Five Plus One is our weekly series of buyer’s guides. We pick a specific category and dig up five great options along with one that’s a little outside the norm.
Summer is quickly coming to a close and soon we’ll all have to break out the rain gear. For some of us, that just means tossing on a pair of boots instead of bluchers, and grabbing a slightly heavier jacket. But some people, either out of desire or necessity, prefer to have something a bit more substantial. Duck boots can be that something–perfect for keeping your feet dry and warm, while maintaining a chunky Americana style.
1) L.L. Bean: 8″ Bean Boot
L.L.Bean released the original duck boots known as Bean Boots in 1911, and not much has changed since then. The only notable difference is the addition of the now famous chain-link tread pattern, which is designed to offer traction without accumulating snow on the bottom of the shoe. Bean now offers several versions of their iconic boots, which range in heights and lining material. And while the classic version is unlined, they now offer versions with flannel, Goretex, Thinsulate, and shearling linings, each ideal for different environments.
Available for $129 from L.L.Bean.
2) Frye: Warren Duck Boot
Frye’s Warren Duck Boot is quite different from many other duck boots out there. The vamp is made of leather rather than rubber, and the sole is attached with a welt rather than being permanently connected to the vamp. This allows them to be resoled more easily by your neighborhood cobbler— although some bonded duck boots can be resoled by the original manufacturer—and it gives them a unique appearance. The Warren Duck Boot comes with a shearling lining, which is perfect for those frigid, snowy days, and comes in several heights.
Available for $398 from Frye.
3) Hunter Original: Rubber Lace-Up Boot
Hunter is most well known for their slip on rain boots, but their Rubber Lace-Ups are a great option if you want waterproof rubber boots without the clunky aesthetic. They’re a bit more industrial looking than traditional duck boots, but they’re a great choice if they fit your wardrobe (even if these aren’t exactly “true” duck boots, since the vamp and shaft are both made of rubber). Currently they’re only available in black, but they’ve been made in other colors previously and hopefully will be again in the near future.
Available for $185 from Hunter.
4) Sorel: Cheyanne Boot
Just as some people swear by L.L.Bean’s Bean Boots, other’s swear by Sorel’s Cheyannes. The style, function, design, quality, and price are very similar, so it really comes down to your personal preference. It’s worth noting that the Cheyannes come with 200g of Thinsulate by default, which offers additional warmth while sacrificing a small amount of breath-ability. This version of their duck boots is pretty tough, but if you’re looking for boots for even more serious weather you can check out their 1964 Pac boots.
Available for $135 from Sorel.
5) Common Projects: Duck Boot in Black
Common Project’s Duck Boot is another example of a faux-duck boot. While it definitely has the look down, the vamp is again made of leather, with raised seams rather than rubber. That means that the sole and vamp aren’t constructed from a single piece of rubber, which isn’t ideal for water resistance. While not truly waterproof, these boots will certainly hold up to the occasional rainstorm and look great as they’re doing it.
Available for $635 from End Clothing.
Plus One – Visvim: Decoy Duck Mid-Folk
The faux-duck boot train continues, this time with Visvim’s Decoy Duck Mid-Folk, an aptly named boot constructed from denim, Horween leather, and a Vibram chain-link sole. While the construction, material choices, and height of this boot don’t make them entirely waterproof, they do make for an attractive piece of footwear—one that would look almost as good on display as it would on your feet.
Available for $908 from Norse Store.