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The Original Muck Boot Company Arctic Sport Review

This impressive boot will keep you toasty when all else fails, though they'll be far too warm for normal conditions
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $175 List | $121.50 at Amazon
Pros:  Extremely warm, grippy
Cons:  Too warm for most uses, too tight to easily slip on and off
Manufacturer:   The Original Muck Boot Company
By Richard Forbes ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 1, 2020
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74
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 12
  • Weather Protection - 30% 9
  • Comfort - 25% 4
  • Traction - 20% 9
  • Warmth - 15% 10
  • Style - 10% 4

Our Verdict

The Original Muck Boot Company Arctic Sport is meant for those who need a boot for the worst weather. It's a heavy-duty, fleece-lined, neoprene wrapped, studded tank of a boot. If you make the mistake of wearing these above 50 degrees, you'll know because you won't be able to drink enough water to stay hydrated (due to the sweating). But in the proper (read: cold) conditions, you'll find that these boots are incredibly comfortable (with a glove-like fit) and are highly water-resistant up to the tops of their 17.6" shafts. They also have the best traction of any boot in our test. We wore these in feet of snow in the Cascades, as well as nearly up to their tops in the Puget Sound, and in both instances, we were impressed. This is our clear Top Pick for the Worst Weather. While not the choice for casual outings or going out on the town, these boots are king for sheer protection.

Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Arctic Sport did extremely well in our tests, beating all the other boots in three categories — weather protection, traction, and warmth. However, due to being so stellar in these three categories, there are some downsides: they are clunky, constrictive, and hot for casual use, thus scoring low in comfort and style. Nonetheless, this boot is great when you actually need it, and its fleece-lined neoprene insulation, heavily studded outsole and cushioned midsole will keep you happy for hours in even the worst conditions.

Performance Comparison


These boots were extraordinarily warm on this blustery winter evening at Carkeek Park.
These boots were extraordinarily warm on this blustery winter evening at Carkeek Park.

Weather Protection


The Arctic Sport has the highest shaft in our test, and measures in at 17.6" from sole to top. And since the top of the boot slightly constricts on the calf due to some well-designed elastic, this further reduces the chance of splashes getting in.


When wearing these boots, it's easy to feel invincible, striding confidently into bodies of water. We knew we wouldn't get wet wearing these boots in any weather, which is a far cry from our experience in many other models. We originally weren't sure that the neoprene upper would be fully waterproof, but we twisted and stretched it with our hands underwater and found no leaks whatsoever. Impressive.

These boots will definitely keep you dry  even as you casually stroll into the Puget Sound.
These boots will definitely keep you dry, even as you casually stroll into the Puget Sound.

Comfort


It's hard to talk about comfort in the Arctic Sport because they are so specifically designed for cold use. In warm weather, you will have a hard time wearing these for more than an hour due to their absurd warmth.


Wearing these in warmer temps is doable if you don't mind sweaty feet, but it's not pleasant. However, in cold weather, these boots are the best in the test. And underfoot, the EVA padded footbed (and additional thermal padding) keep the feet cushioned and comfortable. Yet since these boots are rated for a very specific temperature range (we wouldn't want to wear these above 45°F), we can't give them a high comfort score. The boot's weight also factors into its comfort rating — they're pretty heavy at 5.74 lbs. While this means they're great for bigger tasks, they're a little heavy for casual jaunts.

Within our test  these are only moderately cushioned insoles  though the cushioning in the midsole makes these boots comfortable.
Within our test, these are only moderately cushioned insoles, though the cushioning in the midsole makes these boots comfortable.

Traction


The Arctic Sport boots have great traction. No matter what surface you find yourself on, whether you're running up grassy hills, trying to skid in mud, walking along creek beds, or walking on snow, you won't slip. We did skate around a bit on pure ice, but that's hard to avoid.


The large, separated studs on the outsole grip all surfaces equally, and we love how secure it feels.

The big lugs on the Arctic Sport make it the grippiest in our test.
The big lugs on the Arctic Sport make it the grippiest in our test.

Warmth


With neoprene insulation and a fleece lining, as well as a 2mm thermal underlay, the Arctic Sport boots earn a perfect 10 for warmth.


We love how these boots feel in cold conditions and, with thick socks, we're willing to entertain the manufacturer's claim that these boots can go down to -40°F. During our bathtub ice water test, we spent over 20 minutes in the Arctic Sport boots, barefoot and without moving, before declaring them the unequivocal winners, as our feet were only just beginning to feel any chill at all (and we'd cut the other boots when our feet became uncomfortably cold).

The high shank height and snug fit around our calves made us certain that no snow could sneak in.
The high shank height and snug fit around our calves made us certain that no snow could sneak in.

Style


The Arctic Sport rank in the middle of the pack for style, though some of our style consultants like their chunky aesthetic quite a bit.


However, unless you live in a chillier, wetter climate than we do (rainy Seattle), you're probably not going to be casually wearing these out for drinks and a movie. Though we have done that…

This is one of the least stylish boots we tested. It is definitely best suited to being out in the wilderness.
This is one of the least stylish boots we tested. It is definitely best suited to being out in the wilderness.

Fit


These size 13 boots fit our size 12 feet well, with a half-inch of forward and back wiggle room, and minimal room left and right (for our D-width forefeet), so they probably come in between a D and an E width. They also have a relatively low volume, so they hold the ankles well and don't flap around.

Our tester  as he slowly falls in love with the Arctic Sport's warmth and comfort.
The Arctic Sport is very comfortable  as long as it's cold enough.

Value


The Arctic Sport are some of the most expensive rain boots in the test, but they will keep you safe and warm when none of the other boots will. And if you're going to be spending time in the sort of weather that would require these boots, you shouldn't be skimping on footwear. We're sure these boots will last a long time with their reinforced components and high-quality construction. However, if you won't be spending consistent time in horribly cold and wet conditions, we'd recommend you get a more affordable, more comfortable, less hard-core boot.

The Arctic Sport in the inclement conditions it was meant for - feet of snow and 20 degrees with windchill.
The Arctic Sport in the inclement conditions it was meant for - feet of snow and 20 degrees with windchill.

Conclusion


We've personally never worked in cold enough conditions that would require the Arctic Sport boots, but we don't doubt that some (perhaps Midwesterners?) will need these boots for their impressive 17.6" shaft height, reliable traction, and fleece-lined insulation. For the rest of us, these boots are overkill, due to their intense warmth, average style, and general clunkiness. However, there is something truly wonderful about how warm and dry we feel in these boots which is why we had to award them a Top Pick Award for bad weather.

Richard Forbes