Gear

Musto Ocean Boots

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By Peter Nielsen

These full-height boots have a waterproof, breathable Gore-Tex lining, leather outers on the foot part, and a tough woven nylon outer covering on the upperworks. Uniquely among seaboots, they also have built-in gaiters – stretchy waterproof nylon sleeves into which your pants can be tucked, thereby minimizing the chance of a shot of icy water up your leg. I was particularly taken with the soft, grippy sole, which is molded so that you still retain some traction even when your foot is at a slight angle to the deck.

I wore these boots nearly every day for two weeks in conditions that were always cool, mostly damp, and occasionally extremely wet. My feet remained dry and fragrant (well, they didn’t smell), and I found the boots very comfortable. Usually a size 10 and a half, I’d ordered size 12 boots to make room for thick socks and so that I could kick them off easier if happened to fall overboard. It was the right move: the extra toe-room contributed greatly to comfort and allowed me to layer socks.

The boots took in their stride repeated dunkings to calf-height while debarking from dinghies in rocky coves, and prolonged immersion while trekking across marshy ground. Highly recommended, if expensive at around $350-$400 depending on where you look. www.musto.com

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