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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
The Original Muck Boot Company Arctic Sport
Photo: The Original Muck Boot Company
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $175 List | $132.18 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 12, 2021
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74
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 14
  • 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

 
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award  Best Buy Award  
Price $132.18 at Amazon$152.00 at Amazon$64.95 at Amazon$55.00 at REI
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Pros Extremely warm, grippyExtremely weatherproof, decently lightweight, great tractionAffordable, well-insulated, great tractionHighly waterproof, stiff construction for rough terrain, great tractionInexpensive, high shaft, steel toe
Cons Too warm for most uses, too tight to easily slip on and offPretty pricey, thin-feeling underfootNot as comfortable as other modelsLooser fit, lacks insulationUncomfortable for extended use, steel toe extends into toe space, heavy
Bottom Line This impressive boot will keep you toasty when all else fails, though they'll be far too warm for normal conditionsThese boots performed highly in every test we threw at them, and we're confident they'll keep you dry and happyWhile we love many of the innovative aspects of these boots, we wish they could provide more support underfootThis workhorse boasts a very fair price for such a rugged bootDespite the great price on these boots, they're uncomfortable to wear for more than half an hour at a time
Rating Categories Arctic Sport Wetland Kamik Icebreaker Baffin Enduro Servus CT Safety
Weather Protection (30%)
9.0
9.0
6.0
8.0
7.0
Comfort (25%)
4.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
3.0
Traction (20%)
9.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
5.0
Warmth (15%)
10.0
9.0
7.0
3.0
3.0
Style (10%)
4.0
5.0
7.0
5.0
3.0
Specs Arctic Sport Wetland Kamik Icebreaker Baffin Enduro Servus CT Safety
Weight per Pair (size 13) 5.74 lbs 4.72 lbs 4.58 lbs 5.49 lbs 6.13 lbs
Flood Height (inches from bottom of sole to lowest point at top of shaft) 17.6" 18" 14.3 in 16.3" 15"
Mouth Circumference (inches) 15.25" 18.75" 16.5" 17.5" 19.75"
Lining/Insulation Fleece 5 mm neoprene Moisture wicking removable Zylex liner Synthetic Regular
Upper Material Rubber Rubber Rubber with waterproof adjustable nylon collar Rubber Synthetic
Outsole Material MS-1 molded outsole Rubber TRACKER synthetic Rubber Rubber Rubber
Insole EVA molded midsole with contoured footbed and 2mm thermal foam underlay EVA 11mm Zylex insole Gel-Flex shock-absorbing heels and midsoles PVC Polyblend
Unique Features Neoprene shaft, thick insulation, and aggressive outsole Breathable air mesh lining Drawstring, Zylex liner Aggressive outsole Foot Form, contoured heel cup reduces slippage
Width Options Regular Regular Regular Regular Regular
Sizing info Order next size up Order next size up Order next size up Order your true size Order next size up

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. As a result, if the weather was unpleasant, we found ourselves reaching for these boots first. 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...
These boots were extraordinarily warm on this blustery winter evening at Carkeek Park.
Photo: Richard Forbes

Weather Protection


The Arctic Sport has the highest shaft in our test, and measures in at 17.6" from sole to top. 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, and we were never worried about getting wet with these on our feet.


When wearing these boots, it's easy to feel invincible, striding confidently into bodies of water, thanks to their tight fit on our calves. 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, and especially the more stylish/lower cut boots. We originally were curious about whether the neoprene uppers would be fully waterproof, but despite our twisting and stretching the neoprene underwater, we never got these boots to leak. Impressive!

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

Comfort


It's a bit difficult to talk about comfort in the Arctic Sport because the boots are so clearly and 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. We've tried wearing these in the late Seattle spring, and our feet get almost immediately sweaty, which isn't exactly "comfortable".


However, in cold weather, these boots are definitely the best in the test, and are remarkably warm. We appreciated their EVA padded footbed (and additional thermal padding), which kept our feet cushioned and comfortable even in some truly cold conditions. Yet since these boots are rated for a very specific temperature range (after our warm-weather experiences, we don't really want to wear these above 45°F), we can't give them the highest comfort score — they're just too warm for a wide temperature range. 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 burlier tasks, the boots are just a little heavy for casual jaunts.

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

Traction


The Arctic Sport boots have impressively great traction thanks to their knobby outsoles. 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, and none of the boots did any better.


The large, separated studs on the outsole are impressively grippy, and we love how secure they make us feel. And thanks to the wide spacing between the studs, we didn't have issues with rocks getting stuck in the outsole (as we did with other boots).

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.
Photo: Richard Forbes

Warmth


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


The manufacturer claims that these boots are comfortable down to -40°F, and after our testing regime, we think this just might be possible (as long as we were also wearing nice thick socks). 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 the chill (and we'd cut the other boots when our feet became uncomfortably cold). During blizzards and trips to the snowy Cascades, we make sure to bring these boots along.

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

Style


The Arctic Sport rank in the middle of the pack for style. These calf-height boots don't pretend to be anything other than what they are — heavy-duty workboots — and as such, if you're wearing them, it's not going to be subtle. However, we will admit, some of our style consultants like their chunky aesthetic quite a bit.


As stated, 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 if you do, your feet will be extremely warm.

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

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. These fit most comfortably with our aftermarket insoles, but the included insoles are still impressively cushioned.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Value


The Arctic Sport are some of the most expensive rain boots in the test, but more than any other boots, we're certain these will keep you safe and warm. 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 that 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...
The Arctic Sport in the inclement conditions it was meant for - feet of snow and 20 degrees with windchill.
Photo: Richard Forbes

Conclusion


We've personally rarely spent significant time in cold enough conditions that would require us to own 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 may be overkill, due to their intense warmth, average style, and general clunkiness. But if all you want is a pair of heavy-duty waterproof winter boots, these are a great option. There is something truly wonderful about how warm and dry we feel in these boots, and they easily won an award because of it.

Richard Forbes