There are a few features that you should look out for when shopping for a pair of winter backpacking boots. One is waterproofing. On leather boots, waterproofing is typically provided by the leather itself, with a little help from waxes and similar products. Other synthetic boots typically use a GoreTex liner to provide waterproofing. Some leather boots double up on waterproofing and use a GoreTex liner in addition to the leather.
Beyond waterproofing there isn't a whole lot you want to have in a winter backpacking boot, besides a good fit and quality construction. Remember, blisters aren't fun, especially on the second day of a multi-day backpacking trip. Returning the boots after your multi-day backpacking trip isn't much fun either, so get a half decent pair that will last for more than one winter backpacking trip.
List of Winter Backpacking BootsHere are a few of the better reviewed winter backpacking boots on the market. It's by no means complete, but the reviews on each of these winter backpacking boots clearly puts them at the top of the field.
- Asolo TPS 520 GV Hiking Boots - These winter backpacking boots from Asolo come with full leather uppers as well as a GoreTex liner for complete protection from the elements. They're not particularly light, coming in at 1730 grams, or 3 pounds, 13 ounces, but with a winter backpacking boot your first consideration should not be weight. Here's a similar women's winter backpacking boot.
- Treksta Evolution Mid GTX - This winter backpacking boot is the kind of footwear you could probably wear year round. It has a GoreTex liner to keep you dry, but no leather, so it will breath a little more than some of the competition. More importantly, however, they weigh only 867 grams, or 30.6 ounces, which is less than many summer backpacking boots. They also won a Backpacker Magazine Editor's Choice Award in 2011, so you know they are a quality winter backpacking boot. If you're all about lightweight backpacking then these are probably the boots for you. Here is a similar women's winter backpacking boot.
- Salamon Beluha WP LTR Winter Boot - If you plan to go backpacking where it is really good and cold then you will need a beefy winter backpacking boot. This offering from Salamon is just the thing. It has a waterproof breathable bootie insert to keep your feet moisture free, and a layer of insulation to help keep the cold out. An all around great winter backpacking boot if you plan on going where it is good and cold. Here is a similar women's winter backpacking boot.