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When it comes to good shoes for bad weather, there are winter boots and rain boots, and both serve exactly what you think they would do. But as we enter the muddy, colder seasons of fall and early winter, none of these boots seem like the right fit. This is where another type of shoe comes in: the duck boot, which combines the insulation of a snow boot with the waterproofness of a shoe cut for the rain. They also have great traction, are easy to walk on, and are generally more comfortable for long-term wear, thanks to features like soft uppers and ankle or calf fit. Duck boots generally combine the same two characteristics: a flexible leather, suede or fabric upper and a sturdy rubber sole. They’re perfect for strolling outside before, during or after a rain or snowstorm – and will keep you warm, comfortable and completely dry. The only thing they can’t do is stay completely submerged in water, but they can handle anything else with ease. We’ve rounded up the best duck boots for every budget, so you can pick up a pair for seasons to come.
1. Our top pick
Bean Boots, Men – LL Bean, $159.00
These classic LL Bean boots are probably what you think of when you think of duck boots – and it’s no surprise, because they’re the best around. The waterproof upper is made of strong and durable leather, and the laces are also waterproof. The rubber bottoms can withstand all types of weather and feature the brand’s exclusive “thinsulate” insulation, which means they can still be comfortable to wear with thicker socks and will keep you warm without clutter. Size up if you want to wear them with woolen socks.
Bean Boots, Women – LL Bean, $139.00
These Bean boots have the same specs as the option above, and you’ll love them just as much. One thing to note is to follow the manufacturer’s suggestions for sizing, as reviewers say it makes all the difference. LL Bean writes, “With light to mid-weight socks: Full sizes, order one size down. Half sizes, order 1½ sizes down.”
2. Best mid-priced duck boots
Sperry Avenue Duck Boots, Men – Amazon, $79.95
If you’re not looking to shell out the dough for our top pick but still want something high quality and durable, we love these Sperry Avenue Duck boots. They have a flexible upper and waterproof sole, and reviewers love that they’re comfortable to wear indoors or for long periods of time. And one of them sums it up like this: “If LL Beans are out of your budget, this is the best alternative.”
Women’s Flannel-Lined Duck Ankle Boots – Land’s End, $71.96
Land’s End duck boots are a great mid-priced choice for several reasons. We like that they’re ankle length, which tends to be a bit more comfy and lightweight, and that they’re lined with flannel for extra warmth. I got my mum a pair for walking her dogs in the rain, and she loves that they’re easy to put on and incredibly comfortable, thanks to the cushioned foam insole. They are also made of leather and rubber.
3. Best Affordable Duck Boots
Nautica Mens Duck Boots, Mens – Amazon, $49.95
For a high-quality boot under $50, these duck boots from Nautica should last you a few years, making them a fantastic budget option. They’re impervious to mild rain and snow with some insulation, and they’re also calf-length. Reviewers like them more for light snow than heavier snow, but find the traction to be strong and the boots to be comfortable. We also love the sherpa-style lining around the ankle.
DKSUKO Women’s Duck Boots – Amazon, $45.99
Another affordable option, these are a zip-up pair and don’t have the traditional lacing of duck boots meaning they’re more susceptible to snow and rain – but they’re a solid choice for the price. Reviewers say they’re best used with an insole for added comfort, but the waterproof insulation and sturdy grip get the job done. One five-star buyer writes, “I wore them for almost a week in snow, rock and ice. I played in the snow at a ski resort and went tubing with them. I have visited a national park and hiked different types of terrain. My feet stayed warm and dry and I didn’t slip once. Boots are exactly as described and look great for a great price. Highly recommended.