The Original Muck Boot Company Arctic Ice Nomadic Sport Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Arctic Ice Nomadic Sport is a traditional style snow boot with a beefy sole, best for walks around the neighborhood and on the trails. Slip it on and off with ease and enjoy comfort all day long. We wish that it had a little more support around the ankle and a better lacing system, but you certainly won't have to worry about nasty weather in this warm and very protective boot.
This snow boot is suited for some of the coldest days of winter. Loaded with 200-grams of synthetic insulation, a thick Vibram sole, and a nylon-upper that cuts the wind, it'll keep you warm even on the dreariest and coldest days of winter. It's rated to -20F, with our testers verifying its warmth on the coldest days in Colorado.
Our experts slipped on this boot when the mercury began to drop to really test its resiliency to cold. The coldest tested day we had the opportunity to wear it had temperatures at -15F. Our feet stayed warm and toasty when hiking and standing around. The beefy Vibram sole is quite thick, insulating from the cold ground underfoot. The uppers are nylon and come loaded with insulation that also breathes, meaning that when your feet sweat, moisture can escape, helping to keep your whole body warm. The footbed is wide, which allows you to pair this boot with thicker socks and even orthotics. This is one of the warmer boots tested, ideal for cold-weather hiking, standing around, or anything in between.
Not only is this boot warm, but it's also incredibly weatherproof. The outer shell is composed of a nylon material that offers weather protection from both water and snow. We tested it while taking on tall snowbanks and plowing through deep puddles.
Our standard tests for this metric involve walking through puddles, wet and dry snow, and slush. Of all the tests, the river walk is the most telling of its ability to protect from water. We took the Nomadic Sport into the river and marched in place, trying to get water to seep through flimsy seams. What's interesting about its design is the seamless construction, with no holes or openings. As a result, the full nylon construction provided protection throughout our five-minute water march, all the way up to the 8.5-inch cuff. The outer showed a little saturation after this test, but no water crept into our boot. We conclude that it's bomber in wet weather.
The only caveat in the protection realm for this boot is when taking on super deep snowbanks. There is no cinch on the top of the boot, meaning that when the snow is deeper than 8.5-inches, there's a chance it will get inside, especially when you are wearing it over a snow pant. This can easily be avoided by putting the boot underneath your snow pant, which is completely possible with its fitted design.
Comfort & Fit
The Nomadic Sport does a great job at providing all-day comfort. The construction features a flexible nylon shaft made with a super cozy EVA midsole and footbed insert. The lacing system uses a basic bungee cord system — like many snow boots — which doesn't offer much stability through the ankle. That said, the footbed cradles the foot and is wide enough to add enough stability for hiking or a casual walk around town. Fit is true to size.
When we first pulled this boot out of the box and slipped it on, the comfort was noticeable. Our testing team didn't experience any pinch points, and all agreed that the boot feels wide and roomy enough to accommodate a thicker pair of socks.
When wearing the Nomadic around the house to begin, we felt uncertain that this boot could function as a hiker. After all, the bungee lacing system can't be cinched down enough to provide a specific fit, and the shaft of the boot isn't very rigid. When we took to the streets of our neighborhood, covered in snowy ice and tall snowbanks, we figured we'd need to be vigilant of slippery surfaces and potentially rolled ankles. Thankfully after hiking for over five miles, we learned this wasn't the case. While lacking rigidity in the shaft, the boot offers a wider and more stable outsole that envelopes the foot, adding a sense of stability in a non-traditional way. This boot eventually became a favorite for our daily dog walks, taking out the trash, and heading to the ski hill. While its fit isn't as specific as hiking boots or other winter options, it still does the trick and supersedes any other snow boot style option that we've tested thus far.
Ease of Use
This boot is fairly easy to use since you don't have to lace it up and tie a knot. Slipping it on simply requires you to grab the pull-loop at the back of the boot while slipping your foot inside. If you want some additional rigidity, you can unlace the bungee system and tie the laces together. Since there are no anchor points that maintain friction as you pull the bungee laces, this system isn't the greatest, but it still works.
Kicking these off is easy. Since the laces are elastic, you don't even have to bend down. Just kick them off to get into the house when your hands might be full, and you're good to go.
No snow boot is completely protective from underlying ice without a good set of snow spikes. And yes, we had our moments when a lurking ice patch almost had us on our butt.
That said, for a snow boot, the traction on the Nomadic Sport is probably some of the best you'll find on the market. It features a Vibram Arctic Grip outsole with Icetrek Technology — large, flat, grippy rubber patches that do better than most rubber-based outsoles in slippery weather.
The lugs are about a half-centimeter thick, making this boot an option for trails or even muddy weather. We tested it over ice, snow, mud, and water. Over slippery rocks, it stuck better than most options in this review. It also pairs well with ice spikes or tracks to amp up its resiliency underfoot in the iciest of weather.
If a snow boot is what you seek, this is by far our favorite option. The price is a little high, but the boot construction is bomber. The sole is thick, the lugs don't wear down easily, and the stitching is top-notch. Our only value concern is the durability of the nylon.
After a day on the trail, the top fabric actually tore in a small spot when encountering a rogue stick. In this experience, we'd say that you should be vigilant of such things and be sure to protect the nylon material. Other than that, this is a high-value purchase for those looking for a traditional snow boot with a bomber outsole that can perform across all types of winter weather, deep into the double negative digits.
The Arctic Ice Nomadic Sport is our favorite snow boot, standing out for its weather protection and bomber outsole. Just note that the upper can rip, and the shaft isn't as rigid as other contenders in this review. If you seek an option that's easy to slip on and off, keeps your feet warm while standing around or walking, and features an outsole that you can trust to keep you upright on icy surfaces, this is a great choice.
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