Baby it’s cold outside: The best winter boots of the season

Mhairi Mann

10 December 2021

From snug and sturdy to pulse-racing party styles, there is a boot to suit every mood this season

10 December 2021 | Mhairi Mann

The temperature has officially dropped – but don’t let your sartorial standards slip too. After a year spent in slippers, step out this winter in a pair of hardworking boots that merge fashion and function – from fuzzy, shearling-lined styles to chunky combat silhouettes. For those seeking frivolity, gear up for the party season with fabulously impractical killer heels, shimmering metallics and glittering embellishments. Here's our guide to the best women's winter boots for 2021.

The lug boot

From left: Lug boot by Bottega Veneta, £810, matchesfashion.com; Chelsea boot with vintage check by Burberry, £590, burberry.com; Leather Lug boot, £209, essenthelabel.com

A chunky rubber lug sole is the anti-fashion footwear trend that isn’t abating. The question is, what level of lug will you go? The fully committed are stomping around in Bottega Veneta’s Chelsea boot, set on a chunky rubber sole and available in a range of neutral colourways. Elsewhere, ESSĒN’s weather-resistant styles are designed in Melbourne and sustainably made in small batches in Italy.

The shearling booties

From top left: Ona Plus Conquest boot by Sorel, £115, net-a-porter.com; St Moritz boot by Bogner, £400, net-a-porter.com; Alaska boots by Gianvito Rossi, £935, matchesfashion.com

Lockdown may be over, but the park walks continue as the majority of us aim to get our steps in each weekend. Ward off the winter chill in a pair of toasty, shearling-lined boots by Sorel, Grenson or Bogner, which are ideal for tucking your favourite joggers into on a Saturday morning. For those heading somewhere more upmarket than the local park, try Gianvito Rossi’s Alaska boots – a sturdy, snug and unexpectedly sexy option, that wouldn’t look out of place at Claridge’s.

The knee-high boots

Holly crystal-embellished boots, £2,080; Slouchy-design leather boots, £633; Knee-high boots, £530, all Paris Texas, farfetch.com

Endorsed by Gigi Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski and many an Instagram influencer, Paris Texas is chief purveyor of the knee-high boot. These babies are long, glossy, expensive and ready for a good time. Select from buttery soft leather, metallic python print or high voltage crystal-studded styles. Elsewhere, Stuart Weitzman’s sleek designs are timeless, elegant and endlessly practical, in smooth suede and leather.

The Western boot

From top left: Embroidered ankle boots by Miu Miu, £795, net-a-porter.com; Lamsy boot by Isabel Marant, farfetch.com; Wesley boots by Free People, £228, freepeople.com 

Both romantic and rebellious, the rootin’, tootin’ western silhouette continues to hold court this season. Isabel Marant offers an array of styles that vary in formality, including its signature Lamsy boot with a metal toe. Meanwhile, Miu Miu’s typically playful take on the trend includes star-shaped embellishments and contrasting trims. At a lower price point, Free People is the queen of the rodeo when it comes to cowboy boots, including its hard-wearing Wesley boot, available in an uplifting spectrum of colours.

Read more: The best women's jumpers for winter