Best Hiking Boots for Ice – 5 Expert Guide

Are you prepared to conquer frosty terrains with expertise? When trekking in frigid temperatures and treacherous icy landscapes, having appropriate footwear is crucial.

You require gear that ensures warmth for your feet and delivers the necessary traction and stability to confidently navigate through icy trails. This is where the best hiking boots for ice come into play.

These boots are meticulously crafted to tackle icy challenges head-on, empowering you to explore winter wonderlands easily. So, fasten your bootlaces and journey to discover the top selections that will keep you steady and secure during your chilly adventures.

Top Picks for Best Hiking Boots for Ice

1. Sperry Men’s Storm Hiker Snow Boot


  • Cushioned insole for enhanced comfort
  • Durable leather and synthetic upper
  • Rugged rubber outsole for excellent traction
  • Padded collar and tongue for reduced friction
  • Fashionable brown color scheme
  • Hiker-inspired silhouette for ankle support
  • Water-resistant materials for light rain protection
  • Traditional lace-up closure for a secure fit
  • Versatile design suitable for various activities

The Sperry Striper Storm Hiker Brown is a versatile footwear option for comfort, durability, and style. Whether exploring the great outdoors or strolling through the city streets, these shoes aim to provide a reliable and fashionable solution for your feet.


With a focus on comfort, the Sperry Striper Storm Hiker Brown features a cushioned insole that provides a soft and supportive feel with each step. The insole minimizes fatigue, allowing you to stay on your feet for extended periods without discomfort. The shoes also incorporate a padded collar and tongue, enhancing overall comfort by reducing friction and preventing chafing.


These shoes are constructed using high-quality materials to withstand various weather conditions and terrains. The upper is crafted from a combination of durable leather and synthetic materials, offering a balance between toughness and flexibility. Additionally, the outsole is made from rugged rubber, providing excellent traction and resistance to abrasion. This ensures the shoes endure challenging outdoor environments and maintain their integrity over time.


The fashionable design of the Sperry Striper Storm Hiker Brown blends classic and modern aesthetics. The brown color scheme adds a touch of sophistication and versatility, allowing these shoes to complement a wide range of outfits. The hiker-inspired silhouette contributes to their stylish appearance and offers ankle support and stability, making them suitable for various activities.

Weather Protection

These shoes are equipped with features to help protect your feet from the elements. The upper incorporates water-resistant materials, guarding against moisture and keeping your feet dry in light rain or wet conditions. This feature is handy during outdoor adventures or when traversing unpredictable weather conditions. However, it’s important to note that these shoes are not designed for heavy rain or immersion in water.

Closure System

The Sperry Striper Storm Hiker Brown utilizes a traditional lace-up closure system, allowing you to adjust the fit according to your preference. This ensures a secure and personalized fit, enhancing both comfort and stability.


Thanks to their versatile design, these shoes are suitable for various occasions. Whether hiking on trails, exploring urban environments, or running errands, the Sperry Striper Storm Hiker Brown offers the versatility to handle different activities while maintaining comfort and style.

  • Comfortable and supportive insole for all-day wear
  • Durable construction that withstands outdoor activities
  • Excellent traction on various terrains
  • Stylish design that complements different outfits
  • Provides ankle support for added stability
  • The water-resistant upper keeps feet dry in light rain
  • Versatile for both outdoor adventures and casual wear
  • It may require some break-in time for optimal comfort
  • Water resistance may not be suitable for heavy rain or immersion
  • Sizing may run slightly small or narrow for some users
  • Heavier compared to lightweight hiking shoe options
  • Limited color options for personal preference


2. THE NORTH FACE Vectiv Eminus


  • Insulated Futurelight technology for waterproofness, breathability, and lightweight insulation
  • Lightweight and durable construction
  • Responsive and supportive cushioning
  • Vibram Megagrip outsole for exceptional traction
  • Padded collar and tongue for all-day comfort
  • Moisture-wicking interior lining
  • Secure and adjustable lace-up system
  • Reflective details for enhanced visibility in low-light conditions

The North Face Vectiv Fastpack Insulated Futurelight is a high-performance running shoe designed for outdoor enthusiasts seeking warmth, comfort, and protection during cold weather conditions. This shoe incorporates several innovative features that enhance performance and ensure a comfortable experience. 

Insulated Futurelight Technology

The Vectiv Fastpack Insulated Futurelight utilizes the advanced Insulated Futurelight technology, which combines waterproofness, breathability, and lightweight insulation. This technology creates a barrier against water, snow, and cold temperatures, keeping your feet dry and warm in challenging weather conditions.

Lightweight and Durable Construction

Constructed with lightweight materials, this shoe comfortably fits without sacrificing durability. The upper portion is a robust yet breathable fabric that offers excellent flexibility, allowing for natural movement while maintaining the shoe’s structural integrity.

Vibram Megagrip Outsole

Equipped with a Vibram Megagrip outsole, this shoe offers exceptional traction and grip on wet and dry surfaces. The specially designed lugs on the outsole provide stability and prevent slippage, allowing you to tackle rugged trails and uneven terrains confidently.

All-Day Comfort

The North Face understands the importance of all-day comfort, especially during outdoor activities. The Vectiv Fastpack Insulated Futurelight features a padded collar and tongue, providing cushioning and support around the ankle area. The shoe’s interior is also lined with a soft and moisture-wicking fabric that keeps your feet dry and comfortable throughout your adventures.

Secure and Adjustable Fit

This shoe incorporates a traditional lace-up system to ensure a secure and adjustable fit. You can easily customize the tightness according to your preference, providing a snug fit that minimizes movement within the shoe and reduces the risk of blisters or discomfort.

Reflective Details for Enhanced Visibility

Safety is paramount during outdoor activities, especially in low-light conditions. The Vectiv Fastpack Insulated Futurelight includes reflective details on its upper, enhancing your visibility to others and increasing overall safety while running or hiking in darker environments.

  • Excellent insulation and protection against cold weather
  • Waterproof and breathable technology keeps feet dry and comfortable
  • Lightweight construction for enhanced mobility
  • Responsive cushioning for reduced fatigue and increased comfort
  • Durable materials for long-lasting performance
  • Superior traction on various terrains
  • Adjustable fit for personalized comfort
  • May be expensive compared to other running shoes
  • Limited color options are available
  • Some users may find the sizing to be inconsistent
  • It may take some time to break in and adjust to the shoe’s fit
  • Not suitable for warmer climates due to the insulation



3. Merrell Moab Speed Thermo Mid WP 


  • Waterproof construction
  • Composite toe protection
  • Breathable and insulated
  • Durable and traction-enhancing outsole
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Lace-up closure and ankle support
  • Stylish design

The Merrell Moab Speed Thermo Mid WP is a pair of versatile and waterproof hiking boots designed to provide comfort, protection, and durability during outdoor adventures. These boots suit various activities, including hiking, trekking, and walking on challenging terrains. 

Composite Toe Protection

These boots feature a composite toe cap that provides added toe protection. The composite toe is lighter than traditional steel toes, offering excellent impact resistance. This feature makes the Moab Speed Thermo Mid WP boots suitable for environments where toe protection is necessary, such as construction sites or rugged terrains.

Breathable and Insulated

To enhance comfort, the boots are designed with breathability in mind. The upper material allows airflow, preventing your feet from becoming excessively sweaty and uncomfortable. Additionally, the boots are insulated, which helps keep your feet warm during colder weather conditions, making them suitable for year-round outdoor activities.

Durable and Traction-Enhancing Outsole

The outsole of the Moab Speed Thermo Mid WP boots is made from high-quality rubber, providing excellent durability and traction. This feature ensures a firm grip on various surfaces, such as rocks, muddy trails, and slippery terrain, enhancing stability and reducing the risk of slipping or falling.

Lightweight and Comfortable

Despite their rugged design, the Moab Speed Thermo Mid WP boots are lightweight and designed for comfort. The shoes feature cushioning and padding in the right places, providing support and reducing fatigue during long hikes. The lightweight construction also helps improve agility and maneuverability on the trail.

Lace-up Closure and Ankle Support

This feature ensures a secure and customized fit, reducing the chances of blisters or discomfort. Additionally, the mid-top design offers ankle support, minimizing the risk of twists or sprains while providing stability on uneven terrain.

Stylish Design

In addition to their functional features, the Moab Speed Thermo Mid WP boots have a stylish and modern design. The black color with contrasting details gives the shoes a sleek and contemporary look, making them suitable for outdoor adventures and casual wear.

  • Excellent waterproofing keeps feet dry in wet conditions
  • Composite toe protection provides safety without the weight of steel toes
  • Good insulation keeps feet warm in colder weather
  • Durable construction withstands rugged terrains and tough use
  • The grippy outsole offers solid traction on various surfaces
  • Lightweight design reduces fatigue during long hikes
  • Comfortable cushioning and padding for all-day wear
  • Some users found the boots to be slightly narrow in the toe area
  • A few users reported that the shoes required a break-in period for optimal comfort
  • Limited color options are available



4. SCARPA Rush Polar GTX Waterproof Gore-Tex


  • Waterproof Gore-Tex construction
  • Synthetic insulation for warmth
  • Durable and protective materials
  • Reinforced toe caps and heel counters
  • Comfortable cushioning and shock absorption
  • Removable insole for customization
  • Supportive shank or arch support
  • Excellent grip and traction with multi-directional lugs
  • Suitable for hiking, trekking, and camping
  • Reliable performance in various outdoor conditions

The Waterproof Gore-Tex Synthetic Insulated Trekking Boots are a reliable and durable footwear option designed for outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers. These boots combine advanced technologies and materials to provide comfort, protection, and support during various outdoor activities, such as hiking, trekking, and camping. 

Insulation for Warmth

These trekking boots are equipped with insulation to keep your feet warm and comfortable in colder temperatures. The synthetic insulation material used in the boots provides excellent thermal properties, helping to retain body heat and protect your feet from the cold. This feature is particularly beneficial for winter treks or hiking in cold environments.

Durable and Protective

The boots are built to withstand rugged terrains and harsh outdoor conditions. The synthetic materials used in their construction offer durability, ensuring the shoes can handle the demands of challenging trails and rough environments. Additionally, the boots feature reinforced toe caps and heel counters, providing extra protection against impacts and abrasions.

Comfort and Support

To enhance comfort and support, these trekking boots incorporate various design elements. The midsole of the boots is designed to provide cushioning and shock absorption, reducing the strain on your feet during long walks or hikes. The insole is often removable, allowing you to customize the fit or use your own orthotic inserts if desired. The boots also feature a supportive shank or arch support to help maintain proper foot alignment and reduce fatigue.

Grip and Traction

The outsole of these boots is engineered to deliver excellent grip and traction on various surfaces. The rubber outsole is designed with multi-directional lugs or treads, providing a firm grip on slippery or uneven terrain. This feature ensures stability and minimizes the risk of slips or falls, allowing you to navigate different trails and environments confidently.

  • Excellent waterproofing, keeping feet dry in wet conditions.
  • Effective insulation for warmth in colder temperatures.
  • Durable construction that withstands rugged terrains.
  • Toe caps and heel counters provide additional protection.
  • Comfortable cushioning and shock absorption for long hikes.
  • Versatile for various outdoor activities like hiking and trekking.
  • Reliable traction and grip on different surfaces.
  • Good arch support for reduced foot fatigue. Easy to clean and maintain.
  • Some users may find the boots to be heavy.
  • Sizing can be tricky, so it’s recommended to carefully check the size chart.
  • A break-in period may be required for optimal comfort. T
  • he boots may not be suitable for extremely hot or humid conditions.
  • The price point may be higher compared to other trekking boot options.
  • Style and aesthetics may not be to everyone’s preference.



5. KEEN Men’s Circadia mid Height Polar Hiking Boots


  • Mid-height design for ankle support and stability.
  • Waterproof construction with leather and textile materials.
  • Insulated for warmth in colder climates.
  • All-terrain traction with multi-directional lugs on the outsole.
  • Reinforced rubber toe cap for toe protection.
  • Cushioned footbed for comfort and shock absorption.
  • Easy lace system for quick adjustments.

The KEEN Men’s Circadia Mid-Height Polar Hiking Boot is designed to provide exceptional comfort, durability, and protection for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re embarking on a challenging hike or exploring rough terrains, these boots are built to keep your feet supported and protected. 

Mid-Height Design

The Circadia Hiking Boot features a mid-height design, providing ankle support and stability. This design is particularly beneficial when traversing uneven surfaces and tackling steep trails, as it helps reduce the risk of ankle injuries and offers added protection.

Waterproof Construction

One of the key features of these boots is their waterproof construction. Made with a combination of waterproof leather and textile materials, they are engineered to keep your feet dry in wet and rainy conditions. This allows you to trek confidently through puddles, streams, and muddy terrains without worrying about water seeping into your boots.

Warm and Insulated

To keep your feet warm in colder climates, the Circadia Hiking Boot features insulation. This insulation helps to retain heat within the boots, providing necessary warmth during chilly hikes and winter adventures. You can rely on these boots to keep your feet cozy and comfortable in colder temperatures.

All-Terrain Traction

The outsole of these boots is designed to deliver exceptional traction on various terrains. The multi-directional lugs on the outsole provide a firm grip, enabling you to navigate through slippery and uneven surfaces confidently. Whether hiking on rocky trails, muddy paths, or icy slopes, the Circadia Hiking Boot ensures reliable traction for a secure footing.

Toe Protection

The boot’s durable construction includes a reinforced rubber toe cap, which acts as a protective barrier against accidental impacts and stubs. 

Cushioned Comfort

KEEN prioritizes comfort in its designs, and the Circadia Hiking Boot is no exception. The midsole is designed to offer lightweight cushioning, reducing foot fatigue and allowing you to hike longer distances comfortably.

Easy Lace System

The Circadia Hiking Boot has a user-friendly lace system that allows quick and easy adjustments. The laces can be securely tightened or loosened to achieve a personalized fit, ensuring optimal comfort and preventing discomfort caused by loose or overly tight footwear.

  • Excellent ankle support and stability due to the mid-height design.
  • Insulation provides warmth in colder climates.
  • Durable materials ensure longevity and protection on rugged terrain.
  • Good traction on various surfaces, thanks to the multi-directional lugs.
  • Toe protection guards against accidental impacts and stubs.
  • Comfortable cushioning and shock absorption for long hikes.
  • Easy-to-use lace system for quick adjustments and personalized fit.
  • Some users may find the boots slightly heavy compared to other options.
  • The sizing may run large or small, so careful selection is advised.
  • Limited color options might only suit some people’s preferences.
  • As with any footwear, break-in time may be required for optimal comfort.
  • The insulation may be too warm for hikes in hotter climates.



Buying Guide: Best Hiking Boots for Icy Conditions

When hiking in icy conditions, having the right pair of hiking boots is crucial to ensure safety and stability on slippery surfaces. The Inca Trail in Peru can experience icy patches, especially during the winter months, making choosing boots that can handle these conditions essential. Here are some factors to consider when selecting the best hiking boots for hiking on ice:

Traction and Grip

The most important factor when hiking on ice is the boot’s traction and grip. Look for hiking boots with outsoles specifically designed for icy conditions. The outsole should have aggressive lug patterns or specialized traction systems that provide a secure grip on slippery surfaces. Vibram Arctic Grip is a popular technology known for its exceptional traction on icy terrain.


Insulation is vital when hiking in cold and icy conditions. Look for boots with insulation, such as Thinsulate or PrimaLoft, which provide warmth without adding excessive bulk. Consider the insulation level based on the expected temperatures on the Inca Trail during your hike.


Moisture is common when hiking on ice, whether from melting ice or snowy conditions. Therefore, it’s essential to choose hiking boots that are waterproof or water-resistant. Waterproof boots also help prevent water from seeping in and causing discomfort or freezing your feet.

hiking boots for ice

Ankle Support

When hiking on icy terrain, ankle support becomes even more critical. Look for boots with good ankle support to minimize the risk of sprains or injuries. Mid-cut or high-cut boots that extend above the ankles provide extra stability and protection. Ensure that the ankle support is sufficient while still allowing for comfortable movement.

Crampon Compatibility

Crampons are essential for hiking on steep and icy slopes. If you plan to use crampons on the Inca Trail, ensure that the hiking boots you choose are compatible.

Some shoes have specifically designed welts or attachment points to accommodate crampons. Check the boot’s specifications or consult with the manufacturer to verify their compatibility.

Flexibility and Comfort

While hiking on icy surfaces, you’ll need boots that allow for natural foot movement while providing stability. Look for boots that offer flexibility in the forefoot area to promote a comfortable stride.

Additionally, consider features that enhance overall comforts, such as cushioned midsoles, padded collars, and supportive footbeds. A comfortable boot will help you stay focused and enjoy your hike.


Consider the weight of the boots, mainly if you’ll be covering long distances or hiking uphill. Lightweight boots can help reduce fatigue and make it easier to maneuver on icy terrain. However, ensure that the shoes still offer sufficient insulation and durability for your conditions.

Quality and Brand Reputation

Investing in hiking boots from reputable brands known for producing quality footwear is recommended. Trusted brands often prioritize their boots’ durability, performance, and functionality.

Research customer reviews and seek recommendations from experienced hikers to gain insights into the durability and performance of different brands and models.

Remember to try on different boots and test them on surfaces with similar conditions to the Inca Trail before your hike. This will give you a better understanding of how the boots perform on ice and ensure a proper fit for your feet.

By considering these factors and selecting the best hiking boots for icy conditions, you’ll be well-prepared to tackle the Inca Trail safely and confidently.


Q: What are the critical features of hiking boots for ice?

A: When choosing hiking boots for ice, important features to consider include insulation, waterproofing, traction, ankle support, and compatibility with crampons or traction devices.

Q: Can regular hiking boots be used for hiking on ice?

A: Regular hiking boots may need to provide more traction on ice. It is recommended to choose hiking boots specifically designed for icy conditions.

Q: Are waterproof hiking boots necessary for hiking on ice?

A: Waterproof hiking boots are highly recommended for hiking on ice to keep your feet dry and prevent moisture from seeping in, which can lead to cold feet and discomfort.

Q: Do hiking boots for ice need insulation?

A: Insulation is beneficial in hiking boots for ice to provide warmth and prevent cold feet in low temperatures.

Q: What insulation is suitable for hiking boots in icy conditions?

A: Hiking boots for ice often feature insulation such as Thinsulate or PrimaLoft, which provide warmth without excessive bulk.

Q: Are high-cut hiking boots recommended for ice hiking?

A: High-cut hiking boots that provide ankle support are generally recommended for hiking on ice as they offer better stability and help prevent ankle injuries.

Q: Can hiking boots for ice be lightweight?

A: Hiking boots designed for ice can still be lightweight, thanks to advancements in materials and construction techniques that prioritize weight reduction without compromising insulation and traction.

Q: What type of outsoles should I look for in hiking boots for ice?

A: Look for hiking boots with outsoles specifically designed for icy conditions, such as those with aggressive lug patterns, specialized rubber compounds, and built-in microspikes or crampon compatibility.

Q: Are crampon-compatible hiking boots necessary for hiking on ice?

A: If you plan to hike on more technical or steep icy terrain, choosing hiking boots compatible with crampons can provide enhanced traction and stability.

Q: Can I use hiking boots for ice in other seasons?

A: Hiking boots designed for ice can typically be used in other seasons if they have the necessary features for the specific terrain and weather conditions you will encounter.

Q: Are toe and heel protection necessary in hiking boots for ice?

A: Yes, hiking boots with reinforced toe and heel caps are recommended for hiking on ice as they provide additional protection from impacts and enhance the durability of the boots.

Q: How should I choose the right size of hiking boots for ice?

A: Try on hiking boots to ensure they provide a snug, comfortable fit. Leave enough room for your toes to wiggle, but avoid excessive movement to prevent blisters and discomfort.

Q: Do I need to break in hiking boots for ice?

A: It is highly recommended to break in your hiking boots before embarking on a hike on ice. This allows the shoes to conform to your feet, reducing the risk of blisters and discomfort.

Wrap up 

The best hiking boots for ice should prioritize features such as insulation, traction, waterproofing, and durability. When selecting hiking boots for ice, consider the fit and sizing carefully.

Ensure enough room to wear thick, moisture-wicking socks for added warmth and comfort. It’s recommended to try on different brands and models to find the right fit for your foot shape and size.

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