Northwave's latest GTX boots are an impressively high performance way of keeping feet comfortable down to freezing point, but they don't come cheap.
The first really noticeable thing about the Extremes is that they don't feel like heavy wellies. At 1,100g a pair they're not much heavier than a summer shoe, and a conventional (rather than extra thick) insole combines with a stiff nylon and fibreglass sole for a decent kick under power. There's enough tread to stamp sideways or toe up most steep, slippery banks you can't ride.
The uppers are lightly insulated, so the outer exoskeleton gives a good, firm grip on your foot all the way round once you crank up the Boa winches that tension the top. The thick neoprene cuffs use velcro wraps for a snug fit, and while the tabs that keep the tongues hauled up can dig in a bit, you don't actually need them.
The roomy toe boxes, Gore-Tex liners and solid noses mean they've been warm and fast-drying between rides. They still freeze if water creeps in the top, but we've been comfy down below zero in the dry.
We've got a set of original Northwave boots still going strong after over a decade, which makes them a true investment although they're expensive compared to £150 Shimano and £170 Lake examples, and really expensive compared to a set of thick overshoes.