Da-yum, this is one of the best threads I've ever seen. Very enlightening. The issue for a lot of us is simply that we have only spent very limited times out in this stuff; so there is a world of difference from say a week out there, and spending several weeks in it. This is a key point that needs to be emphasized. To truly sustain a unit in this kind of environment, you need additional resources that may not be organic/readily available to every unit. Things such as rear-area warming tents, stoves, etc. look to be essential equipment to be able to stay out there for extended periods. And you need a realistic SOP that allows guys to rotate back to the rear and get dry/warm/rested.
I'm glad this thread has been resurrected. It is indeed fascinating to see cross-polinization of ideas from several countries. And I have to laugh because I have more in common with soldiers/Marines from around the world than I do with most of my countryman.
Some additional thoughts. I think there needs to be some kind of balance between creature comforts and the tactical necessity. In this realm, creature comforts that grunts scoffed at the REMF's for, become necessities for survival. With that being said, I also think it takes a hard man to operate in this environment. Much like Ranger school; not for the weak or faint of heart.
I like wool myself. I think maybe Cotton was being thought of awhile back? I use wool socks year-round, different thicknesses.
I also use gtx sock liners, but that's usually in hot/wet conditions. I have used them in cold/wet, but been able to change out quick enough to avoid any problems.
I prefer a non-gtx boot because again mostly hot/wet, but sometimes cold/wet as well. But I've found they dry out much faster then gtx boots. Looking at something like Neos overboots to work in conjunction with them.
So yeah interesting to compare my usual SOP with extreme cold conditions.