Aug 212016

best hunting boots reviewsSome of my least favorite hunting experiences can be blamed on the same bad decision: not wearing my best hunting boots. You don’t really appreciate having dry feet until you’ve soaked yours crossing a creek in late November.

And I’m still not sure I understand why a metal tree stand in the wind feels like a block of ice through your boots. In this article I’ll discuss the most important features of boots for hunters, and review some of the best ones from RedHead, Irish Setter, Rocky, and Lacrosse.

Important Features of Hunting Boots

When it comes to hunting boots, some features are more important than others. Here are the key things I’m looking for.

  • Insulation. For most of us, by the time hunting season rolls around, some form of insulation is desirable. On occasion, especially if I’m scouting, a lighter uninsulated boot will do the job. But for a full day in the stand, especially in late fall or winter, insulation is key. Most boots have Thinsulate, a synthetic, water-resistant, thermal insulating fiber from 3M. Hunting boots might have 400 to 800 grams of Thinsulate, and obviously more grams means more insulation.
  • Waterproofing. There are few hunting situations where you won’t want a waterproof boot. There are creeks, ponds, and marshes. The one that really surprises me is dew. Crossing a grassy field on a cool morning gets your feet as soaked as anything. Waterproof boots go a long way to keeping your feet comfortable, but keep in mind that they’re only as waterproof as they are tall.
  • Outsole. This is the fancy word for the tread of the boot, which will usually be rubber. It’s sturdy, quiet, and provides a good grip. Rubber also leaves minimal scent behind, which is something us deerhunters are always obsessing over.
  • Fasteners. Laces, zippers, and/or buckles all have their pros and cons. Laces might be the most secure, but they take the longest (and are tough to do with freezing-cold fingers). Zippers are quick and convenient, but they’re usually metal (and I try to avoid carrying any metal I can).
  • Cushioning. A contoured, cushioned interior of the boot will keep you comfortable on long treks and across rough terrain.
  • Materials and patterns. Most of us are going to opt for brown leather or else a camo pattern, possibly a combination of both. Nothing beats good quality leather when it comes to boots, but leather’s also heavy. New, lightweight fabrics in camo patterns are probably worth a look.


Hunting Boot Reviews

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RedHead Osage II Hunting Boots

 hunting boots reviews
Redhead is the house brand of Bass Pro Shops, and I’ve been universally impressed by the quality of their products. The reason for that, I think, is the materials. These boots are made from full grain leather and 1000 denier nylon, with a rubber outsole and molded, shock-absorbing midsole. They’re waterproof and absorb odor, making these a solid choice for deer hunters. They’re tall enough (9″) to cross a shallow creek or stream without spilling over.

  • 1000 denier nylon and full grain leather upper part
  • Cambrelle moisture wicking lining
  • Rubber outsole and shock-absorbing EVA midsole
  • Odor-absorbing footbed
  • Bone-Dry 100% waterproof membrane
 Hunting boots
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LaCrosse AlphaBurly Sport Neoprene Hunting Boots

 hunting boots reviews
LaCrosse is a well-known brand and these are their most-reviewed hunting boots on BassPro. These are your marsh boots, your creek-crossers, with 18″ height, waterproof rubber construction, and form-fitting Neoprene insulation. They’re also good for rugged terrain, due to the “Sport Chassis” design that cradles the hunter’s foot and provides stability.

  • Stretchy neoprene insulation fits nicely around your foot
  • Sport Chassis outsole and cushioned EVA midsole
  • Cam lock buckle with back gusset
  • Scent-free and patterned in Realtree ATG camo
 Hunting boots
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Irish Setter Grizzly Tracker Big Game Boot

 hunting boots reviews
Here’s a serious boot with a serious name: Grizzly Tracker. It’s made by Irish Setter, a subsidiary of Red Wing Shoe that’s been around 60 years. The Ultra Dry waterproof construction with 400 grams of Thinsulate will keep your feet dry and warm, while the rubber “Ground Claw” outsole provides a sure grip even on slippery terrain. My favorite feature of these boots is the armored toe cap, which I’d love to have protecting my feet from rocks, heavy objects (tree stands), logs, and other hazards.

  • Leather and cordura construction
  • 400g Thinsulate insulation
  • Rubber “ground claw” sole with armored toe cap
  • Realtree AP Camouflage
 Hunting boots
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Rocky Prowler 800 Waterproof Hunting Boots

 hunting boots reviews
Here’s a rugged hunting boot from Rocky called the “Prowler”. It’s waterproof and lightweight but has the thickest insulation of any boots in my review. There’s a removable insole and perforated footbed to keep your feet comfortable. The LightTrac rubber outsole gives you a strong grip but without making the boots too heavy. Overall, this is a sturdy nylon boot and it comes in Mossy Oak Break-Up.

  • Aggressive LightTrac rubber outsole
  • Thick (800 gram) Thinsulate insulation
  • Perforated footbed for circulation
  • Waterproof and lightweight
  • 900 denier Cordura upper with Mossy Oak Break-Up
 Hunting boots
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Redhead Waterproof Bayou Snake Boots

 hunting boots reviews
Last but not least, I wanted to review a hunting boot designed for hunting in snake country. Deer and turkey hunters often trek through marshes, fields, timber, and other areas frequented by snakes. It’s a concern everywhere during fall and spring, and year-round for areas of the south and west. At least 2,000 people are bitten by venomous snakes each year in the U.S., and 95% of those bites come from rattlesnakes. Last year, a hunter was bitten by one and would have died (according to his doctors) if he hadn’t been carrying a snakebite kit and had his truck less than 75 yards away. These boots provide toe-to-knee protection from those slithering devils.

  • Rugged nylon and full grain waterproof leather upper
  • Dual density polyurethane mini-lug outsole
  • Removable polyurethane insole for cushioning and comfort
  • Heel flex notches for added flexibility
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Written by Dan Koboldt

  3 Responses to “Boot Up! The Best Hunting Boots Reviewed”

  1. […] live in a part of the country with poisonous snakes, you’ll want a good pair of boots. See my hunting boots reviews for some good […]

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  3. […] last weekend, and saw plenty of my hunting brethren. I could pick them out by their camo hats or hunting boots or Bone Collector shirts. We’d share the look that says, yeah, we’re here. One week to […]

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