With the cold weather sweeping in, it’s time to prepare with a nice pair of winter boots. Here is a quick guide to help the men out there find the perfect pair.

Forty thousand years ago, the earliest shoes were soft, flimsy moccasins. However, with experience, humans learned that something more rugged would suit their needs better — at least in cold climates. And so, winter boots were born.

Of course, today we don’t need to trek through cold and snow on hunter-gatherer missions. We can retreat to the safety and comfort of our cars and homes to escape winter’s brutality. However, that doesn’t mean you should face down the season without a pair of winter boots.

From a fun winter hiking boot to a practical commuting option, the right pair of men’s winter boots can make your season more comfortable — and more stylish. Don’t get caught in the cold: here’s how to choose the best winter boots for men this year.

Define Your Purpose

Your first step in choosing the best winter boots is to know what you plan to use them for.

Many winter boots can serve multiple purposes. Still, you’ll have an easier time making your selection if you know what those purposes will be.

For example, do you need boots to navigate icy city streets, or do you plan to use them for rugged outdoors adventures? Or do you need a pair that can do both?

When you know your needs, you can then look for the right features to meet them.

Select Your Style

With that purpose in mind, it’s time to figure out what kind of winter boots you should buy.

For example, if you want a pair that can take you from city nights to daytime hikes, you’ll need a pair that marries form and function. This means looking for something stylish, yet durable enough to look good even after heavy use. In this case, a trendy, modern king boot would be the way to go.

If you just need boots to keep your feet dry while you walk between your house and your car, though, a simple rubber slip-on style would serve you better. And if you only need something for the occasional winter stroll on mild days, you could get by with a basic pair of warm, waterproof shoes instead.

The right style will depend on when and where you plan to wear them.

Check Materials and Temperature Ratings

Once you know which style to look for, you can narrow things down by thinking about practical considerations: materials and temperature ratings.

The average winter temperature in your area will tell you which temperature ratings to look for. Meanwhile, materials offer a combination of form and function.

For example, if you want style, you’ll likely want a leather boot. But if you need something completely waterproof, rubber or insulated styles will work better.

Ready to Buy Your New Winter Boots?

The good news about men’s winter boots is that they come in a limited number of styles compared to women’s boots. With these simple steps, you’ll know exactly which kind of winter boots to buy.

You can get more out of your boots by also investing in extras like waterproofing spray or durable laces as necessary. However, even without those extra steps, a pair of good-quality boots should get you through this winter and into next winter too.

Need to make your winter boots sync with your winter style? We can help with that, too — check out our Style section often for your fashion inspiration!