Waterproof boots made for mucking through sodden forests or splashing through slushy urban puddles are an essential piece of footwear that every man should own. The smart move is picking up a pair of slip-ons. No more fumbling with wet and frozen laces after a long day in inclement weather—the easy-to-use style makes the transition from a rainy or snowy environment to the warmth and comfort of home that much simpler.
The problem, though, can be one of choice. Which style of boot should you get? The one that’s extra burly and made to plow through swamps, or a more refined version that looks good tramping through the city? It’s a tough call: manly outdoorsman vs. stylish urbanite…
We couldn’t decide either, so we picked two of the best slip-on boots from each of the top brands—options that will perform whether on a hunting trip or a sight-seeing jaunt. And all these boots, truth be told, could work in a pinch whether wading around a wet marsh or crunching through a dirty slush mound.
The Backwood is a no-nonsense, over-the-calf boot that will keep your feet warm and dry while offering superb traction. Rated to help your feet stay comfy from 59 to 5 degrees F, these tough boots have a wide, rubber bash-band up front and prominent nub in the rear to ease taking off your boots off without bending down. And you won’t have to worry about any lingering foot odors since it has a special B-Tek anti-microbial lining. [$205; baffin.com]
Besides classic good looks, the slip-on Huron has an advanced thermoplastic rubber sole formulated for abrasion resistance and enhanced grip on wet, dicey surfaces. A cozy Thermaplush lining holds in the warmth on the coldest days, and the waterproof leather upper is fitted with a stretchy neoprene side panel (and handy pull tab) to make taking these boots on and off a simple task. [$120; baffin.com]
These insulated boots boast a knobby, lumpy tread pattern that grips and rips through all sorts of sloppy situations while also being self-cleaning. The neoprene upper stretches four ways while still being 100 percent waterproof, plus it has an inner bio-tech coating of DuraFresh to keep stinky odors at bay after a long day in the woods. The Classic Mids are rated to keep your feet comfortable down to -40 degrees F. [$120; bogsfootwear.com]
Smooth and sophisticated, the Casual Chelsea is a modern slip-on that offers excellent wet-weather protection, all while being built out of recycled and responsible rubber, laces, and webbing. The gold-certified (meaning ethically sourced and produced) leather upper is 100 percent waterproof and the EVA footbed is made from an eco-friendly algae called Rebound Bloom. And an inner Max-Wick lining will keep your dogs nice and dry. [$130; bogsfootwear.com]
The traditional profile belies the fact that these sturdy boots are packed with updated features like a soft neoprene upper to limit chafing, a flexible and stabilizing sole made from slip- and oil-resistant rubber, and electrical protection up to 600 volts. Other highlights include multi-layered rubber construction at stress areas to enhance durability and an Ease footbed that will absorb impacts while also giving you a spring in your step. [$125; catfootwear.com]
Pelton Work Boot
Whether wearing these for work in wet weather or while out on the town in the winter, the Pelton offers toughness with lightweight comfort. The proprietary foam midsole bounces back to return energy and it’s 30 percent lighter than standard EVA found in most boots. A full-grain upper provides long-wearing durability and nylon mesh lining ups breathability. [$135; catfootwear.com]
These aren’t your father’s rubber boots: The highly advanced AeroHead’s have a ton of high-tech materials like the AeroForm Shell—an ultra-light and springy polyurethane bottom that wraps around your foot—along with a neoprene upper (in 3.5mm or 7mm) that’s covered with spandex and Lycra for added resilience and give. Combined with a rugged, heavily lugged tread, this boot feels nimble and stable under foot. [$180; lacrossefootwear.com]
Aero Timber Top
First introduced way back in 1910, the modern version of those timeless slip-ons features lots of cool touches like a seamless interior to eliminate hot spots, a naturally water-resistant suede upper, and a high-quality rubber sole with a wide and grippy base for sure-footed navigation on slippery sidewalks. It also features the warm and flexible AeroForm Shell for comfort and cold-weather protection.
The Original Muck Boot Company
Though they look like big and heavy old-school boots, the burly and durable Chore Mid has a lightweight rubber sole mated to a 5mm four-way stretch neoprene upper that gives you flexible waterproof-ness without the throwback weight. A stretchy top binding keeps the opening close to your calf to block the weather, and a steel shank gives you lots of arch support.
Probably the most stylish boot on the list, the leather Chelsea backs up its good looks with a ton of wet and nasty weather features. This 100 percent waterproof boots uses superior materials like an oiled leather upper, flexible neoprene foot bed, and elastic sidecuts to make it super easy to take on and off. The rugged, yet refined, outsole gives it a bit of dash when slogging through the city.
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