GEAR UP: Stylish boat-friendly boots by XTRATUF

There is nothing worse than trying to work outside all day with wet feet. This fall, I took a job as a fisheries biologist. The waves rose with winter,  but staying dry on the North Pacific Ocean has actually been quite easy. I put my trust in the best gear from the get go. I wear XTRATUF boots, but mine are special.

The quick and dirty:

Xtratuf Boots
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I’m right between 8 and 9 in footwear, but size 8 works great for me.

Walking around the fish town where I live in Coastal Oregon, you will see the brown boots everywhere.

XTRATUFs are the telltale signal you are in the presence of a fish person–fisherman, plant worker, boat dweller, or toddler who enjoys puddles. The Legacy boots are made to withstand the cold waters of Alaska, and are a nearly unanimous choice for watermen and women of the Pacific Northwest.

The brand: I chose to buy my XTRATUFs through two women who fish off the coast of Alaska. The Salmon Sisters have a line of clothing that I’m a big fan of. They make comfortable gear for women that is fashionable and tough enough to withstand hard work. When you buy from them, you’re supporting a community of sustainable harvesters. You’re supporting a company that cares about the health of North Pacific waters.

My octopus boots can be worn two ways: full scale (get it?) and folded down. In the second position, my boots get tons of compliments, and I can even justify grabbing a drink in them after hopping off a boat. Don’t mind the sand or scales – my boots are dirty, because I work hard.


  • Completely waterproof latex outside and adorable printed neoprene inside. Not insulated.
  • Keeps your feet safe from chemicals and free of sea sludge.
  • Slip resistant.
  • 4.7 pounds and 15 inches high.
  • I’m right between 8 and 9 in footwear, but size 8 worked great for me.

Price: This year marks the first one where I can purchase a pair of boots for over $100 and still pay rent. When I clicked the “place order” button, the thrifty part of me cringed. Then my boots came in the mail. I tried them on and wore them all day.  You’d pay the same price for the men’s version, but the Salmon Sisters will donate a can of wild salmon to the Food Bank of Alaska when you buy from them.

Here’s what I’ve learned: The right gear will work to keep you safe and warm. It will match your strength so you won’t have to work any harder. This is a pair worth every penny.

Do you have XTRATUF boots? Mens or womens? Maybe low tops? Rate them here *** and leave a review in the comments. We love hearing from you.

Click here to learn more about the Salmon Sisters line. Did I mention that they sell seafood?