The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

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, and unique styling choices
Manufacturer:   LaCrosse Footwear
By Richard Forbes ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Feb 12, 2018
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33
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 11
  • Water Resistance - 30% 3
  • Comfort - 30% 3
  • Traction - 15% 4
  • Warmth - 10% 6
  • Ease of Use - 10% 2
  • Style - 5% 2

Our Verdict

In our last rain boot review, the LaCrosse Hampton was a Top Pick for Mild Use, due to its casual looks and comfortable fit. We initially intended 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 that the new Alpha Muddy was significantly different, and changed a number of things that we had already grown to like about the original Hampton (even in just one week of use). After testing the new model extensively, we ultimately decided that the original Hampton was a significantly better model for our feet types. 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.

But if your foot is a standard D width, and you're looking for a low boot, you'd be best suited by the Bogs Carson. Our testers and friends find it to be a subtle and better alternative.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award  
Price $99.95 at Amazon$119.93 at Amazon$129.93 at Amazon$41.72 at Amazon
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$65.00 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Good option for people with wider size feet, moderate insulationWell insulated, ideal comfort, and easy to take on and offExtremely warm, grippyHighly waterproof, stiff construction for rough terrain, great tractionAffordable, well-insulated, great traction
Cons Minimal traction, and unique styling choicesLower shaft height, less tractionToo warm for most uses, too tight to easily slip on and offLooser fit, lacks insulationNot as comfortable as other models
Bottom Line While these boots will work well for those with wider feet, they lack solid traction and comfort.The Ultra High boot will keep you warm, dry, and comfortable even on the longest, coldest, and wettest days.The Arctic Sport will keep you warm when all else fails, though they'll be way too warm in normal conditions.This workhorse boasts a very fair price for such a rugged boot.While we loved many of the innovative aspects of these boots, we wish the boot had more support underfoot for all day comfort.
Rating Categories LaCrosse Alpha Muddy Bogs Classic Ultra High Arctic Sport Baffin Enduro Kamik Icebreaker
Water Resistance (30%)
10
0
3
10
0
5
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
5
Comfort (30%)
10
0
3
10
0
9
10
0
3
10
0
7
10
0
6
Traction (15%)
10
0
4
10
0
5
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
Warmth (10%)
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
4
10
0
7
Ease Of Use (10%)
10
0
2
10
0
10
10
0
5
10
0
6
10
0
8
Style (5%)
10
0
2
10
0
8
10
0
6
10
0
5
10
0
7
Specs LaCrosse Alpha Muddy Bogs Classic Ultra... Arctic Sport Baffin Enduro Kamik Icebreaker
Weight of pair in pounds 3.23 lbs 5.76 lbs 5.74 lbs 5.49 lbs 4.58 lbs
Shaft Height (in inches - from bottom of sole to lowest point at top of shaft) 5.1 in 12 in 17.6 in 16.25 in 14.25 in
Width Options Regular Regular Regular Regular Regular
Lining/Insulation Air Circ mesh 7mm waterproof Neo-Tech insulation Fleece Synthetic Moisture wicking removable Zylex liner
Circumference (inches) 11 in 17 in 15.25 in 17.5 in 16.5 in
Upper Rubber and neoprene Rubber Rubber Rubber Rubber with waterproof adjustable nylon collar
Insole Removable Polyurethane Aegis antimicrobial contoured insole EVA molded midsole with contoured footbed and 2mm thermal foam underlay Gel-Flex shock-absorbing heels and midsoles 11mm Zylex insole
Outsole Aqua rubber outsole Siped self-cleaning non-slip rubber MS-1 molded outsole Rubber TRACKER synthetic Rubber
Unique features Neoprene interior, rear pull tab, side stretch panels Easy to put on due to handles, easy to take off due to heel studs, neoprene shaft Neoprene shaft, thick insulation, and aggressive outsole Aggressive outsole Drawstring, Zylex liner
Sizing info Order one size down from your normal size Order next size up Order next size up Order your true size Order next size up
Sizes Available 7 - 15 4 - 16 5 - 15 7 - 14 7 - 15
Other Versions Tall versions: Alphaburly, Alpha Lite Women's version Arctic Excursion, Arctic Pro Enduro Steel Toe Kid's version

Our Analysis and Test Results

These boots did not 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 now sized wide and high volume, and will tend to lose your feet unless this is your foot type. 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.

Water Resistance


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 in these, 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 these under standard pants without tucking them in. If you're looking for a shorter rain boot, go for the Bogs Carson or Kamik Larslo, they're both over an inch taller, and lack both the odd color 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


The size may have been wrong, but they were very spacious, and our heels were constantly slipping around in them. Since we got a chance to try out their predecessors (the Hampton) and found their fit to be perfect (maybe even better than the Bogs Carson) we were disappointed to find that LaCrosse designed Alpha Muddy on a completely different last (as we got the same size as we'd had in the Hampton). We'll talk about specific changes down in the fit section, but the sloppy fit had a big impact on comfort, as our heels slid around in the 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.

In terms of the general test, the Alpha Muddy had minimal insoles, and they were only slightly thicker than the Hunters. We did not find these boots to be comfortable, even during short period of use.

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

Traction


The Alpha Muddy's traction did not feature much of an outsole and didn't perform well on any of the surfaces we tested (and tied with the Hunter boots for last place in this test). We found they didn't feel solid or grippy on any terrain but flat asphalt, and when we took them on wet grass, mud, and snow, we were always teetering between slips. When we wore them on ice, they were even more slippery.

The Bogs Carson has significantly better traction than these (for a low boot) and if you want the best traction in the test, go take a look at the Arctic Sport.

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

Warmth


These boots were reasonably warm with socks, though their large fit (and the fact that the tops of the boots didn't close as tightly on our ankles) meant that cold air easily slipped in around our feet and chilled us. They did decently well in the ice water immersion test, and our bare feet felt the cold first after 3 minutes, and were uncomfortably cold after 5 minutes, especially on the tops of our toes (where they made contact with the inside of the boot). This performance puts these boots right between the slightly colder Bogs Carson and the slightly warmer Kamik Icebreaker.

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

Style


These ranked 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 they 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 wore these out and about, we definitely got some comments on their unique looks.

If you're looking for a stylish low boot, definitely go for the Bogs Carson, or see if you can find a pair of the Hamptons if you want to stick with the brand.

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

Ease of Use


If we hadn't tried the Hamptons first, we would have assumed that we had just gotten the wrong size, but since we received the same size in the Hamptons as the Alpha Muddy, we wanted to stick out the test to adequately describe how different these models are. And this looser incarnation of the Hamptons slips around (and puckers in the heel) so much that they're pretty difficult to use. They do slip on easily though, but that's just because they're designed for people with large ankles, and once we had them on, they did not hold our feet well, even with very thick socks.

Fit


Our feet are size 12, and we were in a size 13 boot. We had an extra inch of room forward and back. We also had at least a quarter inch of wiggle room left and right (for our D width feet). This means that these shoes, which should have been a size 13, have to be at least a size 14 or bigger. They are also at least an E width, and probably wider. Additionally, they have a fair amount of volume. So if you have high volume and/or wide feet, these boots are ideal, otherwise, they'll float around on your feet.

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

Best Applications


If the Alpha Muddy fits your feet properly, they would be a decent boot for mild chores and walking around the city. However, their peculiar styling makes them rather conspicuous, so we wouldn't recommend wearing them out on the town. Unless you need their particular fit (wide and high volume), go with the Bogs Carson, which feature better traction, higher shaft height, subtler looks, and similar warmth.

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


The Alpha Muddy retails for $100, and unless you really need the wider fit, we don't think they're worth this price. If you're price conscious, you'd be far better off getting either the Kamik Icebreaker or the Baffin Enduro, both of which are significantly better boots for much cheaper money.

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.

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 the test. If you want looks - the Bogs Carson is wonderful.


Richard Forbes