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Muck Boots Review: I Tested the Arctic, Chore, and Wetland

LA-born, New York-based lover of menswear, watches, and culture. His work is featured in many prominent menswear publications and reaches hundreds of thousands of guys every year. He knows a good boot when he sees one. Read full bio.


Last Updated: Apr 3, 2024
14 min read

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.

I tried 3 of the Muck Boot Company’s most popular boots: the Arctic Sport, the Chore, and the Wetlands, and after I share my experience with these boots, you’ll know whether this brand is right for you.

The go-to for muddy conditions
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Muck Boot Company
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Bottom line: Muck Boots offers a compelling value proposition. It’s comfort rated for colder days but sweat-wicking for warmer days, allowing you to wear it all year long. The neoprene upper effectively keeps muck out, while the heavy sole competently protects and stabilizes. Muck Boots are the go-to for farm workers who work in muddy conditions all day. They're comfortable and keep your feet warm, even in cold weather.

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:
  • Neoprene upper is waterproof and effectively keeps muck and hazardous material out
  • Rubber overlay is shock absorbing and footbed adjusts to your shape, providing comfort and blister prevention
  • Fleece lining on the Arctic Sport provides comfort and warmth, rated to guarantee insulation from -40 degrees Fahrenheit to 40 degrees
Cons:
  • Easy to slip on, but difficult to take off
  • Sizing varies a bit between the different models I tried

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.

There’s always work to be done, and that’s why I picked up three of Muck Boots’ most popular options: the Arctic Sport, the classic Muck Chore boot, and the Wetland boot.

I’ve been wearing these for several years now and I’m going to share my experience with the brand.

Arctic Sport Boots Review

First Impression

Arctic Sport Muck Boots indoor close up 5

I was surprised at how immediately comfortable this boot was. 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

Arctic Sport Muck Boots salt 2

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. 

Arctic Sport Muck Boots sidewalk 1

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.

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.

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Read my full guide on proper Muck Boots sizing.

Break-in Period

Arctic Sport Muck Boots water 1

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. 

Muck Boots Arctic Sport

Because of its comfort-rated fleece lining and airtight upper, the Muck Arctic Sport boot easily keeps you comfortable while you’re working on the farm during cold seasons. And for the most intense winters, the uniquely ribbed outsole provides sturdiness and agility on snow and ice.

Check Price Read Our Review

Chore Boots Review

First Impression

Muck Boots Chore indoors 3

When I first took the Chore out of the box, it looked pretty standard as far as my experience with Muck: Sturdy build, strong rubber overlay in the foot area, and a soft fabric shaft.

Prior, I had more experience with Muck’s specialty boots, such as the cold-weather Arctics and the Wetlands, both of which featured sparser treads. The classic Chore has deeper and thinner indentations, all the tread units being much closer to each other. This made me think that these would be hard to clean. I was half right, but more on that under the Sole section.

The boot felt clunky lifting it out of the box, so I assumed it would be uncomfortable, which isn’t actually the case. The footbed is certainly firm, but not hard. There was enough cushion as I walked around the house, and plenty of support.

I also noticed that this boot is really easy to slip on, and that the collar is nicely snug, but not constricting. 

Quality and Care

Muck Boots Chore indoors 6

As a company, Muck Boots always scores high on the muck protection factor with all of their boots. Since that’s the main function of the basic Chore, the quality of materials is one of its biggest strengths. 

The bendable synthetic shaft kept its flex even in the briskest temperatures. I will say that my calves got pretty cold one windy January day, when it hit -15 degrees. This isn’t that offensive to me because I think I would’ve been okay had I been wearing proper winter socks, which I wasn’t. 

With the Chore, Muck guarantees comfort at “sub-freezing” temperatures, but doesn’t specify how much below zero, like it does with its boots in the Arctic line.

As a water-resistance test, I stepped into a creek and splashed around for a good half an hour. The upper effectively keeps the water out, as long as it doesn’t pour in from the collar. Once the water gets in, these boots will be wet for days—unless you have a boot dryer.

If it’s raining out, I find that wearing waterproof socks and rain pants tucked tightly into your boots effectively keeps water from seeping in from the top.

That one caveat aside, the boot upper is easy to clean. You can just hose it down, or use a disinfectant spray if you work with animals or chemicals. 

Sole

Muck Boots Chore indoors 5 lugs

The insole is sturdy but comfortable, though I find it slips off as I’m taking the boot off. That’s definitely a con, since it’s annoying to have to reposition it every time I put the boot back on.

The deep lugs kept me stable, even as I was carrying heavy wood logs across newly muddy terrain. I’m sure this was thanks to those deep indentations that literally hook me into the muck.

There’s also a steel shank, quadruple rubber heel, and triple reinforced toe for support and protection, and you can really feel it in the weight of the boot.

Muck Boots Chore model on dirt 3

The sole is thick, but the deep treads allow for easy bendability. In fact, the Chore’s outsole is a lot more flexible than its specialty boot counterparts.

While the upper is easy to clean, the outsole is a different story. Since the negative space between the lug units are so deep and thin, they’re a pain to clean if you let the mud and dirt dry.

I recommend washing them out as soon as you’re done with them, but that’s not always so easy to do after a long, hard work day.

Fit and Sizing

Muck Boots Chore model on rocks 1

The Chore fits true to size. I ordered my typical size 8, and it fit like a glove. In my experience, most Muck Boots fit comfortably in your regular size.

Break-in Period

Muck Boots Chore model on dirt 2

Unlike the Wetlands or the Arctic Sport, I didn’t experience a break-in period with the Chore. I think this has to do with the bendability that comes from the deep cuts of the lugs. The shallow-lugged outsoles of the specialty boots put pressure on my ankle when I bent my foot.

The Chore, as all muck-protecting work boots, is indeed heavy. This is just something to get used to though, not something to break in.

Once you get used to the weight though, this boot is comfortable enough to work for hours in. I’m a pretty small guy, so if I can handle the bulk of this shoe, most of you will too.

Muck Boot Chore Classic

The Muck Boot Chore Classic scores high on every category thanks to its perfect balance of features. The upper protects from cold, yet the mesh lining tempers heat. The shank and triple toe offer safeguards from falling objects, but the contoured and flexible neoprene provide comfort and chafe-resistance. If you’re looking for an all-year round boot for every job on the farm, go for the Classic Chore.

Check Price Read Our Review

Wetlands Review

First Impression

muck boots wetland indoor 3

As with every Muck Boot model in my experience, the Wetland felt heavy in my hand when I pulled it out of the box. After having worn a few variations, I knew this wouldn’t necessarily mean that it was uncomfortable, though it did feel clunky upon first wear. 

It’s slightly heavier than the original classic Chore, the Muck Company’s basic boot, and the collar seemed larger too. Upon checking their website, I can confirm that the classic boot’s calf circumference is 16.5mm, and the Wetland’s is 17mm.

At first this confused me, since I assume you’d need a tighter fit if you’re running around in the field, but I’d soon learn that this extra room gives a lot of flexibility.

muck boots wetland indoor 8

The Wetland has a lot in common with the Arctic Sport (5mm neoprene, same lug pattern). One immediate difference though is that the Wetland sports a slightly green-tinted brown color, unlike the Arctic Sport’s black shade. In fact, most standard Muck Boots are a neutral black. 

This is an appropriate shade for the field, since you don’t want to attract attention from the bird’s you’re trying to get a glimpse at—or shot at.

Finally, as mentioned, the Wetland is equipped with the same shallow and sparse tread pattern on its outsole as the Arctic Sport. In my experience with this pattern, it competently provides traction in an array of terrain.

Quality and Care

muck boots wetland outdoor mud 1

First off, the neoprene construction with the rubber overlay boasts solid construction. I’m no brand loyalist, but that’s just something that’s reliably consistent with Muck, defectives aside. Unless it rushes in from the top, water and grime absolutely won’t get through.

What differentiates the Wetland from the standard Muck Boot is that the rubber overlay is a smidgen higher, “calf-high” as the product description indicates. This is 100% necessary in the unmanicured woods. 

I walked through sticks, leafless bushes, and deep leaves, and that hard rubber layer definitely protected me from scratches.

I also love the air mesh lining. It does such an impressive job of keeping my feet from sweating and developing odors, that I’m now of the belief that all field boots should have an air mesh sandwich-fabric lining.

In addition to the wide range of movement this boot offers, you can fold the shaft down if you need some air. This also makes the shoe easy to take off at the end of the day.

muck boots wetland outdoor bushes

As with all of Mucks’s speciality boots, the Wetland is easy to clean. If you’re too lazy to take a cloth and soap to it each time you come back from an adventure, here’s a tip. First, just put it under running water to loosen any stuck dirt (thanks to the scattered tread, there won’t be much). Then just blast it down with some disinfectant spray and leave it be for a few minutes, before quickly washing off the chemicals.

Of course, you’ll need to take a proper cloth and soap to it every so often, maybe once a month or whenever it gets super filthy.

Also, do not let water seep in from the top. This is the case with all Muck Boots. Since it isn’t a full rubber construction, the interior will take days to dry once wet. 

How do I know this? At one point during a hunt, my calves were feeling a bit warm, so I folded my boot shafts down. Forgetting they were rolled, I stepped into a pretty deep puddle. Learn from my mistake.

Sole

muck boots wetland indoor 10 closeup

This MS-1 molded outsole is attached to a few Muck Boot models, and it’s one of my favorite designs. It’s super versatile, allowing you to walk with stability on uneven terrain whether it’s wet or dry—read: mud or rocks. It’s also excellent on every type of snow. And while the outsole isn’t designed for ice specifically, it does a job on it as long as the ice isn’t skating-rink smooth.

Another reason I love this outsole is the prior mentioned sparse tread. Unlike the Chore’s deep tread, it won’t bite into and hold onto mud.

muck boots wetland indoor 5 closeup

The outsole is heavy and feels clunky until you get used to it. I’m not sure why Muck insists on using the term “lightweight” in so many product descriptions. To their credit, it’s light for a field wellington, and the comfortable EVA midsole balances out the burden of the weight.

Although, I did once wear the Wetland on the farm, and the heavy sole made operating the pedal of the tractor impossible. 

Fit and Sizing

muck boots wetland outdoor mud and tree

The Wetland fits true to size, in my experience. If you plan on wearing super thick winter socks, I recommend removing the insole or using a thin replacement. 

The Wetland’s collar is much more snug than the collar on the standard Chore. Oddly, Muck touts the stretch-fit comfort topline of the Wetland despite it being quite loose on me, but maybe my calves are too thin.

This extra room does allow a diverse range of ways to wear the boot, as I mentioned earlier. Stuff your pants tightly into the shaft for maximum calf coverage, or roll it down on hot days or when you need to air out. 

Break-in Period

muck boots wetland outdoor boot on tree

The Wetland has a similar break-in experience to the other MS-1 outsole Muck Boots. It’s immediately comfortable upon first wear despite the weight. I was able to work a full nine hours the first day I wore it, with no notable tenderness afterwards.

Then, after my second day wearing them on the farm, I felt soreness in my ankles. Since the outsole is so thick, it puts pressure on my ankles when I have to bend my feet. Fortunately, this only lasted a few days.

My Overall Thoughts on Muck Boots

What I Like

  • The molded outsoles give excellent traction in all types of snow and mud, including slick powder and dirty slippery slush.

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

  • Meeting ASTM standards, their steel toes are 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 are Muck Boots for?

Muck Boots are for outdoor workers, like farmers and oil workers, who are subjected to cold temperatures, and wet, muddy conditions. The height of the shaft is perfect if you need to walk through farm land, as well.

I wouldn’t recommend it as a non-work 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.

The Verdict

While the sizing was a bit tough, overall, I think Muck Boots are the best tools for the job if you regularly work in wet, muddy conditions. The sole design is thoughtful, so if you’re walking through manure, you can easily clean your boots with a spray. They’re comfortable, waterproof, and cold-weather versions like the Arctic Sport will also keep your feet dry and warm in the coldest weather.

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