You know how the saying goes: “a hunter is only as good as his/her boots.” Okay, that may not actually be a saying, but it’s 100% true regardless. Anyone who has gone out for hours on a hunt wearing either the wrong type of boots, or ones that are uncomfortable, know how it can basically ruin the outing.
That’s why it’s crucial that you wear the best hunting boots for your preferences and environment at all times. Whether you need some smaller and lighter boots for early season hunting, or fully waterproof boots that go up to your calves for the wet and frigid hunting days, ensuring you wear quality hunting boots will make all the difference.
There’s no shortage of hunting boots out there on the market, and you can also find many solid brands that routinely manufacture some great boots. With that said, everyone has their favorites — and so do we.
Below are our top five hunting boots for 2019, with a range of budgets and types represented. If you need some advice on what to look for when you’re shopping for hunting boots, we’ve got that for you as well.
Best Hunting Boots
Let’s get right to it, starting with our top pick for the best hunting boots.
If you are looking for the perfect balance between comfort and functionality, the Alphaburly Pro’s from LaCrosse certainly have it.
These hunting boots offer an astounding amount of protection, traction, and heat retention ability, in while making use of some modern design methods and superior materials.
Most of the time, you have to either compromise by having either a thick boot that’s too rigid and bulky, or a thinner version that may provide some added comfort at first.
Not so with the Alphaburly Pro’s. The outer layer of the boots is made from high-quality rubber material that is designed to fully protect your feet in any condition, with an added amount of flex for better movement ability and stride. There more than a few colors to choose from as well, ranging from solid patterns to Mossy Oak and Real Tree — something for everyone.
Lying underneath the rubber out layer is a thin layer of neoprene that acts as the main insulation for the boot, and does so without restricting flexibility.
As for the inside of the boot, lining is comprised of embossed Thinsulate that keeps heat in the boot, while wicking away moisture to keep your feet dry and warm. Arches are supported by a nylon shank that really gives the boots a stable feel, and makes for a fluid heel strike with each step.
The boots extend up to the calf area, where neoprene gussets are used to tighten the opening around your leg to lock out moisture and keep heat in. The gusset design is easy to use, and keeps the boots comfortable around your calves without inhibiting circulation.
The outside of the boot is entirely scent-free by the way, adding a bit of advantage to your hunt. On the bottom, the boots use a Lug Sole pattern that’s definitely good for snowy and wet conditions if needed, but also has good traction on dry and muddy surfaces. The heel and toe are reinforced with some added rubber layers, as expected.
The LaCrosse Alphaburly Pro Hunting Boots offer the best of both worlds, balancing the comfort factor with full foot protection, warmth, traction, and waterproofness. Can’t really ask for more than that, and the abundant style choices are a nice bonus as well, and all for a mid-level price. We can’t recommend these boots enough.
Early season hunting can be a little tricky at times, mainly in terms of what type of gear you need to use.
The early season often means warmer weather, negating the need for calf-high muck boots that can let you literally stand in two feet of water for an hour and stay dry.
I’m sure most of use would agree that ankle-high boots are typically a much better experience. In this regard, the Irish Setter 2870 Vaprtrek hunting boots are a superior early season hunting boot, as they have the comfort and stability of ankle-high boots, but with an added sense of waterproof ability.
The outside of the boots feature synthetic leather that's thick, yet breathable, and provides a feel similar to an athletic shoe. You also get a nice light camo look that’s understated in a good way. The material is also scent-free thanks to ScentBan material, and completely waterproof.
Below the outer layer is an insulated layer that easily wicks away moisture, even when things are a bit warmer than expected outside. The leather upper is made from a full-grain leather, and helps with the waterproof aspect as well.
As strange as it sounds, the tread of the 2870 Vaprtrek’s may be the most impressive part. The durable rubber outsoles have a strategic tread pattern on the heel for a flid strike, and a front tread that discourages downhill slips. The arch area has a special tread designed specifically for tree stands steps, which is definitely appreciated.
Another great thing about these boots is the weight, with each one weighing a mere 19 ounces. This furthers the athletic shoe feel these boots provide, and also gives you more of a spring in your step.
Obviously these boots are completely waterproof in the sense that you can’t go wading around while wearing them, but they are equipped to keep your feet dry in wet grass, a quick run across a creek bed, light rain, and so on.
So, if you’re looking for an early season pair of hunting boots that feel like tennis shoes, and also have enough versatility to be used in colder weather as well, the Irish Setter 2870 Vaprtrek Hunting Boots are your best choice.
For those who are going to be venturing out into freezing temperatures, there’s nothing better than a great pair of fully insulated hunting boots that can not only keep your feet and lower legs warm, but also dry.
Unfortunately, this often means going with a pair of boots that looks more like glorified rain boots, focusing more on the waterproof and length aspects over everything else.
Yes, they’ll prevent water from getting in, and hold up to freezing winds and such, but they can be a pain to walk in, and not great for parts of the day when you’re idle.
Muck Boots are pretty much the leaders in waterproof boots ideal for winter conditions, and the Woody Max Rubber Insulated Hunting Boot are a perfect example of what made this company famous. These boots offer impenetrable protection, trap in heat, and feel great on your feet.
As expected, the outer layer of the Woody Max boots is comprised of a thick layer of flexible rubber on the foot area, solid enough to protect your feet from both the terrain and elements all at once.
Underneath the outer layer is a layer of neoprene that;s relatively thin, but still enough to keep heat circulating in the boot, while wicking moisture away as it develops. Beneath all that is a layer of fleece material that is extremely comfortable, and feels like a mini blanket on your feet.
The calf portion of the boots is made from neoprene, and gently hugs your leg without feeling too tight. An elastic topline stretches to fit snugly around the top portion, helping keep out debris and moisture.
As for the boot’s tread, it’s made from MS-1 rubber that has a blocky lug design intended for added traction on wet surfaces, but without affecting shock absorption. The tread design excels in the snow too. The midsole is EVA, and keeps the foot supported and in position at all times and positions.
Rated for temperatures down to -40 degrees Fahrenheit, the Muck Boot Woody Max hunting boots are a great choice for anyone wanting maximum protection in winter weather on long hunts, supported by plush comfort, flexibility, and lots of traction in ant conditions.
Think you have to spend a lot for great a great pair of winter-ready hunting boots? Well, thanks to Kamik, you don’t have to.
The Kamik Hunting Boots are probably one of the best deals on any type of hunting gear, period. They could also easily sell for twice the price, and still be a fantastic buy.
Rather than focus on fancy patterns and intricate layers, Kamik keeps thing simple, as evidenced by their plain (but sleek) look.
These boots are made to get the job done, but also have some added versatility that we’ll get to in a moment.
As for the outside, these boots are made from the usual rubber material, with a thick layer protecting every inch of your foot from everything outside of it. And while the flexibility of the outside may not be on the level of more expensive boots, I’m sure you find it more than adequate, and not restricting.
The boots don’t have any special layers of insulation under the rubber outside of some standard synthetic material, but you wouldn't know it by how they feel. Besides, on the inside are fully removable liners that offer plenty of insulation and comfort, while keeping any internal moisture that develops away from your feet throughout the day.
The liners are easily taken out when needed, and instantly turn the boots into early season or warm weather hunting boots — or really any other outdoor tasks you may have that require full waterproofing on the outside.
The boots go all the way up to the calf area, and have a nylon snow collar at the top with drawstrings that let you adjust the tightness as needed. Again, not fancy, but works perfectly fine.
The tread pattern is fairly basic, but does have just enough lug size and texture for solid grip on muddy surfaces, trees, hills, and really just about anything else you’ll encounter outside. Oh, and these boots are rated for temperatures below 40 degrees, so you can use them even on frigid hunts, or remove the liners and use them in the spring and fall.
As I’ve said, these are one of the best buys you can get for hunting gear. So, if you’re looking for a spare pair of boots for your inventory, or simply need tough, capable hunting boots for around $50, these The Kamik Hunting Boots are the best you can buy for the price, easily.
I know there are some hunters that absolutely hate having anything less than incredibly warm feet on a hunt, making frigid temperatures or trekking through snow downright miserable for them most of the time, and understandably so.
Others have trouble maintaining that balance between wearing too thick of socks, or too thin, resulting in boots that are either too hot or a little too roomy.
The solution to that is getting boots made for walking through the North Pole, and that’s precisely what the Muck Boot Arctic Pro’s are.
Everything starts with the outer layer, which is made from extra-thick rubber all the way around the foot area. The rubber is very, very durable, and resists impacts, while ensuring the proper amount of flexibility needed so as to not make you feel like you’re walking around in giant tires.
The insulation layer is a key player with the Arctic Pro’s. Underneath the outer rubber is a 2mm thick layer of thermal foam that traps heat in the boot, and also makes sure to keep the cold air from getting in.
On the inside of the boots, a thin layer of plush fleece is used from the bottom of the boot all the way up the calf, adding a large amount of comfort, wicking away moisture and sweat, and trapping in even more heat. The top of the boot has a small amount of elastic to help seal off your calves and feet comfortably.
The rubber outsoles are molded, and have reinforcements in the toe and heel for a more confident step on rough terrain. The tread pattern has thicker lugs around the outside, with rounded, blunt points on the inside for increased grip and slide prevention.
All of this comes together to create a formidable pair of hunting boots that can take on temperatures all the way down to -60 degrees Fahrenheit, which is basically the lowest rating you’ll find out of any hunting boots.
So for any of you who deal with insanely low temperatures during a hunt (or work,) and want boots that don’t feel overly bulky and rigid, The Muck Boot Arctic Pro’s are up for the task, and are legitimately comfortable to wear for hours on end.
Hunting boots are a lot more complicated and intricate than they may initially seem. All boots have scenarios and consumers they are more geared towards, with the design and features to match.
In order to ensure you get the boots you’re actually needing, be sure to go over these core aspects beforehand.
With hunting boots, insulation is a very important factor. As you probably already know, cold weather is the most aggressive towards our extremities, such as our hands and feet. Most hunting seasons are during cold weather, which can be brutal on your feet if you aren’t prepared.
The insulation in your boots is part of the way you combat this, helping trap your own body heat inside. Too little insulation is obviously a problem too much insulation can also be one, causing your feet to overheat and sweat, and then get cold from the sweat.
Because of this, it’s essential that you know what level of insulation you need. Most hunting boot insulation is made with Thinsulate, but there are some exceptions. Either way, the thickness is what matters.
While some brands vary, the three main levels of insulation are 0-200mm, 400-800mm, and 900mm+. The more insulation, the warmer the boots will be. Higher levels of insulation are better for frigid weather, or for boots on hunts where you won’t be walking around much.
If you’re going to be on the move most of the time, consider boots with a lower amount of insulation, as the constant walking will heat your feet up.
Another distinguishing aspect of hunting boots is their ability to keep water out, and to what degree. Getting water on the inside of your boots can instantly ruin your hunt, and be potentially dangerous depending on the weather.
Some boots are more waterproof than others, and others are completely waterproof. Again, it really depends on what you anticipate the environment to be. Are you going to be wading through shallow rivers, or just crossing a few small creeks every now and then. Will there be snow?
Fully waterproof hunting boots almost always come up past your calves, and have no eyelet holes, flaps, or breathable material on the outside in order to lock out any moisture. These are made for wading through water, trekking through snow, or really any other large amounts of moisture.
On the other hand, there are ankle-high boots made with waterproof materials on the outside, but the boots themselves are not sealed off. While they are not fully waterproof, and not made for wading, they can resist the morning dew on the grass, light rain, and the occasional puddle.
This is admittedly a broad aspect, but worth going over. The overall design of a pair of hunting boots indicates what they are best for. An example of this would be the aforementioned taller boots that come up past your calves, contrasted with shorter boots that have a shape more similar to athletic shoes, including laces, tread design, and so on.
The design of the boot reflects the intention. For instance, think about hunting boots made for sitting in a tree stand for hours on end. These boots are not designed for a lot of walking, but rather sitting, so they will be thicker to trap heat in, and likely weight more too.
In contrast, hiking boots made for hunting that involves being on foot and tracking all day are going to be lighter, and have less insulation. There will be more midsole support, a different tread design, and a different style of liner as well.
Getting the right fit for your hunting boots can be harder than you think. Most hunting is done in the cold, which requires wearing certain types of socks, or more than one pair. An extended period of walking can cause your feet to swell too.
As a result, you can’t simply go out and buy a pair of boots with the same size as your daily shoes or boots. In most cases, you’ll need to allot for the extra space to wear thicker socks, and for your feet to swell some.
Still, the same rules apply in regards to foot type, so if you wear wide or narrow sizes, do the same for your hunting boots.
For more tips on how to size your boots for the perfect fit, check out our guide here.
There’s really nothing like the perfect pair of hunting boots to ensure your hunt goes as well as it can, while also being as comfortable as possible — both during and after the hunt.
We hope our picks help you along in your buying process, so that you can end up with the best hunting boots to use for years to come. Happy hunting!