Muck Boots Arctic Sport Review: The Icy Hero

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by  Karlton Miko Tyack | Last Updated: 

When it comes to protecting your feet from wet weather, Muck Boots is one of the top brands outdoor workers turn to. It’s in their name, after all. If you work in snow and ice, you may have considered their highly-rated Arctic Sport Boot. From the boot’s comfort to its function, there’s little room for compromise when working in harsh winter conditions.

We’re going to cover every aspect of the Arctic Sport, so that by the end of this review, you’ll know if it’s right for you.

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Muck Boot Arctic Sport

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Bottom line: Thanks to its clever and effective insulation, the Muck Boot Arctic Sport is a solid cold weather work shoe. This steel toe boot is especially useful for outdoor workers, since the sturdy outsole provides traction on every type of snow. One big caveat is its all-or-nothing sizing. It fits a whole size too small when paired with thick winter socks, and doesn’t come in half sizes.

Ratings:

At a Glance Feature Image/Icon  Design At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon
At a Glance Feature Image/Icon  Quality of Materials At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon
At a Glance Feature Image/Icon  Craftsmanship At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon
At a Glance Feature Image/Icon  Fit & Sizing At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon
At a Glance Feature Image/Icon  Value for Money At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon

Pros:

  • MS-1 molded outsole is impressively grippy in all types of snow, including slippery powder, thick slushy snirt, and ice
  • Fleece lining provides comfort and warmth, rated to guarantee insulation from -40 degrees Fahrenheit to 40 degrees
  • Steel toe is protective and a useful tool on the field
  • Soft and supportive shaft makes putting on the shoe quick and easy
  • Mud and dirty snow slides right off of the upper

Cons:

  • While most Muck Boots fit true to size, this is the only model to run a whole size smaller if you wear them with winter socks, which is confusing to those familiar with the brand through other boot styles
  • Easy to slip on, but difficult to take off

As someone who’s worked on a New England farm in January, I know cold seasons aren’t just for bookkeeping and meeting with seed dealers.

A lot of you know what I’m talking about.

You’re out there cleaning equipment, feeding livestock since they can’t graze, and chopping up wood. While the start of the cold season isn’t the end of the job, it does mean that it’s time to pull out those cold weather boots.

Winter footwear can be tricky to shop for. Sure, it’s cold out, but if your shoe is overly insulated, you can still run the risk of overheating. You want a robust sole for snow, but not one that’ll deter your agility.

The Muck Boot Arctic Sport is a popular and highly-rated option. Does it succeed on all those fronts though?

I’ve stomped around in this boot on the field, in the snow, and on the ice. I even wore it as a winter shoe in the city. I’m confident I’ve done enough in them to recommend who should and shouldn’t make the investment. Read on for my thoughts.

Arctic Sport Muck Boots Overview

Arctic Sport Muck Boots woods 1

The Arctic line is the Muck Company’s collection of winterized performance boots. The Sport is one of the lighter weight wellingtons, with an outsole designed specifically for snow. It comes in two heights, and we’re focusing on the tall boot today.

The Arctic Sport’s shaft measures 14.25″ from the arch, which means a lot of calf coverage for most people. For heat retention, the boot is made of 5mm neoprene, lighter in weight than the 8mm neoprene on the Arctic Pro. There’s also a fleece lining that’s comfort rated from 40 degrees Fahrenheit down to -40 degrees.

Two particular qualities that make this shoe a serious work boot are the steel toe, and the outsole. The ribbed rubber design of the sole is MS-1 molded, which allows for a meticulous and complex design. It’s built for snow, but performs well in muddy, wet, and icy conditions too.

Muck Boots Arctic Sport
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Things to Consider Before Buying Arctic Sport Muck Boots

Arctic Sport Muck Boots woods ice 3

When choosing any work boot, you should always consider what kind of work you’ll be doing, and what your other boot options are. 

Should you go for the tall or mid-high wellington? Yes, the fabric shaft on the tall boot is more flexible than a hard rubber one, but it isn’t without resistance. If you’ll need to quickly bend down a lot, and if you don’t anticipate being knee-deep in muck or snow, perhaps the mid boot is the way to go.

Secondly, do you expect to be working on snow or ice more often? If it’s the latter, you might consider the Arctic Pro. The Arctic Sport’s lugs are designed to bite into the snow, while the Pro’s lugs feature a sharper outer track, and rounded grip lugs in the center, for stability on ice.

The Sport works fine on ice, but the Pro is made for it.

Muck Boot Arctic Pro
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Arctic Sport Muck Boots Review

First Impression

Arctic Sport Muck Boots indoor close up 5

Upon taking it out of the box, I thought this boot looked and felt heavy. The foot portion is built with thick rubber. Meanwhile, the shaft is a softer fabric, and you can feel the fleece layer when you squeeze it.

I was surprised at how immediately comfortable this boot was. Before I even stepped outside, I walked around the hardwood floors of my house for hours just doing chores. I could feel the balls of my feet sink softly into the footbed as I walked, and there was absolutely zero soreness from treading around in this shoe after the first day.

Arctic Sport Muck Boots indoor 7

Especially for a steel toe with such a big outsole, it definitely scores high on the comfort factor.

The soft, buttery interior made sliding into the shaft quick and easy. It’s definitely one of the best slip-on experiences I’ve had. Yet, the foot portion is so structured, it doesn’t slide off as you walk in it. 

In fact, one big con is how hard it is to take off the shoe, especially if you’re wearing thick socks.

Another thing I noticed is that the fit was a bit snug and that my toe hit the front of the shoe. It wasn’t distracting or uncomfortable, so I wrote it off that first day. More on that under fit and sizing though.

Quality and Care

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The materials and ease of maintenance is where the Arctic Sport really shines.

Instead of using bulky elements for insulation, the entire boot is lined with fleece and there’s thermal foam under the footbed. I’ve worn this boot in freezing temperatures with regular socks, and it kept me sufficiently warm for hours.

Importantly, my feet didn’t get sweaty from long work days on the farm since the shoe isn’t overly insulated.

It also offers a lot of flexibility. The Arctic Sport is fully lined with 5mm neoprene, which is a bendable synthetic rubber that maintains its pliability in a range of temperatures. 

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Of course, you won’t get the range of motion that you’d get from an ankle boot, but as far as tall slip-ons go, this is one of the most limber in my experience. I’d even go as far as to say it’s the most flexible in the Wellington category.

This boot is mercifully easy to clean, especially on the hard rubber portion. I mostly just hose it down. Dirt, mud, and snow just slide right off. I recommend using a disinfectant spray if you work around animal mess or hazardous chemicals.

Muck Boots calls the outsole “self-cleaning” which basically just means it won’t hang on to mud. I find you can just take a stream of water to it, or use a damp soapy cloth, if it does get too dirty

Sole

Arctic Sport Muck Boots indoor outsole 1

The theme of highly effective materials carry on into the Arctic Sport’s sole.

I’ve walked on every kind of snow in this boot, and I didn’t slip or trip once—and I’m a clumsy person. In the city, I walked (and ran) on powder snow that gets slick when it’s on smooth surfaces, as well as that slippery dirt slush that piles up on the side of roads, often up to my knees.

Out in the country, I trekked through hard packing snow, deep untouched snow, and even the occasional ice patch. I get slightly shaky on smoother ice patches, but not unstable.

Arctic Sport Muck Boots indoor outsole 2

Overall, this is an excellent winter outsole.

Most of the weight of the boot comes from the sole. For its thickness, it bends a decent amount, and the EVA midsole is comfortable right out of the box. Just don’t expect to get the sole flexibility of a snow runner.

Fit and Sizing

Arctic Sport Muck Boots woods ice 1

Sadly, this is where the boot loses some points.

As mentioned, it’s impressively easy to slip on, but a pain to take off. This is especially so when it comes to the second boot, since you can’t use your already debooted other foot to hold it still.

The first few times I wore this boot, it wasn’t that cold out, so I wore regular socks. It was snug, but not uncomfortable. When it reached below freezing temperatures and I switched to thicker socks, the combination was noticeably constricting.

So, you have two choices: 

You can size up. It will fit perfectly with chunky socks, but slightly loose with thinner socks.

Or you can go for your regular number size. The boot will feel considerably tight with thick socks, and snug with normal ones.

Break-in Period

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The break-in period sneaks up on you after the first day, though it’s pretty short and easy.

The first two times I wore this boot, it felt perfectly comfortable and my feet weren’t sore after hours of work. By the third time though, I noticed my ankles would get tender at the end of the day. This is likely because my ankles were getting used to the thick outsole, which put pressure on them when I’d bend over.

I didn’t experience any hotspots on my actual feet though, and the ankle situation lasted me about a week and a half before it went away. 

What Do Other Reviewers Say?

Arctic Sport Muck Boots woods ice 2

The Arctic Sport is popular and highly-rated thanks to its relatively light weight, warm lining, and snow-sturdy grip. 

Several outdoor workers in Canada and the northern Midwest highly recommend partnering the boot with thermal socks. One gent from North Dakota even opines that this boot would be perfect if the comfort rating went down to -60. He goes on to mention that the lightness in weight, and wearing good socks, make up for that shortcoming.

That being the case, many reviewers recommend sizing up. Do keep in mind my note regarding whether you should do this or get your proper size. If you work in below freezing climates, then you likely should size up to make room for your socks.

Reviewers also love that the upper doesn’t get dirty easily, even when snow and grime make their unholy alliance.

Muck Boot Arctic Sport Alternatives

Muck Boots Arctic Pro

The Arctic Pro Muck Boot is the heavier-duty shoe in the Arctic line. Like the Sport, it’s a tall boot, insulated for winter temperatures, and equipped with a molded outsole.

The Arctic Pro, however, is leveled up with an 8mm neoprene upper vs the Sport’s 5mm. This provides more insulation, and is comfort rated all the way down to -60 degrees Fahrenheit to 30 degrees.

As mentioned previously, the lugs are built especially for icy conditions. This boot provides stable grip even on the smoothest, slipperiest ice.

Where the Sport has the Pro beat is that it’s much lighter and more flexible. While the Pro is better at cold defense, the Sport is easier to work in.

Muck Boot Arctic Pro
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Arctic Sport Muck Boot Mid

The Arctic Sport Muck Boot Mid is just the shorter version of the Tall, from the snow-sturdy outsole to the ductile shaft.

The shaft measures approximately 11″ from the arch, providing more mobility and less resistance.

Another huge difference is that this boot doesn’t come in a steel toe. If you don’t need this protection, or you work at a job that doesn’t allow steel toes, the Mid is a superior option not only when it comes to range of motion, but also lightness in weight.

Muck Boot Arctic Sport Mid
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My Overall Thoughts on the Arctic Sport Muck Boots

What I Like

  • Serving up high performance in harsh conditions, the molded outsole gives excellent traction in all types of snow, including slick powder and dirty slippery slush.

  • The fleece lining provides comfort and warmth and is rated to guarantee insulation from -40 degrees Fahrenheit to 40 degrees.

  • Meeting ASTM standards, the steel toe is protective, and a great tool when kicking and stomping is needed.

  • The collar is soft but supportive, making it easy to quickly slip the shoe on.

  • It’s easy to clean as most mud and dirty snow slides right off of the upper.

What I Don’t Like

  • The break-in period sneaks up on you after the first or second wear.

  • The sizing is confusing, and the lack of half sizes makes it more difficult to choose whether to size up or down.

Who is the Arctic Sport Muck Boot For?

The Muck Boots Arctic Sport is for outdoor workers, like farmers and oil workers, who are subjected to cold temperatures and winter weather. The height of the shaft is perfect if you need to walk through mud, as well.

I wouldn’t recommend it as a non-work cold weather shoe, unless you expect to be walking through a blizzard. The steel toe and rubber outsole provide the protection and robustness needed on the field, but are unnecessarily weighty if you don’t need them.

That being the case, as far as insulated steel toe work boots go, the Arctic Sport gives a lot of mobility and comfort.

The Verdict

This boot is an effective happy medium compared to other winterized work boots in the market. If you measure it against our alternatives, you’ll notice that it’s more substantial than the Arctic Sport Mid, but easier to move in than the Arctic Pro.

When it comes to outdoor work, a cold weather boot needs to do more than keep muck out. Weird sizing aside, the Arctic Sport boasts many strengths, including light yet competent insulation and one of the most dynamic lugs available.

Muck Boots Arctic Sport
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FAQs

Are Arctic Sport Muck boots warm?

Yes, they’re lined with fleece throughout, and there’s thermal foam under the footbed. They’re rated for comfort from -40 degrees to 40 degrees fahrenheit.

How good are Muck boots in the snow?

The injection-molded outsole is designed for all types of snow. They provide effective traction in powder snow, slush, packing snow, and more.

Should I size down for Arctic Sport Muck boots?

The Arctic Sport runs small, so you should size up if you’ll be wearing thick winter socks.

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