The Best Duck Boots for Men in Messy Terrain

By Andrew Peloquin  |  Updated December 21, 2022

The Best Duck Boots for Men in Messy Terrain
Courtesy of Huckberry
 

Despite what their name suggests, Duck Boots are not just used for hunting ducks (or other feathered creatures). However, as you’ll see below, they are perfect for taking hunting, camping, fishing, working, or doing anything where you might get exposed to the cold and wet.

If you’re looking for versatile and sturdy boots that can be used for pretty much anything, duck boots are a game-changer. Let’s start off with a quick explanation of what they can do, then we’ll share with you the list of the best.

What is the purpose of the duck boot?

Duck boots are designed to be used in cold and wet environments. Every pair of duck boots includes:

  • Rubber soles that offer good traction and grip on wet surfaces
  • Suede or leather uppers that offer excellent waterproofing
  • A comfortable, roomy fit for your feet, but a snug fit around your ankles and lower legs

This combination makes for an excellent versatile pair of boots, one you can wear to slog through mud, wade into water, work on a job site, or take camping or hiking. They’re warm enough that they’ll keep your feet from feeling the chill in all but the worst winter cold, and they’re useful from spring to autumn for any rainfall or muddy conditions.

Who invented duck boots?

Leon Bean, the founder of L.L. Bean, is credited with the invention of the duck boot. It’s said he got annoyed with his feet always getting cold and wet when hunting and fishing in Maine, so he wanted to craft special footwear that would resist both the damp and chill.

It was he who first had the idea to combine sturdy, waterproof rubber with stylish, flexible leather to craft a waterproof pair of boots he could take into any environment. The result of putting these two materials together into a single pair of shoes yields a perfect combination: protection against water, good versatility, less noise (perfect for hunting), and comfort for your feet.

Why are they called duck boots?

Despite what the name suggests, these boots weren’t crafted exclusively for hunting ducks. Yes, duck-hunting often involves trips out into cold, wet, and rainy forests and marshes, so they’re definitely well-suited to the environment. However, the name came about because Leon Bean wanted his boots to protect their wearer the way a duck’s feathers protect it.

The boots were crafted to shrug off water, mud, and the cold, to offer versatile comfort and protection against the environment. In that way, duck boots have more than lived up to their purpose.

Below, we’ve compiled a list of the best duck boots for you. Read over each product and find the style that suits your needs best.





L.L. Bean Bean Boots


$149
 

Of course we’re going to put the original duck boots, designed by L.L. Bean himself and released back in 1912, at the top of the list. Who better to show you how it’s done than the company that created the style? 

The design of these boots hasn’t changed much since their first creation, but the material and manufacture quality has only gotten better with time.

The boots combine an ultra-tough full-grain leather upper with the rubber bottom and outsole to create a fully waterproof, warm, and comfy shoe you’ll be glad to wear anywhere and everywhere.

The triple-needle stitching ensures the entire shoe is built sturdy and holds together in even the roughest environments, and the combination of the molded insole and steel shank maximizes comfort and support.

Best of all, the shoes have kept the signature “chain tread” outsole first created by L.L. Bean more than 100 years ago, guaranteed to give you good traction on slippery and wet surfaces.






Huckberry ALL-WEATHER Duckboot


$132
 

Whether you’re hiking in the mountains, slogging through muddy marshes, or wading through ankle-deep water, you’ll be glad you’re wearing these Huckberry duck boots.

The “hyper-tractioned” Vibram outsole has both an aggressive tread pattern and extra-sticky rubber to keep your feet always on solid ground even when the terrain is wet, muddy, or slippery. Thanks to the waterproof nubuck and full-grain suede leather used for the uppers, the shoes are fully waterproof, warm, and still stylish.

Add to that a cushioned EVA midsole to make them as comfortable as your favorite pair of sneakers, a roomy toe box that won’t squeeze your feet, and a shock-absorbing midsole, and you’ve got the recipe for amazing comfort.






UGG Emmett Duck Boot


$140
 

No matter how bitter the winter cold, your feet will always be warm in these boots—that’s an UGG promise you can bank on.

The Emmett Duck Boot is rated for up to -32 C weather, so even if the world is frozen solid or you’re slogging through the Arctic wastes, your feet will still be warmly encased in leather and rubber. 

A few features unique to these boots include: UGG’s signature Treadlite midsole for better arch support, a textile inner lining for added warmth and comfort, a foam footbed for extra cushioning, a gusseted tongue that’s easy to adjust no matter the size or shape of your ankle, a dynamic support platform shank for maximum stability, and fully waterproof sealed seams. 






G.H. Bass Duclair Duck Boot


$125
 

Who says the duck boot can’t be both stylish and practical? Form meets function in all the best ways in these sleek duck boots, which combine sturdy rubber with tough yet eye-catching leather.

The round toe design gives your feet room enough to move and breathe easily when slogging through mud or hoofing it across snowy terrain, and the boots are surprisingly light (just 756 grams) so you’ll hardly feel them on your feet.

The cushioned sock lining adds both comfort and extra warmth, ensuring your feet stay toasty even if the rain’s pouring down or the marsh you’re wading through is ice cold. Though the sole is on the thinner side, the boots have aggressive enough traction that you’ll never slip or slide.






Diemme Anatra Cognac Suede


$375
 

Diemme took the American classic “duck boot” and gave it a stylish European upgrade. Now, it’s both a work of art and an ultra-tough pair of boots you can wear on any terrain.

The slimmed-down ankle profile makes it less “heavy-duty-looking” and far more stylish, but don’t think for a minute that you’ve sacrificed quality, versatility, or reliability in the name of fashion.

The boots still use sturdy leather for the bottoms and a suede leather that is as tough as it is gorgeous. Plus, the Napa leather inner lining adds both durability and warmth. Best of all, the shoes are crafted in Diemme’s family-run factory in Veneto in the north of Italy, using only premium-quality Italian materials to ensure you get the best pair of boots with every purchase.






Sperry Men's Saltwater Nylon Duck Boot


$55
 

Sperry strikes out and does something unique with these duck boots, rejecting the classic leather in favor of a lighter, warmer, and more versatile material: nylon. The upper is made using a quilted nylon that weighs significantly less than leather, but still offers good protection against the elements and full water-resistance. Plus, the nylon cleans easier and is less prone to staining than leather. 

The bottom remains the same, though: a waterproof rubber shell and a lugged rubber outsole (using Sperry’s proprietary molded Wave-Siping technology) that maximizes traction. With these bad boys on your feet, you can tackle any wet, cold, or muddy environment.






Eddie Bauer Hunt Pac 6" Boot


$105
 

We’ve saved one of the best—and most stylish—for last. The Eddie Bauer Hunt Pac 6” Boot brings the brand’s fashion-forward style and understated elegance to the classic American boots, giving them an upgrade in appearance that you can’t help but love.

The upper is tough and beautiful full-grain leather that will only get more gorgeous the more you wear them, but it’s lined with 200-gram ThermaFill insulation to offer maximum protection against the cold and high-abrasion fabric that keeps the boots from wearing out with repeated use.

The foam cushioning in the shaft and forefoot combines with the molded EVA footbed to keep your feet comfortable all day long, and the non-marking outsole is aggressive enough to ensure you’ve got solid footing on everything from wet concrete to ice-crusted marshes.





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