Waterproof and warm is the key for happy winter riding feet. There are plenty of waterproof boots on the market now that feature a Gore-Tex inner lining and decent levels of protection (normally the same as most midrange race boots offer). Styles vary, but the range from traditional touring to sportier looking. Some boots that are specifically made for winter also have a integrated thermal liner, but if you want a pair of boots to last you all year round, go for the best waterproof pair you can afford and team with a pair of hi-tech thermal socks to add the warmth you need instead.
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- Boots should be hardwearing, comfortable (on and off the bike) and waterproof. A Gore-Tex inner lining is best.
- You still need protection: look for armour on the heel, toes and shin.
- Boot should offer decent calf adjustment and also be slim enough at the top so that winter riding trousers can easily pull down over them. Always take along your trousers to try on with prospective new boots.
- Good feel. Boots should feel snug but still offer enough feel for confident gear changes and back braking.
- Go for boots that are easy and quick to get on and off, with non-fussy adjusters and if there are zips, make sure they are covered with a waterproof flap.
- Always try on boots with your thermal socks. You may find you need the next size up – cramped toes are not pleasant.
Ski or mountaineering socks are also excellent. If you do winter sports, then maybe use the socks you already have.