I need a good pair of boots to keep my feet warm during hikes in the winter months. Normally I wear just my sneakers, but these don't cut it this time of year. Whats a good boot that goes above my ankle and is water proof? I don't want to spend more than $175.
I wear the New Balance Tacticals myself with the side zipper. To me they are nice light, and the most important part durable. Not all that water proof but I wear wool socks in the winter for warmth even when wet. They also have a sport and hiking line, but these are my preferred foot ware. Best thing is they are made here in the US.
I have a nice pair of Tevas for lighter hiking conditions as well as a heavy duty pair of waterproof boots made by Coleman. I think it's nice to have different shoes appropriate for different conditions.
I wouldn't recommend any particular brand or model because your foot is probably different from mine. Different widths, different arches, etc. So go to REI or anywhere else that has a good selection of nice boots, try out several and see what's comfortable for you. Then if you're anything like me you'll check online for the same pair at a better price.
I spend a lot of time trekking thru woods, in the mountains .... across streams for my wildlife photography. For pure boots I am a believer in Danner boots. For hiking shoes I prefer Merrel products. And finally for those times that I know I will be standing in a creek for extended periods ... Muck boots (rubber)
Save money and buy the top footwear that you can the first time .... it will keep you rom buying several pairs in a couple of years ... and your feet will thank you!