Choosing the correct boots for your hunting experience can often be as important as picking the right gun. After all, you are going to spend a lot of time on your feet so they need to be comfortable and you are going to be challenged by many different types of situations and land layouts. One minute you may be trudging through mud and leaves and the next you could be clambering up a steep incline with rocks and stones under your feet.
The right boots, the right materials and the right sole and tread pattern are all things that you need to think about when you purchase a new set of deer hunting boots.
Firstly, we aren’t going to say that any material is wrong when it comes to buying boots it all comes down to the terrain that you are going to be walking on. If you tend to hunt in your home state more than you do in other states then it makes sense to get a material that is better suited to the terrain and weather conditions of your home location.
The most popular material with today’s hunters is Neoprene as it’s a lightweight material that will keep your feet warm and is a lot lighter than rubber which is dying out in popularity with many hunters. The material is also very waterproof so you aren’t going to suffer from any leaks that could lead to problems with your feet getting cold and wet.
The only real drawback is that the material isn’t breathable which could put some hunters off.
Nylon Mesh is the other main material mostly because it’s very cheap which appeals to a lot of people. The wedding is also used in many hunting boots on the market, it’s light, durable, waterproof and is breathable which gives it a slightly upper-hand compared to Neoprene.
The downside to Nylon Mesh is that they aren’t going to be good during colder hunts because they don’t offer any insulation to keep your feet warm.
The third material is leather which is probably the overall most popular amongst hunters from the older generation to the current generation. After all, you can’t go wrong with leather as hunting boots because they offer warmth, a lot of protection and support for your ankles and feet, and they are waterproof.
The only issues are that they aren’t as cheap as other boots and as you can imagine they aren’t breathable. However, if you don’t have a budget to stick to and you aren’t too fussed about breathable boots then these win hands down when it comes to selecting a material for a general hunter.
The next thing we need to look at is the soles of your boots, both insoles and outsoles are just as important here as insoles will make all the difference in keeping your feet comfortable and preventing any aches or pains from occurring with substantial wear.
If you are travelling with backpacks that are heavy then you are going to be weighed down to the ground a lot more than if you were travelling light. So it makes sense to get boots with a much thicker, padded outsole if you are heavy travelling whilst if you don’t have much carriage then a thinner sole will help you keep your footing and giving added flexibility to your walking.
When looking at soles we can only offer advice on what to look for as every person, and every foot type is different. What we do suggest is that you try boots on before buying them and give them a good trial.
Hand in hand with soles comes laces as well, as these can often help support your ankles if you choose boots where the lacing climbs up to your ankle height. Again we can only offer suggestions here but the higher the lace comes the more support you are going to have when scaling up uneven ground.
Generally speaking most leather material boots will have laces that rise up to your calf area.
We cannot stress enough that you don’t just go for the first pair of cheap boots you see on the market. For one main reason is that they may not be waterproof, or even if they are you have to ask yourself how long until the seams come apart and water is easily allowed to leak into your boots and soak your feet? Not what you want when you have 8 hours of hunting in front of you in wet conditions. You are only going to suffer from further problems with your feet that could end up with you in hospital.
Most hunting areas will contain lakes, puddles, muddy areas, swampy regions and so forth. Even if you don’t end up in an area like this you have to think about the cold, and chances of rainfall. Getting yourself a sturdy pair of waterproof hunting boots will eliminate the chance of you suffering from trench foot and will allow you to even walk through streams, swamps, puddles and hunt in the rain without any leaks.
The only issue is that the higher grade of water resistant boot the less they become breathable. Although, Gore-Tex material tends to offer full water –resistant capabilities with the added bonus of a much more breathable boot for your foot. The only drawback is that these type of deer hunting boots don’t come cheap but if you are a regular hunter and experience these type of conditions where you hunt then you should look at getting yourself a pair, as in the long-run you are going to save yourself money from having to throw out old boots and buy new ones.
Remember, getting the right set of deer hunting boots relies on your foot type and the terrain that you are going to be experiencing during your hunt so choose wisely.