Outdoor adventures like hunting are both fun and challenging. If you want to enjoy such moments, you need to know how to choose the most appropriate gear for the occasion. Hunting provides an unforgettable adrenaline rush, as well as memorable sites, sights and experiences, which will leave you craving for more. With all these fun-filled experiences that hunting provides, it is obviously an activity to create time for. However, the wild is not the most comfortable place. The terrain can be challenging, weather conditions might change, and of course the wild animals. Therefore, in order to enjoy these moments and minimize the risks you need to arm yourself with the necessary equipment and outfit, to have a stress-free and completely enjoyable time outdoors.
Importance of Hunting Boots
When you are hunting in the wilderness, boots are among the most essential items of your gear. You will wear them constantly and it is important that they offer good comfort and support when walking through tough terrain like rocky areas, marshland, swamp water as well as other difficult areas. A nice pair of boots will take you to wherever the game is, while still maintaining your comfort. Every serious hunter understands the importance of good outdoor boots and knows that they are indispensable. The best hunting boots should be supportive, comfortable, should provide warmth and need to have good grip and traction. They should also allow you to walk for long distances without leaving you with cold bites, blisters and other discomforts. What should you consider when buying hunting boots?
Hunting Boots Buying Considerations
Buying hunting boots is not as easy as choosing a pair of dress shoes to wear for work. As previously noted, they are supposed to be tough, hardy, and most importantly comfortable, since you will be spending a significant amount of your time on them. Whether you are a beginner or an avid hunter, having the right footwear can create all the difference. Having the right quality performance boots is important as you face the natural elements. They even play a bigger role, if your hunting conditions involve snow, rain or extreme cold. Do you want to be sliding or slipping when stalking game? When you are buying outdoor boots, there are very important considerations to make. They include:
- Materials and construction
- The hunting season
- Comfort and fit
Materials and Construction
There are three basic types of hunting boots. These are rubber boots, leather boots/nylon boots and pac boots. Each boot is suitable for certain hunting environments, and comes with its benefits and setbacks.
Pac boots are constructed using a rubber bottom outsole, together with a nylon, leather, or combination upper. They are among the warmest boots you can possibly buy for hunting. This warmth can be attributed to the insulated and removable inner bootie, mostly constructed using felt. These boots are waterproof with a shaft as high as 8 to 16 inches. They are designed to be worn during cold, icy, or snowy conditions. Pac boots also tend to be clunky or heavy. Therefore, they are not suitable for long-distance hiking expeditions. They are suitable for late-season tree stand and long sits in the cold. These also come with a certain temperature rating. When it comes to pac boots, it is advisable to buy the warmest you can find.
Some time back, almost every hunter in North America wore rubber boots for every type of hunting. There is a good reason for this. In terms of keeping your feet dry in wet conditions at minimal weight, rubber boots are the best choice. They also tend to absorb scent. This is a very huge advantage for bow hunters since they need to be very careful about leaving behind human scent in the deer stands. Rubber boots have a height range of around 10 to 18 inches. This is definitely a great feature for waterfowling areas, which are wet but still shallow, thus eliminating the need for waders.
These boots are also very popular with turkey hunters as well as early season deer hunting, especially when temperatures drop, but not to freezing points. Rubber boots are not suitable for hunting in very cold temperatures. However, some models are currently available, featuring warm neoprene uppers as well as up to 2000 grams of insulation. Such models of rubber boots can be used in frigid temperatures. Rubber is generally waterproof, which helps to keep water out of the boots. On the other hand, these are not perfect for hunting that requires a lot of walking. Additionally, rubber boots don’t provide sufficient support especially when hunting in rocky or rugged terrain.
Nylon or Leather Hunting Boots
Not to be confused with Pac boots, these combine the best features and qualities of rubber boots and Pac boots. This makes them the most versatile and among the most popular hunting boots used today. They are mainly constructed using either nylon, leather or even a combination of the two. They also come with a waterproof and breathable membrane like Gore-Tex, which keeps your feet dry, as well as insulation options ranging from 0 to 1600 grams of Thinsulate. This keeps your feet comfortable and warm in various hunting seasons from spring turkey hunting, early season bow hunting in the south, November whitetail hunting in Canada as well as late-season pheasants hunting in the Midwest.
When all-leather boots are combined with an aggressive sole, they are the best choice for hunting in mountainous and rocky terrain where ample ankle support and good grip are important to prevent sliding, slipping and falling. Most models in this range also come with a reinforced toe cap which provides extra protection as well as increased durability in rugged conditions. On the other hand, you can use soft-soled boots for stalking, still hunting, and any other form of hunting that requires operating in extra stealth.
When it comes to weight, models designed for upland hunting can be as light as 2 pounds, since a lot of walking is involved. Conversely, those built for rugged conditions are heavily insulated, and they can weigh as much as 5 pounds. If you plan to do a lot of walking during your hunt, every extra pound on your boots count. These boots also come in different heights. Some are as low as 6 inches while others go as high as 12 inches. However, most are in the range of 8 to 10 inches. Boots with higher shafts provide greater additional support when you are hunting over rough terrain or if you anticipate shallow wading.
The hunting season also plays a huge role, towards the choice of hunting boots. When you know the trail conditions and the weather to expect, then you are in a better position to choose the best boots. They mainly fall into three main categories which are early season, mid season and later season.
The early season means late summer and early fall. When buying boots for early season, you should focus on two main things, walking comfort and heat relief. Similar to your clothing selection, your choice of boots should be lightweight and breathable. You also need to be ready for wet weather by choosing boots with waterproofing technology such as Gore-Tex or Dry-Plus.
If you're planning a hunting trip in an arid area where moisture is not of much concern, then you can avoid the waterproof membranes and instead go with ventilated boots. For late summer, spring or early fall, uninsulated boots, or those with less than 200 grams are the most preferred. Such boots are also suitable for upland hunting as well as chasing bull elks or muleys in the backcountry. Before buying early season hunting boots, you also need to determine whether your hunting grounds are infested with snakes. If snakes are present, then you require snake boots or fang-deflecting armor boots.
Most hunting boots come with insulation levels that are sufficient for most fall hunting situations. Therefore, if you are looking for outdoor boots that can be used in a wide range of weather conditions, then you should go with mid season boots. Boots in this category include insulated boots with approximately 400 to 800 grams of insulation. These boots are also perfect for sedentary early-season hunting especially in the high altitude areas or northern regions. They provide enough insulation in the morning but they won’t ‘cook’ your feet when temperatures rise later on in the day. Apart from that, the versatility of mid-season boots also make them ideal for active hunting in cold regions. Many mid season boots have waterproof membranes which increase their versatility in different moisture levels including snow, early morning dew and rain. You can increase the versatility of these boots if you anticipate cold weather by wearing them with heavyweight hunting socks.
When temperatures hit rock bottom and snow is all over the place in the late season, you will definitely require extra protection. Heavily insulated boots, with 1000 grams of insulation or higher are designed for winter weather together with other sedentary activities. Blind and stand hunting in freezing temperatures calls for boots with the thickest insulation. Pac boots are excellent in such situations. They keep your feet protected against the cold with warmth-trapping liners and thick insulation. However, you need to know that the extra insulation also comes with additional weight. Therefore, such boots are not suitable for long distances away from the stand. If you intend to spot and stalk hunts during this season, choose regular hunting boots with around 800 to 1200 grams of insulation.
Comfort and Fit
Before you buy hunting boots, you should know your normal boot size. You also need to establish whether a certain model or brand fits larger or smaller. The fit plays a very crucial role towards the comfort of a boot. If you buy boots that are too small, then you will end up with cramped toes, which will stifle blood circulation. This can be deal-breaker when you are hunting. On the other hand, if they are too large they will your feet to move unnecessarily inside them. This leaves you with blistered or bruised feet.
The ideal selection would be a snug fit around the heel area and some little room around the toe box, to give the toes some room to wiggle. However, such boots require some time to break in. Socks also play a significant role towards the comfort and fit of your outdoor boots. Therefore, when you are going to buy them, carry with you the socks that you intend to use during the hunt. Try the boots with the socks on and ensure that you get a proper fit. Move around in them for a while to assess their comfort levels. If they are not comfortable now, don’t expect them to be comfortable out there.
Difference between Men’s and Women’s Hunting Boots
In most circumstances, women’s feet are typically narrower and shorter than men’s. For many years, most manufacturers of outdoor boots relied on this consideration alone to make women’s boots. This means that they only resized men’s boots, and sold them as women’s. Unfortunately, such boots ended up being uncomfortable for women. There are other noticeable differences, and size alone cannot be used as the only criteria. The biggest difference in men’s and women’s hunting boots, is the last itself. Last is the is the form used by shoemakers, to create the style and fit of a shoe. Companies have appreciated the striking differences between men’s and women’s feet, apart from size, and are now using specific lasts for women. Other considerations include lower weight, higher ankle support, and color-specific boots for women.
How to Maintain Hunting Boots
Hunting boots go through a lot. You wear them in rugged conditions and hostile environments, where they face mud, dirt, sand, trash, wear and tear, among others. All these deteriorate the quality of your footwear. Outdoor boots are made to go through this. However, if you want them to stay in one piece longer, here are some tips that you can use to maintain them.
- Waterproof your boots regularly using oils or wax, especially when they start wearing off.
- Condition your boots. Conditioning entails treating the leather which helps to add healthy moisture and restore the natural fibers.
- Air dry the boots especially when you arrive home after a long hunt or hike. Air drying helps to remove moisture and allows air to circulate thus preventing buildup of odors.
- Clean them after a long and dirty outing. Storing them with all the dirt and mud might lead to dehydration, cracking, and other form of damage. Air dry them after cleaning.
There is a wide range of technologies in modern boots, designed to keep your feet comfortable and dry in various weather conditions. The most important thing is finding the one with features that are best suited for the hunting season as well as the weather you anticipate. Choosing a good pair of hunting boots will keep your feet happy for many hunting seasons to come.
10 Best Men's Hunting Boots - Reviews
1. Kamik Hunter Boot
Sometimes, the most beautiful places are usually the ones with the harshest weather. However, the weather should no longer hold you back from enjoying some winter hunting, thanks to the Kamik Men’s Hunter Boot. This boot is the real deal. It comes with a liner that provides guaranteed warmth. This removable insulating liner is so designed to provide a haven of cushioning, warmth, and contentment. When conditions are marshy, snowy, swampy or sloppy, these hunter boots are the perfect choice. Are you an outdoor enthusiast and you love spending your leisure time hunting on wet tracks? If that is the case, you need to provide utmost protection and safety to your feet. There is no better way of doing it than using the Kamik Men’s Hunter Boot. If you are looking for a pair of boots that is strong, safe and sturdy for all your outdoor adventures, these boots will cater to your needs.
So, what makes them so reliable in such unpredictable conditions? To start with, they are water resistant. They have a shaft measuring 14.25 inches from the arch of the foot. Apart from that, the upper portion is lined with an upper collar. The shaft is also clinched all the way to the calf. This prevents mud, rain, debris or snow from entering the boots. This feature alone allows you to hunt in the woods even during winter. The other feature that makes these hunting boots for winter so popular with hunters and hikers alike is their comfort. The removable liner hugs the foot like a plush cocoon. It also takes up some dead space found between the footbed and the feet. Additionally, the thick outsole provides a remarkable amount of support, leading to unsurpassed comfort. The synthetic rubber, which is malleable and soft is another contributing factor to their overall comfort. If you are looking for absolute comfort, safety and protection during all your hunting, then you need to have these boots in your wardrobe.
2. Baffin Hunter Waterproof Boot
- Pull-on rubber boot featuring textured toe guard...
In many hunting conditions, you are most likely to come across icy and wet blades of grass, that tend to make your mornings miserable. However, with a pair of one of the best waterproof outdoor boots, you don’t have to endure all that. The Baffin Men’s Hunter Waterproof Boot is one of those boots that fits such conditions. They are outstanding in terms of durability, quality and lightness. Due to the variation of activities you are going to encounter in the wilderness, it is highly necessary to have dependable boots that will live up to their purpose. Having reliable footwear like this, will ensure that your hunting expedition is successful. These are made using high quality and durable rubber, for protecting your feet. However, they are very light. If you are looking for hunting boots for stalking, then you should have these on your list. Additionally, their soles are highly flexible, which allow you to move your feet effortlessly and comfortably.
These boots also come with a felt liner, together with an adjustable snow collar for keeping your feet secure and warm during cold weather. The Baffin Men’s Hunter is specifically made of hunters worth their salt. Since they are available in different sizes, they can conform to different foot and leg sizes. Their shaft is long enough to protect the feet and lower leg. Even if the external temperature drops to as low as -40°F, your feet will always remain warm. These ones live up to their expectations. The snow collar is adjustable while the removable felt liner ensures that your feet are always warm, regardless of the external weather conditions. Compared to other boots, these provide value for money. Hunting and other outdoor activities require reliable and durable boots to use. Therefore, with these ones, you can rest assured knowing that you are out there hunting with reliable footwear made with durable, high quality, and tough rubber.
3. The Original MuckBoots Adult Wetland Boot
While not the best for deer hunting, these are perfect for waterfowl hunting, since you might have to wade in shallow waters as you pursue your target. They are durable, 100% waterproof and warm. With a shaft height of 16.5 inches, combined with a stretch-fit top line binding, the elements will have nothing on you, and the warmth will remain with you wherever hunting takes you. These are extreme boots for extreme hunting conditions. You can roll down their top whenever you want to cool down a bit. You can slosh through thick ice and snow and emerge out of it with warm and dry feet.
If you intend to wear them with thick or heavy socks, then you should order at least half a size or even a full size up. Slipping them on and off is as easy as it comes. Their lining is a shade of orange. When you have rolled them down during warm weather, you are easily visible from a distance. This is a nice touch, especially during the hunting season. You don’t want to be confused with a deer! These high quality hunting boots are also qualitatively comfortable, breathe sufficiently, and are highly durable. This model also features a hugging design all round the calf. This design ensures that the pant leg remains tucked in nicely while eliminating most of the problems presented by falling debris.
4. MuckBoots Arctic Pro
- 100% waterproof;8mm neoprene bootie for comfort...
MuckBoots is a common outdoor commodity in many households. The MuckBoots Men’s Arctic Pro is one of the warmest footwear from the company. With a fleece liner, 2mm of thermal foam around the foot area and 8 mm of neoprene, this combination will keep your feet warm even when the temperatures drop to as low as -60 Fahrenheit. These hunting boots for winter allow you to go about your hunting with freedom, without worrying too much about your feet. The 8mm neoprene liner helps in warmth, weather-resistance, and total comfort when walking. These men’s boots are uniquely designed to provide a firm grip on the ground, even on the wettest surfaces. They are high-abrasion and long-lasting boots that will never fail to meet your needs and expectations.
Additional reinforcements at the heel and Achilles area provide comfort and snug fitting in extremely cold conditions. With the MuckBoots Arctic Pro, you can care less about your feet and go about your hunting with peace of mind, knowing that your feet are properly protected and taken care of, by these rugged boots. Thoughtfully designed, these pro muck boots come with fleece lining to keep you warm and encourage you to continue with your hunting, even in extreme cold and wet conditions. Hunting gets difficult sometimes. Your prey might take you through swampy and wet conditions, and that is where these rugged boots come in. The traction they provide on snow and ice is among the best you can ever find. One more thing, these also make great beer koozies. If you are in the market for warm, cozy and waterproof outdoor boots, the MuckBoots Arctic Pro should be your companion.
5. Bogs Classic High Camo Winter Snow Boot
- The product is 100% waterproof
- Natural hand-lasted rubber and a four way stretch...
- Non-slip non-marking and self-cleaning outsole.
- Contour fit for maximum support and movement
- Comfort rated to -40F
The Bogs Classic is one of the best rubber hunting boots currently available. Although their name suggests that they are winter hunting boots, they can still be used as all-weather boots. One of their most remarkable features is their reliability on challenging terrain. They are surprisingly comfortable and supremely rugged to handle everything that crosses their path. Their tall uppers, combined with the 4-way stretch design provide an amazing fit for your feet. Featuring a high-cut upper design, you can focus on your hunting and worry-less about snow, mud, damp and various other conditions that might threaten to disrupt your hunting. Hunting means stealth and that is exactly what you get with these premium quality boots.
They are designed to remain quiet and provide stability on ranging terrains, especially on mud or snow. They just require a short break in period, of around one or so. They also come with removable moisture wicking sock liner for odor prevention as well as excess heat removal. Their camouflage is simply amazing. It is hard to spot these boots when they are on the move. You can track any animal as close as possible, in order to achieve the perfect bow shot. Ensure that you wash them after every use, to keep them fresh and clean, in readiness for your next hunting expedition. From superb cold weather protection and non-slip soles to long-term reliability and user-friendliness, these winter boots fit like a glove and provide great value for your money.
6. Muck Boot Woody Max Rubber Insulated Men's
- 5mm CR Flex-Foam neoprene liner is 100% waterproof...
- Stretch-fit comfort topline binding snugs calf to...
- 2mm thermal foam under the footbed for extra...
The Muck Boot Woody Max, are a hunter’s best friend, especially during cold weather conditions. These insulated hunting boots for wide feet, are designed to protect you against extreme cold conditions. They are comfortable, sturdy and they will always get the job done. Their shaft rises 15 inches from the arch, which helps to protect your legs from ice-cold blades of grass in the morning, twigs, thorns and insects. With these boots, you can hunt or fish throughout the year, without worrying about rain or snow.
They come with an upper made of 5 mm neoprene, which is not only flexible but also comfortable. Also, the upper material has superior waterproofing, heat insulation as well as shock absorption capabilities. Thanks to its flexibility, it will easily conform to the shape of your feet, while preventing chafing and blisters, even when you wear them for an extended period. The shaft opening is adjustable. If it’s extremely cold, you simply need to pull it and obtain a snug fit. Once you do that, you will lock in warmth, while keeping out debris and cold.
Inside, they are furnished with a soft fleece lining, which supplies premium warmth and comfort, even during winter. They also come with EVA contoured, molded midsoles, which provide lightweight cushioning. Also, these hunting boots for winter are equipped with 2 mm of thermal foam, which is placed under the footbed. They have a comfort rating of -400C to 40C. Therefore, they are suitable for use in different weather conditions and climates. For the outsole, Muck Boots has used aggressive, durable and rugged rubber, to provide maximum protection, stability, and traction. Slipping them on and off is easy, thanks to the rear pull loop.
7. LaCrosse Grange 18”
- Hand-laid premium ZXT Rubber for durable,...
- ZXT Rubber is ozone, abrasion and tear resistant...
- Multilayer rubber on the toe and heel plus a...
- Ankle Fit locks the heel in place and top strap is...
Designed and made in the US, the LaCrosse Men’s Grange are affordable hunting boots that will keep your feet comfortable and protected throughout your hunting trip. Due to its rubber material and construction, it can be worn in all types of weather. Moreover, they are durable enough for cold and wet weather conditions. Available in different sizes, these boots are great for hunting, and camping, as well as various other outdoor conditions. They come with various friendly features, which leave your feet smiling throughout your hunting spree. They are extremely durable and tough. Apart from that, mud does not stick on their soles which makes it easy to hunt and track with them.
The rubber material used makes them lightweight and water resistant. This means that you can walk or run with them as much as you wish as you chase your prey, without stamping too hard on the ground. Additionally, they are of high quality and they feature a comfortable and nice heel. Insoles come with removable EVA foam, combined with fiberglass shank for providing maximum arch support and cushioning. This creates wearing comfort all day long. Have you ever worn outdoor boots that started smelling like burning rubber when the sun became hotter? Well, you don’t have to endure that any more. The rubber used on this one is scent free and 100% ozone resistant. These also come with a 17-inch shaft, together with a chevron cleated outsole for great debris-shedding traction and grip.
8. Guide Gear Monolithic Extreme Waterproof Insulated Hunting Boots, 2,400 Gram Thinsulate Ultra
- COLD CONQUEROR: With an 8 mm frost barrier between...
- INSULATED: Guide Gear mens insulated hunting boots...
- WATERPROOF: Composed of full-grain waterproof...
- THE BEST COMFORT: With an EVA midsole and...
- SLIP AND OIL RESISTANT: Lug outsole on these...
The Guide Gear Monolithic Extreme is a comfortable pair of hunting boots, designed for serious hunters. These hunting boots for ice fishing are equipped with 2,400 grams of Thinsulate Ultra Insulation. This high-tech insulation helps to keep your feet cozy and dry while protecting them against the elements. They also come with a padded collar and tongue, which provide additional cushioning, comfort and insulation. At the same time, their uppers are made of waterproof leather, combined with 900-denier nylon. With such a vast combination of advanced features, you can go fishing or hunting in any weather, without worrying about your feet.
A sturdy rubber outsole, featuring multi-directional lugs, provides you with the grip and traction that you need, to tackle tricky hunting grounds. The rubber outsole also provides additional protection from the elements. These hunting boots for early season are further equipped with a combination of PU foam insoles and EVA midsoles, which supply cushioning, shock attenuation as well as additional comfort. As long as you have these boots, you can hunt longer, and enjoy the overall experience, without worrying about your feet.
The upper unit is waterproof and rugged. It can withstand extreme cold, without exposing your feet to the elements. These boots are also furnished with an 8mm wool frost barrier, which provides additional protection against cold conditions. Furthermore, a dry, waterproof membrane prevents entry of water inside the shoes, while allowing sweat and perspiration to escape. As a result, your feet will remain dry, warm and fresh. They also come with a moisture-wicking lining, as well as wool fleece sockliner, to ensure additional comfort and warmth. Slipping them on and off is easy and fast, thanks to the rear pull-on tab. Without a doubt, the Guide Gear Monolithic Extreme remains one of the best hunting boots for extreme cold.
9. Irish Setter 860 Elk Tracker Waterproof 1000 Gram
- Lace-up full-grain waterproof leather hunting boot...
- Waterproof GORE-TEX lining
- 1000g 3M Thinsulate Ultra insulation
- Bulls-Eye Air Bob Aggressive sole for traction
There is a wide range of great boots on the market today that can protect your feet against freezing during your hunting expedition. One great option is the Irish Setter Men’s 860 Elk Tracker. It is one of the most popular elk hunting boots currently available. So, what makes them tick? These hunting boots for rocky terrain are 100% waterproof. This means that your feet remains dry even when sloshing through snow, water, or mud. These are waterproof due to the Gore-Tex fabric lining. The GTX lining is also known for its effectiveness in terms of repelling liquids. That is the main reason why most waterproof boots and shoes utilize this technology.
Apart from keeping your feet dry as you hunt, they also perform incredibly well in keeping your feet warm since they are sufficiently insulated. With 1000g of 3M Thinsulate insulation, your feet remains warm even when you spend long periods in extreme cold conditions. Not many outdoor boots are lightweight and durable. However, the Irish Setter is designed with advanced composite material, which makes them lighter and ensures their durability. They also come with various extra cushioning features to give you maximum comfort every time you are wearing them. The soles are made of synthetic material, which contributes to their overall lightness. These are also odor-free, and they provide enough space for the toes to wiggle. The Irish Setter are great boots for a hunt, featuring numerous benefits. Apart from keeping your feet warm and dry, they also protect your feet against the elements.
10. LaCrosse Venom Scent APG HD Snake Boot
- Full-grain leather with 1000 Denier nylon upper...
- Total protection with flexible 360° Snake Guard...
- Side zipper for easy on/off with full lacing...
- Realtree APG (425615), Mossy Oak NWTF Obsession...
Imagine tracking that trophy buck all day. Just when you are about to release that arrow to bring him home, you hear the hissing of a snake. Of course, it will scare the hell out of you. However, if you have the right footwear, you don’t have to panic. Just step on its head, release the arrow, and bring your buck home. The LaCrosse Men’s Venom Scent snake boot is an 18-inch boot that provides sufficient cover up to the knees. It comes with various technical features that make it one of the best snake hunting and outdoor boots on the market. One of those features is the Scent Dry, which is a highly engineered, scent-free, waterproof barrier lining the whole boot for guaranteed protection.
These boots also contain Snake Guard venom protection that keeps you protected regardless of how much venom a snake spits. One of the biggest problems of most snake boots currently on the market has to do with comfort. Most are uncomfortable to wear for long periods. From the moment you slip your feet into these boots, you will realize they were designed for all-day comfort. Their footbed is secure and solid. You sometimes think you are wearing tennis shoes instead of trekking boots. That fact alone makes them a great choice especially if you are running woods and timber pursuing spring turkeys. These ones lace to the toe thus providing great support and a solid fit for your ankles and feet. Their improved underfoot contact surface enhances traction and sheds debris and mud quickly. They are easy to slip on and off, and they come with a side zipper that makes the entire process simple and fast. Don’t wait for snake bites to spoil your hunting trap. Be prepared with these snake proof boots from LaCrosse.