HUNTING

Best Hunting Boots: Keeping Your Feet Safe for Years

Shawn Harrison
Written by Shawn Harrison

You have to agree that going for a hike or heading out into the woods to hunt can be the best part of your season, but if you don’t have the right hunting boots to get you off to a good start, you’re definitely not going to have fun. The best hunting boots will rather make than break your trip, no matter how long (or short) it may be.

Hunting boots are designed to provide comfort while keeping your feet protected from the elements. Fortunately for you, getting the best boots may not be as difficult as you might think from looking at all of those options. The sheer volume can seem overwhelming to someone who doesn’t quite know what they’re looking for, which is why you want what we have in this article.

We have the top eight hunting boots for you to choose from. These boots are going to make it a whole lot easier for you to get out there and we’ve also figured out some great features to look at if you’re not so sure about the options we have.

Our Top Picks

Product NameSeasonsMaterialShaft HeightInsulationPrice
Irish Setter 2870 VaprtrekEarly season to autumnSynthetic7 inNoneCheck price on Amazon
Danner PronghornEarly season to autumnLeather and nylon8 inNoneCheck price on Amazon
Kenetrek Mountain Extreme NIEarly season to autumnLeather10 inNoneCheck price on Amazon
Kamik NationplusLate autumn to winterLeather and rubber10 in200B ThinsulateCheck price on Amazon
Bogs Classic High CamoWinterRubber14 inInner bootCheck price on Amazon
Lacrosse Adder SnakeEarly season to autumnLeather and fabric18 inNoneCheck price on Amazon
Columbia WillametteEarly seasonRubber14 inNoneCheck price on Amazon

Features to Consider Before Buying

Before you even take a look at the options we have prepared, you’ll want to consider a number of different features that those boots may have. These features will help you figure out whether any pair of boots will work for your needs and your preferences.

Season

The first thing to look at is when you’re going to be using your boots. A pair of boots that’s perfect in 80 degree weather may be terrible at 20 degrees. So, consider if you’re going out in warm or cool weather, like summer or winter.

End of Summer to Early Autumn

During this season you want shoes that are going to keep out the heat and allow you to get plenty of breathability. That means you want something breathable and likely something waterproof, as you may get more moisture and rain during this part of the year.

Hunting boots

Image credit: commons.wikimedia.org

Autumn

During this part of the year you’ll get a little bit more moderate weather, including some warmer days and some cooler ones. You want boots that are going to give you a little insulation, but still some breathability as well, keeping in mind you could have any weather.

Winter

Finally, you want something you can wear in the dead of winter, which means boots that offer a great deal of insulation and allow you to wear thermal socks and extra layers. You’ll also want boots with good traction for snow and ice.

Type of Hunting

Different people participate in different styles of hunting, as well, which is important to consider. For example, if you are the type to traipse through the woods for extensive periods you want boots that are abrasion resistant and have good traction. You also want them to be lightweight so you can carry them for a longer distance and more breathability since you’ll have more body heat built up.

Cabela hunting boots

Image credit: Cabela’s Hunting

If you sit in one place and wait for the deer to come to you then you want boots that are well insulated and can be worn with extra layers. These will help you to stay protected and comfortable while you’re hunting without having to stomp your feet or move around.

Sole

You want soles that are high quality because they are going to be the most important part of the shoe. Without good soles your shoes definitely won’t last long and you’ll be shopping for some new ones in no time at all. You want a tight stitch that isn’t going to come loose rather than glued soles, though if you do opt for glue make sure it has no gaps.

Lace Holes

It is important that the lace holes are sturdy for shoes that need to last a long time, if they have eyelets it is more likely that they won’t break when you tie your shoelaces. A speed lace system could be a good option if you’re the type of person that takes their shoes off frequently and needs to put them back on as quickly as possible. These, make it is quicker to tie and untie your shoes.

Material

There are three basic materials that are often used for boots: synthetic, rubber, and leather. Synthetic boots are going to be the lightest weight and they’re going to have the least amount of maintenance, but they will be a little less water resistant.

Man wearing hunting boots in a forest

Image credit: outdoorsman.net

Leather boots provide you a sturdy frame and keep out the water better than any of the other options, however, they can be very high maintenance and tend to crack or dry out if not cared for properly.

Finally, rubber boots are going to keep out the most water, and they’re going to be sturdy enough, but they aren’t going to be quite as flexible. Synthetic is usually the lightest material and also doesn’t require polishing as leather does, however, it is less water resistant than other materials.

Comfort

You need something that’s comfortable enough, you’re going to want to wear them for an extended period of time. Remember, if you’re out hiking you won’t be getting back to your house that frequently. You want to be out all day.

Shoes with abrasion resistance and a good ankle support reduce the amount of friction and therefore makes the shoes more comfortable as you will not get blisters and hot spots as easy. With winter boots the insulation and the extra socks are often enough to keep away from blisters, but in boots for all seasons, it is better if the heel moves around as little as possible.

Alpha hunting boots

Image credit: deerhunters.net

It is also dependent upon the material, as leather can often cause irritation the first time they are walked in, and synthetic usually causes less friction on the heel.

Traction

You need to be able to walk around in your boots easily and that means something that has good traction. Think about how often you’re outside when the weather isn’t ideal. Maybe there’s snow or rain or just rocks everywhere you walk. You need boots that can get a good grip on any surface.

Traction means that your boots should have a rugged surface and keep you moving no matter what you’re walking on. A softer rubber material provides a better grip. Smaller lugs give the shoe a better grip as well, but are not as versatile for rocky areas, therefore medium-sized lugs, with a rugged surface are usually the best option.

Best Products on Today’s Market

Now that you know what to keep an eye on, here are the in-depth reviews of the best models on the market. Choose the pair of boots that best match your needs.

Irish Setter Vaprtrek BootIrish Setter Men's 2870 Vaprtrek

Price: $130-$285

Weight: 2.4 lbs

Specific features: Rubber sole, abrasion resistant, ankle protection, UltraDry waterproofing system

Best use: Spot and stalk hunting, walking long distances

Description: The Irish Setter Vaprtrek Boot is made with sturdy materials, which ensure it will last for a long time. The RPM technology in the boot itself helps to reduce the weight, but increase the strength and capabilities it has to offer. ScentBan keeps your boots smelling great, even after you’ve worn them for a while, which can be important when it comes to a long hunting trip.

Even more important is the UltraDry technology, which keeps your boots more comfortable and helps keep the water out of them while you’re out in the woods. That waterproofing still doesn’t interfere with the breathability or the weight of the boots themselves. They also feature ankle support to provide just the right amount of stability while you move through the earlier part of the season.

Also, the camo design makes sure you blend well when you’re moving through the woods and extends all the way down into the sole of the boot as well.

PROS:

  • Synthetic material for durability and lightweight
  • ScentBan for reduced scent while hunting
  • Increased traction through the entire boot
  • Specialty traction for tree stands in the arch

CONS:

  • No eyelets in lace holes
  • Run small

Related: If you’re going out hunting you need clothes that keep you warm and the Polar Extreme Thermal Sock here is definitely going to do that. They are designed to keep you warmer than any others and still keep you comfortable and make sure you don’t sweat while you’re waiting for that buck.

Check the price on Amazon

Danner Pronghorn BootDanner Men’s Pronghorn

Price: $140-$230

Weight: 3 lbs

Specific features: Full grain leather on the upper with denier nylon, rubber sole, breathable, waterproof Gore-Tex

Best use: Spot and stalk hunting

Description: The Danner Pronghorn Hunting Boot, the focus is on grip and stability, to last through all kinds of terrain, while still providing a very comfortable fit. These boots feature a very rugged outsole with a leather toe and heel cap protection, that can stand up to very active days without giving either blisters or pain.

The Gore-Tex lining is well renowned for being efficient against water, and with its overall light weight it’s an optimal shoe for autumn hunting. It uses a mix of CamoHide leather and Denier nylon that balances to keep everything lightweight and waterproof as well as keeping it rugged. With these boots you also get a sleek design that you’ll enjoy wearing and you’ll be able to find it in your size with no problem at all.

Furthermore, these boots have no insulation, but still provide you with comfort and work well in warmer weather when you need the support but don’t want a whole lot of added warmth while you’re out.

PROS:

  • Available in wide or normal size
  • Work great out of the box
  • Excellent waterproofing
  • Traction works great over any type of surface

CONS:

  • Scuffs easily
  • Soles can be a bit stiff

Related: You want to keep your boots in great shape and this Danner Boot Dressing will help you with that. It’s made in the US and makes sure that your boots last a long time and remain just as durable as possible.

Check the price on Amazon

Kenetrek Mountain Extreme BootKenetrek Mountain Extreme

Price: $450-$490

Weight: 3.9 lbs

Specific features: Full grain leather on the upper, reinforced rubber sole, 7 mm nylon midsoles, Wind-Tex waterproof & breathable membrane, K-talon outsoles for abrasion resistance

Best use: Tough terrain, walking long distances

Description: A high-end boot when quality is more important than the price, that is why the Kenetrek Mountain Extreme Boot features K-talon outsoles, and more. These shoes are built for the terrain where slipping is not an option. The Extreme Hunting Boots are lightweight, at about 2 lbs per boot with toecap protection, and as such are ideal for long walks during autumn or early season.

Made primarily with leather, you may need a little time to break them in, but they definitely shape right to your feet and have a 10-inch shaft to keep your ankles just as protected as your feet. This also helps keep out water and wind for a larger area of the foot.

Designed to work best in moderate to warmer temperatures, these boots offer no insulation but still provide great protection. They also have a smooth tongue to keep it from pressing into your leg or ankle while you’re wearing the boots.

PROS:

  • Very lightweight for extended wear
  • No break in period needed
  • Excellent support up ankles
  • Great for hunting or hiking

CONS:

  • No insulation
  • Run a little small

Related: Waterproofing your leather boots is always important, and the Kenetrek Boot Wax and Leather Treatment Dressing is a great way to do just that. It provides you with an all in one product that makes your boots soft and comfortable, long lasting and waterproof, all at the same time.

Check the price on Amazon

Kamik Nationplus BootKamik Men's Nationplus Boot

Price: $50-$90

Weight: 4 lbs

Specific features: Leather and rubber upper, 200B Thinsulate insulation, -40°F rated, rubber sole, rustproof speed lacing system, moisture wicking linings

Best use: Winter hunting, back country hunting

Description: As a sturdy boot that is constructed to withstand the most extreme conditions, and as such, is ideal for winter hunting in colder regions, the Kamik Nationplus Boot is an excellent choice for many hunters. The 10-inch shaft means that they work great in any conditions, including deep snow that hits in the midst of winter.

Made with leather, these boots are rated to -40°F, which means you will have no problem heading out to hunt when you want. They also come in a range of different colors so you can choose whatever you prefer rather than being stuck with only one option.

The rubber base keeps out plenty of the moisture and water you’d otherwise find. Not only that, but the boots support the ankles, as well as the base of the feet. There’s also 200B Thinsulate insulation and a speed lacing system that gets you moving a whole lot faster.

PROS:

  • Antimicrobial footbed for comfort and germ-resistance
  • Moisture wicking lining through the foot
  • Includes removable liner
  • Excellent level of traction

CONS:

  • Runs small
  • Can be a little bulky

Related: The Joynee Thermal Hiking Socks here are designed to keep you feeling comfortable and make sure that you get plenty of heat without getting overly warm. Made with acrylic, wool, polyester and spandex, they’re made to fit and stay breathable.

Check the price on Amazon

Bogs Classic High Camo BootBogs Men's Classic High Handle

Price: $108-$140

Weight: 4 lbs

Special features: Full rubber boot, non-slip, rated to -40°C, waterproof

Best use: Winter hunting, back country hunting

Description: Another boot that is made for extreme winter cold, the Bogs Classic High Camo Boot is 100% waterproof rain and snow boot and is made to have a good grip on wet and slippery surfaces, as well as blending into the nature with its camouflage color. As it is made out of neoprene rubber, the shoe is made to last even in tough terrain during the winter season.

With its thick insulation, and additionally the knee high shaft, walking through deep snow and streams is child’s play. Internal shanks make the boot more comfortable to wear and protect against abrasion.

These boots have a unique style compared to the other options on this list, but they also provide you with some great protection as well as comfort. They also come in two different colors so you can get something you’ll enjoy and will stretch and move however you need them to.

PROS:

  • Very comfortable for extended wear
  • Great for extended water use, 100% waterproof
  • Lightweight and warm at the same time
  • Flexible and cushioned

CONS:

  • Run slightly small
  • Can be loose around calf and ankle

Related: These Carhartt Comfort Stretch Socks are made in the United States and feature a stretch, tight fit style as well as FastDry technology. The merino wool and fibers make sure they last a long time and stay comfortable.

Check the price on Amazon

LaCrosse Adder Snake BootLacrosse Men’s Adder

Price: $150-$210

Weight: 4 lbs

Specific features: Leather and fabric, synthetic sole, uninsulated

Best use: Snake hunting, backcountry hunting, hunts in snake territories

Description: The LaCrosse Adder Snake Boot comes with an extra thick upper for 360-degree protection against snake bites, which is essential for those hunting in areas with a lot of poisonous animals. The shaft is 17 inches for extra protection over the legs as well.

When it comes to the height of the boots, it’s not just snake bites you’ll be protected from, but the cold as well, because they go further up the leg. Still, they are uninsulated, which means you’re not going to want them for the coldest of temperatures, but they’ll also do well when it comes to moderate and warmer hunting trips.

Furthermore, the two handholds on each side make it easy to slide these boots on and off when you’re ready. The mix of leather and nylon means they are durable as well as comfortable and waterproof. You will be able to travel through any hunting destination with no problems at all, with adjustable accents that will make these boots fit even better.

PROS:

  • Protection against snake bites
  • Completely waterproof
  • Easy on and off
  • Moderate traction

CONS:

  • Take a little time to break in
  • Can restrict movement, such as squatting or bending

Related: The right pair of socks inside of your boots can be the difference between a good trip and a not so good one. These Realtree Outfitters Boot Socks are tall and well insulated to keep you warm and comfortable the whole day through.

Check the price on Amazon

Columbia Willamette BootColumbia Willamete Boot

Price: About $110

Weight: 2.5 lbs

Specific features: Full rubber, drawstring collar, slip resistant outsole, uninsulated

Best use: Hunting in swamps, and wet areas

Description: These rubber boots are great when it is most important to keep your feet dry on a budget. The Columbia Willamette Boot is 13.5 inches high, and therefore, good for walking through streams and being in wet areas.

With the drawstring collar, it also gives a good fit over the calf to ensure good stability to walk in as well as plenty of support when you’re walking over rough terrain. You’ll be able to keep your entire foot and ankle supported so you don’t have to worry about twisting. With the slip resistant outsole, these shoes give a firm grip on just about anything as well.

Furthermore, the boots are made entirely of rubber, but still scent-free so you can enjoy your hunt without interruption. Also, these boots are easy to get on and off and still provide you with a steel shank and drawstring adjustable sections to get the ideal fit.

PROS:

  • High shaft for added support
  • 100% waterproof
  • Easy on and off
  • Drawstring adjustable fit

CONS:

  • High shaft can be difficult for bending and squatting
  • Liner can slip inside the boot

Related: Nice wool socks are a great choice when you’re heading out into the wilderness because they can keep you warm and comfortable. These Pembrook Wool Sport Socks will do that and more with the super cushioned merino wool for comfort, warmth and added support.

Check the price on Amazon

Wrap Up

With the Willamette boots, we have reached the end of our article. You will surely agree that getting the right footwear for your next hunting trip is essential to having a good time. If you head out there in boots that don’t fit right, you’re going to be miserable the entire time and chances are you’ll need to head back before you’re ready. That’s what happens when your boots aren’t designed for the conditions that you have too.

By taking a look at our list, you’ve got a good idea of what type of boots you’re looking for and just why they’re going to be so important for you and your next hunting trip. Also, now you have the knowledge to make an informed decision, and thanks to our reviews, making the perfect choice will be a breeze.

So, what is most important to you when choosing hunting boots? What type of hiking boots do you have that you love? Which of these is your favorite or what other type of boots do you like even better? We want to know all about it in the comments section below.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shawn Harrison

Shawn Harrison

Shawn Harrison is our expert in hunting. He was born in Alaska, so hunting was his hobby since high school. Later, Shawn took a Hunter Training at Alaska Department of Fish and Game to structure his knowledge and now he is open to share his knowledge with our readers. Shawn is taking ‘Safety First’ approach on all of his trips, especially is some people are going hunting for the first time.