My first winter in barefoot shoes was a rough one. My barefoot winter boots had a super thin sole and my little toesies FROZE in the snow. If zero drop barefoot shoes are preventing you from living an active life outdoors, that’s a problem. Barefoot shoes are meant to inspire movement, not have you running inside to avoid frostbite.
It’s taken me a few years, but I’ve since found the best barefoot winter boot options that combine the important features of barefoot shoes along with serious functionality (aka warmth, waterproofness, and traction). This post is the ultimate guide to warm barefoot boots for winter.
Read on for the best warm barefoot winter boots including vegan options, snow options, and some great tips for keeping warm!
- The All Time Warmest Barefoot Winter Boots
- The Best Barefoot Winter Boots for Snow – Waterproof & Good Traction
- Warmest Vegan Barefoot Winter Boots
- Barefoot Winter Boots for Extra Wide Feet
- Everyday Barefoot Shoes for Winter
- The Warmest Barefoot Winter Boots for Kids
- Most Affordable Warm Barefoot Winter Boots and Shoes
- Tips for Staying Warm in Barefoot Shoes
The All Time Warmest Barefoot Winter Boots
I’ve been testing barefoot shoes for years in extreme Midwestern temps. Here are the absolute warmest barefoot winter boots that are zero drop, flexible and even have ground feel to keep your feet healthy AND protected. Because snow boots can also be comfortable boots.
Before we get started, here are a few of my best tips for getting the most versatility out of your barefoot snow boots:
- Learn how to waterproof your shoes.
- Consider using a wool or sheepskin insole
- Find warm (but foot friendly) socks to wear inside your boots.
- Get yourself a pair of Yaktrax for very icy conditions.
- Check my “Tips For Staying Warm” section for more details
And a few more barefoot boot resources that might be useful for you:
And finally, in this post I talk about what type of feet these boots are best for to help you avoid costly mistakes.
To Find Your Foot Type Click Here.
Alright, let’s dig in to the best barefoot boots for cold temps and snow!
$299 | Leather | Wool Lined | Rated to -30 F/-34.5 C
Steger Mukluks are hands down the warmest barefoot snow boots I’ve ever put my feet into. The insole and body of the boots are lined with 9mm thick felted wool that is moisture wicking and built for extreme temps. The outsole is rubber and surprisingly grippy on ice and show. The exterior is high quality moose hide (both soft and super durable). This boot beats out all the others for both warmth and traction, and yet you can still feel ice chunks under your feet when you walk. It is heavier and clunkier than the others I talk about in this post, but to have warm toes when it’s -20 F out? I’ll take it.
None of the Steger models are waterproof, so I also bought their waterproof spray and treated my boots before wearing them out. The spray has worked well for me in the two years I’ve been wearing Stegers, but I do reapply it each fall. When I come in the melted snow beads up on top of the leather and runs off instead of soaking in.
Amazingly, these boots look almost brand new even after two winters! And I hear repeatedly from readers who have owned Stegers for 5, 10, even 20 years and they are still going strong.
To be true barefoot winter boots, use them with the felted wool insole instead of the supportive insole (boots ship with both).
How To Order
Steger has a retail store in Minnesota and an online shop. Everything can be ordered online, and many models are already in stock to ship right away. If it’s not in stock they can make them to order, but you might have to wait a few weeks. I ordered mine early in the season and got them within a few days. Returns are possible on unworn boots within 60 days, and the customer pays return shipping.
Steger Mukluks have a square toe box shape with no sloping whatsoever, so they should work for most foot types! They come in regular and wide width, so should fit both narrow and wide feet. They are high volume, which is why I chose the Quetico model that has tie laces. I have low volume feet and need to tie the laces tightly around my ankle to keep it secure, and even still I need legwarmers to fill in extra space. If you have low volume, narrow heels, and thin ankles, expect to need an extra insole, thick socks, or leg warmers to make these a secure fit. If you have thicker ankles and calves and don’t need the ties, Steger also has models that are just pull-on.
Steger runs true to size. I ordered a Women’s size 7 Wide in my Stegers. I actually called in and the customer service rep gave me internal measurements for each size, which made it easy to choose. Size 7 is my typical boot size, and I am glad I went with the wide width, because the lining is very thick and there isn’t a lot of give to the toe box at first. Initially I had enough width for my toes, but things felt tight with thick socks. As the season wore on the inside material tamped down and they were plenty roomy by the end (but not floppy). I am now wearing them for the second winter and they are fitting me perfectly with one pair of wool socks.
The Men’s mukluks are made wider than the Women’s, so extra EXTRA wide feet can get a Men’s Wide. I recommend calling in as well if you have any questions.
Traction Rating: Snow – Great | Ice – Good
$265 | Leather | Sheepskin Lined | Rated to -25 F/-32 C
The Softstar Phoenix is a sheepskin boot with a size zipper for easy on and off. The lining is super thick, warm, and close fitting so you don’t feel like you’re going to walk out of the boot. They can be worn with or without socks because of the soft, moisture wicking sheepskin. They keep my legs and feet super cozy in cold temps, and they’re so easy to put on and off. I find myself wearing them a ton on winter walks.
How To Order
All Softstar Shoes are handmade right in their shop, so during peak season expect a wait time of up to two weeks. Shipping and Returns (within 45 days) are free in the US. International shipping starts at $8 to Canada and $16 to rest of world. During slower times shoes ship really quickly!
The Phoenix is a medium width boot with the capability to stretch and mold, but it is slightly tapered in the toe box. It can work for all foot shapes if you are willing to stretch the upper, but square feet and wide toes should size up. They are low volume over the instep, but again can stretch to fit higher volume feet.
The Phoenix fits snugly, so sizing up is advised unless you like a close fit or have narrow feet. They can be worn barefoot or with socks, because the sheepskin is moisture wicking. I first got a size 6u (US women’s 7, men’s 5), which is my typical boot size. After a season I realized they weren’t stretching enough so I got a new pair in a size 7u (women’s 8). They also fit snug at first, but almost a year later they are perfect. I would recommend also sizing up one unless you have quite narrow feet.
Traction Rating: Snow – Good | Ice – Good
Be Lenka Winter Boots
$159+ | Leather | Wool or Fleece Lined | Rated to -25 F/-32 C
Be Lenka Barefoot has several boot models that are fully lined with either fleece or wool. They are extra wide and have a more durable/slip resistant outsole than a lot of barefoot brands offer. While it’s a little bit heavier than I’m used to, if I’m going to be hiking or walking outside for a long time I really appreciate it.
One huge benefit to the Be Lenka boots is that some models have a dressier look to them and can be worn to work or casually without making you look like an Alaskan ranger. They are easy to waterproof (several models already come waterproof), and they are ultra wide and comfortable. I have been wearing my Be Lenka Winter boots for four winters now and they continue to be some of my most worn.
The two warmest options from Be Lenka are the Winter and the Polaris. The rest have a thinner fleece lining that is cozy, but not quite so warm. I love that Be Lenka offers practical barefoot winter boots that still look stylish and ever dressy! Just keep in mind that the temperature rating above is for the warmest boots.
How To Order
We carry Be Lenka boots at Anya’s Shop. North American readers can find several Be Lenka Barefoot winter boots styles there, saving them shipping and returns expenses. The rest of the world can order directly from Be Lenka and use code
ANYASREVIEWS for 5% off (but returns are only accepted from within the EU and USA).
Be Lenka’s sole has a square shape to it and fits most foot shapes (winter boots in a square shape are hard to find!). Their wool lined winter boots (Winter & Polaris) fit a low to medium volume foot. The others are more easily adjustable to fit high volume, but still work well on my low volume feet. The toe box is extra wide.
Be Lenka shoes run true to size in general, but the wool lined models are snug. You may want to size up in those if you plan to wear warm socks or you have high volume feet. Otherwise, Be Lenka is a very spacious brand so expect to have lots of room for your toes to spread out. I wear a size 38 in all of my Be Lenka boots, but wish I had gone up one more in the Winter boots because I can’t wear thick socks with them.
Traction Rating: Snow – Good | Ice – Good
$235| Leather | Faux Fur Lined | Rated to -25 F/-32 C
Manitobah is an Aboriginal-owned Canadian brand that makes faux fur and sheepskin lined mukluks. They are built on a super flexible Vibram outsole that allows you to feel the ground, even with a super thick warm insole. One bonus to Manitobah is that they have waterproof options!
I tried both the waterproof Tamarack and the Short Wrap. Even though I was intrigued by the waterproof-ness of it, I returned the Tamarack because it was extremely wide in the calf/ankle and my foot was slipping all over inside. This might be right for some people, but the Short Wrap fits me more securely on my thin ankles and is like wearing pillows. They are the softest, coziest boots! Since the Short Wrap is not waterproof, I used Nikwax spray on it, which seems to be working well.
Note: Manitobah Mukluks start out quite narrow in the toe box and wide in the heel. Expect to break these boots in either by wearing them or stuffing the toe box tightly overnight (or for multiple nights).
How To Order
Manitobah has free shipping and free returns to the US/Canada with no minimum purchase. Outside of the US/Canada it is very expensive to ship! I received both my orders within a week of purchasing, and my return was quickly processed on the pair I sent back.
Manitobah Mukluks start out narrow and stretch to fit. If you are willing to break them in, they should fit all foot shapes, but extra wide feet should be wary. They are high volume the entire length of the shoe, but especially around the ankle. So if you have thin heels and ankles I recommend a wrap style like the one I got. A shoe that feels insecure can lead to awkward gait patterns and toe gripping, which is why only the wrap styles work for me.
Manitobah recommends sizing down if you are between sizes. I went down to a size 6 after hearing they stretch a lot, and I am glad I did. Despite being slightly too narrow for my toes (at first) the midfoot and heel are really roomy and a 7 would have been much too big. I am wearing thick socks and leg warmers to keep them secure around my ankles. Mine are stretching out nicely!
Traction Rating: Snow – Great | Ice – Good
$125 | Leather | Sheepskin lined | Rated to -20 F / -29 C
The Zeazoo Dingo is a personal favorite of mine. They are the perfect barefoot Uggs dupe and so easy to slip on for quick jaunts outside when it’s freezing. I wear mine often as school-run, coffee-run, and mail-run shoes. The sheepskin lining wicks sweat so they’re comfortable barefoot and they are just so warm but lighter than all the above options (and nice and wide). You can also roll the top down to get a furry cuff and a shorter height.
How to Order
The Dingo is made by Zeazoo Kids and they ship internationally, but you can also find them at retailers around the world to save on shipping costs. I carry it at Anya’s Shop in adults and kids sizes for US/Canadian residents (huge restock is coming soon for the ’21/’22 winter season!!). UK residents can purchase from 100 Barefoot Soles (use code
ANYASREVIEWS to get 10% off your order), and the rest of the world can get them directly from Zeazoo Kids (use code
ANYASREVIEWS to get 5% off your order).
The Dingo boot has a Plateau shaped toe box and is wide throughout. They are high volume and might be loose on thin ankles. Leg warmers are a great way to make a pull-on boot like the Dingo work for low volume feet.
The Dingo runs big. I have a size US 6 or EU 36, a full size down from my usual boot size, and I have plenty of space even with thick socks. I could even wear a size 35 if I wanted to. They should be a little snug to start because they stretch and the fur tamps down with use. This type of construction is very forgiving and stretches in all directions.
Traction Rating: Snow – Good | Ice – Good
$145 | Cotton & Wool | Water Resistant | Rated to 20 F/-7 C (by me)
Wildling Shoes hold a special place in my heart. They literally feel like wearing nothing, combining innovation, quality materials, and a gorgeous aesthetic. Besides being adorable, Wildling has somehow managed to create an ultra thin outsole that bends in all directions effortlessly. The uppers of Wildling winter shoes have an integrated waterproof membrane and are topped with either wool or cotton. Shown here is the Honeybear, cotton lined with wool, and the Nessie (kids version), wool lined with wool.
I ordered a felt insole from Wildling to go along with my Honeybears, which I consider essential (my cold rating above includes the insoles). In addition I wear wool socks and leg warmers and am able to get by in 15 F/ -10 C for short periods of time, though I would be most comfortable in temps of about 25 F+. While these are not sufficient to keep me outside for long during the harsh Midwest winters, I wear mine frequently for short jaunts and feel like I’m in slippers the whole time.
How To Order
Wildling Shoes ships with DHL Express and the cost is 5 Euros within Germany and 9 Euros internationally (quite affordable if you ask me). Your first return is free, after that you pay the same rates to have them shipped back by DHL. Returns are super easy with their online portal.
Wildling Shoes have a Plateau toe box and are good for most foot types (one exception being very square feet). They are medium width, so I need to size up in order to wear thick socks because I have wide feet. They fit a low to high volume foot because of the laces.
Wildling has printable size charts to help you pick the correct size. I find them true to size for length, but I need to size up in order to have enough width for socks and an insole. I am wearing a size EU 38. My boys’ boots were true to size and plenty spacious without sizing up.
Traction Rating: Snow – Good | Ice – Satisfactory
Magical Shoes Alaskan
$139 (after code ANYA) | Leather | Wool Lined | Water Resistant| Rated to 25 F/-4 C (by me)
The Magical Shoes Alaskan is an ultra flexible, ultra lightweight wool-lined barefoot winter boot. The outsole is very grippy on snow and ice, and the side zipper makes them easy to put on and off. For being so light, they are surprisingly practical. But I do find the material on the thinner side so my feet got cold faster than in the other boots I tested. I put in an extra insole and warm socks, but still felt the cold through the top fairly quickly in my climate.
While the upper material is water resistant, the zipper and the tongue is not waterproof so water can come in through those places if soaked.
How To Order
You can get 10% off Magical shoes with code ANYA (no expiration date). Magical Shoes has free global shipping on orders over 130 dollars, and returns are possible on unworn shoes within 30 days (customer pays return shipping). Shoes ship from Poland.
The Alaskan boot has a Plateau shaped toe box, so is good for people with Sloped, Mountain, or Plateau feet (square feet might size up to get a better fit). They fit a medium to high volume foot, and they are nice and wide. I have low volume feet and fit into them well with thicker socks and/or an insole.
I find these to run a little short. I got my normal size 37, and my toes are closer to the front than I prefer. The width is great, but I would probably go up to a 38 next time since I like to wear thick socks.
Traction Rating: Snow – Good | Ice – Good
The Best Barefoot Winter Boots for Snow – Waterproof & Good Traction
Here is a list of my top picks for barefoot snow boots. These are boots that come up above the ankle to protect from deep snow, are waterproof (or can be waterproofed) and have good traction on both powdery snow and ice. These barefoot boots become more practical when you use extra thermal insoles such as these sheepskin ones.
And don’t forget that you can waterproof or re-waterproof shoes that are starting to lose their effectiveness. For more info, check out this post on Waterproof Barefoot Shoes, or the Tips on Staying Warm section at the bottom of this post.
$280 | Leather | Waterproof | Rated to 0 F / – C (by me)
The Vivobarefoot Tracker is one of the most versatile barefoot boots around. They are thick and padded (to keep you warm), waterproof, and have good traction. I use a sheepskin insole in place of the one Vivobarefoot provides and I am comfortable in temps down to 0 F / -14 C. These boots are my top pick for snowy hikes when I need to have a firm grip on the ground.
*Note – the included “thermal insole” will not keep your feet warm enough if you are walking through snow or using them in more extreme cold conditions. I recommend swapping it out for a sheepskin insole for better warmth.
For fit info, read my full review of the Vivobarefoot Tracker. Get 10% off your Vivobarefoot purchase with code
Sizing & Fit
The Tracker has a Sloped shape, so won’t work for square shaped feet. It fits a low to medium volume foot. I sized up to a EU 38 (size 37 is my normal) so I could use a sheepskin insole and thick socks to stay warm.
Traction Rating: Snow – Great | Ice – Good
Be Lenka Winter, Ranger & Snowfox
$169-$209 | Leather | Wool or Fleece Lined | Waterproof
Be Lenka has 3 barefoot winter boots that work for snow: the Snowfox, the Ranger, and the Winter. These are durable, waterproof boots, with a slip resistant outsole. They work for winter hiking, playing in the now, or daily winter wear. Shown above is the Ranger (left) and Snowfox (right). The Winter and Snowfox are the warmest and cut the highest, so are my top picks for snow. We are carrying the Ranger and Winter Anya’s Shop this season (Unfortunately Snowfox is being phased out and won’t be restocked by Be Lenka)!
Sizing & Fit
These Be Lenka barefoot snow boots all have a square, extra wide shape to them. The wool lined Winter and the Ranger runs small. The Snowfox is new and I haven’t seen the adult ones in person yet (the kids ones are amazing and true to size). I will update with sizing info once I have the Snowfox. If you have high volume feet I would go for the Ranger or the Snowfox.
Traction Rating: Snow – Great | Ice – Good
$149 | Waterproof | Vegan | Rated to 0 F / – C (by me)
The Xero Alpine is an all around solid barefoot snow boot. It comes up higher than the Tracker, and is easy to cinch tight to keep snow out. They are waterproof and come with a removable insole, which I swap out for a warmer sheepskin insole. These are warm enough for me in subzero temps with thick wool socks, but note that the fluff is only in the top and not lined throughout. My two beefs with this boot are that the sole is really stiff and they are slippery on ice (but great on snow).
Sizing & Fit
The Xero Alpine is a high volume boot, I have lots of space above my toes. The toe box is great for Mountain or Plateau shaped feet, and is medium width. This boot will not be wide enough for extra wide feet, and sizing is true to size (I am wearing my normal boot size 7 which allows me to wear thick socks).
Traction Rating: Snow – Great | Ice – Satisfactory
Because of Steger’s serious warmth factor, they are what I’ll be reaching for during the coldest parts of the winter. They feel a little heavier on my feet than the above two options, but they are not slippery in snow and get the job done. Just make sure you waterproof them before wearing in snow. For more info check them out in the All Time Warmest Barefoot Boot section!
The Softstar phoenix is super warm and can easily be waterproofed because the bottom of the shoe is smooth leather. It’s possible to get water in through the zipper, so they might not be best for deep slush. For more info on the Softstar Phoenix check them out in the All Time Warmest Barefoot Winter Boots section.
Manitobah is another good snow option because they have a grippy outsole that keeps you stable and they are very warm. For more info check them out in the All Time Warmest Barefoot Boot category!
Warmest Vegan Barefoot Winter Boots
If you wear vegan shoes, it can be extra tough to find warm barefoot boot options. The following are the warmest barefoot winter boots that are completely animal free. See my Best Vegan Barefoot Winter Boots Review for detailed info on them.
You can also upgrade your other vegan barefoot shoes by using a thermal insole! Check out the Tips for Staying Warm section for options.
For a full list of options, check out my Complete List of Vegan Barefoot Shoes.
- Ahinsa Winter – The Bare line is barefoot. The Comfort line comes with a non-barefoot removable insole. Use code ANYASREVIEWS for 10% off
- Feelgrounds – Patrol & Chelsea
- Groundies Zermatt Vega – Select Groundies styles available at Anya’s Shop
- Lems Boulder Boot
- Magical Shoes Lupino Vegan – Get 10% off with code ANYA
- Sole Runner Transition Vario 3
- Tadeevo Winter – Use code ANYASREVIEWS for 5% off!
- Zaqq Quintic, Quest & Qice – German website here. Select Zaqq boots available at Anya’s Shop!
- Xero Alpine
Barefoot Winter Boots for Extra Wide Feet
Check out this post for a full list of barefoot shoe brands for extra wide feet.
- Ahinsa – Use code ANYASREVIEWS for 10% off
- Be Lenka – Also avalable at Anya’s Shop
- Bohempia – EU only, Olen and Zavid are lined options also available in wide width. Get 10% off with code
- Feelgrounds Patrol – This model is wider than their others! Read my Review here.
- Lems Boulder Boots (Men’s can be found here). European residents can find Lems at Mugavik Barefoot and use code ANYASREVIEWS for 5% off
- Freet Mudee – Use code
AR-10for 15% off. Read my Freet Review here
- Luks Invierno (women’s)
- Shapen Ivy (women’s) – Available at Anya’s Shop in the US, or get 5% off shoes and accessories with code
ANYA5directly from Shapen.
- Sole Runner Transition Vario 3
- Steger Mukluks (wide width)
- Zeazoo Dingo – Available at Anya’s Shop in the US (worldwide shipping options), or get 5% off directly from Zeazoo with code
Everyday Barefoot Shoes for Winter
So you want barefoot winter boots to keep your feet warm, but don’t necessarily need heavy duty options? Here is a list of lined barefoot winter boots for everyday. Check out my Top 10 Favorites here! Want the full list? See the Complete List of Barefoot Boots for Men & Women
- Angles Fashion – Winter models. Use code ANYA for 5% off and read my Angles Fashion review here. You can find select Angles Fashion footwear at Anya’s Shop!
- Be Lenka – We carry a lot of Be Lenka options at Anya’s Shop
- Bohempia – EU only. Olen and Zavid models. Get 10% off with code
- Camper Peu – Insoles removed
- Conker Lambs
- Freet Mudee – Use code
AR-10for 15% off. Read my Freet Review here
- Groundies – Select styles available at Anya’s Shop
- Jenon Leather – Now shipping to the USA! Read my Jenon Leather Review here
- Joe Nimble CozyToes – get 10% off with code
- Luks Invierno (women’s)
- Magical Shoes Alaskan – Get 10% off with code ANYA
- Mukishoes – Igneous & Chelsea are lined – Get 10% off with code ANYAMUKI
- PaperKrane – Use code ANYASREVIEWS for 10% off. Also available at Anya’s Shop
- Peerko – Use code ANYASREVIEWS10 for 10% off. Also available at Anya’s shop!
- Sole Runner – Yepa 2, Atlas, & Larissa (Also could pass for a Chelsea/dressier type boot)
- Tadeevo Winter – Use code ANYASREVIEWS for 5% off!
- Vibram Furoshiki Mid Boot as well as a few others
- Vivobarefoot Gobi Hi – Use code
VBANYA10for 10% off
- Wildling Shoes
- Xero Mika
The Warmest Barefoot Winter Boots for Kids
For a review of my top picks for kids, check out my Warm Barefoot Winter Boots for Kids post!
- Affenzahn – Europe/UK only
- Bobux Arctic
- Kiuu – Europe only
- Magical Shoes – ZiuZiu & Takin- Use code ANYA for 10% off
- Manitobah Mukluks
- Softstar Phoenix
- Softwalker Shoes
- Sole Runner
- Vivobarefoot Lumi or Primus Winter – Use code
VBANYA10for 10% off
- Wildling Shoes
- Zeazoo Dingo & Yeti – US/Canadians can get the Dingo from Anya’s Shop, or order directly from Zeazoo Kids and get 5% off with code
Most Affordable Warm Barefoot Winter Boots and Shoes
Here are the barefoot winter boots you can find for under $200. For a full list of barefoot shoes under $100, check out my Affordable Barefoot Shoes post.
- Ahinsa ($175) Vegan. Use code ANYASREVIEWS for 10% off.
- Angles Fashion Chelsea Boots ($180). Use code ANYA for 5% off or find Angles fashion at Anya’s Shop
- Be Lenka ($195). Several options under $200, and also available from Anya’s Shop
- Feelgrounds Patrol ($169) – Read my Review here.
- Freet Mudee ($126 after code
AR-10). Read my Freet Review here
- Tadeevo Winter ($142 after code ANYASREVIEWS)
- Magical Shoes ($139 after code ANYA)
- Wildling Shoes ($150)
- Xero Alpine ($160)
- Zeazoo Dingo ($125) US/Canadians can get the Dingo from Anya’s Shop, or get 5% off directly from Zeazoo Kids with code
Tips for Staying Warm in Barefoot Shoes
Even if you don’t have the absolute warmest zero drop winter boots, there are things you can do to make them cozier. I use a combination of all these things through out the cold season.
Depending on how much extra space you have inside your boots, liners can really increase their warmth. Put a warm liner inside a waterproof overshoe and you’ve got yourself warmth, traction, and waterproof-ness (just keep an eye out for the flat options).
- Intuition Denali Liner – This is a very expensive liner, but extremely warm.
- LL Bean Snow Boot Liner
- Fleece Liners
- Rain Boot Liner
My all time favorite trick is to use an insole. Here are a few of my favorite warm insoles that make my regular boots more practical for winter. For more, read this post on barefoot insoles.
- Sheepskin – Takes up lots of space, you may want to size up in your shoes to fit
- Wool – Cut to fit your shoe size!
- Furry (vegan)
- Thermal (vegan) – I don’t find these to be very warm, but if you need vegan they are an option.
- Injinji Wool Toe Socks
Knitido Wool Toe Socks – Use code ANYA20 for 20% off
- ToeToe Wool Toe Socks
- Thick boot socks
- Yoga Stirrup Socks – I use these over my socks almost every day. Knitido (linked above) also sells great ones
- Leg Warmers
- Collonil Carbon Pro
- Sno Seal – Head over to Instagram for a tutorial on waterproofing with Sno Seal
- Aqua Seal – for seams/holes/etc.
100 thoughts on “All Time Warmest Barefoot Winter Boots – Zero Drop, Snow, & Waterproof”
Since you have some influence in the barefoot world please have some one make a really warm boot like Sorels that are lace up in the front with good traction. Thanks! 🙂
I’ll do my best! 😀
Solerunner’s Transition Vario 3?
Thank you for bringing that model to my attention! It looks very intriguing, I am looking into it now.
Any chance of an early review of the Feelgrounds Patrol while the discount is still in place?
Unfortunately not, I’ve already asked and they don’t have any samples to send in advance.
Hi! I am brand new to the world of barefoot footwear. Thank you for this article and the sizing article. Do you have any advice on wearing barefoot shoes with a foot injury and neuroma? Looking for shoes to minimize foot pain and keep my feet warm in New England Temps.
Hi Hailey! I would suggest looking through the Barefoot Shoes FAQ – there are a few about dealing with foot pain and links to additional resources that might be helpful. I don’t have a lot of experience with neuromas, but from what I have heard some cushion can help (you would still be getting all the other benefits of natural footwear). I like NorthSole insoles for that.
Here is the FAQ: https://anyasreviews.com/barefoot-shoes-faq/
I had neuroma pain for several years, before I switched to barefoot-style shoes. The design elements that I believe were most important to resolving my pain were: toe box wide enough to allow my toes to splay fully (pinched toes were pinching the nerves); absolutely no heel lift and no toe spring (raised heels and toes put more weight onto the very place where the neuromas had developed); and finally — no cushioning.
That last element seems strange, but when I was wearing Altra shoes that were zero drop with no toe spring, but had about 3/4 inch cushioned (flat) soles, I still had some pain. When I switched into Unshoes moccasins with no cushion at all, the pain disappeared in less than a week, and has never returned.
I think the reason for this is that my transverse arches were collapsing and putting pressure on the nerves that were affected. Suddenly when they had firm ground to stand on, they sprang up and the pressure was relieved. So sinking into a nice soft cushioned sole was the opposite of what I needed!
Dr. Ray Maclanahan has a couple of good YouTube videos on neuromas and how bad shoes cause them.
I’m wondering if you tested any of the Angles or Davinci boots for traction? I’ve been eyeing them for a while since I find their style more appealing, but can’t find any reviews on that matter.
Thanks in advance.
Hi! I have reviewed Da Vinci, the outsole is ok on ice and snow but not great. It works in a pinch though! I haven’t tried Angles yet, but have two pairs on the way to me now.
Thanks so much, looking forward to reading about Angles!
I cannot tell you how very, VERY helpful these in depth reviews are!! I live on the Michigan/Indiana state line and have a hard time finding boots warm enough for my cold feet that also have traction in snow and ice. Your rating for all the factors is amazing!! THANK YOU! This is my first year in barefoot shoes, so my first venture into boots for the fall/winter/spring, and I needed all the help I could get!
Is there an English version of the Angles website?
If you open it on Google Chrome you should be given the option to translate it to English
Which pair would you put on to play in the snow with your kiddos?? 😄
It would depend on the temperate! I wear my Vivobarefoot Trackers a lot if it’s not too cold (as in not below), but since it often is where I live I wear the Stegers and Manitobah boots pretty often in the snow.
Thank you soo much for all the great information you provide, you have helped me so much in my journey to stronger, healthier feet (and body)!
I have a question about the Manitobah, you say to size down but would you mind sharing your foot measurement or how much space you have according to their sizing chart?
As the sizes are not european and I have found vastly differing conversion tables I am confused as to what would be a size down for me. My feet are about 24,5 and 25,0 and size 9 is listed as 25,5 and size 10 is listed as 26,0. Most of my shoes are around 26 – 26,3 but I don’t have any winter boots yet so not sure if my regular boot size would be 10 or 11. As I live in Sweden it will be very expensive for me to get it wrong, so I am trying to get it as right as I can 🙂
Thank you in advance and keep up the great work!
Best regards Camilla
Hi Camila! My feet measure 23.3 cm long from a foot tracing and I usually buy a size women’s 7 in boots or an EU 37/38. I got a size 6 in Manitobah (which usually translates to a 36 in EU, but not always) and they felt tight at first but feel really spacious now. Hope that helps a little! You might also email in to them and ask for help. Good luck!
Thank you for your review on the tracker by vivobarefoot. It’s good to know that it does well in snow and ice.
would you say the vivobarefoot tracker and the forest tracker both would do well in snow and ice?
also do you have listed your favorite warm insoles and where to find them? would you also say that the xero xcursion could be good for snow and ice if the warmer insole is used?
all my best,
Hi Catherine! In the table of contents you can jump to the section on “Tips for Keeping Warm,” there I list my favorite warm socks and insoles with links. Yes, the Xcursion could be used in those conditions with an insole, but it still won’t be super warm. I used mine in some ice in the spring before it thawed and my feet were kind of cold (but I hadn’t swapped out the insole). The Tracker FG is warmer overall.
Do you think you will be restocking the Zeazoo Dingo in the shop sometime soon?
Yes! They are being made now, the adult Dingos in brown should ship to us quite soon, like this week or maybe next.
Will you be updating this list with the new Be Lenkas? Would love to know how their new ones stack up against the older ones.
Yes I will!! I’m anxious to get those Snowfox boots on my feet (but not anxious for snow…)
Hi Anya, I can’t seem to find the following 3 Be Lenka models at Anya’s Shop: the Snowfox, the Ranger and the Winter. Will they be added (or restocked) soon? On this page it says that you are carrying all 3 this season.
Here are the listings for those products:
Unfortunately the Snowfox was discontinued so we weren’t able to restock that one. I need to update that portion of the article. But the other two we have had in our shop since the fall 🙂
Hello, found you doing a Google search. Amazing, quality review. Thank you. I am traveling to Antarctica in January for three months for work. I’ve been wearing barefoot shoes for many years now and find any shoe that isn’t zero drop kills my feet. However I’m ok with stiff soles. I was hoping there would be a warm, waterproof / snow show that could cope with -10 degrees Celsius that was zero drop. Wondering what you would wear if you were heading there?
Hey, there, thanks! I would still go with Steger for those temps. It’s regularly much colder than that where I live in the winter and I can stay out for long periods of time with warm feet in the Stegers. You might do ok with the new Be Lenka Snowfox, but it’s a brand new style and I haven’t tested it in winter yet so I would be reluctant to recommend it for a big trip like that.
Thank you Anya, you’ve been such a help.
This list is such a helpful resource. Do those Be Lenka Winter boots have a gusseted tongue?
They did not when I wrote this, but they updated them to a 2.0 version this year that I am fairly certain is gusseted to about halfway up the eyelets. We have not yet gotten our Winter boots at Anya’s Shop so I don’t know for sure.
I love your reviews and you have influenced me to go “barefoot!”
Sorry, but the ANYA code at Vivobarefoot didn’t work for me tonight, FYI.
Thanks for everything!
My Vivobarefoot code is actually ANYAVB! I just double checked it and it’s working.
Hi Anya, I find this list really helpful thank you! I suffer from Raynaud’s disease and get chilblains on my feet. I’m soon moving to Norway where the winters are cold and wet and need a really warm pair of waterproof snow boots. Which one would be your first choice? It seems that the Stegers would be good but are they truly waterproof and good to stay out in the snow or even when it rains? Many thanks in advance.
Hi Silvia! The Stegers are definitely the warmest, but they are so warm that I only wear them if it’s below freezing. That means it’s never very wet when I wear them. I did use a waterproofing spray, but haven’t tested it in puddles or rain (my feet would be so hot!). Personally I think the warmest option that’s still fully waterproof is the Be Lenka Winter 2.0. The Zeazoo Dingo’s are also very warm and good for Raynaud’s, but you’d have to really waterproof them (probably a wax based sealant like Sno Seal) to make them functional for rain.
Hi Anya, have you had a chance to try the Be Lenka Snowfox for adults yet? What are your thoughts on them? Many thanks.
Hi Silvia, I haven’t yet. We will be carrying them at Anya’s Shop so I’ll get a chance to try them as soon as they start shipping (hopefully soon).
Thank you for this list! Do you know when you/the BeLenka website will have re-stocked the three different winter boots? They went so quickly! TIA
I don’t know at this time, but we are getting the Snowfox in at Anya’s Shop really soon!
Hi Anya! This list is so helpful. I am transitioning to barefoot shoes, and I’m wondering which of these warm boots might be best for a beginner. Thank you!!!!
Hi Anna! A lot of these will work for a beginner since most of the warmest options have a thicker sole. Steger Mukluks come with a thick felt insole, and the Softstar Phoenix is another option with a moderately thick sole. Those would be two good choices if you want something a little more substantial to start with.
I have one more question. It looks like Steger Mukluks are all “slip on” and do not have zippers. Are they hard to get on and off? I have never had a boot that does not have a zipper! Thank you. Love your website so much.
You do need to have enough ankle range of motion to point your foot to get it inside. But they’re not difficult otherwise! I have ones that tie so it takes a little extra time to do that.
Hi Anya, questions re: the Manitobah mukluks. 1) Do you still wear them? Curious about their longevity / the lining squishing down with use. 2) I just received a pair and when I look at the width of the sole, it’s even more narrow than my current non barefoot pair. You mentioned they do stretch to allow toe wiggle room, but did you find the sole was sufficient for long walks? I followed their size chart and ordered a 6 (typically a size 7). My toes are touching the top of the shoe without any socks. Was that your experience when you first got them?
I actually tried two different models. The first one I go was the waterproof Tamarack and they felt way too squishy. I returned them. The second was the pair shown in this post, that still felt tight but was a lot softer. It took a handful of wears but the toe box opened up a lot, both in width and in height. The sole thickness feels great for long walks, but they never widened to be as wide as my Stegers. I still like them a lot, they are soooo soft. But a year later I do wish there was a smidge more toe space.
Hello from Spain!
I live in a cold area where we reach -10 C and I am a cold feet person =). I am interested in Be lenka ranger boots. Do you think they will be warm enough?
Thank you for your precious work and info.
Hello fellow cold feet person! Personally, my feet would be a little cold in the Rangers in those temps if I was outside for a long time. The Be Lenka Snowfox is much better for temps that low in my opinion. But you could get by in the Rangers if you swapped the insole out for a sheepskin one and had warm socks.
Maybe I exaggerated a little bit, probably the winter temperature ir closer to 0 C. I have the Scott by Vivobarefoot and my feet get cold, do you think the Rangers by Be lenka are warmer? Thank you again!
The Rangers are warmer than the Vivo Scott. I find that the Vivobarefoot thermal insoles just aren’t very warm! But the Rangers are warmer overall, even in the upper.
Do you think you could do an in depth review on the “Steger Mukluks boots” pretty please? They seem to be the ideal winter boot! I tried looking for more information on these boots but sadly the website doesn’t really say much or show the shoe at different angles. So bummed 🙁 I also wanted to thank you for everything you’ve done here I TRULY appreciate it all! I really hope these boots are the ones! Thank you kindly happy holidays!!!
Hi Anya! I’m wondering if you’re suggesting to wear a liner with only a waterproof overshoe (minus the regular shoe in between.) I’m thinking of trying that. I can’t seem to load the Neos page from your link but I did find a pair of Stealth Angels in a google search that look promising. Thank you for your awesome work! Laura
Yes, that’s exactly what I’m suggesting! I haven’t tried it myself but have heard from several readers that it acts as a fully functional shoe even without any actual boot in there. I’ll check the link and see if I can figure it out.
Hi Anya! ♡
Quick questions about the steger mukluks!
What is the internal length and width of the ladies 7w queticotall boots you have?
And what is the length and width of the boot externally?
Does it come with a liner for the inside?
Do they stretch and get wider?
My shoe size is a woman’s 8 but sometimes can fit a 7.5.
My foot measures 9.5 inches length and 3 3/4 inches width which size should I get for the same style boots you have?
(I have mountain shape foot and high volume)
Sorry for all these questions I desperately need warm barefoot boots lol
Thank you kindly 😊
I would give them a call directly! They can give you the length and width of the boots and were really helpful. They did become roomier inside as the wool tamped down, but not a ton roomier. At first they felt snug, and now are perfect. Should be great for mountain shape and high volume!
Hi there, thanks so much for this wonderful website. I’ve spent a very long time pouring over your reviews to figure out the best boot for my foot and locale.
Our most common winter pattern that causes me to reach for boots is to have wild fluctuations – in the 30s/40s for a day or two and then single digits with snow/ice for a day or two and repeat. This creates trails that are part mud, part slush, part melted but refrozen, and part never melted, all depending on how the sun hits that spot on the trail. I like to hike on hilly trails, so traction is kind of important too. And I get cold feet easily, so I like warmth.
How do you think the Steger Mukluks hold up in these conditions? I’ve read some reviews that suggest they’re best for truly cold weather when the snow won’t melt; that they don’t hold their own against this messy slushy stuff we have. But I read one reviewer that seemed pretty happy with them even in slushy/muddy conditions.
I’ve also considered the Softstar Switchback and the Be Lenka Snowfox. I’m nervous that the Snowfox might not be boxy enough at the pinky or wide enough. I’m nervous that the Switchback might not be warm enough or hold its own in slush. I’m also on a pretty tight budget, generally, so paying these prices is a fairly big sacrifice/commitment that I want to get right.
For shape reference: with socks I’m a solid 10.16cm wide but only 22.38 long. Square shape toes. Softstar Primals are the only shoes my feet like. I’m a little wider than they are, but the leather stretches and it’s the best option I’ve found so far. When I called Steger they told me their double-wide size 5 would probably stretch to almost my width (0.1 cm shy of the goal width) which I thought sounded liveable. I’d love to here your thoughts and advice, even if there are models I’ve missed that I should consider. Thanks in advance!
Hi Susie! The Softstar Switchback sounds like the best bet for your foot type, since you already love the Primals and there aren’t any other boots with quite that much toe space. The Be Lenka Snowfox is a fairly close second in width and is warmer and more waterproof than the Switchbacks (because the Switchbacks don’t have a gusseted tongue). If I were living in those temps and conditions and fit comfortably in all 3 options, I’d choose the Snowfox. I haven’t worn my Stegers in slushy conditions because they’re so warm, I really only reach for them if it’s COLD COLD with everything frozen solid. I found the traction to be excellent on ice, but can’t speak to wet slush.
Thank you so much for that feedback! It is so very helpful. Though I wish desperately that I could walk into a brick and mortar store and try all of the minimal footwear on whenever I wished, having help like this is the next best thing. I truly appreciate your work!
I’m currently at a loss for finding the right winter boot. I need one in stock for my work and Steger is on a 12 week waiting period. I need a boot that can hold up to me walking in high snow, icy surfaces, up hill and down hill, off trail into brush, and slushy weather. I work in natural resources so I’m all over the place outside, so something that doesn’t snag burs/seeds (no fluff or soft fabrics) and holds up to scrapes against twigs and thorns every so often.
I was thinking of getting the vivobare HI FG and getting a thick insole to help it last for low temps -15 F and slush. Or maybe a BeLenka Snowfox. I expect to get Arctic Steger next year when they are in stock but need something now that hopefully can be used for winter and slushy weather. What would you suggest for my needs? I hope to use them for trail hiking, snowshoeing, icy walks (with yaktraks), slushy cold, and off trail brush hiking.
I think the Snowfox and Hi FG both would be good. Also the Sole Runner Transition Vario 3 and the Xero Shoes Alpine would fit the bill. I have been loving the Snowfox and if it were me I’d probably pick that one.
This has been so helpful!
I got the wool insoles you can cut to shape for both my current barefoot sneakers and to put them into a new pair of barefoot winter boots I want to buy.
One issue that happens with the boots: with the insole in, my toes don’t have enough space anymore. My feet are low volume, so I have plenty of space everywhere else. But my toes feel squished. How do you solve that? Do they just have to be walked in? Do I need to size up?
Hey Amanda! Some shoes don’t work well with extra insoles because it pushes your whole foot up. If the shoe and insole is brand new then you likely will get a little bit more space over time as the wool tamps down and the toe box loosens. Otherwise you would need a thinner insole.
I urgently need warm and waterproof winter boots for the bitter snowy slushy CT winter. I just transitioned to barefoot shoes and didn’t get anything for the winter in time.
My Lems size is women’s 11.5 (Primal 2), and Vivibarefoot is women’s 11.5.
However, when I measure the size for BeLenka winter boot (27cm long 11 cm wide) I am not on the chart.
Can you please help recommend what is the waterproof, good grip, WARM wide boot. I am walking my dog all times of day all kinds of nasty weather and want the boots to work without worry and fit.
Thank you so much!
I would check out the Winter 2.0 from Be Lenka. It goes up to an EU 47. My guess is you’d be an EU 44. They are really practical for cold and slush, I wear mine in the snow a lot.
P.S. added to above question I forgot to mention I also wear Softstar MaryJane’s in 10 narrow (they fit like nice boats for me!).
Do you know – Is the Winter 2.0 from Be Lenka discontinued, or have they just not come out with a 2022 version yet?
It just hasn’t been restocked for 2022! There will be some slight changes to it this year, but overall the same. We’re just starting to get our Be Lenka boot inventory in at Anya’s Shop, it’s coming in one style at a time! And the lined winter boots will be after the lighter autumn boots.
One more question 😆 Do you have a Be Lenka Snowfox review somewhere? I’ve searched but didn’t see anything, but saw your comment in Jan that you were “living in them” 😊 An in depth review would be fantastic!
I didn’t write an in-depth review, and they are actually being discontinued for adults :/ so whatever is available now is all there is. They will be restocking a new snow boot style later on (in addition to the Winter), but I haven’t seen it in person yet. It won’t be as tall, so my guess is the Winter will be better for snow.
Hi thanks!! Do the Wildling have good traction for you in snow/icy conditions?
For me, I feel really stable in Wildlings in snow and ice. But that’s more because they have such good ground feel and flexibility. The soles themselves, while not slick, are not super grippy.
Anya, love your website! I am a farmer, I do a lot of outside work in the cold Wisconsin winters. Thanks for the reviews. Bob
So thankful for your website, I check it almost daily 🙂
Wondering how you find the sole shape of the Steger boots? The toe area looks so rounded and I’d hate for them to make my bunions worse as that’s one of the main things I’m hoping to fix! My feet are square shaped, 10″x4″. I’ve tried Manitobah Mukluks 3 times over the years and returned them due to being too narrow and causing bunion pain. Do you think the Steger’s would feel similar or does the extra width help the toe area a lot? Need lots of warmth, width and waterproofing for Canadian winters.
Would love your opinion/advice! Thanks
Hi Diane! The Stegers in wide width are much roomier than Manitobah. I found that my Stegers felt a little tight overall in the foot at first, but the wool gets more compact with wear and they are now very roomy for me – I wear thick socks with them and still have enough space for toe splay. If you fit into men’s sizes, you could also try men’s wide, which is essentially double wide.
The smallest men’s size is too long for me but with the wool compacting it sounds like a women’s double wide should work! Thank you 🙂
Hey! Wondering if the Steger Mukluks have a good sized toe box/space for proper toe splay?
If you get the wide width, then yes. And if you are extra wide you can get Wide in Men’s sizes (which is essentially double wide). The wool tamps down as well so they end up being pretty wide in the forefoot.
I sized down for my recent purchase of the Manitobah short wraps. My toe touches the end of the boot, but it is not squished or painful. The website says this is normal but is this still the right fit for a barefoot fit? I’m nervous to size up because the ankles fit me the same way they seem to fit you.
Yeah, that’s consistent with my experience. They did indeed open up a lot. Still not really wide across the toes, but I’m glad I didn’t size up.
I love your site and have been loving my Belenka Winter boots for the last couple of years, thanks to your recommendation. Now I’m looking for something else – and I’m curious about what you prefer between the Belenka Snowfox and the Xero Alpine. I looked for a comparison here, but didn’t find one. I’m also wondering between Lem’s Outlander and Belenka Ranger. Basically, I use my Belenka Winter for work and outing, but I need something to play in the snow and/or do some wintery work/hikes and I’m debating between these. Or is the Lem’s Boulder boot something that would be good both for snow and winter work/hike ? Thank you for any help! I live in Utah. Happy Monday!
For me the Be Lenka Snowfox and Ranger are the best options. The Xero Alpine is a great boot, but it has a high volume, Wide Straight fit. My feet are low volume and fan shaped, and that matches the Snowfox fit much better. The Lems Outlander isn’t a true barefoot boot, it has a slight heel rise and the toe box is not as generous as their Boulder boots line. I do like the Boulder boot, but the Ranger functions better for hiking and icy/snowy conditions.
Thank you so much! I’ve been so pleased with Belenka that I’m stoked to get more from them. Hug of gratitude!
Hi again Anya,
Two more questions before I make my final move. Your store is sold out of the Snowfox – do you have an anticipated re-stock date? Just curious before I buy directly from Europe. And, sizing-wise: would you get the same size as your winter boot? I got a 38 for Belenka Winter Boot a couple of years ago, and it’s perfect. Stick with that, for both the Ranger and the Snowfox?
Thank you muchly!
– marta 🙂
Unfortunately the Snowfox isn’t being restocked, they aren’t going to keep making it. 🙁 I think the Winter feels a little bit more snug than the Snowfox, but I wear the same size in all 3 of those. It’s just the Winter I felt I had to break in a little more.
Wanted to add a snow boot that served me well backpacking in Maine in the winter- Vasque Women’s Lost 40 Snow Sneaker- barefoot friendly, super warm and waterproof
Thank you Haley!
I need to find a pair of warm zero drop winter boots that are good on ice and in snow. I have Xero’s alpine which are warm but not good on icy sidewalks. Also, the largest women’s size is 11, which feels a bit short for me. In addition, I have Morton’s neuroma on one foot and another type of metatarsal problem on the other. I have found a size 12 Altra Rivera shoe to be perfect for these conditions, as I have a narrow foot and it allows for enough toe length and width. I live in Mn. where the temp. can be very cold. I am looking for a boot to walk in on pavement, not do hiking etc. Please suggest what you think might work for me. thank you
Be Lenka Winter seems like a good option meeting those requirements. They do fit snugly because of the warm lining so you probably want to size up.
Question re: Crampons for ice
Hi, Anya! Thanks for the great info!!!
Hey, I am in frigid Minnesota looking for manageable, affordable crampons to avoid slipping on the ice. Slipped last year and still experiencing hip pain from my fall, though I ended up jogging after the fall to get to my destination. So, the YakTraks apparently have taken a dive in quality, and I’m wondering if you have updated recommendations. Thanks!
Here are the critical reviews on Amazon for the YakTraks. https://www.amazon.com/Yaktrax-Traction-Cleats-Walking-Jogging/product-reviews/B0094GO6ZG/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_viewpnt_rgt?ie=UTF8&reviewerType=all_reviews&filterByStar=critical&pageNumber=1
Hmmm, the YakTrax are the only ones I’ve tried. They do the job for me. So unfortunately I don’t have another recommendation.
Hi Anaya, love your site and have made so many purchase decisions from your reviews. I have a question about the Steger Mukluk sizing. I haven’t been able to figure out what width I need. I imagine wide or double wide just because I’m used to barefoot shoes, but at the same time I don’t want to be swimming in them. For reference The boulder boot (size 12) fits my forefoot well,i have a really skinny heel so they’re a little wide in the back, but still work fine. My foot type is Roman/Mountain, so I’ve typically had to size up to a 12 so my 2nd or 3rd toe doesn’t hit the end of the shoe. Also i plan on wearing thick wool socks with these as well. Any suggestions? Thanks
I would guess just wide in that case (if the Boulder boot works for your width). Stegers are very rounded in the toe so work well for Mountain too. But you can always call them and ask them for the exact measurements of the sizes you’re considering!
Hey Andrea. Kahtoola microspikes or hillsounds are better than Yaktrax for traction on ice. Yaktrax better for snow and slush.
I am looking for a rugged outdoor boot that is built to minimalist standards (preferably true zero drop) with a wide toe box. Russell Moccasins used to make a custom minimalist boot on the Munson Army last, and you could get it with zero drop. Unfortunately, they were bought out and now the custom boots are 3X the cost ($1500). There is about zero chance I could get $1500 worth of wear out of a pair of boots. Do you know of any custom boot makers that would take on this challenge without costing me one of my legs?
Hey Bill, if you are looking for fully custom and rugged for heavy outdoor use it will likely be a lot. Gaucho Ninja is another that comes to mine, but very pricey. A couple other significantly cheaper options that might work for you are No(n)s boots – they don’t do bespoke shoes, but they offers many customizations in different areas of the shoes and a few models are pretty heavy duty, like the the Wanderer Boots. Another option that is custom cut, but not as heavy duty is this Yean boot from Jenon Leather. And finally, not custom but a really great outdoor boot with a wide toe box, the Softstar Switchback boot.
Hi- which would you recommend for hiking (easy to hard hikes) and everyday winter boot (shoveling snow, walking around town) down to 0F if not the vivobarefoot? (I saw comments on your standalone review of the vivobarefoot about them not lasting very long and being uncomfortable on the heel; heel/achilles rubbing has been an issue for me with other non-barefoot winter boots when the leather bends in or slides at the achilles). Manitobah looks like they don’t carry the short wrap anymore. My main concern is for them to be really warm, and snug (no sliding or excessive creasing that presses in on the foot). Good traction too, so that rules out the xero for me, but if I expect it to be very icy or slippery out for a hike I’ll bring microspikes. I think that leaves the Steger and Sofstars; would those be ok for a serious all-day winter hike? I wasn’t really clear from how you described the traction and fit. For the Be Lenka Winters they seem like they’re not really made for winter hiking though could probably make do, and for the Polaris I’m worried about them not being snug.
Thanks so much for any clarification you can provide!
Hi Irene! The Be Lenka Winter boots on the newer rugged outsole would be a great choice for an all day winter hike. They have laces so you can customize the fit, and have a really warm lining. Steger is absolutely the warmest, and whether or not they’ll fit you snugly will depend on your foot shape/volume/size. They are designed for serious winter expeditions and can probably handle anything you want. The models with the wrapping straps will assist you in getting a secure fit. Softstars are really soft, but they aren’t waterproof if that’s important to you.
Your site is SO HELPFUL. Can you clarify what you mean when you tell us to “size up?” Many of the sizing guides of the brands you recommend also tell us to “size up” — that is, add 0.5 mm to 15 mm to our foot length. Is your “sizing up” in addition to that? Or maybe you mean choose a size adding closer to the 15 mm they recommend?
Keep up the great work! I just ordered a pair of Be Lenka Polaris from your shop!
Hi Jill! I mean choosing a size closer to the extra 15mm range. So if you were to measure your feet and compare it to the size chart, adding 1cm is standard for choosing your size. I consider sizing up to be adding 15-20mm to your foot length, which should work out to be one size bigger than what most brand’s size charts would recommend. Or, if you have tried a number of barefoot shoes already and have an idea of what your typical size is, you could just pick one larger than that.