The Best Winter Hikers of 2019
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A dash of style doesn’t have to mean reduced traction
Oboz Juniper 8″ Insulated ($165)
For big days in the mountains, the high-cut, waterproof women’s Juniper 8″ Insulated is the boot we reach for. With Thinsulate in the upper, it kept our feet toasty and still fit nicely in snowshoe bindings, while the winterized outsole gripped well on snow and ice. A leather slop guard reduces wear and tear, and when the snow is deep enough for gaiters, there’s a handy D ring near the toe.
The North Face Yukonia Ankle Boot ($145)
Inside, the North Face Yukonia has Prima-Loft insulation and a springy midsole that’s stable and comfortable even when sprinting for the bus. The leather upper is fully waterproof, the baffles around the ankle are water-resistant, and the outsole kept us from slipping and sliding on icy sidewalks.
Danner Mountain 600 Insulated ($220)
Danner’s boot has toasty PrimaLoft and an enveloping fleece liner for maximum warmth. Terrain-conforming Vibram rubber held as well in snow as it did on slick roots and rocks. This boot has the same cushy and resilient blend of natural rubber and EVA foam in the midsole as you find in the uninsulated version.
Keen Targhee Lace ($150)
The synthetic insulation in this hiker is so low-profile, we didn’t even notice it until we’d headed out for a ridge traverse. Our feet stayed warm, and when we hit an ice patch or a snowdrift, the grippy rubber outsole let us cruise right through without incident.
Baffin Kootenay ($168)
The waterproof Kootenay is impossibly light, considering its wealth of features. The two-layer boot has a removable liner, which we pulled out and laid by the fire each night during a multi-day hut trip. It’s heat moldable, staving off blisters, and the rubber outsole didn’t harden when temperatures dropped below freezing, remaining supple and grippy.
Ecco ExoStrike GTX Tall ($230)
Stick your landings all winter long in this high-cut yak-leather boot. The aggressive outsole bites into crud with tenacity, and the ExoStrike is packed with synthetic insulation to help manage winter chill. Your feet remain protected from rain, slush, and snow by a durable Gore-Tex liner.