The RuraList: The Search For Mud Boots
Global warming or not, mud season seems to be hitting the ground early this year. If you haven’t yet outfitted yourself with the proper footwear for traipsing through the squelchy muck that signals spring in the Northeast, we’ve sought out four retailers across the region where you can make a beeline for quality boots that will hold up their end of the bargain through whatever the weather gods throw our way.
The Family Footwear Center in Lenox, Mass. is aptly named: it carries a large selection of Bogs for men, women and kids. You can choose the classic black, or go for the newest ones with camo and plaid prints. They range from about $50 for the kids’ styles (which have handles so they’re easy for the little ones to pull on) to $120, but they’re currently on sale so now’s the time to pick up a pair.
Family Footwear Center
444 Pittsfield /Lenox Rd., Lenox, MA
Tractor Supply Company stocks boots from the trademarked Muck Boot Company. This mid boot is suitable as an everyday shoe (“rain or shine,” it says), and cute enough for it, too, but there are of course the tall “wetland” boots. Women’s boots range from $74.99-$154.99). There are many more styles for men (but sorry, guys, the men’s boots only come in black) priced from $99-$184. Some are available only online.
Tractor Supply Company
350 Fairview Ave., Hudson, NY
Horse Leap in Amenia, New York is an English tack shop that sells high-end equestrian merchandise – everything from saddles and Barbour jackets to plates and glasses with fox-hunting scenes. But, says owner Barbara Wadsworth, although much of it is consignment, the store also carries brand-new boots from Noble Outfitters, which offers a line called MUDS in short, mid and high styles for men and women, ranging from around $80-$119. “Every product they make is great,” Wadsworth says.
3314 Rt. 343, Amenia, NY
The ladies’ shop of R. Derwin Clothiers recommends the Ilse Jacobsen rubber boots, which look so smart that even if you never set foot in a puddle, you might want these in your wardrobe. They’ve got heat-insulating lightweight soles that keep you warm in cold weather, but you can wear then all year-round, says Linda Calabrese, the shop’s manager. There are short, mid, tall and slip-ons, and besides the basic black, the spring line is bringing forth a palette that includes peach whip and flamingo, arriving any day. Prices range from $175-$199. The men’s store carries Dubarry of Ireland waterproof leather “country” boots and Gumleaf neoprene boots.
R. Derwin Clothiers
The Ladies’ Store: 48 West St., (860) 567-4095
The Men’s Store: 38 West St., (860) 567-0100