What Are The Best Hunting Boots On The Market?
When you’re in the middle of a hunt, the last thing you want is for a crucial piece of your gear to fail on you, as that can often compromise the rest of the hunt and can even lose you a target. While the equipment that you use will typically depend on the kind of hunting you’re doing, every hunter needs a pair of quality boots.
The difficulty of selecting the right pair is further compounded by the vast range of hunting boot varieties that you can choose from. There will be a considerable difference between the best pair of extreme cold weather boots and the top pair for early-season hunting.
To ensure that each of our readers can find the best hunting boots for their needs, we’re going to review five of our top picks. We’ve split them into two categories, with the first discussing the best rubber boots and the second going over the top hunting boots that are made of leather.
In our reviews, we'll go over the specs that you should know about each pair of boots, and then we'll discuss the results of our reviews. Once we've covered all five of the products, we'll move on to our buying advice section in which we will describe the essential features to look for in the best hunting boots.
Top 5 Best Hunting Boots On A Budget
Last update on 2019-12-05 PST - Details
1. Lacrosse Men’s 4xBurly 18” Hunting Boots
If you’re looking for a quality pair of rubber boots that can put up with all environments, the Lacrosse 4xBurly 18” model is one of the best options available. These boots are equipped with 1200G insulation that helps keep your feet warm in the coldest of conditions, in temperatures as low as -50 degrees F.
Along with their extreme resistance to temperature, these boots are also fully waterproof thanks to the seamless rubber exterior. The tread on these boots is designed to provide grip on surfaces ranging from hard-packed snow to wet stone, and the angled lugs ensure that you can make it through softer terrain.
We were very impressed by how well these boots kept out water, snow, and muck, ensuring that your feet will remain dry for the duration of the hunt. When you finally take them off at the end of the day, you won’t have to worry about scents getting locked in due to the scent suppressing rubber.
The use of Realtree Xtra camouflage on these boots means that they’re stealthier than a lot of comparable models, and the camo itself is versatile enough to be used in all seasons. To ensure that these boots are as comfortable as possible, they feature four layers of cushioning under the footbed.
These boots fit a little more tightly than some of the other models in their price range, but this means that they have better ankle support, as they keep your heel locked in place. When dealing with harsh terrain and cold weather, the 4xBurly from Lacrosse is your best option.
2. Muck Boot Woody Max Insulated Hunting Boots
The Woody Max from Muck Boot is broadly comparable to the previous model, though it’s a lot more expensive. There are a few differences between the boots that resulted in this model being chosen as our runner up, but this is still one of the top pairs of rubber hunting boots available.
Much like with the Lacrosse boots, the Woody Max is made for harsh weather, and it can keep your feet warm in temperatures as low as -40 degrees F. This is because these boots feature a combination of fleece lining and 2mm of thermal foam which work together to lock in heat.
To ensure that the insulation does its job and holds the heat in the boot, the top hugs your ankle and ensures that water and the cold stay out. Along with the rubber exterior of these boots, there is also a nylon booty that keeps your feet warm if any water makes it inside of the boot’s body.
Like with most boots that are designed for cold weather, these feature excellent grip across a wide variety of terrain types. Whether you’re trekking through fields of mud or making your way over shifting rocks, the aggressive design of the outsole keeps you as stable as possible.
To ensure that you remain hidden while you track your prey, these boots feature a combination camo that consists of a mix between bark and mossy oak. If you don't mind paying a little bit extra for your rubber hunting boots, the 4xBurly is an excellent option for cold-weather hunters
3. Irish Setter Men’s Vaprtrek 8” Hunting Boots - Best Leather Hunting Boots
Last update on 2019-12-05 PST - Details
Our winner in the leather hunting boot category is the Vaprtrek 8” boot from Irish Setter. This pair of boots combines a mid-range price point with high-end performance, offering some of the best value for money in its category. The proven design of these boots has been refined over the years, and they have plenty of handy features.
The first thing you won’t have to worry about is rain because these boots use the UltraDry system to lock water out. The implementation of Realtree Xtra camo ensures that you won’t be visible to your prey, and the warm colors are perfect for the early-season hunting that these boots are made for.
Being an early-season design, these boots do away with all insulation, omitting it in favor of lower weight and superior breathability. This means that these boots are far more maneuverable than comparable footwear that still features insulation, and it also ensures that your feet don’t get muggy during a hunt.
To ensure that the boots are light without giving up any degree of durability, Irish Setter used RPM synthetics in the construction of the outsole. This material can withstand plenty of damage, but it's a lot lighter than the synthetics which are used in competing hunting boots.
Further enhancing the resilience of these boots, the exterior has been coated with Armatec, which helps them resist scratches and other abrasions which can do damage over time. If you aren’t looking for cold weather hunting boots, then this model is one of the best options at your disposal.
4. Danner Men’s Pronghorn 8” Hunting Boots
Last update on 2019-12-05 PST - Details
While the Pronghorn is an excellent hunting boot, Danner’s entry on this list is a bit more expensive than the Vaprtrek, which is what bumped it down to the position of runner up. However, if you’re willing to pay more for your hunting boots, the Pronghorn has a few key advantages.
These boots use unique Camohide leather, which has ripples and swirls integrated into it, ensuring that it will never fade off or wear away. This also gives the boots a more natural, organic look that isn’t out of place in the wilderness, improving your ability to track prey undetected.
The inclusion of a GORE-TEX liner helps keep these boots breathable without giving up any water resistance. They are also equipped with 400G lightweight insulation so that they can be used in colder temperatures, making them slightly more versatile than the previous pair we reviewed.
Thanks to the semi-locking laces and the pull loops, you won't struggle to get these boots on, and you can quickly get a pebble out of them while you're on the trail. These boots also feature the Terra Force Platform, which provides your foot with the stability it needs over uneven terrain.
When you look at the outsole, it’s easy to see that these boots were designed for harder terrain like rocks. The relatively flat lugs help keep you in place on harder ground. Unfortunately, that also means that these boots are relatively slippery in soft terrain like mud and snow, so they lose out on some versatility.
5. Rocky Men’s Bearclaw 3D LTT Hunting Boots
The final set of boots on our list is the Bearclaw 3D LTT from Rocky. These high-end boots are relatively pricey, so we’ve marked them as an alternative for customers who have a higher budget. While these boots are loaded with features, the jump in price means that they offer less value for money than our winning pair of boots.
It’s clear that these boots were designed to be as versatile as possible, and they feature 200G of insulation so that they’re warm in the cold without weighing you down. A GORE-TEX liner helps keep water out of the boots, but it also ensures that your feet can breathe during the hotter months.
These boots are made out of a combination of nylon and leather. Nylon helps provide additional flexibility so that you can remain agile in the boots while the leather provides enough durability for these boots to last. To make sure that the boots retain their shape, they feature a steel shank.
The Bearclaw 3D boots feature an aggressive outsole with multi-directional lugs, making them more suitable for hunting in marshes and other regions with soft terrain. To keep you comfortable for the duration of your hunt, the footbed features added cushioning and uses Air-Port technology for breathability.
Despite being durable and insulated, these boots are still relatively light, with a size 10 pair weighing only 5.2 pounds in total. Our favorite things about these boots are their versatility, their excellent build quality, and their ability to handle soft terrain effortlessly, though their price holds them back from the winning spot.
What to Look for in the Best Hunting Boots
When buying any kind of footwear, you’ll want to be sure that it fits you before anything else, and that’s still true with hunting boots. Keep in mind that many hunting boots won’t fit perfectly the first time that you wear them, as they’ll need some time to break in, but if they don’t show any signs of improving, you’ll have a problem.
Some hunting trips can last for the majority of the day, and sometimes even span several days and nights, so you'll want to be sure that your boots fit you properly. If your boots are too tight, then you'll be uncomfortable, and you can end up with blisters on your feet from them rubbing your skin raw.
On the other hand, hunting boots which are too big for your feet will lave you clumsy because they’ll shift around as you move. Also, consider the thickness of your socks when buying hunting boots. This is why many hunters buy boots that are half a size larger than what they typically wear.
Another essential aspect to prioritize when buying a pair of hunting boots is a sufficient degree of durability. If your boots can’t withstand wear and tear, then you likely won’t get your money’s worth out of them since they’ll fail on you before they’ve reached a reasonable lifespan.
A lot of the time, you’re better off paying slightly more for a pair of quality boots in the first place, as they’ll last longer than some budget hunting boots. Since you won’t have to replace them as often, then you’re likely to save money on your boots in the long run, giving you more bang for your buck.
When comparing the durability of two sets of boots, take a look at the materials that are used in each of them. Another thing to consider is whether either of the hunting boot models features a coating or treatment on the exterior that can prevent them from getting damaged.
While flexibility probably isn’t the first term that comes to mind when you think about hiking boots, it’s still an essential characteristic in most of the best models around. A flexible sole can ensure that you’re mobile enough to make it over tough terrain without losing your balance.
This is because you’ll be able to feel more of the ground through a more flexible sole, giving your foot a better idea of where to step. Keep in mind that this is balanced with the cushioning in the sole, so designers have to toe a very fine line between comfort and a sufficient degree of flexibility.
Some boots feature soles that are made of advanced materials like a gel which provides cushioning and flexibility in equal measure. The body of the boot should also be flexible enough to keep you mobile, and this is why many of them feature nylon weave between their main panels.
A hunting boot will also need to support your foot and your leg so that you don't end up injuring yourself in the middle of a hunt. Boots that lack support will make it a lot easier to turn your ankle, or worse, and that can be a severe hazard, particularly if you're hunting alone (though we'd always recommend having a partner).
Boots are designed to support different parts of your leg, but the most crucial type is ankle support. This is defined as how well the boot holds your ankle in place, and this helps prevent sprains and other injuries when you step on an uneven piece of terrain, and it shifts under you.
You'll also want to make sure that your hunting boots keep your foot in the right spot while you're walking. The best boots will keep your heel locked in place so that you can remain stable on rough terrain. Keep in mind that support is reliant on the boots fitting correctly.
The amount of insulation that is in your hunting boots will determine what kind of weather you can go hunting in. More insulation means that the boots will be able to retain additional heat, and that will make them better suited for use in the snow and cold. However, more insulation isn’t strictly a good thing.
When deciding whether you want insulated boots or non-insulated ones, you’ll have to account for when you typically hunt the most. If you only hunt in the relatively hot early season, then you won’t need any insulation in your boots, as it will weigh them down and reduce their breathability.
Some boots feature a light amount of insulation that will keep your feet warm when it starts to get a little chilly, but they won’t be useable in the winter. Most manufacturers will provide a temperature scale that their boots are designed for. You should typically get boots that are rated for temperatures that are 10 to 15 degrees lower than what you’ll be hunting in.
Most hunting boots will feature a camouflaged design so that they’re less visible while you’re stalking your prey. Picking the right kind of camo for the environment that you intend to hunt in will make it easier for you to remain undetected while you line up the perfect shot on your target.
When looking for the right kind of camouflage, you’ll want to make sure that it’s durable enough to last. Some of the cheapest boots on the market will feature a poorly-applied coat of camouflage that will come off after a few weeks or months of use.
If you plan on using your hunting boots across multiple seasons, there are combo camouflage patterns available that combine various colors.
Whether or not your hunting boots are waterproof will determine the kind of weather and environments that you can hunt in. The quality of the waterproofing treatment also matters as some boots which are supposed to be resistant to water infiltration will still let it through.
Keep in mind that waterproofing sometimes has a cost, and some treatments may reduce the breathability of your hunting boots. GORE-TEX is one of the top waterproofing techniques because it still allows air to pass through while locking water out of the boot.
If you don’t plan on hunting in the rain or around water, non-waterproof boots will typically feature some weight savings.
Getting your hands on the best hunting boots around is a lot easier when you know more about the products available. From leather models to the best cold weather hunting boots, these five are some of the best available. We hope that this guide has helped you pick the best set for your needs.