Icebug Walkabout Bugrip GTX ($250)
When there’s more ice than snow on the ground, this boot is the best insurance against slipping. Reverse heel lugs and 16 carbide spikes kept us upright on slick declines. And in slush, the Gore-Tex liner never failed to keep our feet dry.
Merrell Thermo Rogue 2 Boa Mid GTX ($250)
Want the traction of a snow leopard on frozen ground? This low-bulk, futuristic winter trekker has an Arctic-ready Vibram sole (particularly grippy on wet ice) and ultra-warm aerogel insulation in the toe. Boa lacing on the side facilitates quick fit tweaks, while the side flap helps eliminate cold spots.
Oboz Sapphire 8-Inch Insulated ($175)
Own the sled hill, snowshoe trail, and après lounge with the leather and wool Sapphire. The upper is tall enough to keep out snow, and the blanketlike cuff and heat-reflective lining help toes stay toasty. A gusseted side zip makes it easy to get this boot on and off without letting in the elements.
Vasque Coldspark Ultradry ($140)
Sweat management is key to staying warm in winter, as clammy feet are more likely to freeze. The nimble and adaptive Coldspark excels in this regard, with the look and feel of a summer hiker. The heat-reflective interior incorporates a breathable lining that vented sweat even when we were working hard.
Lowa Dublin III GTX QC ($195)
This leather chukka doesn’t brag about your winter feats—it just blends in while making sure you’re warm, dry, and ready for adventure. The Gore-Tex and cushy lining were weather-repellent but sneaker comfortable even as we scrambled through the woods.
Danner Arctic 600 Side-Zip ($220)
With the chops to tackle any trek in challenging weather, and Danner’s classic good looks for the most urban of jungles, this waterproof suede boot worked its way into our daily rotation. The Vibram ArcticGrip sole stuck to every surface, from frozen granite steps to slick and steep roots on the Appalachian Trail.