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XTRATUF Legacy Series 15" Review

If you need traction on boat decks, these are your boots; if you're using these in the woods, they may not be suited for the job.
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Price:  $135 List | $84.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Impressive traction on wet surfaces, flexible, higher shaft height
Cons:  Heel made us worried about our ankles, no insulation
Manufacturer:   Xtratuf Boots
By Richard Forbes ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Feb 12, 2018
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53
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 13
  • Water Resistance - 25% 6
  • Comfort - 25% 6
  • Traction - 20% 6
  • Warmth - 10% 2
  • Ease of Use - 10% 2
  • Style - 10% 7

Our Verdict

The XTRATUF Legacy Series 15" belong to Alaska, and we were excited to see how they'd do in Pacific Northwest conditions. We have several friends who regularly wear XTRATUFs - all from Alaska or with Alaskan relatives - and they are zealots about the brand. They will strike up conversations with other people just because they're wearing XTRATUF's, and they'll often discover that they've got mutual friends as a result. But beyond the social benefits of these boots, we found that our tests didn't give these boots the highest marks. They're comfortable, but their heels are a bit high for our taste (they feel a bit wobbly on rough terrain), and their thin rubber was completely uninsulated and barely kept out the cold. We're certain these would be better than almost any of the other boots in our test on a boat, but we're primarily dry-land people. So while we liked these well enough, we gave other boots awards.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award  
Price $84.99 at Amazon$134.95 at Amazon$133.42 at Amazon$49.95 at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
$64.95 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Impressive traction on wet surfaces, flexible, higher shaft heightWell 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 Heel made us worried about our ankles, no insulationLower 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 If you need traction on boat decks, these are your boots; if you're using these in the woods, they may not be suited for the job.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 XTRATUF Legacy Series 15" Bogs Classic Ultra High Arctic Sport Baffin Enduro Kamik Icebreaker
Water Resistance (25%)
10
0
6
10
0
6
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
5
Comfort (25%)
10
0
6
10
0
7
10
0
3
10
0
7
10
0
6
Traction (20%)
10
0
6
10
0
6
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
Warmth (10%)
10
0
2
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
4
10
0
7
Ease Of Use (10%)
10
0
2
10
0
9
10
0
5
10
0
6
10
0
8
Style (10%)
10
0
7
10
0
6
10
0
4
10
0
5
10
0
7
Specs XTRATUF Legacy... Bogs Classic Ultra... Arctic Sport Baffin Enduro Kamik Icebreaker
Weight of pair (lbs), size 13 5.38 lbs 5.76 lbs 5.74 lbs 5.49 lbs 4.58 lbs
Flood Height (in inches - from bottom of sole to lowest point at top of shaft) 15.1 in 12 in 17.6 in 16.3 in 14.3 in
Width Options Regular Regular Regular Regular Regular
Lining/Insulation Woven nylon 7mm waterproof Neo-Tech insulation Fleece Synthetic Moisture wicking removable Zylex liner
Circumference (inches) 17 in 17 in 15.25 in 17.5 in 16.5 in
Upper Triple-dipped latex neoprene Rubber Rubber Rubber Rubber with waterproof adjustable nylon collar
Insole Moisture-wicking Breathe-O-Prene insoles 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 Slip-resistant, non-marking chevron pattern Siped self-cleaning non-slip rubber MS-1 molded outsole Rubber TRACKER synthetic Rubber
Unique features Flexible neoprene upper 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 next size up Order next size up Order next size up Order your true size Order next size up

Our Analysis and Test Results

With good water resistance, traction on wet surfaces, and comfort underfoot, these boots are a good option for those who will be spending a lot of time in the water. The more time we spent in sloppy conditions, the more the grooves in the inverted outsole picked up rocks or got filled with material. And while the soft latex on the top could be rolled down to help the boots dry (and to ventilate our feet), we found the rubber often bent in and jabbed at our shins.

Performance Comparison


Practicing competitive rock-skipping in the XTRATUFs.
Practicing competitive rock-skipping in the XTRATUFs.

Water Resistance


With a 15.1" shaft height, this model is the fourth highest boots in the review, and are tall enough for most applications. We felt very confident in these, even in deeper water with small waves.

This crab is basking in the glory of the XTRATUF.
This crab is basking in the glory of the XTRATUF.

Comfort


The Legacy boots have the second thickest insole, and their tall heel also provided an impressive amount of support and cushioning. Ultimately, these boots were workable for over 8 hours at a time with the stock insole. We didn't like the feel as much when we added our insoles - it was too much with the heel plus the insole - but these are comfortable enough. We wish there were a little less heel though, to let our feet stay a bit lower to the ground. It almost felt like we could roll our ankles in these, as the heel was a little bit narrower than the other boots.

Second thickest insole in the test (though we realize it doesn't look like much)
Second thickest insole in the test (though we realize it doesn't look like much)

We also had some issues with the softer latex neoprene folding in and pressing against our shins and the tops of our feet, though the soft latex did allow us to roll them down and vent our feet when they got hot.

You can see how the front of the shaft folds in and pushes against the front of the ankle (and this is only a mild example)
You can see how the front of the shaft folds in and pushes against the front of the ankle (and this is only a mild example)

Traction


XTRATUFs go a completely different direction with traction - their outsoles are inverted, so the traction instead of studs, there are only grooves. As XTRATUF boots are primarily fishing boots, we assume this design is intended for slick boat decks, but we were impressed by how well they held onto other surfaces. We found that they did not do very well on wet grass or ice, but they gripped mud and snow adequately.

Over time though, the grooves tended to fill up with mud and ice and didn't seem to hold as well as boots with studded outsoles.

Just look at that inverted outsole (and how much stuff gets stuck in it).
Just look at that inverted outsole (and how much stuff gets stuck in it).

Warmth


The Legacy boots we tested are uninsulated and are only 1/16th" thick. Without thick socks, we were quite cold in these boots, and during the ice-water test, they let our bare feet get uncomfortably cold almost immediately (within 30 seconds). Do keep in mind that these boots come in an insulated version (down to -10 degrees F), so if you like the rest of the features, this shouldn't be a dealbreaker.

These boots are not warm in the cold
These boots are not warm in the cold

Style


The Legacy model is almost actively anti-fashionable, with their unique rubbery brown aesthetic. However, our style consultants liked the look, and in Seattle, we see people wearing these all winter with a wide variety of clothes. Don't expect to get away with wearing these without commentary, but they can look good when paired with the right outfit!

They look pretty good  right?
They look pretty good, right?

Ease of Use


Due to the snug fit in the ankle, and the extreme flexibility of the neoprene shaft, these are impossible to step into (as they'd collapse). Instead, you just have to pull them on, and they often get stuck on our heels. They're also finicky to get off and require you to grab them by the heel and twist them off. Larger circumference, stiffer boots are easier to get on.

They're pretty annoying to jam your pant legs into due to the snug fit
They're pretty annoying to jam your pant legs into due to the snug fit

We're also a bit frustrated by the inverted outsole, in which rocks and grit get stuck for days, making gentle clicking sounds with every step until we pried the rocks out with pliers.

Close-up of the gravel stuck in the base of the XTRATUF.  The rocks wouldn't come out without prying.
Close-up of the gravel stuck in the base of the XTRATUF. The rocks wouldn't come out without prying.

Fit


There's a ½ inch of room forward and back, and very little play left and right for our size 12 D width fit, so they probably measure in at a D width. And due to the snug fit in the ankle, even when you lift your foot, your feet are still touching the bottom of the boot. That being said, there's not a lot of room in these boots for larger volume feet.

The snug fit in the ankle meant they could be annoying to get off.
The snug fit in the ankle meant they could be annoying to get off.

Value


As landlubbers, we think other boots are better for the price, but we don't have any clue what sort of conditions anglers are facing up on the Alaskan seas. We did read some reports that quality had fallen off in 2012 when manufacturing moved to China, but through all our testing we saw no evidence that these boots would wear out quickly. Our friends who have them all get at least two or three years of heavy use out of them (though they do occasionally have to be aqua-sealed in the heels, which rip through after a lot of use).

The XTRATUF truly shines on and near the ocean  though pebbles do get caught in its tread fairly often.
The XTRATUF truly shines on and near the ocean, though pebbles do get caught in its tread fairly often.

Conclusion


From what we understand, XTRATUFs are the unofficial fishing footwear of Alaska, and as such, they're designed for a wholly different set of conditions than we were testing for. We preferred other boots for our primary use on land, but these boots are a good option, so long as long as you're not looking for warmth or ease of use. They're a good height and feature out-of-the-box comfort, with solid traction, and our fashion consultants thought they looked good too. And if you get these boots, you'll get lots of friendly Alaskans saying hi!


Richard Forbes