In November 2010, we reviewed Teva’s then-new Forge Pro and were very impressed with these truly professional light hikers. We praised the multi-sport shoe for its versatile technical features and Spider365 sole.

But they’re not done—no, not Teva. They upped the ante by not only making the Forge Pro a mid-height boot, but by winterizing it with 200 grams of 3M Thinsulate and water proofing it with their TIDE Seal waterproof membrane. As though that weren’t enough genetic manipulation, they slap Hypergrip Ice Lock fiberglass-infused lugs underneath to “grip ice like a wet tongue.” Nice imagery, that.

The results are Teva’s Forge Pro Winter Mid WP, a crazy genetic experiment to create a mid-height winter hiking boot out of an outstanding multi-sport shoe. Were they crazy? Yes—like a fox. Let’s start with the mid-height. I often complain about mid-height boots clamping my ankles in unpleasant ways, but Teva has a gaiter-inspired heel collar that fits snuggly to your ankle but keeps the unwanted stuff (snow) out. The result is a supporting mid boot that lets you flex and bend with wonderful range of motion—abso-freaking-lutely brilliant!

Lacing these things up is easy—the laces just seem to work surprisingly well. So well, it’s easy to over-tighten the front of the boot. Don’t get too excited. They also unlace like some sort of party magic trick, meaning you’re in and out of them in a flash. In fact, I’m spoiled—most other shoes and boots seem cumbersome and exasperatingly slow. It’s like switching from Mac to PC when you go back from these.

Thinsulate warms things up without bulk—the Winter Mids are still sleek and sexy, much like the original Forge Pros. In fact, these shoes are just downright good-looking. They come in black but have character, with some subtle gray and anthracite details. TIDE seal waterproofing from Teva has proven great, and at no time in testing did my feet get wet from inclement weather. I’d rate breathability at the lower end of the spectrum, having said that—but I was testing generally with a thicker sock. With the insulation, a lighter weight sock may have solved that problem.

I wish I could say that we had the chance to get to know the Hypergrip fiberglass-infused pods, but I didn’t get the chance to set these things free in the ice. In the wet and slushy/snowy conditions I did test them, they performed great. All this amazing tech rides on Mush infused insoles, “bringing the absurd comfort of [Teva’s] flip flops to boots.” True story—I could wear these things all day, on or off the trail, regardless of whether it’s wet or snowy. They’re that comfortable.

Teva’s Forge Pro Winter Mid WP runs a reasonable $160 for a waterproof, ice-hugging, sleek but insulated boot in which you can hike wintery trails or just play in any kind of cold weather. I’d say for these things, that’s money well spent. Forge on, Teva!