As you splash through another rainy commute this fall, noticing with displeasure the ascent of muddy splatter up your pant legs, you may wonder if you have the best gear for such conditions. Luckily, there is a solution to this common problem: the humble, but capable, duck boot.
First conceived of by English hunters in the 1600s, duck boots keep water outside the shoe while providing stable footing. Happily, moderns like ourselves can enjoy the comfort of these useful fall boots without needing to hunt. We can splash about the town without fear of damp, cold feet.
Duck boots start with simple and sturdy materials, including rubber, leather and vinyl. They have a distinctive style and look like the children of a hiking boot and a sneaker with an oversized outsole. This boot style is easy to distinguish from other footwear because it combines different materials for the upper and lower parts of the boot.
Leather is a popular choice for the boot's upper, as it offers good durability and water resistance. The interior of the upper is often lined for better heat retention. The interior may have a fleece or sherpa lining. The lower part of the boot is typically made of hard rubber, and the outsole is a softer rubber. The rubber sole often has a knobby texture that grips the ground tightly, even in snow and rain.
Though usually considered work boots, other varieties of duck boots are available, including casual styles and clogs. Duck boots are different from rain boots, which are made of a single material, come up close to the knee and have a simpler tread.
Fall and winter weather offer many opportunities to wear duck boots. If it looks like rain will last more than a few minutes or if the forecast predicts heavy rain, your duck boots are a perfect choice. If you need to work outside in the elements for an extended period, a pair of duck boots can make your labor more comfortable. Insulated and waterproof options can be used as snow boots, and the rough texture of the rubber outsole assures stable footing.
Hunters appreciate these tough shoes for obvious reasons, but mild-mannered city folk can enjoy them as well. This is a shoe that prioritizes function over fall fashion. While these boots look natural under a pair of jeans, they likely won’t complement a little black cocktail dress effectively.
The leather upper of these boots will benefit from an occasional fresh layer of leather oil or boot wax. These products extend the life of the leather and prevent it from drying out. Many of these products offer water resistance also.
Use a boot brush to clean the upper before applying oil or wax. This footwear is born to get dirty, but you still might want to do some spot-cleaning from time to time. To give your boots a new lease on life, submerge them for 15 minutes in a tub of warm and soapy water. Remove and scrub away any remaining mud or stains. Give your boots a good rinse in warm water.
These men's insulated duck boots are designed for rough terrains and are a great option for hiking. The fleece-like lining keeps feet warm and dry in snowy and wet conditions.
These women's Sperry duck boots have a 100% leather upper. These Sperry boots have a zipper closure in addition to laces for a snug fit.
These Sperry duck boots for men come in an olive color that will help you blend in with the background as you hunt. They're built to withstand rain and snow, with a design that you can wear day to day.
This completely waterproof duck boot has a removable memory foam footbed. It'll keep your feet dry when it's raining, and the thick outsoles let you stride confidently through nasty winter conditions, as well.
This is a streamlined, modern variation on the duck boot. These Sorel duck boots for women have a waterproof rubber upper and a soft footbed for maximum comfort.
These women's duck boots have a warm wool material rather than the standard leather upper. The relaxed style is perfect for city folk.
These 100% leather Ugg duck boots have a waterproof leather upper and can be worn comfortably down to -32 degrees, meaning you'll be grateful for these in the winter, too.
While very practical, these women's Ugg boots lean toward the fashionable side. They have a waterproof leather and suede upper. The traction on them is impressive, as well.
Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Robin Allday writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money