When you’re preparing to go out on the hunt, you don’t want your equipment to let you down. While it’s often overlooked, what you’re wearing on your feet matters just as much as your compound bow or rifle because when you don’t have sure footing, your aim will not hit the mark. If you spend hours tracking your prey before taking aim, then you must protect your feet from the uneven ground while on the move.
Here are a few things to look for with hunting boots.
The shorter the shaft, the less support there is for the heel and lower leg. It’s far easier to twist your ankle or strain yourself when your foot is lacking the essential support it requires. A shaft length of 7-inches or more provides ample length. The ankle must be well-supported with sufficient padding to prevent it rolling when on uneven ground. Hunting often involves moving over rocks and riverbeds, so the boot can easily get caught up when moving.
Waterproofing through the sole and the upper ensures that when it rains, your feet won’t get damp. It’s much more likely you will start to have chafing issues with your boots if your feet don’t always stay warm and dry. This also goes for the socks you choose to put on your feet too. Therefore, the boot’s upper must be waterproof and the synthetic or leather material should be designed to keep out moisture from undergrowth and brush when out on the prowl.
The insulation comes mostly from the lining inside the boot. GoreTex lining is reliable, but major manufacturers also have their own patented insulation brands that work fine too. Some boots are rated for winter conditions because they have greater amounts of insulation (usually double), but they may get too warm in the summer. Therefore, for anyone who hunts in the summer and winter, it is best advised to own different pairs of hunting boots to avoid their feet getting either too cold or too hot.
A thick tongue and padded collar provides cover from exposure to the elements. These parts of the boot have insulation too and provide greater comfort as a result. When either the tongue or collar are poorly insulted, they’re too flimsy and lack warmth. So, remember to look at this aspect when considering a boot brand and model.
A rubber sole that’s thicker will handle all types of surfaces with ease. The chunky lugs help grip the surface while the gaps between lugs assists water flow making crossing streams easily done without dampening the boot. Sometimes, a polyurethane midsole is included which gives the boot a bit more heft and purchase on the ground.
There are many decent brands to consider for a pair of hunting boots. Columbia, Irish Setter, Kenetrek, and Lowa all make respectable models. Consider the components like lacing, insulation, upper material and build quality when choosing a hunting footwear, so you can enjoy many years of reliable wear.