How to find the best boots for stable work
Montana doesn’t muck around when it comes to mud. In a single winter, we often get more than 150 inches of snow. Come Spring when things start melting, all that moisture has to go somewhere…and a lot of it ends up in our horse paddocks. Our horses’ legs are disgusting. Our feet are disgusting. The world is disgusting. The only silver lining? If my muck boots can withstand Montana’s elements, they’re tough enough for anything.
The best boots for mucking stalls and paddocks are comfortable, durable, and waterproof. Here are our top picks for ladies and gents:
- Bogs Classic Mid Waterproof Rain Boot (Ladies)
- Servus MAX Soft Toe Work Boots (Ladies) (I own/love these.)
- Noble Outfitters Muds Cold Front High (Ladies) (I own/love these, too.)
- Muck Boot Muckster Ll Mid-Height Rubber Garden Boot (Ladies)
- Muck Boot Excursion Pro Mid-Height Rubber Boot (Gents)
- Muck Boot Wetland Rubber Premium Field Boots (Gents)
- Muck Boot Chore Classic Work Boots (Gents)
How to Choose the Best Muck Boot
Horse rookies and pros, alike, know what it’s like to pick your way through a gross paddock and suddenly hear that terrible squishy slurping sound as the deep mud yanks your boot right off your foot. You’re left trying to balance on one foot as you attempt to free the kidnapped boot from the clutches of nature. It (literally) sucks.
Normally, my gelding lives outside in a small herd that spends their days in the field and their nights in the paddock. When he injured his knee, he had to stay in a stall for a month. Moral of the story, my muck boots have to be able to withstand just about anything.
3 factors to consider when choosing muck boots:
- Comfort: Mucking stalls and paddocks is hard enough without feeling like each of your boots weigh thirty pounds, your toes are pinched, your arches are killing you, your feet throb, and your heels are rubbed raw. Comfort is key, especially if you’re mucking out more than one stall or paddock. It’s a lot of time on your feet, and you don’t want to be too tired to enjoy your ride afterward.
- Durability: Shoddy soles, leaky seams, and flimsy footbeds have no place in high-quality muck boots. Make sure to go with sturdy construction, great traction, and durable lining that won’t let you down after one season.
- Waterproof: Arguably the most important quality of any stall mucking footwear, waterproof material on the entire boot is a must. That’s why wearing your regular riding paddock, dress, or cowboy boots in the mud and muck is unwise. Not only will the grime and moisture break down your nice (and often expensive) boots in no time, you risk the dreaded wet sock scenario… #rookiemistake.
The Best Muck Boots for Women
Bogs Women’s Classic Mid Waterproof Rain Boot
Around my barn, the Bogs Classic Mid Waterproof Rain Boot is what I see most. My friends like having a slightly shorter option (especially during the summertime) that’s still suitable for chores indoors and out.
- Completely waterproof with a neoprene upper and non-slip outsole for grip on wet surfaces (e.g. wash stall, muddy field, soupy stall).
- Suitable for all seasons and keeps your feet comfy to minus 40F. (Note: Please just go inside if it’s that cold!)
- Mid-calf height is lighter than tall muckers but provides more coverage that short boots.
- Anti-fungal, odor-resistant, and removable sock liner.
- The rubber/neoprene seam on the back of the ankle may rub depending your foot shape and boot size.
- Size up if you plan to wear thick socks with these.
See why Bogs made our list of the 5 Best Horse Barn Boots.
Servus MAX Soft Toe Work Boots
I bought the Servus MAX Soft Toe Work Boots after I finally wore out my previous neoprene muckers. These were lighter weight, had a seamless shaft, and I liked the look, so I gave them a try.
Best decision ever, and I even got a second pair to keep in my trailer.
- The sole is built for wet-surface traction (great grip) but is still comfortable after I’ve worn them for hours.
- They’re 100% waterproof and made of PVC material that’s basically indestructible.
- Lightweight and flexible, these boots don’t make my feet tired or sore when I’m working around the barn.
- This boot is less expensive than neoprene models, if price is a significant factor for you.
- It’s got a 15” shaft, so you won’t kick up dirt or water inside as you walk.
- You could ride in them because they have a safety heel (but I prefer my normal boots).
- They run a little large, so I wouldn’t hike in these for miles or my heels would probably rub.
- I wish these had a neoprene upper so they fit a bit snugger (calf is quite loose).
- Finger holes would make these easier to pull on/off, though they do have “kick off lugs” at the ankle that help.
Noble Outfitters Muds Cold Front High
OK, I know style isn’t the top priority when it comes to muckers, but the Noble Outfitters Muds Cold Front High has a really classy design.
- The “Fig” option has a really fashionable neoprene shaft pattern that I’ve never seen on another muck boot. It even has a matching maroon sole accent.
- They’re 100% waterproof, and the neoprene helps them fit a bit snugger in the calf, which I prefer.
- The shock-absorbing sole keeps you comfy after hours on your feet, and they’re lightweight (<5lbs).
- I wish they had finger holes or a kickstop to make them easier to get on/off.
- Though the neoprene will keep you warm(er) than full rubber boots, they’re not insulated winter boots. If you’re facing the cold, keep scrolling for some better winter options.
Note: Equestrian Vlogger and horse trainer Shelby Dennis also included this boot in her Horse Rookie Equestrian Gift Guide.
Muck Boot Muckster Ll Mid-Height Rubber Garden Boot
Though the Muckster LI Mid-Height Rubber Garden Boot is named for working in the yard, it’s also a great option for mucking stalls and helping around the barn.
- If you prefer a shorter and lighter muck boot, you’ll like this mid-height shaft.
- The shaft can roll down if you want more flexibility and air flow (or simply to show the fun inner lining design).
- Rubber and neoprene material is 100% waterproof and plenty durable.
- Convenient pull-on tab makes getting these boots on easy.
- The heel isn’t big enough for riding safely, so make sure you switch to your regular boots when you swing into the saddle.
- If you’re wading through deep muck and mud, go with one of our taller options. #bettersafethansorry
The Best Muck Boots for Men
Muck Boot Excursion Pro Mid-Height Rubber Boot
If you want a simple, classic short boot for mucking stalls or traipsing around shows, the Excursion Pro Mid-Height Rubber Boot is a solid choice.
- Short 7” shaft and lightweight sole means you can wear these all day in (almost) all seasons without regrets.
- They’ve got a great pull strap in the back to help get them on quickly.
- 100% waterproof and comfort rated to 40F, they check the durability box.
- Antimicrobial lining keeps your feet dry, comfortable, and clean.
- I wish Muck Boot made this model for women, too!
- If you’ll be working in deep mud, you’ll want a taller shaft than this boot offers.
- This boot doesn’t come in wide.
Muck Boot Wetland Rubber Premium Field Boots
If you need a durable tall mucker for the worst of conditions, check out the Wetland Rubber Premium Field Boot.
- Stretch-fit Comfort Topline keeps this boot close to your legs (so you don’t get dirt and water inside) without being so tight it cuts off circulation.
- You can roll the top portion down to achieve a mid-height boot in warmer weather or dryer conditions.
- High-grade rubber and neoprene are super durable without being heavy or clunky.
- The heel is too shallow to ride safely, so switch to your regular boots when it’s time to get on and go.
- They’re pretty stiff (and stay that way), so you may not love them if you’ll be doing a lot of kneeling and need more flexibility.
- If you’ve got a wide foot or calf, these may not be the boots for you.
Muck Boot Chore Classic Work Boot
It doesn’t get more classic than the Chore Classic Work Boot from Muck Boot. Black, sturdy, and made for getting stuff done, this boot has everything you need and nothing that you don’t.
- No frills required. It’s a simple style that’s made for mucking stalls and checking livestock.
- It has a safety heel that’s big enough for riding, but you’ll still probably prefer to ride in your regular boots.
- This boot is 100% waterproof and is comfort rated from subfreezing to 65F.
- If you do a lot of walking, the liner can wear and tear after a year or so.
- The thick sole makes them heavier. So, again, they’re great for mucking stalls but not for long hikes.
- This model can run on the large side, so you may want to try a size down.
5 Best Winter Muck Boots
As I mentioned earlier, we get a LOT of snow here. But, I’m not willing to stop riding or hanging out with my horse for three (four?!) months every year.
So I spend quite a bit of time, energy, and money making sure I have the gear I need to keep training and enjoying the barn year-round.
When it gets too cold for regular boots, it’s time to switch over to insulated muck boots specifically made for winter. Here are my favs:
- Muck Boots Arctic Sport Ll Extreme Conditions Winter Boot for Ladies (see reviews on Amazon)
- Muck Boot Arctic Après Tall Rubber Winter Boot for Ladies (see reviews on Amazon)
- Muck Arctic Pro Hunting Boots for Gents (see reviews on Amazon)
BTW, if colder weather is right around the corner, check out our Rookie Rundown of the 5 Best Body Clippers.
5 Best Kids Muck Boots
Many children muck their own stalls (builds character!), but make sure they have the proper gear for the job. Here are five solid choices if your kiddo needs a new pair of muck boots:
- Muck Boot Kid’s Hale Print Rain (see it on Amazon)
- Western Chief Kids Cold Rated Neoprene Boot (see it on Amazon)
- Muck Boots Hale Multi-Season Kids’ Rubber Boot (see it on Amazon)
- Muck Boot Kid’s Element Boot (see it on Amazon)
- Muck Boot Arctic Adventure Rubber Kids’ Snow Boot (see it on Amazon)
Rookie Mistakes: What NOT to Wear Mucking Stalls
Let me save you some heartache (and embarrassment). Avoid mucking out in:
- Nice riding boots (protect them so they last longer!)
- Clogs (especially open-backed ones)
- Sneakers (especially mesh ones)
- Slip-on flats
- Sandals or flip flops
- Rain boots (read why here)
How to Clean Muck Boots
If you’re anything like me, the most “care and cleaning” your muckers normally get is splashing through a puddle on the way to your car. My muck boots have to be easy keepers. Luckily, caring for most muckers is easy: Remove, rinse, and repeat!
Need to really get serious about cleaning? Use your hoof pick like this:
Get Your Buck’s Worth
Still nervous about investing your bucks in a nice pair of mucks? I was too until I realized:
- I don’t want to have to replace shoddy boots all the time.
- Muck boots are perfect to wear year round when bathing my horse.
- My expensive riding boots need to last and not get beat up.
- Muckers are great for wearing around town when it rains. (I do this all the time.)
- I can wear my muck boots when I work cows with friends, help out around the barn, walk the dog, and work in my garden. #versatilitycounts
In the end, I’ve never regretted a single dollar spent on a good pair of muck boots. And I definitely can’t say that about all the other horse gear I’ve bought over the years…
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the best muck boots for mud?
It depends how much mud you’re talking about.
If, you’re trudging out to the field or through mud pits formerly known as paddocks, go with a tall muck boot like the Servus MAX Soft Toe Work Boots.
The last thing you want is to slip out of your boot when you take a step and land in the … well, let’s pretend it’s 100% mud.
Q: What are the best muck boots for summer?
The Muckster LI Mid-Height Rubber Garden Boot is equally appropriate for summer days at the barn and summer nights wedding the garden.
They’re shorter (hence lighter), and the mid-height shaft can even be rolled down for additional air flow on the hottest days.
100% waterproof and durable, as all muckers should be, the Muckster is a perfect choice for summer weather — and horse bathing!
Q: What are the best muck boots for walking?
The Muckster LI Mid-Height Rubber Garden Boot features the shorter shaft equestrians love for walking around the barn then around town without missing a beat.
Plus, with the roll-down shaft, you can adjust the boot’s fit and temperature for optimal comfort throughout the day.
Q: What are the best boots for working with horses?
If you’re going to be sharing floorspace with heavy hooves, go with a muck boot that features a more robust foot.
The Bogs Classic Mid Waterproof Rain Boot is a common sight around the barn, and the boot is tough enough to protect your toes should your horse accidentally on your feet.
Want even more toe protection? Check out the best steel toe work boots for women.
Q: What are the best muck boots for winter?
The Noble Outfitters Muds Cold Front High are our go-to winter muck boots. The neoprene shaft is 100% waterproof and cozy warm.
This boot’s shock-absorbing sole keeps your feet pain-free all day, and they’re relatively lightweight at under 5 pounds. That said, winter muckers are still typically heavier than warm-weather boots.
The foot of this boot is incredibly durable, so head into that muddy and snowy paddock without a care in the world!
Q: What are the best waterproof barn boots?
If you’re an equestrian with waterproof boots on the brain, chances are that you have horse baths in your future. Though short-shalf muckers are technically waterproof, you’ll likely prefer the protection of a tall muck boot.
Check out the Servus MAX Soft Toe Work Boots for a lightweight tall boot that keeps water where it belongs — outside your boots!
Q: What are the best boots for barn work?
If you’re working around the barn all day, avoid clunky muckers that’ll leave you dragging your feet.
The Servus MAX Soft Toe Work Boots are lightweight, have a relaxed fit, feature a seamless shaft, and – yep – they’re waterproof.
Also check out our best everyday horse riding boots if you work and ride, but don’t want to swap boots all the time.
Don’t muck around when it comes to the dirty work
After years of Montana mud seasons, mucking stalls, and navigating flooded fields to retrieve my (nearly-unrecognizable) horse, I don’t muck around about my boots. My nice riding boots stay in the tack room, and my muckers do the dirty work.
Like this article? Trot on over to:
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