It is hard to think of a more classic pair of rain boots than the Bean Boot. Named for its originator, Leon Lemonwood Bean of L.L. Bean, they’ve offered consistent protection from rainy days and deep snowfall for well over 100 years. Whether you live in a primarily wet climate or one that gets dumped on with feet of snow annually – like the town in Maine where these are still made by American workers and with American materials – duck boots offer up time tested protection and an undeniably classic look.
So much so that the heritage silhouette has been adopted by a wide array of boot makers as a template for building their own version of the rubber and leather shoe. From essential sneaker brands looking for new and fun ways to promote some of the weather-ready sneakerboots, to equally storied brands attempting to get in on the market. To help you navigate this wide array of choices – we’ve narrowed down our list to just 8 of the best duck boots for men. Four that we think work best for wet climates, and four that will keep you warm in addition to keeping your wool socks from getting soaking wet. Take a scroll through and pick your fancy.
You could be on top of the world, having a great day, just getting back from a hot date – but if you step in a puddle and get your socks soaked – it’s all going to go downhill. For as adventurous and crafty us humans can be, it seems that our one true week spot are our feet. If they’re sore, cut, wet, or bruised – our attitudes will reflect it with surprisingly high fidelity. For that reason, we think every guy should keep a solid pair or rain boots – even when living in drier parts of the world – to stave off heavy and sloshy shoes. These boots are all built to do just that. Featuring a tough leather, rubber, and solid traction – they’ll stand up to the elements and then some.
London Fog Mens Sutton Duck Boot
Made by London Fog these boots mimic the classic bean boot style. Featuring a tough leather upper paired with a rubber toe and heel cap that are fused with a tan outsole, they provide comfort, protection, and reliable traction through wet storms and mild cold.
Original L.L. Bean Boot
Featuring a gusseted tongue, classic laces, and the famous chain-link traction cross the outsole, these are the genuine item. Made in northern Maine for over 100 years, put together with all American parts and with all American labor, it isn’t unheard of to have these sell out before a season gets all the way through. Since L.L. Bean doesn’t outsource any of their work, they often can’t keep up with demand. All the more reason to get yours while they’re still available.
Nike Lunar Force 1 Duckboot
A fun combination of the Air Force 1 silhouette with the stylings and functionality of the bean boot, this sneaker is a great pick for those looking to nod to a classic style without going full New England on everyone. Featuring a weather-treated leather upper and WaterShield lining the boots are guaranteed to keep you dry (unlike those black sneakers you mistakenly wore last time it rained). Along with all the comfort and responsiveness you’ve come to expect from a brand like Nike, the shoes also have a tough and grippy lugged outsole for non-slip urban commuting.
FRYE Warren Duck Boot
While most companies are content enough to just do their version of the duck boot, FRYE did their best to try and elevate it. And these workhorses are more than just a tough pair of black and brown leather boots, they’re also sure to turn some heads. Instead of having the upper blend into the sole of the shoe, the brand’s outsole features a Goodyear wet construction that bonds the deep lugged outsole to the upper leather portion of the boot. And of course, finer details are attended to as well. The outer heel presents a small embossed branding, while the laces are made from a raw hide leather. Fancy.
So. It is worth mentioning, for those of you who are maybe considering a move to colder climates, that simply owning a pair of boots that are water resistant isn’t enough. In fact, owning a pair of the classic bean boots and trying to use them as your winter-go to will leave you shivering and miserable. Without insulation, the rubber of the toe box and heel turn your boot into a hellish freezer. Sure. If it’s raining out or maybe even snowing – it can often not be too big a deal. But if it’s January and dipping below zero? You’ll hate yourself. Trust us. We’ve been there. So here we’ve assembled some picks that both boast the great looks of the duck boot, but also offer up some additional protection.
Sperry Cold Bay Vibram Arctic Grip Boot
Sperry isn’t messing around with this boot. Along with all the classic stylings of the original duck boot they’ve added in a tough Vibrams arctic grip wet ice outsole – a top of the line technology the outsole brand considers among its best – as well as a lined interior with a thick thermal insulation. These will keep you out for longer, no doubt about it.
Wolverine Felix Duck Boot
Wolverine, it seems, can do no wrong. The brand known primarily for their sturdy and well made work boots have given the ‘Felix’ a slightly different look and an incredibly warm wear. Opting for a full grain leather toe and heel cap as opposed to rubber, and a fur-lined interior, these will outlast even the coldest of winters.
Sorel Caribou Waterproof
Most if not all of what we’ve included on this section of the list are duck boots built to work like your favorite pair of winter boots. These Caribou boots from Sorrel are decidedly the other way around. With an upper made from a heavy full grain leather, a thick Sherpa Pile lining and AeroTac outsole they’re the kind of shoes you wish you had on the colder days of the year. Oh, and they look sharp as hell, too.
Tumbled Leather L.L. Bean Boots
With an upper that is a full two inches higher than the classic boot and featuring a shearling lining along the interior, these boots offer up the same heritage style and water resistance with a hefty bit of insulation and a high collar for keeping out the snow. Trudge on.