Hunting can be one of the most rewarding outdoor sports. Not only do you get a chance to bond with nature in a unique way, but you can also provide food for your family for months to come. Not only is wild game a great way to provide for your family but it can have the added benefit of being free from hormones, antibiotics and other things that modern livestock usually feature. All of these qualities of wild game make hunting an even better option for feeding your household.
When you get ready to head out for the day one of the last items that you put on may be your hunting boots. While your boots may not be the first thing you think about when purchasing hunting gear, they should be one of the top priorities. If you lose a lot of heat through your feet, it can lower your body temperature leading to increased risk of cold injuries. 63% of all temperature-related deaths in the United States are cold injuries, so playing with the cold is not something any hunter should do.
Top Hunting Boots Comparison Chart
Poor quality hunting boots can leave you with a whole host of problems. If you fail to choose a hunting boot that is appropriate to your climate you may end up with frozen feet, blisters, or trench foot. All of these can be easily avoided with proper quality footwear.
How do you decide on the best hunting boots for you? If you don’t know where to start, or have decided that your current boot just isn’t performing the way you want, here is what to look at when getting a new set of boots.
Choosing a Hunting Boot
There are several elements that should be considered when choosing a hunting boot. All of them are important and should be taken into account before you spend your hard-earned money on a pair of boots. There may be a temptation to get the cheapest pair of hunting boots you can find at your local department store, but by doing that you risk cutting your hunt short due to poor foot care.
The material, insulation, height, waterproofness, and breathability are all important aspects of a hunting boot. Each one will take a different priority depending on the terrain where you will be hunting. Let’s take a look at each element with a little more detail and see which choice will be best for you.
The materials that your boot is made from can greatly change the functionality of your hunting boot. Typically, hunting boots are made from either nylon, leather, or rubber. Some hunting boots are a combination of materials. Almost all boots will feature a rubber sole.
Choosing the material that works best in your environment is going to be your best bet. Because of its natural waterproofness, many hunters use rubber boots to hunt in wet, and muddy terrain. Though some prefer the durability of a leather hunting boot over their rubber counterparts.
Most boots will feature nylon at flex or stretch points on the boot, typically around the calf. If the boot is designed to have more breathability, it may feature nylon on the sides of the boot as well. Rarely are high-quality hunting boots made entirely of nylon.
When discussing insulation for footwear, there are three main contenders for performance insulation. Gore-Tex, Thinsulate, and CR-FlexFoam (Neoprene). Each of these offers different functional features within the boot and different thermal ratings.
Gore-tex is a microporous membrane that is surrounded by a laminate. The microporous membrane of the Gore-Tex has 9 billion pores per square inch and allows the fabric to be breathable, windproof and waterproof. The membrane is sandwiched between the laminate which usually consists of an outer layer and the inner lining. If you want to know more about the Gore-Tex options in hunting boots, you can visit Gore-Tex.
A thin compressed insulation that can be on the inner lining of the boot. Thinsulate is rated in grams and varies from 200g to 2000g. The higher the grams of Thinsulate, the more that it will protect against cold.
A compressed neoprene that has rubber sheets glued and molded into the shoe and serves as an insulator. This is a highly waterproof insulation but usually, requires the wearer to be active to provide the ultra-low-temperature insulation.
High-end hunting boots will combine two or more insulations to create a solid cold, wind, and water barrier for your foot. Some of the boots feature an active temperature rating (typically seen with CR-FlexFoam and Neoprene insulation) which is the temperature they will function at when the user is actively walking around. The rating significantly drops when you sit still and would not be good for tree stand hunting.
When considering which height for your boot to get, you want to consider what types of ground hazards you will encounter.
In Georgia, there is always a lot of foliage on the ground and a lot of snakes. A short boot is not going to protect much against a striking snake. There have been plenty of legs saved from bites, scratches brambles and other ground hazards by having the right height on a hunting boot.
If you’re ice fishing or hunting on the hardpack in Michigan, the chances are that these types of ground hazards are not going to play a significant role in your selection of a boot and an ankle length or 8-inch boot will suit your needs just fine.
It will all come down to personal preference in the end. Ensuring that you get a boot that is comfortable and functional at the height you bought is a good way to get more than one season out of your hunting boot.
Don’t buy a boot that isn’t waterproof. Don’t be fooled by the label that says it is water resistant either. All that means is it is just a little less than waterproof. You will eventually get rained on, step in a puddle, get snowed on, step in the muck or something else where you will wish you had a good waterproof boot. If it is not rated waterproof, keep looking.
This is really important for those who hunt in hotter climates. Hog season is year round in most states because of the feral hog populations exploding, and you want to make sure your feet aren’t sweating up a storm in your boots. If you know that you are going to be hunting in the Texas summer, get a good breathable boot. There are plenty of Gore-Tex models that promote high breathability while maintaining their waterproof integrity.
Best Hunting Boots Reviews
Now you have a rundown of the must-have featured on hunting boots. Remember to consider your climate and terrain before making your purchase. This guide is going to walk you through the best hunting boots of 2017. Paying attention to all of the essential features mentioned above. Let’s see what you should strap on your feet this hunting season.
Danner Pronghorn Realtree
With the Danner Pronghorn Realtree hunting boot your feet are going to be warm in almost every weather condition. These boots feature both a Gore-Tex liner and 1200g of Thinsulate insulation. This is one of the highest Thinsulate ratings that you can get in boots meaning that you will enjoy them even in the coldest of weather.
Danner uses leather and a mossy oak nylon combination on these boots. They have a rubber sole that is designed to provide great traction. The 8-inch boot will be good for walking or tree stand hunting. They are designed for rugged use with full grain leather toe and heel caps. Unfortunately, the toe caps can wear out even with the full grain leather on them.
These hunting boots are true to size, which is rare for a hunting boot. You can be sure that when you order these, your shoes will fit as expected. The fit is even better when you can easily lace and unlace them with wonderfully designed fast lacing. Danner has made a high-quality boot that will stand up to anything you can throw at it.
- 1200g Thinsulate
- Leather and Nylon
- Toes Can Wear Quickly
Irish Setter Havoc
The Irish Setter Havoc is a great all utility hunting boot for those who are going to be hunting in moderate to cool climates. This boot features both a Gore-Tex liner and 800g of Thinsulate Ultra. Your feet will stay warm and dry in these boots all season long.
The 10-inch hunting boot is designed to be used in all conditions and features full grain leather uppers, and Mossy Oak patterned nylon. The black rubber sole is highly flexible and is designed for comfort while trecking through the woods, climbing, or sitting in a tree stand. There is a removable insole so you can fit a custom insole in the shoe if you want for added comfort.
These shoes run both narrow and small. If you have wide feet, you may want to go to the store to try these on or be prepared to try on a few of them before finding the right fit. If you like to double up your socks, make sure you are ordering a size up or more.
- 800g Thinsulate Ultra
- Rugged Sole
- Can run Narrow
- Runs Small
The LaCrosse AeroHead boots are rugged-soled knee-high boots that feature a mixture of neoprene and rubber. The soles of these boots by LaCrosse are the real star of this boot. They are non-loading mud traction soles. No matter what type of muck you happen to track through, you aren’t going to have a bunch of it caked to the bottom of your feet. This makes for great traction in muddy and wet environments.
The shell of these rubber boots looks sharp compared to similar rubber boots. LaCrosse really took the time to design a good-looking rubber boot. They don’t have the typical molded feel to them either, which is a nice surprise. If you want a rubber boot that doesn’t look like a generic boot, these are for you.
These do have neoprene insulation which is the only downside to the LaCrosse boots. The neoprene performs well when you are trecking through the woods or swamp, but if you are in a tree stand, you may feel like you don’t have enough cold protection on your feet. These are not designed for very cold weather and will be better suited for hunters in warmer climates.
Like many other hunting boots, these run small. If you plan on ordering these online order at least a half-size up, some found that a full-size up was needed. When the sizing works out these are extremely comfortable boots. They have the right amount of flexibility and support.
- Non-Loading Mud Traction Outsole
- Abrasion Resistant Shell
- 5 mm Neoprene Insulation
- Runs Small
Kenetrek Mountain Extreme
The Kenetrek Mountain Extreme is an all leather outsole hunting boot. It features a 7 mm nylon midsole to provide extra support on the arch of the foot. The midsole may not be enough as many people found that these boots felt very stiff. The tough rubber outsole is designed to be extra abrasion resistant. And because of that, the shoes can seem kind of stiff and inflexible. These will require breaking in to become a comfortable hunting boot.
The Mountain Extreme begins to shine when you look at the leather construction of the boot. It utilizes a one piece vamp with no seams to make sure it is extra abrasion resistant and water proof. All leather makes them a high-quality boot that those with an appreciation for leather craftsmanship will surely appreciate.
These boots are entire leather and have a rugged rubber lining and sole. They are rugged and hold up to the toughest wear and tear. These are firm because of the tough material designed to stand up to any terrain that you throw their way.
- One-Piece Vamp With No Seams
- Great Traction
- Insoles are Firm
- Inflexible Sole
Wolverine Prairie Trekker
The Wolverine Prairie Trekker is a leather and nylon boot. This waterproof boot features a steel toe, which can be a downside if you only plan on using these boots to hunt. For those who may want a boot that can be used at work and in the field, this is the perfect boot for you.
The boot features 600g of Thinsulate and is an 8-inch boot. The soles are slip resistant and should provide good traction on any surface. One of the nicest features of the boot is the solid leather look you get from the ankle down. The nylon on the boot is only visible if you tuck your pants into your boot. These boots are a nice all purpose hunting boot.
The Wolverines do run small or may require a break in period. Be prepared to give these shoes some love before wearing them all day. You don’t want to skip the break in period on these boots.
- 600g Thinsulate
- Solid Leather Look
- Steel Toe
- May run small or require break in
MuckBoots Woody Max
The Muckboots Woody Max is a pull on hunting boot that features a waterproof shaft and upper. The topline of the boot is a stretch-fit designed to help make it easy to get on and off. The outsole of the boot features molded rubber that won’t pick up or hold dirt.
The Woody Max is waterproof and perfect for those who are in swampy and wet conditions. They are rated to -40* F but this is an active insulation rating. If you plan on doing a lot of tree-stand or blind hunting this boot may not have enough insulation for you. There is a 2mm thermal foam underlay and have 8 mm CR-FlexFoam for insulation. The neoprene insulation is not the best insulation, but it works well for those who plan to do a lot o walking on their hunt.
The topline of the boot does provide stretch, but it is designed to keep a tight seal around your legs to keep out any snow or moisture. The Woody Max boots should fit just above your calf and provide a lot of protection for your legs as well as feet. These may be some of the driest boots that you can purchase. They provide a good flex because they are a neoprene boot.
- Rated to -40*
- Good Flex
- Tight Fit
- Gets Cold When Still
Kamik Hunter Boot
Kamik makes a knee-high hunting boot that measures 13-inches tall. This rubber work boot features a nylon topper that can be synched down to ensure no snow or moisture make it into the boot. The sync cord is very convenient for when you are wearing different clothing on your hunts, or even as you remove layers on a hunt. You want to be able to secure that seal and not allow any snow inside the boot.
The nice thing about this boot is that it has a removable 8 mm thermal guard liner. The removable liner means that this hunting boot can be used year round without your feet getting too hot or too cold. The hunter boot by Kamik is also waterproof and has a -40* rating. This is not an active thermal rating because the thermal guard liner is designed to work both when you’re walking and when you’re still.
These boots run small. If you are looking to order them, you may want to order a full size up. They are also narrow, so when ordering wide sizes, you will want to consider ordering extra wide. They are very small when you use the thermal lining. To make sure you get the full benefit of the thermal lining be sure to order a size up at least.
The boots are heavier than other boots you may have used. Be prepared to adjust to the heavier boot. If you plan on spending a lot of time walking or hiking these boots may tire you out rather quickly. Adjusting the weight may take time, but it is worth it because of the durability of this great boot.
- 8 mm Thermal-Guard Liner
- Rated -40*F
- Run Small
Bogs make a great waterproof hunting boot with their Bowman hunting boot. These 14.5-inch hunting boots are a blend of rubber and textile offering you both durability and comfort. The rubber soles on the Bowmans offer you great traction on almost any terrain allowing you to go anywhere with these boots.
Bogs went the extra length to pack in some extra features into these boots. They have an easy slip-on handle which allows you to pull the boot on without any struggle. The handle design on these boots is a unique feature that shouldn’t be discounted. It really is convenient when trying to pull on a boot over thick socks or pants.
These boots also have a max-wick lining with air mesh that is designed to wick moisture away from your foot and keep you dry. When using a rubber and neoprene boot, this is a great quality to incorporate. If you don’t have moisture-wicking, the neoprene boots can get humid and stuffy. Bogs did a great job making sure your feet don’t feel like they are suffocating in these boots.
Bogs Bowman boots have a 6mm neoprene insulation. This type of insulation is very effective while active, but loses its insulative capacity when you are still. These would probably leave a cold tree stand hunter wanting warmer boots in the dead of winter. As long as you are up and moving your feet should stay plenty warm.
- Moisture Wicking
- Odor Block
- Neoprene Insulation
- Runs Big
MuckBoots Arctic Pro
The MuckBoots Arctic Pro is designed to be used in very cold temperatures. The boots are rated at an active use temperature of -50* F. That being said, it is an active use temperature rating. If you do the majority of your hunting in a blind or tree stand, these may leave your feet a bit colder than expected.
The boots are waterproof and have reinforcements on the heel, Achilles, and instep. What should have been done was a toe bumper because many found that the toes on the Arctic Pro wore out rather quickly. If you plan on using these daily or in rough terrain, the toes may not withstand the rough use.
The insulation on these boots is an 8 mm CR-FlexFoam. This insulation is good when active but poor when staying still. That being said because this type of insulation is made of multiple layers of neoprene it may hold smells for a long time. It is not the best type of insulation for cold, but it is perfect if you are looking for flexibility in your boot. These are very flexible and provide all-day comfort to the wearer.
- Guaranteed warm at -50* F
- Gets Cold When Not Moving
- Toes Wear Easily
Under Armour H.A.W. Boot
Under Armour is known for producing high-quality athletic wear and they have done the same with their hunting boot. This hunting boot by Under Armor features a nice pull-up strap to help you get the boot on. There is a comfortable memory foam lockdown on the heel to keep the boot in place as you treck through the woods.
The rubber soles of the shoe are non-marking and designed to stand up to rough impacts. They are high abrasion outsoles will help keep you stable even on slick terrain. The rubber toe cap helps ensure that these boots hold up under the harshest use without wearing out.
The Under Armor Hunting Boot is fully waterproof and has a neoprene upper portion. The insulation on the boots is also neoprene. The stretchy upper portion of the boot can be a little delicate, and if you tug on the strap too hard, it could rip. Also, neoprene as an insulator is not the best, so these boots are better suited for warmer climates or active hunters.
Inside the boot, there is an air mesh lining that is designed to let your foot breath. This is a nice element in the boot considering most neoprene boots can feel a little stifling. The air mesh lining helps eliminate the stuffy feel that can be associated with neoprene boots.
- Air Mesh Lining
- Memory Foam Lock Down Heel
- Rubber Toe Cap
- Neoprene upper can rip
- Run Small
While all of the boots featured in this review are good quality, some are better suited for certain conditions.
Cold and Wet
If you are looking for a top performer in a cold and wet environment the Danner boot is going to be the best boot for you to choose. This 8-inch boot has both Gore-Tex and 1200g Thinsulate ensuring that your feet will stay dry and warm all day long.
If you need a taller boot than the Danner boot, you should take a look at the Kamik Hunter Boot. The Kamik is also a top performer in cold environments, but it has the added advantage of being a tall boot. Kamik also has a removable lining making it ideal for hunters who participate in year-round hunting.
Looking for Leather
Sometimes you just want a good leather boot. This all natural fiber provides wearers with a long lifespan and durability not seen in other fabrics. Kenetrek provides a wonderful hunting boot that is all leather. This boot is 100 % genuine leather with a tough outsole. With the genuine leather this boot does take some time to break in, but for leather lovers, it is well worth it.
When you spend most of your time walking on your hunt you want a boot that is going to keep up with you. The best boot for the active hunter in warm weather is going to be the LaCrosse AeroHead. This boot is perfect for all the walking, and the neoprene insulation will not overheat your feet. The best part about the LaCrosse boot is that it has a lot of flexibility making it a comfortable boot for any long hike.
For cold weather active hunters, the MuckBoots ArcticPro is going to keep you warm no matter how far you hike. This boot is designed to withstand polar temperatures and can keep up with any hunter in the dead of winter. Keep in mind that the neoprene insulation is best when walking so if you plan on doing a lot of tree stand hunting this boot is not going to work for you.
Best All Around Boot
If you are just looking for an all-around boot that you can use to hunt, use to work, or use whenever the best boot for you is going to be the Wolverine Prairie Trekker. This boot does feature 600g of Thinsulate, so it will provide some protection against the cold. But it is not so insulated that your feet will be on fire when you use them in the warmer months. These boots are durable and waterproof and are sure to make any hunter happy with their purchase.
No matter which boot you choose, make sure that it is going to fit your needs. Consider your environment, your hunting style, and what you need from a boot. Don’t be afraid to spend a little bit more on a high-quality hunting boot that is going to last you multiple seasons. There are plenty of good boots out there, but these 10 boots are the cream of the crop.