How to choose hunting boots
The outdoor adventure such as hunting is one of the most fun and challenging activities to do in the wild. If you want to enjoy this experience, you have to learn how to choose the best hunting boots. Hunting offers unforgettable adrenaline rush and memorable sights, sites, and experiences that’ll leave you wanting for more.
With the fun-filled experience hunting offers to the adventurous at heart, it is definitely an activity to try and make time for! However, you must arm yourself with the essential outfit and equipment you’ll need for you to have a completely enjoyable and stress-free time outdoors.
Wearing and packing stuff such as camo gear, gun, bow, arrow, hunting tags and license, as well as a survival kit are the safest and wisest things to do when hunting out. However, do you know the most important thing you should invest on? It is your hunting boots.
Keep in mind that the wild is not the most comfortable place (and surely the most challenging one) to be in! A lot of wild animals might be in sight, and the terrain could be the roughest and muddiest of all, so there’s a lot of running, ducking and chasing involved. After all, you don’t want your feet to get wet and sore, right?
Therefore, investing on the best hunting boots is the best and wisest decision you could make as well! However, how do you spot the best hunting boots for your outdoor adventure? Let’s find out through this buying guide.
What Are Hunting Boots?
Before we move on to how to choose hunting boots, let us first know what hunting boots are and why they are essential when hunting out. Basically, hunting boots are outdoor footwear used for hunting. It can be used for either sedentary, mild, or extreme hunting purposes, and this kind of footwear is usually heavy-duty and waterproof.
Hunting boots are commonly available in rubber (or synthetic) or leather form, as well as in different shoe sizes and lengths. There are also hunting boots ideal for winter use, or even for fashion purposes.
There are even hunting boots especially made for men and women. So, there are pairs available in different attractive colors, from masculine camo patterns to feminine camo ones with a touch of every girl’s favorite color – pink!
Active Hunt vs. Sedentary Hunt
The type of hunting boots you should choose should be appropriate with the type of hunting activity you are going to do. So, it’s best if you determine what type of hunting you are mostly interested in.
There are 2 basic types of hunting: active hunt and sedentary hunt.
Active hunt is a hunting type that requires you to really warm up, step up and do all the activities involved to obtain your catch. It includes lots of running, walking, climbing and ducking. Active hunt also takes you to the farthest places and roughest terrains to get hold of your most-awaited catch.
On the other hand, sedentary hunt is basically the opposite of active hunt. This type of hunting involves lots of waiting, and the catching game comes after once you spot the target.
Now that you know the 2 basic types of hunting, let’s move on to the different types of hunting boots. Any of these hunting boots could be the most appropriate one for you, depending on what type of hunting you will do.
What Are The Different Types of Hunting Boots?
Hunting boots usually belong to these 5 categories: high country, upland, overboots, rubber and multipurpose.
High Country Hunting Boots are the most ideal pair of hunting boots if you are usually hunting on steep and rough terrains. These hunting boots are the best choice if you are planning to spend your entire day climbing and chasing after wild animals such as rams, sheep and deer.
This type of hunting boots is usually heavy-duty, and it supports the ankle and foot very well compared to other hunting boot types. Therefore, by wearing high country hunting boots when hunting on rough and elevated terrains, rest assured your feet remain dry and safe from twisted ankle injuries.
Upland Hunting Boots are the highly recommended footwear when off to chase upland birds. This pair is usually lightweight and very comfortable to use, allowing upland bird hunters to run fast and safe.
Upland hunting boots are best when hunting on moderate or slightly rough terrains. This type of hunting boots usually has a soil-shedding sole feature, allowing you to run fast without mud sticking up on your soles.
Overboots are your best choice when up for inactive or sedentary hunting. This type of hunting boots are usually just packed and only worn when you are already in the position to hunt.
Overboots are usually placed on high regard with their super-protective insulation feature, as this type of hunting boots keep your feet warm and protected even on a chilling -110°F temperature. Therefore, overboots can be used not just for hunting purposes, but also during winter season.
Rubber Hunting Boots are perfectly ideal when you usually hunt on wet, muddy and marshy areas such as swamps and creeks. This type of boots is mostly water-proof, and is made of vulcanized rubber.
Multipurpose Hunting Boots are the most widespread type of hunting boots out in the market. As its name itself suggests, multipurpose hunting boots are best to use in most terrains, making it a first choice to most hunters.
This type of boots is ideal on both upland and big-game hunting, and is usually tough and durable. Multipurpose hunting boots are also available in different insulation types, so you have a choice as to which pair best suits your hunting needs and environment.
How to Choose Hunting Boots
With the different types of hunting boots introduced and explained above, you now have an idea as to which one to choose for your usual hunting use. However, since hunting boots come in different types, uses, sizes, prices and lengths, you must know how to choose hunting boots that suit your needs.
As the year passes, seasons also change. So, the weather could either get warm or freezing. For the lovers of hunting and outdoor adventure, this has never been an issue!
However, the insulation of your hunting boots matter to ensure an ¬issue-free adventure. Of course, you don’t want to get warm and uncomfortable feet wearing hunting boots designed for winter, right? So, choose the best boots with the right insulation for a 100% fun and worry-free hunting activity.
For hunting during the early season (or later summer to early fall), get a pair of hunting boots that is lightweight, comfortable and breathable to wear. These hunting boots must have around 200g of insulation to achieve the characteristics of the best early season hunting boots.
It’s also best to get early season hunting boots that are waterproof as well. However, it won’t be much of a problem if you are going to hunt on dry areas during summer or early fall time.
For midseason hunting, you will need a pair of hunting boots that can be ideal to wear for all weather situations. These hunting boots must have around 400-800g of insulation, to keep your feet breathable at slightly hot temperature, and warm at cold (or freezing) temperature.
Lastly, for late season hunting, you will need at least 1000g of insulation to keep your feet warm, cosy and safe outdoors. Hunting boots with this kind of feature protect your feet from the cold and freezing air, and trap the heat to warm your feet.
For you to choose the best pair of hunting boots, it must pass the best hunting boot criteria below:
Hunting usually involves a lot of running, climbing and chasing. Of course, it won’t be ideal to do these hunting activities if your load as well as your footwear is heavy to carry! Therefore, choose a pair of hunting boots that is lightweight so that you can hunt all day and free your legs from terrible pain and fatigue.
Tough and Heavy-Duty
Your pair of hunting boots must not just be lightweight, but tough and heavy-duty at the same time. In this way, you can make full use of your hunting boots for longer hours and longer span of time. Usually, hunting boots that have these essential features come quite pricey but trust me; you will never regret having them.
In choose hunting boots, it is highly essential for them to be GENUINELY water-resistant. This means that no matter how wet, sloppy and muddy the terrain you are traversing is, your feet remain dry, warm and safe.
Safe, Secure and Comfortable to Use (even on a whole-day hunting activity)
Keep in mind that hunting is a challenging outdoor activity! Therefore, your pair of footwear must guarantee you comfort, safety and security when you do this kind of adventure.
The best hunting boots usually have an ankle-fit structure so that your feet do not slide off when walking or running and your ankle is supported well to avoid sores and strains. Also, they should have a cushioned insole and a rigid midsole and outsole so that your feet feel comfortable, safe and supported well.
Properly Insulated (depending on hunting environment)
The best pair of hunting boots must have a proper insulation feature, depending on your hunting environment. If you usually hunt on an environment with chilling and sub-zero temperature, then, your hunting boots must keep your feet warm and dry given that setting.
On the other hand, if your hunting environment is kind of warm, your hunting boots must be able to keep your feet dry, comfortable and free as well.
If you are really into a wild, aggressive or extreme type of hunting, you are most probably exposed to areas with wild and dangerous animals. So, what kind of wild (and dangerous) animal is usually found in the wild? Of course, it’s none other than snakes!
Well, you can be protected from venomous snake bites if you wear a gear, as well as hunting boots that are snake-proof. Snake-proof hunting boots are usually structured with steel toe to best protect your feet from snake bites.
Steel toes are also your best hunting buddy, if heavy objects such as wood are susceptible to falling! So, securing yourself with snake-proof hunting boots is best to keep yourself safe and sound when on hunt.
Reliable traction (for a slip-free movement in the wild)
The terrain in the wild is usually wet, muddy, marshy and slippery. So, choosing the best hunting boots that have a reliable traction is best, for a safe and slip-free movement in the wild.
Easy to Wear, Easy to Remove
Isn’t it best if your hunting boots are easy to wear and easy to remove as well? Though it is not quite an issue at all, having a pair of hunting boots that has this feature allows you to save much time, before and after hunt. It saves you from annoyance as well!
You must choose the best hunting boots with the right length, depending on what type of hunting you are going to do, and what season you will be doing it. However, never opt for hunting boots that are too short, as they can compromise your toes, leaving them sore and painful.
Lastly, your hunting boots must be the perfect fit for your shoe size, especially when you wear socks. Hunting boots are available in different women and men shoe sizes, so you can most probably choose a pair that best suits your feet.
Friendly reminder: Wear hunting socks when out buying hunting boots, for you to assess well if they perfectly fit your feet.
A Final Word
With this best hunting boots buying guide, you now have knowledge as to how to choose hunting boots for your needs. As long as you got the best hunting boots, rest assured your feet stay dry and safe, even if you chase and hunt all day!
Remember: having the best hunting boots means a fun-filled and worry-free hunting activity every time. Therefore, invest on the best hunting boots for you to have an enjoyable time in the wild with no regrets!