Review: Hunter GTX, Khumbu GTX Mid

Two Lowa boots: one hardcore winter-burly, the other lighter and more agile. Both of these boots are all about protecting your feet. Available at Schnee’s and Timber Trails.

The Hunter GTX offer extraordinary ankle support with an old-school, high-top construction. These are great sledge-ahead boots, perfect for pushing through deep snow and staying warm and dry under the most challenging conditions. These benefits come at a cost, of course; namely, flexibility and comfort. After a long day hiking in them, you’ll feel like putting on your ski boots as house slippers. But when your feet are cold, you’ll wear anything to keep them warm, and when they’re wet in cold weather, you’ll wear anything to keep them dry. In this regard, the Hunters succeed, hugely. $400;

More versatile—still sturdy, but like ballerina shoes by comparison—are the Khumbu GTX Mid. They’re low-cut, so you’ll need a good set of gaiters in snow or wet grass. The tread is solid, like everything else about this boot, yet nimble enough to give you good toe-holds when rock-scrambling. They might feel a little heavy at the end of a long day, but your feet will be dry and warm. $245;