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PostPosted: March 8th, 2015, 12:44 pm 
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Waaaay back in the day, I wore northerner rubber boots as that's the best boot I could afford. The holy grail of rubber boots were LaCrosse but they were a bit pricey and I was poor and my feet grew like weeds.

When I was 16 or 17 my feet slowed down and stabilized and I had pitched enough hay to buy my first pair of La Crosse Burly Boots (could have been uninsulated Grange boots, but they were La Crosse high top rubber boots that were great for an aspiring trapper/bowhunter farm hand.

Back on topic. I wore out many pairs of La Crosse burly boots over the years, by many pairs, in 34 years since I purchased my first pair, probably 7 or 8 pairs before I started having a problem.

I wore the same model and size for 20+ years THEN production moved overseas. My last pair of USA made Burly's with the new and improved footbed and traction soles were great from a fit and comfort standpoint but they developed a leak where the sole and the boot were glued. Best, most comfortable pair of rubber boots I had ever owned until this occurred.

After this pair failed prematurely, and I started looking at the new models, I realized production had moved to China and with that, the traditional fit and feel of the boots completely changed. I went from being able to wear a size 12 Burly and having all the room and comfort one could ask for to having to shove my foot into a size 14 and having to deal with instep and arch problems, poor fit and a goofy feeling, strong smelling rubber boot that you cannot buy in a simple plain old GREEN color. I hate the concept of a stinking (litterally) camo boot. The camo coating shines, and shines a lot. You may not think so, but if you wear a camo coated, shiny rubber boot, people and animals can spot you from a great distance away if the sun is out.

I have bought two pairs of these god aweful, overly expensive, sub quality, shiny, stinky and leaky boots and the last pair I purchased just developed a hole in a weird place and the hole was worn through because of the way the boot gathers and gets a wrinkle and it literally rubbed a hole in itself WTH?

A couple of years ago I got a deal on a pair of Columbia cold weather rubber boots with something like 1600-200 grams of thinsulate, so i don't wear them often, usually only when its cold and I am sitting long hours in a tree stand. These boots fit well, were warm and I liked them (they weren't cheap, but I got them at the end of the season and got a deal on them) these boots have the stinking sole separating as well WTH?

I do not want a boot like a Bean or a Schnee with a leather upper. I want a full, 100% rubber boot (that doesn't smell like a new car tire, lol) I don't want Muck Boots because as a guy that has used Neoprene waders for decades, Neoprene holds scent and they also leave scent. You cant think they don't, but unless its some magical neoprene (which its not, because the dirty little secrete about Neoprene is its all made in one place, no matter who makes the finished product) it stinks and leaves scent behind.

Here's my question. Is everybody just accepting and dealing with the fact that La Crosse now sucks, fit like crap, smell bad and leak, or have you all moved on to another similar product I am unaware of?

I am not interested in the Mucks because of Neoprene and that they fit od and do not have an ankle fit and will eat your socks (hate sock eating boots)

The fact that La Crosse moved production over seas, the price instantly jumped 25% and quality and fit became a non priority with the company really chaps my rump. Since I have used La Crosse products since I was a kid and I am now a grandfather, it makes me sad as well. I have used their rubber boots, winter boots, neoprene waders for trapping and waterfowling etc.

Does anybody currently make a boot that lives up to the quality of what La Crosse once was and does anybody make a boot that fits like the old Burlys use to?

Rant over---


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PostPosted: March 8th, 2015, 3:58 pm 
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It is my opinion that everyone's rubber boots quality has deteriorated over the last 10 years. Pioneer here in Canada made a great affordable boot their now out of business! Now all the of the good quality boots of which I am familiar are made in Europe. Even these expensive boots are not as good as they once were but at least they exceed the quality of the N.A. brands (Is there still and US branded boot built in the USA?)

In my experience the best rubber boot in the world "used" to be the Le Chameau Hunter. Now, I'm not suggesting that everyone go out and buy a pair of them at nearly $400.00. My first set was given to me by a good and wealthy friend. To illustrate how fond I was of those boots, I had them for a couple of years and one day cutting wood managed to put the axe into the toe of the boot and mine. I stood there watching the blood pour out of the boot thinking to myself 'D--b!! I just cut my boot!" I patched them up with Shoe Goo and they were once again waterproof and remained so for about 10 years until the sole was gone and they were dangerous to walk in. This time I did buy another pair and paid for them myself only to find that the quality had gone down hill. Gone was that amazingly supple rubber compound and the degree of comfort that came with it. The leather lining was still the same quality but the outer rubber was not. Within two years the side zipper on one of the boots pulled off the boot. On returning them to the Canadian Distributor I was told that "we don't fix the zippers". Not what I wanted to hear about a pair boots that cost me at the time a weeks pay. I have never bought another pair just on principal although they still are the most comfortable boot I've ever worn. In my mind the best quality rubber boots are all too expensive for what they are but I still pay the price to have dry, comfortable feet. With cheaper brands you will only get one of the two or they will fall apart at the least opportune time. You may wince at the price but check out Le Chameau, Harkila, Nokian, Aigle and Hunter brands.( in order of price none cheap ) None are from this side of the pond.

Good luck in your search. I feel your pain.

Dan


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PostPosted: March 8th, 2015, 4:43 pm 
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I've tried on Le Chameau but can't get myself to spend the money. I am way too hard on rubber boots. I do agree that all rubber boots (actually all boots period, unless you spend quite a bit of money) have gone down in quality as manufacturers try to keep them affordable. Like PJ, I won't wear camo boots but did just get a dealer to order me the green Lacrosse boots.


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PostPosted: March 8th, 2015, 5:00 pm 
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I know what you mean PJ I also wore burlys and grange's for a lot of years then kinda moved over to rubber bottom, leather upper boots, or when im gonna be in a lot of water, muck boots, Im a poor kracker and have patched the mucks with silicone where big hunks of the neoprene is missing , I would love to have a good quality affordable rubber boot that could be worn all day in comfort.
sometimes I hate being old enough to be able to remember affordable, quality stuff made here in the USA and to know a lot of stuff we are expected to accept is pretty crappy

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PostPosted: March 8th, 2015, 9:26 pm 
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I've got some Northerner rubber boots that say Made in USA on the label. Have used them for six or seven years and they are like new, and they get some hard use in the Dakota's pheasant hunting. They are almost like an ankle fit boot, and don't hurt my feet. I did put some cushy insoles in them, though.


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PostPosted: March 9th, 2015, 6:03 am 
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I wore those old rubber Northerners for years and thought they were unbeatable. The inside of them smelled like a high school locker room after an August football practice. The outside of them was beautiful when new, but after a few years of sun exposure they cracked and faded to a lovely chalk-green. I wore every pair until they had multiple crack-holes in them.

I mourned the passing of the American-made all-rubber boot. Dave (Samuel) tried to talk me into a pair of Le Chameau boots, but I wasn't about to spend the cost of 4 treestands on one pair of rubber boots...especially when I was being so hard on my hunting boots.

Jump to the present: I don't like neoprene tops as they aren't durable enough for my use. I expect to get 5+ years from my boots. The present day Lacrosse Alphaburly lineup is...for me...far better than anything else I can find. I've had excellent durability from mine, thrashing through nasty brush...climbing trees...everything. The outer camo is butt-ugly, but I could care less about beauty. The traction soles carry more mud, but last longer than my old rubber units did. They are less flexible than my old rubbers were, but that's not necessarily a bad thing for me.

Last September...going to Alaska...I chose Lacrosse Alphaburley Pro Side-Zip boots over (gasp) my usual Schnee's pac boots. The Alpha boots held up to rugged use with no problems, and my feet were in better shape the entire time. I came home a believer in those boots, and I doubt if the Schnee's ever make the trip again.

I'd love to bash heck out of the Chinese-made boots. My truth is that they satisfy me very well, and I give them no babying ever.


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PostPosted: March 9th, 2015, 8:29 am 
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I have completely given up on Lacrosse boots. The last three pairs I bought started splitting right above the foot area, leaking water. In each case the boots were less than one year old and had very limited use. My pair of Muck boots has held up well. No issues with whitetails smelling my boot prints.


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PostPosted: March 9th, 2015, 8:31 am 
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I have given up on Lacrosse boots. The last several pairs that I bought developed cracks and leaks after less than one year of mild use. My Muck boots have held up well. No issues with whitetails smelling my boot prints.


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PostPosted: March 9th, 2015, 12:32 pm 
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I am in buying mode for new boots too....

I spend past couple weeks trying MUCK and the new Lacross BurlyAlpha Pro setup. For the MUCK I only looked at the Wetland model as I wanted plain design with 17-18 inch calf height with no insulation. For the Lacrosse the new AlphaBurly Pro 18 offered a plain green design...though the store only had the mossy oak and realtree colorization but this was a fitment and quality exercise not a purchase exercise......but is similar to the Muck with neoprene upper, rubber lower and they changed their foot-bed and sealing process...apparently. I tried on size 13 in both at local Gander Mountain store with thick summer socks for early season hunting and walked around in both. Lacrosse gave me better ankle feel but still easy to remove...Muck seemed good as well but bulkier footbed and worried about wearing in early season in temps in 80-90s in Aug-Oct for our whitetail.

My buddy and his son swear on Muck...but I still have bad taste in my mouth on the whole USSPCA donation thing....that they said was mistake and meant to list a local shelter...then that shelter said they have never received a donation from Muck and would gladly accept one but it was a false claim by Muck. So I ordered a pair of PLAIN GREEN Lacrosse BurlyAlpha Pro 18 boots.

If this pair does not last a few years then I will go to buying cheap Gander, BassPro or Cabela labeled boots and throwing them away. The last pair I bought were Cabelas brand and last 4 years before springing a leak this past year...but my feet would hurt if I stood for more than few hours on them.

Wish me luck.... http://www.amazon.com/LaCrosse-Alphabur ... aBurly+Pro

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PostPosted: March 9th, 2015, 3:04 pm 
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Funny you bring this up. For the past 6 months (ish), I have been on the search for a good pair of rubber hip waders. I'm not asking for great, just good. I cannot find anything that fits my feet and still have some comfort to them. It appears as though they make the boots to fit Fred Flintstone...way to much slop and room for my feet to move around.

At least I now know that it is not just me. I'm in good company. I'll keep searching, eventually I'll find something.


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PostPosted: March 10th, 2015, 1:53 pm 
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Alaska tennis shoe

http://www.xtratufboots.com


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PostPosted: March 10th, 2015, 3:56 pm 
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Ten years ago, on the advice of Steve H, I brought home a pair of Xtratuffs from Alaska. They nice and comfortable but the first time I went through a southern wait-a-minute briar, they were shredded.


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PostPosted: March 10th, 2015, 4:16 pm 
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I consider myself a rubber boot wearin fool. I hunt in them exclusively in the fall. I have been through three pairs of Mucks. I think their pretty good but they do chew on socks. I walked around in them two times in Alaska and on the second trip got a big gash from a stump and you guessed wet feet then on. Two seasons ago I picked up some Lacrosse Aeroheads and they are very comfortable. Almost tennis shoe comfort certainly much more so than Mucks. So far very durable in brush and no leaks!


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PostPosted: March 10th, 2015, 8:35 pm 
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Hell shoe. Steve Ho didn't recommend them for rabbit hunting


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PostPosted: March 10th, 2015, 10:26 pm 
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Before LaCrosse ever went over sea's I only ever got about three years out of them.
To be honest I still only get about three years out of a pair. Here in NW Pa. they are worn about every day from Oct. to April.


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PostPosted: March 11th, 2015, 9:28 am 
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I went through a similar search in 2013 before my first trip to Newfoundland. I've always hated all rubber boots because of poor fit so I wasn't hopeful. What I found changed my mind in a hurry. I ended up with a pair of Nokian Trek Plus boots that fit like a deer skin glove. I spent that first trip walking 5-7 miles a day in those boots and loved them. Had them on again last fall in Newfoundland and they performed just like the first year. They have become one of my favorite boots.

So while in Newfoundland in 2013 I looked at what all the guides were wearing. These guys live in their boots, even when not guiding because many of them are commercial fisherman. They all had Dunlop Purofort boots. They are more of a professional boot and most come with steel toes. Basic green color with good traction soles and obviously comfortable. The problem is that they are difficult to find in the US.


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PostPosted: March 11th, 2015, 9:47 am 
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My biggest issue with the Lacrosse boots is they now fit like crap-

I understand that most every rubber boot is made somewhere else, and that's not my issue.

My issue is I can put my foot in a Brannok device and it measures slightly longer than an 11.5 D and slightly shorter than a 12 d.

There isn't an outdoor boot on the planet that I could get a 12 on my foot. The sizing is so screwed up today and its not even the same fit model to model within the same brand.

Last pair of USA made Lacrosse were a 12 or 13, last pair of China mades, a 14 was tight in the instep and a 15 was like wearing the box- I couldn't begin to stuff my foot into a 13.

Quality dress shoes that are still made to spec with American lasts, I can wear a 13 and some models are a little bit loose.

I absolutely hate buying shoes and boots today.

The last hold out of athletic shoes that ran true to size were New Balance, just went shoe shopping two weeks ago. Tried on several brands, went to my old stand bye and now even NB is messed up. I always wore a 13d I tried on a boat load of models and couldn't get my foot in any 13-- My foot still shows I am a 12D--


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PostPosted: March 11th, 2015, 4:11 pm 
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Taking Preston's advice, I stopped at Bass Pro Shop on the way home from work-I'm actually standing in the boot department as I type this.

Looking at the entire rubber/neoprene boot selection here, it appears the Lacrosse Aerohead is the only pair with TRUE ankle support. Looks like a pair of 6" hiking boots with rubber/neoprene uppers (Just below my knees).

I now wear a size 13 boot, and wouldn't you know it, all they have is 12 and 14. I tried on the size 12 and the fit was the best I have experienced in a rubber boot. Actually felt like a tennis shoe once the calf strap was fastened. Size 12 was a little small. By big toes felt the pressure, and that is just trying them on, not hunting all day where the pressure would become unbearable. There is a shipment coming in tomorrow, but wouldn't you know, there is not any size 13 Aerohead boots on the truck.

I'm going to buy them when I find a size 13. The only problem I see is pulling a muscle or tendon trying to pull the boots off. I grabbed a boot jack off the rack, and it was still a chore to get them off. Maybe the next size up will be easier to slide off.

Price on these is $149, and from the selection here, it seems to be the best money spent if, and when, I find a pair.


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PostPosted: March 11th, 2015, 6:10 pm 
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Here is my update...

I got home from Bass Pro (only 3 miles) and received an email from Blackovis.com telling me of their new sale items.

I visit the website, look up the Lacrosse Aerohead boots and there they are for $129.95

When I signed up for the Blackovis email alerts back in September '14, they emailed me a coupon for 10% off my 1st purchase (I like to window shop) and they always have free shipping, so grand total for what I paid was $116.95.

If I had waited for Bass Pro Shop to get the product in, I would have paid $149.99 plus tax of $9 ($158.99 total). The Sales Clerk could not tell me when they would have the boots in that we're my size and said he was unable to order them. I find that odd since I could of ordered them online and had them shipped to the store to get free shipping. Maybe he just didn't know how to order a pair of boots and that was a quick easy answer for him.

It is not every day you get what you are looking for (Presumably), AND save $42.04

I'd have to say, today was a pretty good day all the way around.


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PostPosted: March 11th, 2015, 9:00 pm 
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Mike I will be anxious to hear how they work out for you. I have the thinnest version and they keep my feet warm down into the twenties. Since they have rubber running up the calf region they hold up to brush very good. I don't know if there is a perfect rubber boot, but compared to all others I have worn these are the closest.


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PostPosted: March 11th, 2015, 9:07 pm 
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P.J. Petiniot wrote:
My biggest issue with the Lacrosse boots is they now fit like crap-

I understand that most every rubber boot is made somewhere else, and that's not my issue.

My issue is I can put my foot in a Brannok device and it measures slightly longer than an 11.5 D and slightly shorter than a 12 d.

There isn't an outdoor boot on the planet that I could get a 12 on my foot. The sizing is so screwed up today and its not even the same fit model to model within the same brand.

Last pair of USA made Lacrosse were a 12 or 13, last pair of China mades, a 14 was tight in the instep and a 15 was like wearing the box- I couldn't begin to stuff my foot into a 13.

Quality dress shoes that are still made to spec with American lasts, I can wear a 13 and some models are a little bit loose.

I absolutely hate buying shoes and boots today.

The last hold out of athletic shoes that ran true to size were New Balance, just went shoe shopping two weeks ago. Tried on several brands, went to my old stand bye and now even NB is messed up. I always wore a 13d I tried on a boat load of models and couldn't get my foot in any 13-- My foot still shows I am a 12D--



PJ...I wear a 13...and I was able to order a pair of 13s true to size. I think the new models for this year have made an improvement... I tried the uninsulated boots on with heavy hiking socks to make sure they would feel okay with thin warm weather socks...and were spot on. Not saying your results are not valid...just I have a wide 13 and both the Muck and Lacross AlphaBurly Pro 18 (with neoprene uppers) fit to size for me.

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PostPosted: March 11th, 2015, 11:07 pm 
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Xtratuf are now made in China, ughh. On my first commie pair so not sure bow they will last? I even wear mine with snowshoes. Comfy and superior grip.


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PostPosted: March 12th, 2015, 4:52 am 
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Steve Hohensee wrote:
Xtratuf are now made in China, ughh.


How accidentally appropriate...comparing Xtratuf to Ugg boots.... :D


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PostPosted: March 12th, 2015, 7:30 am 
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bravo! LOL

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PostPosted: March 15th, 2015, 11:33 pm 
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Well my boots came yesterday...same as in the picture. AlphaBurly Pro 18 from Lacrosse. First Lacrosse I have bought in maybe 10 years or more...have a set of insulated AlphaBurly's with airbob sole that dont get worn much except if cold and wet...but based on some poor reviews past couple years I was second guessing my decision to get Lacrosse instead of Muck.
Image
Boots fit like they did in store at Gander....they only had camo so I ordered the plain green ones as more my style.

I bought the uninsulated version as they were for our early season deer hunting and turkey hunting where temps can go from 40s to 90s depending on time of year. So my socks are lightweight cotton or synthetic athletic socks or hiking socks... With lightweight socks the fit is perfect...not too loose...not too tight. I had a pair from Cabelas that were a copy from few years ago and the instep was too tight on my Size 13, MED foot...so long time standing would be sore. So there was concern for that this time as well...

Turkey season started today here...so yesterday afternoon went to see if I could roost some birds in a big flock that were traveling through our property in morning and evenings. Well the rain and thunderstorms we had for entire week about flooded everything and two hours before dark the skies unleased another inch or more of rain...so it did until dark. Wherever the birds were when it hit...is where they stayed I thought. But the boots kept feet dry for the short 100 yds I made it before getting drenched.

Walked back to truck ...went to shed on property to sleep in rather than tent...this morning threw on the boots and headed out to walk a half mile back in dark and mud and shin high water. Made it to area...settled in as fog rolled in and finally burned off. No birds, no gobbles, a few distant yelps...so 10am went and pulled cameras from deer season that were way back in the acreage and in deep water. Spent next two hours walking through water and mud.

How were the boots? Better than I expected and performed outstanding. I like the new grip on sole for the slushy, mushy, slippery mud and they clean out easily...boots were water tight...the ankle fit helped keep them on my feet without having to use the straps like a tourniquet to keep from sliding off. The neoprene uppers were very comfortable... I had nothing bad to say about the boots after wearing them walking, sitting and wading from 5:30am through noon.

Now if I had on thicker wool socks for cool weather they might be a little snug. Will try that next time or around yard splitting some wood next weekend or in woods if it stops raining...so with thicker socks I might go for the 13 WIDE...but with insulated boots I am not sure you would have to go to the really thicker socks...just a nice wicking sock like I wore today in wool or wool/poly blend.

So I am glad to say my experience so far is better than my last...and much better than I expected and the new boot design actually felt good on my feet walking all day with no leaks. Hopefully the totally new design (2013) is their attempt to fix some past issues and I hope that I am not just lucky....though I really wish they were still made in America.

Just my experience today.... I really appreciate PJs comments on boots he bought recently from them that were poorly designed and constructed as it made me keep from buying the old style I almost went back to again. They also have AeroHead (2014) which is brand new evolution and they had a simple AlphaLite which is similar in looks to some of the other Mucks.

In the end...I really liked this AlphaBurly Pro 18....

I hope all of you find similar success in the quest for comfort and quality..... I do think they are too expensive for Chinese boots though.....but not found anything else around here to try. I am still a bit miffed at Muck for the whole ASPCA thing.... :)

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PostPosted: March 17th, 2015, 5:32 am 
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I call that a heck of a solid review...thanks Ron. I think your experience mirrors my own. In the days of classic rubber boots I would have dreaded wearing them on an extended hunt in rugged country. My latest generation of Alphaburlys are good enough that they're the only boots I took on my last Alaska trip...I trusted them that much. I do wish they'd offer all models in a solid color option...the camo doesn't impress my tastes.


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PostPosted: March 17th, 2015, 1:33 pm 
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Ron
Good review, I have never gone with uninsulated boots stores around hear really do not carry much . But often see a need for them.
P.J. what a great thread to start out the new year with and all the input from everyone I will probably will end up with new boots by the end of the summer.


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PostPosted: March 17th, 2015, 4:38 pm 
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Man you guys are good! Just 2-3 weeks ago I was walking in a foot of snow and noticed something stuck to my LaCrosse Alpha Burley boots. Reached down to pull it off and it was part of the bottom tread! The treads were finally coming off after only 12 years of good use. With the tread coming off it's still waterproof though.

So, lately I've been reading up and looking at the Aeroheads myself. Also checked out the Mucks at Rural King the other day. They seem okay, but I know the LaCrosse I had for 12 years were great! If I were to get the Aerohead I'm not sure what mm thick neoprene I should get. My old Burleys were 800gram and definitely left something to be desired by mid November if I were sitting. I may in the end need to get a lighter pair and a heavier pair for early/mid season and late season.

I also looked at some of the Rocky boots, but have read way too much on their quality not lasting.

Good luck PJ!


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PostPosted: March 17th, 2015, 4:54 pm 
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Location: Freetown, IN
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FYI, just looking again and Gander Mountain has free shipping over $25, $20 gift card with $100 shoe purchase AND enter LUCKY and get $20 off at checkout!(today is the last day for promo)


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PostPosted: March 17th, 2015, 8:39 pm 
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Joined: March 13th, 2011, 5:20 pm
Posts: 1221
Location: cumberland plateau, tennessee
Membership Status: Regular Member
I'll second the Xtratuff's. I honestly wish I could wear mine to work, they are THE MOST comfortable pair of foot wear I own! I've had mine for probably 6 or 7 years and haven't had any issues yet, just gotta put a good insole in them. Hands down love mine!

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"The mountains are calling, and I must go". John Muir


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