Best for Winter
Most winter hiking and snowshoeing boots are built with a focus on warmth, with only day-trip support; this is the rare model that performs like a heavy-duty boot. Our tester carried 50 pounds on winter trips in Washington's Cascades, and gave this boot high grades in several areas. Fit is excellent, thanks in part to a wide forefoot that accommodates thick socks.
The split leather and Cordura uppers shed snow, rain, and mud, and no moisture penetrated the Gore-Tex membrane. Traction was good even on muddy inclines and wet, mossy rocks. The above-the-ankle cut protects and supports that joint, and in most conditions keeps out snow and debris even if you're not wearing gaiters. Break-in time was nil. Our tester, who gets cold feet easily, found the Gore-Tex Partalana Fleece insulation warm enough for mid-20s temps, but no colder. Best for medium-volume feet. $225; 3 lbs. 12 oz. Lowaboots.com