The Best Winter Hikers of 2016
Tougher than tough enough
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This year, boots get lighter, stronger, warmer, and more versatile. The following kicks are ready for everything from a fast-and-light summit bid to hitting the streets of Aspen at night.
Hoka Tor Ultra Hi WP
Best For: Moving Fast
The rockered Tor Ultra looks like a midcut waterproof hiker but feels like a running shoe with ankle support. Hoka balanced the plush cushioning with a deep, stable heel pocket. The leather and nylon-mesh upper isn’t insulated, but the boot’s waterproof eVent liner did a good job keeping out snow.
Keen Durand Polar
Best For: Big Hikes
Inside the Durand Polar, 400 grams of proprietary insulation and a waterproof-breathable membrane surround your foot, while a wool footbed further boosts warmth. The beefy upper and sturdy toe bumper resist scrapes and scuffs. Said one tester: “My go-to for bagging peaks with long approaches.”
Muck Boot Pursuit Shadow
Best For: Arctic Conditions
The fleece-lined Pursuit Shadow combines layers of flexible foam insulation with a cushy EVA midsole, so it can handle temperatures down to 20 below. A rubber scaffold around the upper boosts stability without adding heft, resulting in a boot that clocks in at just 1.3 pounds.
Best For: Après Adventures
When all you need is a wee bit of extra warmth to combat shoulder-season chill, the Lockout sneaker-boot has you covered. Made in collaboration with Woolrich, this waterproof-breathable shoe pairs a wool liner with a shock-absorbing footbed and EVA midsole that feels like something you’d find on a trainer.
Adidas Outdoor Terrex Ultimate Boost
Best For: Cool Runners
The Terrex Ultimate Boost is the shoe we reached for when we wanted speed. The midsole is made of thousands of tiny plastic balls, instead of the typical compressible foam, for better cushion and energy return. And 200-gram PrimaLoft insulation in the waterproof upper kept us toasty even on below-freezing days.
Lowa Glasgow GTX
Best For: Urban Winters
The waterproof Glasgow GTX has a wool and polyester fleece liner to combat frigid mornings and a contrast-stitched full-grain leather outer for timeless style. The boot’s gusseted tongue keeps out snow, while the low-profile, sneakerlike sole has enough lugs to hold fast on slick sidewalks.