These Winter Boots Kept Me Feeling Warm (and Chic) in Blizzard Conditions

Cougar Stella Faux-Shearling Waterproof Boots
POPSUGAR Photography | Kyley Warren
POPSUGAR Photography | Kyley Warren
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Winter is inexplicably my favorite season of the entire year, and while I love snow (on the rare occasion that I encounter it), I'll be the first to admit that I'm by no means built for it. Once the temperatures drop below 40 degrees, I find myself spending the rest of the winter season inside, scrolling through photos of warmer destinations and fighting back the temptation to book a flight somewhere sunnier (although this season's Southwest debacle definitely helped me to keep my travel urges in check). I attribute a lot of my fragility in colder temperatures to my Arizona upbringing, which featured mostly sunny winter days and typically the need for only a light jacket or overcoat when venturing outdoors.

All this to say that when I do find myself in actual winter scenarios (and not just the sun-drenched Phoenix ones I've been conditioned to believe are the norm for the rest of the country), I require some seriously warm, heavy-duty winter accessories to keep me feeling more comfortable and less like I'm on the verge of having a weather-inspired meltdown (because, yes, even adults can get very cranky about the cold!). Before embarking on a weekend trip to the snow — which eventually turned into a proper blizzard experience — I decided to take these internet-loved Cougar Stella Faux-Shearling Waterproof Boots ($170) with me for a test run to see how they held up in some of the season's coldest temperatures. The verdict: I now know that not only are these weatherproof boots the most stylish shoes in my closet, they're arguably the most reliable, too. Keep reading to see my honest review with photos of this utility boot style!

What I Like About These Cougar Boots

The real question for me is: what's not to like? I appreciate the style's chicness and the fact that these boots look modern enough to easily dress up or down — giving me the freedom to pair them with a wide variety of options in my closet (we love that kind of versatility!). While they're undeniably stylish, I also love that these boots are equally practical, with features like a waterproof base, PrimaLoft Gold insulation, a polar plush lining that provides added warmth through cold temperatures, and even an anti-slip Thermoplastic rubber outsole, which adds grip support that's great when walking on ice or slippery walkways. I've enjoyed extended use out of these boots already this season, and even still, they look good as new. I relied on these winter boots as my go-to shoes while spending a weekend in the snowy mountains of northern Arizona and was pleasantly surprised with how they held up. From walking on icy sidewalks to trekking up snow-covered hills to enjoy some sledding and tubing with friends, these Cougar boots held up beautifully through the brisk winter conditions and provided ample comfort and warmth along the way.

What's Worth Noting

These boots are incredibly durable, which I've found inadvertently means they're also super bulky and thick, too. Unlike other utility or Chelsea boot styles that I own, this shoe is definitely on the heavier side, and I notice the extra weight most while walking up the stairs or through snowy conditions. The boot also boasts a 2-inch heel and 1.4-inch platform, which I'd argue contribute to the style's more weighted design. Personally, I don't mind the extra density of the shoe all that much, especially considering how notoriously heavy classic snow shoes can be. When it comes to winter boots, I prefer styles that I know will last in my closet and that are durable enough to withstand even the harshest weather conditions. These Cougar boots, with their chunky frame and all, certainly provide me with that reassurance, and I'm happy to adjust to the extra weight.

Another thing worth noting is that these boots are only available to shop in whole sizes — and if you're a half size, it's recommended by the retailer that you size up. I personally fall in the range of a US women's size 9.5 to 10 in shoes, so I opted for the 10 in this boot and found that the style fits perfectly.

Cougar Stella Faux-Shearling Waterproof Boots
POPSUGAR Photography | Kyley Warren

Who Are These Cougar Boots Best For?

These boots are perfect for anyone who is looking to invest in a shoe that they can wear rain or shine and in practically any environment. Unlike traditional snow boots or waterproof shoes, this style feels incredibly elevated — even if I'm going to a nicer event or occasion, I know that these boots will keep me feeling protected and warm en route to the destination, and they'll also align with the dress code once I'm there, too. From the boot's insulated design to the leather wrap around the shoe and even the chic, faux-shearling detailing around the ankle, there's so much to love about this boot, and I'd argue they're such a worthwhile investment if you're looking for a shoe that you can wear on repeat and without fail each winter.

Where Are These Cougar Boots Available?

The Cougar Stella Faux-Shearling Waterproof Boot is available to shop at Nordstrom, DSW ($170), and Cougar ($119, originally $170).

Additional Details

  • The weatherproof boots are available to shop in two colorways, including classic black and caramel brown.
  • This utility boot is fitted with a removable molded foam footbed, which helps to provide added comfort and arch support.
  • Thanks to its PrimaLoft insulated design, the shoe is temperature rated -24°C/-11°F, allowing users to feel comfortable and supported in wearing the boot through even the briskest winter temperatures.

Rating:
★★★★★