Finally tried a pair of Columbia Bugaboots. The boot says waterproof, the box says waterproof, the website says waterproof...they ain't waterproof. First use was a walk around the neighborhood in a light drizzle. My feet were wet after an hour! Culprit seems to be the gaiter hooks, so I duct taped them and tried again. Seems to be better, so now I'll take off the duct tape and seal those gaiter hooks properly.
Tip for Columbia: if your product can be improved with duct tape, it's not much of a boot.
Otherwise, I like them, and it's not as if I have a lot of options, and I didn't pay much for them ($81 I think) and returning would be a hassle, so I'll keep the damn boots.
Chat about non-hiking topics. The least serious of the forums on the site!
Columbia operates using the wrong definition of waterproof. I have a Columbia waterproof jacket that was NEVER waterproof. Aside from that major major problem, their products seem to work as well as I'd expect for the price. After many years of using Columbia products, I've decided that they only produce non-rainy day equipment. That's not the kind of performance I'll spend my money on anymore.
My boot of choice is this Scarpa boot. It's a leather boot that takes application of waterproofing goop well. I've found it to be waterproof for a few years and then not so much after whatever makes it waterproof starts to fail (guessing the Goretex degrades and seams start to leak). Scarpa boots shine in the fit department for me (perfect fit). My only complaint about Scarpa boots is they seem to fall apart earlier than I'd like but maybe that's just my higher than possible expectation.
The Columbia boots I got before the previous winter were waterproof then, and for maybe a year. They eventually sprung small leaks around where the sole connects to the outer. This year I got a pair of Merrells that are totally waterproof.
I've only tried Scarpa once. They started to fall apart on the first hike. In all my years, I've never seen anything like it. Quite astonishing.