Muck Boot Arctic Sport Mid Review
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Muck Boot Arctic Sport Mid
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|Pros||Weather resistant, easy to slip on and off, durable||Great traction, excellent fit, very comfortable, warm, affordable||Relatively inexpensive, great performance across the board||Convenient slip on design, waterproof to 11.5 inches, good price||Great traction, very comfortable, inexpensive|
|Cons||Expensive, loose fit, clunky, poor traction||Other boots are warmer, relatively low water-resistance height||Clunky, style isn't the best, questionable construction quality||Handles let in water or debris, only come in single whole sizes, not as warm as some competitors||Not that warm, fabric eyelets, low height|
|Bottom Line||These easy-to-use boots are protective and durable, perfect for winter chores or quick jaunts into snowy weather||These boots are the total package, with warmth, comfort, a great fit, and a fair price||These affordable boots nearly match the performance of the best models but without straining your wallet||A convenient and protective boot with good weather resistance and a very wide toe box||This very comfortable and inexpensive winter hiking boot has excellent traction, making it perfect for winter walks and treks|
|Rating Categories||Muck Boot Arctic Sp...||The North Face Chil...||Columbia Bugaboot III||Bogs Bozeman Tall||Merrell Thermo Chil...|
|Weather Protection (25%)|
|Comfort and Fit (20%)|
|Specs||Muck Boot Arctic Sp...||The North Face Chil...||Columbia Bugaboot III||Bogs Bozeman Tall||Merrell Thermo Chil...|
|Maximum Puddle Depth Before Major Leaking||13"||8.5"||8"||11.5"||6.5"|
|Measured Shaft Height (from bottom of sole to top of shaft)||13"||11"||10.5"||13"||7.5"|
|Measured Weight (per pair, size 13)||5.09 lbs||3.86 lbs||3.69 lbs||4.88 lbs||2.74 lbs|
|Appropriate Activity||Chores||Town, errands||Hiking, town, chores, errands||Chores||Hiking, town|
|Fit Details||Roomy||True to size||True to size||Roomy||True to size|
|Lining/Insulation||Fleece, 5mm CR Flex-Foam neoprene||400g Heatseeker Eco||200g synthetic||7mm Neo-Tech Neoprene||200g M Select|
|Upper Material||Rubber||Waterproof leather & suede||Waterproof leather||Rubber||Waterproof polyurethane-coated leather and mesh|
|Outsole||MS-1 molded rubber||Surface Control rubber||Omni-Grip Rubber||BioGrip||Rubber|
|Company Claimed Cold Weather Rating||-40 F||Not listed||Not listed||-72 F||Not listed|
|Sizes Available||5 - 15||7 - 14||7 - 17||7 - 14||7 - 15|
Our Analysis and Test Results
These outdoor work boots don't have laces, but they still achieve a decent fit with a slip-on design. They are nearly impenetrable to weather and last a long time — a pretty ideal combination of features for popping in and outside for chores.
The Arctic Sport Mid uses neoprene for insulation. This porous foam-like material allows small pockets to fill up with warm air from the user's body, which insulates the feet. Insulation is also included in the thick foam soles that separate the feet from the cold ground. Overall, these are decently warm boots, but when the temperatures dip below freezing, we wear thick warm socks to add additional warmth.
The shaft of the boot doesn't close snugly against the shin, which allows warm air to escape and cold air to get in. Also, neoprene isn't the most insulating material, so these boots just aren't as warm as other winter boots on the market. This extra room allows you to use thick socks, and if you spend extended periods outside in cold temperatures while working in these boots, you'll want to layer underneath.
These boots are designed to keep all water out, and they do this reliably. The boot's outer shell is made from sturdy rubber that is absolutely waterproof, and there are no seams or joints where water could enter. If you anticipate splashing through puddles, stepping into deep piles of compost, or trudging through deep, wet snow, these boots will keep you dry at all times.
With a shaft height of 13 inches, the Muck Boot Arctic Sport is made for deep, sloppy conditions and dirty puddles of, well, muck. We found that the neoprene upper shaft is also waterproof, though we wouldn't want to stand with the neoprene submerged all day since it will eventually soak through, but only after many minutes of submersion. Still, these boots deliver the best weather resistance out of any that we have ever tested.
Comfort and Fit
The Arctic Sport manages to deliver a relatively comfortable and precise fit despite its slip-on design. The neoprene upper stretches slightly when you slide your foot in, which allows the ankle area to remain tight to lock the foot into place. The footbed and sole are padded and generically contoured, creating good comfort for a work boot.
The toe box on these boots is quite roomy, though not in a bad way, as is sometimes the case with other slip-on work boots. The fit throughout the foot is medium-to-wide, meaning that users with narrow feet may slide around a bit. This makes the boot less suitable for long walks and winter hikes, but for chores around the yard in muddy or snowy conditions, these boots are plenty comfortable.
The Arctic Sport Mid does not have an adequately grippy sole for slippery surfaces. The rubber isn't as sticky as the rubber on other winter boots, and the tread pattern is not aggressive. There is a lot of negative space, but the lugs aren't sharp enough to bite into the ground where the negative space ends. The lugs are actually rounded, which doesn't help provide traction on uneven terrain.
We used these boots while shoveling sidewalks, putting on ski boots in icy parking lots, and even when helping friends frame a house in early winter snowy conditions. They have enough traction for simple tasks like shoveling and taking out the trash, but if ice is expected or slippery worksite conditions exist, we wouldn't trust these boots to keep us upright.
The Arctic Sport is built to last. Neoprene is an exceptionally durable insulating material, so these boots will provide the same level of warmth for years to come. The rubber outer is thick and durable, and we have never seen any wear and tear on this part of the boot. The neoprene upper shaft is covered by a thin fabric that can rip if snagged on sharp objects, and we've seen this happen on one pair of boots worn by a full-time farm worker, but for the average user, these boots won't break down anytime soon.
The key to the durability of this boot is its simplicity. There aren't many seams or connections that can break down and fail over time, and most of the components are connected with glue that has been proven to last ages. There are even rubber reinforcements around the heel, which is an area that sees lots of wear and tear from users taking off their boots without using their hands. Even the pull tab at the rear of the upper shaft is reinforced with a thin rubber strip that connects to the main body so that the fabric covering the neoprene doesn't rip after many times pulling this tab.
Should You Buy the Muck Boot Arctic Sport Mid?
These are great for anyone who wants a pair of slip-on winter boots for outdoor chores or heavy-duty work in winter conditions. They are easy to put on and take off and will protect your feet in deep snow and puddles. These boots are indispensable if you spend a lot of time in wet winter climates. However, if you are looking for a warm and comfortable winter boot for running errands and walking around town in cold and snowy climates, a more traditional winter boot is likely more appropriate. And, with such a high price tag, and very little style, we think traditional winter boots are more versatile.
What Other Winter Boots Should You Consider?
We love the warmth, comfort, and versatility of the best-in-class North Face Chilkat V 400, which also costs less than the Arctic Sport Mid. The Chilkat is our recommendation for the majority of users. If you are looking for an even cheaper boot, the Columbia Bugaboot III offers incredible value. If you need a boot with better traction for the worksite, check out the Merrell Thermo Chill Mid. We love this boot for winter hiking, but it also works great in places like a construction site where traction is mandatory and deep snow isn't a concern. And finally, if you want a very similar boot to the Arctic Sport for outdoor work and chores, the Bogs Bozeman Tall performs almost as well, has a slightly looser fit, and costs a bit less.
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