Hunting can be a difficult and treacherous experience. Between the sweet joy of success and utter failure of your entire trip, is the level of comfort, ease and support that your hunting boots can give you.
As a hunter you may have to stalk your game in the woods, wait for it in the tree stand, or maybe you are an upland hunter, and you have to climb steep mountains. You may have to do some bush-crafting and perform some tricky moves in terrain where people don’t usually walk. In all cases, you will need a sturdy and durable pair of boots to take you as far as you need to go.
Completely focusing on your hunt can be difficult when you can’t stop thinking of how hot, wet, cold, or sore your feet are. Like your hunting cap or jacket, it’s impractical to take off your boots in the middle of the field if your feet are scorching.
Most Important Piece of Hunting Gear
Blisters, hot spots, foot cramps and brutally cold feet can sideline even the most determined hunter. You can obviously make a better shot if your feet are dry, warm and comfortable. Not so much when they are wet and trembling. That is why we consider boots as the most important piece of hunting gear you take with you into the woods, apart from gun or bow.
Unlike any piece of accessory that you may just put away, boots spend 100% of their time on your feet, and that’s why it is a good idea to choose them wisely. Now the question arises, how do you choose a pair of really good hunting boots to buy for your next hunting trip? You must keep in mind a few things when you’re on the prowl for your hunting trip footwear!
Whether you are searching in an icy forest or hunting in a warm land, your hunting boots should be insulated sufficiently to avoid any sort of frostbites and keep your feet relaxed, cozy and comfortable throughout, thanks to a superior insulation system. Always consider the hunting environment when researching the level of insulation that you are aiming for.
Once you are buying the boots, make sure to keep in mind that some boots have a tendency to pick up mud as you move through various places and different parts of the forest during a hunt. This may make your boots way more heavy than they are supposed to be. This can severely limit your mobility.
A good pair of hunting boot should be of the non-loading type, which means that the boots won’t accumulate large amounts of mud, gravel and stones that would prevent you from walking freely.
Always check the length of your boots and get a feel for how easily you can put them on and take them off. This is important because in many cases, it gets really difficult to take them off once they are on. For some people, the boots should not be too tall because this can lead to discomfort. Once again, this can hamper your mobility to such a degree that it spoils the fun. When buying hunting boots, especially online, consider your height and how far up your leg the boot will go.
Go for the ones that have adjustable back gussets and straps; it makes it very easy to modify the tightness with a simple one hand pull on the strap over the support to tighten, or reverse for a release. With a long laces system, it would be a cumbersome procedure to take the boots off once they’re on.
If your fit is incorrect, you’re in for a few miserable miles. The best way to ensure a great fitting boot is to check whether the boot matches your feet’s shape or not. So by this we mean: is the mold around which the boot is constructed anywhere close to your feet’s natural shape?
- Sizes of boots vary from company to company. When buying boots from different manufacturers, it is always better to try them on first.
- Always consider what type of socks you’ll wear, whether they be liner socks or thick socks.
- Adjustable back gussets and straps make it very easy to modify the tightness. They provide a customizable fit with a simple one hand pull on the strap over the support to tighten. But you can provide release by as well.
- Wearing well fitting boots means you come back home after a long hunting day and realize that your feet are still in excellent shape.
- A proper fit with good ankle support is a must. If you have to cover a considerable distance on foot across a tough terrain, great ankle support will go a long way in preventing stress and fatigue from quickly building up in your feet and legs. It will also prevent blisters from forming on your ankles.
This is an important consideration, as flexibility and support come through the soles of the boot. The insole and outsole both work together, thus supporting your arches and increasing stability. Flexibility maximizes if the material of the boot is nice and stretchy.
If you are unable to walk or stand comfortably in a dry pair of boots, then the chances of tagging a deer, or any other game are minimum.
Your hunting boots can and will be subjected to various elements while hunting in the marshlands or wherever your adventure take syou. But with comfortable footwear, rest assured that your feet will remain comfortable all throughout the hunt.
- The midsole is considered to be the center of comfort in a boot. Therefore, it should be very comfortable and consist of a patented air chamber that provides shock absorption and stabilizes the foot.
- Boots with proper soles are important for hunters who carry heavy packs with them. Pick a thinner sole for more flexibility.
- Outsoles provide excellent traction and reliability on harsh tracks. They should not accumulate gravel and other small stones. This can feel really annoying when you walk on plain surfaces.
- Comfortable boots will have a thicker cushioning around the foot and ankle area. The reason is that the boot above the ankle must flex with your shin to allow for a more comfortable stride to your step.
Check if you can manage to buy your boots with warranty. One of the utmost qualities of any good hunting boot is its ability to last over time. While buying boots, always properly check the interior and exterior.
- The exterior should be made of a synthetic material that is very durable and therefore future-proof.
- In the interior, there should be a mark saying “scent free”. Boot like these will help prevent unwanted odors after long periods of wearing, along with a breathable fabric, so wet feet won’t represent a problem during your hunt.
- The boots should provide proper toe protection that will help a lot when you hit something hard so that your toes do not suffer from the impact.
Every hunter wants their boots to last season after season, no matter what environment they are taking them into. Always make sure to research the durability of the hunting boots you are planning to buy. Find the ones that best suit you and perform well in all extreme conditions.
Your hunting boots should have a well camouflaged exterior as it will keep you concealed and out of your target’s sight.
Carrying around sturdy hunting boots once the sun comes out takes up bag space… and a whole lotta effort. They should be lightweight and made of flexible rubber so that they can be rolled up and easily packed in a bag for travel.
If you’re planning to hunt in wet swampy areas or rainy season, you’ll want to have a pair of waterproof boots. It will let you walk through puddles and streams without getting your socks and feet wet pairs. No matter the climate conditions of your environment, it is necessary that your boots are waterproof and moisture free.
Whenever you’re buying hunting boots, try them on first if possible. Don’t just take a couple of steps in them and throw them in your cart. Walk around in the store like you’re hunting some game, why don’t you. You may get some strange looks, but for the people that understand the importance of a proper fitting boot… I’m sure they’ll understand.
If you feel that eve the slightest part of your boot is uncomfortable, just start over again and look at a different pair. What might feel like a slight discomfort in the store, will be magnified tenfold in the woods on rough terrain.
So go out there, get the best boots for you, and do your best in the field with both physical comfort and peace of mind. Whether you’re hiking through a thick brush, mountainous region or a swamp… rest assured that your comfortable hunting boots will guarantee that you’ll make it through in one piece!
Shawn Michaels is a blogger who loves to write about his outdoor experiences. He is also a passionate rock climber and loves traveling. Currently, he is studying and spends his free time reading reviews and gear shopping! He regularly blogs at thesmartlad.com.