La Sportiva Glacier
With all that, I simply believe the best boot for you and your feet will be a high-quality, all-leather boot that doesn't have a waterproof-breathable liner. In the long run, your feet will be drier and warmer. Such a boot might be the Scarpa SL M3 ($230; www.scarpa-us.com), a classic Italian-made hiking boot with beautiful one-piece, 2.9-millimeter leather. For all intents and purposes, it's waterproof out of the box, and reasonable care and treatment with a leather conditioner and waterproofer will keep it that way. Plus its Cambrelle liner is comfortable and able to slurp up any extra moisture. La Sportiva's Glacier ($225; www.sportiva.com) is another rugged, all-leather boot that's durable, as water-resistant as any boot out there, and comfortable (for a heavy-duty boot, that is).
If you really, really want a waterproof-breathable bootie, then Raichle's Mountain Peak XT GTX ($200; www.raichle.ch) is the ticketan all-leather boot complete with a Gore-Tex liner.
For winter usethat is, extended trips in snowy conditionsyou'll need to add some insulation. The Asolo Route ($260; www.asolo.com) is sort of a light winter mountaineering boot that's waterproof and warm. Or, there's The North Face's Lifty GTX ($130; www.thenorthface.com), which has PrimaLoft insulation and is great for tromping around town in the snow or hiking the hills on a winter day.
For more of the best boots on the shelves, check out Outside Online's Boots Buying Guide.