You might think you’ve got all the right boxes checked when it comes to dressing for extreme conditions, but are you really properly geared up without a pair of the best muck boots? Keep in mind, we’re not quite talking about your trusty lace-up snow boots or even your rubber pull-on Chelsea boots (although both can be very useful in their own right). No sir, we’re talking about the very specific, ultra-rugged and hard-working muck boot, the kind that’s beloved by everyone from fishermen to brewers (seriously).
Muck boots are easy to spot, boasting a much taller height (most start out with a shaft height of 11 inches or so), and a simple step-in, pull-on style. They’re most commonly made of hard-wearing rubber, although some have other elements added in (like a steel toe for workman-like toughness and efficiency). You really will know muck boots when you see them, and yes, there is indeed a company with the moniker The Original Muck Boot Company (more on them in a moment).
Consider them another durable style move to go along with a fleece-lined shirt and your favorite field watch in blustery conditions this winter and spring, for starters. Muck boots can be worn for plenty of pursuits, from hunting to on-boat work on the high seas, and of course, they’re a perfect pair of boots to tackle cumbersome rain and wind whenever it strikes.
You could even consider the British origins of the Wellington boot to fall in the same category as muck boots, but the overall point remains the same: When conditions get extreme, be it on the high seas or handling hops throughout a bustling brewery, muck boots deliver. They protect from splashes, puddles and unwanted, well, muck in the best way possible. And once you find a pair, you won’t ever dress the same way again when you head out into the field or out on your commute. Step on into our favorite muck boots right now.
1. Original Muck Boot Company Chore MAX Plain Toe Boots
Yes, you can indeed leave it to a company that first delivered this innovative style to the masses in the States to come up with one of the most reliable pairs of muck boots on the market. Consider these the sort of work boots that check all the proper boxes in the category, from the 100 percent waterproof construction to the non-metallic underfoot plate for sturdy protection, not to mention the rubber and Spandura upper. Plus, they’re done up in a no-nonsense black, so you can keep your focus on the task at hand. The medium width should still allow plenty of room for boot socks, and the calf circumference of 16.5 inches gives you the ability to tuck your jeans or work pants into these boots, too. Count on the best to deliver the best, and Original Muck Boot Company delivers.
2. BOGS Classic High Waterproof Insulated Rain Boots
BEST FOR RAIN
There are more companies making muck boots beyond just one with that coveted namesake, and BOGS makes durable boots you could actually wear into, well, a murky bog in a highlands adventure. These overbuilt boots are everything you need in a pair of rain boots, with a 12-inch shaft height for maximum protection. They’re 100 percent waterproof, as to be expected, made with hand-lasted, durable rubber and a very helpful stretch inner bootie to ensure a no-slip fit. It helps that the inner bootie provides extra protection from the elements, while the neoprene upper portion of the shaft delivers warming insulation. Go with the classic, simple black option to get the job done with ease because you’re not wearing these to walk down the runway, after all.
3. XTRATUF 15-Inch Legacy Boots
XTRATUF boots, as it’s been said, are good enough for Alaskan fishermen, and they’re certainly good enough for you. Granted, you might not be doing battle with the environment on the high seas every day, but if you need a reliable pair of work boots for chores — especially if you live on or near the water — XTRATUF certainly stands up and delivers. Call this one of the best pairs of multi-purpose work boots, because they stand up to water, spills and splashes with ease, all thanks to the triple-dipped, 100 percent waterproof latex neoprene build. They’re also flexible and durable thanks to the handmade construction with a slip-resistant outsole. Whatever you throw at these rugged muck boots, they can surely handle it.
4. LaCrosse Alphaburly Pro Boots
BEST TO WEAR IN THE FIELD
When we talk about a pair of ridiculously reliable, extremely well-made, intentionally designed pair of boots, this is what we mean. This are an impressive pair of muck boots for rainy conditions just about anywhere, but they’re specifically designed for hunting. We think you could take them with you many a cabin getaway or fishing trip, or use them on the weekends back home as a fittingly burly pair of hunting boots, but the choice is ultimately up to you. They’re designed by the intensive footwear pros at LaCrosse, who know how to outfit you for extreme conditions in ways that’ll stand the test of time. The Alphaburly Boots feature an extreme 18-inch shaft height to keep out rain, wind and field debris, and the neoprene lining adds a comfortable fit while protecting against odor and bacteria.
5. Barbour Bede Boots
BEST FOR COLD WEATHER
Muck boots are great at protecting your legs from blustery winds and driving rain, but sometimes, the rubber construction doesn’t always offer up as much insulation as thickly lined lace-up winter boots. Leave it legendary outfitter Barbour to solve that problem, and quite handily, at that. They’ve taken the brand’s iconic lining and placed it within these Wellington-style waterproof boots, which makes them a perfect pair of boots to tackle early morning chores on chilly days. Better still, they’re just as rugged and long-lasting as your toughest, most worn-in Barbour jacket (if you don’t have one, we’d suggest you pick one of those up ASAP).