Santa Claus was good to me this year and got me a pair of NEOS Overshoes, the Adventurer model. I intend to use these this winter for backpacking.
I had been thinking about getting a pair of winter hiking boots. But I chickened out because boots are expensive considering how much snow we get here in Missouri. Also I'm not used to hiking in boots and I was concerned about getting some that felt comfortable without requiring a long break-in period.
Overshoes fit the bill because you just wear your normal hiking shoes inside.
The inside sole of the overshoe is rubberized so that your own shoes don't slip and slide inside the overshoe. This works remarkably well.
The overshoes close with a velcro strap around my calf and fasten with a strap over your foot.
Another very nice design feature is that the only opening is at the top, 15 inches from the sole, so it is waterproof. I put this to the test on my recent hike of the northern Trace Creek section of the OT. I had to ford a river that would have been REALLY cold to cross in sandals or water shoes. The overshoes worked like a charm.
When I didn't need the overshoes I collapsed them and packed them away. They collapse down quite small and weigh very little.
Recently we've been blessed with some snow here in St. Louis so I took them outside to walk around in the snow for 45 minutes or so. Not only are they well suited for this purpose in terms of keeping my feet dry but my feet were amazingly warm as well. The NEOS website was suggesting they would be comfortable down to 0 degrees Fahrenheit. It was in the low teens when I was walking around and my feet were more than warm enough.
I'm looking forward to some nice hikes in the snow in these babies.