Still, that may be one route to take. Scarpa's Thermo Cerro Torre ($375but currently available online from Scarpa for $245; www.scarpa-us.com) is an excellent, light, insulated mountain boot that takes crampons. I've worn the non-insulated version and loved it. Very comfortable. Not waterproof in the sense of having a waterproof liner, but extremely water-resistant. You might also try a light plastic boot, such as the Koflach Degre ($245; www.koflach.com). That'll work like a charm so far as the dry-warm combo goes, but will be somewhat heavier and not great for extended hiking.
The best alternative, I think, is to buy a more traditional hiking boot and winterize it. Montrail's Moraine ($235; www.montrail.com), for instance, is an excellent, crampon-compatible hiking boot. Again, while it doesn't have a Gore-Tex or similar inner bootie, its thick, one-piece leather is inherently waterproof. Or, try Tecnica's Stratus Bio-Flex GTX ($200; www.tecnicausa.com), which does have a Gore-Tex liner. Then, add an insulated insole, such as the Insolator ($8 from Campmor.com), to prevent the cold from coming up through the sole. Fit the boot to accept a pair of good-quality sock liners, such as SmartWool Merino Sock Liners ($10; www.rei.com), as well as a warm main sock, either the SmartWool Expedition ($12) or an insulated sock such as the SealSkinz Chillblocker ($50; www.danalco.com), which combines a waterproof material with a fleece lining. These socks actually would turn any good-quality boot into an acceptable light winter boot.
Of course, you'll also want to wear a gaiter to keep snow and water from entering the top of the boot. The classic is Outdoor Research's Crocodile ($58; www.orgear.com).
So there you go. Good luck, and I hope your winter is better than your summer has been!
Support Outside Online
Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.