For me, this topic begins and ends with the name Itasca. That's what I have, that's what I wear, that's what I love. Of course if you're a girl looking for a hiking boot this probably isn't for you, but, they make stuff that you might want to check out.
Now I should note that through all of the adventures you've read about hear, and many many others Julie and I were both wearing Hi-Tec boots. Julie's had a longer break-in than she wanted, but she ended up liking them. Recently we retired both pair and moved on. I got my beloved Itasca hunting boots, and Julie got a pair of Herman Commanders that I admit I sometimes lust for.
My boots are waterproof and have 2400 grams of thinsulate. No, that's not overkill. I don't believe in cold feet. I can still wear them in the summer, and do... but like I said... I do find myself lusting after Julie's Commanders.
If I were in Minnesota though... I hear Rocky makes a heated boot.