When temperatures rise, melting snow and an increase in rain leads to muddy ground. If you try to garden or walk during muddy season, you will find that your shoes have a thick layer of mud on the soles. Some shoes even stick into deep mud, which can cause quite the problem!
Outdoor hiking/camping stores typically offer the best option for traveling through mud. Traditional rain boots often lack the tread and flexibility to navigate mud without sticking or slipping. So if you are going to be in thick mud, look for specific hiking boots meant to navigate slippery or thick mud. These boots will also allow you to navigate a garden or muddy animal pen with ease.
The Best Boots for Walking on Slippery Ground
Slippery mud can be tricky, because many boots will slide deep into the mud and make it easier to fall or get stuck in the mud. For slippery ground, look for boots with the following criteria:
- Gore-tex lining to provide a waterproof barrier for your feet
- Waterproof uppers in leather or synthetic nylon
- Aggressive sole tread for improving traction in the mud
- Removable crampons to add extra grip on the ground (crampons are metal spikes that attach to the bottom of your boot. Basically, they act like snow tires for your feet to reduce slipping)
- Detachable gaiters for extra waterproofing for the top of your boot
The Best Boots for Walking in Thick Mud
If the mud where you will travel is thick, you will need a different kind of boot. The best boots for walking in thick mud have aggressive treads and a flexible sole. Traditional rain boots are terrible for thick mud because they stick in the mud and are difficult to walk in. The best thick mud boots have features like:
- Lug soles or other highly aggressive treads
- Flexible soles
- Waterproof uppers
- High uppers (that reach mid-calf ideally)
- Smooth uppers for easy cleaning (can be made of rubber)
The Best Boots for Around Town
If you are simply looking for a boot to wear around town to walk through slushy snow and melting ice, you don’t have to worry so much about the effectiveness of the boot. For everyday mud exposure, traditional rain boots provide enough protection. Look for boots with the following criteria:
- Waterproof uppers
- Adjustable calf width
- Insulated lining
Preparing for Muddy Conditions
If you follow this guide, you will always be prepared for the mud situation on hand. Use the same criteria for children as for adults (those cute rain boots just don’t cut it in most situations). For more information on choosing the right boots, check out Trailspace and the Seattle Times.
How do you prepare for muddy terrain?