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Hands-on Gear Review
Xtratuf Legacy 15" - Women's Review
Cons: Oily sheen out of the box, rubber changes color when wet, lack of insulation
Bottom line: A techy rain boot made for the hardworking outdoorist.
This Xtratuf Legacy offers quite a few perks, from thick soles for all-day foot support to the chemical resistance of the neoprene upper. If you work in outdoor environments with lots of mud and water, these boots are a Top Pick winner for those very reasons. Ranking high in weather protection and comfort, the Legacy has a techy look to them, found favorable to those often exposed to the elements or the grime of work; and with above average scoring in style, traction, and warmth, they are overall of reliable quality.
A tall boot with one basic brown or "copper" upper, it is the lining inside that has options for different patterns. There are currently four designs available: Copper/Blue, Copper/Tan, Copper/Octopus Print, Copper/Fish Print. The latter two are in direct honor of the Salmon Sisters, two famous Alaskan commercial fishers. According to the website, Xtratuf boots are considered a "staple in the fishing and work industry."
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The Xtratuf Legacy is the women's version of the classic unisex option, crafted with a different last to better provide comfort and fit that is specific to women. Highly functional, these boots more than cover all the basics for an ideal mild-weather rain boot. Although their list price is $135, 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 ozone, acid, and chemical resistant. The uppers are also lighter and more flexible than typical rubber. However, the pair we tested still weighed in at 3.61 lbs due to their thick soles.
At 15 inches in height from the ground, other features include toe and heel guards, a non-marking Chevron outsole that is rather slip-resistant (except in snow, which is where we found it to falter a bit), and Breathe-O-Prene insoles that help absorb moisture and shock while also allowing for fast drying time. As the main photo shows, the shaft is flexible enough to fold over, allowing you to show off the printed lining for a more fashionable look.
The Legacy is relatively tall, and the 15-inch height allows for high weather protection over those of short height, such as the Crocs Jaunt Shorty or the Sperry Saltwater.
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 was of much concern to us. With their fully waterproofed and chemical resistant neoprene, these boots are constructed to protect you from more than just rain and earned one of the higher scores in our fleet.
All-day wear is one of the best qualities of this model. With such a thick sole and women's specific last, they are comfortable to wear out and about. From running errands to tending the garden, we never had tired or aching feet by the end of the day; and the neoprene shaft is so flexible (the most flexible of the bunch), that we never had issues with mobility, even with the shaft being of fair height.
The Legacy is the second heaviest pair we tested, but they surprisingly didn't feel cumbersome or difficult to pack. The footbox is roomy enough for thick socks, and while there was slight heel slippage, the neoprene is so soft that we did not have hot spots develop. These boots were also really easy to put on and take off without the aid of your hands.
Versatility in style is what the Legacy lacked the most. Coming in only one brown/copper color for the neoprene, and being rather tall, their marine lifestyle look was fairly singular. Even with the lining and cyan 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 look. There are no added buckles or accessories, and the molding is incredibly subtle.
This model comes with four different copper and lining design combinations: Copper/Blue, Copper/Tan, Copper/Octopus Print, Copper/Fish Print. We must say, when we think of copper, we imagine something with a bit of an orange tinge. Describing the color of the shaft, we would say they are brown, a mud brown even, and very earthy. This shade of brown, in our opinion, actually helps the outdoor appeal.
We can tell these boots are designed with fishing and outdoor work in mind, which isn't a bad thing at all. Style is subjective, of course, and if we were to be involved in these fishing environments, we imagine that we would want something that doesn't stand out or look oddly fancy. However, if you are in search of something with a high vogue appeal, we like the Kamik Heidi, for a glossy, colorful design, or the Hunter Original Back Adjustable for excellent style that hails form Great Britain.
The Legacy has defined and deep tread patterns reminiscent of a simple work boot. They consistently perform above average in our tests and are no doubt a reliable pair.
Traction holds a lot of weight when you're searching for a boot to work in, whether on a boat or farm, and these certainly held up to our expectations. While not the best in snowy and icy conditions, or across slimy rocks in the river, they did 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, the traction is more than adequate.
The Legacy is constructed of a thin nylon lining, and warmth is not a priority with these boots.
They received above average scores in this category, as heat loss happened rather quickly in the snow and icy river test. However, it wasn't as drastic as the Helly Hansen Veierland 2. In temperatures ranging from 50-75F, the warmth inherent in such a waterproofed boot was sufficient for maintaining foot comfort; and if you're working in the outdoors or live in warmer climates, then having a contender that is relatively cool will only help prevent sweaty feet.
This model comes in whole sizes from 6-11. As is typical of rain boots, half-sizes are not offered. Thus the fit isn't perfect, especially if you're in-between sizes, like our lead tester who is a size 7.5. We sized up to an 8 when we purchased these boots, and we think, in retrospect, it was likely the better choice to do so. However, without knowing what a size 7 would feel like in comparison, it's difficult to judge whether or not a more snug fit around the foot would have been ideal.
With the size 8, 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 your calf when you walk and is somewhat noisy compared to other models. Overall, the footbox is roomier than, say, the Helly Hansen Veierland 2 or the Kamik Heidi, which is a plus for foot swelling or for those who have high volume feet.
A few words regarding the sizing chart that Xtratuf provides: it might be misleading. Even when labeled as a "women's" chart, the sizes seem to be for men. The conversion lists foot length measurements and what US size they would translate to. However, if our lead tester measured her foot to be 9.5 inches in length, then the chart they provide recommends a US 6, which is too small for her typically sized 7.5 foot. Instead of relying on this chart, as it is slightly confusing, we would recommend going off user reviews and your usual shoe size.
Based on the work and values surrounding the Alaskan fishing community, the company designed the Legacy for those who work on the water. From the commercial, sport, or leisure consumer realms, marine lifestyle is the foremost intended place for use. Nonetheless, these mild-weather boots are great for the farm or other work environments, at home in the garden, or for the casual outing. With all-day support and quality waterproofing, the technical and marine look might just suit you best after all.
Designed in Alaska and manufactured in China, the Legacy rings in at $135. While it's not as expensive as the Hunter Original Back Adjustable, they cost more than the remaining eight boots we 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 overall seems fair if you intend to use these at work.
The Xtratuf Legacy 15-inch boots are very reliable, have a flexible shaft, and are comfortable. They are ideal for working in the elements and provide all the fundamentals of weather protection and traction.
— Sara Aranda
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