They say you shouldn’t believe everything you read on the internet, but we’re here to tell you the truth about the best hunting boots for 2022. Few pieces of equipment are as important to your total hunting performance as your boots, so we produced this post to point you in the correct way.
Different boots are designed for a variety of applications, which might be difficult to figure out on your own. That’s why, just for you, we’ve figured out which boots perform best in specific conditions.
We have a recommendation for you, whether you’re a cold-weather hunter looking for the warmest boots or an upland bird hunter who’s just retired your old pair. We’ve also included ideas for big game mountain hunters as well as warm-weather hunters.
As a lifelong hunter who grew up in the backcountry of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, I’ve seen and weathered a wide range of Mother Nature’s challenges. Years of experience have taught me that the boots I wear are quite important.
And over the years, I’ve experimented with a variety of boot styles, with variable degrees of success. As a result, I drew on my extensive knowledge to compile this comprehensive guide to the greatest hunting boots money can buy.
Table of Contents
- What Type of Hunter are You?
- Warmest Hunting Boots for Cold Weather
- Waterproof Rubber Boots for Wet and Muddy Conditions
- Uninsulated Boots for Warm-Weather Hunting
- Lightweight Boots for Upland Hunting
- Rugged Boots for Mountain Hunting
- Factors We Considered When Rating Boots
- Choosing the Right Boot for Your Hunt
- Final Thoughts
What Type of Hunter are You?
The word “hunting boots” refers to a wide range of footwear. While all of the boots on this list are terrific picks, we’ve divided our selection into five distinct categories.
Cold Weather Hunters
I’ve been there before, completely unprepared to hunt in frigid temperatures. Frozen feet will put an end to your quest faster than anything else. Winter weather necessitates the use of equally robust winter boots. Will you commit the same blunder that I did?
Hunters in Wet and Muddy Environments
A nice pair of 100 percent waterproof rubber boots will fit you if you’re a waterfowl hunter climbing through the muck or a Midwest deer hunter who knows they’ll be dragging through the mud. When I go hunting, I usually have a pair of muck boots in my truck since you never know when you’ll run into muddy circumstances.
Warm Weather Hunters
In hot weather, wearing the wrong footwear can result in sweaty feet, blisters, and a miserable time on the field. That’s why we included some uninsulated boots as well as some lightweight boots for individuals who want to carry as little weight as possible in the outdoors.
A sturdy pair of upland boots should always be on hand while hunting pheasant in a grassy field or chasing doves through a farmer’s crop. You want to spend as much time on your feet as possible while bird hunting, and you want to do so comfortably, according to us.
Mountain & Big Game Hunters at High Altitudes
You’ll need a pair of hiking/hunting boots with good shock absorption if you’re hunting large game in the Rocky Mountains (or anywhere else for that matter). The mountains may be hard and unforgiving, and you’ll need a pair of boots that can stand up to the test.
Best Boots for Cold-Weather Hunting Conditions
Pronghorns have been associated with hunting success all around the world for numerous generations, and the tradition continues with the latest generation of Pronghorns. These are excellent elk hunting boots, and I use them on later-season excursions.
However, it isn’t just me. Professional guides I know wear these year after year, and they always perform no matter what kind of weather or terrain they face. I am most comfortable recommending for the Danner Pronghorns out of all of the recommendations on this list.
Insulation is available from Danner in a variety of forms. You’ll need at least 800 grammes for extreme cold weather, and you may need up to 1200 grammes if your feet get cold. These GORE-TEX hunting boots are also among the most comfortable on the market. The cloth is used as a weather-proof lining that allows your feet to breathe while keeping them dry.
Rubber Boots for Wet & Mucky Conditions
A good pair of rubber boots makes the task much easier, whether you’re a waterfowl hunter looking for something to get through the mud and muck or a deer hunter anticipating needing to operate in water and mud. In these conditions, there’s no reason to wear your pricey leather boots.
Muck Boot Woody Arctic Ice Extreme
The Original Muck Boot Company is the leading manufacturer of high-quality rubber boots in the world. These boots have been tested and proven to work in the most extreme weather situations.
The Woody Arctic Ice Extreme is comprised of rubber and neoprene and has a temperature rating of -60 degrees Fahrenheit. As a result, these boots are ideal for cold, icy, and muddy weather, as the neoprene keeps your feet and legs warm while still keeping them dry. They also adjust well to your foot, resulting in a pleasant fit.
I wear muck boots for a variety of reasons, but I especially love wearing them when I don’t have to walk a great distance. They are comfortable, however on lengthy backcountry excursions they leave something to be desired.
LaCross AlphaBurly Pro
Because of the increased breathability, a small amount of warmth must be sacrificed. With that stated, I went goose hunting in -5 degrees this winter while wearing these boots, and my feet never got chilly.
These boots are ideal for folks who require waterproof protection from the tips of their toes to the top of their leg. They’re advertised as “fragrance-free,” but I assume that’s mainly because they haven’t yet come into contact with my feet.
Uninsulated Boots for Warm-Weather
The following suggestions are for archery, bowhunting, and other hunters that plan on putting in a lot of kilometres in hot weather. The comfort, breathability, and durability of these boots are all top priorities.
Zamberlain 4014 Lynx Mid-GTX BOA
In terms of quality, dependability, and comfort, Zamberlain is without a doubt my favourite boot. These are without a doubt the best archery hunting boots I’ve ever worn. Zamberlain boots are handcrafted, and a quality control department ensures that each pair is flawless.
Because of the attention to detail, this could be your final archery and warm-weather hunting boot if properly cared for. Year after year, Zamberlains maintain their shape. Because this mid-high boot is 9″ tall and has ample of ankle covering to bear large loads across difficult terrain, ankle support is not an issue.
They also have the BOA lacing system, which lets you tighten and loosen your boot with the turn of a dial, saving you time on the field. The Gore-Tex liner keeps your feet dry while also allowing moisture to escape, making them ideal for hot weather.
Keen Durand II
A good pair of Keens is a must-have for any hunting footwear collection. While putting in those backcountry kilometres on a hot day, these all-terrain boots are lightweight and comfortable, making your feet an afterthought.
These boots are particularly appealing to me since, despite their low weight, they provide a lot of support. Their footbed has plenty of arch support, and their mid-ankle support helps them to carry heavy loads over rough terrain. This makes them ideal elk and deer boots for warm-weather seasons.
Their unique KeenDry technology keeps water out while removing moisture from the inside of the boot. For individuals with sweaty or hot feet, I highly recommend these boots. Many users say these boots are great for people with large feet, which can be difficult to find in hunting boots.
Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX
On long, hot hunts and hikes, these Salomons offer a terrific tennis-shoe feel and are perfect for supporting your arches and ankles. Because of the way they fit and support your feet, these are the ideal combination of quality and comfort.
I’ve worn these boots for archery hunts and off-season trekking and have had no issues. These, in my opinion, shine in wet and slick conditions and provide excellent traction and grip. These characteristics are critical when transporting heavy loads over long distances.
They are not completely waterproof, but because they are breathable, they dry rapidly. This is ideal for sweaty feet and people who plan to get their feet wet while running long distances. For sweaty feet, I recommend pairing these boots with a decent pair of sock liners.
Best Boots for Upland Hunting
Upland hunting in dense, bristly terrain necessitates a special style of boot: one that protects your feet from bush, marsh, and muck while being comfortable and allowing you to travel great distances. The following boots I’ve recommended will live up to these expectations and will be acceptable for your next hunt for quail, pheasant, grouse, and other game birds.
Irish Setter Wingshooter
Years ago, the Wingshooter Irish Setter boot helped put this brand on the map. Bird hunters have used these boots for generations, and the consensus remains the same: this top-rated hunting boot takes care of your feet, period.
This full-grain boot will last for years if properly cared for. It’s also waterproof and has great traction. It’s a superb bird hunting footwear because of these features.
This traditional pair of Wingshooter upland hunting boots is tried and true, and you can’t go wrong with them.
Factors We Considered When Considering Boots
We did the legwork for you by putting this selection of boots through the same stringent tests. What characteristics distinguish a decent hunting boot? What did we think of each pair of boots? These are excellent questions.
Our criteria are as follows:
Hunting is a difficult task. It’s even more difficult if you spend all day fussing with your feet. The comfort of your feet will be an afterthought if you pair them with a comfortable pair of boots and hunting socks. Some boots, while tough as nails, are simply too uncomfortable to wear, which is why they didn’t make our list.
If you’re like me, you put a lot of wear and tear on your hunting gear. That’s because hunting, whether for deer, elk, or ducks, necessitates long distances travelled while carrying heavy packs. The boots on this list are built to withstand the harshest circumstances you can throw at them.
A case of damp feet will spoil a backwoods hunt faster than anything else. Mucky feet are not only unpleasant, but they can also lead to blisters and other severe foot problems. As a result, we didn’t include footwear that didn’t allow for enough ventilation and airflow. If you have naturally sweaty feet, these sock liners will effectively drain moisture away from your feet.
Rubber is a long-lasting, impermeable, and easy-to-clean material. Its breathability and inability to adjust to your feet are disadvantages. Rubber boots are therefore best for short-distance applications.
Leather is a strong material, which is why it’s a great choice for hunting boots. Leather is also a comfy material since it moulds to your feet over time. Leather boots are great for long-distance hiking and hunting because of this.
GORE-TEX: The main feature of this material is that it is not only windproof and waterproof, but also extremely breathable. GORE-TEX technology, simply put, keeps feet warm and dry.
Nylon: Nylon boots are lightweight and allow for optimum airflow. For warm-weather boots, the material is ideal. It can mould itself to the shape of your feet for maximum comfort.
Many of the suggestions on this list will incorporate a variety of these materials. We like boots that are made out of both nylon and leather since they are the most comfortable hunting boots.
Insulated vs. Non-Insulated: What’s the Difference?
When choosing a hunting boot, it’s critical to choose the right level of insulation. Again, having damp and soggy feet is inconvenient, and not having enough insulation might result in cold toes. Pay attention to the amount of insulation provided by the boot.
As a result, various persons have varying insulation needs, as some people’s feet are cooler than others.
As a general rule of thumb:
400g: For hunts with various temperatures, such as late September hunts 800g: For hunts with varying temperatures, such as late September hunts For late-season hunts where bad weather is a possibility
1000g+: For chilly feet and hunts where the temperature is expected to remain constantly below freezing
Length of Boot
Low-Cut Boot: Ideal for archery hunters and hunters who need to stalk their target quickly.
Ankle-High Boot: Suitable for nearly all hunting situations. It is impossible to overestimate the value of ankle support.
Keep the outside, well, outside with a knee-high boot. Knee-high boots are ideal for situations when you want the dirt and debris to stay outside of your shoe.
Many archery hunters I know favour low-cut sneaker-style footwear. Most people, on the other hand, should examine if their boots provide enough support to prevent their ankles from rolling. This is especially true while transporting heavy loads.
I’ve heard that this boot is simpler to break in than that one. I would encourage you to keep in mind that this is a personal preference, and everyone’s feet are different. It’s for this reason that I always recommend giving your boots some time to break in. Allow them to get to know your feet. Some boots break in more quickly than others, but it’s better to be prepared than to be six miles into the backcountry with blisters.
As a general rule of thumb for breaking in:
5-10 miles in nylon boots
10-30 miles in leather
5-30 kilometres of mixed material
5-10 kilometres of rubber
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