HUNTING

Best Hunting Boots: To Keep It on Your Feet for Years

boots review
Shawn Harrison
Written by Shawn Harrison

When out hunting, the shoes are one of the most important pieces of equipment, as you will constantly wear them, and it is essential that they provide a good comfort when walking through tough areas such as streams, marshland, swamp water and other difficult terrains. A good pair of shoes that will let you go where needed, while still being comfortable, is indispensable for any hunter.

Best hunting boots should be waterproof, able to provide a cozy heat, have a good grip, and also let you walk long distances while still being enjoyable to wear. Having shoes that do not hold up to the quality can lead to blisters, wet feet, and in worst case cold-bite.

What to Consider

Depending on what seasons you are going hunting, and what type of hunting you are going to do, the requirement for the different shoes will vary.

Hunting boots

A few things to consider before buying hunting shoes are the temperature and the terrain you will be hunting in, as well as how long are the distances you are going to walk.

End of summer or early autumn

If you go hunting during the end of the summer or early autumn it is preferred to have shoes that are good for comfort and also keep the heat element away, for example having lightweight shoes that are breathable would be a good option. If you live in an area with a lot of rain and moisture early in the season it would be well worth getting waterproof boots, without compromising the ventilation.

Autumn

During the autumn season, the weather gets colder and having mid-season boots is the best option.

Hunting boots for autumn

Depending on what kind of prey you are hunting for, it could be wise to go either for the slightly warmer shoes and be able to hunt into the winter season, or getting some shoes with less insulation and also be able to hunt during late summer.

Winter

In the winter it is good to have boots with very thick insulation, and also buying a size bigger could be ideal to fit thermal socks inside the boot. With the snow and ice, it is also recommended to get shoes with good grip on slippery surfaces.

What Type of Hunting

If you have to move around a lot while hunting it is important to have shoes that are abrasion resistant so blisters won’t occur from the friction, and also have a good grip. To be able to walk for long instances at a time without getting fatigued, lightweight boots are also ideal. Having slightly colder shoes can also be a better option due to the extra body heat. Optimally, at the end of the day, the boots should still be comfortable to wear.

For hunting with a lot of waiting, it is ideal to get a pair of boots that insulate the heat better as the body will not produce as much heat. In the autumn season, it is also a good idea to get a pair of boots a size larger so thicker socks can be used to insulate the heat even better and keep the body nice and warm.

Waterproof rubber boots for hunting

For a hunt in wet and swampy areas, it is better to get rubber boots as they better ensure water protection, and are usable in deeper water. They are also considerately easier to clean up, whereas synthetic material can start to develop a bad smell and are hard to clean.

When hunting in areas with a lot of poisonous snakes it is recommended to get thick boots with a high shaft, made especially against snake bites.

Main Features

Some of the most important factors to look out for when you are buying hunting shoes and want to use them frequently and keep them for years to come.

Sole

Take a good look at the sole and how it is attached to the shoe, as well as how it is glued and/or stitched together, it is essential that the thread is tight so it will not come loose and ruin your shoes. If it is glued make sure that it is done well and with 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.

Lace holes

If you often take on and off your shoes it can be convenient with a speed lace system so 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 is usually the lightest material and also doesn’t require polishing as leather does, however, it is less water resistant than other materials.
  • Leather is sturdier than synthetic and most rubber, it also is very good against water as long as you polish the shoe. They can, however, dry out and crack easily if you don’t, therefore they require more tending than other material.
  • Rubber is the most waterproof material and is also a fairly sturdy material that usually lasts for many years. As rubber boots don’t have any tongue they are not as flexible when it comes to tightness, but also because the lack of a tongue the water won’t slip through.

Comfort

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 hotspots 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 move around as little as possible.

It is also dependable upon the material, leather can often cause irritation before they are walked in, and synthetic usually cause less friction on the heel.

Hunting boots grip and comfort

Make sure that the material inside of the boot is smooth where your heel is while walking, there should be no rough joint as that will cause a lot of irritation.

Grip

For hunting boots, the grip is essential during wet seasons and in rocky areas. For hunting boots, the sole should be made out of rubber as it provides a better grip. The sole should also have a rugged surface with an abrasive resistant material to ensure that you won’t slip.

A softer rubber material also provides a better grip. Smaller lugs give the shoe a better grip as well but are not as versatile for going in rocky areas, therefore medium-sized lugs with a rugged surface are usually the best option.

Hunting Boot Reviews

Irish Setter Men’s 2870 Vaprtrek Hunting Boot

Irish Setter Men's 2870 Vaprtrek Hunting Boot

Season: Early season to autumn

Weight: 2lbs, 6oz

Shaft Height: 7”

Special Features:

  • Rubber Sole
  • Abrasion Resistant
  • Ankle Protection
  • UltraDry waterproofing system
  • Uninsulated

Best Use: Spot and stalk hunting, walking long distances

Description: The Irish Setter Men’s 2870 Vaprtrek Waterproof 8″ Hunting Boot is fairly priced, and made with sturdy materials to be able to last for a long time. They come with features such as RPM (a composite material developed for extra lightweight, and enhanced endurance), ScentBan (to keep the shoes fresh for long periods of time by killing the bacteria), and also UltraDry technology, all to make them as comfortable as possible.

The Irish Setters are a popular choice among hunters, with its light weight, waterproofing system, and ankle support they are optimal for early season hunting when it’s not too cold, as well as for hunts when walking long distances are needed.

Related: Irish Setter Men’s 4837 Deer Tracker 10” Hunting Boot, Irish Setter Men’s 2875 Vaprtrek Waterproof 17” Hunting Boot, Irish Setter Men’s 840 Havoc WP 800 Gram 10” Big Game Boot

Danner Men’s Pronghorn 8″ Uninsulated Hunting Boot

Danner Men's Pronghorn 8" Uninsulated Hunting Boot

Season: Early season to autumn

Weight: 3lbs, 6oz

Shaft Height: 8”

Special Features:

  • Full Grain Leather on the upper with denier nylon
  • Rubber Sole
  • Breathable
  • Waterproof Gore-Tex
  • Uninsulated

Best Use: Spot and stalk hunting, walking long distances

Description: Danner Men’s Pronghorn 8″ Uninsulated Hunting Boots are more focused on grip and stability, to last through all kinds of terrain while still providing a very comfortable wear.

They come with a very rugged out sole with a leather toe and heel cap protection, that can stand up to very active days without giving neither 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.

Related: Danner Men’s Pronghorn 8” 400G Hunting Boot, Danner Men’s Pronghorn Realtree Xtra 1200G Hunting Boot

Kenetrek Men’s Mountain Extreme Ni Hunting Boot

Kenetrek Men's Mountain Extreme Ni Hunting Boot

Season: Early season to autumn

Weight: 3.9lbs

Shaft Height: 10”

Special Features:

  • Full Grain Leather on the upper
  • Reinforced Rubber Sole
  • 7mm nylon midsoles
  • Wind-tex waterproof & breathable membrane
  • K-talon outsoles for abrasion resistance
  • Uninsulated

Best Use: Tough terrain, walking long distances

Description: A high-end boot when quality is more important than the price. With the K-talon outsoles, these shoes are built for terrain where slipping is not an option. Kenetrek Men’s Mountain Extreme Ni Hunting Boots are lightweight at about 2lbs per boot with a toe cap protection, and as such are ideal for long walks, during autumn or early season. As they are comprised mostly of leather it is needed to break in the shoes before they provide a perfect fit and can at first be a little bit tight.

That is a good thing however as the shoes get shaped after your feet and will get more comfortable the more often you use them. With a 10 inch shaft these shoes provide a very snug fit to ensure that no blisters will occur, and due to the high shaft crossing streams will still staying dry will prove an easy task.

It is also possible to resole these boots to improve their lifespan, and therefore even under tough conditions they will last for many years.

Related: Kenetrek Men’s Mountain Extreme 400 Insulated Hunting Boot, Kenetrek Men’s Mountain Extreme 1000 Insulated Hunting Boot

Kamik Men’s Nationplus Boot

Kamik Men's Nationplus Boot

Season: Late autumn and winter

Weight: 4lbs

Shaft Height: 10”

Special Features:

  • Leather and rubber upper
  • 200B Thinsulate insulation
  • -40°C rated
  • Rubber Sole
  • Rustproof speed lacing system
  • Moisture wicking linings

Best Use: Winter hunting, backcountry hunting

Description: A sturdy boot that is constructed to withstand the most extreme conditions, and as such is ideal for winter hunting in colder regions. Kamik Men’s Nationplus Boot tend to be a little bit small in size and it would be recommended to buy a size bigger to get a perfect fit. Kamik Men’s Nationplus has a good price but doesn’t compromise quality. With its 10″ shaft it’s ideal to use even in fairly deep snow.

Bogs Men’s Classic High Camo Winter Snow Boot

Bogs Men's Classic High Camo Winter Snow Boot

Season: Winter

Weight: 4lbs

Shaft Height: 14”

Special Features:

  • Full rubber boot
  • Non-slip
  • Rated to -40°C
  • Waterproof

Best Use: Winter hunting, backcountry hunting

Description: Another boot that is made for extreme winter colds. The Bogs Men’s Classic High Camo Winter Snow Boot is made to have a good grip on wet and slippery surfaces, as well as blending in to 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 make the boot more comfortable to wear and protect against abrasion.

Related: Bogs Men’s Blaze 1000 Waterproof Hunting Boot

LaCrosse Men’s Adder 18″ Snake Boot

LaCrosse Men's Adder 18" Snake Boot

Season: Early season and autumn

Weight: 4lbs, 9oz

Shaft Height: 18”

Special Features:

  • Leather and fabric
  • Synthetic Sole
  • Uninsulated

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

Description: LaCrosse Men’s Adder 18″ Snake Boot comes with an extra thick upper for a 360-degree protection against snake bites, essential for hunting in areas with a lot of poisonous animals. The shaft is 17 inches for extra protection over the legs. It comes with two loops on the top for ease to take off and on. They also have cinches on the back of the boots to tighten them up if they are too loose.

Related: LaCrosse Men’s Venom Scent APG HD Snake Boot

Columbia® Willamette Hunting Boot

Columbia® Willamette Hunting Boot

Season: Early season

Weight: 2,5lbs

Shaft Height: 14”

Special Features:

  • Full rubber
  • Drawstring Collar
  • Slip resistant outsole
  • Uninsulated

Best Use: Hunting in swamps, and wet areas

Description: Rubber boots when it is most important to keep your feet dry on a budget. Columbia® Willamette Hunting Boot are 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 a good stability to walk in. With the slip resistant outsole, these shoes give a firm grip.

What Shoes to Buy

There is no one shoe that fits all, and therefore it is recommended to choose what type of boots you need for your specific purposes. When you know what kind of shoes you need it is ideal to try out the boots, and especially if it is critical to walk long distances, to make sure the shoes have a snug fit so they won’t give rise to blisters.

If you order online make sure the shoes are refundable in case there would be any problem with the boots or the size.

Choose your hunting boot

In the end, the shoes will always be with you on the field, therefore investing in a good pair of boots can be well worth it as having something less than ideal could ruin the hunt and might potentially be dangerous. Choose carefully a pair of boots that will do the job well, and leave you satisfed.

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.

  • Euan Percival

    In the past, I’ve always worn lesser known brands of boot, however, after years of having to replace them annually, I finally decided it was time to invest in a high-quality pair, that will hopefully last me a few years.

    After a little research and review reading, I opted for a higher end boot, Kenetrek Men’s Mountain Extreme.

    Admittedly, I had some reservations, I mean, these bad-boys are not exactly cheap, however, took a leap of faith. Within seconds of trying them on, I knew I was going to love them. They are without a doubt, the most comfortable, supportive, and well-made boots I’ve ever worn.

    Since purchasing them, I’ve worn them on countless hikes of 3km or more, granted, they did take a few hikes to break them in, however, once they were, it didn’t matter what terrain I decided to take, whether it be gravel, sand, rock, grass or mud, the support offered by these boots was second to none each and every time.

    • Shawn Harrison

      It will always be a great idea to get a pair of high-quality boots because it is some sort of an investment. When tackling challenging elements and terrain, a reliable pair of footwear will never let you down. I’d say you made a fantastic decision.

  • Rick Burke

    The LaCrosse Adder snake Boots are excellent. I’ve owned several pairs of snake boot over the years, all of which were certainly put through their paces. Whether I’m turkey hunting, deer hunting, bird hunting or simply just enjoying the outdoors, my boots are always on my feet, so they need to be comfortable, durable and since I go through so many, reasonably priced.

    Right out of the box, I could see that the Adders were well made, the leather used is of a high-quality, the stitching is perfect and the sole feels solid. For less than two hundred dollars, these are a fantastic pair of boots.

    • Shawn Harrison

      Adders are comfortable, reasonably priced, and they do look fashionable in my opinion. Taking into consideration its price point, it is one of the better footwear options for outdoor hunting.

  • Jerry Trevor

    Dang! I love the Kenetrek Men’s Mountain Extreme Ni boots! I bough it after reading your article! They are amazing! Me and my friend go for hunting every weekend and I always take them with myself, does not matter if I am going to somewhere rocky or a forest. They are always perfect! Great article Shawn! Really helpful!

    • Shawn Harrison

      We’re very glad we helped you in deciding which pair to buy, and I’m positive that the Kenetrek will work well to fit your trekking and hunting needs wherever you go.

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