Your wardrobe isn’t complete without a great pair of boots, and it’s very nearly as simple as that. Allow us to elaborate, though. Boots are the reliable, rugged, durable pair of footwear you can’t live without, and that’s as true in the warmer months as it is during the dark, deep depths of winter. Let’s take it a step further and talk about duck boots. Funnily named, but no less essential to a man’s cold-weather wardrobe.
Now, duck boots aren’t the type of boots you’re going to wear every single day, like rugged leather work boots or classic chukka boots, and that’s OK in our book. Again, this doesn’t make them any less essential or dependable in your footwear rotation. They’ve got history and heritage in spades, they’ve got plenty of functionality going for them, and despite the unique name, they’re a pair of winter boots you’re going to come to rely on as the days go by.
In fact, they go far above and beyond their intended purpose, which is stomping through deep snow drifts. You can also put rugged duck boots to work in the rain and in the sleet, and they’ll tread just as steadily through those types of inclement weather as they will through a particularly intense blizzard. Duck boots are even getting more stylish by the season, as classic brands slim things down, upgrade their materials and inject a bit of cool style into the classic lace-up snow boot silhouette (but remember, you can wear them well beyond the snow, too).
It certainly helps that duck boots still celebrate their Northeast roots, with plenty of brands making statement examples of duck boots that continually stand the test of time. We can’t think of a better locale in which to put your duck boots to the test than the snowy climes of the Northeast, but the thing about duck boots is that they can work just about anywhere you need ’em to go, through rain and plenty more.
The best duck boots are expertly crafted, sure, but they’re also affordably priced and ready for anything, all at the same time. If that sounds like an impossibly high bar to clear, well, trust us when we say that it is. But then again, duck boots aren’t your average pair of footwear, and we mean that in the best way possible. Rugged duck boots are your footwear rotation’s way of telling the snow, the sleet and the rain to watch out, because they’ve got company.
They’re the boots to wear when the only thing you’ve got figured out in the rest of your wardrobe is the fact that you need a dependable rain jacket or a snow-ready parka — you’ll have to figure out the rest from there, but you don’t have to worry about the boots on your feet. Finding the best pair of duck boots isn’t quite as simple as picking up any old pair at a discount, though. Take the following considerations into account, and then get ready to take on whatever the heck is going on out there weather-wise, because duck boots can handle it (if you haven’t figured that out by now).
Here’s what to look for in a great pair of duck boots, the hardest-working pair of weather-ready boots in your wardrobe.
How to Find The Right Duck Boots for You
- Weatherproofing: The best pair of duck boots is one that you don’t need to worry about as far as functionality is concerned. Your duck boots should ideally be 100 percent waterproof, finished off with the type of construction that won’t allow moisture, rain or snow to ruin your boot socks or the interior of the boot itself. If ever you’ve worn a pair of boots that are less than high-quality, you’ve probably been there and dealt with that. Not to worry, though: The best duck boots pass our own high standards for quality and dependability.
- Heritage: The fine art of making duck boots the right way is not something to be left to chance. What we mean by that is precisely the following: Shop brands that know a thing or two, or three — or way more than that — about building duck boots from the ground up. That means forgoing any fast-fashion retailers and looking instead for a brand with the history and reliability to make duck boots that can stand up to the most harsh conditions imaginable — that’s what our list of the best duck boots covers, so again, not to worry. It’s your lucky day.
- Affordability: Look, believe us when we say you’ve got to cover all the bases when shopping for boots of any sort, but especially duck boots. Look at it this way: Shopping for duck boots should neither be too taxing financially nor mentally, so avoid splurging way too much of your hard-earned cash on boots that are going to trudge through the snow and slush. It’s no time to skimp, but if you can save a few dollars here or there, we’re all about that (and we think you should be, too).
OK, so with those key bases covered, you’re probably wondering about the real nitty-gritty: The exact boots you should be buying right now. Allow us to introduce you to the functional, rugged boots that are going to save the day, time and time again, when the weather takes a turn for the worse.
Our Favorite Duck Boots to Buy Right Now
L.L. Bean 6-Inch Bean Boots
L.L. Bean is among the best boot brands a guy can buy, and it helps that they check off all three boxes we noted above as far as looking for a new pair of boots is concerned. Needless to say, if you want to take the plunge and get boots that can pass muster, L.L. Bean is the way to go. In fact, you probably don’t need us to tell you that the brand’s heritage and history is legendary: They pioneered the art of making footwear for hard-working men and women, and there are plenty of reasons why the brand’s Bean Boots are a famed bestseller year after year…after year. These are absolutely a tried-and-true original, no questions asked.
Sperry Saltwater Duck Boots
Sperry is perhaps best known for its famed boat shoes and easygoing loafers, both staples of any guy’s warm-weather footwear rotation (and both styles that we ourselves love). That being said, the company has quite the knack for making some dependable-as-can-be snow boots, and the Saltwater Duck Boots are but the latest pair of Sperry rain boots (or Sperry snow boots) to catch our eye. Get them on sale right no, and revel in the fact that the waterproof rubber exterior is bold (in color) and big-time (in terms of functionality). Sounds like a pretty great combo to us.
G.H. Bass Mallard Classic Men’s Duck Boots
G.H. Bass is yet another brand that’s full of surprises as far as the array of its product offerings. You’ve very likely had a pair of Bass loafers in your rotation at some point, right? If not, trust us when we say you’re missing out, but all that being said, the time is right now to add another, more unique G.H. Bass offering into your rotation: That of these rugged G.H. Bass Mallard Duck Boots. They’re made from waterproof genuine leather and feature a tough, durable build. Throw in the fact that you can snag them right now on sale, and you’ve got yourself yet another winning option as far as the best duck boots are concerned.
Huckberry All-Weather Duckboots
When the good folks at Huckberry say something is designed for all types of weather, we’re inclined to take them at their word and give it a good, long look. That’s what’s so great about the Huckberry All-Weather Duckboots: They really, truly do live up to their lofty name, and we’re not just saying that. They’ve got 100 percent waterproof construction, a critical element of any pair of rugged duck boots, and they blend a black-and-tan color scheme that’s surprisingly stylish as well as dependable in the snow and slush. The next time you need work-ready, adventure-minded duck boots, you know where to go: Huckberry, of course.
Lands’ End Insulated Chelsea Duck Boots
Let’s close things out the right way: With yet another pair of classic duck boots for men, of course. Sure, options abound as far as the opportunity to buy duck boots is concerned, but if we’ve said it once before, we’ve said it dozens of times: Not just any old pair of duck boots will do. If it’s a pair of duck boots made with both utility and versatility at the forefront, then you’re going to want to step out in these rugged insulated Chelsea duck boots, one of the more unique takes on the style that we’ve seen. They’re easy to slip into, they’re easy to wear and they’re plenty hard-working when the time comes to tackle the toughest conditions imaginable. You won’t want to wear any other pair of snow or rain boots, and that’s just about a guarantee.