October 15, 2013
Nearly every hunter can tell at least one story about stalking prey for miles, only to cover more ground tracking a blood trail after the shot. The moral of the story is this: You don't want to find yourself in the back country with lousy footwear.
Trekking through any type of terrain — whether muddy, rocky, mountainous, snow covered or a combination of conditions — requires a pair of hunting boots capable of withstanding rugged environments while providing comfortable foot support. Given the endless options available today, there's surely a boot out there for every hunter. Our list of the best hunting boots are sure to keep your feet happy while you're on the trail.
Cabela's Boa Speed Hunter
It's only taken a couple hundred years, but someone finally improved on standard shoelaces. Like its eponymous name, the Boa lacing system incorporates a ratcheting dial and braided steel cables to snug the leather and nylon upper securely around your foot. Pull the dial out, and the cables instantly loosen. Designed to fit like your favorite tennis shoe yet offer outdoor-inspired performance, the lightweight Cabela's Boa Speed Hunters
feature poly overlays to resist wear and also feature fully waterproof and breathable Dry-Plus linings. For fall 2013, Cabela's is also offering the Boa system in a knee-high snake boot and deer-centric hunting boot.
Makers of the hugely popular Burly
has long had rubber boots €¨mastered, so it makes sense they'd move into the hybrid world with the new AeroHead
. By combining a comfortable neoprene stocking with a durable €¨thermo-molded poly shell, these knee-high, scent-free boots blend comfort, warmth, and performance. The uppers are additionally enhanced with Brush-Tuff fabric for long life and protected from abrasion with polyurethane shin guards. A secure ankle-fit also ensures solid, no-slip comfort that still slips off when the hunting day is done.
Kenetrek Mountain Extreme 400
boots have gained some
massive popularity in recent years. Why? Because they rock. Well, come to think of it, they actually don't. Instead, they provide utmost stability and
protection for backcountry warriors intent on packing heavy loads out of rugged, inhospitable country. Waterproof and breathable, their Mountain Extreme 400
boots are built with one-piece, full-grain leather uppers atop stiff yet lightweight nylon midsoles. High-traction K-Talon outsoles provide a sure grip, while 400 grams of thinsulate ward off unpredictable temperature dips.
If the name is any indication, the new Broadheads
fall in the boots-for-bowhunters category, though there's no reason rifle-toting deer hunters or shotgun-swinging turkey fanatics won't find them just as appealing. The knee-highs feature uppers crafted from something called Vapourflex, which Rocky touts as a waterproof fabric that's also stretchable for a comfortable, flexible fit. Broadhead boots €¨also incorporate the company's Climate IQ technology, which is designed to keep feet comfortable and dry in any condition, plus control deer-spooking scent. In addition to the 16-inch knee boot, Broadheads are also available in an athletic-fit, ankle-high version.
Muck Pursuit Supreme
made their name making footwear for the farm and ranch industry, but outdoorsmen quickly adopted the rugged neoprene boots for the field as well. The company now has a line specifically for the run-and-gun guy. The Pursuit
features overmolded wear panels on the instep and shin with strategically placed flex points to allow the boot to move with the foot and ankle rather than against it. This eliminates pinching or bunching when you're busted mid-stride by a wary whitetail and have to stay crouched for several minutes.
Under Armour Spinex Thermal
Heated hunting clothing has come a long way in the last few years, and one of the newest and best examples is these new Spinex
boots from the innovators at Under Armour
. An adjustable battery-operated thermal system surrounds each foot in luxurious warmth, ensuring maximum protection on the coldest day on stand. To further help keep feet warm, UA lined the uppers with a proprietary reflective material that directs heat back to the boot's interior. The shaft is crafted from high-density foam with Line-X reinforcements in high-wear areas for longer life. Designed for the whitetail hunter, the Spinex also features UA's Scent Control technology to reduced unwanted odor.
Danner High Ground
For the high speed hunter who needs a fast, agile platform, the Danner High Ground
may just be the boot for you. Both light and comfortable with a streamlined fit, the High Ground is also ultra-rugged, with features like an ultra-durable, oiled nubuc leather and 9000 Denier nylon upper. The boot is waterproof, featuring breathable Gore-Tex lining and 400 gram Thinsulate insulation.
Danner East Ridge
If you're looking for a warm, lightweight hunting boot that's handcrafted in the U.S.A., it's tough to beat the Danner East Ridge
. Waterproof, insulated, and durable enough for any terrain, this boot gets the job done with flair. The big addition to this line is the decreased weight, while it still comes with the ever-dependable Vibram outsole.
LaCrosse Alphaburly Pro
The LaCrosse Alphaburly Pro
, an 18-inch boot with 1,600 gram Thinsulate Ultra insulation, is built to have a personalized fit with superb comfort. The rubber used to make the boot is supposed to have a more natural feel, giving it better flexibility. In the end, that means an extremely versatile boot you can walk around in and not get worn out.
The Essentials Gear Box.
Our editors have hand-picked these essential pieces of gear to make you a more successful hunter when you hit the game trails this season.