Best Duck Boots Reviewed & Rated
On the days that your regular pair of sneakers won’t hold up against rain or snow, the option of a pair of duck boots will aptly do the job your sneakers can’t. When the weather isn’t cooperating, duck boots perform well as proper protection against the elements.
The origins of the duck boot can be traced back to Leon Leonwood Bean (founder of the company L. L. Bean), who was responsible for its trademark design. While hunting in wet, marshy conditions, he had found the need for a pair of hunting boots designed to be water-tight. More than a century later, his design has been a popular choice for numerous consumers all over the world who actively seek out boots meant to guard against wet or snowy climates.
- Sperry Topsider Saltwater
- 50% Rubber
- MuckBoots Arctic Pro
- Reinforced instep
- 2mm thermal foam
- Sorel Ankeny Snow Boot
- Full grain leather
The standard, telltale design of the duck boot is comprised of a rubber, waterproof sole and toebox while the boot upper is usually made of either leather or a waterproof textile. The boot’s design and composition combine to ensure your feet are encased in comfort against wetness and cold.
Today, the discerning consumer can find duck boots, other than that of the original L. L. Bean model, under an array of different brand names. Because of the wide variety of choices in duck boots, buying the right pair for you depends entirely on what you are looking for.
15 Best Duck Boots
1. Sperry Topsider Saltwater
With over fifteen different styles to choose from, there is no reason you can’t find a pair that fits your taste. Different color combinations are aplenty to appeal to those who would like coordinate with their own personal style.
As a rain boot should, this version of the Sperry Topsider does its job well by keeping feet comfortable and dry during the rainiest weather. The ankle height is similar to a bootie style and is high enough to prevent water from seeping through boots within deep urban puddles.
Cost and Value
Expect to pay for quality with the Sperry Topsider as you will experience its durability and longevity. It is our top contender for the number one spot on this list due to the dual combination of price and quality alone.
- Keeps feet warm and dry
- Removable insole
- Easy to slip on
- Little to no arch support
- Runs a size larger for some
2. MuckBoots Arctic Pro
The boot is made with both waterproof fabric on the upper and synthetic materials in the midsole and outsole. The heavy tread allows for good traction in snow or muck. The topline of the boot is built with stretch to give wearers an easy time of slipping into this pair.
Comfortable while you hike or work
A thermal foam underlay insole gives your feet both comfort and warmth while also protecting them from bumpy, rugged terrain.
Cost and Value
These boots run a little on the pricey side, but the cost is never too high when it comes to your feet’s protection and comfort.
- Comfortable for all-day wear for work or hunting
- Good fit for average-sized feet
- Warm in winter conditions
- Not meant for extreme winter weather
- Not lightweight
3. Sorel Caribou Boot
A waterproof fit is accomplished with a leather shaft and upper stitched to its rubber midsole. The outsole, also rubber-made, is capable of protecting the wearer from any falls on icy walks with its heavy tread.
Snug, warm fit
The boot’s shaft is easily adjusted to give the wearer a customized, secure fit with D-ring lacing in front. The fuzzy felt lining and cuff ensures comfort from any abrasion while walking.
Cost and Value
While providing in quality in every way these boots can, Sorel is known to have higher costs than most other similar boots available. The price is certainly worthy of this model as it delivers all the important factors one would need to consider in a winter boot.
- Fits well despite its bulk
- Warm for all winter activity
- Non-slip soles
- Runs one size large
4. Sorel Cheyanne Lace
Walking in all manner of wet conditions require a sturdy, waterproof rain boot such as the Cheyannes. The height of its shaft will prevent seepage into the boot proper from rain or from splashing in puddles. The leather upper and rubber sole ensure protection from wetness.
Protection from cold and rain
Our experiences with rain usually have the word ‘cold’ synonymous with it. While not a winter boot, the lining is made with Thinsulate technology to keep feet warm without being overly hot during long walks.
Cost and Value
Expect to pay more for this pair of duck boots than the Sperry Topsiders mentioned at the top of this list. You would be hard pressed to find a rain boot more well-made than this model, but as the price stands, this model makes it to number four on this list.
- Comfortable for long walks
- Warm during mildly cold, rainy weather
- Perform best in slushy winter conditions
- Runs wide in size for some
- Not meant for extreme winter conditions
5. Kamik Fargo Boot
This pair has been rated for below forty degrees Fahrenheit, making it an attractive option with its insulated lining meant for those working or hiking in extreme cold. You are less likely to feel cold’s sting on your toes while stomping about in these boots.
While their purpose is to keep feet warm during cold climates, the other extreme your feet may experience in such heavy-duty boots is sweating during long walks. The answer to that worry is the inclusion of an anti-microbial liner embedded in the foot bed, comfortable enough for those overlong treks.
Cost and Value
Its modest price makes this pair an appealing choice for the budget-minded consumer. At half the price of the Sorel Caribous, this price is somewhat comparable to that of the Sorel Ankeny Snow Boots mentioned later in this list.
- Guards against extreme cold
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Reports of the rubber sole cracking
- Runs a size small
6. UGG Cecile Winter
Like Classic “UGGs”, this Australian contribution to winter footwear features the signature pure sheep wool that pads the insole and tongue, destined to keep toes warm. Its combination of waterproof lining and sealed seams inside and out make this pair perfect for both winter and rainy seasons. The boot’s upper and midsole are comprised of cow and pig leather as well as lamb suede for waterproofing.
Comfort Expected of UGGs
The brand name itself recalls the same comfort found in wool-lined bedroom slippers. This level of comfort is ingrained its foam-padded insole which also features Waterguard technology. The outsole’s composition is comprised of synthetic rubber and cork for better traction in addition to a more comfortable stride.
Cost and Value
This model tops our list as the most expensive, but you are essentially paying for the following factors: natural materials; UGG’s signature comfort; and the UGG name itself.
- Beautiful style choice
- Comfortable fit
- Made for both winter and rainy days
- Runs half a size smaller
- Narrow fit reported for some
7. Sperry Topsider Avenue
Its Wellington toe style, as is common in most duck boots featured here, is telling of its function as a serious work boot with its reinforced toe. This feature allows the wearer protection from mud and grime, but with its minimalist look, both function and form work harmoniously well in this pair.
Comfort and Warmth
A fleece lining within and waterproofing without provides comfort and a measure of warmth required during those long commutes on foot in the rain.
Cost and Value
As mentioned earlier, the cost of this boot is on par with the Sorel Cheyannes, making it an affordable choice for those needing a pair of decent rain boots.
- Comfortable, secure fit
- Proper support for long hikes
- Runs one size smaller
- Not insulated for winter wear
8. Sorel Ankeny Boot
As a Sorel product, the beauty is in the details, or in the material details, to be exact. With an upper made of full grain leather and mesh textile for waterproofing and a herringbone design on the toecap’s rubber shell, you can be assured of the finest materials without the costly price tag.
Everything Needed in a Winter Duck Boot
You will find all the features you require in a duck book in this pair of Sorels: full grain rubber for waterproofing; sealed seams to prevent being unraveled; and a specially molded foam footbed made to support heels and arches.
Cost and Value
This pair tops our list as the most affordable pair of winter duck boots. In essence, you are getting the most out of your money for its stylish look and proper foot support.
- Easy to clean
- Superior insole cushioning
- Premature wear reported by some
- Runs narrow
9. London Fog Ashford
The boot’s upper and shaft are made of leather which keeps moisture at bay just as the rubber shell outsole waterproofs the toes. Designed to beat wintry conditions, London Fog’s contribution sees wearers properly protected from the elements while maintaining a certain height of style.
Proper Winter Insulation
The boot’s insulation is in the two hundred grams of Thinsulate padding. With multiple wearings, the padding will eventually mold to your foot, but won’t compromise its insulating capability.
Cost and Value
This pair is also a contender for the most affordable pair of duck boots on this list.
- Warm in moderately cold climates
- Durable wear
- Runs a half size small
- Heavyweight compared to the original duck boot
10. Sperry Cold Bay Arctic Grip
With thaw and freeze cycles that can occur during the winter months, Sperry’s patented Wave-Siping outsole prevents unnecessary spills on icy sidewalks or through slippery slush. Sperry has taken on the worry of keeping you safe from falls on ice with this pair of boots so you won’t have to. A fully insulated boot keeps feet warm using Thinsulate lining.
In the urban jungle, salt and sand are a common sight on streets and sidewalks. Keeping a boot made with leather such as this pair clean from salt stains is no longer an issue with its easy-to-clean surface.
Cost and Value
Relative to this list, Sperry’s Coldbay Vibram Arctic Grip Boots are closer to the average cost of all the boots listed here with its quality and affordability.
- Rubber sole molded for traction on icy walks
- Stain-resistant upper
- Runs one size smaller
- Some have reported lack of water-tightness at the outsole
11. GLOBALWIN 1632
Let’s face it, when we are all geared up to head out in the cold, eventually we work up a sweat. Whether you challenge yourself by climbing the side of a mountain or you had back in to warm up by the fire, a good pair of duck boots will have your feet nice and warm, most likely to the point of sweating. The removable EVA Foot Bed in the GLOBALWIN 1632 boots will allow your boots to dry out overnight and if you find your insole is getting flat, you can replace them with a new pair. These very durable duck boots will last for miles to come, the ability to replace the insole guarantees continued comfort through everything you decide to get into.
Fur Collar Paired with Fur Lining
Extreme temperatures can occur all over the world and you never know what you may be in for when spending time in the wilderness. Keeping your feet warm and dry should always be a top priority. We lose heat through our feet, and wetness can cause a multitude of problems. If not insulated properly, you could battle with frostbite, not to mention the whole body freezing that happens when your feet are cold. The fur collar keeps the ankle warm and also keeps the snow out. Add to that the fur lining on the inside and what you have is a match for what it takes to keep your feet dry and warm throughout your journey.
Cost and Value
GLOBALWIN 1632 boots are very affordable and will fit into any budget. Muddy spring days and snowy winter mornings need a durable, warm, water resistant pair of duck boots. We need that same pair of duck boots to be reasonably priced and allow for continued wear. Getting a hold of that match can be difficult, try these and we believe you will be surprised at how comfortable, warm, and protected your feet are, even in the roughest conditions.
- Enough Rooms to Wear Thick Socks With
- Fit True to Size
- Excellent Price
- Functional Through Rain and Snow
- Durability Problems
- Very Stiff Sole
12. Nike Lunar Force 1
There is probably nothing better at keeping water out and giving you great grip and traction, than rubber. The tread pattern that Nike uses in their rubber outsole is sure to keep your feet on the ground, where they belong. We all know how important it is to keep your feet dry. Wet feet can lead to blisters, ingrown toenails, fungal or bacterial growth among other uncomfortable things. The solid rubber sole of the Lunar Force 1 duck boots will keep your feet comfortable and dry.
You can find duck boots of many different colors and slight variety in style, but finding one that looks like your favorite sneaker so it goes with all your coolest outfits is almost impossible. Picky teenagers love this boot and we have found that it pleases the hard to please. Nike’s iconic style of sneaker wrapped into an awesome duck boot is unexpected in a good way. When looking for something high quality, and totally different, steer your thoughts toward this one of a kind pair of duck boots.
Cost and Value
If you want to add a one of a kind pair of duck boots to your shoe collection it is going to cost you quite a bit. Nike is a leader in the world of shoes. Their advanced technology, innovation, and reputation adds to the price of these boots. The investment is a good one, as these duck boots are comfortable, durable, stylish, and give you the traction you have been looking for. Treat yourself to something different or give them to the hard to please teenager
- Unique Sneaker Style
- Perfect Fit
- Trusted Brand
- Versatile Wear
13. Original MuckBoots Edgewater
The Original MuckBoots Edgewater Hi Boot has a stretchy top line to ensure nothing gets into your boots. The stretch material is comfortable and helps keep the cold out. This top line also keeps the rain out, keeping your feet dry, which should always be a number one priority. Keeping your feet dry is essential in the continuation of outdoor activities. Keeping rain, snow, debris, and the cold off of your feet will keep you working hard and you will find that these duck boots work just as hard.
Wrap Up Toe Bumper Paired with Achilles Reinforcement
Sliding feet can lead to a variety of problems when enjoying what nature offers. Not only could you cause yourself injury due to decreased balance but you may also end up battling blisters, ingrown toenails, corns, or painful feet at the end of a long day. The wrap up toe bumper gives you added protection while the Achilles reinforcement provides added protection and stability of wear. These two features help keep your feet firmly where they belong in your boots, while providing comfort for all day events.
Cost and Value
From a company that knows duck boots, The Original MuckBoots Edgewater Hi Boot, does not come cheap. Well made to stand up to your toughest challenges, this boot won’t let you down. Excellent breathability is important in a tall boot and this has what you are looking for. Extremely durable and farm tested, if you are searching for duck boots that will stand up to all of your biggest jobs, these are the ones for you. If you can make room in your budget.
- Excellent in ALL Weather Conditions
- Exceptionally Durable - Can Last Years
- Great Grip
- Jeans Fit Comfortably Inside
- Com in Two Different Heights
- May Need to Wear Thick Socks for Added Warmth
- Tricky Sizing
14. The North Face Shellista II
Designed to let your feet move naturally in lightweight, durable, and warm duck boot, the Shellista II uses PrimaLoft insulation to show what all your other boots are lacking. Small pockets trap your body heat in extreme conditions. These pockets maintain this warmth throughout rain, snow, and sleet. The innovation in these boots will keep your feet warm and dry, just as you expect them to be.
Most of us believe that nothing in life is guaranteed, for the most part this is correct. There are so many times we buy thing and due to some manufacturer’s defect has us buying a new pair of duck boots. This not only wastes time but it also wastes money. Most companies give you a very short time frame for returns if any at all. With The North Face Shellista II you won’t have to worry. If something happens to your boots, breath easy knowing you can replace them without the frustration you usually have to go through.
Cost and Value
Less expensive than some of the other duck boots on our list, these still cost a pretty penny. Advanced technology and continued innovation are two of the many reasons we feel they are worth the cost. Keep your feet warm, dry, comfortable, and know you will have that same luxury for miles to come due to the extreme durability of these duck boots. Finding the wiggle room in your budget if you need a great pair of boots will be well worth it if you choose The North Face Shellista II boots.
- Actually 100% Waterproof
- No Sliding Inside Boot
- Can Pull On and Off Without Untying
- Great in High Water
- Not Good for Wide Calves
- Runs Small
15. Polo Ralph Lauren Colbey
Getting duck boots on and off can be a real hassle, especially for impatient kids. The leather pull tab on the back of the Polo Ralph Lauren Colbey Duck Boots enable the wearer to get a good grip and pull the boot on easily. We all seem to be in a hurry these days and this convenient pull tab will keep things moving along at the quick pace our lives require. It will also help take the irritation out of trying to get your boots on.
Treaded Rubber Outsole
A large part of the reason we wear duck boots is the added traction they give us during slippery situations. Deep tread and a well thought out pattern helps to make sure you have awesome traction and your feet stay under you, where they belong. Rubber itself is superior when it comes to grip and traction, the added tread depth and spacing really allows these duck boots to support your family exactly where it is needed. Great traction helps avoid injury and is crucial to safety and support.
Cost and Value
These durable and attractive duck boots won’t make you cringe when it comes to their cost. While they are not the most affordable boot in our guide, they will keep your kiddo dry, warm, comfortable, and on their feet through the roughest of weather. Making an investment in the Polo Ralph Lauren Colbey Duck Boots will satisfy your child for years to come.
- Quality Construction
- Look Good with a Variety of Outfits
- Great for Everyday Wear
- Fit as Expected
- May Rub Ankle
In summary, the above boots were carefully chosen to give you, the reader, a range of choices that speak to your specific needs. Whether it be hiking through ankle-deep snow in the woods or traversing the urban jungle in the rain, there is a duck boot option on here that may jump out at you and claim your interest. Or if you have an eye for style or require a pair that goes with every outfit in your closet, be sure to click the accompanying links to see what colors and style are available for that model. This guide for duck boots keeps in mind the importance of what I’ve dubbed the three W’s of duck boots: waterproof, watertight, and wear-ability. If you are concerned that a certain model doesn’t deliver my three W’s, this guide can help alleviate the need to search high and low for the pair that’s perfect for you.
Criteria Used for Evaluation of the Best Duck Boots
For very obvious reasons, when looking for the best duck boots, waterproofing is one of the most important aspects. Wet feet can lead to a variety of painful, and outdoor adventure stopping, issues. You may have dealt with blisters that have popped and caused pain and irritation, while this is uncomfortable it is nothing compared to a frostbitten toe. While it may seem extreme it has been known to happen because of cold wet conditions and feet that were not kept dry.
Waterproofing is not only about the out sole and upper material. It also has to do with the closure of the shoe. The tongue of the shoes is an infamous place for letting water in. You want a duck boot with a gusseted tongue. Put simply, these are pieces of material that attack the tongue to the shoe, keeping water, snow, and debris from penetrating into the boot.
You also need to pay attention to the very top of the boot, known as the cuff. This is also a common problem area. Manufacturer’s focus tends to be on the outsole of duck boots, however, companies that know good boots also pay attention to the cuff. An elastic band at the top, which may or may not be adjustable, is excellent at keeping snow and other unwanted items out of your boots. Another great way to stop the slush from creeping inside is a fur lining. Thick fur will allow moisture to gather on the outside but not make its way inside.
Waterproofing is exceptionally important to maintaining the quality and comfort of your feet. It is necessary and great duck boots will give you superior dryness. All of the boots in our guide have qualified in the waterproofing category. No matter what you choose, we are sure you will have the dry feet that your outdoor activities require.
Wet leaves, snow, ice, mud, and muck, is there really a set of duck boots out there that can keep us on our feet through it all? Yes! Looking at traction is no easy task. Most have differing opinions on what is the best for which situation. There is some truth to that however, an out sole with great traction, deep tread, and decent flexibility is really what you need and that can be found in a variety of traction patterns.
A great example is, The Original MuckBoots Edgewater HI Boot, MuckBoots uses a deep tread in a horizontal pattern.
This is not only good for deep mud, but in general, you are looking at superior tread. The gripping ability is superior and you would find yourself steady on your feet when wearing this type of tread in mud, wet leaves, and a variety of other slippery situations.
Another great example of what superior tread looks like is found with the Nike Lunar Force 1 Duck Boots. Built to grip the ground, these boots have nubs of rubber that help you reach the ground and grip it.
This is not only beneficial in snow but also in the woods, on wet leaves, or pavement. Versatility in situations where you need tread is awesome and finding duck boots that will carry you through all of them is important.
Whether you decide one pair of duck boots will meet your life’s traction needs or if you buy four pairs, know that it is important for your safety and comfort to take a look at the bottom of the shoe before purchasing. Know that each person is different and may have different results with a variety of patterns and tread depths. Knowing your feet and the work you do will help ensure an educated decision when picking out your perfect pair of duck boots.
We have looked at two of the key elements in a great pair of duck boots. One of the most important aspects, that has not been discussed in our criteria, is warmth. Regardless of your outdoor activity, when the temperature starts to drop, you need to be ready for it. Most winter boots are rated for temperature. You want to know your surroundings and what activities you may find yourself a part of. This will help you prepare with the perfect duck boots.
Cold feet will not only decrease your overall body temperatures but the lack of sensation, due to decreased circulation, can lead to frostbite. At the extreme end of it, you could even lose a toe, if wearing improper footwear. Avoid this at all costs, by remembering warm, moisture wicking socks, and appropriate boots for the conditions.
You need to make sure to keep the cold out, as well as keep the heat in. A faux fur lining made of high quality synthetic material is used by many companies and it does a good job. The long, thick pile traps heat inside the boot and helps hold the cold at bay.
There are other choices if you are not a fur lined boot type of person. For example, The North Face, has a pocket system that traps heat in and doesn’t have the bulk of faux fur. This keeps their duck boots exceptionally light and gives a less restrictive feel to the boot.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are Duck Boots?
A: While there are a variety of features between different brands of duck boots, the main features are consistent. A waterproof rubber outsole paired with a waterproof or water resistant upper. The upper will be also made of rubber, leather, or other textile materials. They are sought after by outdoor workers, hunters, and enthusiasts alike. They are needed to keep your feet comfortable, warm, and most importantly, dry.
While duck boots use different tread patterns, it remains a key factor in duck boots and will help keep you from slipping and falling. Superior traction is needed when hiking through the woods, hunting, working on the family farm, and through general life, if located in snowy climates. Duck boots are relied upon by many for these reasons.
Q: Should I buy Insulated Duck Boots?
A: The answer to this commonly asked question really depends on what your situation is. If you are in cold climates with a lot of snow, you will most likely want to have insulation. On the opposite of that, if you work on a farm in warm climates insulation may be a hindrance or even a danger for overheating. So, what if you are somewhere in the middle? You could invest in two pairs or find something with a breathable upper, that is still rated for cold temperatures, like the Original MuckBoots.
The best solution to this question is, know your situation and know your body. Many people suffer from cold feet regardless of temperature and can benefit from a well insulated duck boot, even when the temperatures increase. If this rings true for you, and you are in colder conditions, of course insulation is for you.
Versatility is important and not only should you pay attention to the insulation in your boots but also what socks you are wearing. Socks can make or break the heat of your feet. Sweaty feet require moisture wicking materials like wool. The coldest of toes may find the need for two pair of socks or boot heaters to ensure their feet stay toasty warm.
Breathability of a duck boot for warm footed people will be much more important than insulation if working in warm conditions. Your feet release heat and help keep body temperature at an appropriate level when getting to warm. If your footwear and socks cause excessive heat it can lead to dehydration and other heat related problems.
Q: Do they make duck boots for kids?
A: Yes, while there is not as much variety for kids there is still a good selection of duck boots for your kids. Getting your children outside and involved with a variety of activities is not only good for their health but overall well being. Keeping their feet warm and dry is just as important as keeping yours that way.
The make of a children’s duck boot should be the same as that of an adults. The same aspects are equally if not more important. You do not want wet feet. You will also want to pay attention to flexibility when looking at any shoe for your little one. Growing feet need flexibility to develop the way they are intended to.
Warmth, while a key factor in both children and adult duck boots, is critical for children. Spending hours playing in the snow will lead to cold fingers and toes, and that’s OK. Cold fingers and toes that get frostbitten are definitely not OK. Just like you would check temperature ratings on your boots, do the same for your kids. Polo Ralph Lauren gives an excellent duck boot choice for children with their Colbey boot. It will keep feet warm and dry through all of their outdoor fun and adventure.
Q: Duck boots are so ugly, why can’t they make some with STYLE?!?
A: To all of the parents that have to deal with this question year after year, we feel for you! We have also found one option for a solution! We know that it’s all about looks in today’s world. Finding a duck boot that looks like anything other than a duck boot is a tall order.
More and more companies are finding that following the latest trend while adapting it to fit what is needed to provide quality is good business. Nike pioneers this and in the category of duck boots, holds the gold. The Lunar Force 1 duck boot is styled like your favorite sneaker but gives you all the advantages of a top rated duck boot. Hard to please style guru’s have found a duck boot to suit their needs.
Most of what you will find is pretty standard looking because it is functional and trusted. Thinking outside of the box, and giving innovation to the look and overall functionality is something we consider to be important. Hopefully this unique style will help to accommodate those picky shoe buyers.
Q: My duck boots keep cracking and I am tired of replacing them, is it me?
A: Taking care of any shoe is important when looking at overall longevity of use. If you spend a lot of money for a pair of great duck boots just to find them cracking and falling apart a few months later, your care for them may be causing it. Low quality duck boots crack easier than one’s made for durability and hard wear.
Cracking rubber will cause you a variety of problems. If the crack goes all the way through, you will have leaking areas and wet feet. Any crack that has started will eventually work its way through, giving you the same problem. Cracks can also interfere with the warmth factor. Cold air will be able to penetrate the boot more easily and heat will be able to escape.
Cracking of rubber can be greatly impacted by improper drying of the outsole. We all love to come in from the cold and stand in front of a roaring fire or right on top of the register vent. Likewise when our boots our wet we tend to put them in a similar place to dry. The problem is we don’t move them and the excessive heat drys out the material, causing cracks.
Rather than needing to dry your shoes this way, invest in a great waterproofing agent. A waterproof barrier will keep the inside of your boots dry and remove the need to put them on the register or in front of the fire for drying and hopefully help cut down on cracking
If cracking is happening on a leather upper, you will want to condition your leather. After conditioning you will also want to waterproof. Leather naturally keeps water out however, it needs to retain its own moisture. Well maintained leather will last you for years to come as long as you take care of it.