Winter boots are essential when you live in an area that experiences particularly lengthy cold spells. If you want a decent pair that will see you through the season, a $200 budget should be perfectly sufficient whilst lower price points won’t necessarily be enough.
A major upgrade from the original duck boots by Sorel, these feature a thick lambswool lining that is retains heat for temperatures as low as -40°C / -40°F. Their seam sealed construction offers solid waterproofing while the full-grain leather uppers have a stylish pebbled effect.
How To Wear
We’re very fond of these as general winter boots to wear out and about. Like the original duck boots, they’re great for running errands but we find that these provide more long-term comfort. You can happily wear these casually and they’ll go quite well with jeans, chinos and woollen Duffel-style coats.
There is a black option but we’re very fond of the tobacco brown pebbled leather that both looks and feels great. Furthermore, it’s much easier to integrate into regular casual wardrobes whilst the black may need a little work.
A very stylish boot indeed, it comes as no surprise that Irish Setter is Red Wing’s seasonal brand. Furthermore, you benefit from the brand’s heritage quality, which offers a Goodyear welt as well as their waterproof UltraDry construction. They’re not insulated but the style reserves ample room for thick, woollen socks.
How To Wear
As they’re not exclusively winter boots but designed for harsh weather in general, these are very easy to wear. They look particularly great with vintage-inspired rustic wardrobes.
Given the moccasin-style toe box, it’s no surprise that these boots are only available in a mid-brown leather. However, their design pairs nicely with this particular hue and it would have likely been our first choice.
The Wolverine’s Legend Durashocks burly cousin, the Glacier Ice offers a similar experience but designed specifically for colder weather. They’re ASTM F2413 approved and feature Vibram Arctic Grip for extra traction as well as a waterproof breathable membrane keeps your feet dry.
How To Wear
In the winter season, we’d actually seriously consider these as candidates for casual wear. They’re surprisingly stylish and have a great rugged appearance that would suit more rustic, hipster-style wardrobes.
We greatly prefer the brown leather over the black. This is thanks to its vintage, distressed suede look that’s easier to style with a regular casual wardrobe.
We absolutely love these rugged American-made boots from the renowned Chippewa brand. A Goodyear welt ensures durability and waterproofing whilst the steel shank adds extra stability and the Vibram V-Bar outsole prevent slips and falls on the ice.
How To Wear
These Americana-inspired boots are very stylish indeed and great for year-round wear as they’re not insulated. Thanks to the oiled leather, they’ll retain heat with woollen socks and they’ll look particularly stylish with rustic and vintage casual styles.
This particular model is only available in brown. However, there are other similar styles that come in shades of tan and Cordovan. Nevertheless, we do have a preference for the distressed finish of these brown boots.
These solid walking boots are a great alternative to other types of winter boot. They’re designed for comfort and durability during the winter. Furthermore, they feature a nymon shank for stability, a waterproof membrane as well as a lugged outsole to prevent slippage.
How To Wear
These are ideal for more urban wear thanks to their contemporary design. Although they’re walking boots, we can imagine that these would work well with more modern casual wardrobes.
Our favourite colour is the dark green and orange combination. Nevertheless, there are other possibilities such as grey or brown.
If you’re looking for a convenient boot that you can just kick on and off when you need them, Bogs have developed these excellent high-tech wellies. Ideal for temperatures as low as -40°F / -40°C, they’re also crafted from hand-lasted natural rubber laid over a 4-way stretch SBR/CR bootie.
How To Wear
We particularly love the intuitive handles on these for easy removal and application. As such, they’re boots that we’d keep for working on the yard or nipping to the shops. Nevertheless, you could wear them for your commute or even when heading out on some errands.
Unfortunately, they’re only available in black. This is a shame as different colour options would be an excellent opportunity for these boots!
As we explained in our guide to the best winter boots under $100, cheap boots are great but only for short-term and occasional wear in mild climates. However, when upping your budget by just a little, you’ll suddenly find that you can access much more durable footwear.
Although some people may argue that they don’t need this, we’d certainly recommend it for people who live in cooler climates where the winters are longer than average.
This is because cheaper boots are quite but they don’t use the necessary materials for particularly cold climates. Furthermore, boots under $100 won’t often last beyond several seasons before needing to be replaced.
Meanwhile, $200 boots may last exponentially longer, which means you get a better return on your long-term investment.
Why A $200 Budget Offers Better Value For Money
Let’s begin by pointing out that two different types of boots were presented in this list. The first are more conventional and modern winter boots that offer fleece lining and seam-sealed components made from synthetic materials.
On the other hand, we also sought to include traditional boots that although aren’t lined, use high-quality construction to make a very stylish yet practical boot.
Both of these fall in the same bracket but their use and your experience will differ with both.
Traditional Blucher-Style Boots
Concerning the more traditional boots such as the Irish Setters and Chippewa, these are made with very good quality leathers that offer excellent water resistance. They’re also made using a Goodyear welt, which is a stitching technique that is very durable and allows you to replace the soles when necessary.
Unlike other construction techniques, Goodyear welts also offer excellent water resistance, which is necessary here.
Simply due to their construction methods and materials used, they’ll last far longer than the other boots featured in this guide. However, they aren’t considered regular winter boots by modern standards as they’re not insulated.
Nevertheless, the leather acts like a solid membrane and by wearing thick woollen socks, their performance will be admirable.
Finally, they’re also much more stylish and may resonate more with men who are looking for a boot that will complement their personal style.
Contemporary Winter Boots
On the flip side, modern winter boots are designed purely with comfort in mind. Whilst they can certainly be stylish, they focus on ensuring that the feet are kept warm and dry.
Nevertheless, they’re made in such a way that the soles can’t be replaced as they wear down. Furthermore, the synthetic man-made materials used will degrade over time and can’t be maintained like leather.
The boots featured here offer excellent performance and quality but they will eventually need to be replaced as they aren’t repairable.
Compared to boots under $100, they will last many more years rather than just a few seasons. They use superior materials and more care is taken on the seam-seal construction techniques.
Furthermore, the types of fleecing used for the lining is denser and usually thicker, which gives them better performance is very low temperatures.
Finally, whatever boot style you choose, it’s important to think about your needs and how they will be used. Either way, you’ll be very satisfied with your purchase.