Travelling in winter – whether with carry-on or a massive backpack – can be quite tricky to pack for. Who wants to freeze when they have a couple of days packed with action and highlights ahead of them? Of course a warm winter coat and matching hat and gloves can do a lot to save the day even if you buy them spontaneously, but the point at which everything is lost, is when your feet get cold. Once your toes have turned into little icicles in your cool, but crappy leather lace ups, it could take hours by the fireplace of a cafe or pub until you can actually feel them again. And that’s if you are lucky. Worst case, you will need to head back to your hotel/hostel/AirBnB to take a hot shower, or hit the high streets for a new pair of winter boots – and we all know how well shopping works when you only need to find this one thing (you won’t find it)…

So in order to avoid any of this trouble, I suggest you pack appropriate foot-wear for your winter travels. What is appropriate clearly depends on your destination and the activities you planned to do. Here are some of my favourite shoes for winter travel, to keep your feet warm and your toes happy.

Best Shoes for Winter Travel, Travelettes

Faux Fur-lined Boots

They are admittedly a matter of taste, and most people you talk to about fur-lined boots have a strong opinion about then – it’s either love or hate. I, for this matter, love them, because there are simply no shoes that keep my toes warmer. They are comfy, warm and soft. They work with skinny jeans or leggins as well as dresses and thick tights.

The only disadvantages of fur-lined boots really are that they are not super dressy (just bring other shoes for clubbing) and, because they are usually made from suede leather, they are not suitable for wet weather. Too bad, I live in a country with a great potential for rainy winters and slushy snow… Still, lambskin boots are on my packing list for any winter city trip!

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1. Fur-lined biker boots, Roxy / 2. ‘Eskimo’ Boots, Mou / 3. Fur-lined boots, River Island / 4. The Classic Ugg, UGG Australia


Snow boots

In Austria, where I’m from, snow boots are generally associated with old-school pop singers who wear them in their music videos, singing cheesy love songs into the camera as if they were meant for the ageing lady in front of the telly… not cool. I think, Moonboots are particularly bad – where fur boots add the right amount of clunkiness to an outfit, the dimensions of these kind of snow boots are too much to bear for me. Luckily, practicality is in fashion these days, and many labels have launched their own takes on snow boots. They range from sporty to elegant and can go with almost any outfit.

They keep your feet warm and are usually also waterproof (at least to an extent). They are perfect for long winter walks, slushy city walkways or outdoor activities as most of them are lace-ups.

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1. Black Snow Boots, Adidas / 2. Fur-lined Snow Boots, Zalando / 3. Navy Lace-Ups, Tamaris / 4. Midnight blue Lace-Ups, Tommy Hilfiger


Best Shoes for Winter Travel, Lace Up Ankle Boots with good grip, Travelettes

Lace-Up Ankle Boots

I love ankle boots, especially in winter when it is crucial to keep your ankles warm, and salt and gravel from the streets out of your shoes. When it’s slippery or icy out, proper soles with a good grip are your go-to choice.

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1. Timberland Boots, Nordstrom / 2. Red Leather Boots, Asos / 3. Doc Martens, Urban Outfitters / 4. Vagabond Boots, Urban Outfitters


Platform Shoes

‘Your winter shoes need to have a proper sole.’ Every winter again, my mum would say this to me and the message stuck with me. If you want to avoid the cold and wet getting to your feet from below, you need shoes that have a thick sole. Think about creating an actual physical distance between you and the snow/puddle/slush.

The answer of fashion: Platform Shoes!

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1. Waterproof Platform Rainboots, Hunter / 2. Fur-lined ankle boots, Cheap Monday / 3. Platform Zip Ankle Boots, Asos / 4. Knee-high Platform Boots, Tamaris

Best Shoes for Winter Travel, Waterproof Shoes, Travelettes

Waterproof Shoes

Waterproof shoes are more than standard wellies, which are usually neither warm nor particularly comfortable… If you go for wellies, make sure to pack plenty of extra pairs of socks and use a warm insole for additional insulation.

It might be better though, to go for regular winter boots, which happen to be waterproof.

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1. Waterproof Ugg Boots, UGG Australia / 2. Cool Wellies, Colours of California / 3. Waterproof Ankle Boots, Sorel / 4. Waterproof Chelsea Boots, Free People


Knee-high Boots

With all that talk about keeping your feet warm, I almost forget to mention your calves… knee-high boots will do the job!

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1. Black Slouch Boots, Asos / 2. Leather Tall Boots with zipper, Free People / 3. Vagabond Boots, Urban Outfitters / 4. Caprice Boots, Zalando


Iceland in Winter - Things to do in Reykjavik - Winter Activities in Iceland - Kathi Kamleitner-118

When you travel in winter, nothing can go wrong as long as your feet stay warm and cozy. Here are a few extra tips:

  • always carry an extra pair of socks with you (fresh socks are always warmer)
  • invest in a decent pair of hand warmers (pop them into your shoes when you take a break in a coffee shop)
  • make sure your shoes are not too tight – the air between your feet and the shoes acts as insulation
  • drench your leather shoes in water repellent spray


Do you have any more tips on how the perfect travel footwear in winter?

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This is a post by Kathi Kamleitner.

Kathi Kamleitner was a regular contributor at Travelettes from 2013 to 2019. Originally from Vienna, Austria, she packed her backpack to travel the world and lived in Denmark, Iceland and Berlin, before settling in Glasgow, Scotland. Kathi is always preparing her next trip – documenting her every step with her camera, pen and phone.

In 2016, Kathi founded Scotland travel blog to share her love for her new home, hiking in the Scottish Highlands, island hopping and vegan food. Follow her adventures on Instagram @watchmesee!