuff easily, so get your boot polish ready. They also run a full size large, so order down or bust out your cushiest socks.
3 of 7
Best Updated-Classic Boot
A longtime staple of workwear and hip-hop fashion alike, Timberland's classic 6-inch boot was embraced by mainstream celebs like Rihanna and Cara Delevingne, and all manner of fashion types this year (including us here at R29).

This style keeps our favorite things about the classic — rugged good looks and waterproof-ness — and adds a thick pillow of cozy shearling plus a sleeker silhouette. We like.
4 of 7
Best Arctic-Approved Boot
Whether you actually live in an icy, HOTH-like tundra, or just the Midwest, there's one boot that will truly stand up to whatever ick winter throws at you: The Sorel 1964.

Totally waterproof and cold-proof, this pair is rated for 32 degrees below, thanks to the thick, felt-like InnerBoot lining, which makes your feet into little burritos of coziness. I tested these during NYC's recent snowstorm and on multiple zero-degree days, and believe me when I say no wind or wet will ever get inside them. There's a reason their logo is a polar bear.
5 of 7
Best Commuter Boot
If you walk to work — or just have a really long haul to the subway stop — Bean boots are your best friend. Long hailed for their water-proofness, sole with major grip, and high quality (LL Bean trains its employees for half a year to learn the stitching technique, and the shoes are guaranteed for life), these were way easier to walk in than bulkier boots.

The pair shown here felt a little uncomfortable on super-chilly days — cold rubber not being the greatest insulator. For icy climes, spring for the Thinsulate-lined pair, good all the way to 15 degrees below zero. And, do not do what I did, and ignore the website's warning to order a half or full size down. My size-9 feet swim in my Bean boots unless swathed in the bulkiest socks.
6 of 7
Best "Rest Of The World" Winter Boot
Since some people's winter looks less like snowdrifts and more like rain puddles, I tested the classic Hunter short rain boot on the drizzliest days we've had in New York. And, let's just say they've made me swear off cheapie rubber boots forever.

The construction is noticeably heavy-duty, and unlike the two pairs of rubber boots I bought last year, and had to immediately return due to squishy sock syndrome (ugh), these things are the real, waterproof deal. Even after I splashed in puddles for science. Verdict: Worth it.

Pro-tips: Order a half-size down if wearing with normal socks. Or, order your normal size and make them cozy with shearling insoles or boot socks (which you can buy here).
7 of 7
Best "Don't Need To Change At The Office" Boot
Winter boots: Totally necessary while commuting, rather embarrassing once you arrive to your office (or date). So, while this pair is not a winter boot per se, it's got a really stable-feeling heel, and sturdy rubber tread on the bottom that makes it more rugged than your typical ankle bootie. I wore it in up to an inch of snow with no slipping or wobbling, and dug that I didn't have to schlep an extra pair of shoes on a girls' night out.

These run true to size, and definitely need to be weatherproofed before you wear them in snow or rain. If you're looking for a more rugged Frye, we tested this shearling-lined pair, too, and it was heavenly.

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