• Leon Pantenburg | Survival Common Sense


Update: Muck Boots® Chore Cool knee highs – Coolest rubber boots around

muck boots, outdoor shoes, best hiking boots
441 400 Survival Common Sense Blog | Emergency Preparedness

Good outdoor gear is an investment. Inadequate outdoor gear is a waste of money and could be potentially dangerous.

These Muck Boots® are a great investment for anybody who may need footwear for damp, wet environments.

by Leon Pantenburg

There is nothing like hard, sustained use of a product to show how good that item is.

I was wearing my Muck Boots Chore Cools® while deer hunting with my nephew in Central Mississippi’s Delta National Forest on a cool fall morning. I was about a mile from camp when it started to rain. My baseline was the Little Sunflower River – to get back to camp, just go west, hit the river and take a left.

Except that wasn’t going to happen. It was one of those “You can’t get there from here” cases. The water rose rapidly. What started out as a trail, on the way back became ankle, then knee-deep water. Walking along the edges was the only way to go anywhere. My GPS track looked like some drunk staggering aimlessly through the swamp. A couple hours later  I got back to camp. My Muck Boots performed as advertised.

Knee-high waterproof boots are standard footwear for guides on the Mississippi River with Quapaw Canoe Company and Big River Wild Adventures.

Out of the box reviews and initial reviews are valuable – they help you decide if you want to invest in a product. But the followup reviews – IMO – are more valuable.

How good – really – is a product? Did it live up to its hype? Once the honeymoon was over, did the item prove itself? Is that product going to be the best choice for my personal needs?  (Here are some tips for hiking in the rain.)

Would I buy this product again?

Knee-high waterproof chore boots and I go way back. Growing up on an Iowa farm, the rubber knee-highs were standard work footwear much of the year. Working in muddy fields, wet pastures, hog lots or pouring concrete floors can stress the toughest footwear. Working inside a feed lot or barn is always sloppy business.

The most appreciated chore boot use was during the spring cow barn cleanings. The cows had been inside a good bit, and there was ample organic evidence to prove it.

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Chore Cools appear to be designed for swamps in the Deep South.

Today, I’m decades removed from farming or ranching, but my Muck Boots are still worn regularly. As an on-call guide for Quapaw Canoe Company and Big River Wild Adventures, the Chore Cools are the best choice for me. The guides are in and out of the canoes all day. In hot weather, the dip in the water can be refreshing. In cooler weather it can be very uncomfortable.

I’ve worn the Chore Cools in 90-degree weather, and when the temps dropped to near freezing. The boots were always comfortable.

I’ve been wearing my Muck Boots for about three years now, and here is what I found.

First, here are the Muck Boots Chore Cool® specs (according to the Muck Boots website):

  • 100% Waterproof
  • XpressCool™ anti-microbial evaporative cooling liner
  • 4mm CR Flex-Foam neoprene liner is 100% waterproof.
  • Rugged abrasion-resistant Spandura® upper for durability
  • Easy to clean rubber overlays
  • Triple rubber toe reinforcement
  • Quadruple rubber heel reinforcement
  • Reinforced arch support
  • Steel shank for structural support
  • Quick cleaning rubber outsole offers durability and traction on slick surfaces
  • Reflective pull-tab for easy on and off
  • Estimated boot height – 15.9 in
  • Estimated max calf circumference – 16.5 in
  • Estimated footbed width – 3.6in
  • Estimated heel height – 1.1in
  • Comfort Range: Sub Freezing to 65°F
  • Half sizes order up

Size: I wear size 10-1/2 to 11 hikers and size 10 dress shoes. My size 11 Muck Boots are perfect with my favorite Buffalo Wool socks. (I wear wool socks year-round. They are actually cooler in the summer than most other socks.)

The socks allow the foot to breathe, which contributes to the moisture wicking and cooling on hot days.

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The tread pattern is self-cleaning, and provides good traction in most situations.

Traction: I’ve worn these boost in a variety of slippery situations, from wading in muddy swamps and bayous to hiking on wet oak leaves in steep clay ravines. The tread stays clean and grips very well, regardless of the environment.

Cooling: Everybody has sweaty feet. In my experience, waterproof  boots only exacerbate the situation. Waterproof knee-high boots are the worst.

XpressCool™ technology – a moisture wicking lining, actually appears to work. These boots are noticeably cooler than others I have worn. This is a huge selling point for me.

Weight: You wouldn’t buy boots like this for hiking. Traditionally, knee-highs are pretty heavy. They have a lot of material and that adds ounces. Weight-wise, these boots appear to be about average or weigh a little less. The 4mm neoprene makes these boots relatively lightweight and flexible.

Durability: The upper is reinforced in both the toe and heel area, plus additional arch support gives needed protection. My Chore Cools have been used extensively and they show no signs of breaking down.

Versatility: In the afore mentioned deer hunt, my rain pants were pulled down over the boots. This essentially made me rainproof. Despite the several hours of heavy rain, I didn’t get wet.

These days, I’m not out much in snow and cold. If that was the case, the Muck Boots insulated knee-highs would be a better choice.

So do you need a pair of Muck Boot Chore Cools?

Well, I don’t know about your particular needs, but the Chore Cools are perfect for what I need a knee-high rubber boot for. Despite the constant wear and use, my Chore Cools have never failed me, and they have stayed as cool as can be expected on hot days.

I won’t use any outdoor equipment I can’t trust to do its intended job. I rely on the Chore Cools.

And here is probably the best endorsement I can give a product: When it comes time to replace the Chore Cools, I will buy another pair. Nothing succeeds like success!

Thanks for sharing!

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