Cold-Weather Kicks: The 15 Best Winter Sneakers For Men
Whether you're navigating slush-filled streets or looking for a comfortable, weather-appropriate shoe, these are the coolest winter sneaker models for men.
As the chill of winter sets in, the sneaker world undergoes a transformative shift. Traditionally, sneakers have been the hallmark of spring and summer wardrobes – the go-to footwear for warm, dry weather and outdoor fun. These classic kicks, while stylish and comfortable, often fell short in battling the harsher elements of winter.
Advancements in technology and innovative design have now produced a breed of sneakers that are not just fashionable but also winter-ready. These new-age kicks boast waterproof materials, ensuring dry feet come snow or rain, enhanced traction to deal with slippy sidewalks, and insulated linings for cozy warmth on the iciest of days.
So, whether you’re navigating slush-filled streets or simply looking for a comfortable, weather-appropriate shoe, these are the coolest winter sneaker models you can buy in 2024.
Adidas Ultra Boost Light GTX
We kick things off with the Adidas Ultra Boost Light GTX. To the uninitiated, this is just another release from the German sportswear giant. But true sneakerheads know this silhouette has been around for almost a decade, and even after all that time, it’s still regarded as one of the best running shoes ever made. What makes it better now than ever is that it’s lined with Gore-Tex, making those cold morning jogs even more of a breeze.
Something else that sets this model apart from the original is the chunkier midsole. Made with Adidas’s ever-popular Boost cushioning, every step and stride will feel like you’re walking on a big, plump cloud.
But that’s not all. The rubber used for the outsole is also produced by Continental – the same company that manufactures the best-performing snow tires for the world’s most legendary sports cars. If it can keep a high-performance race car on a track in the wet, keeping you on your feet should be fine.
Air Jordan 1 Element
We could write an entire book about how the Air Jordan 1 High changed the sneaker game for good. Introduced back in 1985, Michael Jordan’s first signature shoe was designed with the hardcourt in mind. Eventually, it made its way from Beaverton to the rest of the world, bringing with it thousands of styles and iterations.
One of the most sought-after models has got to be the Air Jordan 1 Elemtn. Giving the critically acclaimed trainer a full Gore-Tex lining, it’s widely regarded as one of the best sneaker boots of all time. It’s also decorated with 3M reflective details throughout so you can be seen even in low-light conditions.
If you want a pair you should snap it up as soon as you can, as colorways tend to sell out within minutes of dropping.
If you’re in the market for something more low-key, the Cariuma Caturi should be on your radar. Even though the Brazilian footwear company has only been around for five years, it has managed to achieve more in this short period than most competitors have in much longer lifetimes.
This high-top sneaker pays homage to classic mountaineering boots. Handcrafted from 100% vegan suede that’s both hard-wearing and water-repellent, the Caturi is fitted with sturdy D-rings, speed hooks and thick two-tone rope laces for an extra rugged vibe.
The inside is lined with ultra-plush shearling and the midsole is infused with recycled materials, so not only will you look good in these, but you’ll actually do some good too. What’s more, every single time you buy a pair, Cariuma plants two trees as part of its reforestation program, which helps keep our conscience clear.
Converse Chuck 70 Gore-Tex
The classic Converse Chuck Taylor high-top was one of the first sneakers in the history of mankind. While many people have fallen head over heels with its canvas construction and stainless steel eyelets, when it rains, it’s honestly not that great. With this in mind, the All Star brand recently sent the Converse Chuck 70 Gore-Tex into the wild, and it’s something that many of us have been fantasizing about over the years.
From a distance, this GTX edition looks almost identical to the OG, but there are plenty of changes to speak of. Firstly, the canvas upper has been upgraded so that it looks and feels a lot more premium, and the inside is lined with industry-leading waterproofing material so you can stay dry at all times. The cotton laces are moisture-wicking, and the iconic rubber midsole has been reworked for additional grip. Who said you couldn’t improve on perfection?
Duke + Dexter Ritchie
While Duke + Dexter is best known for its boat shoes and penny loafers, the London-based footwear label recently jumped feet-first into the world of sneakers with the Ritchie. Made for those of us who want to live life in the slow lane and take in every second, it’s made with comfort and versatility in mind.
The midsole has been designed and built from the ground up, and the heel is fitted with extra padding to ensure ultimate comfort when you’re pounding the sidewalk.
But what truly makes the Ritchie one of the best winter sneakers out there is the Italian pebble grain construction. Lovingly handmade, not only does it look delectable, it’s weatherproof as well, so you can rock these come rain or shine (or even snow).
Ganni Performance Neoprene
Looking for something a little more high-end? Then the Ganni Performance Neoprene deserves a spot in your rotation. If you haven’t heard of Ganni (where have you been?), one thing that you should know is that it’s quickly becoming one of the most sought-after luxury labels, with fashion-obsessed Gen Z-ers snapping up collections as soon as they hit shelves. Why? Well, a lot of it has to do with hype culture, but there’s also no denying how well-made the Scandinavian company’s products are.
The Performance Neoprene is a case in point. Coming in a low-top, slip-on design, it features a fully waterproof neoprene construction and is fastened using a toggle switch lacing system, which is very gorpcore coded. Ganni’s logo is finely embroidered across the lateral and medial sidewalls, and all of this sits on top of a platform midsole that’s infused with Vibram for unrivaled comfort and cushioning.
It looks extremely big and chunky but the shoe is surprisingly lightweight, so wearing it from day to night shouldn’t be a problem.
Hoka Tor Ultra Lo
If there’s one footwear brand that has become mega-hyped recently, it’s Hoka. Even though the Annecy-founded, California-based company has been around since 2009, it didn’t become the household name it is today until the last couple of years, thanks to distinctive (and comfortable) silhouettes like the Hoka Tor Ultra Lo.
Built off the blueprint of the best-selling Tor Ultra, this model is equipped with a moisture-wicking Sierra nubuck upper and a full rubber toe cap. Inside is lined with Gore-Tex for full waterproofing, and the so-called Megagrip outsole is fitted with Vibram for the perfect balance between form and function.
Over the last couple of seasons, the Tor Ultra Lo has been blessed with countless coveted collaborations. From London’s J.L – A.L and Massachusetts’ Bodega to Tokyo’s Engineered Garments, some of streetwear’s most influential names have all taken on this mighty model, automatically cementing it as one of the best winter sneakers available today.
While Moncler’s Trailgrip model is still relatively new in the grand scheme of things, it has quickly made its way into our cold-weather rotation thanks to its boundary-pushing, ground-breaking aesthetic.
Made to dominate both mountain peaks and city streets, this shoe is outfitted in versatile ripstop nylon and further enhanced with a Gore-Tex membrane. The lacing system has been built so that you can tighten and loosen it on the go, and the Ortholite insole offers wearers unbelievable comfort with every step.
We can’t talk about the Trailgrip without mentioning its outrageously chunky midsole. Infused with Vibram tech and EVA foam, the hefty unit is also fitted with carbon fiber so it’s significantly more lightweight than most competitors. All of this measures up at an impressive 4.5cm, so if your Tinder profile says that you’re 6 foot when you’re not, this sneaker will give you a discrete height boost. Feel free to thank us later.
New Balance 2002R GTX
In 2020, New Balance dived into its archives to bring back the New Balance 2002R. As you may have guessed from its name, this silhouette made its grand debut back in 2002, and while it was a pretty popular shoe then, the hype was nothing compared to when it was finally re-released. Since then, we’ve seen dozens of different colorways, editions and styles hit the market, including the New Balance 2002R GTX that’s made for the wet and windy winter weather.
Also known as the 2002RX, it’s got all of the same designs and details that make New Balances so awesome. From the ballistic mesh construction and the premium suede overlays to the padded tongue and ABZORB midsole, it’s already a pretty great trainer in its own right.
While the Boston-based sportswear company could’ve just left it there, they went one step further by adding Gore-Tex to it, making it fully waterproof. It’s also equipped with Stability Web technology for even more support and an N-ERGY rubber outsole for extra traction.
Nike Air Max 90 Gore-Tex
When the Air Max 90 first dropped in (you guessed it) 1990, it was nothing short of a technological marvel. Borrowing its unique aesthetic from the Centre Pompidou in Paris, it looked wildly futuristic then and continues to do so even over three decades later. The Nike Air Max 90 Gore-Tex retains the same legendary look, but it’s now lined with Gore-Tex so you can flex your creps no matter the weather conditions.
A smooth leather mudguard wraps around the entirety of the upper, while ribbed, rubberized patches feature on the lacing system and sidewalls. All of this rests atop an Air midsole that’s still one of the most comfortable cushioning technologies out there.
Some colorways also boast glow-in-the-dark details, so others can find you during those extra-long winter nights.
On Running Cloudrunner Waterproof
Founded in 2010 by a former Ironman champion, On Running was a brand that was created by athletes for athletes. However, over the past couple of years, its audience seems to have evolved with fashion obsessives lining up alongside the triathletes to cop the brand’s carefully designed products. This is mainly thanks to big-name collaborations with the likes of Bang & Olufsen, Post Archive Faction and Loewe.
That doesn’t mean the Swiss company has left its running roots behind. Shoes like the On Running Cloudrunner Waterproof continue to put it at the front of the pack with innovations like 360-degree mesh, CloudTec cushioning and Zero-Gravity foam.
It’s now completely waterproof too, so you can wave goodbye to soggy socks the next time you go on a rainy 5K. You also say goodbye to excuses as well.
If you ask anyone what the most hyped silhouette of the year was, there’s a good chance that the Salomon XT-6 will be brought up. 2023 marked the shoe’s 10th birthday, and while the mountaineering model was originally created to tackle the toughest of terrains, it’s now every hypebeast’s favorite shoe due to the gorpcore aesthetic that’s dominating contemporary streetwear.
Working on top of a breathable mesh base, the XT-6 is overlaid by panels of TPU and synthetic materials, resulting in a sleek, streamlined look and feel. A mid-foot cage wraps around the lateral and medial sidewalls to keep you in place, and underfoot, the midsole is infused with AC2 Muscle technology for increased levels of comfort and cushioning. It’s then finished with a Contagrip rubber outsole that’s perfect for hitting both peaks and pubs.
Some versions are also coated with a Gore-Tex membrane for even more weatherproofing, and if you’re feeling boujee, Salomon recently introduced some fancy leather and suede options too – but save the latter for the spring.
The North Face Hedgehog Futurelight
The North Face is best known for its big puffer coats, cozy hoodies and cargo pants that are fitted with hundreds of pockets, but did you know the San Francisco-based company also makes some of the best winter sneakers available today? While The North Face Hedgehog Futurelight certainly isn’t as famous as some of the other pairs in this article, it certainly warrants your attention.
Tried and tested by hardcore hikers, the playfully named Hedgehog is considerably more comfortable and lightweight compared to boots, but they feature all of the same great features. Boasting a Futurelight membrane, the soles are zonally fine-tuned with Cradle technology which provides added stiffness across certain areas of the footbed.
It comes in a bunch of different colorways too, so you’re bound to find a pair that complements your winter aesthetic.
UGG CA805 Zip
These days, the name ‘UGG ‘ instantly makes you think of those brown sheepskin boots that are wildly popular among the pumpkin spice latte brigade, but the brand’s roots have always been about adventure and exploring the great outdoors. And it’s that ethos that lives on in models such as the UGG CA805 Zip.
Inspired by the Santa Monica company’s West Coast heritage, the model derives its name from the California area code where the brand is currently headquartered.
One of the first things you’ll notice about the CA805 Zip is how different the aesthetic is compared to UGG’s other offerings. With a bomber nylon foundation, the trainer is overlaid with panels and panels of moisture-wicking suede. Oversized pull tabs feature on the tongue and heel for a rugged look, and this goes further with a single zip that runs down the center.
The midsole is made of spongy rubber Treadlite, and to round it all off, Tasman braid details can be found throughout the sneaker, finalizing a daring design.
Vans Sk8-Hi Gore-Tex
Last but not least, we have the Vans Sk8-Hi Gore-Tex. Made for skaters who want to be able to kickflip in the wind and the rain, this is an almost one-to-one remake of the original shoe but with a few welcome upgrades.
Widely regarded as the most iconic skate shoe ever produced, the Sk8-Hi (which was originally known as the Style 38) launched in the late 70s and it was the second silhouette to come from what was then known as the Van Doren Rubber Company.
For this rugged rendition, the upper is beefed up with 3M Thinsulate so you can look cool and stay warm at the same time, and it’s lined with Gore-Tex to keep your feet dry. The sockliner is infused with dual-density UltraCush, and all of this comes with an extra grippy vulcanized rubber midsole that’s made to dominate even the most harrowing of half pipes.
It’s a little more expensive compared to the conventional Sk8-Hi, but judging by how much tech Vans managed to pack into here, we’d say it’s worth every dime.