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LaCrosse Alpha Muddy Review

While these boots will work well for those with wider feet, they lack solid traction and comfort
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Price:  $100 List | $99.95 at Amazon
Pros:  Good option for people with wider size feet, moderate insulation
Cons:  Minimal traction, unique styling choices
Manufacturer:   LaCrosse Footwear
By Richard Forbes ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 1, 2020
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36
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#12 of 12
  • Weather Protection - 30% 3
  • Comfort - 25% 3
  • Traction - 20% 3
  • Warmth - 15% 6
  • Style - 10% 4

Our Verdict

In a previous rain boot review, the LaCrosse Hampton was a Top Pick for Mild Use, due to its casual looks and comfortable fit. We initially wanted to test that boot again and to see how it measured up to another batch of rain boots. However, during the first week of testing, we found out that the Hampton was being discontinued, so we decided to check out the newer version. We found the new Alpha Muddy to be significantly different with changes to several things that we had grown to like about the original Hampton (even after just one week of use). After testing this new model extensively, we ultimately decided that the original Hampton was a significantly better model for our testers' feet. However, if your feet are wider or higher volume, this model will provide a better fit than most of the other boots in this test.

Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

These boots didn't measure up well in our battery of tests and only performed reasonably well in one category — warmth. Their issues are largely due to the fact that the shoes are wide, with high volume, and will let your feet slip around unless you actually need the width. You would be better served if you chose another boot from our test.

Performance Comparison


The Alpha Muddy did fine in very shallow water  but threatened to swamp with water near waves or splashes.
The Alpha Muddy did fine in very shallow water, but threatened to swamp with water near waves or splashes.

Weather Protection


With only 5.1 inches of height, it's important to recognize that the Alpha Muddy isn't meant for anything more than puddles and the shallows. When we did our immersion tests, we were constantly worried about every small splash. We don't recommend these unless you really don't need much protection from water and want to be able to fit your boot under standard pants without tucking them in. However, if you're looking for a shorter rain boot, we suggest going for one of the other low rain boots — they all lack the odd color choices and chunky molding of the Alpha Muddy.

Please don't splash in  I forgot another pair of socks...
Please don't splash in, I forgot another pair of socks...

Comfort


If we hadn't tried the Hampton model previously, we would have assumed that we had gotten the wrong size of the Alpha Muddy. But since we tested the same size in the Hampton in the past, we repeated that size and toughed it out in order to adequately describe how different the two models are. This looser incarnation of the Hampton slips around and puckers in the heel to the point that they're pretty difficult to use. They do slip on easily, though, but that must be because they're designed for people with large ankles, and once we had them on, they didn't hold our feet well, even with very thick socks.

While we maybe could have benefited from a different size, the Alpha Muddy are still very spacious — our heels constantly slipped around in them. The fit on the Hampton was perfect, so we were disappointed to find that LaCrosse designed the Alpha on a completely different last. We'll talk about specific changes down in the fit section, but the sloppy fit has a big impact on comfort, as our heels slide around in these shoes. It also feels like there's less cushioning in the newer Alpha Muddy, which made them less pleasant for long days.

The Alpha Muddy on the left and the Hampton on the right.
The Alpha Muddy on the left and the Hampton on the right.

Additionally, compared to the other boots in our test, the Alpha Muddy has some of the thinnest insoles. We don't find these boots to be comfortable, even during short periods of use.

That's not much of an insole.
That's not much of an insole.

Traction


The Alpha Muddy don't feature much of an outsole and didn't perform well on any of the surfaces we tested (and were in the lowest tier of this test). We find that they don't feel solid or grippy on any terrain but flat asphalt, and when taken on wet grass, mud, and snow, we were always teetering between slips. When on ice, they're even more slippery. Almost any other boot in the test will offer you better grip.

They gripped reasonably well on the wet rocks.
They gripped reasonably well on the wet rocks.

Warmth


These boots are reasonably warm with socks, though their large fit (and the fact that the tops of the boots don't close as tightly around the ankles) means that cold air easily slips into the boots and chills the feet. They did decently well in our ice water immersion test: our bare feet felt the cold first after 3 minutes and were uncomfortably cold after 5 minutes, especially on the tops of the toes (where they made contact with the inside of the boot). This performance puts these boots roughly in the middle of the pack for warmth.

These boots had poor traction on snow and ice.
These boots had poor traction on snow and ice.

Style


These rank the lowest in our test, according to our style consultants, who almost unanimously chose them as their least favorite looking shoes. We're not sure why LaCrosse took the Hampton and made them wider, shorter, and added the strange molding lines. Please don't take our opinion as the last word, but when we wear these out and about, we've gotten questions about why we're wearing them.

These boots have a strange aesthetic  and we found it difficult to understand why they have ridges and yellow trim.  Their oddness becomes most clear when compared with the classy Bogs Carson (left).
These boots have a strange aesthetic, and we found it difficult to understand why they have ridges and yellow trim. Their oddness becomes most clear when compared with the classy Bogs Carson (left).

Fit


Our lead tester has size 12 feet and tested a size 13 — a normal size-up for him. This resulted in an extra inch of room forward and back. There was also at least a quarter-inch of wiggle room left and right (for his D width feet). This means that these shoes, which are designated as a size 13, must be at least a size 14 or bigger (by standard measurements). They are also at least an E width, and probably wider. Additionally, they have a fair amount of volume. If you have high volume and/or wide feet, these boots are ideal; otherwise, they'll float around on your feet.

Unless you need their wide fit  we don't recommend these boots  unless it's for the most casual use.
Unless you need their wide fit, we don't recommend these boots, unless it's for the most casual use.

Value


Unless you need the wider fit, we don't think the Alpha Muddy is worth the high price tag. If you're price-conscious, you'd be far better off getting one of the other budget-friendly boots in our review.

Our tester shows how much "pooch" was left in the heel  which let our feet swimming around in the boots unless we put on ludicrously thick socks.
Our tester shows how much "pooch" was left in the heel, which let our feet swimming around in the boots unless we put on ludicrously thick socks.

Conclusion


The Alpha Muddy is less comfortable, significantly larger in all dimensions, and features a completely different style than its superior predecessor. Depending on your needs, we feel you'd be better suited in another of the boots in our test.

Waves (even small ones) were one of the downfalls of the Alpha Muddy  as its loose ankle trim couldn't keep water out over a few inches deep.
Waves (even small ones) were one of the downfalls of the Alpha Muddy, as its loose ankle trim couldn't keep water out over a few inches deep.

Richard Forbes