The Original Muck Boot Company Wetland Review
Cons: Pretty pricey, thin-feeling underfoot
Manufacturer: The Original Muck Boot Company
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The Original Muck Boot Company Wetland
|Price||$159.95 at Amazon||$131.00 at Amazon||$64.84 at Amazon||$134.99 at Amazon||Check Price at REI|
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|Pros||Extremely weatherproof, decently lightweight, great traction||Extremely warm, grippy||Affordable, well-insulated, great traction||Well insulated, ideal comfort, easy to take on and off||Highly waterproof, stiff construction for rough terrain, great traction|
|Cons||Pretty pricey, thin-feeling underfoot||Too warm for most uses, too tight to easily slip on and off||Not as comfortable as other models||Lower shaft height, less traction||Looser fit, lacks insulation|
|Bottom Line||These boots performed highly in every test we threw at them, and we're confident they'll keep you dry and happy||This impressive boot will keep you toasty when all else fails, though they'll be far too warm for normal conditions||While we love many of the innovative aspects of these boots, we wish they could provide more support underfoot||This boot will keep you warm, dry, and comfortable even on the longest, coldest, and wettest days||This workhorse boasts a very fair price for such a rugged boot|
|Rating Categories||Wetland||Arctic Sport||Kamik Icebreaker||Bogs Classic Ultra High||Baffin Enduro|
|Weather Protection (30%)|
|Specs||Wetland||Arctic Sport||Kamik Icebreaker||Bogs Classic Ultra...||Baffin Enduro|
|Weight per Pair (size 13)||4.72 lbs||5.74 lbs||4.58 lbs||5.76 lbs||5.49 lbs|
|Flood Height (inches from bottom of sole to lowest point at top of shaft)||18"||17.6"||14.3 in||12"||16.3"|
|Mouth Circumference (inches)||18.75"||15.25"||16.5"||17"||17.5"|
|Lining/Insulation||5 mm neoprene||Fleece||Moisture wicking removable Zylex liner||7mm waterproof Neo-Tech insulation||Synthetic|
|Upper Material||Rubber||Rubber||Rubber with waterproof adjustable nylon collar||Rubber||Rubber|
|Outsole Material||Rubber||MS-1 molded outsole||TRACKER synthetic Rubber||Siped self-cleaning non-slip rubber||Rubber|
|Insole||EVA||EVA molded midsole with contoured footbed and 2mm thermal foam underlay||11mm Zylex insole||Aegis antimicrobial contoured insole||Gel-Flex shock-absorbing heels and midsoles|
|Unique Features||Breathable air mesh lining||Neoprene shaft, thick insulation, and aggressive outsole||Drawstring, Zylex liner||Easy to put on due to handles, easy to take off due to heel studs, neoprene shaft||Aggressive outsole|
|Sizing info||Order next size up||Order next size up||Order next size up||Order next size up||Order your true size|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Wetland had no problem doing well in our review — they're extremely tall (with an 18" shaft height), extremely light (only 4.75 lbs for such big boots), have the perfect amount of still-breathable warmth, and provide a burly outsole to grip onto any surface. As a result, these boots got the highest score we've had in any of our tests. We can quibble about wishing for heel-studs and a slightly thicker insole, but overall, these boots are easily some of the best that we've tested. We'd highly recommend them if you're looking for a solid pair of boots to get you through whatever wet situations you're expecting.
The Wetland boots are easily the most weather-protective boots in our test, with a huge 18" shaft height — taller than any other boot we've tested. When you've got a full foot-and-a-half of rubber keeping your feet dry, you can pretty much ignore most weather conditions.
We felt totally comfortable wading around in lakes and streams in the Seattle area with the Wetland and were impressed by how secure they felt when we were splashing around town on wet days. And if you ever don't need the full height of these boots, you can easily roll them down, which also helps with comfort and decreasing warmth on hot days.
The Wetland boots are part of a new breed of rain boots that we've seen coming out in the last year or two — fully-featured work boots that weigh significantly less than older models. When you've got less weight on your feet, working and playing both become significantly more enjoyable, and we factor weight pretty heavily into our Comfort ratings. At just under 4.75 lbs, the Wetland are some of the lightest high-shafted boots in our test, and we found these boots easy to wear for long days.
We found that the Wetland boots' lower weight does come at a cost, though it's hard to say whether this will matter to you: they have a more flexible midsole than the other heavy-duty boots in our test. This means that you'll feel the texture of the ground more underfoot. This doesn't mean that stepping on a rock feels uncomfortable, but the boots won't feel as tank-like as a heavier pair might.
These are thicker, more insulated boots (with 5mm of neoprene), so they won't be comfortable in the warmest of weather, but we do think that their "breathable air mesh lining" does a decent job of keeping our feet cooler than some of the other neoprene-insulated boots in our test.
We wish that the Wetland had a slightly thicker insole, as the included pair are pretty thin. However, since the midsole is pretty squishy, we didn't find this affected the comfort too badly. When we put a thicker, more supportive aftermarket insole into the boot, it really brought these boots to the next level, so we'd recommend doing that if you've got sensitive feet.
While we're being picky, we also wish that these boots had a heel-stud to make it easier to kick them off. But this is minor — they slip off just fine.
The Wetland also has one more nice feature that works despite their thick 5mm neoprene — they're designed so you can roll them down and air out your calves if you don't need the full 18" shaft height. Thicker rubber boots won't allow you to do this, but it's a really great option on warmer days.
We're highly appreciative of the commitment to traction with these boots. You'd hope, with a name like "Wetland," that these boots would be designed for use in deep mud and muck, and the mega-studded outsole lives up to our hopes. Each stud is roughly 3/16ths of an inch tall, and the lugs are well-distributed across the whole outsole, with enough space between lugs to really grab onto loose dirt.
Through our traction tests, we found the Wetland locked onto all the different surfaces we tried them on, from snow and muck to wet grass and slick concrete. And, through it all, we feel confident that these boots could keep us going even when things got slippery.
With their impressive lug pattern and depth, the Wetland is one of the grippiest boots in our test, and we'd recommend it highly if you'll be taking your boots into slippery conditions.
The Wetland hits a perfect balance when it comes to warmth. With its 5mm of neoprene, it's both warm enough for when it gets chilly — it lasted just over 17 minutes in our ice bath test — but also breathable enough to be comfortable in warmer weather. We wouldn't recommend wearing this boot in sunny 50+ degree weather, but most people wouldn't plan on wearing rain boots in those kinds of temps anyway.
And as we mentioned in the comfort section, you can roll these high-shafted boots down if the weather outside gets warmer, and they'll be a lot less oppressively hot.
We won't lie; the Wetland boots aren't the most stylish. They're pretty chunky looking, and while their color scheme works well in the greens and browns of the wetlands for which they're named, we feel that the beige coloring draws the eye more than a pair of black boots.
If you're more concerned about the looks of your rain boots than how protective they are, we have several other high performers that might be more your speed. But if you want a pair of rain boots that do it all (albeit with a very rain boot aesthetic), we recommend these. Just don't plan to wear them out to a nice dinner.
Our lead tester has size 12 feet and was very comfortable in a size 13 for these boots. They've got roughly a half-inch of wiggle room forward and back and have about a quarter-inch of wiggle room left and right. As such, they're some of the wider, higher-volume boots in our test. This means that they're a little sloppier in the heels, but you could easily compensate for this with a slightly thicker pair of socks.
The Original Muck Boot Company is one of the most trusted boot manufacturers out there for a good reason. After spending a lot of time in these boots, we're confident that they're worth the price, as long as you'll be spending a lot of time in very sloppy conditions. If you don't need such a high-shafted boot, you may be better suited to one of the less protective and more generalistic lower boots. But if you work on a farm or spend a lot of time in bad weather, we highly recommend these boots.
The Wetland did extremely well throughout our testing regime. With their 18" shaft, they were the most protective boots we've tested, and they're grippy, insulated, and comfortable enough for any gnarly conditions you might find yourself in. We have our minor nitpicks with these boots (in particular, we wish the insole was a bit thicker and that they included heel-studs to make taking them off easier), but the good features easily outweigh the bad for these Editors' Choice Award winners!
— Richard Forbes