Gear Review: New Balance 1000 Hiking Boot

Get the most bang for your buck with these affordable all-purpose winter boots.

“It’s as comfortable as a sneaker, but more supportive and way warmer,” says one tester about this affordable, all-purpose winter boot. He used the mid-cut, insulated hiker for dayhikes and snowshoe jaunts in upstate New York, in temperatures down to 15°F. Warmth comes from PrimaLoft Eco insulation layered under the waterproof/breathable, seam-sealed, suede and mesh upper.

A band of hard rubber wraps around the plastic heel counter, which extends halfway up the Achilles; the combination provides ankle and foot stability comparable to higher-cut boots (good for uneven terrain, and carrying loads up to about 25 pounds). The toothy Vibram Icetrek sole is grippy on hardpacked snow. And it’s snowshoe-friendly: A small, built-in ridge on the heel grabs snowshoe straps, while a D-ring at the toe makes it easy to attach gaiters. Fit bonus: The 1000 is available in five widths for men, three for women. $100; 1 lb. 14 oz. (m’s 9.5 D); m’s 7-15 D-4E, w’s 6-12 B-D;