How to Find the Best Hunting Boots: 8 Things You Need to Consider

By Jim Johnson / August 10, 2017

Hunting boots are essential to every hunter, considering it serves many purposes. You need them for protection, for comfort, and for regulating body heat. Thus, it is only wise that you choose them carefully. Having the wrong boots on can quickly turn your hunting trip to a nightmare. Here are eight important factors you need to consider to find the best hunting boots.

Environmental Conditions

First things first - you need to determine what environmental conditions you are hunting in. What’s the terrain? Is it rocky, uneven, muddy, grassy, or wet? How much hiking will it involve? You will most likely need different hunting boots for various conditions if you want to be comfortable.

Another important thing to consider is the season you are hunting in. Apparently, during the cold season, you should consider insulation in your boots. Take note that these are more expensive than boots that the manufacturers do not rate for the cold season. Knowing the conditions and the season will help you choose the rest of the vital factors that you need to consider.


Material

Hunting boots come in different materials. There’s Gore-Tex, rubber, leather, neoprene, canvas, and more. To choose which material is best, you have to know the characteristics of each.

● Gore-Tex is completely waterproof and provides excellent ventilation.

● Rubber is water repellant.

● The leather is one of the more popular materials because they are very durable. They also get more comfortable over time. However, they need to get waterproof treatment.


Waterproofing

Waterproofing is vital for most hunting conditions. It's even more essential for the cold weather because the insulation feature of the boots will be useless if it's wet. But even if your hunting destination is not cold or wet, there's still morning dew at the start of the day. You don't want to get wet feet because it's horrible for the skin, it's uncomfortable, and it can get cold right away.

The thing is, not all shoes have the same waterproofing. It varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. It could have a waterproof membrane or waterproof treatment on the material.


Insulation

Insulation is another significant factor consider, especially if you’re hunting in cold conditions. Like waterproofing, it varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. However, it will depend on your level of activity as well. You will need greater insulation for sedentary hunting than you would with an active shooting.

Insulation in boots comes with rated grams - the higher it is, the more insulated or, the warmer they will be. For active hunts and early season hunts, you can go for no insulation to about 200 grams of insulation. For autumn, you might need at least 400. In winter and for sedentary activities, you might need 1000 grams of insulation.


Ventilation

Ventilation is a factor that can significantly affect the comfort factor of your boots. You want breathable boots - one that allows air to circulate within the shoes. Not only will does it make it more comfortable for your feet, but it's also perfect for your feet regarding hygiene.


Fit

The fit of your boots determine how comfortable they will be, so it's necessary that you not take it lightly. As much as possible, you want to fit them before you purchase them to have a good feel of the boots. But even after buying them, you might still need to break them in.

A good fit should prevent blisters, cramps, and discomfort, especially during activity. For the right fit, there are also factors you need to consider. To help you determine the right fit, you need to ask the following questions:

● Do your feet have special needs? For instance, are you flat footed or do you have high arches?

● What is the terrain of your hunting location?

● What is the weather condition or season you’re hunting?

● Are you going to be hiking for long periods? Is it a flat terrain, rocky, wet, slippery, elevated, and more?

● What kind of socks will you be wearing?

Knowing the answers to these questions can help you, and your retailer determines what’s best. Another tip - bring the socks you plan on wearing with you for fitting shoes.


Ankle Support

Boots come in different heights and ankle support. If you’re hunting in areas that require extended periods of hiking in an elevated area, then you will need more ankle support than you would on a short hike and flat terrain. Hunters need to move cautiously to avoid scaring off the prey. They also need to blend in the environment to avoid being spotted by the victim. That's why boots come in simple designs or plain colours.


Design and Colour

Hunters need to move cautiously to avoid scaring off the prey. They also need to blend in the environment to avoid being spotted by the victim. That's why boots come in simple designs or plain colours. However, there are also many boots with camouflage designs. Choose a design that suits your purpose if it applies, but, it’s a matter of preference.


Final Thought

Finding the best hunting boots is not a short process. However, the more thorough you are, the less likely you’ll have regrets. To summarise, the best boots offer the right fit and suitable to your hunting conditions, waterproofing is vital for most cases, and insulation depends on the environment and the climate. Also, the ankle support needed differs for different terrains, ventilation is necessary for comfort, and the best colour should minimise visibility from the prey.

There is no single best hunting boot, only one that is suitable for your needs. As much as possible, try to visit a store where you can get help from retailers and so you can also try out the boots for yourself.

About the author

    Jim Johnson

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