As their best-selling Chore series boot, it is no wonder why we love the Hi-Cut so much. Designed to handle the toughest of jobs and a wide range of activities, the Chore Hi-Cut provides a comfortable, waterproof environment to keep your feet safe. Why is it so popular? Well, probably because it is the go-to boot to handle a wide range of environments. Not only can it keep your feet warm in cold temperatures (just add an extra pair of wool socks), but it can also keep them dry during the rainy season.
Fishing? No problem; wade out in the water up to the brim of the boot, and your feet will remain completely dry. Dressing your latest kill? Don't worry; the neoprene/rubber combination of materials allows dirt, blood, etc., to be cleaned off easily, no matter the mess. Honestly, it's hard to find a boot that can take such a drastic beating the way that Muck Boots has designed the Chore Hi-Cut, and if you're still on the fence on whether or not they are right for you, we are here to outline the good and the not-so-great to help you decide.
First off, these boots are not designed to fit the form of your foot. If you have special issues with your feet, you will likely need to add inserts, whether over-the-counter or custom orthotics. With that being said, they are created perfectly for the job they are made to do, which is just about everything. The bottom half is composed completely of rubber, the sole being a 0.75 inch thick, durable consistency. That, combined with a one inch high heel and deep, thick tread make this sole last for years.
Terrain & Traction
The Original Muck Boot Company knew that if they were going to give something a generic name such as "Chore", they were going to have to create a boot that could hold up to any task one would consider a chore. Spoiler alert, they succeeded! Whether you are romping around in mud, walking on slippery rock, hiking
up steep terrain, or trudging through the snow, the deep, durable tread holds up to the job. Rated from sub-freezing to 65 degrees Fahrenheit, you can use them just about anywhere. For those who live in rainy states, they will constantly save your feet from uncomfortably wet socks. Anyone with a farm will rest easy knowing they can perform all the dirty work without ruining their boots. If you live in a state with heavy winters,
throw on a pair of thick socks underneath and go about your daily duties with ease.
The upper half, composed of four-way-stretch neoprene nylon (the same material waders
are made of), can really perform the same duties as waders. Go stand in a rushing river up to the very edge of the material, and your feet will stay completely dry. The top opening consists of a stretchy binding which fits snug to your calf to assist in keeping cold out and warmth in (it also keeps a tad bit of water out if you accidentally wade a little too far). It is tall enough to protect from much of any water or mud splash-back, and the stretchy material can fit over just about any calf size.
Size & Weight
Due to the fact that these boots are not designed to fit the form of your foot, they tend to run a little bit large. In fact, right on the inside of the boot, they stamp on there, "best to fit with medium to heavy socks
." Even with bigger socks, most people find the best results by buying a 1/2 size smaller than they normally would. This extra space allows for the ability to wear them in lower temperatures. The durability they present comes at a cost though, as they can feel a little clunky for leisurely walks or hikes
. Most find that they extra weight is worth it though. At a height of 15 inches, it sits comfortably at mid-to-high calf on most people.
Waterproofing & Breathability
Created with breathable airmesh lining, this property assists with airflow and wicking away perspiration. While this feature generally works fairly well in cooler temperatures, the closer you get to their 65 degree F comfort range, the more sweat you will notice stays in the boot during rigorous activity. That being said, for most activities this will not be an issue. Additionally, the extent of waterproofing offered is well worth it, as it is hard to find such a well-rounded boot that can keep your feet utterly dry in the wettest of conditions.
Comfort & Cushioning
Reinforced with a steel shank for added arch support, the design of the interior will be adequate for those with no abnormal foot issues. Being someone with plantar fasciitis, it was necessary to add an insert to give better support, however once added they could be worn for hours. The rubber material gives adequate cushioning while walking on tough terrain and provides good shock-absorption. Due to their non-conformity, walking long miles may cause some blistering on the back of the heel (I'm taking over five miles straight walking) due to the heel not remaining locked in place. However, this tends to only be an issue when not wearing adequately thick socks when needed.
To be honest, out of many of the other Muck Boots on the market, these seem to be some of the most aesthetically-pleasing ones they offer. The straight black color (the only color available for this boot) goes with just about any outfit, and makes them more appropriate for use in the workplace. Sure, they are a bit bulky, however you shouldn't expect much less from a boot designed for such dirty tasks. The lack of random colors, weird creases, and the low-profile logo of the company make these pleasing to the eye for even the most fashion-conscious people.
Longevity & Overall Quality
If you are using these for jobs that require a lot of daily bending down, which puts additional pressure on the ankle area where the upper and lower portions are joined, you may notice earlier aging. However, even with that, the longevity of these boots is amazing. Going on year three, being used for walking the dogs, taking care of the farm, camping
, snow hiking, fishing
and daily life in the rain, my Chore boots are still like-new with no leaks in the waterproofing or signs of aging. The beauty of the material is that you can hose them down after a long dirty day and they will dry fast and look like new. The soles, while subject to the same wearing down as any other shoe, keep good traction for a long time due to the deep tread. The overall shape of the boot does not become deformed over time, as the rubber is thick and highly reinforced.
Support & Protection
Even though they are not reinforced with steel-toes (Muck does make a steel-toe version of the Chore boot if desired), the toe is triple-reinforced with rubber to add protection. In fact, if you try to push down on it with your hand, it is almost impossible to make it give way to pressure. This adds just enough to protect from a log falling on your foot or accidentally kicking a rock (however maybe not enough for a horse to step on it). The heel is quadruple reinforced to add additional protection and support. Even though it doesn't fit the form of your foot, the sheer thickness of the lower rubber assists in preventing rolling an ankle while out and about, and the height keeps you safer from kicking up sticks and other potential hazards while walking in the woods.
Cost & Value
As far as comparing to other Muck Boots available, the Chore Hi-Cut is one of the least expensive options, mostly due to the versatility they present. While others have specific roles that they fulfill, the Chore can be used for just about anything while still providing adequate traction and protection. With only one large competitor in the market of rubber boots, it really comes down to personal preference if you prefer Mucks or Bogs. A Bogs boot with features comparable to the Muck Chore Hi-Cut is slightly more expensive.
• Stiff heel and toe protection without steel reinforcement
• Rated to subfreezing for use in winter conditions
• Easily cleaned off
• 100% waterproof
• Thick, deep tread can take a beating
• Ultra-versatile for use just about anywhere
At the end of the day, if you are sick of coming home after a day of walking around in the rain, snow
or mud and suffering from wet socks, sweaty feet and boots that track in every bit of dirt that you stepped on, then the Chore Hi-Cut will save you from all of that inconvenience. Whether you are a fisherman, farmer, hunter, or just your average-Joe walker or hiker, the Chore Hi-Cut gives a versatile design that can be used in just about any situation, yet be taken home, hosed down and ready for the next venture in no time. The all-black exterior, reinforced lower, neoprene upper, and breathable liner is likely to last for years, and keep your feet feeling safe during some of the dirtiest and toughest chores you can throw at them. For those who haven't yet decided whether they are Team Muck or Team Bog, give these a try and they might just make you a lifelong follower.