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November 9, 2022  |  Shoes

Why are duck boots so popular throughout fall?

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 boots without needing to hunt. We can splash about town without fear of damp, cold feet.

In this article: Aleader Men's Duck Boot, Sperry Women's Saltwater Core Boots and Sperry Women's Saltwater Emboss Wool Boots.

Duck boot features 

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. They are easy to distinguish from other footwear because they combine 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 outsole 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.

When are duck boots the best choice?

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 well-lined boots can make your labor more comfortable. Duck boots are also perfect for walking in snow, 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 fashion. While these boots look natural under a pair of jeans, they likely won’t complement a little black cocktail dress effectively.

Caring for your duck boots

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.

Best duck boots

Aleader Men's Duck Boot 

This classic men's duck boot features good insulation with a knobby outsole. The fleece-like lining keeps feet comfortable in snowy and wet conditions.

Where to buy: Amazon 

Sperry Women's Saltwater Core Boots

This traditional duck boot has a 100% leather upper. These boots have a zipper closure in addition to laces for a snug fit.

Where to buy: Amazon

Sperry Top-Sider Men's Duck Float Lace-Up Boot

These boots come in an olive color that will help you blend in with the background as you hunt. But they will happily accompany you on a rainy shopping excursion too.

Where to buy: Backcountry

Muck Boots Men's Originals Duck Lace Boots

This completely waterproof boot has a removable memory foam footbed. The thick outsoles let you stride confidently through nasty winter conditions.

Where to buy: Dick's Sporting Goods

Sorel Women's Out N About III Classic Duck Boot

This is a streamlined, modern variation on the duck boot. This boot has a waterproof upper and a soft footbed for maximum comfort.

Where to buy: Backcountry

Sperry Women's Saltwater Emboss Wool Boots

These boots have a warm wool material rather than the standard leather upper. The relaxed style is perfect for city folk.

Where to buy: Amazon


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Robin Allday writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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