Muck Boots has been a known commodity in my household for quite some time, as we first encountered them years ago at Bay Hay and Feed on Bainbridge Island. But Muck Boots is more than just, well, mucky boots. The company also provided all the footwear at this year’s Outdoor Retailer – Winter Market fashion show, and they have a deep line of men’s and women’s insulated boots for cold weather. The Muck Boots Arctic Pro boots, for instance, have been used by scientists in Antarctica, and I recently reviewed their shorter cousin, the Arctic Sport Mid-Height boots. I was curious, though, whether the taller Arctic Pro would be just as comfortable.
In a word, they’re even more so.
The Muck Boots Arctic Pro boots are the company’s warmest footwear, with 8mm of Neoprene along the body, a fleece liner, and an extra 2mm of thermal foam in the foot area to keep out the cold. This combination is designed to keep your feet warm down to -60 Fahrenheit, though I thankfully never encountered temps that cold during my review period. I did take the boots out on multiple adventures in the Mt. Hood National Forest though, several times intentionally burying half my leg in snow just to see if the insulation would hold up. It did. In fact, had my eyes been closed, I would never have even known my feet were outside the house.
But it wasn’t just my feet that stayed warm. The Muck Boots Arctic Pro boots are 17 inches tall, which basically put them right below my knees. The insulation goes up that entire height, which is obviously great for warmth. But 17 inches isn’t small; the company’s Mid-Heights are 13 inches, and other companies’ insulated boots (often of the hiking variety) are even shorter. Would these 17-inch industrial-grade boots seem clunky out in the field?
In all honesty, they felt even less clunky than the Mid-Heights. Visually the two boot styles look identical except for the differing heights. But put them on, and the Mid-Heights have more girth in the ankle area than the Muck Boots Arctic Pro style does. This didn’t seem like a big deal at first, but the tighter fit of the Arctic Pro boots kept them snug against my feet throughout my outdoor adventures. This made them feel much less cumbersome than their shorter cousins, and the reduced “wiggle” made my stride feel much more natural.
The Muck Boots Arctic Pro boots also didn’t hit my leg in an awkward spot. As I said in my review of the Mid-Heights, those 13-inch boots’ “rubber exterior banged against my shin in an awkward spot, bruising me lightly by the end of one four-mile hike.” The Arctic Pro boots, by comparison, ended in a more-natural spot on my leg and seemed to grip my calf better, which minimized the amount of banging and clanging. The result? The Arctic Pros were comfortable on short and long treks alike.
Indeed, I took the Arctic Pro boots out on a three-mile hike in the snow and sub-freezing temperatures, a two-mile hike through the rain, and even wore them around the yard to move some boulders and shovel river rock. My feet stayed totally warm in the snowy test, completely dry in the second (even when intentionally wading through puddles about a foot deep), and actually caused a bit of overheating in the yardwork test. Honestly, I’ve never had my feet get too hot in the winter. Ever. Arctic Pro 1, cold feet zero.
Warmth aside, one of the nicest features of both the Muck Boots Arctic Pro and the Mid-Height Sport boots is their flexibility near the ankle. Whether you’re hiking, hunting or making a snowball, any squatting motion means your shins go over your ankles at an acute angle. Somehow the rubber around these boots’ foot area seems pliable. As a result, squatting down in these boots to pick something up or investigate the ground doesn’t result in getting jabbed by a thick mass of folded rubber at the top of your foot. Instead, the material just bends with your ankle in a comfortable way. I’m not sure how their design team pulled that off, but I’m glad they did.
I mentioned the OR-WM fashion show above. Are the Muck Boots Arctic Pro boots fashionable? While certain crowds would consider the camouflage version sexy, you’d be hard-pressed to call the brown ones anything more than utilitarian in appearance. But honestly, I’m not the type of guy who’s too concerned about looks as I try to stay warm. When you have Raynaud’s syndrome, you just want to beat the cold. These boots do that, and they do it with surprisingly more comfort than their Mid-Height Sport version. Although the 17-inch height is excessive for some people, if you’re looking to keep your feet and lower legs toasty, the Muck Boots Arctic Pro boots deserve a spot in your shed.
The Arctic Pro boots were provided for review. All opinions and words are my own and honest, and the article contains no affiliate links.
Muck Boots Arctic Pro Boots
- Totally waterproof and warm is a great combo
- Extra insulation in the foot keeps toes and arch toasty
- Good calf and ankle grip keeps them tight
- Grip on the sole works, but could be deeper
- 17 inches may be too tall for some