Muck Boot Arctic Ice Mid Review
Cons: Not that warm or comfortable, baggy fit
Manufacturer: The Original Muck Boot Company
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Muck Boot Arctic Ice Mid
$219.00 at Amazon
$148.95 at Amazon
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|Pros||Extremely durable and weather resistant, excellent traction, easy on and off||Great traction, excellent fit, very comfortable, warm, affordable||Convenient slip on design, waterproof to 11.5 inches, good price||Waterproof, warm, cozy||Great traction, very comfortable, inexpensive|
|Cons||Not that warm or comfortable, baggy fit||Other boots are warmer, relatively low water-resistance height||Handles let in water or debris, only come in single whole sizes, not as warm as some competitors||Very heavy, sloppy fit, potential durability issues||Not that warm, fabric eyelets, low height|
|Bottom Line||These slip-on work boots are protective, durable, and convenient, making them perfect for outdoor winter chores||These boots are the total package, with warmth, comfort, a great fit, and a fair price||A convenient and protective boot with good weather resistance and a very wide toe box||A classic snow boot that is good for errand running and snow shoveling, but not well suited to long walks||This very comfortable and inexpensive winter hiking boot has excellent traction, but won't keep you dry in deep snow|
|Rating Categories||Muck Boot Arctic Ic...||The North Face Chil...||Bogs Bozeman Tall||Sorel Caribou||Merrell Thermo Chil...|
|Weather Protection (25%)|
|Comfort And Fit (20%)|
|Specs||Muck Boot Arctic Ic...||The North Face Chil...||Bogs Bozeman Tall||Sorel Caribou||Merrell Thermo Chil...|
|Maximum Puddle Depth Before Major Leaking||13.5"||8"||11.5"||10.5"||6.5"|
|Measured Shaft Height (from bottom of sole to top of shaft)||13.5"||11"||13"||11"||7.5"|
|Measured Weight (per pair, size 13)||4.48 lbs||4.14 lbs||4.88 lbs||5.26 lbs||2.74 lbs|
|Appropriate Activity||Chores||Town, errands, chores||Chores||Town, errands||Hiking, town|
|Fit Details||Roomy||True to size||Roomy||Roomy||True to size|
|Lining/Insulation||5mm CR Flex-Foam Neoprene w/ Fleece Lining||400g PrimaLoft Silver Insulation Eco||7mm Neo-Tech Neoprene||Removable/washable 9mm recycled felt inner boot with Sherpa Pile snow cuff||200g M Select|
|Upper Material||5 mm CR Flex-Foam Neoprene||Full-grain waterproof-leather upper||Rubber||Waterproof nubuck leather||Waterproof polyurethane-coated leather and mesh|
|Toe Box||Spandura rubber||Rubber||Rubber||Rubber||Rubber|
|Outsole||Vibram Arctic Grip||TNF Winter Grip Rubber||BioGrip||Handcrafted waterproof vulcanized rubber shell with Sorel aero-trac non loading outsole||Rubber|
|Company Claimed Cold Weather Rating||Not listed||-40 F||-72 F||-40 F||Not listed|
|Sizes Available||7 - 15||7 - 14||7 - 14||7 - 17||7 - 15|
Our Analysis and Test Results
These slip-on work boots provide exceptional weather protection and durability, but since they don't have laces, it's hard to customize the fit, and they aren't quite warm enough for below-freezing temperatures without a warm sock underneath.
The Arctic Ice Mid uses neoprene insulation and a soft fleece liner to provide warmth. These boots are decently warm on their own, and they will help trap body heat when the user is working hard, but if you're just standing around in the cold, they aren't warm enough. They excel as workboots. The sole is thick and provides tons of insulation from the ground, but the neoprene and rubber alone don't keep the rest of the foot that toasty. They are warm enough for shorter chores and errands in the cold, like shoveling the driveway or chopping some wood, but if you are going to work outside all day, you'll want a thick sock to help keep you warm.
Neoprene isn't as warm as other types of insulation used in winter boots, which explains why these boots aren't as warm as other options. However, neoprene is very durable and won't lose its insulation power over time as puffy synthetic insulation will. Also, the insulation layer is thinner than other boots, allowing for a more agile and flexible boot shaft, which makes life easier when working outside. These trade-offs make the Arctic Ice Mid less warm, but they help with other performance attributes.
These boots are made to fend off the worst winter weather, keeping all snow and water out to the very top of the boot shaft. Most of the boot shell is rubber, up to the bottom of the calf muscle, and from there, a softshell fabric covers the neoprene insulation. We waded in rivers and sloshed through puddles, and these boots never let water in.
The water protection that these boots provide is the primary reason our testers prefer this boot for quick chores and dirty or wet jobs. Any time liquid water is involved, we reach for this boot before any others. They will keep you dry until the snow or water is so deep that it topples over the 13.5-inch tall boot shaft. There are no seams until the top of the rubber coating, and even then, the single seam that joins the neoprene on the back of the boot is covered with a glued-on rubber patch.
Comfort and Fit
The Arctic Ice is a slip-on boot, meaning it has no laces, and the calf shaft is stretchy to allow the foot to slide in easily. This makes them easy to slide on and off but also leaves the boot on the roomy side regarding the size. This is common to all slip-on work boots, and although this particular boot is the best-fitting out of all the slip-on boots we tested, it still bothered us. They feel a lot more comfortable with thick socks.
The toe box is narrower on this boot than other work boots, which is nice, and the fleece lining is very comfortable. The top of the boot shaft narrows slightly to add weather protection, but this also means that the calves can feel cramped if you step into the boots with your pants stuffed inside the cuff. Other work boots have wider openings that accommodate pants-stuffing a bit better.
The Arctic Ice Mid has a sticky Vibram rubber sole that provides great traction on all types of surfaces. The lugs are large, angular, and deep, biting into any surface irregularities. We didn't slip around when using these boots on slippery surfaces like snowy driveways or shallow river cobbles.
The toe pad is a bit large and lacks any tread, meaning that if your toes are the only part of your foot that is contacting the ground, you might slip. But in general, the lug pattern is aggressive, and the tread is deep enough to bite into deep powder snow. The Vibram rubber is sticky, providing excellent grip on dry surfaces. If any rock or pavement is exposed where you are stepping, the boot will grip it and hold your weight without sliding.
The Arctic Ice Mid is a supremely durable boot. Its rubber shell stands up to sharp impacts and easily brushes off sticks and rocks. The lugs on the sole are large enough to withstand plenty of wear and tear, and all laminated areas are strong and well-sealed. The neoprene insulation will last a long time, and it won't pack out around the foot like other liners will. These boots are built to last, and we have seen pairs that look almost brand new after a decade of use.
The only weak point in these boots is the softshell fabric that covers the neoprene insulation on the top. This upper shaft sees the least wear and tear, so it's reasonable that the rubber shell doesn't extend to the top of the boot. Still, this material could snag and tear if you find yourself slogging through thick brush or the like. The lamination between the rubber shell and the neoprene lining is strong all the way around, and even if a sharp stick gets in there and separates the rubber from the neoprene, some rubber cement or seam sealant would easily put the materials back together. We don't foresee this being an issue, and we did not experience any durability concerns during our test period.
These boots are pricey, but they perform better than other slip-on work boots, and they'll last a long time, making them a great investment. We have seen Muck Boots last years and years with few signs of aging. They have great performance in weather protection and convenience, so if you spend a lot of time doing chores outside or taking quick jaunts into brutally wet winter weather, these will make your winters much better. But if you don't do a lot of outdoor work, these will probably not be warm or comfortable enough to justify the price.
The Muck Boot Arctic Ice Mid is a solidly built and weather-resistant work boot that easily slides on and off for convenience. When it's time to shovel the driveway or chop some wood for the evening, we reach for these boots every time. Outdoor workers will find them useful as well, but they'll need to layer with thick socks to stay warm outside all day.
— Jeff Dobronyi
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