Xtratuf Legacy 15" - Women's Review
Cons: Oily sheen out of the box, rubber changes color when wet, lack of insulation
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Our Analysis and Test Results
This XTRATUF Legacy is the women's version of the classic unisex option, crafted with a different last to provide better comfort and a fit that is specific to women. Highly functional, these boots do more than cover all the basics for an ideal mild-weather rain boot, which is why they've been awarded a Top Pick Award for their work-oriented design. Their list price is quite high, but it's not so unheard of for a model of this caliber. They are built with waterproof, triple-dipped latex neoprene in hand-layered construction, and are said to be ozone, acid, and chemical resistant. The uppers are also lighter and more flexible than typical rubber.
This tall boot has a 15-inch shaft, which allows for higher weather protection and general insulation over those with a shorter shaft height. Their height is ideal for wading into water, and they aren't so tall as to create discomfort around the knees.
The circumference of the boot opening is 14.75 inches on the pair we tested, allowing for a bit more of a gap between the calf and the rim, but not so much that it is of much concern. With their fully waterproofed and chemical resistant neoprene, the Legacy are constructed to protect you from more than just rain and thusly earn one of the highest scores for this category.
We found that all-day wear is the stand-out quality for this model. With such a thick sole and women's specific last, they are comfortable and not too cumbersome despite their weight. From running errands, driving, to tending the garden, we have yet to have tired or aching feet at the end of the day; and since the neoprene shaft is so flexible (one of the most flexible of the bunch), we never encountered issues with mobility, even with the shaft being so tall.
The foot box is roomy enough for thick socks, and while there is slight heel slippage, the neoprene is so soft that we did not have hot spots develop. These boots prove easy to put on and take off without the aid of your hands, which is a welcome bonus when your boots are wet and covered in mud. Additionally, the Breathe-O-Prene insoles absorb impact from walking and moisture to help keep the feet dry and happy.
The outsoles of the Legacy have defined and deep tread patterns reminiscent of a simple work boot. We find that this competitor consistently performed above average in our tests, a reliable pair for moving around in and across a variety of terrain.
Traction holds a lot of weight when you're searching for a boot to work in, whether on a boat or farm, and these held up to our expectations. However, we did find that they are not the best in snowy and icy conditions, or across slimy rocks in a river, but they do well on wet, grassy inclines, in the dirt and mud, and especially over flat surfaces. Considering the environments these boots are designed to be used in, like the fishing rigs of the Alaskan Salmon Sisters, we are more than confident in their stability.
Constructed with a thin nylon lining, the Legacy has some nice added warmth, though, if you're going to be working hard in them, added warmth might not be warranted nor wanted. They don't receive a super high score in this category, however, because heat loss happened rather quickly in the snow and during our icy river test. Though, to be fair, we were, for the most part, standing still.
In temperatures ranging from 45-70F, the warmth inherent in such a waterproofed boot is sufficient for maintaining comfort in our opinion; and if you're working in the outdoors or live in warmer climates, then having a contender that is relatively cool will only help mitigate sweaty feet.
Versatility in style is what the Legacy lacked the most for us. The height and limited colors give them a marine lifestyle look that is fairly singular. Even with the lining and color accents at the rim and around the outsole, they come off as a more practical, technical boot as opposed to something intended to be fashionable. However, you can fold the shaft to reveal the patterned lining for a cuter and more feminine look. There are no added buckles or accessories, and the molding is subtle.
The color of the shaft is very earthy, which we think assists the outdoor appeal. We can tell these boots are designed with fishing and outdoor work in mind. Style is subjective, of course, and if we were to be involved in these fishing environments, we imagine that we wouldn't want our work footwear to look oddly fancy and impractical.
This model comes in whole sizes, 6-11. As is typical of rain boots, half-sizes are not offered, which means the fit often isn't perfect, especially if you're in-between sizes. We sized up when we purchased these boots, and we think it is best to do so, but it might be beneficial to try on multiple sizes before purchasing, if possible, just to be sure.
By sizing up, there is room for thicker socks. With thin socks, there is heel lift, and the boot feels a bit baggy, but not so much that it becomes an annoyance. Something to consider is that the neoprene is so flexible in the shaft that it slaps against the back of the calf when you walk and is somewhat noisy compared to other models.
Designed in Alaska and manufactured in China, this brand rings in with a high list price. While they are not the most expensive, they cost more than the average of those we've tested. If we had to guess, you're essentially paying for the added chemical and acid resistance, a thicker footbed, and slip-resistant Chevron outsole, which is fair if you intend to use them aggressively. Therefore, they are of great value.
The XTRATUF Legacy boots are very reliable, have a flexible shaft, and are one of the most comfortable we've had the pleasure of testing. They are ideal for working in more rugged environments and provide all the fundamentals of weather protection and traction. They are truly deserving of a Top Pick Award for Working Outside.
— Sara Aranda