Hunting and other outdoor activities such as fishing, hiking, and camping can be enjoyable pastimes. These activities have been increasing in popularity in recent years, as people look for ways to enjoy the great outdoors. In fact, there are over 101.6 million Americans that participate in some form of hunting, fishing, or camping every year.
Thus, the demand for hunting boots has also increased. With so many options on the market, it can be difficult to decide which pair of hunting boots are right for you. While opting for conventional wisdom would be to simply buy the most expensive hunting boots, this is not always the best option. You want to have the best pair on your feet for comfort, but also the best pair for the job.
Looking for a pair of hunting boots is not as easy as it seems. Compared to choosing sneakers or your daily work boots, you have to think about the climate, the terrain, and what type of game you will be hunting. As every pair of boots comes with a different combination of features, opting for one that carries virtually everything you need is a little bit tricky. Waterproofing, abrasion resistance, grip power, insulation, and comfort are just some of the core features to be considered while selecting a good pair of hunting boots.
We’ve compiled some of the best hunting boots on the market today factoring in price, features, design, and specific user needs.
The Best Hunting Boots in 2022
Here are some of the best hunting boots you can buy in 2022:
Rubber boots serve the best purpose of keeping your feet dry and comfortable in the woods and these LaCrosse AlphaBurly Pro hunting boots are made of high-quality rubber that guarantees both comfort and dryness. Constructed using rubber-over-neoprene, these boots are flexible and tough enough to protect your feet from any type of rough terrain. These boots feature three layers of rubber in the toe guard and heel and two layers in the instep allowing flexible protection for your feet. No more sliding as the boots promote locking heel features and grip the ankle for more stability. The neoprene lines allow airflow to circulate within the boot giving users great temperature regulation for a more comfortable experience. It also has removable EVA footbeds and midsoles that soften every step, keeping your feet energized all day long. The camouflage design is perfect for a covert hunting experience combined with scent suppressing features that will prevent your prey from detecting you.
These boots are priced from $219.99 to $229.99 depending on the size and color you choose. They come in Gore Optifade Waterfowl Marsh and Mossy Oak Break-up Country print with size options ranging from 6/medium/D to 15/medium/D.
- High-quality rubber construction for comfort and dryness
- Flexible and tough protection for your feet
- Great temperature regulation
- Scent-free hunting
- May not be suitable for extremely cold temperatures
- Some users find the boots to be too bulky
When it comes to snake boots, quality should not be compromised at all. A pair of high-quality snake boots will last longer and keep you safe from snake bites. Snake hunting is something that a lot of people enjoy doing. It is a sport that can be both dangerous and exciting at the same time. If you are someone who loves to hunt snakes, then you will need a good pair of snake boots. The Thorogood Waterproof 17” Snake Boots are one of the best snake boots that you can find on the market. Factoring in quality, price, and features, these boots are the complete package.
Thorogood Waterproof 17” Snake Boots are made of 50% leather and 50% Cordura. They feature a Z-Trac traction outsole that helps the users keep their footing on different surfaces including deep mud and water. With the shaft measuring approximately 17.75″ from the arch, this pair of boots provides great coverage against snake bites. Using layers of interlocking synthetic fabric in creating the boot’s waterproof barrier, it is guaranteed to keep your feet dry even when crossing shallow streams and provides an impenetrable defense that does not compromise its weight and flexibility. The dual-density comfort footbed that is made from concentrations of polyurethane and open-cell foam also provides additional support and cushioning providing comfort for long days of walking or standing.
The size options range from 8 to 8 wide, to 14 to 14 wide, perfect for both men and women. The boots are priced at $234.95 which is a bit pricey but is worth the investment given their features and quality.
- Z-Trac traction outsole for different surfaces
- Great coverage against snake bites
- Waterproof and comfortable
When opting for upland boots, your priority should be the comfort they provide when it comes to walking for long periods of time as well as the traction to prevent any slips and falls. The Danner Recurve Hunting Boots are one of the best upland boots on the market and provide great comfort and traction for users.
The Danner Recurve Hunting Boots are made from full-grain leather and nylon upper, promoting durability and abrasion resistance that can withstand different weather and terrains. The Vibram outsole provides great traction and is slip-resistant from both dry and wet surfaces while the SPE midsole ensures maximum comfort for long walks and extended periods of use. It has a 100% waterproof ability that will allow moisture to escape without allowing any water to enter the boot. This is critical as upland boots are often used in different weather conditions and getting your feet wet can be extremely uncomfortable. The best thing about the Danner Recurve is the range of applications and uses it provides. From casual use, hiking, to even bird hunting, these boots can do it all. They also come with Ortholite footbeds for greater foot support and cushioning.
The Danner Recurve is affordably priced at $209.95 with size options ranging from 8 to 13.
- Suitable for a wide range of uses
- Full-grain leather and nylon for durability
- Ortholite footbeds for support and cushioning
- Not suitable for extreme cold weather as the boots are non-insulated
When it comes to mountain hiking, you can expect everything from rough terrain to wet weather and even snow. Elk and deer are frequently seen in the higher elevations, and black bears have been known to frequent the lower areas. If you are into this kind of hunting, it is best to equip your foot with something that can provide good ankle and arch support, as well as being able to protect your feet from the elements.
The Kenetrek Mountain Extreme 400g Hiking Boot has a 10″ height perfect for keeping water and debris out, and a 400g Thinsulate insulation to keep your feet warm in the coldest weather in higher elevations. The boots’ K-Talon outsole gives you great traction on loose or slippery surfaces while the Windtex waterproofing provides protection from mud, rain, ice, snow, and whatever else you may encounter on the trail. While these boots might seem overkill for hunters that tend to remain at lower altitudes, for those that take their sport to the extreme, the Kenetrek Mountain Extreme 400g is a must-have.
The Kenetrek Mountain Extreme 400g Hiking Boot is priced from $385 to $554.95 depending on the size you choose. The size options range from 7 to 16 with half sizes and narrow/wide widths available.
- 10″ height protects against water and debris
- 400g Thinsulate insulation for warmth in cold weather
- K-Talon outsole for traction on loose or slippery surfaces
- Available in half sizes and N/W options
- Not suitable for lower altitude hunting
- Relatively high price
When it comes to hunting boots, it’s hard to beat the Danner Pronghorn Hiking Boots. These boots are the product of five generators of Danner technology applied with the latest and premium components to ensure the best hunting experience and complete satisfaction. The result is a pair of tough, comfortable, and stylish hunting boots that will make every hunter proud.
The Danner Pronghorn’s new TERRA FORCE NEXT platform and Bi-Fit board provide an excellent balance of weight, stability, and support. Responsiveness is also increased giving users a more comfortable and enjoyable experience when walking over uneven terrain. These boots also feature a Vibram SPE midsole that provides a combination of superior cushioning and durability. The GORE-TEX waterproof membrane is placed giving users a chance to experience unparalleled breathability and comfort even in the most extreme weather conditions and wet environments. Moreover, the boots’ Primal Loft insulation brings another level of warmth, making it ideal for those cold hunting trips. It is available from 400 to 1,200 grams of insulation suitable for a range of temperatures and activities.
The Danner Pronghorn is priced at $249.95 with size options ranging from 7 US to 16 US (half size up to 11.5 US). You can also choose from two different shoe widths (medium and wide).
- Best overall comfort, style, and durability
- Provides good support
- No break-in period
- No women’s version
- On the pricey side
- Some might find it heavy (53oz)
How Do You Pick Hunting Boots?
When in the market for hunting boots, there are some things to consider so you know that you are getting the best value for your money as well as a product that will perform well. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a pair of hiking boots:
Arguably one of the most important things to consider is the area you are going to be hunting in. As a hunter, you prefer to hunt on a specific type of terrain, which then means you should also get the right type of hunting boots for that particular area.
For example, if you hunt on rocky terrain, then it would be best to get hunting boots with thick soles so you can avoid injury and also have a good grip, as rocky spots are known to be slippery. On the other hand, if you are hunting on flatter terrain, then you don’t need as much support and a thinner sole would do just fine. Insulation on the other hand is important if you are out hunting in chilly weather as you don’t want your feet to go numb from the cold.
It is also recommended to wear them around your house a few days before the actual hunt so you can “break them in” and avoid any blisters on the big day. Boot break-ins vary from person to person but it is best to err on the side of caution. You don’t want to stay uncomfortable the whole time you are out in the wilderness.
It is not only the price that is important but its relation to the amount of use you are getting out of the product. A good pair of hunting boots should be able to last you a few years with moderate use. You should not have to replace your boots every season. That said, if you are on a budget, there are still options available that can give you quality without breaking the bank. There are still decent hunting boots that are under $100 or even under $50 if you know where to look.
However, if you are someone that loves to enjoy the outdoors and spend most of your time in the wilderness, then it might be worth it to invest in a more expensive and durable pair of hunting boots. This is due to the fact that you will be spending a lot of time with them and they will see a fair share of use. However, whether you are a newbie or someone who has been hunting for quite some time now, it is always best to get the best hunting boots you can afford. You don’t want to spend $50 or even $100 every time your boots need replacement.
Having proper-sized hunting boots is critical. Many people make the mistake of buying boots that are too big for them. You might even be one of them. The common thinking is that bigger boots will allow space for their socks. Remember that when you wear boots or any type of shoes, your socks will compress. That said, you don’t need as much space for your socks when wearing boots. Having bigger boots than you would normally require will just make your feet slide around, which can cause blisters, which is something that you don’t want to experience on a hunting trip. There’s a lot of walking, climbing, and stalking involved in hunting and you don’t want to have any discomfort. If you opt to buy from a physical store near you, make sure to bring your socks with you. This is to get the feel of the boots with the socks on. If you are buying online, make sure to check the size chart of the product and compare it to your feet. Message the seller if possible and ask for more information regarding the sizing.
An absolute must regardless of which terrain you are going to in your next hunting adventure is waterproofing. If you are planning to have a hunting schedule in a dryer area, you might get away with a non-waterproof hunting boot, but this doesn’t really give you any advantage on other terrains. Imagine wading through a river in your non-waterproof hunting boots. Water will surely seep in and you will have wet feet for the rest of your hunting trip. It will not only ruin your concentration while hunting but it can also be a source of discomfort and can even lead to blisters.
Investing in waterproof hunting boots is a good investment. Regardless of your first or current plan, you will surely find a use for it. Why? Hunting boots are not just a one-use type of thing. Especially if you are investing hundreds of dollars on them. A good waterproof hunting boot can be used in different terrains and weather conditions and will surely be a lifesaver on many occasions.
Last but definitely not least, comfort should be considered when buying your next pair of hunting boots. Regardless if it is your first time or you are a seasoned hunter, you are going to spend a lot of time on your feet. Comfort is something that should be a no-brainer when it comes to choosing the best hunting boots for your next adventure. Even with people’s day-to-day work boots, shoes, and sneakers, comfort is still a major consideration. The last thing you want is for your hunting boots to be a burden on your feet. While comfort is a bit on the complex side when choosing online, it is still doable. The best way to get the most comfortable hunting boots is to visit a physical store and try them on. You might need to walk around the store for a bit to get the feel of it, but if buying online is your only option, make sure to check the reviews of the product. This is to get an idea of how comfortable the boots are.
Different Kinds of Hunting Boots
Just like any other kind of footwear, hunting boots come in all shapes and sizes. Depending on the type of hunting you do, and the climate you hunt in, you’ll need a boot that’s up to the task. Here are a few of the most popular types of hunting boots on the market today.
Rubber Hunting Boots
Most commonly seen in the terrain where water is prevalent, these boots are designed to keep your feet dry while you’re out wading through creeks or marshes. The ability of rubber hunting boots to retain warmth for your foot is also a significant advantage, as they can prevent hypothermia in colder climates. These types of hunting boots are common for people who participate in duck or geese hunting, also known as waterfowl hunters. This is due to the fact that they have to enter the water to retrieve the birds.
It is important to understand that not all rubber hunting boots are made equal. Some of the higher-quality rubber hunting boots will be made with neoprene, which is a kind of synthetic rubber. This offers even better insulation for your feet, as well as being more durable. Be sure to opt for something that will give you nothing less than comfortable, waterproof, and insulated protection for your feet.
If you are diving deep into the woods, you’ll likely encounter a snake or two. To protect yourself from bites, you’ll want to invest in a good pair of snake boots. These boots come up high on your leg and are made out of tough materials that snakes can’t bite through. They also usually have a waterproof exterior to keep your feet dry and comfortable. Some snake boots even come with a built-in gaiter to further protect your lower leg from thorns, briars, and other hazards.
Settle for nothing less than snake boots when you are going into a field known to have these predators. This is because any other types of hunting boots might not give enough protection, and a snake bite could potentially be life-threatening.
Upland Hunting Boots
These boots are designed for those who hunt game birds like pheasants and quail. They are usually made out of tough, water-resistant leather and have a higher ankle to provide support when you’re scrambling through thick brush. Upland hunting boots often have a lugged sole to provide good traction in hilly or muddy terrain.
They are also perfect for walking on plains, as the name suggests. Make sure to opt for a pair that gives you the best comfort as upland hunting involves a lot of walking and you might find it hard to go hunting if your feet are aching. Also, allow for the break-in process for these boots to avoid blisters on your feet.
Hiking-Style Hunting Boots
Turkey hunts and deer hunts often involve a lot of walking, so you’ll need a boot that’s comfortable and supportive. Hiking-style hunting boots usually have a lower ankle and are made out of suede or leather. This type of hunting boots is perfect for high-up woods, rugged mountains, and other difficult terrains. Compared to conventional hiking boots, hiking-style hunting boots can be seen with a little weight as they’re made to be more supportive. Moreover, they come with features that are hunting-specific such as waterproofing and scent-reducing technologies. This is important as you don’t want your prey to catch a whiff of you before you’re even close. The best thing about hiking-style hunting boots is that they are not limited to just hunting. They can basically be used for any other outdoor activities where you need a good and comfortable boot.
Multipurpose Hunting Boots
Out of ordinary hunting boot choices, multipurpose hunting boots are becoming more common in recent years. As the name suggests, multipurpose hunting boots can be used for a variety of different activities, not just hunting. If you enjoy other outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, or even bird watching, then these boots are perfect for you. Multipurpose hunting boots are usually made out of lighter materials such as nylon and polyester. The downside of this kind of boots is that they are not very good when it comes to certain terrains as they are made to be more versatile. Unlike boots specifically designed for certain applications, multipurpose hunting boots offer virtually every feature but don’t fully excel in one thing. For daunting terrains and difficult weather conditions, you might want to consider other types of hunting boots.
Mountain Hunting Boots
Bear hunts, elk hunts, and other large game hunts often take place in high altitudes and on rough terrains. This is where mountain hunting boots come into play. Mountain hunting boots provide a sufficient amount of traction that will help you stay balanced in the most difficult terrains. When climbing in steep areas where one wrong step could send you tumbling down, a good pair of mountain hunting boots can be the difference between life and death. Mountain hunting boots are also great in cold weather as they’re usually made out of materials that can insulate your feet well. If you hunt in the mountains often, then a good pair of mountain hunting boots are an essential piece of gear that you should never go without.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are hunting boots so high?
Hunting boots are marketed to have more ankle support compared to other shoes. They are made with thicker material and have a higher cut, which makes them more durable and comfortable. The high ankle support allows you to walk for long distances without feeling any pain in your feet. Unlike hikers who are more used to walking and have stronger ankles, hunters may not be used to this. This is why hunting boots are made to have a higher cut, to provide more support for the hunter’s ankles. Moreover, having a higher hunting boot also means that your feet will be more protected from the elements, such as rain, snow, and mud. Take, for example, the need to cross shallow rivers while hunting. If you are wearing low-cut shoes, your feet will be more prone to getting wet and cold. But if you are wearing high-cut hunting boots, your feet will be better protected from the water.
Do I need hunting boots?
There’s no definitive answer to such a question especially if you are not really into hunting. But for those who are avid hunters, wearing the right kind of hunting boots is very important. The main reason you need to wear hunting boots is for your own safety and comfort. If you are not comfortable with what you are wearing, there is a big chance that you will get injured or not be able to walk properly. Moreover, wearing the right hunting boots can greatly affect your success as you can go deeper into the woods and track your prey more easily.
Can deer smell rubber boots?
Yes. Deer can smell rubber boots but they don’t really associate such smell with danger. Deer are more afraid of the human scent. That is why it is important for hunters to use hunting boots that are odor-resistant. There are many hunting boots that are made with rubber and they can be effective in masking human scent, but it is still important to use other methods in order to avoid getting detected by deer.
Should hunting boots be tight or loose?
This really depends on your preference as well as the comfort of the boot. If the boot is too tight, it might cause discomfort and you might not be able to walk properly. On the other hand, if the boot is too loose, it might come off while you are walking. The best way to find the right fit is to try on different boots and see which one is the most comfortable for you. There is no perfect answer as to whether hunting boots should be tight or loose. It really depends on the person wearing it.
How long do hunting boots last?
Hunting boots are meant to be used in the most demanding terrains imaginable. This includes walking through thick mud, crossing shallow rivers, and even climbing mountains. Thus, you can expect hunting boots to experience wear and tear much faster than regular shoes. However, if you take care of your hunting boots properly, they can last anywhere between one and a half years to two years. With proper care, maintenance, and storage, you can stretch out the lifespan of your hunting boots.
How should I store my hunting boots?
As mentioned, storage and how much you care for your hunting boots contribute to how long they will last. After using them, it is recommended to rinse off any dirt and mud that might have gotten stuck in the boot. You should also let them dry completely before storing them away. It is best to store hunting boots in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight.