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Thread: Avon, Muck Boots a Review

  1. #1
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    Default Avon, Muck Boots a Review

    Avon Muck Boot Review



    History

    There has been a fair bit of discussion about footwear on the forum. When the subject was first raised George suggested trying Muck Boots. It took me a while to get past the old " wellies will drag you to the bottom" wife's tale (in the water wellies filled with water are no more heavy that the material of the boot itself, the water filling them makes no difference to your weight in the water).

    Still being the tight so and so I am I got a cheaper pair of Ron Thompson wellies that looked similar so I was not out too much money if they turned out to be a bad idea.

    From the first time I used the Ron Thompson wellies I was a convert to wellies as the footwear of choice in an open canoe and this style with the close fitting neoprene upper, particularly.

    One benefit of wellies is that you get to keep your feet dry when you get in and out of the canoe. This also means you can be kinder to your canoe. Before wellies I tended to ram the shore to try and get up onto the shore so I could step out on to dry land. This obviously was hard on the bottom of the canoe. Now once I get close to shore I can simply step out into the water, keeping your feet dry, and pull the canoe ashore.

    Another advantage is that they are very flexible so if you are kneeling when you paddle your foot can flex more than if you were wearing walking boots. I mention walking boots as I generally canoe to get to places to explore so my footwear must be appropriate for both the canoe and walking on shore. I am not one who is keen on changing shoes every time I get out of the canoe.

    I have not yet swum with either the Ron Thompson or Muck Boots but George tells me that he has and the close fitting top means they do not catch the water too much when you swim and also they tend to retain the same water in them so they are not too cold. I have no reason to doubt him and it sounds reasonable. I will find out for myself when the weather gets better and will update this review.

    So for the above reasons I was happy with the Ron Thompson boots but they had a couple of shortcomings. The Ron Thompson boots had a pretty thin sole which was fine in the canoe but not very good for walking any distance on shore. They felt like walking in your slippers. The other issue was that they were not particularly warm. You could wear thick socks but even then they were still cold and if your feet were warm the sweat tended to build up and you ended up with damp feet.

    Enter the Muck Boots



    So now that I was convinced of the benefits of wellies I decided it was worth investing in a pair of Muck Boots. I decided to go for the Avon . These are camouflaged but this was not really a selling point for me. My interest was in the boots being warmer than the alternative, less sweaty and a better walking sole. The Tweed that George uses looked very similar to the Ron Thompson boot so I was concerned that the sole of this may be too soft too. The Tay and the Derwent both looked a but heavy and inflexible so the Avon seemed the logical choice.

    I shopped around and the best deal I could find in the UK was from www.balnecroftcountryclothing.co.uk. There customer service was good and within no time I had the boots.

    These boots were clearly in a different league to the Ron Thompson boots. It almost goes without saying that these boots had all the same plus points as the previous ones. Dry feet when paddling. Flexible sole etc.
    So how did they perform in the other areas? In short, excellent.

    The first test I gave the boots was a 3 mile walk. They were comfortable and warm. The walk was over a mixture of rough ground and footpaths. It was still pretty cold with some snow on the ground. At the end of the walk my feet were in fine condition and toasty warm. So tick off good and sturdy for walking.

    Next test was a paddle for the day out on Loch Lomond. I had the boots on from when I left the house till I got home. About 9 hours in total. The boots performed well in the canoe and kept my feet warm and comfortable the whole time.

    The muck boots have an insulated shell of CR-foam built into them so that your feet are kept warm without having to resort to thick socks. There is of course the risk that your feet could get too warm. In these circumstances you can simply roll the top of the boots down to let some of the heat out. You will notice that the lining is bright orange. This is to make you more visible in a hunting situation. Again not something I needed but worth a mention.



    Also the orange lining is made up of a material that has loads of tiny strands holding the layers apart to create a gap to allow your feet to breath. It also allows the moisture generated to travel through this gap and out of the boot. After the nine hours the boots my feet were still dry so it certainly seems like the lining does what it is meant to.
    You'll be glad to know I did not cut up the boots to get the picture of the section of the lining material. You get a small sample with the boots to let you se how it is made up.

    Conclusion
    Well first if you have not considered wellies as footware when paddling an open canoe I am telling you now it is a good choice. If you are going to use wellies in your canoe I can strongly recommend the Muck Boots, specifically the Avon but I would expect the quality and manufacture of the other models to make them pretty much as suitable.

    I am actually so taken with the Muck Boots that they will probably replace my walking boots in many instances. As well as keeping my feet drier they are warmer. When camping you need to put your footwear on when you need to answer nature's call during the night. Pulling on a pair of wellies is much more convenient than trying to do up a pair of boots. Since with the Avon I have boots that are warm and sturdy enough for my outdoor use I am not loosing anything by using them in place of the walking boots.
    Last edited by MagiKelly; 19th-November-2011 at 12:07 PM.
    John

  2. #2
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    Thanks for such a comprehensive review.

    I've been thinking about the wellie option, this may just swing it once i've saved up some pennies.
    'There is no wealth but life itself.'

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    It seems a good deal for 60. I see the website quoted has them available in Camouflage or Camouflage. However I see it is one of the modern hunting camo patterns rather than anything too military looking.

    Shold be highly midge and tick proof of course.

    I just wonder if it would be too hot in the summer though? I have neoprene lined wellies and they are way too hot in summer.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc
    I just wonder if it would be too hot in the summer though? I have neoprene lined wellies and they are way too hot in summer.
    Depends what you mean by summer. If you mean a normal Scottish summer then too hot should not be a problem However if it is proper hot then yes they may be too warm but rolling them down does let the heat out well. There is no longer the seal against your leg so the warm air can get out easily. If it is really warn I am likely to be wearing shorts and sandals though so not really a problem but I would probably have the wellies with me as a backup for night time or if the weather turned.
    John

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    They look really good. I'm almost convinced. What were the sizes like? Did they turn out as you expected size wise? I know you can always send them back, but I'd rather get it right first time.
    Matto

    Ours was the marsh country, down by the river, within, as the river wound, twenty miles of the sea.


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    Thanks for the review, ive been thinking about these and youve just convinced me. Im also interested in how the sizing worked out.
    Never underestimate the power of very stupid people in large groups
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    They sound really good. Do the liners take long to dry if you accidently wade in over their tops?

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    Sizing wise. I am a size 11 I got size 11 and they fit well. I can fit thickish socks on in them but not two pairs. They advise you that they are warm enough that you do not need lots of socks and my experience would back this up. So I would get the size of boots the same as your normal shoe size.

    I have not got them wet inside yet so do not know how long they would take to dry. There is no real absorbent material in the boot makeup so it should not take too long. I will think your socks would be the slow part.

    If a few of you are thinking of getting the boots it might be worth saying you are members of SotP and ask if there is a discount. I have already sent the supplier a link to the thread so you never know..
    John

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    Default muck boots

    curiously I stood behind a pair in the bank on wednesday and was leering to see the logo but they were too... well, mucky. No opportunity to speak to their owner... so thanks for the review and link!! I'll start saving!!

  10. #10

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    Glad you like them John.

    As you know I've been a convert to this kind of welly for some time now and I think they are the best thing since sliced bread for winter paddling.



    George

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    At the weekend, doing training with Prospector I got to do my first swim with the wellies so can now comment on that aspect of things.

    First in the water. The wellies are very buoyant. Your feet will naturally float. Handy when dong rivers as it keeps you from getting your feet stuck. When you force your feat down to the buoyancy lifts you slightly higher in the water, not a huge amount but enough that it might make a difference. A few newtons extra buoyancy can't be bad. Swimming with the boots was no different from swimming with any other shoe on. There was no sense of increased drag or the like.

    Once out of the water there is water in the boots but this quickly heats up so you have warm wet feet. Taking the boots off and tipping out he surplus as well as wringing out your socks leaves the boots damp. I do not know how long the boots will take to dry when worn as I got changed quite soon after the drill. With the top turned down and frequent wringing out of socks I think they would dry in a reasonable time if worn but am sure your feet would at least stay warm during this time.
    John

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    Default Rob F

    I presume they are American...
    If I'm a size 10 UK is that still a USA size 10 ?
    It's a lot of cash to spend if they're tight ! (And my friends say I am )
    Cheers Rob F

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    A 10 over here in the uk is a 11 over there. It says i'm a size 9 in some of my shoes that were from the USA. If you look in your shoes you should be able to see the european( I think thats what it is) and a size, one higher with american on it.

    Joe
    Last edited by JoeG; 23rd-August-2006 at 08:25 AM. Reason: Pressed the wrong button

  14. #14
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    The link in the review is to a UK shop selling in UK sizes. I would advise you to get the same size that you normally wear. I know a few people got the size up and found them a bit big. You can exchange them they don't fit but it is much easier if they do fit, obviously

    I have to add that having now used these for a lot longer I am still as pleased. I am looking forward to finding out how warm they will be int eh winter.
    John

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    From last winter I became a convert to wellies - I was using an old pair of sailing rubber boots in my ocean kayak - found that if I sealed a pair of overtrousers over top they were pretty watertight for jumping in and out of the boat. No good for any waling over rocks though.

    however - these Avon Muck boots look pretty good - does anyone know how different they are to neoprene lined Royal Hunters? I have a pair of the latter (stupid price but I did get them in a sale and on my way to a job when my nearest pair of wellies was 30 miles away - and it was that or very wet feet for two days! - moral of the story check the back of the car before you set off, and double check with the co-worker that says the site is a bit damp when they really mean it is a peat bog!). I was thinking of trying out the RH in the canoe this winter..but then a man can never have too many boots!

    Rob

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    Default Anyone with 'Derwent' Muck Boots?

    Having spent the whole weekend at Loch Achray with cold wet feet, I have decided to get myself a new pair of (non-leaky) wellies for canoeing!

    The muck boots do look the business, but I'm really not sure that camo is my thing (in any case, Mrs B says she'll disown me if I buy a pair).

    I therefore enquired about the differences between the 'Avon' muck boots reviewed above, and the 'Derwents' which are available in plain black or green, and cost nearly 20 less.


    Here is the response:

    There are few differences between the Derwent and the Avon. Really the
    Avon is a camouflage version of the Derwent with a fluorescent
    orange lining added, though the lining does have the advantage over
    the Derwent of superior moisture wicking.

    For the activity you're doing, I think the Derwent would be fine.

    You're not alone in feeling dubious about this style, there isn't a
    high demand for them. I think your wife has the right attitude (to the camo), too
    ;-)

    Best regards,

    *****.
    So there you have it - I think I'l put a pair on my Christmas list. In the meantime though, does anyone own a pair of muck boots other than the Avon model, and what do you think of them?

    Cheers,

    Blutack.
    The Canoeist's prayer: "Lord grant me the serenity to walk the portages I must, The courage to run the rapids I can, And the wisdom to know the difference".

    John Muir Trust - Wild Places for Nature & People.

  17. #17
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    I bought some Muck Boots last winter, and they are really good boots. I wear them when I'm in my Charles River. However I just can't get my feet under the seat if I'm wearing them in my Yellowstone Solo, so this winter I'm in the market for something just as warm and waterproof, but with more flexibility. Any ideas anyone? I'm off to the chandlers tomorrow to see what sailing boots they've got, and if they're any good.
    Matto

    Ours was the marsh country, down by the river, within, as the river wound, twenty miles of the sea.


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    Default chillcheaters...

    Chillcheaters do a knee length waterproof warm inner sock...u could wear it with dive boots?
    Expand your mind there's plenty space for it...

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    Myself and Ali bought a pair of Muck Boots "tweed" model last week from these folks http://www.discountwellies.co.uk/ for 40 quid per pair. I thought that the thinner sole would help with kneeling in the boat, as they are more flexible, This certainly turned out to be true and they were very comfy and warm - i'd recommend them to anyone!

    I just ordered my normal size (9) and Ali's (7) and they fit fine for us...

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    Quote Originally Posted by 86inch View Post
    Myself and Ali bought a pair of Muck Boots "tweed" model last week from these folks http://www.discountwellies.co.uk/ for 40 quid per pair. I thought that the thinner sole would help with kneeling in the boat, as they are more flexible, This certainly turned out to be true and they were very comfy and warm - i'd recommend them to anyone!
    I agree I went for the Tweed for the flexibilty, I also got a pair of Tacks for my good lady as they are slightly more feminie. My only critism is that they are too warm for me at the moment

    MattO, if you looking for flexible sailing wellies, have a look at Aigle, our kids have had them since they could walk, I have always been impressed by there softness - you be please to know they do them in adult sizes too . I think you also go to France quite a bit, the Carrefore supermarket chain sometime have them.

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    Thanks for the comments everyone!

    I did look at the Tweed, but was worried that the soles might be slippy on mud, as the tread is quite fine. Also, I wonder if the Tweeds might be too flexible for wearing on rocky portages?

    If you can allay my fears on either of these, then I'm sold!!

    Cheers,

    Blutack.
    The Canoeist's prayer: "Lord grant me the serenity to walk the portages I must, The courage to run the rapids I can, And the wisdom to know the difference".

    John Muir Trust - Wild Places for Nature & People.

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    That was my concern for the Tweed. I went for the Avon because the sole of the tweed looked very similar to the sole of the Ron Thomson boots and these were certainly not up to rocky ground.

    Of course that said the Muck Boots seem to be a different animal altogether so the Tweed is probably in a different class from the Ron Thomsons
    John

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blutack View Post
    Thanks for the comments everyone!

    I did look at the Tweed, but was worried that the soles might be slippy on mud, as the tread is quite fine. Also, I wonder if the Tweeds might be too flexible for wearing on rocky portages?

    If you can allay my fears on either of these, then I'm sold!!

    Cheers,

    Blutack.
    The soles are pretty good I have walked in quite a lot of mud with and without the canoe with no problems, from what I recall the Tacks did however come with a warning about walking on ice etc.

    In generel I would always favour a walking boot over a welly particularly if ankle support is an issue, if you are doing a lot of rocky portages then they're may be not the most appropriate footwear.

  24. #24
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    Wearing my Tweeds, I've portaged my boat for about 200m (uphill ) on small stony ground and they were fine, and i'd expect them to perform OK over rocky ground if you picked where you put your feet, but they are nowhere near as good as decent walking boots in this respect.

    As a trial, I did also do a 4 mile walk in them over very rocky terrain and the soles of my feet were starting to ache whereas in my walking boots my feet would have been absolutley fine.

    I'd guess that the "derwent" and "avon" boots are probably much better underfoot for rocky ground, but i wouldn't expect them to be as flexible?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SunburyAndy View Post
    MattO, if you looking for flexible sailing wellies, have a look at Aigle, our kids have had them since they could walk, I have always been impressed by there softness - you be please to know they do them in adult sizes too . I think you also go to France quite a bit, the Carrefore supermarket chain sometime have them.
    Off to France this weekend actually, so might have a look. Also the hunting season should be in full swing, so the garden centres will be chock full of cheap outdoor gear. Always worth a look. Got an excellent pair of walking boots which I've been wearing for the last few years over there for about 30.
    Matto

    Ours was the marsh country, down by the river, within, as the river wound, twenty miles of the sea.


  26. #26

    Default Chillcheaters

    Quote Originally Posted by woodsmoke View Post
    Chillcheaters do a knee length waterproof warm inner sock...u could wear it with dive boots?
    I used to always wear wellies whilst sea kayaking. However, when my wife and I went out to canoe the Bowron Lakes in Canada, wellies were too big to fit in the luggage, so we used knee length chillcheaters (which were quickly christened "kinky socks" - you would know why if you saw them) with teva - type sandles. That worked out really well, although if conditions were really cold you would get cold feet.

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    Default Aldi Wellies

    I just bought a pair of safety wellies at Aldi for eight quid... seem OK to me...

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    Quote Originally Posted by dougdew99 View Post
    I just bought a pair of safety wellies at Aldi for eight quid... seem OK to me...
    At the recent meet up I wore the Muck Boots for three days, all the time. I would not want to see the state of my feet if I did the same in cheap wellies. I have cheap safety wellies for going on site but for extended use you really notice the difference in a good pair.
    John

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    Default Cheap Wellies

    Good point... I know nothing about prolonged wellie wearing... we don't go in for wellies much in Australia, whereas in New Zealand , they are a fashion statement...

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    I just got some wellies in Dobbies garden centre for twelve quid. They are pretty good and comfy to kneel in. They also have quite a close fit round the calf. They will definately do me till I can trade up to the muck boots!
    Wouldn't want to walk for miles in them though!
    Matt

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    If you are getting cold feet it may be an idea to consider neoprene wellington boot socks.
    I bought myself a pair of wellies from an army surplus store and then a pair of the socks from Ebay for about 5 (inc P&P) and I've got to say they work a treat. They have a velcro fastener at the top which keeps them up and since they are taller than the boots you don't get that horrible feeling of the boot rim digging into your calves
    Bootstrap
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    Default Tiny Wellies

    HAs anyone found any decent Wellies in tiny sizes ( Uk 2.5->3) ? I've been thinking of a pair of the Avons for Laurence but the smallest they do is a 4 in these from what I can see.

    I have the opposite problem myself
    Happy paddling ,
    Rob.


  33. #33
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    Thanks for the review and recommendation on the Muck Boots which I've been using for a while now.

    They are GREAT.

    In fact they are the first pair of wellies I have had that I would describe as comfortable to use. Absolutely top gear for winter canoeing, soles aren't as stiff as I anticipated from other comments but that is probably all to the good for use in the canoe and they cope well with muddy banks.
    Happy paddling ,
    Rob.


  34. #34
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    Which ones did you get?
    John

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    i have a friend who wears the short muck boots from 5am till 8pm every day in winter ( a horsey person) at her stable yard so that must be a good reason to have a pair
    nature is m X-box

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    I have a pair of Hunter Galloway boots that I use. They are neoprane lined also and I dont know if the Avon boots would be any beter that what I have at the minute?

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagiKelly View Post
    Which ones did you get?
    Ooops, missed that pertinent bit of info

    I got the Avon Muck Boots. Too add a little to the comments:

    If you go out (even on a cold day) for a walk with both inner and thick outer socks your feet will get quite toasty but the wicking/breating liner actually works and no wet sweaty feet! In the boat thin neoprene socks & the boots have kept the cold out admirably.

    Alternatively if you go out for a long walk on a cold day having stuffed it up and got the inside of your boots wet and cold when washing them AND forgot your thick socks so you just have a single pair of (wet) thin socks your feet, also amazingly, seem to stay warm On the other hand loose boots, thin socks & long walk = blistered heels
    Happy paddling ,
    Rob.


  38. #38
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    Do you find you can wear them in the Argosy? My light weight wellies are proving a bit chilly in the cold, but I've found the Muck Boots just a bit too big in the Bell.
    Matto

    Ours was the marsh country, down by the river, within, as the river wound, twenty miles of the sea.


  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matto View Post
    Do you find you can wear them in the Argosy? My light weight wellies are proving a bit chilly in the cold, but I've found the Muck Boots just a bit too big in the Bell.
    Yep, no problem at all. Very warm and comfortable

    However I have raised the seat an inch to the higher of it's two positions for this. The lower position, with my size 14s, is for river sandals or neoprene booties only.

    Before the muckboots I have had good results keeping warm with a 'neoprene sandwich'. Thats a thin neoprene sock next to the skin, wooly sock over that and then another thin oversized neoprene sock over the wool. The idea is that the outer one keeps the wool dry from splashes etc and if you get submerged the inner neoprene works as normal to provide immersed insulation, afterwards you can just wring the wool out to get reasonably back to normal. I would just wear the sandwich inside booties or trainers or whatever seemed appropriate at the time.
    Happy paddling ,
    Rob.


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    Default Tweed Muck Boots Mini Review

    Imagine my joy at Christmas to find my stocking bulging with.... er, something rigid and shaped just like the stocking!

    That's right, since I was a good boy last year, as Santa brought me my very own Tweed Muck Boots.



    Some quick thoughts, now I've worn them for a while:

    1) Very comfortable, great around camp.
    2) Very comfortable to kneel in when canoeing - offers just the right amount of support. Be careful if you have a low kneeling thward though.....
    3) Very warm, even when wet. (I went 'over the top' of them whilst wading at the Lake District meet, and filled them with ice cold water. Though I spent the rest of the day soggy, my feet were toasty warm, and my socks steamed when I took them off ).
    4) Easy to dry - After the above mishap, I stuffed them with newspaper overnight, and they were completely dry by the morning.

    Negative points: Though they're still comfortable on rocky ground, they do slip quite easily, and are frankly pretty useless on ice (this may improve as the soles wear a bit?) They seemed ok in mud, - better than my wetsuit boots, but not a patch on my hiking boots, as would be expected.

    All in all, I'm very pleased with them - Well worth the money.

    Thanks all for your advice and recommendations!

    Blutack.
    The Canoeist's prayer: "Lord grant me the serenity to walk the portages I must, The courage to run the rapids I can, And the wisdom to know the difference".

    John Muir Trust - Wild Places for Nature & People.

  41. #41
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    Good to hear you like them. I still love my Avon Muck Boots but I see they now have an Arctic version that is good down to -5 or so. I would love to try them but it will take a lifetime to wear out the Avons.

    I recently got a set of the muck boot gardening shoes as a possible camp shoe but have not tried it enough to give a review yet.
    John

  42. #42
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Hunter Lake, Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    3,753

    Default Fisherman's Boots

    I know I'm adding this a bit late, but I've been watching a show lately about crab fishing in the Behring Sea, and all the fishermen were wearing the type of boots I used to wear up in Alaska. The first time I went to Alaska, I brought some leather boots - which quickly turned into piles of green mold. I lived in these rubber boots the entire time I was up there. When we were indoors, or the few times the sun shown for more than a day, we would wear cut off rubber boots that looked something like a clog. They were the best boots, and often after working hard for 12 hours I would be amazed that my feet were still dry - not even damp from sweat. They were a natural rubber boot and looked like this:

    http://nomaralaska.com/boots.htm

    The only thing that makes me question if this is the same boot is the price. In the 1970s we were paying $100 per pair. As best I remember they were made in Norway.
    Last edited by pierre girard; 16th-May-2008 at 12:05 AM.
    The perfect canoe -
    Like a leaf on the water

  43. #43
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Lochwinnoch, Scotland
    Posts
    17,228

    Default

    Just an update. The supplier I use has transferred the Muck Boot part of the business over to www.balnecroftcountryclothing.co.uk.

    As a special offer to Song of the Paddle members any orders from them will qualify for free postage. Just mention Song of the Paddle when ordering. I'm not sure how long this offer will last but it will be to the end of the year anyway.

    Also coming up is a review of the Nevis Sport Muck Boots which are the same as the Tay Sport but with a different tread pattern.
    John

  44. #44
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Stone, Staffordshire
    Posts
    381

    Default

    I use dinghy sailing boots - http://www.brookbanksailing.co.uk/pr..._Deck_Boot_Gul - cheaper than Muck boots at only 40, lighter in weight and a bit longer in the leg. They also seem a bit more supple than Mucks and therefore easier to move in the boat about when kneeling. Just a suggestion . . . . .
    'Life is Art, and not otherwise' C.S.Lewis

  45. #45
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Lochwinnoch, Scotland
    Posts
    17,228

    Default

    Muck boots are not the most supple or the cheapest but so far I have found them the most comfortable and warm. The warmth is really a revelation on cold winter trips.
    John

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