Category: Buying Guides

A Guide To Buying The Best Hunting Boots Buying Guides

A Guide To Buying The Best Hunting Boots

There is no doubt about the fact that the right pair of hunting boots can make all the difference in the world to your hunting experience. From keeping you warm in cold weather to giving you all the grip and balance you need to tread on tricky terrain, getting yourself the best hunting shoes possible is the first step towards preparing well for your next hunting trip.

It can be somewhat daunting finding the right pair of hunting boots, especially because there are so many different materials and brands to choose from. Add to that, there never seems to be an agreement on what’s best, rubber or leather, and which kind of hunting boot is the best for what season or weather.

Hunting boots.

You may find yourself picking up a pair of outrageously expensive leather hunting boots only to realize that your hunting trip is in marshy, swampy territory, and believe it or not, you will end up causing some serious damage to your expensive leather shoes if you wade into a muddy creek with them.

Rather than pick up the wrong pair of hunting boots and regret spending that much money, how about making an informed choice and picking up a pair of hunting boots that best suits your needs? After all, you want to find a pair that will last you years, even decades if you pick well, and the better you use your hunting boots, the better they will serve you on all of your trips.

Seasoned hunters, athletes and mountaineers all swear by their trusted pairs of shoes. When you are relying on your feet to walk long miles, walk through all kinds of terrain - from rough, muddy, rocky to slippery and stand for hours while you wait for your prey to approach, you can’t be taking any risks.

Many excited hunters will tell you about that one trip that had to be cut short because their hunting boots gave them all kinds of hell - from blisters to sore feet and even frostbite.

​​​Best Men’s Hunting Boots

To make sure you find the best hunting boots you can get your hands on, here are a few carefully chosen pairs, all from trusted brands, followed by a comprehensive guide on how to find the right hunting boots for yourself.

The Winner: Irish Setter Men's Hunting Boots

If you take hunting seriously enough, then you shouldn’t be looking beyond this pair of boots from Irish Setter for your next buy.

Everything you might want from hunting boots, these boots have, and more. Made using cutting-edge technology, the VaprTrek Boots are the best hunting boots on this list because they combine the sturdiness of a hunting boot with the agility of an athletic shoe.

Whether you’re hunting on grassy terrain or unforgiving weather, these boots will give you the best protection there is. At over $130, this may seem like an expensive purchase, but once you get to know all the features that make these one of the best hunting boots currently in the market, you’ll soon realise they are worth every penny.

Irish Setter Men's 2870 Vaprtrek Waterproof 8" Hunting Boot

source: irishsetterboots.com

First, they are highly durable, designed for the most rigorous hunting trip in the roughest terrains possible. There’s no way this pair of hunting boots will give up on you in the middle of a hunting trip.

Next, these synthetic hunting boots are made with the UltraDry waterproofing system – a unique technology which includes a moisture management lining along with highly water-repellent material that allows you to go hunting even during winters, across snow-covered trails or through marshy swamps.

No matter how muddy your path is, these boots will keep your feet dry and snug.

Despite their high durability, the Irish Setters VaprTrek hunting boots are much lighter than your average heavy-duty hunting boot, all thanks to the groundbreaking RPM technology used in the composite sole material, which makes these boots nearly 40% lighter than other hunting boots.

 As a seasoned hunter, you already know that one of the most important features of good hunting boots is how well they protect you from water, and how little they weigh you down.

On both counts, this pair of hunting boots surpasses expectations. In addition, they also come enhanced with ScentBan scent control and Realtree Xtra camouflage. While ScentBan, added to the lining of your shoes keeps out all kinds of odors caused by sweat as well as bacteria, it also absorbs any scent that may linger on the surface of your boot. 

Together, these two very unique features not only up your chances of tagging your prey because you are practically untraceable, but also keeping you safe from being followed by a wild animal because of your scent.

If you’re an early season hunter, you are absolutely going to love these ankle-high hunting boots once you realize how much they will improve your hunting experience.


Runner Up: Muck Boots Hunting Boots

The second pair of hunting boots on this list, the Arctic Pro men’s hunting boots from Muck Boots are more about comfort than anything else. These are pull-on boots with a waterproof shaft and an upper that with a stretch top, making these one of the most comfortable hunting boots to buy, not just in terms of material, but also on the pocket.

These boots leave no stone unturned to make sure that every step you take on your hunting trip packs in comfort and ease - be it treading quietly on grass or walking through narrow, sharp turns or even standing still behind a tree.

MuckBoots Men's Arctic Pro Hunting Boot

source: muckboots.com

With a 2 mm foam underlay, molded outsole and cushioned midsole, these fleece-lined hunting boots will make sure you never return from a hunting trip with blistered, aching feet anymore.

The unique cushioning on the Arctic Pro shoes from Muck Boots also makes them a great choice for winter hunting trips and extreme conditions. You can be assured of warmth even when the mercury falls below zero degrees – after all, these are the shoes worn in some of the coldest spots in the world, from Alaska to even the research stations in Antarctica.

If you’re worried that a heavily-lined, warm pair of hunting boots such as these might get too heavy or uncomfortable, you’re mistaken. These boots can stretch up to nearly 8 mm, in length and width to accommodate the shape of your feet.

If it is durability you’re worried about, you’ll be pleased to know that the Muck Boots Arctic Pros come certified as protective wear in dangerous conditions.

There isn’t much to know about any cutting-edge technology that might make these shoes extra waterproof or durable, but there’s one thing you can be 100% sure about – with the Muck Boots Arctic Pro hunting boots, you’ll never find your feet uncomfortably squeezed in a pair of ill-fitting hunting boots ever again.


Alternative: Danner Hunting Boots

The Pronghorn hunting boot from Danner is essentially their trademark camo hide leather combined with modern technology, to bring you hunting shoes that are durable as well as lightweight, and streamlined in design.

This new design from Danner – a brand of master shoemakers for years has been designed for maximum comfort and protection. With a wider toe and a 100% waterproof yet breathable Gore-Tex lining, this hunting boot allows air to circulate freely around your feet, at the same time giving you a snug fit.

What makes it truly comfortable is an ergonomically designed Ortholite footbed, which gives your foot ample cushioning, making all those hours of standing still feel like a breeze.

Danner Men’s Pronghorn 8” Uninsulated Hunting Boot

source: danner.com

For a pair of shoes that is extremely streamlined and comfortable, this pair of hunting boots from Danner is as sturdy as a pair of leather hunting boots can get – it comes with a solid rubber under-grip that makes sure you can tread across muddy land and rocky terrain with equal ease.

Remember though, that these hunting boots are not insulated, which means that while the leather is sturdy enough to withstand the warmer temperatures of the early season, they might not be the best choice for colder weather and terrain, as shoes that are not properly insulated could cause issues like blisters and even frostbite. 

Probably the only other drawback of these hunting boots from Danner is the fact that they are made of leather, which requires much more maintenance than synthetic materials such as neoprene.

This makes it necessary for you to invest in polishes and pastes to keep replenishing the oils in the leather – an added expense to what is already an expensive purchase, seeing as these hunting boots are priced upwards of nearly $140.

They may not be particularly convenient, but if you’re a bit of an old-fashioned hunter with a love for the real stuff, you might still find yourself picking up this pair of leather hunting boots.


Best Women’s Hunting Boots

Typically, hunting boots designed for women tend to have a higher arch and as a result, need slightly more padding to make them comfortable. They are also somewhat narrower and more streamlined, considering the fact that women’s feet are relatively smaller and narrower as compared to men. Here are two of the best women’s hunting boots, shortlisted for you.

Winner: LaCrosse Women's Hunting Boots

This pair of women’s hunting boots from LaCrosse combines several different layers and materials to create a finished product that scores high on durability, comfort, protection and fit, all alike.

With an exterior made of premium rubber wrapped around high-quality neoprene, these hunting boots are sturdy enough to withstand everything from harsh weather to rough terrain. On the inside, the neoprene core, along with a layer of Thinsulate as well as a cushioned liner work like magic, keeping your feet dry and warm, but also well-circulated, all at the same time.

These hunting boots are carefully designed to suit the shape of women’s feet, with adequate elevation around the heel, as well as ample cushioning under it. In addition, the outsole on these boots is removable, so as to customize it to colder or warmer weather or different kinds of terrain.

LaCrosse Women's Alphaburly Pro 15 Realtree APG Hunting Boot

source: lacrossefootwear.com

The adjustable gusset fits comfortably around your calf – with enough space for your pants to be tucked in as well as for blood circulation.

Not only are these the best women’s hunting boots in terms of stellar features, they are also a great-looking pair of shoes, making sure you march out in style on every hunting trip you take from now on.

At over $125, they might come off as a little steep, but when you’ve got your eyes set on that upcoming hunting trip, you want to make sure you get the best pair of boots you can get your hands on, don’t you?


Runner Up: Muck Boots Women's Hunting Boots

It’s true – women are more likely to suffer from heel pain after prolonged standing or walking, and this can be a real bummer for a hunter. Being stuck in the woods with achy, sore feet is bad enough, but discovering that your ill-fitting hunting shoes have given you blisters in the middle of a hunting trip, is an absolute nightmare.

Which is why this pair of mesh-lined women’s hunting boots from Muck Boots is a great option for any woman hunter. Not only are they relatively affordable at a little over $100, they are designed to make sure you are comfortable all day, whether you’re chasing after your target or keeping watch in one spot.

Muck Boot Women's Woody PK Versatile Hunting Boot.

source: muckboots.com

With a cushioned sole, 4 mm neoprene mesh lining and 100% waterproof surface, these hunting boots have all your basics covered, even offering a slimmer fit to suit the shape of women’s feet.

Possibly the one thing to make these a second choice might be the fact that they are not particularly well-suited to harsher weathers, so if you’re the daredevil hunter who likes hunting in the cold, you may want to find a more insulated, sturdy pair. Otherwise, these are a fairly good pick for the price they come at.


Features To Look Out For

Here’s what to look out for while buying a pair of hunting boots for your next hunting trip.

Insulation

The type of insulation in your hunting boots decides how comfortable you will be in different kinds of weather. Typically, insulation is specified in grams, and it is important to pick a pair with the right kind of insulation, especially if you are going to be hunting in cold weather.

  • 200 Grams or Less: Uninsulated boots are designed for a hunt in pleasant or warm weather, and with light movement and shorter walking distances.
  • 400-800 Grams: This will provide you with medium level insulation, keeping your feet snug during early fall.
  • 900 Grams or More: These are heavy-insulated hunting boots that are designed for low temperatures and will protect your feet even in freezing weather. These are also the shoes you will need if you’re going to be standing in one spot for long, for which you’ll need to keep your feet warm and well-circulated.

Waterproof Or Not?

There is no way you can give this one feature a miss. Whether you’re trudging through snow or wading through muddy creeks, waterproof boots are really important on a hunting trip. One, water can really ruin your hunting boots, particularly if they are made of leather.

Secondly, if your shoes aren’t waterproof enough, it means your feet aren’t going to stay dry and you will be prone to itchy skin, rashes and infections, which is definitely going to turn your hunting trip into a disaster.

In cold weather, it is the same ability of your boots to keep water and moisture away that will determine how well you can resist the cold, damp surface under your feet. For all of these reasons, finding a pair of waterproof boots is an absolute must.

Design

Hunting boots meant for men and women are very different in terms of both, design and fit, since men’s and women’s feet differ in shape and structure. Apart from these, different kinds of hunting shoes come with varying lengths and types of gussets and uppers, all affecting how high the boot sits on your calf and how it wraps around your skin.

Hunting boots while walking.

Finding hunting boots that fit well but are narrower at the toes, for example, might not be a great design choice if your hunting trip involves walking for long or standing still, as the design of the boot may not allow you to flex your toes enough.

Fit

The best time to go shopping for footwear of any kind is later in the day, as your feet tend to swell and stretch. In the case of hunting boots, the right fit is an absolute priority, so make sure you give yourself the time to try on various pairs and walk about in them, to check them for fit as well as comfort.

While the easiest way to look for the right fit is to check for a matching size, you must know that not all manufacturers will give you the same fit for the same size.

Apart from having the right boot size, here are a few more things to watch out for while trying on a pair of hunting boots:

  • Find a pair that gives your toes ample room to move around. It is important to keep blood circulating to all parts of your foot when you’re walking or standing still, allowing you to flex your toes without loosening the fit of your shoe.
  • Shoe bites caused by hunting boots are really painful, particularly those caused by your toes bumping into the sturdy material of the toe cap while walking downhill.
  • Don’t walk in your hunting shoes without tightening them as much as you would while actually wearing them.
  • Look for a fit that is roomier around the toe but fits snugly around your ankle.
  • Having feet that are too wide and narrow can often mess with finding correctly fitting hunting boots. Stick to a size that matches your usual foot size, and loosen the laces on your forefoot for wide feet. For narrower feet, consider buying a thicker insole so your hunting boots fit more snugly.

Weight

There’s no better example of a blessing turning into a curse more quickly than this - you may pick a sturdy, heavy-duty hunting boot to last you well, but if it ends up being too heavy, you’re in for a world of pain on your trip.

While it’s true that sturdier hunting boots tend to be heavy, most leading brands have worked on making their boots lighter without compromising on durability. If a few steps could make your ankles feel heavy, you can think of the effects of a heavy boot when worn for miles and miles.

Durability

The last thing to look out for in a pair of hunting boots is also one of the most important. A durable, sturdy pair of hunting shoes will last you years, so think of it as an investment to make. It isn’t as simple as saying leather isn’t durable, but synthetics are.

Leather can be just as durable, albeit a tad expensive, if you maintain it the right way and give it the care it deserves. Synthetic hunting boots may be less difficult to maintain as compared to leather, but they sure need their cleaning and drying too.

Finding a sturdy pair of hunting shoes means you’ll have to think about how it will stand all kinds damage - from the weather, from moisture, mud, dirt, from being worn out by all that walking. There’s no point buying an expensive pair of hunting boots with soles that wear out only after a couple of hunting trips.

Man wearing hunting boots in snow.

With this, you’re all set to pick up your next pair of hunting boots, and walk out into your hunting trip, all set to brave nature’s challenges, be it the rockiest of terrain or the harshest of temperatures.

With the right pair of hunting boots, you’ll be able to focus on your hunt without worrying about protecting your feet - your boots will take care of that, all through your trip, whether you’re walking, wading or even standing still, waiting for your prey.

Resources:
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