Gear Guide 2009: Merrell Chameleon Leather Mid WP Boot Review

Submerge these comfortable waterproof boots in snow and your toes will never know the difference.

Waterproof Steal

Shopping for an affordable midweight boot that can handle serious slop? Our tester was shocked to wake up to four inches of fresh, wet snow on Labor Day in Idaho's Sawtooth Mountains–then pleasantly surprised when, after six hours of hiking through the cold slush, his feet were still dry and warm. Credit the proprietary membrane and nubuck leather uppers, which repelled all moisture (but made for mediocre breathability).

Testers also raved about the comfortable fit, which requires no break-in: "I get blisters all the time, but I laced up these boots and had happy feet right out of the gates," one said. We recommend them for hiking with loads up to 35 pounds. Best for medium-volume feet. $135; 2 lbs. 5 oz.