2011 Editors' Choice Snow Award: Adidas Terrex Conrax CP Boot

Warm winter boots that are also light and nimble.

Winter gear is often heavy and bulky, but your boots needn’t add to the load. The PrimaLoft-insulated Conrax kept four testers—including hikers and snowshoers—nimble and light-footed, yet provided enough warmth and support for 0°F temps and 40-pound loads. “It combines the protection and warmth of a boot and the agility of a sneaker,” says one tester who bagged a dozen Adirondacks peaks wearing the Conrax last winter. Credit the protection plate-reinforced Adiprene midsole—a proprietary foam that’s more durable and shock absorbent than standard EVA. “Even in sketchy terrain, my steps felt mountain-goat secure, without the stiffness that you get in heavier boots,” he says.

A single-toggle lace system makes the Conrax easy to get on and off, even with cold, stiff fingers. A waterproof/breathable membrane repels moisture, and a zippered neoprene cover over the synthetic upper protects the laces (and your feet) from the elements. The temperature-sensitive soles earned a thumbs up for winter traction: As the mercury drops, the lugs harden for more aggressive grip on ice and snow.

Gravy: A gaiter loop tucks away under the neoprene cover, and a pronounced heel shelf keeps snowshoe bindings from sliding down.

$160

2 lbs. 15 oz. (m’s 9) ; men’s 4.5-14;

adidas.com/outdoor/us