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Hands-on Gear Review
The Original Muck Boot Company Arctic Sport II Review
Cons: Expensive, poor traction, too warm for milder climates
Bottom line: Best reserved for harsh, wet conditions, this model is too expensive and too warm for most uses.
The Original Muck Boot Company Arctic Sport II is a super warm neoprene-insulated rain boot that doubles as winter footwear. As the name suggests, this product is suitable for cold, nasty weather conditions. When we tested it out in an icy Colorado stream, we couldn't feel a thing! Although this boot has been updated to come in pink and purple color schemes, it still has a rugged look, including a rubber toe box and a neoprene upper. Although this product killed it in our warmth and weather protection metrics, it didn't score very well in our traction or style metrics. Read on to see how the model we tested compares to other products in our review, including its most direct competitor, the Bogs Women's Classic High.
RELATED REVIEW: The 10 Best Rain Boots for Women
Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
One of the most expensive products in this review, The Original Muck Boot Company Arctic Sport II provides more insulation than any other model we tested. It has a thick sole and measures 16.5 inches from the ground to the top of the shaft. Although it's not very stylish, it does work well in cold and nasty conditions, especially during the slushy time period when winter transitions to spring. We don't recommend it in temperatures warmer than 60 degrees.
This product received top marks in weather protection. It measures 16.5 inches, which is less than an inch shorter than the Hunter Original Adjustable (the tallest product in our review). The Arctic Sport II has a small gap between the calf and the edge of the shaft; meanwhile the Bogs model has almost no gap, making the Arctic Sport a little better suited to those with wider calves. Both of these products are ideal for cold, nasty days when you have to face wet, dirty conditions (i.e. disgusting road slush or cold, muddy puddles). They are easier to clean and quicker drying than women's winter boots, but still provide protection from wet, cold conditions.
There are some pros and cons associated with this product's comfort. Let's start with the pros: good arch support, cushiony insole, neoprene shaft that provides good mobility, and a fleecy lining that adds comfort. Now, on to the cons: sole is thick and stiff, it's one of the heaviest/bulkiest in the review, and there's a fair amount of heel slippage. Overall, we liked walking in the Bogs Classic High better because of its lower, more flexible sole, but the Muck Boots do provide more arch support and have the fleecy lining.
The Original Muck Boot Company changed a handful of things about this boot when they released the women's specific version and its style was one of them. Although this product still looks quite rugged, it does have subtle molding to give the toe box shape and it now comes with both purple and pink accents.
When we went down to the creek for our big head-to-head traction tests, we were expecting The Original Muck Boot Company Arctic Sport II to really do a great job. Unfortunately, it did not live up to our expectations. Shockingly, this product had quite poor traction, especially on ice and slippery wooden steps. We think this is partially due to its super thick, stiff sole. This product has very limited sensitivity and since the sole doesn't bend very easily, it's tough to pinpoint where you should place extra pressure for better traction. That said thanks to its deep treads, this product did have good traction over loose terrain.
This product was the only piece in our review to earn a 10 out of 10 in warmth. We definitely think of this model as a winter/rain boot hybrid. It is fitted with 5 mm of insulative neoprene and an inner fleece lining. Additionally, its sole is super thick, which provides added protection from the cold ground. The manufacturer comfort rates this boot from -40 to 60 degrees. We can't comment on the super cold temperatures, but during the most recent snowstorm here in Colorado, the Arctic Sport II easily kept our testers toasty in 20F temperatures.
Our size 9.5 tester ordered a size 10 in this women's specific boot. Although she still experienced a bit of heel slippage, she felt like this boot was a good fit from front to back. There was a little spare room from side to side and on top of the foot, but this didn't make the boot feel overly sloppy.
This product is best for cold, rainy conditions or snowy weather. Since it's easy to clean and has deep tread, it also works well in mud and slush.
One of the most expensive pieces in our review, the Arctic Sport II rings up at $170. This is $60 more than the Bogs Classic High, but the Arctic Sport II is also a bit warmer. We liked the Bogs model better overall and appreciated the savings it provides, but if you really need something that will be a bit warmer, the Muck Boots may better meet your needs.
A solid choice for a winter/rain boot hybrid, The Original Muck Boots Company Arctic Sport II works well in cold, gross weather. It lacks both style and traction, but provides more warmth than any other competitors.
— Amanda Fenn
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