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XTRATUF 6" Ankle Deck Boot Review

These low-shafted slip-on boots are well-suited for short errands in rainy weather
XTRATUF 6" Ankle Deck Boot
Photo: XTRATUF
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Price:  $95 List | Check Price at REI
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Easy to slip on, good for casual use
Cons:  Too flexible underfoot, poor grip
Manufacturer:   XTRATUF
By Richard Forbes ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 2, 2021
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44
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#15 of 15
  • Weather Protection - 30% 3
  • Comfort - 25% 5
  • Traction - 20% 4
  • Warmth - 15% 5
  • Style - 10% 7

Our Verdict

XTRATUF has made its brand by providing trustworthy boots to Alaskan fisherfolk, and the Ankle Deck Boot is their casual alternative to their beefier 15" Legacy models. On their website, XTRATUF is clear — the Ankle Deck aren't "commercial grade boots," which means they're not very protective or grippy. They're easy to get on and look fun, but we're not recommending them for anything more than a very casual outing due to poor traction and less robust weather protection.

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Pros Easy to slip on, good for casual useAffordable, well-insulated, great tractionHighly waterproof, stiff construction for rough terrain, great tractionCushioned, roomy (but not loose) fit, easy to get onInexpensive, high shaft, steel toe
Cons Too flexible underfoot, poor gripNot as comfortable as other modelsLooser fit, lacks insulationFlexible underfoot, less waterproof (due to height)Uncomfortable for extended use, steel toe extends into toe space, heavy
Bottom Line These low-shafted slip-on boots are well-suited for short errands in rainy weatherWhile 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 bootThis is a solid and affordable low rain boot that is extremely comfortable and great for wearing around townDespite the great price on these boots, they're uncomfortable to wear for more than half an hour at a time
Rating Categories XTRATUF 6" Ankle De... Kamik Icebreaker Baffin Enduro Kamik Lars Lo Servus CT Safety
Weather Protection (30%)
3.0
6.0
8.0
3.0
7.0
Comfort (25%)
5.0
6.0
6.0
5.0
3.0
Traction (20%)
4.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
5.0
Warmth (15%)
5.0
7.0
3.0
6.0
3.0
Style (10%)
7.0
7.0
5.0
7.0
3.0
Specs XTRATUF 6" Ankle De... Kamik Icebreaker Baffin Enduro Kamik Lars Lo Servus CT Safety
Weight per Pair (size 13) 3 lbs 4.58 lbs 5.49 lbs 5.38 lbs 6.13 lbs
Flood Height (inches from bottom of sole to lowest point at top of shaft) 6" 14.3 in 16.3" 6.2" 15"
Mouth Circumference (inches) 13" 16.5" 17.5" 12.75" 19.75"
Lining/Insulation XPRESSCOOL antimicrobial Moisture wicking removable Zylex liner Synthetic 3mm neoprene Regular
Upper Material Rubber Rubber with waterproof adjustable nylon collar Rubber Vulcanized rubber Synthetic
Outsole Material Rubber TRACKER synthetic Rubber Rubber HYDRO vulcanized rubber outsole Rubber
Insole Cushioned footbed 11mm Zylex insole Gel-Flex shock-absorbing heels and midsoles Removable EVA PVC Polyblend
Unique Features Xpresscool, slip-resistant Drawstring, Zylex liner Aggressive outsole Reflective patch for visibility at night 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 your true size Order next size up Order next size up

Our Analysis and Test Results

We enjoy wearing our XTRATUF Legacy Series 15" boots, so we had high hopes for the Ankle Deck Boot, but we came away pretty unimpressed. These boots are lightweight, easy to slip on, and have a fun chunky aesthetic, but they're held back by their poor traction and extremely flexible sole. They are adequate for errands and dog-walking, but they won't be kind to your feet if you try them out in more difficult terrain.

Performance Comparison


These boots are best on short errands and dog walks, our feet were...
These boots are best on short errands and dog walks, our feet were sore even after an hour on the round river rocks along the shore of the Clark Fork.
Photo: Richard Forbes

Weather Protection


With a flood height of 6", the XTRATUF Ankle Deck fits right into the low boot category. We spent some time soaking the ankle-side neoprene underwater, and it was reliably waterproof. These boots, and others of similar height, are great for splashing through shallow puddles without worrying, but they're not secure enough for any deep wading.

With a 6" shaft height, these boots are one of the shorter options...
With a 6" shaft height, these boots are one of the shorter options in our test, and are too short for river-wading!
Photo: Richard Forbes

Comfort


While the XTRATUF Ankle Deck is nice and lightweight — only 3 pounds per pair, putting them well below average — we felt they lacked structurally. More than almost any other boot in our test, we found that we could feel exactly what we were stepping on, thanks to their flexible midsoles. This was acceptable, if not ideal, on concrete, but on rocks, pebbles, or any complex surface, the bottom of our feet got beat up quickly. We found that we could easily taco the boots with one hand. To us, this means they're way too flexible.

Their comfort wasn't improved by their extremely thin insole, which added almost nothing underfoot.

And not to keep beating up on these boots, but the loose fit in the heels also didn't help them in this category.

We shouldn't be able to do this with our non-dominant hand.
We shouldn't be able to do this with our non-dominant hand.
Photo: Richard Forbes

Traction


The Ankle Deck, similar to the Legacy 15", has a unique inverted outsole that's optimized for fishing decks. However, the Ankle Deck boots aren't intended for heavy use and have shallower grooves. We also think they feature a different rubber on the outsole, as they're noticeably more slippery than the Legacy boots, despite their "non-stick" website claims.

We didn't feel confident in these boots on most surfaces and even found ourselves skidding around a bit on wet asphalt after a storm. We were also unimpressed on wet rock and damp wood — it felt like we were going to slip and fall over with every step. Other boots don't feel this insecure.

These boots were remarkably slippery on anything damp or wet, and we...
These boots were remarkably slippery on anything damp or wet, and we almost fell off this log several times while getting this photo.
Photo: Richard Forbes

Warmth


The Ankle Deck is marketed as having "XPRESSCOOL" technology. There's not much online about what this means, so we were eager to test them out, as sweaty boots are always uncomfortable. Once we received the boots and realized that they were entirely rubber with a neoprene lining, we were dubious about whether the XPRESSCOOL would do anything — it's tough for feet to breathe through rubber.

We wore the Ankle Deck on a crisp fall day (maybe 45 degrees), and we sweated. Over the fall, we kept trying them out and ultimately decided that the XPRESSCOOL does not make much of a difference compared to other similarly thick boots in our test. We can say that their neoprene lining does make them warmer than the unlined Legacy 15" boots, but they weren't standouts in our ice-bath test, lasting only 5 minutes before we started getting pretty cold.

These boots, despite their "XPRESSCOOL" technology, are neither cool...
These boots, despite their "XPRESSCOOL" technology, are neither cool in warm weather or warm in cool weather. Instead, they're mildly uncomfortable in most weather.
Photo: Richard Forbes

Style


Featuring chunky, almost Tonka-inspired stylings, the Ankle Deck Boot isn't subtle. The front and back loops tend to catch pantlegs, so the "XTRATUF" logo on the front stands out quite clearly. Our testers ended up liking their looks, but we know they represent a certain style sense.

We like this style, but we know it's not necessarily for everyone!
We like this style, but we know it's not necessarily for everyone!
Photo: Richard Forbes

Fit


These size 13 boots didn't fit our size 12 feet very well, mainly due to their extremely loose heels. We had just over a 1/2" of forward and back wiggle room, which could be compensated for by wearing a thicker sock. As a result, we felt like we were swimming around in them. However, they're the right width for us, with just enough room for our D-width feet, so it doesn't feel like we could have sized them down much.

We didn't like how much heel-space these shoes had, and we could...
We didn't like how much heel-space these shoes had, and we could feel our heels slipping around as we walked.
Photo: Richard Forbes

Value


These aren't boots for heavy-duty use, but if you like their styling and want to stick with the XTRATUF brand, you'd probably be fine. That said, there are better boots in this test for less money and that we expect would last longer.

When the branding starts to peel off after a month's worth of wear...
When the branding starts to peel off after a month's worth of wear, we start to wonder how durable the boots are going to be.
Photo: Richard Forbes

Conclusion


We appreciate the XTRATUF Ankle Deck Boot for its fun aesthetic and for how easy they are to slip on. However, when all the boots in our test are next to the door, we'll be honest — we're not going to choose to wear these. They ranked pretty low in almost every category, and we were particularly frustrated by their thin midsoles and slippery outsoles. Ultimately, we just didn't feel confident in these boots, so if you're in the market for a low boot, we'd recommend something else from our lineup.

Richard Forbes

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