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Hands-on Gear Review
The Original Muck Boot Company Chore Mid Review
Cons: Heavy, clunky, lacks style
The Original Muck Boot Company Chore Mid is a rugged rain boot meant for heavy duty outdoor use. We were surprised to discover that this model was the heaviest pair we tested even though its shaft is the same height as, or significantly shorter than, several of its competitors. We also found that the tread lacked aggressive lugs that would bite into muddy terrain. Despite the lack of lugs, however, the evenness of the tread allows for great surface contact, meaning they perform well on hard surfaces such as concrete or pavement. The neoprene upper is warm, but not so much that we wouldn't use them in spring or fall weather. Additionally, we found that this rain boot wicks away moisture well. If you're looking for a lighter, less expensive rain boot with more versatile tread, check out the Editors' Choice Kamik Icebreaker.
RELATED REVIEW: The 10 Best Rain Boots for Men
Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The Original Muck Boot Company Chore Mid is a heavy duty rain boot that offers some decent comfort if you're going to be standing on your feet all day. The neoprene upper provides some insulation to keep your feet warm, while successfully wicking away any undesired perspiration.
Relying on neoprene and rubber, the Chore Mid repels water and mud very well. It measures 12.5 inches from the bottom of the sole to the top of the shaft. It's a great choice for walking around town or maybe in fields with relatively short vegetation, but not for crossing a stream. There is a slight gap at the top of the shaft that would easily allow water or debris in and there is no way to cinch it up like on the Icebreaker or Le Chameau Vierzon.
Our testers think that this boot is fairly comfortable. It's one of the only products that has an added steel shank in the sole for additional support, which we think is a huge plus if you're going to find yourself on uneven terrain. The steel shank and thick sole combo also made shoveling with this product better than the rest. However, the shank and thick sole reduce sensitivity in the foot so much that it's difficult to tell exactly what you're stepping on. If you want a more sensitive sole, check out the Tretorn Strala. Additionally, our testers felt that the Neoprene insole wasn't as plush as in other competitors. For a product that puts comfort at the forefront, check out the LaCrosse Hampton or the Bogs Classic High - Men's.
The tread on this model served us pretty well on various surfaces. Deep grooves make for easy travel across dry loose ground, but the lack of any real lugs makes the boot harder to use when slick mud is underfoot. That said, this product does have a fair amount of even surface contact, which makes them great for use on hard concrete or pavement.
Although it is insulated with 5mm neoprene and passed our ice water test, this product is not the warmest one we tested. It retained heat well enough when we dunked our feet into a cold mountain stream, but never felt like our feet were overheating, which makes it a viable option for use in warmer temperatures. That said, we think this boot could be used in the winter time with the help of some thick wool socks, but we recommend it most for climates with mild temperatures. Spring and autumn would be the best time of year to use this boot. Comparatively, its cousin the The Original Muck Boot Company Arctic Sport - Men's offers great warmth, with or without heavy socks and is ideal for use in winter conditions.
This product has a look that would seem out of place if you were wandering around town. Practicality beat out fashion, and as a result, this product looks like the sort of footwear you would want to use if you were taking care of chores on a farm.
Ease of Use
This rain boot weighs in at 4 pounds, 15 ounces, making it one of the heaviest boots we tested. After a long day of using these boots, the weight became noticeable as our feet became tired and we began to stub our toes on anything protruding from the ground. As if the designers had this in mind, the toe of this rain boot is stiff and rigid, so it's able to take a beating. However, it is loose enough that the toes will still mash into the front of the toebox.
When it comes to getting this model on, the designers included a pull tab on the inside of the rain boot, located at the top of the shaft above the heel. Although it was a nice added feature, the pull tabs fall short of being really useful, especially compared to the handles on the Bogs Ultra Mid Rain Boot. At the bottom of the heel is a rubber stub that we found useful to pry the boots off with our feet instead of hands.
We ordered and tested a size 11 pair of Chore Mids for our size 11 feet. This is one of the more loose fitting shoes we tested. There is a significant amount of room in this boot, both around the foot and between the leg and shaft. The best way to take up the extra space is with thick socks, but depending on the temperature and conditions in which you're wearing this product, thick socks may be too warm and just downright impractical.
The Chore Mid is at home working hard in the yard and around a farm. It's versatile enough to use in spring, fall, and winter (with help from thick wool socks). Its steel-shafted outsole means that you can crush almost anything underfoot, as well as shovel earth like a boss. Though not tall enough for deep puddles or streams, it will keep your feet dry in most situations.
Costing $120, the Chore Mid is a mid-range priced product. Considering some of the drawbacks of this model, however, we think the price is pretty high when compared to similar boots in the same price range. If you're on a budget, and even if you are not, be sure to also check out our Editors' Choice winner, the $65 Kamik Icebreaker.
The Original Muck Boot Company Chore Mid is a comfortable rain boot with decent water resistance. Despite this, it is also the heaviest we tested, which is surprising considering that the height of the shaft isn't the tallest and the neoprene isn't the thickest. For $120, we don't think it's a terrible way to spend your money if it fits your foot properly. However, we think that there are a few better options as far as quality performance rain boots are concerned.
— Jared Dean & Ross Robinson
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