People with Raynaud’s syndrome tend to look at the outdoors cautiously in the winter. Questions swirl like “will my hands freeze within minutes?” “Will my torso stay warm?” And let’s not forget the ever-present “how fast until I lose feeling in my toes?” The latter is especially pressing when facing snow and ice. But it’s not one you’ll have to ask wearing the Muck Boots Arctic Sport Mid-Height boots.
At 13 inches tall, the Mid-Height are a shorter version of Muck Boots’ Arctic Sport Pro boots, which have been tested (and trusted) in Antarctica. Logic would say the shorter height would impact the warmth, but it doesn’t.
The 5mm of Neoprene insulates like a champ, and the waterproof rubber/nylon exterior keeps heat-killing moisture at bay. For extra protection there’s an additional 2mm of thermal foam in the instep to keep out the cold beneath your feet. I wore the boots on multiple snow adventures, several times intentionally piling snow halfway up my calf to see if the instep and Neoprene could keep me warm. The boots are rated with a “comfort range” of -40 degrees Fahrenheit to 40 degrees Fahrenheit, but I didn’t think they’d deliver. I was wrong.
Although I did feel a slight chill when the snow was within a half-inch of the top, it was nothing that my Raynaud’s-suffering legs couldn’t handle. I was wearing thick wool socks at the time, but Muck Boots actually recommends that with the Arctic Sport Mid-Height boots. And let’s be honest, thick wool socks alone aren’t going to mitigate the cold of snow halfway up your legs. These boots straight-up deliver.
Aside from literal comfort due to warmth, the Muck Boots Arctic Sport Mid-Height boots offer some nice creature comforts as well. For example, the rubber exterior may seem off-putting, but the boots’ interior is fleece-lined for extra softness. There’s also a pull tab in the back to help pull-on each boot, which tucks inside when not in use. Heck, the boots are even binding-friendly, with a kick plate in the back that acts both as leverage when removing the boots and as a strap holder.
With all those accolades, there is one detraction worth pointing out. And depending on your tolerance, it may be a deal-breaker for the Muck Boots Arctic Sport Mid-Height boots. The boots’ 13-inch height puts them in a bit of a no-man’s-land in terms of height. They’re about four inches shorter than a hunting boot, yet they’re several inches taller than a traditional hiking boot. As a result, the rubber exterior banged against my shin in an awkward spot, bruising me lightly by the end of one four-mile hike. I didn’t experience this on shorter jaunts, but I definitely experienced some discomfort on the longer walks. While it wasn’t enough to keep me from wearing the Mid-Height boots again, it did compel me on future outings to wear the full-size Arctic Sport Pro boots, which didn’t have the same mid-shin discomfort (full review forthcoming).
But much like the Muck Boots Arctic Sport Mid-Height boots may hit some people’s shin in an awkward place, the Arctic Pros may simply be too tall for their liking. So, which boot height works best for you? If you tend to prefer a shorter size and plan to use your boots for sub-three-mile hikes, I have no problems recommending the Arctic Sport Mid-Height boots. These boots are hot, and in my opinion that’s great. But if you’re looking for boots to stay warm on longer winter walks, you might want to consider a taller boot that won’t hit your shins. Because as durable and thick as these are, you won’t find that they soften-up after any sort of break-in period.
Muck Boots Arctic Sport Mid-Height Boots
- Soft interior lets feet slip in and out
- Insulation on the insole is both thoughtful and effective
- Great insulation overall in the body
- 100% waterproof in case you encounter slush
- Bangs a bit on the shins
- Ironically seem less form-fitting at the ankle than the larger Pro boots