Hunting boots are as different for every hunter as the skills that every person possesses for the sport or hobby. Having the wrong kind of boots on doesn’t make your feet happy at all, and many hunters have proven this to be so. With the large variety of options on the market, it is good advice to know how to get the best hunting boots for you to maximize every outing.
Despite being considered outdated, canvas as a hunting boots material comes with breathability and relative light weight. The exceptional airflow of the material ensures faster drying when wet. Canvas can be sealed, either at option by the hunter or done at the factory, to increase its waterproof level. The material renders the boots affordable while being a bit heavier compared to other materials.
Suede makes a pair of hunting boots eye catching, well insulated and flexible. This type of material is soft, premium leather made superbly warm and flexible. Suede boots require treatment for protection against moisture, otherwise, the material can stain and eventually rot. To provide flexibility, suede is typically employed in the upper of the boots. It can also be utilized in the making of the lining to keep the feet insulated from the cold. Suede makes the boots heavy.
Leather, in tanned form, is one of the most popular and the oldest material used in making hunting boots. Despite its being less breathable, leather provides a high level of protection from moisture along with remarkable support to the feet. Classic hunting boots are outfitted with leather uppers, which do add weight but offer a high level of durability, protection and stiffness. Leather hunting boots have to be sealed on an annual basis to protect them from discoloration or rotting especially when frequently exposed to moisture.
Rubber is great when the boots are used for hunting in perennially wet locations such as marshes and swamps. Rubber delivers excellent moisture repelling properties. Despite its thickness, heavy weight and inflexibility, rubber offers sufficient protection to the feet from water and can also be quite durable.
Nylon webbing or mesh is a relatively new material used in hunting boots. Superbly durable, nylon mesh is extra lightweight, water resistant and offers exceptional airflow. It also makes hunting boots flexible, but the lining typically of warmer material may not be able to ward off the cold well enough because of the breathability.
Gore-Tex is an advanced type of textile that integrates remarkable insulation with the amazing benefits of nylon. Widely popular as a lining material, Gore-Tex is also used on the uppers of hunting footwear thanks to its cutting-edge ventilation and remarkable waterproof capability.
Closed-cell foam is marketed under a variety of trade names. It is lightweight and exceptionally strong to keep the feet cushioned. Used in the insoles of hunting boots, closed-cell foam can be of different formulas to deliver a variety of applications. The material is generally supportive, moisture-proof, lightweight and springy.
Neoprene is a kind of closed-cell foam used as lining and upper material for hunting boots. Designed for exceptional warmth, neoprene is non-breathable. Completely waterproof, the material delivers the same protection as rubber but is much, much lighter. The material is frequently integrated with others, as its durability is not reliable.
The level of insulation can be a customized aspect, depending on the kind of activity the hunting boots are intended to be used for. When you have to be in a treestand or a duck blind in extremely cold weather, the boots have to carry a greater level of insulation to offset the inactivity for long periods of time. When you have to constantly stalk prey, insulation may not be much of an issue since your feet will be moving incessantly, keeping the circulation running.
One thing to consider when thinking about insulation is the differences in every person’s internal heat maintenance system. Different people demonstrate varying levels of body heat generating capacity, so it is best to choose the level of insulation that suits that element.
Hunting boots have their insulation rating expressed in grams, which, although not the actual measurement of the total mass of insulation, is simply an abbreviated form of grams per square meter of fabric.
An excellent insulation material is Thinsulate™, which offers a high level of warmth without being too heavy or having too much mass. Insulation is broken down into three levels. Boots uninsulated to 200 grams are fine for early season and constantly mobile users. The most widely-used level for hunting boots that addresses virtually all hunting situations is 400 to 800 gram. Engineered for use in winter weather with less mobility is the 1000 gram and up level.
Hunting in swampy or wet areas for your prey entails the use of splendidly waterproof hunting footwear. With premium-level waterproofing, the boots let you navigate streams and puddles without your socks getting wet. Imagine just what wet socks feel like on a particularly cold day!
Many hunting boots have a sewn-in waterproof membrane on the lining between the outer shell and the wearer’s foot. The bootie should have fully taped seams to completely envelop the foot.
Check out hunting boots made with Gore-Tex booties, which offer waterproof protection AND excellent ventilation for comfort and dryness and should more than compensate for the higher price tag.
Whether buying boots with men’s or women’s fit, the consumer can choose from a variety of designs and styles to suit their preference.
For lightweight walking comfort, upland boots can take a lot of miles without being overly heavy. The sole is typically soil-shedding and features a light lug design.
High country boots offer additional support for hunting big game in steep and rugged terrain, made for the most challenging high-elevation hunting applications.