How to Choose the Best Hunting Boots

how to choose the best hunting boots

As a hunter, you are undoubtedly aware that you need a variety of gear to ensure that every hunt is successful. One of the essential pieces of equipment every hunter has to invest in is their boots. There are a lot of options regarding hunting boots, so how do you choose the best hunting boots to buy?

For us hunting wasn’t a sport. It was a way to be intimate with Nature…

A hunting trip can be a treacherous and downright tricky experience for most of us. And sometimes, what stands in between sweet success and utter failure of your trip is the level of comfort and support that your hunting boots can give you.

However, there is only one problem: Finding the best hunting boots that suit you and functions well is quite a difficult job.

That is why I have created this list to help my fellow hunters out: The best hunting boots.

Quick Comparison of Some Good Choices

A Review of some of the Best Hunting Boots Today

1. Columbia Men’s Bugaboot Plus III Omni Cold-Weather Boot

Columbia Men's Bugaboot Plus III Omni Cold Weather Boot,...
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If heavy-duty boots are what you’re looking for, then I suggest buying a pair of Bugaboot Plus III. This stylish pair of boots is specially made for withstanding cold weather, with a well-insulated interior that can withstand severe temperature drops.

It’s also made of imported leather and textile, so rest assured that you can hike and hunt all you want without these boots giving in.

  • DURABILITY
  • HEIGHT AND WEIGHT
  • INS AND FX

When it comes to durability, this boot scores a 10/10. Even for an avid hunter or hiker, this pair can withstand all kinds of terrain without the sole giving out. So if durability matters to you most, I suggest purchasing the Bugaboot Plus III.

The height and weight of these boots are made for hardcore hiking. The height of the boot offers optimum support for the ankle, which can be useful for hunters who will trek on high ground. As for weight, these boots are relatively heavy, due to their heavy-duty capacity to insulate and protect your feet.

As I’ve said, these boots were made for the extreme weather. If you’re going out hunting in zero or even below zero degree temperatures, this pair of boots can keep your feet warm and toasty with its superior insulation system.

Pros

  • Made of durable material
  • Thick rubber sole
  • Offers good insulation for cold weather
  • Is relatively comfortable

Cons

  • Not entirely waterproof

2. Lowa Men’s Tibet GTX Trekking Boot

Lowa Men's Tibet GTX Trekking Boot,Sepia/Black,10.5 M US
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This Lowa pair is classified under hunting, hiking or trekking boot.

As it is, this pair of boots contains all the features that would make hiking up a trail or rough terrain a great experience as it can be, such as speed-lacing technology, padded tongue and collar, and seamless waterproof Gore-Tex lining.

Overall, this boot combines comfort and durability all in one.

  • DURABILITY
  • HEIGHT AND WEIGHT
  • INS AND FX

This Lowa pair features a thick synthetic sole, high-quality leather, and premium nubuck leather uppers that make this pair a good option for rugged and gnarly terrains. With this pair, you get the value for your money with both durability and incredible foot support.

This boot is just the right height for heavy exercise such as running or walking, as the low height allows for a lot of movement. It also weighs only 1kg, a very lightweight pair of boots.

These boots are so exceptionally insulated that they will keep your feet warm in the winter but probably a bit too warm in the warm seasons. Nevertheless, this pair is an excellent option for the high country and hiking boots.

Pros

  • Padded collar and C-4 tongue for instep comfort
  • Can handle rough off-trail terrain comfortably
  • Waterproof lining to keep your feet dry and well in damp environments
  • Injected with a PU midsole for underfoot support; useful when carrying heavy loads
  • A no-slippage lacing system to keep your boot on at all times
  • Great insulation for cold weather

Cons

  • Not recommended for hot weather, as expected

3. Danner Men’s Pronghorn Realtree Xtra 1200G

Danner Men's 45017 Pronghorn 8' 1200G Gore-Tex Hunting Boot, Realtree...
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These boots are the type of boots that can get you through a rough hunting trip involving rough terrain and damp environments.

This variant of the famous Danner brand features durable and stylish material, breathable Gore-Tex liner, all-leather toe, and heel cap, and thick rubber sole to combine comfort and durability both into one pair of beautiful boots.

  • DURABILITY
  • HEIGHT AND WEIGHT
  • INS AND FX

This pair of insulated hunting boots is made of dual-texture fabric; namely imported high-quality leather and camouflage pattern fabric. The bottom of the shoe features a thick rubber sole, and the toe and heel have an all-leather cap—all functioning to get your boot through all weather and terrain without cracking. It’s made of high-quality products that make sturdiness possible.

This boot’s height is just right for very shallow puddles and allows for a lot of walking and trekking. As for its weight, despite the added features and linings, the boots are surprisingly lightweight just like regular work boots.

As for function, these boots are a pair of high country hunting boots that are capable of taking on terrains at high altitudes when, say, hunting for elk. It also comes with a good insulation system that allows you to trek and hunt in the cold. Although, these boots will get very hot easily in warm weathers due to its heavy insulation.

Pros

  • Thick rubber sole to take on rough terrain
  • Dual-texture fabric and leather design
  • Includes a Gore-Tex waterproof lining that will keep your feet dry through all Environments
  • Features notched shaft with eyelets and speed lacing
  • 1.2 g insulation – perfect for very cold winter hunting trips
  • Comfortable and lightweight for multi-purpose function

Cons

  • The very heavy insulation will not be recommended for weathers that are not as cold as winter

4. LaCrosse Men’s Alphaburly Pro 18″ Hunting Boot

LaCrosse Men's Alphaburly Pro 18' Hunting Boot,Green,6 M US
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What LaCrosse has done is to create one of the most versatile rubber hunting boots today. They are made for not only comfort but with durability in mind as well.

It is no wonder that the LaCrosse’s Alphaburly Hunting Boots are considered among some of the best rubber hunting boots available today.

  • DURABILITY
  • HEIGHT AND WEIGHT
  • INS AND FX

These rubber hunting boots will undoubtedly last you a long time with their high-quality imported leather material.

These boots are very tall, so be careful when selecting your pair and make sure they match your height. However, they are still foldable on the top. Being a rubber pair, these boots are also lightweight.

Comfort and fit are two of the main focuses of this boot. With a waterproof lining and outsole provides warmth and comfort for all types of weather — a good pair for hunting in wet or cold environments.

Pros

  • Boots contain a neoprene lining that helps to keep both your feet and legs cool throughout wear
  • Comes equipped with an adjustable gusset on the rear of each boot that allows for users with varying calf sizes to be able to wear the boots comfortably
  • The tops of these boots can fold down and reduce the total height when circumstances permit

Cons

  • Due to the lack of sufficient insulation, these boots are not designed to be worn in the colder portions of winter

Click here to see further reviews regarding some of the best rubber hunting boots available today.

5. Kenetrek Men’s Mountain Extreme Ni Hunting Boot

Mountain Extreme Non-insulated Hiking Boot
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The Kenetrek Mountain Extreme hunting boots are an ideal boot if what you are after is game in the high country. They are designed to be used in some of the harshest climates where hunting boots need to be both sturdy and able to grip the challenging ground.

An excellent option for big game hunters, this boot can keep your feet un-blistered and comfortable even with high exercise, but without compromising the durability of the pair.

As seen from its sturdy leather material, you can bet that this pair won’t give out for a lot of years of hunting.​

  • DURABILITY
  • HEIGHT AND WEIGHT
  • INS AND FX

The Kenetrek pair of this list is made of thick and sturdy leather that not only offers maximum support for the wearer but also provides a sturdy outer material that will make your boots last longer.

The height of the Kenetrek boots doesn’t make it snakeproof but these boots do offer extra support to the ankle, and weight is 2kg which makes it on the heavy side.

This boot is non-insulated so don’t expect it to warm up your feet at extremely cold weathers. This boot, however, can withstand wear and tear in a very efficient manner.

Pros

  • The uppers of these boots are made from a sturdy leather construction making them highly durable and supportive on a hunter’s ankles.
  • The tread of these boots allows for dependable traction control on steep terrain
  • A thick sole allows for extra support on the midsole of a wearer’s feet

Cons

  • These boots only provide a very basic layer of insulation and are not intended for continuous use in cold environments even when equipped with warmer than average socks

6. Irish Setter Men’s Vaprtrek Waterproof 8 Inch Boot

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The Irish Setter Vaprtrek 8” boot has a unique feature in its design that makes it stand out among other hunting boots. These boots are just as waterproof and durable as the rest on this list, but they are as comfortable as a typical athletic shoe.

This pair is recommended for hunters that are always chasing their prey, with a lot of exercises that puts more expectation from the boots.

  • DURABILITY
  • HEIGHT AND WEIGHT
  • INS AND FX

As observable from its thick outer layer and even thicker soles, these boots are a top-notch pair when it comes to durability. As per testimonials, this pair can last you a very long time without showing signs of wear and tear.

A bit on the lower side, this boot is made for a lot of movements and hiking. This brand also innovated its design to make the boots very lightweight.

The insulation in this boot offers warmth at freezing temperatures while also keeping you extra dry for added comfort.

Pros

  • The 8” Vaprtrek boots are designed to be 40% lighter than traditional hunting boots their same size thanks to the sole of each boot being constructed from a light, yet highly durable composite material.
  • These boots provide wearers with improved balance, traction, and mobility due to their design being closely related to athletic trainers.
  • Each pair of Irish Setter boots comes equipped with a Scent band installed at the top of each boot to prevent unnecessary scents from escaping your boots.

Cons

  • The soles of these boots are glued as opposed to stitched and can eventually come unstuck overtime.

7. Irish Setter Men’s Elk Tracker WP Insulated Boot

Irish Setter Men's 860 Elk Tracker Waterproof 1000 Gram 12' Big Game...
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The Irish Setter Elk Tracker boots are by far one of the most durable and rugged boots reviewed in this list.

They are designed using with a sturdy leather upper along with a robust synthetic sole that allows for dependable use in all conditions you may encounter as you hunt elk.

A great high country pair of boots if anyone asks, and of great and long-lasting quality.

  • DURABILITY
  • HEIGHT AND WEIGHT
  • INS AND FX

This handsome pair of Irish Setters is made from the sturdiest leather material, which makes it a great contender against rough terrains, obstacles, and all types of weather and the elements.

The shaft of this pair of hunting boots comes mid-shin, which makes it a great support system when hunting big game such as elk. However, it is on a bit of a heavy side so movement may be a challenge.

The core feature of this pair of boots is the exceptional insulation capacity at 1kg insulation, making it an excellent pair for ultra-cold temperatures when chasing big game.

Pros

  • These boots feature a Gore-Tex lining that gives them dependable waterproof capabilities
  • The solid leather upper construction gives hunters the confidence that when their boots are laced all the way up, their toes will keep from sliding around in the boot as they walk up and down steep slopes
  • The Irish Setter Elk Tracker boot features a Bulls-Eye Air Bob sole for greater traction in steep and challenging conditions

Cons

  • Each sole is constructed of three separate pieces and when one piece begins to wear, it will interfere with and could potentially damage the others

Click here now to read about further reviews of some of the best elk hunting boots for sale today.

8. Muckboots Men’s Arctic Pro Hunting Boots

Muck Boots Arctic Pro Bark - Men's 11.0, Women's 12.0 B(M) US
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Comfort and quality sum up what the Muckboots Men’s Arctic Pro Hunting Boot is.

These waterproof hunting boots are designed to keep your feet warm, comfortable, and protected in frigid winters.

This boot is made of synthetic and fabric with a molded synthetic outsole. With its well-designed build, it is certified to protect your feet in dangerous conditions. Also, having a neoprene shaft allows it to have a snug fit.

  • DURABILITY
  • HEIGHT AND WEIGHT
  • INS AND FX

This boot is made of sturdy neoprene material which can withstand hard and messy conditions brought about by hunting. It has double reinforcements at instep, heel, and Achilles so it won’t be easily worn out or get torn. It is also 100 percent waterproof so you will rest assured that water will not seep in into your feet. This boot is very durable that it can withstand heavy use for a long time.

This hunting boot has a knee-high shaft which makes it suitable for crossing muds, swamps, puddles, or deep snows. However, it may be uncomfortable to walk with if it gets too high so make sure to pick one that is perfect for your height. It is also very lightweight which makes it very easy to walk with.

With its 8mm 4-way stretch CR Flex-Foam, fleece-lined boots, together with its neoprene shaft, and 2mm thermal foam underlay, this boot ensures to keep your feet warm even in frigid winters. With its toughness, this boot can withstand even the difficult conditions in agriculture, equine, gardening, and hunting. It also has a molded outsole that ensures good traction.

Pros

  • This boot has a well-designed build that is certified to protect your feet in dangerous conditions
  • 2mm thermal foam underlay ensures to keep your feet warm even in frigid winters
  • It has double reinforcements at instep, heel, and Achilles so it won’t be easily worn out or get torn
  • It is 100 percent waterproof
  • It is very lightweight
  • It has a very comfortable fleece lining
  • The neoprene shaft allows it to have a snug fit
  • It has a molded outsole that ensures good traction

Cons

  • The boot is so warm that you cannot use it in warmer weathers

9. Under Armour Men’s UA Speed Freek Bozeman

Under Armour Men's UA Speed Freek Bozeman Realtree...
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Staying true to form Under Armour has made a high-quality hiking/hunting boot to their expansive shoe lineup.

The Speed Freek Bozeman boot is great all-purpose hiking boot that is both versatile and durable and can surely be considered as one of the top rated hunting boots.

  • DURABILITY
  • HEIGHT AND WEIGHT
  • INS AND FX

The outer material of this pair is made of the top-notch materials that makes it a good pair to withstand all types of weather and terrain. Definitely a good snag if you want durability as a top asset.

This is one of the low boots, a good option when a lot of moving is required during hunting trips.

Nevertheless, ankles are supported with its height, but not safe against snakes. As for weight, this pair is lightweight and can get you through a lot of movement.

This pair truly pays attention to function and insulation, as it keeps warm even in the coldest of weathers—a great hiking/trekking class of boots.

Pros

  • The boots come with a memory foam insert the provides a hunter with a custom fit boot in only a short period.
  • The tread of the Speed Freek Bozeman series of boots uses a high abrasion rubber tread to help grip terrain while at the same time not collecting mud/debris on the bottoms of the boots.
  • The outer layer of the Bozeman boots is extremely durable and stands up to the harshest environmental conditions.

Cons

  • When the boots are laced too tightly, the excess fabric at the top can become uncomfortable and can hinder the mobility of the wearer.

What You Should Look for in the Best Hunting Boots

A good pair of boots has some very final details that make it stand out from its competition. When you are in the market for a new pair of boots, you need to ensure that the things you are most going to need are found in that pair of boots. It should be noted that you may need a different pair of boots according to the situation you are going to be wearing them in.

While there are some universal benefits found in all premium hunting boots, the differences according to needs can be quite significant. Why would you wear something with extra insulation if you are going to be trekking through a rocky desert? Are low fitting boots appropriate if you expect to have to walk in near knee deep water? These may seem like ridiculous examples, but the truth of the matter is that each pair of quality hunting boots reviewed here is designed for a particular purpose. Do your research and only buy what you need!

How tall of a boot do you need?

The height of hunting boots can vary immensely. Generally, this is the section of the boot referred to as the upper section. The height is measured from the base of the boot insole to the top of the boot. Some boots may only have a height of 9” while others may go all the way up to 17” or more.

When buying hunting boots, especially online, consider how tall you are and how far up your leg the boot will go. If they are too tall, you may find that your mobility will be severely limited. Depending on your height and needs, you may want ankle-height boots or knee-high boots. 

Best hunting boots

best hunting boots

Getting them on and off again

Another critical item to consider when selecting a pair of hunting boots is how they go on and off. Do you want a pair of boots with laces or ones that you can slip on and off? Depending on your needs, you may find that boots with laces are more practical and offer greater versatility. There is also something to be said about the ability to slip your feet into a pair of boots and be on your way.

One of the most common complaints about all hunting boots is that they can be a challenge to get off once they are on. This is a beneficial feature for most boots since the last thing anyone needs is to lose a shoe in the mud and be unable to retrieve it. If you find that boots are hard to remove once they are on, you may benefit from investing in a boot jack. This simple device allows you to remove your boots without having to bend over and wrestle each off your feet.

The Weight of a Good Boot

How much does a good pair of boots weigh? The truth is that boots can weight anywhere from as little as twenty ounces all the way to five pounds or more. This variation may not seem significant, but once you are in the field, it may make the difference between walking that next ridge and turning around. Add to this the idea that some boots tend to pick up mud as you go and may make them even heavier than their original weight.

Durability

One of the most excellent qualities of any right hunting boot is its ability to last over time. Every hunter wants their boots to last season after season, no matter the terrain.

When you are considering the options of hunting boots, make sure to look for the durability of the boots. How are they put together and what is their outer casing constructed of?

You need to consider what exactly you will be putting your boots through as well. It is a given that they will be exposed to the elements and that their ability to withstand mud and water will play a large part in their service to you. But what else may they have to endure?

Not all hunting grounds are flat fields with occasional muddy patches and streams. Some areas are full of jagged rocks and thick brush that can damage otherwise consistent boots.

Check for warranty information and any additional maintenance that may be needed to ensure your boots continue to perform well.

Insulation

snow hunt - Best hunting boots

Best cold weather hunting boots – Photo credit: www.gssafaris.com

A good pair ought to take on even the harshest of weathers while hunting out in the snow. So, how do you know if a pair of boots can handle it? Take a look at the manufacturer’s description and see what they’ve done for insulation.

Usually, a good pair of hunting boots will have an insulating material that will keep the cold out and the heat in during the chilly winter days. Other than that, a well-crafted pair of boots will have to keep your feet cool in the summer months for an all-year-round function.

However, as a general rule of thumb, you have to buy a pair of boots with the level of insulation that corresponds with its intended use. A thickly insulated boot is the option for hunting expeditions that involve sitting in a tree stand in biting weather; or essentially activities that require little movement.

Conversely, a thinly insulated boot is recommended for hunters who will have to move a lot during their trips. As such, a boot with just enough insulation will keep your feet warm, but not warm enough when the exercise produces too much heat.

There are three types of boot insulation:

  • Uninsulated to 200 grams – these boots have little or no insulation at all, which, as you know by now, is an excellent option for high-level all-year-rounds includes stalking elk, hiking, and a lot of running.
  • 400-800 grams of insulation – this goes in between thick and thin insulation. For most hunters, this range of insulation is just right for a little bit of chilly weather.
  • 1kg and greater – these boots are designed for little to no activity because they are very much insulated and considered the warmest hunting boots to protect from harsh weather. Generally, these boots are also great for the most stringent of winter days.

To conclude, a great tip is to buy two pairs of boots: one with heavy insulation and another with lighter insulation. Because chances are, a single pair can’t get you through all types of weathers.

Support and Lacing

Height, durability, and insulation are all essential factors to consider when choosing the right boot, but comfort should be one of the most important deciding factors. Boots have different levels and support and flexibility based on the hunting it is designed for. Hunters or hikers who travel light and on flat terrain may want hiking boots made with less support and rubber outsole that offers more flexibility. For the hunters and hikers who are uneven or rough terrain, added levels of support will be more important.

Additionally, lacing on your boots will provide additional support. Lacing higher up on your leg will give extra support and stiffness to prevent foot injuries on uneven terrain.

Types and Functions

Hunting boots can be classified into several types of boots. These types will have characteristics that are different from others as well as a specific function in hunting. When choosing the right pair of boots, one should consider what they are being used for. There are boots designed based on the season and hunting style. Waterproof boots are made for hunting in wet conditions. Boots with added insulation are made for cold weather. Boots with extra support are for uneven terrain.

  • Upland boots – or otherwise known as hiking boots. This kind of boots was made for light activity and constructed to maintain comfort and support for long miles of hiking.
  • High country boots – contrary to the upland boot type, high country boots were made for heavy activity and terrains that are steeper, rougher, and higher. Undoubtedly, these boots are made for big game hunters that do their hunting at high altitudes.
  • Overboots – these boots can be slipped on for additional warmth during cold days. Overboots also provide an extra layer of protection for all types of weather.
  • Rubber boots – when hunting involves wading through a swamp or marsh, a good pair of waterproof hunting boots can keep you as clean and comfortable as you possibly can.

All of these factors can play a significant role in determining which boots are the best fit for you. The usability of a good pair of hunting boots stretches far beyond their actual fit. Remember to consider your needs and look for the highest quality in what you choose to buy.

There are a plethora of reviews and first-hand accounts when it comes to selecting the very best in hunting boots. As seen in our review section, top brands of hunting boots include Irish Setter, Muck Boots, Columbia, and LaCrosse.

Consider the testimony of Ron Spomer, someone who knows the ins and outs of the hunting industry.

Do you like hunting with a bow? There is one thing very important for the bow hunter that is how to choose the Best Bow Stabilizers. This article can help you!

Final Review of the Best Hunting Boots

So what are the Best Hunting Boots for you?

OUR TOP CHOICE

When you are picking out which boots you think will work best for you, remember to consider what you are in need of. In my experience, a tall boot that has the versatility to fold down is one of the best items in my hunting repertoire. Added to that, I like a boot that is both waterproof and has the adjustable gusset giving me the option to either tighten or loosen the material around my calves as needed.

Whatever your needs may be, always be sure to do the proper research and check with the experts who make it their life’s work to know what makes an excellent hunting boot.

That is Hunting boot, how about hunting backpack? You can read more about how to choose the Best Hunting Backpacks here or some of Best Tactical Backpacks here!

Last update on 2021-09-21 at 02:35 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

By Captain Hunter

Captain Hunter provides guides on how to hunt effectively, answer reader questions, and reviews of the latest hunting gear. We specialize in providing expert information that does exactly what it claims. Our dedicated staff members are each seasoned professionals with a passion for hunting built upon years of in the field experience.

18 comments

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  2. Thank you for this research! I have the Under Armour boots and really like them. The colours are great and really suitable for hunting on a rainy day.

    what do you think about Tretorn boots? why wasn’t it included/picked? because i relly like them too.

  3. Hunting boots are no ordinary hiking boots. It is highly recommended that you invest in good hunting boots for your comfort on the hunting field.

  4. Hallow..
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