Hi all! Sorry I've been scarce: I've been on a trip to upstate NY to see my friends & apartment hunt since Sunday. I found a great little studio and will be moving in about a fortnight: I've been wanting to do so for about a year and a half now, so this is exciting. Where I'm moving gets an average of 100" of snow a year, and I'll be getting around via walking and public transport (and go for daily walks for pleasure/dog walking), so snow boots are at the front of my mind right now. I definitely want to buy early in the season when I have the best selection! I thought I'd ask the forum since so many of you live in northern climates (I'm moving from south Texas for those who don't know).

LL Bean is offering their bean boot in a solid navy this year (manufactured in the US), so I'll probably be getting that, but I'm not sure if I'll need taller/more hard core and poofy snow boots as well? (The navy bean boots are thinsulate lined rather than shearling, although I could buy shearling liners to go with them.) I've budgeted enough to get both, and since they'll be my main form of transport, I'm willing to pay for good quality, ethically made ones that will take care of my feet. I don't need them to look dressy, as I live a casual lifestyle, but I'd prefer to get them in grey if possible. Any brands you've had particularly good or bad experiences with? Thoughts on shorter vs taller? Features I should look for? Any advice you would share will be appreciated.

I turned up a couple on Zappos: Patagonia Wintertide and Sorel Joan of Arctic II.