Snowmobile boots. Buy big enough to fit two pairs of thick wool socks into them... (You might have to go to a snowmobile dealership to get the really good ones.)
If you need something "tougher" and more durable (or more protective), then Sorel is the brand of choice for upper Midwest guys who work outside all day all winter long (farmers, loggers, etc) and really abuse their footwear.
Silly girly stuff designed for horse mommies and fashion hounds just don't cut it.
i second SOREL. they are the warmest, most durable things on the face of this earth. i've had the same pair for probably 10 years and they are just now starting to die. they won't dissapoint you!
I second this. I bought a pair 10 years ago to take to college in the snow belt. I have been wearing them to the barn for the past few winters, and they are awesome. Mine are finally starting to show a bit of wear - but a pair that have the felt pack inside - so nice and toasty.
You can find these at Dicks sporting goods, and many, many other retailers!
Insulated duck boots with expensive trail/hiking socks like smartwool with a thin cotton sock as a liner. I put in nice insoles too to stay comfortable. Unless Sorrel's have improved over the last decade, I remember them very heavy and clunky. Also expensive.
I love the Muck Boot brand as well. I have the tall ones that are going on their 4th or 5th year. They are fantastic. Usually pair them with thick socks and toe warmers, and my feet stay warm and toasty, and DRY. Love them.
there's something in the fit, I think, that exacerbates my Raynaud's Syndrome in a few toes on my left foot. At least, those toes end up red/swollen after very little walking, and in colder temps, blue/white. Yeah, not good.
So, I'm ready to look for something that's as easy to get on & off, waterproof, warm, lets me ride in a stirrup (OK, a pretty big one ), but doesn't cause the toe "stuff" I get from the MBs.
I'll keep looking at this thread in hopes of inspiration!
I 'ummptenth' the Sorels & Muckboot brands. LOVE both brands. I now use my Muckboots year around (in the winter, I add one of those little instant hand warmers) and never have any issues with them, whatsoever. I'd use my Sorels, but they are too small... so I use the Muckboots (plus warm socks and those heat packs) .
I find Sorels & Mucks to be nice...until you hit about 0 degrees. Ariats are great for riding...but not rated for enough cold.
A couple of years ago I bought a pair of men's black Cabela's hunting boots. Boots were rated to be comforable to -60 degrees. My feet have NEVER been cold in them. They hold up great in snow and water.
Don't even think about trying stirrups- but if you are doing chores- holding horses for the farrier for 8 hours in miserable weather...you WILL be warm!
Also recommending Sorels, and the old LL Bean boots designed like them (they both have the replaceable wool liners). I have had my Sorels for about 20 years, they are an old style that wears like iron.
This may be the wrong time of year to try it, but I found the LL Bean boots at Goodwill for $7.00 last spring. That older style, on Ebay, now sells for $30-$75+... If you, or some friends can hit your local thrift shops every few weeks, lots of times you can find fabulous shoes/boots there-and many are brand new. Either there are some people who wear shoes like 3 times, or, they like to purge closets!! I found a pair of Aussie made Blundstones at a thrift shop a few weeks ago for $4.00. After you sanitize them, you're good to go!
My sis and a friend try to go in a cycle, and if we see a bargain in the others' size, we grab it. I have also found Ariat clogs, and Danskos there too...
Sorels. When I first moved to Montana my friends here told me to get them. I'm going on 5 yrs with my first pair and I literally LIVE in them 4 months out of the year! (you can get replacement liners, next year I may be ready for those)
Sorels. And if you're lucky like me and have small feet, the kids' sizes are lots less expensive and just as good! I have one pair that I got as a hand-me down probably 15 or 16 years ago, and they were well-used then. Treads are worn some (not good anymore for slippery stuff but deep snow or where there is traction is fine!) and need new liners.
Another vote for Muckboots and Sorels. I wear the Sorels when it's bitter (well below 0) and the muck boots the rest of the time.
I just got the winter riding boot (Colt boots) from them for this winter. Nice and warm!