Rocky 16-inch Mudsox
(800 gram Thinsulate) ($185)
I’ve got wide feet and was immediately impressed with the Mudsox that offered the widest fit (there is only one width) of the rubber models in our test—enhancing comfort without being sloppy, a fine line indeed. This model combines a full neoprene sock (designed to enhance fit and comfort) with 800 grams of Thinsulate insulation that delivered the second-best warmth rating in our freezer test, and the best performance of the six all-rubber boots. Also included is the company’s Scent IQ Atomic treatment that helps control human odor at the microbial level. The outsole is aggressive without being extreme, with the wide base allowing for very sure-footed maneuvering on treestand platforms (tested atop Summit and Ameristep hang-ons) where this model would excel. Avid stillhunters take note: Shortly after donning these I guessed them heaviest in the test; our scale confirmed they shared that distinction with the Irish Setter Rutmaster. They’re far from clunky but you won’t forget you have them on. (877) 795-2410; www.rockyboots.com — Mark Melotik
RedHead 9-Inch RCT ($150)
In case you’re wondering, RCT stands for “RedHead Comfort Technology,” accomplished through a combination of Gore-Tex waterproof/breathable membranes, 200 grams 3M Thinsulate Ultra insulation, and a well-designed boot and sole. These boots come in Brown/Realtree AP.
Poliyou orthotic insoles and the dual compression-molded EVA midsole (one layer for cushioning and one for stability) provide comfort and shock-absorption. RedHead’s Rear Foot TPU Stabilizer enhances rear foot and ankle stability on rough, uneven terrain. An aggressive lug pattern in the non-marking rubber sole promotes gripping. These boots also feature a reinforced toe, roomy forefoot, and anti-slip heel.
I really like these boots a lot because of their functionality and comfort. They seem to make walking easy because of their lightweight and ergonomic design that just kind of seems to pull you along. A couple of things caught my attention: First, although my test boots came in a wide size as requested, they were still borderline too narrow for me. Second, I like the leather reinforcements, but noticed the toe guard is a heavy nylon fabric, not leather. I can’t believe that they would last as long as a leather toe boot. On the other hand, that is one reason why these boots are so nice and light, and realistically, by the time the toe goes, it’s probably going to be time for some new boots anyway. (800) 227-7776;
www.basspro.com — Mike Strandlund
Boot Field Test
We performed two objective experiments as part of our Field Test of hunting boots. One was our Freezer Test, in which we placed a thermometer and plastic “plug” into each boot, then placed each boot individually into a freezer for 30 minutes and recorded the interior temperature. All boots and tools were at room temperature at the beginning of each experiment. Those boots with the highest temperature after 30 minutes can be considered those that will keep your feet warmest.
The Waterproof Test consisted of placing each boot on our feet, then submerging and flexing it in 6 inches of water for five minutes, then checking for leaks.
|RedHead||3lbs 10 oz||53||Yes|
|Under Armour||5lbs 3oz||56||Yes|
|Irish Setter||6lbs 10oz||55||Yes|