How To Pick Hunting Boots | A Champion’s Guide

You’ve planned everything for your perfect hunt game. Yet you’re lost when it comes to choosing a perfect pair of hunting boots. With all the myriad variations and fancy features that are available in the market.  Do you keep questioning yourself on how to pick hunting boots?
“Well, there is no “one fit for all” solution. We recommend buying different hunting boots for every season to make a difference. You can’t get away with buying one hunting boot pair for the whole year.
 
You need waterproof boots if you plan to hunt in marshlands. For an elk hunting trip, you can not use cold hunting boots. Don’t be afraid of spending a lot of money on your shoes. Because those willing to pay in first place save a lot in the long run and perform well on the trip.”
 
As people like me cannot afford extra pair of hunting boots. Let’s discuss various types and features that make a hunting boot an ideal choice for you.

How To Pick Hunting Boots?

While choosing a hunting boot, you should have an idea about various types of hunting boots that are available in the market. We’ve mentioned below different types of hunting footwear that will surely open up a new dimension that can help you choose to shop the perfect pair hunting of boots for your next occasion.

Leather Boots: Uninsulated | Lightly Insulated Boots

Leather Hunting Boots
Credit: @franks_shoes
You should consider them if you’re planning a warm-weather hunting field trip. The most significant advantage of these is that you get excellent ankle support. Furthermore, with good ankle support, leather boots are lightweight hunting boots as well.
Whether you plan to hunt bucks in mountainous terrain or want to go for an early season elk hunt in a flat country. The uninsulated leather boots got you covered.

Field Boots Aka Backpacking Boots:

field boots
@footzonenyc
Ideal for warm and late-season. They’re insulated and Gore-Tex hiking boots. They are heavy. If you are planning to carry heavy backpacks, then these boots might be a great option.

Field boots are designed with a focus on the upper. So you can enjoy excellent breathability and durability.

Pac Boots:

Pac boots
@schnees_hunt
Pac boots are named after a moccasin-type soft shoe, worn inside an outer boot. They come with a removable inner lining. These linings are a great source to keep your feet warm in the extreme cold.
You can even change these liners if they get wet. Not only they’re lightweight but are water repellent as well. Its outer sole provides traction when you’re walking on the snow or in icy conditions.
Knee-high Rubber Boots Aka Muck Boots:
muck boots
@jaktia
Both insulated and uninsulated variations of the boot are available in the market. If you’re planning for bow hunting, you should consider this pair. Because the synthetics are scent-free so you won’t give your scent away.
 
They are waterproof that makes them ideal for wet country hunting. Unfortunately, no ankle support is there. That is why rubber boots are not recommended for mountainous terrains.
 

Wading Boots:

wading boots
@lemouching
They are waterproof boots designed for duck hunting or can be worn by someone who spends a long time in the waters. Wading boots are like hiking boots.
 
Moreover, they’re super comfy, so your ankle/calves won’t ache while standing for too long in cold water. Wading boots don’t soak water. So get ready to witness dry feet and enjoy a pleasant ride way back home.
 

Upland Boots:

upland boots
@rossanorusso
Are you focused on hunting upland birds and want to spend most of your time on flatlands? Then they are the right fit for you.
 
Lightweight and comfortable, that’s what makes them unique.
So you’re always ready to chase and knock down the birds you’ve been stalking for hours.
 

Snake Boots:

snake boots
@garybaham
If you’re planning to hunt in swamps or marshes. Then you must consider wearing a boot that protects you from a poisonous snake bite! Because you don’t want the fangs penetrating the boot.
 
Encountering a snake while hunting is usual, so you need to take extra measures in that case. Snake boots are made up of special materials, i.e. Puncture-proof material. Moreover, they have an extended collar. They are knee-high boots, so you feel protected on your hunting trip.
 

Jungle Boots:

Jungle Boots
@workwearhub
Military styled jungle boots are water-resistant. They are lightweight and comfortable. They are suitable to wear in water and can be a perfect fit if you plan to do a long-distance hike.
 
No other boots can provide the same comfortability and durability as jungle boots. Your feet might get wet if you wear them in water but don’t worry; it has a drainage vent that makes them dry instantly.
 

Rules Of Choosing Ideal Hunting Boots:

We learned about different types of hunting boots, hopefully, till now you might understand how to pick hunting boots for your hunting game.  Now let’s discuss some rules that you can apply when purchasing the next pair of boots for yourself.
 

How fit your boots should be?

Are you wondering how should hunting boots fit? If yes, then you must understand that you won’t be wearing your go-to socks when on the hunt. You’ll probably be wearing a thicker pair of wool socks or a boot liner. If you wear misfitting footwear, you won’t be comfortable during the hunt, and you’ll end up with sore feet.
This can turn into a disaster soon, so make sure to buy boots that fit you well. So, whenever you buy hunting footwear. You need to make sure that your hunting boot’s size is slightly larger than your average foot size. So it can fit your needs while hunting.

What kind of material do you need to look for in hunting boots?

You can choose from a wide variety of materials when it comes to hunting boots. In most cases, all the boots are made up of more than one material so you can witness the excellent performance.
 
Leather boots in the past were trendy among hunters. But their popularity has declined in recent years. Some reasons for their popularity are durability, feet protection. Additionally, they last longer than your average hunting shoes, etc. They’re heavy, which is why leather boots are not the ideal choice for specific conditions.
Given that, Mesh boots are lightweight compared to leather boots. They are not waterproof, but they get dry very quickly. If you’re planning to walk continuously or spot and stalk, then you should check em out.
 
To all the deer hunters out there, we have something special for you too. Rubber boots should be your absolute choice when you’re planning on hunting a buck. They are scent-free so while wearing them you don’t need to worry about giving your scent away.

Rubber boots are waterproof as well, and now you can hunt in swamps without worrying about your feet getting wet.

 

Type Of Boot Soles:

You need a firm and inflexible sole if you want to be fast while chasing an elk on steep lands. But, soft and flexible sole is valued while hunting on open grounds as you will be stalking silently.
 
For swamp and marshland, you should consider an open sole pattern. Mud won’t clog up in your boots, and as a result, they won’t get bulky.
 

Price:

When it comes to pricing, let me leave it to you. You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on a pair of boots, neither you can’t get away buying cheaper boots. You can stay and float in the mid-range.

If you’re on a shoestring budget, it is recommended to buy budget hunting boots with good reviews. Honestly, in this case, you get what you pay for. If you want boots with reliable materials, a sole that will be long-lasting. Then you should invest in expensive hunting boots.

 

Ankle Support:

Hunting is an energetic task, and you need to put a lot of effort into it. Sometimes one must continuously walk on steep terrains or stand for long hours.
 
In such cases; wearing hunting boots with poor ankle support won’t don’t anything good for your hunting trip. Instead, you will end up getting sore feet, ankle sprain, and other problems.

It is highly recommended that you invest in boots that provide comfortability and excellent ankle support. In this way, you can fully enjoy the hunt.

 

Weight:

Lightweight Boots:

Weight matters a lot here. Especially when you’re stalking an elk; you need your pair of boots to be extra lightweight. A heavyweight boot in this case can increase your chance to return empty-handed from the hunt.
 
Each extra pound added up to your boot will make you slow, and it will cause a problem for you in the end. Especially if you want to spot and stalk for long hours.
 

Heavyweight Boots:

While on the other hand, you need heavyweight boots if you’re planning to walk in sloppy snow. In this case, heavyweight boots will be a perfect choice and won’t let you slip in harsh snowy terrains.
 

Traction:

If you’re hunting around too slippery terrains. The chances of a successful hunt rely on your boots’ and the type of traction they provide.
 
Always lookout for the hunting boots that offer good traction so you can make a slip-free movement. If you don’t take it seriously or wear boots that don’t provide good traction, you might get a twisted ankle.
 

Durability:

When buying a pair of boots, don’t stay back to save some bucks. Cheap quality hunting boots don’t last long, and you’ll regret your decision in the future.
 
You don’t want your hunting boots to tear apart after your first hunt. Always invest in the excellent build quality boots that will hold out for years.
 

Boot Insulation:

The insulation of your shoes depends on the weather and your needs. Different levels of insulation are discussed below.
 

Uninsulated Or Insulation Upto 200 Grams:

For deer hunting in summer, you should consider buying uninsulated shoes. Or if you’re looking for an insulated boot, make sure the insulation amount is below 200 grams.
 

Insulation From 400 To 800 Grams:

Consider hunting boots with an insulation grade of 400 grams up to 800 grams for fall or late summer hunts.

Insulation From 1000 Grams Or Above:

For the cold winter season, you cannot rely on the pair of boots stated above. It would be best to have a pair of boots with an insulation grade of 1000 grams or above for a harsh cold season. The extra weight will provide a little painful experience while walking. Overall, it will keep your feet warm, and that is all you want.
 

Waterproof:

Wet feet are the biggest problem when it comes to hunting in marshland. You don’t only feel uncomfortable, but your chances to carry out a successful hunt get very low. That is why you need water-resistant hunting boots.
 
Make sure the boots are made up of Gore-Tex lining [It is a waterproof breathable membrane). If you hike continuously, it will create heat inside your shoes. As a result, there will be moisture inside your boots.
 
In that case, consider moisture-wicking technology to eliminate this problem.
 

Height:

Short Heightened:

When hunting on flatlands, you can go for short heightened, lightweight boots.

Long Boots:

For wetlands with harsh winters, you need to protect your feet. In such conditions consider buying the longest hunting boot.
 

Conclusion:

To sum up, You now understand that a pair of hunting boots can make or break your hunt. Here are some of the reasons;
 
  1. Foot pain.
  2. Not enough arch support.
  3. Wet feet. (You don’t want your feet getting wet when hunting in marshland or on rainy days)
After discussing many different types of boots for various conditions. It all comes down to your preference to choose a perfect pair of hunting boots for you. For me, I prefer lightweight boots that are water-resistant as well.
Lightweight boots provide a comfortable experience while hunting. While the waterproof exterior protects my feet from getting wet.
 
Honestly, it’s not easy to choose a pair of boots that fit all your needs. I hope this guide about ” How to pick hunting boots” will make things easy for you. If you have any problems or queries, feel free to comment below.

FAQs

What are hunting boots?

Hunting boots are the boots that can survive the toughest of your hunting experience regardless of the terrain, harsh weather conditions, and your hunting actions. 

How long do hunting boots last?

Nothing lasts forever. Likewise, hunting boots also have a limited life of a maximum of 10 years. However, the longevity of the boots entirely depends on the cost factor and the material used to make the hunting boots. 

How much Thinsulate do I need for hunting boots?

Thinsulate determines how long it can keep your feet warm. For extreme weather conditions, 2,000 grams of Thinsulate is preferable. On the contrary, 200 grams is recommended for fall nights and summer season. 

What’s the difference between hunting boots and hiking boots?

Hiking boots and hunting boots differ in terms of fitness, insulation, ventilation, toughness, and shape. However, the key difference is the support they provide. Hiking boots are gentle with your ankle support while hunting boots offer you impeccable comfort and safety.

How can I stretch my hunting boots?

The best option is to use a boot stretcher for stretching your boots. If you’re too lazy to do it by yourself the gear stores do it for you. Some other great ways include applying alcohol with the help of cotton balls and using a hairdryer.

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