I'm looking for womens winter hiking shoes
November 30, 2010 7:05 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a women's winter hiking boot / trail shoe. Specifications inside..

I've searched previous AskMes but found only questions regarding women's stylish winter footwear or snow boots, neither of which I'm looking for (although there were some good suggestions in those threads.)

I wore these very comfortable but too-breathable-for-winter Merrells on a short hike yesterday and my toes were freezing, despite my smartwool socks. I live in a place where it gets much colder than yesterday's 25 degrees, so I need something warmer.
1. I'm looking for something more like a trail shoe, just amped up for winter. I don't need ankle support but I'm not opposed to an ankle boot, especially as I'll probably be using cramp-ons with them sometimes.
2. They need to be very warm. I have knee-high Sorrels for sledding and super-snowy activities, and I would love if these were comparable in warmth.
3. They do not need to be pretty. I'll be wearing them outside with my my dogs, mostly.
4. Waterproof would be ideal.
5. Under $200.

Thank you so much!
posted by pintapicasso to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (6 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I was doing the same shopping this time last year - I live in central Minnesota with regular trips Up Nort' to the North Shore and needed warm - but breathable! - water resistant boots that fit well and didn't chafe and I could go hiking with them.

This is the pair I went with: Vasque - 7465. I'm actually quite happy with them. I wore them out snow-shoeing last New Years in Grand Marais and had no problems keeping my feet warm. I also wear them to work on snowing days and have no problems keeping my feet comfortable while wearing them in the office. And I wear them while taking the dog for a walk in the snow.

The only thing I'm not so happy about is that the sole is pretty stiff so standing for long periods of time isn't so much fun. But as long as I keep moving in them, they work really well.

Good luck!
posted by jillithd at 7:33 AM on November 30, 2010

I have an older pair of these Merrell shoes that I bought at DSW a couple winters ago, and they are holding up great. I wear them whenever the weather is sloppy, which is most of the winter in Minnesota :-). They have Gore-Tex, so they're waterproof, which was my top priority when I bought the shoes. They're very warm, too.

My husband has the men's version of these North Face "snow sneakers", and he loves them. They are super grippy on ice and snow, so he likes to jump on and over snowbanks with them just because he can. I've never seen him so happy to walk through snow before! He claims they're warm as well (plus waterproof).
posted by Maarika at 7:48 AM on November 30, 2010

I continually recommend my beloved Salomons. Unfortunately, it might be a bit confusing to navigate all of their options, because so many of them look very similar and have similar names. I actually took my shoe off just now (sorry, officemates!) and Googled the serial number; looks like I have the XA Pro 3D XCR. A comparably waterproof and non-mesh one that they offer right now is this one. (I feel your pain on the mesh. Oops.)

I live in hilly Wisconsin and do a lot of walking around on snowy, icy pavement and getting on and off buses into three-foot snowbanks. In the three years I've had mine, they've never let ANY snow or wind in. They have a Gore-Tex outside and the toes are nice and sturdy, too -- almost like a Keen, but way more flexible. I especially like them because I really want to avoid wearing "outdoor shoes" and "indoor shoes" -- these are pretty light and look like normal shoes, and I don't have to wait for them to dry off.
posted by Madamina at 8:10 AM on November 30, 2010

I have some super fugly Merrells similar to these Merrells, and they are $110. I love being able to slip them on and trudge around in the Minnesotan winters - I broke them out for the first time this season today - and are pretty warm. That's saying a lot since my feet also get cold easily. They also have some height to them, which I suspect helps keep my feet warmer as they are further away from the ground. The ones I linked have a comfort range to -10F/-23C
posted by mlo at 8:59 AM on November 30, 2010

If you want to wear trail shoes I highly recommend looking into a vapor barrier liner + a gaiter. The vapor barrier keeps your foot dry, your boot dry, your outersock dry and can add +15 degrees of warmth. The gaiter will prevent a lot of snow melt into your shoes.

If you wore a thin liner, wore something like this, and then a hiking sock over that you could probably put 20 degrees on your current shoe.

I just bought these North Face Chilkats for my girlfriend. I like the styles, they are really cheap, they are rated to -25F and they are waterproof.
posted by zephyr_words at 10:22 AM on November 30, 2010

I haven't worn them for an extended period in extreme cold (below -10 or so), but I've been very pleased so far with these snow sneakers (they also make a non-high top version). I've tramped around several times measuring snow, and the only hint of a chill was when the wet hem of my jeans rode up on my leg. My feet were still dry and toasty.
posted by weathergal at 8:13 PM on November 30, 2010

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