Researchers in Toronto put snow and ice boots to the test every year—these are some of the top performers that you can buy right now.

By Lauren Phillips
November 01, 2019
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
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If you live in a colder climate, you know the importance of finding the best snow boots and trustworthy boots for ice. That knowledge isn’t much help, though, when you’re facing near-endless snow boot options. (And you thought wearing ankle boots with a dress was tricky.) And with winter coming fast, you’re going to want great shoes that will protect you from cold toes and slipping on ice alike sooner rather than later.

Fortunately, you don’t have to sift through option after option and hope for the best. (Hope isn’t much help after you’ve slipped on a patch of ice in your not-as-great-as-expected boots.) Researchers at iDAPT, the research arm of the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute – University Health Network in Toronto, perform comprehensive tests on top snow and ice boots to determine which boots are capable of reducing your risk of slipping and falling on ice in harsh winter conditions.

iDAPT tests shoes by having researchers and test subjects walk across an ice floor while observers slowly increase the angle in what they call the Maximum Achievable Angle Test. The floor is tilted until the subject slips; the angle before the slippage occurs is the Maximum Achievable Angle (MAA) for that pair of shoes and is scored on a range of one to 15. Any shoes that earn an MAA score lower than seven get no accolades; anything higher earns one, two, or three snowflakes, with three being the very best. iDAPT tests shoes on upward and downward slopes and cold ice and wet ice conditions, so if they give a pair of shoes a snowflake, you can be sure they’ll greatly reduce your chance of slipping.

The highest score given this year so far has been one snowflake. For women’s casual footwear—aka not metal studded or spiked shoes or over-shoe traction aids—we went through their top performing shoes to pull out options currently available for purchase, so you can gird your toes before winter truly hits. (In most regions, of course; some places have already experienced snow and ice this year.)

While iDAPT tests for slippage, you can be sure these shoes will keep your toes warm, too; if you want the warmest snow boots possible, you might want to look elsewhere, but if you’re concerned about slipping this winter—iDAPT says more people fall during the winter than any other season, which surely can’t help with the winter blues—these boots can help and keep your feet pretty comfortable at the same time. We picked seven top-performing snow and ice boots that are currently available for purchase from iDAPT’s ranking. All earned an MAA score of seven or higher, and all are approved for wet and cold ice. Read on to see them and find buying links—you can thank us (and iDAPT, of course) after your slip-free winter.

The best boots for snow and ice for women

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1
Denver Hayes Women’s ICEFX HD3 Waterproof Winter Boots

MAA Score: 9

To buy: $120; marks.com.

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2
Merrell Tremblant Ezra Lace Waterproof Ice+

MAA Score: 9

To buy: From $116; amazon.com.

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3
Windriver Women’s Ice Queen ICEFX Mid Winter Boots

MAA Score: 8

To buy: $135; marks.com.

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4
Windriver Women’s Peak HD3 Waterproof Winter Hikers

MAA Score: 8

To buy: $112; marks.com.

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5
Merrell Women’s Aurora Tall Ice Plus Waterproof Snow Boot

MAA Score: 8

To buy: $160; amazon.com.

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6
Merrell Women’s Icepack Lace Up Polar Waterproof Winter Boot

MAA Score: 8

To buy: $150; amazon.com.

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7
Windriver Women’s Fernie Winter Boots

MAA Score: 7

To buy: $127; marks.com.

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