Looking for recommendations on winter boots for hiking in the snow. Would like something rugged/warm/waterproof that I could use for snowshoeing. What recommendations do you have? Ideally, I'd like something ~$150-200 price range but can go a bit more if required.
I have a pair of Vasques that I've been happy with for several years now through Minnesota winters. I doubt they sell the exact model still.
Regardless of what brand you end up with my biggest recommendation would be making sure of the fit: you don't want it too tight, as cutting off any circulation will make for cold toes regardless of any insulation in the boot. A little bit of wiggle room for the toes is good, but not too much. Don't forget to factor in that you may be wearing a thick sock, or layering multiple socks, so you may get a half to one size larger than your normal shoes.
As for using with snowshoes, pretty much any boot will do, there's not really anything that makes one a better fit than the other into the bindings. But something you may want to look for in your selections is that some boots come with a small shelf on the back that the snowshoe strap sits on to help keep it from slipping down your heel. Ideally the tension of the strap shouldn't allow slipping anyways so this isn't a deal breaker, but it is a feature that exists. (https://www.rei.com/product/120590/oboz-bridger-10-insulated-waterproof-boots-mens is one example. Not necessarily a recommendation for/against this particular boot, just the first one I saw in a quick search that has the lip.)
Hi @Swashc2 - Thanks for reaching out! Love to hear that you are getting into snowshoeing. @TomV's suggestion of focusing on the boot's fit is spot on. If you have a local REI, we suggest visiting the store to to see which boots feel best on your feet. You may also want to take a look at this previous thread on avoiding blisters with new shoeshoeing boots.
We recommend the following options, which are insulated/waterproof and also have the small shelf that @TomV mentioned:
Let us know if you have any additional questions. Hopefully this helps!