December 17, 2021 | By Mary Murphy
Looking for down booties to wear this winter? We’ve rounded up and tested the best insulated down booties to keep your feet cozy warm.
If you live somewhere cold, a way to insulate your feet in the winter is essential. And sure, you could drop a few bucks on a pair of house slippers, but if you’re looking for truly reliable warmth in a light and portable package, down booties are the way to go.
We’ve tested a slew of down booties and found the best ones on the market. Scroll through them to see all of our recommended buys or jump to the category you’re looking for.
At the end of our list, be sure to check out our comprehensive buying guide and frequently asked questions.
Western Mountaineering makes two models of down booties, but its Standard Booties ($105) are hard to beat. They offer high coverage for a bootie, feature a high fill power for maximum warmth, and are amazingly lightweight at 6 ounces per pair.
The Standard Booties contain 800-fill European-sourced goose down and are finished with a foam insole and nonslip Toughtek outsole. The elastic draw closure is simple yet effective, and we found these to be highly durable.
The outer shell fabric also has a DWR finish for water repellency and durability in cold, moist, or wet weather.
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Sierra Design’s down booties won us over almost immediately out of the box. On the coldest morning we’ve had so far this December (in Colorado), it was 15 outside and (because of my 58-year-old heater) not warm enough inside.
I slipped my feet into these, and they did the job. I also love the pillow feel of the insulation from top to ankle to bottom. In short, the down booties provide plenty of warmth, and their nonslip sole is also a nice feature.
Sierra Designs Down Booties ($69) also offer a lot in terms of sustainability. They’re made with a 100% recycled polyester shell, with a PFC-free DWR.
Our only con? They may run a bit wide (don’t worry, the cords at the cuffs still seal in warmth). And some reviewers wish they had a bit more insulation on the sole.
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These warm slipper-style down booties ($65) won not just one but two picks in our book: best budget and most sustainable, thanks to their recycled down filling.
In addition to recycled RDS-certified down, these down slippers also have a cushioned EVA foam footbed and a nonslip sole. They’re super lightweight and very packable, and they provide really good warmth — all for under 70 bucks.
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Surprisingly, there aren’t that many down bootie options on the market, which is why we decided to include at least one down alternative. This is a proper bootie, built for cold-weather travel and camping.
And while it’s not down, a few people on our staff gave this warm bootie a standing ovation — it delivers on warmth, a cozy but not-too-snug fit, and durability on the soles. It was also our top choice for durability — if you want a bootie with a sole that can handle some wear, the Outdoor Research Tundra ($89) should make your list.
Check Men’s Price at REICheck Women’s Price at REI
If you need something more than fleece baby booties, consider skipping toddler slippers and moving straight to down booties. We love these booties for a number of reasons: they’re warm, they’re fairly durable, and the size range means they will last your kiddos a few years.
Sierra Designs Youth Down Booties ($49) have 800-fill insulation for optimal warmth (especially for tiny feet and toes), and a soft brushed tricot lining for comfort. Instead of finishing the bootie with a cinch or tie closer, the brand made it easier for kids with a sock-like, slip-on cuff around the ankle. And like Sierra Design’s adult down booties, these also have a PFC-free DWR coating.
The youth down bootie sizes are small, medium, and large.
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Ever noticed your feet get cold when camping? Yes, even with wool socks, liner socks, or multiple pairs on? Enter the solution — down socks.
Down socks are light, fluffy foot layers stuffed with insulation and designed to keep your toes and feet warm no matter the temps outside. The best ones we’ve tested are these from GooseFeet Gear ($74).
Even better, you can customize these puppies. If you’re only venturing down to 20-30 degrees F, we’d recommend going with the standard 850-fill.
But if you’re going to be in more extreme temps — below 20 or even dipping below zero — you can add 25%, 50%, 75%, or even 100% more overfill to keep your feet and toes extra toasty. You can also easily customize the shell fabric and liner fabric deniers (fabric thickness) and colors.
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The most lightweight down booties (not including down socks) on this list, Western Mountaineering’s Flash Booties ($77) are meant to deliver uber-high warmth in a small and light package. The Flash Booties have 850-down-fill as well as a foam insole and reinforced sole like the brand’s Standard Booties (check out our review notes above).
Aside from having a thinner shell material (maybe not as durable), the Flash Booties performed just as well. If you’re looking for budget-friendly, warm, and lighter-weight booties, these could be for you.
These are some of the most durable booties I’ve ever tested. The Prism Bootie Slippers ($55) from U.K. brand Montane also have quite a bit of insulation and are toasty warm (thanks to the insulation, a fleece lining, and an insulated sole). And they’re pretty packable, too.
The Prism booties easily pack into a stuff sack and have a cinch cord at the top of the ankle to lock in heat for your feet. Really, the only con is these are made with a synthetic filling, so they aren’t the warmest we tested. But in every other aspect, they’re wonderful.
In terms of specs, these booties have PrimaLoft Gold 55% recycled insulation, a brushed microfleece lining, a PrimaLoft Gold Grip Control 90% recycled insulated sole, and a Hypalon rubber sole.
Like most booties we’ve highlighted here, they’re also versatile — I’ve worn them winter camping but also just around the house and traveling as well. Our only con: the fit is snug, and some (with larger feet) might find they run small. They come in unisex sizing and two colors.
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At a great price but not as warm as other choices on our list are these “hot socks” ($65) from Rab. The Hot Socks are similar to Rab’s booties, except these are made with recycled synthetic insulation instead of recycled down. And, while they’re labeled as socks, we found them to be more of a bootie style, as they do have a sole (also insulated). They’re also super packable.
We love that they have a lot of the elements of a traditional down bootie (taller height, insulated sole) but wrapped up in a lighter, more sock-like package.
If you’re looking for a no-fuss, insulating layer for your feet and don’t want down, these down-alternative socks are worth looking into.
These Basic Down Foot Warmers from fast-and-light brand Montbell turned out to be anything but basic. The Down Foot Warmers ($69) are filled with an adequate 650-fill down.
But, where they really shine is the coverage and warmth they deliver from the tippy toes to the high ankle. I also really love that they adjust near the bottom of the ankle to seal in warmth, in addition to the top cuff.
We liked them most for wearing around a cold house, cabin, office — you get the picture. And we did use them once while camping.
Plus, these full-coverage down booties only weigh 4.3 ounces — which beats out several others on our list.
We couldn’t not include these wicked light down sleeping socks. But these are really only necessary for high alpine and extreme cold environments. Also, you’ll have to drop 400 bucks if you want a pair.
The North Face Sleeping Socks ($400) offer both a little and a lot at the same time. By far, they are the warmest socks on this list with the highest fill (1,000) available. They’re finished with a light but protective 10-denier nylon aluminum coating.
If 1,000-fill cloud down is worth it (you won’t have to worry about frostbite ever again), then The North Face Summit Series Sleeping Socks should be on your list. They’re the only ones we’d want if we were venturing anywhere above 5,000 m for an extended period of time.
Check Price at The North Face
Similar to down jackets, the level of warmth of a down bootie largely depends on its fill. A down bootie with 800-fill is going to be much warmer than a down bootie with 600-fill. The most common type of fill we see used in down booties is either goose down or a synthetic alternative.
Down booties are going to have a better warmth-to-weight ratio and be more packable, though synthetic insulation booties can be fairly light, too, and more accessible in terms of price.
The type and thickness of the bootie lining as well as the material and height of the bootie will also factor into its warmth.
There are only a few slight differences between down booties and down socks. Down booties are a type of shoe, with an insulated body, insulated sole, and some sort of closure at the top to seal in warmth. They can be ankle-height to mid-calf-height in order to insulate your whole foot.
Down socks are also fully insulated, but may or may not have a sole and usually don’t have snaps, closures, or other features. They’re purely for providing warmth. Down socks also tend to be made of lighter, lower-denier fabrics, as they’re used more inside sleeping bags rather than walking around a house or cabin.
Down booties are the most common way of insulating your feet in winter and are usually more versatile and durable, though we did include a few down socks on this list as well.
When you’re shopping for down footwear, think about where you’ll be wearing the booties and how much durability you might want. Do you want an insulating slipper with a sturdy sole? Or do you want something with fewer shoe features, maybe to wear inside your sleeping bag?
Do you want a taller-height bootie or more of a slipper style? This last one is preference.
Unlike shoes, down bootie sizes fall on a scale, usually between XS-XL. A letter size will then coordinate to certain U.S./U.K. men’s shoe sizes. Most booties are measured in unisex or men’s sizes, but some will have women’s shoe sizes listed. The sizing and fit will also vary between brands, so we recommend always double-checking before making a purchase.
The price of down booties will vary, but the price is mainly determined by the type of insulation, level of down fill, and materials used. You can expect to pay somewhere between $70 and $100 for a good, warm pair of booties.
We’ve been testing down (and down-alternative) booties and socks since early fall in temps from -10 to 40 degrees. We wore them while backpacking, fall camping, winter camping, après skiing, around the house, and more.
Down booties are a type of footwear. To put it simply, their whole job is to provide insulating warmth during the winter months. Just like a down jacket would keep your core warm or puffy pants would keep your legs warm, down booties keep your feet warm.
You’ll commonly see them worn in places like winter huts, inside four-season tents, or on trips for ski mountaineering, ice climbing, backcountry skiing and touring, winter camping, and more.
After a lot of wear, your down booties may need to be washed. You can do so by spot cleaning, soaking, or machine washing on a gentle setting.
To dry, you’ll want to make sure you use a low-heat or no-heat setting and add dryer or wool balls to the dryer basin in order to help break up clumps of wet down. We also like to set them out in a sunny place for a few hours to ensure they are fully dry before packing them back up into a stuff sack or storage.
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Mary is based out of GearJunkie's Denver, Colo. office. She has a degree in English and journalism, and has been writing professionally for more than six years. Her outdoor interests span from running to sport climbing, from landscape photography to skiing to pack-paddleboarding. If she's not writing, you can most likely find her at the top of a fourteener, or in a local bakery.
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