Baikal GTX

After ten years of reviewing boots, I’ve become a shoe snob. So when it came time for a winter boot review, I had very specific requirements: it had to be comfortable, warm, water-resistant, and breathe well; it must provide a snug fit and firm, above-the-ankle support; it needed a soft sole for superior traction on ice, snow, and other slippery conditions; and above all, it had to be lightweight for maximum agility in various activities. I didn’t expect much of a response to such stringent and comprehensive criteria, but lo and behold, our friends at Lowa came through with a great boot: the Baikal GTX. This boot felt like it was made for my foot, with a cushiony footbed that molded to my instep perfectly. Constructed of split leather, it features a Gore-Tex lining insulated with Partalana fleece. Lowa’s new G3 sole has a soft rubber blend with proprietary textile combination for maximum grip on snow and ice. The boot’s stud pattern follows the natural line of foot motion with a minimum of one stud in contact with the ground at all times during the roll-off motion—like a set of snow tires for your feet. Looks like snobbery finally paid off. Available at Schnee’s. $250;