For six months of the year, the only footwear you’ll see me wearing on my small apple farm in Ithaca, New York, are Muck Boots from The Original Muck Boot Co. Torrential downpour outside? Muck Boots. Two and half feet of snow and the walkway needs shoveling? Need to climb an apple tree for pruning? You can likely guess.
I’m a huge fan — but up until taking the plunge on a pair of MuckMaster Boots a couple years back, I had no idea what I was missing. Muck Boots always looked intimidating because of both their cost (prices can range from $144-$199) and size. Would I ever use these beyond a flood in the basement? It’s only after bringing them home that I realized my need for other outerwear was greatly reduced. Before I knew it, I started to wear them everywhere.
Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge, known to many as “The Fabulous Beekman Boys,” feel the same way. Throughout the adventures on their eponymous reality series or during their winning season on “The Amazing Race,” the boys have worn their signature Muck Boots all around the world — as well as on their 60-acre Beekman 1802 Farm outside Sharon Springs, New York. So it makes sense that their next collaboration would be with The Original Muck Boot Co. on a pair of signature boots.
"We've been wearing Muck Boots every day for the last seven years and are rarely out of them," Ridge told Men’s Journal, "but they're not always stylish. We wanted a slimmer profile and more modern look."
Curious as to what Josh and Brent had created, I reached out to The Original Muck Boot Co. for a review pair. A week later, I had the limited-edition Muck B. 1802 on my feet.
My review pair of Muck B. 1802 boots after a few weeks of near-constant use.
The Beekman Boys are big about melding style with the farming scene, and you’ll notice some different, but subtle, changes compared to other Muck Boots. The outside has a new textured rubber from my MuckMasters and they’ve also reduced some of the hard rubber outsole. The pair I received came with red accents which at first I wasn’t sure of, but have since grown to like. True to Brent’s comment, they're also noticeably slimmer. Overall, an attractive piece of footwear.
Compared to my MuckMasters, these boots feature a tighter grip on my feet, which is perfect, since I wouldn’t be wearing these with thick wool socks. Speaking of which — no socks! It’s true, you can simply go from sandals to Muck Boots with little sweat or slippage. New to the Muck Boot collection is a lining technology called XpressCool that pulls moisture away from your skin and spreads it out to increase evaporation. In my experience, it works pretty well, though if you’re working in 90-degree heat for long periods of time, there’s only so much technology can do to keep your feet dry and cool inside a rubber boot.
The other nice thing I appreciate about this boot is the way it leaves openings all around my calves. My MuckMasters have a tendency to grip my legs, a benefit in the winter, but not so great in warmer weather. The Muck B’s just breathe easier and give my calves some nice room to move in.
As for weight, these are a lot lighter than my MuckMasters, likely owing to the loss of some the aforementioned hard rubber outsole. I’m not so sure I’d use them to walk very long distances, as the Beekman Boys do, but I can see that it’s possible.
Go ahead and jump in all the puddles and streams you want. Your feet will stay nice and dry.
In the time that I’ve had my Muck Bs, I’ve thrown everything at them — from farm chores to grocery shopping. Since they’re a lighter boot, I’ve found myself reaching for them more than usual during the summer months. Make no mistake, these are true Muck Boots. While Brent and Josh have added some nice design and functionality improvements, nothing has been compromised in terms of quality and utility. In one day alone, I took these boots into the deep mud of a wetland swamp, hiking up a rough logging road, and into a hot ash pile from a bonfire. They’re built to withstand just about anything, and keep your feet and legs protected in the process. And don’t be surprised if you get a few compliments while shopping in them at the grocery store too.
I can’t recommend these boots enough, especially for those who are looking for a lightweight summer option to compliment their more temperature-rugged winter boots.The only problem? These are a limited-edition opportunity — with claims that only 200 pairs will be made. I’d love to see these make it into The Original Muck Boot Co.’s permanent lineup (right now, the Chore Cool line is your best alternative) to give others down the road a shot at owning a pair. At $170, they’re not cheap, but the motto of “You get what you pay for” really does apply. So take the plunge — and like me, you’ll happily discover what you’ve been missing.
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