The Best Hunting Boots of 2022 For Every Season


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A successful hunt requires the right weapon, experience, and lots of patience. But what you wear on your feet plays a huge role on your hunting trip. Hunting often calls for you to slog through miles of sloppy, hazardous terrain in all types of weather. If your footwear isn’t up to the challenge you’ll be calling it quits and heading back to the car while that 12-point buck disappears over the ridge.

In this guide to the best hunting boots, we’re going to take a close look at the best footwear for your next hunt, from breathable deer hunting boots to insulated rubber hunting boots. After days spent on research and months on testing, we’ve gathered the top-rated hunting boots on the market.

Best boot for upland hunting: Danner Recurve Dry Waterproof Hunting Boots

 

danner recurve dry waterproof hunting boots

  • Vibram Megagrip sole
  • Waterproof boots
  • Keep feet warm from 15°F-50°F
  • Model: 47613
  • Weight: 3.62lbs

Pros

  • Long-lasting
  • Waterproof
  • Comfortable boots

Cons

  • Some reviewers say hard to keep tied
  • Runs narrow

For the last two years, the Danner Recurve has been our tester’s go-to hunting boot. For that reason, it tops our list. He has worn it for more than 50 days in the field, from archery elk hunting in warm weather in high mountains to pheasant hunting in South Dakota. He often covers up to 20 miles a day, and these boots have proven durable and comfortable.

What has he learned? The Danner Recurve is a wonderfully versatile boot. It’s perfect for big miles and works well in temperatures from about 15°F to 50°F. It provides good support for heavy loads and keeps feet dry with the Danner Dry waterproof-breathable barrier. The Vibram Megagrip outsole offers good traction, even on snowy, icy slopes. At 45 ounces per pair, this boot is light enough for long hikes but protective enough for rough, off-trail hiking. As it is only 7-in tall, we recommend gaiters with this boot if using it in tall, thick brush or deep snow.

Buyers can expect a long life out of this boot. Our tester puts down more miles than the average hunter, but still got two full seasons out of these boots, thanks to the full-grain uppers and smart design. He expects a minimum of three seasons, which makes them an excellent investment at retail price. This boot is our recommendation for the best hunting boot for upland hunting and everyday use.

See Danner Recurve Dry Waterproof Hunting Boots on Amazon

See Danner Recurve Dry Waterproof Hunting Boots on Black Ovis

 

Best rubber snake boots: Lacrosse Men’s 4X Alpha Snake Hunting Boots

lacrosse men’s 4x alpha snake hunting boots

  • Neoprene/rubber hunting boots
  • Snakebite-proof
  • Adjustable buckle
  • Model: 4x Alpha Snake Boot-M
  • Weight: 4lbs

Pros

  • Neoprene/ rubber mix is more durable and flexible than pure rubber
  • Burly outsole with integrated shank
  • Avoid snake bites

Cons

  • Hard to get on and off due to height
  • Wear high socks to avoid rubbing

If you’re hiking in snake terrain, you need boots that protect you from snake bites. The Lacrosse snake boot is the best hunting boot for hiking in tall grasses and areas where you may come across a slithering reptile. These feature a sturdy, shock-resistant, and waterproof neoprene and rubber upper for comfort. Sixteen inches gives you plenty of hight for wading or muddy hiking in rough terrain.

Neoprene and rubber boots are more flexible and durable than pure rubber boots, and they won’t crack over time or in cold weather. Plus, extra layers in the toe guard and instep provide extra durability in high-stress areas. The adjustable opening accommodates various sizes of calves and can be tightened for a better fit. The outsoles are durable and resilient to various weather conditions and terrains, with an integrated shank that adds stability.

See Lacrosse Men’s 4x Alpha Snake Hunting Boots on Amazon

See Lacrosse Men’s 4x Alpha Snake Hunting Boots on Cabela’s

 

Best lace-up snake boots: Irish Setter Men’s 2875 Vaprtrek Waterproof Hunting Boot

irish setter men’s 2875 vaprtrek waterproof hunting boot

  • Snake bite protection
  • 60% textile, 40% leather
  • Lace-up boots
  • Model: 2875 Vaprtrek-M
  • Weight: 2lbs

Pros

  • Scent ban technology protects from bacteria and odor
  • 16in high, great for tall grasses
  • RPM Outsole

Cons

  • Lace-up takes a while to put on and take off
  • Not fully waterproof

Irish Setter boots are great boots for hunting, and these snake boots are no exception. Made out of 60% textile and 40% leather, these tall boots protect from snake bites and challenging terrain, while breathing well. The RPM outsole keeps you on your feet in any terrain, and ArmaTec toe and heel cap deliver extra abrasion-resistant protection. The UltraDry membrane provides waterproofing.

One of the biggest complaints that hunters have about leather boots is that they smell. This pair of hunting boots has scent-free technology that kills bacteria and odors and keeps your boots smelling fresh. This well-loved boot is the best hunting boot for tall grasses and meadows.

See Irish Setter Men’s 2875 Vaprtrek Waterproof Hunting Boot on Amazon

See Irish Setter Men’s 2875 Vaprtrek Waterproof Hunting Boot on Amazon

Best tall rubber boots: LaCrosse Grange Hunting Boots

lacrosse grange hunting boots

  • Waterproof and durable rubber that doesn’t tear or crack easily
  • Keeps feet dry even in wet, marshy areas
  • Tall but lightweight
  • Model: 18
  • Weight: 4lbs

Pros

  • Outsole lugs shed debris and provide traction
  • Rubber is tear-resistant and ribbed for enhanced durability
  • Form-fitting to ensure the boots stay in place

Cons

  • Sizing can be an issue for some customers as they tend to run bit small
  • Non-insulated hunting boots, so not ideal for very cold conditions

If you spend any time in the woods you know how quickly two inches of standing water can turn into a foot of water. When that happens you don’t want to be wearing ankle-high hiking boots that will let in the deluge and end your hunt before it even begins. The LaCrosse Men’s Grange 18-in Hunting Boots will provide you with the waterproof coverage to go where you need to go. This is the best hunting boot for wet terrain and wading through marshy areas and standing water.

See Lacrosse Grange Hunting Boots on Amazon

See Lacrosse Grange Hunting Boots on Moosejaw

 

Best for warmer weather: Kenetrek Mountain Extreme Hunting Boots

kenetrek mountain extreme ni hunting boots

  • Waterproof breathable membrane
  • 10in tall
  • Full-grain leather
  • Model: KE-420-NI
  • Weight: 5lbs

Pros

  • Great traction with deep lugs
  • Waterproof and breathable
  • Leather Upper with corrosion-resistant hardwear

Cons

  • Expensive
  • This is a stiff boot so it will take time to break-in

The Kenetrek Mountain Extreme hunting boot looks great and does the job for warmer weather hunts. These are some of the best men’s hunting boots on the market, but the cost reflects that.

The Windtex waterproof breathable membrane provides waterproofing beneath the full-grain leather upper. K Talon outsoles have aggressive lugs, and the seven-centimetre nylon midsole provides lots of stability, shock absorption, and stiffness through the sole. The hardware on the boot is corrosion-resistant to stand up to years of use and abuse. They are not insulated, which makes them great for warmer weather or hunts where you’re moving a lot and staying warm.

See Kenetrek Mountain Extreme Hunting Boots on Amazon

 

Best hunting/hiking crossover boot: Lowa Men’s Tibet GTX Hunting Boots

lowa men’s tibet gtx hunting boots

  • Gore-tex
  • Nubuck leather
  • Climate control lining
  • Model: Tibet GTX-M
  • Weight: 2lbs

Pros

  • Hiking/hunting crossover boot
  • Seamless nubuck leather upper combined with Gore-Tex membrane
  • Vibram outsole
  • Lots of ankle support

Cons

  • Needs time to break-in
  • Snug fit

Lowa is a well-known, high-quality brand that makes great footwear from hunting to mountaineering boots. The Tibet GTX Trekking Boot is a boot that understands that hunting is more than just getting out of the car and shooting, it’s the pursuit, hazardous terrain, and long days of scurrying through the underbrush in all types of weather.

Like all aggressive boots, these will start out stiff and soften with wear. They also give you plenty of support and Gore-Tex waterproof breathable protection from the elements. The Vibram sole provides excellent traction. The climate control lining keeps your feet comfortable even when you start to get sweaty on the move. Plus, these boots double as hiking boots.

See Lowa Men’s Tibet GTX Hunting Boots on Amazon

See Lowa Men’s Tibet GTX Hunting Boots on REI

See Lowa Men’s Tibet GTX Hunting Boots on Moosejaw

 

Best elk hunting boots: Irish Setter 880 Elk Tracker Hunting Boots

irish setter 880 elk tracker hunting boots

  • 200g Thinsulate insulation
  • Gore-Tex waterproof membrane
  • 9.5in high
  • Model: 880
  • Weight: 2lbs

Pros

  • Lined with 200g Thinsulate insulation for warmth
  • Scentban technology keeps you odor-free
  • Memory foam insole

Cons

  • These are stiff boots, so they need time to break-in

Irish Setter has been making hunting boots forever. And their boots are high quality, durable, and comfortable — perfect for long hunts. Designed specifically as elk hunting boots, these boots are ready to hike for miles.

The Scentban lining allows you to remain scent-free and conceal your presence. The abrasion-resistant upper full-grain leather upper couples with Gore-Tex to make great hunting boots. The 200g of Thinsulate insulation keeps you warm, and a steel shank provides mid-foot support and shock absorption.

See Irish Setter 880 Elk Tracker Hunting Boots on Amazon

See Irish Setter 880 Elk Tracker Hunting Boots on Zappos

See Irish Setter 880 Elk Tracker Hunting Boots on Bass Pro

 

Best tall rubber boots runner-up: LaCrosse Men’s Alphaburly Pro

lacrosse men’s alphaburly pro

  • Neoprene and rubber
  • Moisture-wicking/quick-dry lining
  • 18 inches high
  • Model: Alphaburly Pro 18 Realtree Xtr-M
  • Weight: 7lbs

Pros

  • Rubber and neoprene provide scent-free waterproofing
  • Extra tall design
  • The lining adds moisture-wicking comfort

Cons

  • Not insulated, so not suitable for very cold weather

The LaCrosse Alphaburly Pro 18-in Hunting Boots are tall and mighty, using neoprene and rubber to create a cozy waterproof lightweight boot. The rubber sole and scratch rubber toe and heel provide extra durability. The camo design fits perfectly with the rest of your gear and the moisture-wicking lining helps you stay comfortable when you get sweaty.

The LaCrosse Alphaburly Pro Hunting Boots are for those who need their hunting shoes to provide them with scent-free comfort and all the capability. With the Alphaburly, you won’t be caught off guard if you encounter an area of standing water or if the shallows turn out to be deeper than you imagined.

See Lacrosse Men’s Alphaburly Pro on Amazon

See Lacrosse Men’s Alphaburly Pro on Bass Pro

See Lacrosse Men’s Alphaburly Pro on Cabela’s

 

Best treestand hunting boots: Danner Pronghorn Realtree

danner pronghorn realtree

  • 1200g Thinsulate insulation
  • Gore-Tex lining
  • Full-grain leather upper
  • Model: Pronghorn Realtree Xtra 1200G-M
  • Weight: 4lbs

Pros

  • Comfortable Ortholite insoles
  • Waterproof breathable Gore-Tex membrane
  • 8in high, plenty of ankle support

Cons

  • Not high enough for wading

The Danner Pronghorn Men’s hunting boots are made out of a mix of leather, Gore-Tex waterproof breathable lining, and Thinsulate ultra insulation. Danner’s Pronghorn outsole provides plenty of traction and support on tough terrain.

These insulated hunting boots feature 1200g of insulation which will keep your feet warm and protected while you wait in a tree stand. The Ortholite footbed supports your foot. Eight inches high, these are not the boot for wading through a pond, but will protect you well in most terrain.

See Danner Pronghorn Realtree on Amazon

 

Best for cold weather: Kamik Men’s Hunter Boot

kamik men’s hunter boot

  • -40°C temperature rating
  • Waterproof design
  • Removable thermal guard liner
  • Adjustable snow collar
  • Model: HUNTER-M
  • Weight: 0.75lbs

Pros

  • Snow collar
  • Rubber boots
  • Removable liner
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Not as much traction as some boots

The Kamik Hunter Boot provides a bit of everything, whether you’re an avid hunter, farmer, or just someone who loves to stroll through the wilderness. One of the best rubber hunting boots, these waterproof boots will keep your feet dry while you hike across marshes or streams. With a temperature rating of -40°C, these boots are perfect for cold weather hunting. Plus the removable thermal guard liner makes these boots work for every season, without the risk of overheating.

An adjustable snow collar is available when things get really wet and snowy. With several colors and a wide range of sizes available, plus a consistent fit, these are a great buy.

See Kamik Men’s Hunter Boot on Amazon

See Kamik Men’s Hunter Boot on Zappos

See Kamik Men’s Hunter Boot on Dick’s Sporting Goods

Why trust us

We spend our time out in the woods, hiking up mountains, and across streams, hunting elk, pheasants, and everything in between. We hike many miles a day and need the right hunting boot to get us where we need to go.

Who this is for

Anyone who hunts, or just spends time outside and wants a high-quality, durable leather or rubber boot to take you on your next adventure. This guide will give you some great options, and teach you what to look for in a hunting boot.

How we picked

We picked our favorite hunting boots for men from experience and by researching all-around hunting boots available on the market. We chose boots that were good for different types of hunts, from rubber boots that help control your scent on a deer hunt, to snake boots that protect your feet from snake bites, to tactical boots.

How we tested

We tested boots over hundreds of miles of trail, from archery elk hunting in warm weather in high mountains to pheasant hunting in South Dakota. We took boots through rivers and muddy trails.

camouflage hunting boots

Features to look for in hunting boots

When shopping for new hunting boots there are many things to keep in mind to find the right boots for your needs. Here are some of the most common considerations that go into choosing the perfect hunting boots.

Fit

This kind of goes without saying for any type of footwear but even more so with hunting boots. If you’re pursuing a big bull through the woods in the winter and your elk hunting boots are pinching your toes, there’s no opportunity to stop and take your boots off. You’re stuck with them. So make sure your hunting boots fit you well before heading out. You want them to fit larger than your dress shoes, so your toes have room to move, and in case your feet swell while on the move. But also ensure they are not too big so you can’t move properly. Also, if they’re brand new you should wear them around the house for a while to break them in before taking them out the first time.

Waterproofing

If you are planning to spend time outside in any weather, you need waterproof boots. With high-quality waterproofing, you can confidently make your way across rivers and streams. Boots that contain a Gore-Tex waterproof breathable lining will cost a bit more than other hunting boots but the waterproofing will last longer than a waterproof coating like those on waterproof suede leather boots.

Insulation

Frozen feet are no fun when you’re miles from the campsite or car. Frostbite is a real threat when you’re in the wild in the middle of winter. In such conditions, it’s crucial to wear insulated hiking boots. When the weather is warm, insulation is not such a big deal and may even be a hindrance that causes you to overheat. Some of the warmest boots you can find include 2000+ grams of Thinsulate insulation or similar.

Soles

Ultimately, it’s the soles of your boots that bear the brunt of your weight. They need to withstand the pounding and provide you with firm footing regardless of the type of terrain you encounter. If your backpack is loaded down with gear, the sole will need to be supportive and somewhat stiff. If you are a light traveler you can typically get away with a thinner sole although even then it will need to provide adequate arch support as well as stability. Choosing boots with deeper lugs will help on loose ground, and stickier rubber will help with rocky terrain.

Height

The height of your hunting boots depends on what you plan to do with them. Choose higher hunting boots if you think you’ll be encountering water, mud, or snow. Shorter boots work fine in a warmer, drier environment. But you should still make sure whatever hunting boots you buy have adequate ankle support.

hunting boots

Hunting boots FAQ

Q: How tall should your hunting boots be?

A: This will depend in large part on what you plan to use them for. If you plan to spend time wading into the marshes after ducks and geese, you’re probably going to want pretty tall rubber boots like muck boots just to be safe, even if you plan to wear waders. On the other hand, if you’ll be waiting in a blind for deer, you’ll have no need for such a high boot. Many hunters suggest that an eight to ten-inch boot is plenty high for the majority of hunting activities and you should only go higher if specific conditions demand it.

Q: What is a good weight for hunting boots?

A: First of all there is no “ideal” weight for hunting boots. A good weight for one person might be too much for someone else depending on their size, age, and physical condition. That said, as a general rule, you want the lightest boot possible so that your legs don’t feel like lead weights at the end of the day. Material advancements in recent years have led to lighter, more breathable, and more water-resistant boots, with some pairs now tipping the scales at just over a scant two pounds. But, if you can keep the weight under four or five pounds for a pair of boots, you’ll be doing okay.

Q: What is the best design for a hunting boot?

A: It depends on the function the hunting boots are intended to fulfill. If wading through the shallows or navigating muddy forest in pursuit of your quarry is on the cards then you’ll want a 100% waterproof boot that comes up pretty high. On the other hand, chasing elk into the mountains during the fall and winter will call for hunting boots that are both waterproof and well insulated against the cold and wind. If you’re hunting moose or waterfowl, you’re going to need waders or hip boots.

Q: What’s the difference between hunting boots and hiking boots?

A: Hunting boots are typically heavier than hiking boots, and can also look different. Some hunting boots are rubber boots or muck boots more similar to rain boots or snow boots. Hiking boots are designed for lots of miles, and less for dealing with a variety of conditions. Hunting gear needs to stand up to rain, snow, mud, and water. They also need to keep your feet warm. Boots for hunting often include Thinsulate ultra insulation and come up higher on your legs than most hiking boots.

Q: What are the best hunting boots for cold weather?

A: The best cold weather hunting boots feature Thinsulate insulation and high-quality waterproofing. Depending on how cold you run, and what temperatures you plan to hunt in, your boots could have anywhere from 400 to 2000+ grams of insulation.

Q: Should you buy hunting boots a size bigger?

A: You want your boots to fit comfortably, without any rubbing. Typically, boots will fit larger than other types of shoes like dress shoes because you want plenty of room in the toes in case your feet swell and to keep from getting blisters. Make sure to try on your possible hunting boot with the socks you plan to wear hunting. You may need to go a size bigger than your typical size, but it really depends on the model and fit of the specific boot.

Q: How much insulation do I need for hunting boots?

A: Insulated hunting boots are necessary for colder temperatures, especially when you’re keeping still for long periods of time. How much insulation you want depends on what time of year you plan on wearing them. If you want something to wear into the winter or in below-freezing temperatures, you will want boots with at least 1000g of insulation. If you tend to have cold feet, the warmest hunting boots with 2000g+ of insulation might be better. If you tend to overheat, go with less insulated hunting boots.

Q: How long do hunting boots last?

A: This depends on how much you use them, where you use them, and various other factors. Most boots should last you at least two years under heavy use, and up to 10-20 years with lighter use and lots of care. You will know if you need a new pair when the soles start wearing out, they aren’t waterproof anymore, or your feet start hurting.

Conclusion

Your choice of hunting boots will play a large role in determining if your hunting trip is a success and whether it’s any fun. Slogging through the woods all weekend with wet socks, frozen feet, and a sprained ankle isn’t going to be any fun regardless of how successful the hunt is. Follow the above tips when selecting your new boots and your trips should turn out fine.

Sources:

  1. What To Wear When Deer Stalking – BASC
  2. Beat The Freeze – NWTF

 

Ilana Newman

Ilana Newman Ilana is a writer, photographer, and life long learner. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, she spends her free time climbing, running, and skiing in the mountains. She is passionate about intersectional social justice work in the outdoors and creating access for all.

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