What Are Duck Boots? Important Facts to Know

Duck boots are a great option for those looking for proper rain or snow footwear. If you want to learn why and how to choose the right pair, continue reading on.

For me, it is important that I wear the proper footwear when I am exposed to damp conditions. This way, I can ensure that my feet stay dry and comfortable throughout the day, even if it suddenly rains.

Duck boots are among the best shoes you can purchase for rainy or snowy conditions. They offer water protection, warm insulation, and grippy traction. Below, I will further discuss duck boots in detail, so you can learn more about why they are a rainy and snowy-day favorite.

I will also answer some of your frequently asked questions about duck boots in general. These questions include what are duck boots, where and what you can wear with duck boots, how to choose a pair, and how to maintain them, among many others.

So if you want to learn more about these and more, continue reading on!

What are Duck Boots?

Sperry Women's Saltwater Snow Boot

If you are wondering about what are duck boots, they refer to a type of semi-waterproof to fully waterproof shoes. This pair of footwear usually feature a rubber lower section, including the sole and toe cap and a leather upper. Some models also use a vinyl or rubber section.

The soft rubber bottoms offer waterproofing to keep your feet dry and comfortable. They also provide a strong grip on slippery or slick surfaces. Hence, duck boots can help you walk easily on wet terrains, such as snow and ice.

Meanwhile, the wateproof leather upper or vinyl exterior makes up for very stylish boots. They are available in various colors and styles to suit your personal style. They also ensure durability and flexibility, making them a favorite winter wardrobe essential.

The History of Duck Boot

Besides the question “what are duck boots,” you might also be curious about their history.

The origin of duck boots dates back to 1911. During this time, a Maine fisherman and hunter by the name of Leon Leonwood Bean grew tired of getting his feet wet during his outdoor hunting trips. He saw the need for something different, so he decided to take matters into his own hand.

Leon thought about combining the rubber sole of a work boot with the leather of casual and fashion shoes. The rubber bottoms ensure protection from the elements, while the leather upper provides comfort and flexibility. The result of this simple yet innovative idea is the first pair of hyper-functional footwear.

Shortly after, Leon established Bean Boots, which quickly grew in popularity in Maine. The duck boots, which were similar to hunting boots in a way, soon became a hit in the rest of the United States.

Over time, however, so many other brands have jumped on board and reinterpreted the duck boots or the original Bean Boots. These water-resistant shoes are now available in several colors, styles, and materials to satisfy the unending needs of consumers.

Who Can Wear Duck Boots?

Leon Leonwood Bean created the Bean Duck Boots or the first pairs of duck boots with the intention to wear them during hunting excursions. They ended up becoming very popular among the hunting community due to their practical yet stylish look.

With that said, duck boots are not reserved for hunters or outdoor enthusiasts. Men who simply want to ensure their feet are dry can wear these types of boots. Those involved in outdoor work can also choose to wear these water-resistant shoes.

Women and kids can also wear them for rainy weather or snowy days. They can pick from various colors and prints. They can even pair the duck boots with their winter outfit.

Where to Wear Duck Boots?

You can wear duck boots when you are planning to do any outdoor activity. Whether you are off to a hunt or want to hike, you can rely on them to keep your feet warm and dry.

Besides the great outdoors, you can also put on duck boots for a casual day at work. You can benefit from their comfortable and flexible upper material. Plus, you can depend on them to protect your feet from the rain during wet commutes.

There is also nothing wrong with wearing a classic pair of duck boot on a fashion week or casual parties. You can now find different styles of these shoes that can suit various clothing options. 

What Can I Wear with Duck Boots?

As previously mentioned, you can now choose from a wide range of duck boot styles available on the market. That means you can also wear various clothing with them.

Men can opt to dress their duck boots up or down. They can wear them with jeans or dressier slacks for a semi-casual fashion look in the office. They also have the option to tuck their pants into those shoes, which allow them to show off the boots. Or they can choose to wear the duck boots with pants pulled over them to cover the calf. Regardless of which look you pick, both styles work; it is just a matter of personal preference.

Women can wear bean boots with leggings and a thick sweater for a classic winter look. They can also have fun with layers by donning a summer dress over a turtleneck shirt. They can even put on a long-sleeved shirt and jeans with their duck boots to keep them dry when commuting to the office.

Finally, children can be as creative as their imagination allows. They can wear duck boots with warm and puffy jackets, play ensembles, and even their favorite shirts and dresses.

How Do You Choose the Right Duck Boots?

It is easy to be overwhelmed with so many duck boot options on the market. Fortunately, choosing the right product for your needs should not be impossible.

Below, I will discuss the features you need to consider before finalizing your purchasing decision. Hopefully, by the end of this section, you will have a basic idea of which pair of duck boots to buy.


Duck boots usually feature rubber outsoles and leather uppers. However, some models also use different materials, such as suede and vinyl.

The main difference between these types of duck boots and other rubber boots is their ability to withstand cold weather and moisture.

Leather is a common type of material for duck boots due to their durability and stylish look. It can also resist moisture up to a certain degree and withstand wet conditions. Leather ultimately provides a good combination between warmth and comfort.

Meanwhile, suede offers warmth and protection against freezing temperatures. However, it is not dust- and dirt-resistant, making suede boots difficult to take care of. 

Finally, vinyl duck boots can also resist moisture and humidity, which can last them for years to come. However, they might lack the needed insulation to keep you warm.

Choosing between these different materials will depend on your needs and personal preferences.


Insulation is another important feature to consider when buying duck boots. That is because these shoes are designed to be worn outside, regardless of the weather conditions.

Non-insulated duck boots are an ideal choice for rainy days and cold weather. They can keep your feet dry and considerably warm even without any added insulation.

But if you will be wearing duck boots during snowy conditions, it is best to consider ones with Thinsulate insulation. They can withstand sub-freezing temperatures, ideal for winter days.

Take note, though, that you will still need to wear a pair of thick and waterproof socks to stay warm and completely dry. You might also want to keep in mind that insulated duck boots might not offer enough breathability. Hence, they can cause your feet to sweat or be uncomfortably warm when the temperatures are beyond freezing.

Comfort and Fit

Before buying a new pair of duck boots, make sure that they fit you comfortably.

I recommend trying on the boots in-store and walking around with them for a few minutes. They should provide enough room for your foot to move without restricting it. They should also hug your feet and feel comfortable when you are wearing them. If you intend to wear thick socks with duck boots, a larger pair might suit you better.

Besides the size, you should also look for comfort features. These include adjustable laces, arch support, and extra padding, among other things.


Duck boots are available in a wide range of different styles. These include casual boots, dress shoes, work boots, and even winter shoes.

Choosing the style of duck boots mainly depends on where you will wear them. But regardless of your pick, you can find a pair that looks great with your shirts, dresses, and pants.


Besides the style, duck boots also come in various colors. There is no need to stick with black or brown shades anymore. You can now choose from bright hues that best suit your personal style. But, of course, you can also opt to buy classic shades, especially if you like to wear duck boots with colorful socks.


Finally, think about the accessories you will wear with your duck boots. Some people tend to wear tall platforms and even tall wedge heels. Meanwhile, others prefer to don casual high-top shoes for everyday wear.

You can also invest in protective accessories, especially if you intend to use duck boots for snowmobiling. 

Regardless of the accessories you choose, it is best to mix and match them with your duck boots, so they can stand out.

How Do I Maintain My Duck Boots?

Duck boots offer durability that can last up to years. With that said, it is a must to maintain the shoe properly if you want the boots to stay true to their expected lifespan.

Fortunately, cleaning duck boots is relatively easy.

Start by brushing away dirt and debris from the rubber bottom. Then, you can mix warm water with dish soap. Gently apply this cleaning solution to the entire exterior of the duck boots using a clean cloth. 

As for the interior, remove the footbed and wash it with mild soap. You can also wipe the inside of the boots using a damp cloth.

Once clean, leave the duck boots in a cool and well-ventilated area to dry. Finally, store them with silica gel packets to prevent any foul odor that might build up inside these water-resistant boots.

What are the Best Duck Boots?

It is hard to choose the best duck boots in 2022. What might be great to you might not suit another user’s needs, and vice versa. Hence, you need to consider several factors before finalizing your purchasing decision.

With that said, I would recommend checking out the original duck boots, the L.L. Bean Boots. They feature full-grain upper material that can resist rain and snow. This leather construction also ensures durability and flexibility. Meanwhile, the rubber bottom offers excellent waterproof protection. There is even a steel shank that supports your arch and heel. Finally, the unique shape of the foot form provides comfort and stability. 

L.L. Bean Boots

Overall, the L.L. Bean Boots are worth considering, especially if you are looking for durable and reliable duck boots.


Duck boots are just among the many types of rain and snowshoes on the market. But what makes them stand out from the rest is their unique construction. They feature a full rubber bottom and an upper material made of leather, suede, or even vinyl. The former keeps your feet dry and warm while the latter ensures comfort, durability, and flexibility.

Hopefully, this article covered everything you need to know about duck boots. If you still have questions, feel free to ask them below.