Hunting boots are among the most viable investments that you can make if you love hunting. Note that in this process, you can’t compromise quality. Keep in mind that cold, wet, sore or uncomfortable feet can ruin your entire experience.
In worst cases, a wrong choice of hunting boots can even affect your chances of survival when on a hunt. With that in mind, you really have to be aware of some ways on how to choose hunting boots that are really right for your needs and requirements.
Why Should You Choose the Right Boots for Hunting?
You need the right hunting boots as such increases your chances of attaining success in every hunting session. Note that you can’t successfully complete your hunt if your feet are not comfortable and in their best possible condition.
Keep in mind that as a hunter, you will have to move and run a lot. You need the right boots that are warm or dry enough, especially if you plan to hunt in wet and cold areas.
The right footwear also ensures that your feet will receive adequate traction and support. Such is particularly helpful if you plan to hunt on rough terrains. Choosing the right pair of footwear for hunting also prevents your feet from hurting just because it’s too tight, stiff, or loose.
Types of Hunting Boots
Of course, you need to know your exact choices for a hunting boot. Some of the most common types are the following:
1. Rubber Boots
Rubber is one of the best waterproofing materials, so it’s no longer surprising why it’s often used in a hunting boot. Aside from that, it has little weight. Hiking boots made of rubber are perfect for you if you plan to cross swampy or water flowing locations, like swamps and streams.
The good thing about rubber boots is that they are scent-free. Such is beneficial for bow hunters as they have to ensure that they don’t leave any human scent that their target can detect.
2. Field Boots
Often constructed out of various features especially in the upper, the field boots can be expected to provide the right balance between durability and breathability. They are often made of nylon, mesh, and full-grain leather. You’ll also notice that they feature lacing at the ankle.
Lightly Insulated or Uninsulated Hunting Boot – This type often works ideally during a warm weather. It is both comfortable and lightweight while also providing adequate ankle support.
It works well for mountainous terrains or a flat country. Most hunters also wear it during early season antelope or elk hunts.
3. PAC Boot
This type refers to a lightweight and cold weather which is perfect for hunting, hiking and some forms of action. While it has proper insulation for sedentary stand or cold weather hunting, take note that it also works well on hiking and other heavy activities.
This boot often comes with a rubber sole, which provides enough traction for icy and snowy conditions. Furthermore, it comes with a leather upper, which is warm and water-repellent. Aside from that, you will notice its reliable liners that make it more versatile.
4. Backpack Hunting Boot
Such footwear has proper insulation, features Gore-Tex, and has a tall upper made of leather. It has a stiff footbed, making it easier for you to sidehill when you are in a steep country.
It is also a good choice if you are looking for a late season and warm hunting boot. You can use it, especially if you plan to carry heavy packs or haul game out of a backcountry.
How to Choose Boots for Hunting: Factors to Consider
1. Fit and size
You need to choose a boot with a fit and size that is perfect for you. It’s important to prevent the risk of experiencing blisters, cramps and sore feet that might only hamper your hunting experience.
Pick the right size, which can make your feet fully protected and feel comfortable. Ensure that you evaluate and measure your feet regularly as this increases your chances of finding the most appropriate pair. It’s also possible for you to seek the aid of an expert evaluator for this.
Fit should also come hand in hand with finding the right size. When shopping for a hunting boot, make sure to wear the socks that you plan to pair the footwear with when you’re hunting. Avoid wearing other socks as such might only result in the wrong fit.
2. Weather and Insulation
Keep in mind that the amount of insulation needed is fully dependent on your level of hunting activity, and the specific weather or season you’re going to do it in.
If you’ll only be doing minimal movements, like sitting in a tree while hunting, then it would be best to go for a boot with more insulation. The main reason is minimal movements are also equivalent to less heat production by the body.
However, your hunting sessions require heavy activities, like plenty of walking or hiking, then one with less insulation is already ideal. It’s mainly because great movements also stimulate more heat production.
It is also essential for the boot to have proper waterproofing material. This is especially true if you plan to hunt early in the day. Note that this is the time when moisture and dew are abundant, particularly in grassy areas.
Go for a hunting boot with a membrane, which is capable of preventing moisture from getting absorbed by the footwear’s interiors.
4. Style and Design
Look for a hunting boot, which comes with a style and design you prefer and you are most comfortable in. It should also be designed in such a way that it suits the terrain, season and weather of your hunting activity.
The material of the footwear also contributes a lot to whether or not you’ll enjoy wearing it. If you are planning to hunt on swampy or wet terrains, then choose a pair of wading boots made of a waterproofing material. For plain terrains, those that are breathable are highly recommended.
6. Quality and Durability
Of course, it is necessary to find a hunting boot, which is of top-notch quality and highly durable. However, take note that you don’t need to spend too much just to get a high-quality and long-lasting footwear.
All it takes is to read reviews and articles talking about the product, so you’ll know whether or not it has a high satisfaction rating.
Another factor you have to consider before you make your choice is the ventilation. Choose a hunting boot, which is breathable enough that you can expect proper air circulation within. Proper ventilation also means that your feet will feel comfortable when wearing the boots.
You don’t want to soak your feet wet, especially if it comes from your own sweat. Aside from comfort, it is also necessary for proper hygiene. Note that if your feet are soaking wet within the boots, there is a great possibility for it to produce a foul odor.
The most commonly used boots for hunting are those that are around eight to ten inches in height. You can also find those that are around thirteen to eighteen inches long.
Such are perfect if you plan to hunt on wild areas as these are capable of offering utmost protection when moving in dark water. Longer boots can also keep you safe from snake bites.
9. Outsole Traction
If you want to experience hunting while moving across rough terrains, then a boot with additional outdoor traction is a must. In this case, it would be best to look for a pair that features molded rubber cleats and lugs.
Such features allow the boots to grip on slippery surfaces more efficiently.
When shopping for the best boots for hunting, it would be best to do so in the late afternoon or evening. This is to ensure that you are getting the right fit. Note that your feet tend to swell during this time, so it’s best to purchase during such period.
Another tip is to try them out. Walk around while wearing it for a while to figure out whether or not it is comfortable enough while providing you with adequate support. Standing up also causes your feet to expand, thereby giving you a clearer idea whether its size is perfect.
When trying out boots, bring your boot liner and thick socks with you. Make sure that those are the ones you’ll be using for your next hunting trip. Tuck your pants leg in to figure out whether there is enough room inside.
How to choose hunting boots is not that hard to do if you know exactly what you are looking for. Fortunately, you now have a handy guide during the selection process with the aid of this article.
This is Steve Owen from Shoescast.com, my website was built in 2016 with the ultimate target to provide foot and shoe tips & tricks and besides, we have many review product articles to help people who are looking for good ways to find the right shoes or resolve their problems.