Most people try to justify one pair of the pricey Lake Winter Cycling Boots. At $270, they are not cheap. I happen to have two pair.
My first pair I bought in the summer of 2006. Buying winter boots in the summer brings down the cost, if you shop around. I got my first pair, an older MXZ301 model, for $175. The next summer I happened to see a clearance on the same boots. When I went to the website they had one size left, pricing it at a clearance price of $90. It so happened to be my size! I jumped on it. When they arrived I realized they weren't exactly like the ones I had. These were the road version, the CXZ301. As you can see in the picture above, much less aggressive tread. The second pair have been in the box every since. This year I'm breaking them out. I decided they'd work great for longer road rides in cold weather and help save a little wear and tear on my original pair that is showing signs of heavy use.
Tonight I got both pairs out to give them a good coating of Nikwax to prepare them for our long Minnesota winters.
I tried shoe covers when I first started to ride all year long. The whole concept of shoe covers never made any sense to me. When I go winter camping, I don't wear my summer hiking shoes with shoe covers. I wear winter boots. When I go snowshoeing, I don't wear summer shoes with covers on them. I wear winter boots. Now that's what I do for cycling as well. These Lake boots make a hell of a lot of sense to me. They are worth every penny if you commute all year round in pretty extreme conditions and still want to use clip in pedals.