The Best Hunting Boots

From synthetic  to leather, high-end to the best budget choice.

The Best Hunting Boots for 2017

Every hunter out there has a path type that they prefer. You might enjoy upland hunting which requires steep mountain climbs or stalking your game in the trees. In either case, a quality, light-weight, and secure pair of hunting boots is a must for focusing on your task.

As opposed to other hunting accessories which are only used for moments at a time, your feet are in constant use as you walk. Here are some of the best hunting boots available on the market today, followed by their unique features.

The Best Hunting Boots on the Market

  1. Lowa Tibet GTX Trekking Boot
  2. Kenetrek Mountain Extreme Ni Hunting Boot
  3. The Original MuckBoots Adult FieldBlazer Hunting Boot
  4. Irish Setter 2870 Vaprtrek Waterproof 8" Hunting Boot
  5. Columbia Bugaboot Plus III Omni Cold-Weather Boot
  6. Filson Insulated Highlander Boot

Each of these was picked because of its overall performance, user reviews and durability as a workhorse and staple of the hunting wardrobe and gear. Continue reading below to learn more about why each of these offers a superior experience in the field.

 

 

Best for Most Hunters

Lowa Tibet GTX Trekking Boot

For many decades, LOWA has been trusted by hikers, mountaineers, and hunters to make quality outdoor boots. Every pair goes through fair labor standards, clean processes of manufacturing, and is made with superb materials and thoughtful design.

Recommended by Outdoor Life, among other sites and publications, the LOWA Tibet GTX Trekking Boot is imported, made with leather, and has a synthetic sole. The shoes come with padded collars and tongues, with the shaft measuring about 7 inches from the shoe’s arch. These lace-up style boots come with speed lacing technology, seamless and waterproof Gore-Tex inside, and D-ring eyelets.

These shoes are crafted to handle hundreds of miles of challenging off-trail terrain and are suitable for most hunters or backpackers. Handmade in Germany, the Tibet GTX boots come with full length- stabilizers to offer long-lasting support for your feet, which is needed for carrying heavy packs.

This, in addition to the VIBRAM out sole, a strategically contoured and padded tongue for protecting your instep, and a specifically crafted ankle flex function for comfortable walking makes these boots suitable for nearly any outdoor environment. Although they may be more expensive than some options, these could easily become the best pair of hunting boots you’ve ever worn.

Take them with you for hunting deer, pheasant, and more in nearly any temperature or terrain. Since these shoes don’t come with insulation, wear warm socks if the weather goes far below 20 degrees Fahrenheit and two pairs for weather below freezing. Even wearing these, month after month, won’t cause them to wear out quickly and you can expect to own them for many years.

Please note that you may want to purchase these boots a half size up from your normal size. These boots have a great lace locking system, quality traction, comfort, quality craftsmanship, and are heavier than others. Keep in mind that weather over 70 degrees Fahrenheit could get a bit warm in these shoes, but that’s how most hunting boots are.

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Best High-End Choice

Kenetrek Mountain Extreme Ni Hunting Boot

Made in Italy, these boots from Kenetrek come with rubber soles and are made from leather, with 2.8 mm thick, full grain, premium uppers. The tongue comes with no seams, offering better waterproofing and better resistance to abrasion. The rubber sole guard, which is reinforced, adds even more in the way of abrasion resistance.

The midsoles, made of 7 mm nylon, offer your feet extra support, even with heavy loads on rugged terrain. The breathable, waterproof, and flexible membrane protects your feet while the lightweight outsoles offer great traction. The boots are not insulated, so even in warmer temperatures, your feet will stay comfortable.

Despite all they offer, these shoes are very comfortable and super lightweight at just 3.9 pounds per pair. If you are planning to use these for hunting in mostly cold temperatures, it’s advisable to purchase half a size up from your typical size so you can wear thick socks comfortably.

These hunting boots are definitely built specifically for the outdoors and may feel a bit hard walking on ordinary concrete or indoors. In order to break them in, take them out on a few long hikes. Unlike other boots, these are very easy to take off with just a gentle pull. Putting them on is also easy, just slip your foot in as you step down; no hands necessary.

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Best Knee-High Hunting Boot

Original MuckBoots Adult FieldBlazer Hunting Boot

Made from both fabric and rubber, with a rubber sole, these knee-high boots are water proof, rugged, and have a Achilles’ support panel. They also come with a reinforced shank designed for extremely wet conditions, including snow, slush, mud, and swampy surroundings.

The special flex-foam layer combines with breathable lining to keep your feet dry and warm, even in sub-freezing temperatures and difficult climates. With the Original MuckBoots Adult FieldBlazer Hunting Boot, you can expect top-notch protection in even the worst of weather conditions.

The vulcanized rubber shell on the boot is resistant to abrasion and built to be durable with 4-way stretch nylon and CR flex-foam. They are buoyant, flexible, and lightweight, in addition to being 100 percent water proof. The Airmesh lining in these boots is breathable and cool, while the stretch-fit binding at the top hugs your calf to keep the cold out.

These boots have been designed with a wrap-up bumper at the toe to prevent injuries, and a kick rim that allows you to remove them easily. They are most suitable for temperatures below freezing to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Many waterproof boots work fine to keep water out but force you to sacrifice comfort and cause blisters after long periods of use.

With these, boots, however, you can wear them for a full day and will stay comfortable. They have plenty of cushion and flexible walls on the sides and stay warm, even while standing in frozen water. They can be used every day and their durability can be trusted over the years. They still seem new even after wearing them for a full season of hunting.

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Best Synthetic Hunting Boot

Irish Setter 2870 Vaprtrek Waterproof 8" Hunting Boot

Recommended by RangerMade, these imported, synthetic shoes offer an ankle-high design, light weight, and extremely reliable durability. They are best for early season hunts and come with rubber soles and a 7-inch shaft from the arch. They come with an UltraDry system for waterproofing, and superior scent control to keep bad odors away.

These shoes use RPM technology, a composite sole material meant to reduce the boot’s weight. As a result, these shoes are 40 percent lighter than the average pair of traditional hunting boots.

Along with their lightweight design, these shoes offer athletic maneuverability for both traction and supreme balance. These manage to merge the flexibility of athletic-style shoes with the strength of hunting boots.

Even after weeks of use, just give them a wash and they look brand new. The extreme comfort, tough soles, quality ankle support, and traction all combine to make these suitable for 12 hours of walking outside. Similar to wearing ordinary sneakers, these boots allow you to feel the ground beneath your feet.

If you prefer a heavier boot with a firm foot bed, you might want to choose another option. But if your hunts consist of a lot of stalking, these are ideal. There is no break-in time, no pain, and no blisters. The width on these are a little snug but extra support can be helpful. Along with the support and comfort they offer, these shoes are also quite stylish.

For sizing, select the size you would ordinarily wear with tennis shoes. If you have high arches, you may want to use insoles with these shoes.

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Best Budget Option

Columbia Men's Bugaboot Plus III Omni Cold-Weather Boot

Textile and leather, these Columbia hunting boots have a rubber sole, waterproof construction with a seam-sealed design, and a 7-inch shaft (measured from the arch).

These ankle-high shoes are suitable for cold weather and come with 200g insulation and heat reflective lining to keep your feet toasty. The Techlite midsole offers superior cushioning, high energy return, and lasting comfort throughout your hunt.

Unlike other snow boots, these are quick to take off and true to your normal shoe size. The Omni-Grip rubber outsole on these shoes offers non-marking traction and can be used for long periods of walking, even in the city.

Another benefit to these shoes is the lack of a break-in period. They are comfortable right out of the packaging, even for picky feet. Walk on ice with them and they will keep you safely steady.

Whether you wear them with normal athletic socks or thick wool socks, they will keep your feet warm and dry through puddles and snow. Even when these shoes become saturated (from walking through a deep creek or something similar), it happens slower and doesn’t have as much of an impact.

The shoes are extremely rugged and quite heavy. For those who prefer a more flexible, agile boot, these may feel too clunky. Although they are built to handle outdoor terrain, they can also be worn on city sidewalks without a problem.

Keep in mind that the backsides of the shoes are not very flexible and will feel stiff after long periods. However, this is to be expected with quality snow boots.

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Best Classic Hunting Boot

Filson Insulated Highlander Boot

Recommended by Outdoor Life, this rugged choice is crafted from oil-tanned, heavyweight, full grain leather right here in the USA. The rubber sole offers a cushioned walking experience with no-slip grip and the moisture-wicking lining (crafted from 100 percent virgin wool) offers all day comfort.

The Highlander Boots have a lace-up closure, sealed seams for superior waterproofing, and a removable foot-conforming cork insole. These can be used for work, in the field, or just for ordinary everyday usage. They can be easily cleaned with a quick brush or wipe. Most modern outdoor boots come with waterproof Gore-tex liners, but these don’t.

When your feet get wet, the Gore-tex lining on other shoes will keep your feet damp. With these, your feet can still breathe in case they get wet, which some hunters will prefer. Keep in mind that while other boots feel nice on your feet right out of the packaging, these are an exception. The materials they are crafted from are heavy and stiff, requiring breaking in.

As soon as the cork insoles and leather material conforms to your unique foot shape, they will feel very comfortable. However, this will require about twenty miles or a couple weeks to happen.

With these boots, you shouldn’t expect complete waterproofing or instant tennis shoe comfort. Instead, expect old-fashioned construction and durable, excellent quality leather.

These are different than other boots in that they don’t come with a met-guard, steel shank, or steel toe. For this reason, they are much quieter than other boots while walking around inside or on gravel outdoors. You can eventually resole the uppers on these shoes if they wear out.

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3 Best Ways to Care for Your Hunting Boots

Most pairs of hunting boots are both worked hard and then put away still damp after a long day of hunting. Here are some crucial tips for keeping your boots lasting longer and looking better than before.

  • Clean them properly: Hunting is tiring, so it’s understandable that you’d want to toss your shoes into the garage afterward, but this won’t preserve the life of your boots. Instead, scrub the treads and wash the dirt off using a quality nylon brush. This step is especially necessary with leather boots.

  • Dry them thoroughly: Your shoes might dry on the outside on their own, but when left wet inside, awful odors and mold can start to grow. In deer hunting, where scent control matters so much, this shouldn’t be ignored. Pick up some boot dryer product to get them dry all the way through. This will also help your feet stay warmer.

  • Patch the rubber: You should always watch your step while hunting. Briars and glass can destroy even the best of boots after a while and sticks and thorns can poke holes in your shoes over time. Next time you get done hunting, dry your shoes and use some shoe glue to patch them up, if needed. Observing these rules will keep your shoes in great condition for much longer.

Deciding which hunting boot is best for you depends on your preferences in the field, on your foot and in your wallet. We hope this guide helps point out some of the best options on the market while letting you decide which features and benefits are most important to you.