As any seasoned hunter will tell you, getting high quality and durable hunting boots is important if you don’t want your hunting experience ruined by ill-fitting and bad quality shoes. As you are on your feet for long periods of time, traversing all manner of terrain, you definitely want your feet to remain comfortable throughout the whole experience by purchasing the best hunting boots for yourself. From years of experience in addition to an exhaustive comprehensive research of different hunting boots, our team at Outdoor Ranger has boiled it all down to a list so that whether you are a new or an experienced hunter, you can spend your hard earned money on only the best hunting boots. The shoes below were chosen not only on their value and features, but by recommendations from fellow hunters like you who also were once in a position where they had to choose what boots to purchase.
If you would like to just skip the reviews and check out the best hunting boots in a side by side comparison, you can scroll to the bottom of the page or click on “final side by side comparison” in the contents section below.
Table of Contents
- 1. Top 5 Hunting Boots
- 2. Things To Consider
- 3. Final Side by Side Comparison
Reviews of Best Hunting Boots
1. Lowa Tibet GTX HI (Top Hunter’s Choice)
Just barely edging out Kenetrek Men’s Mountain Extreme, these excellent boots may not just be the best elk hunting boots we’ve tried, but the best hunting boots as of now, period. The comfort in these shoes is great and after a short break in, they fit perfectly. One of my personal favorite aspects of these boots is that no matter what kind of terrain you’re crossing, these shoes act like a plank and help you to easily climb steep terrain which comes in very handy. This is thanks to the full width, full length, 5mm nylon stabilizing shank which adds support for the toughest terrain. Even if you like to carry heavy backpacks during your trip like we occasionally do, you won’t have to worry about your feet hurting.
In addition to comfort, they feature a great waterproofing layer which means you don’t need to use any aftermarket waterproof sprays, something I wish I could have said about some of the other hunting boots. And while they don’t let any water in, their Climate Control system composed of micro-perforations in the boot do a good job of keeping your foot cooler compared to other full leather, waterproof boots.
Finally, they are built to last and with proper care they could last you 5-10 years. The shoe itself is made of high-grade nubuck leather and the outsole is crafted from vibram rubber. All in all, the Tibet GTX deserves the #1 spot and the title of the current king of hunting boots.
Weight (each boot): 2.2 lb
2. Kenetrek Men’s Mountain Extreme Ni Hunting Boot
Just like the Lowa Tibet GTX, these are another pair of commonly praised hunting boots and for good reason. One of the best features that we liked about these shoes is the stiffness and durability that they provide. This is due to the 2.8 mm leather which also helps with ankle support.
Fortunately, the added rigidity and stiffness do not take away from its comfort. Just like with any other high quality boot, after about 50 miles of breaking in as recommended by the manufacturer, the shoe will fit very comfortably helping you to focus on your prey and not the pain in your feet. An interesting thing to note is that even during the break in period, the boot felt comfortable so that I didn’t feel the need to take it off like I would with some of the other boots.
As a side note, good quality socks also play a role in maintaining comfort of your boots and we recommend these merino wool socks.
Not to be outdone by competitors, the Kenetrek’s mountain extreme boots also provide dependable waterproofing thanks to both the Wind-Tex membrane on the inside and a single leather piece tongue which is very solidly stitched to ensure it retains its waterproof qualities for an extended period of time. After all, if the boot itself lasts a long time but becomes permeable to water, it can get very annoying to say the least.
Weight (each boot): 2.1 lb
3. Lacrosse Aerohead
A problem that many neoprene boots possess is that unlike their leather counterparts which can mold into the shape of your foot, neoprene boots retain their original shape. This can cause a lot of discomfort especially when wearing your boots for a prolonged period of time. Thankfully, this was not the case with the LaCrosse Aeroheads when we put them to the test. The boot comes in 2 sizes, 3.5 mm and 7 mm, and they both fit great and were comfortable to wear for long hunts.
These boots also perform very well in the cold, with some people reporting that the 7 mm ones provided enough insulation even in -6 weather. Yet another feature that other rubber boots just can’t compete with as of now and why we chose the Aeroheads to be in this best hunting boots list.
Additionally, they are really light weighing only 2.5 lb each, and feature enough room on the top to tuck in the bulkiest of bibs into the boot. Other notable features include solid scent protection and Armor Weld waterproof coating so you can traverse swamps and creeks without worries.
If you’re a hunter on a budget and still want excellent hunting boots, these shoes will do the job perfectly.
Weight (each boot): 2.5 lb
4. Bogs Men’s Classic High Camo Boot
Yet another great pair for those on a budget, these rubber boots offer 100% waterproofing thanks to its 7mm Neo-Tech construction. You can cross streams and shallow waters with ease and the peace of mind while wearing these shoes. Additionally, with this boot Bogs also focused on making an outsole that remains well grounded which makes it very good for traversing slippery surfaces.
An ingenious and welcome small addition of a little nub right above the heel allows the users to take off the boot using the other foot as opposed to trying to grab the bottom of the muddy and dirtied boot to pull it off. We found this feature to be very useful and wish more boots would integrate it as it seems so easy to implement.
These boots also offer Aegis antimicrobial system to protect from odors and will keep your feet warm in cooler climates. However for really cold weather, warm socks are still recommended especially during the winter seasons if the temperature really drops. But the good news is that the boots themselves were made to withstand extreme cold, so you don’t have to worry about them cracking which is a big plus.
As with any other boot, always order a size or 2 up as the socks that you wear can make the fit too tight.
Weight (each boot): 2.0 lb
5. Columbia Bugaboot Plus III Omni-Heat
There’s a reason why the Columbio Bugaboot Plus II boots were one of the top winter and hunting boots, but just like any boot, it also had some downfalls. Improving on the Plus II, the Plus III addressed many of those issues including an added another Techlite shell membrane to enhance its waterproof capabilities. The boot itself is made of leather/nylon and features a rubber sole.
Additionally, these boots are excellent in keeping your feet warm as they not only have 200 grams of Omni-Heat insulation, but an additional layer of thermal reflective fabric to retain the heat. This makes them perfect for hunts in cold and snowy climates.
Similarly to other boots, they require a small amount of break in before becoming comfortable. There’s no need to order a size up as these shoes will run true to your normal shoe size. You can add 0.5 to your size to account for wool socks if you are planning on wearing any (which we heavily recommend you do in colder weather). It also does a good job at supporting your feet which helps when traversing deep snow or any other uneven/rugged terrain. And weighing under 2 lb each, they are also very light.
All in all, this is a very solid choice and for its price, you can’t really go wrong.
Height: 8.5 ”
Weight (each boot): 1.8 lb
Things to Consider When Choosing a Hunting Boot:
Comfort/Fit – The most important aspect to consider when finding the best hunting boots. Solidly built, well-insulated waterproof shoes are useless if you’re in pain while wearing them. Not only are blisters annoying to deal with, but the discomfort that you will have to deal with for hours is just not worth it.
Construction – Hunting boots are an investment. As such, when you purchase yours you want to know that you can reliably still use them after some time has passed, especially if you are dropping a lot of money on them. Construction includes the sole, the outsole, the material and its ability to resist water and cold if it is designed to do that.
Height – Taller shoes will help if you are crossing deeper waters and can help to shield the calves but apart from that they are up to personal preference.
Size – For a lot of the boots, you might need a bigger size as various hunting socks can make the fit uncomfortably tight. Additionally, different brands have slightly different actual sizes for the same size of the boot. Luckily, amazon has a nifty feature where people can report how the shoe fit them so you don’t have to worry about returning a boot too small/big. Just click on any shoe from here and you’ll be automatically taken to its amazon page to see.
Insulation – varies based on your needs. Here are the most common ranges and their typical uses:
- 0-200 grams – high activity levels and early season hunting
- 400-800 grams – a good middle ground which covers most of the fall hunting possibilities
- 1000+ grams – to be used in very cold environments as well as in cases where you are mostly sedentary
Price – Educated buyers like you, who check out reviews to make the right purchase, already know to buy good quality shoes even if they cost slightly more. This is because not only are the shoes going to be more comfortable, which is worth it on its own, but the shoes will last more years compared to other lower grade boots. This actually makes it cheaper to get 1 high quality pair of boots as opposed to 3 bad pairs throughout the same period.