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So you’re going hunting and you want only the best hunting boots. Well, the best hunting boots depend on what kind of environment you’ll be hunting in. Is it wet or dry, hot or cold? Will there be snow or mud or lots of brush? Are you planning on standing a lot or walking a lot?
Once you know what kind of hunting you’ll be getting into, you’ll want to think about the following boot qualities before buying:
- Height of boot: This is simple but important. If you expect to be walking through deep water or tall brush then you’ll want to pick a taller boot. If you’re hunting on flat terrain, the height doesn’t matter as much
- Water resistance: Some boots are basically fully rubberized to make them waterproof while others use water-resistant materials or incorporate waterproof layers with things like Gore-Tex. You’ll regret not getting something fully waterproof when your socks are soaked.
- Insulation: If you’re hunting in colder weather, you’ll definitely want insulated boots. Depending on just how cold your environment is, you can get boots with thick insulation rated for negative temperatures so thinner insulation for those typical cold winter mornings.
- Materials: The materials in every part of the boot, such as leather, Gore-Tex, rubber, insulators or textiles, affect things like comfort, warmth, traction and water resistance, so you’ll want to make a note of what materials the boot uses and how.
We could really get into the weeds on some of those qualities, but those basics will get you a decent pair of hunting boots for your needs. So, armed with those basics, check out our picks for the best hunting boots below.
1. Meindl Dovre Extreme GTX Wide Field Boots
If you want the best hunting boots, check out anything from Meindl, in particular, the Meindl Dovre Extreme GTX Wide Field Boots.
Though Meindl boots are generally designed for maneuvering alpine conditions, the Dovre Extreme GTX will hold up deep mud, snow or water and keep your feet warm and dry along the way. And if you do need to scale rocky or slick terrain to continue the hunt, the rugged Vibram sole will give you the traction you need.
2. Kenetrek Mountain Extreme Hiking Boots
For an overall great hunting boot, you can’t do much better than Kenetrek. The Kenetrek Mountain Extreme Hiking Boot is 10 inches tall and made from leather, with a nylon midsole, high-traction, luggy outsoles and a reinforced rubber sole guard for extra protection. It also uses 400 grams of Thinsulate insulation and a waterproof Windtex membrane to keep your feet warm and dry. That means it’ll handle wet and snowy conditions well but also flat and dry terrain too.
The only thing these hunting boots don’t do well is deal with slick surfaces. Multiple reviewers noted that these don’t get much traction on wet surfaces, such as sticks, stones and roots, so if you plan to hunt in regularly wet environments, you might want to go for another boot. For everything else, the Kenetrek hiking boot is definitely one of the best hunting boots.
3. L.L. Bean Men’s Insulated Kangaroo Upland Hunter’s Boots
BEST FOR DRY UPLAND CONDITIONS
Whether you’re working in open fields, heavy groundcover, upland desert or more mountainous terrain, the 8-inch L.L. Bean Men’s Insulated Kangaroo Upland Hunter’s Boots have got your back.
Durable kangaroo leather ensures the boots are light and last and a waterproof TEK membrane and 200-gram Primaloft insulation keep your feet warm and dry. Yup, just as long as you’re not walking in deep water, these are some of the best hunting boots.
4. L.L. Bean Men’s Maine Warden’s Hunting Boots
BEST FOR FOREST/WOODS
While all of L.L. Bean’s boots are great, they make especially great boots for forest conditions, courtesy of Maine’s millions of acres of forest and billions of trees.
L.L. Bean consulted with Maine’s game wardens to develop the 10-inch Men’s Maine Warden’s Hunting Boots. The end result was a boot built for anything the woods can throw at you that will keep your feet warm, dry and comfortable.
The 200-gram Primaloft helps insulate, the Gore-Tex layer makes things waterproof and the Vibram outsole will keep you locked onto any surface, wet or dry.
5. Muck Wetland Rubber Premium Men’s Field Boots
BEST FOR WETLANDS
If you expect to get wet while hunting, you want the 14-inch Muck Wetland Rubber Premium Men’s Field Boots. They’re 100% waterproof from the toe to the top of the boot shaft and are rated to keep your feet warm in negative temperatures and cool in warmer temperatures.
Rubber covers the boot up to the calf and waterproof neoprene fills out the boot the rest of the way, and when it does get warmer out, you can roll down the neoprene to improve airflow.
That means if you’re dealing with deep snow and mud, cold rain or warm, dry conditions, this boot will be able to work.
6. Thorogood Men’s Infinity FD Waterproof Rubber Work Boots
GREAT TALL RUBBER BOOT
For a fully rubberized, defeat-deep-water-at-all-costs solution, the Thorogood Men’s Infinity FD Waterproof Rubber Work Boots are what the doctor ordered.
With 17 inches of rubber to work with, water won’t be overflowing into these boots any time soon. But these boots offer more than just water protection. The boot also features a wicking liner to help keep you dry amid sweat, a proprietary compound in the rubber sole that maximizes shock absorption, 800-gram Thinsulate insulation for warmth and an aerogel lining that improves heat retention.
So whether you’re working in cold or warm wet conditions, these boots will be the best hunting boots for your feet.
And if you anticipate really cold temperatures, Thorogood makes an identical boot with 1600-gram Thinsulate insulation.
7. Danner Men’s Vital Insulated Hunting Shoes
GREAT FOR WALKING
If you know you’re going to be doing a lot of walking but still want a boot that can handle all but the most extreme temps and conditions, the Danner Men’s Vital Insulated Hunting Shoes will deliver.
They’re not too tall, relatively light thanks to the leather and textile upper and feature multi-density foam patterning on the insole for comfort.
A rubber sole keeps you on the ground on even rocky terrain, 400-gram insulation keeps your feet warm and the boot uses Danner Dry waterproof protection, which we don’t think is fully waterproof, but is definitely good enough for a few inches of water.
Overall, these boots aren’t ideal for multi-day hunting trips into the extreme wilderness but they cover everything in between.
8. Rocky Men’s Sport Utility Pro Hunting Boot
GREAT BACKUP BOOT
If you’re not sure what you’ll be doing and don’t want to spend too much, the Rocky Men’s Sport Utility Pro Hunting Boots will at least be decent in most hunting conditions.
The upper uses leather and nylon, which are lightweight and durable, with 1,000 grams of Thinsulate insulation and a rugged outsole. A molded EVA midsole provides nice support too.
The only thing these boots don’t handle is really wet conditions. Rocky claims these boots are waterproof, but reviewers were divided, with some getting soaked and others handling ankle-deep water no problem.
But factoring in the price and their all-around solid quality, these are the best hunting boots to buy just in case or to throw in your trunk as spares.