Best Elk Hunting Boots in 2019 | Reviews to Keep You Moving!

Last Updated: by Aiden Williams

best elk hunting boots

Image credit: Kenetrek.com

 

Welcome to the Best Elk Hunting Boots Review.

Hunters who are looking for ways to enhance their performance in the field tend to overlook footwear. Only when their feet are wet, cold, and full of blisters does the importance of finding proper boots become clear.

In this elk hunting boots review guide, we will be taking a closer look at the best hunting boots in 2019 for elk hunters. In addition to the reviews, we will also discuss crucial buying considerations that you should keep in mind when shopping for the best elk hunting boots.

Keep reading to learn more.

At a Glance: Best Elk Hunting Boots

Spoiler alert: Our top overall pick is Kenetrek’s Mountain Extreme—these lightweight, well-made hunting boots will keep you dry and comfortable, and offer high stability and traction.

Reviews of the Best Boots for Elk Hunting

Kenetrek Men’s Mountain Extreme NI Hunting Boot – The Best Overall Elk Hunting Boot

The Mountain Extreme hunting boot from Kenetrek has all the features you want in a hiking boot, including a durable, lightweight construction for hunting on all terrains and in all weather conditions.

Key Features

  • 2.8mm 100% top-grain leather
  • 7mm nylon midsoles
  • Windtex membrane
  • K-Talon outsoles
  • Rubber sole guard
  • Weight of 3.9 lbs.

The Mountain Extreme NI (non-insulated) has a 100% leather upper with a durable rubber sole to provide you with ample stability and traction when you are hunting. Since the upper is made of a one-piece vamp, it has no seams down the tongue. The result is improved waterproofing and resistance to abrasion.

The boot’s Windtex membrane is waterproof, breathable, and flexible to ensure that the hunter is comfortable and dry in wet conditions. The K-Talon outsoles provide you with all the grip you need when moving over rocky or slippery terrain.

Despite this boot’s ruggedness, it only weighs 3.9 lbs. Minor drawbacks are that their arches are somewhat high, and it may feel as if you are stepping on a bump. After buying the boots, you may have to spend some time breaking them in.

Pros

  • Durable construction
  • Light weight of only 3.9 lbs.
  • Waterproof and flexible Windtex membrane
  • Durable outsoles are resistant to punctures
  • 100% leather upper

Cons

  • Arches may be too high for some
  • Boots require some break-in time

The Kenetrek Mountain Extreme hunting boots are ideal for elk hunting with their supportive arches, waterproof membrane, and K-Talon outsoles for added grip. Rating: 4.9 out of 5.

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Lowa Men’s Tibet GTX Trekking Boot – The Best Value for Price

If you require support, stability, and a natural fit, consider the Tibet GTX from Lowa. This boot offers a wide range of features – from speed-lacing hardware to a PU injected midsole.

Key Features

  • 100% leather upper
  • Synthetic sole
  • A 7-inch shaft from arch
  • D-ring eyelets with speed lacing hardware
  • Gore-Tex lining with padded tongue and collar
  • FlexFit ankle and heel stabilizer

The Tibet GTX is a versatile outdoor boot and a worthy consideration for the elk hunter. The boot’s uppers are made of 100% leather to withstand abrasion and extreme conditions.

A standout feature of this boot is its long arch that measures seven inches from the shaft. The longer shaft with the FlexFit feature provides you with complete ankle stability when crossing rugged terrain.

Features for comfort include a padded C4 anatomically contoured tongue, a seamless Gore-Tex lining to keep your feet dry, and a breathable perforated lining to prevent the build-up of moisture and heat.

Because the boot’s sizing runs small, you may have to purchase one size bigger to ensure a comfortable fit.

Pros

  • Durable 100% leather and synthetic sole construction
  • Waterproof Gore-Tex lining
  • Breathable lining for odor and moisture control
  • Anatomically contoured tongue for added comfort
  • Long arch and FlexFit offer comfortable ankle support
  • Excellent value for money

Cons

  • The boot runs a bit narrow
  • Not the most lightweight boot for hunting

The Lowa Tibet GTX is a rugged, waterproof, and comfortable boot that is an affordable choice for elk hunting. Rating: 4.7

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Irish Setter 880 Elk Tracker Hunting Boot

This boot from Irish Setter was specially developed for elk hunting with its insulation, rugged design, and odor control technology.

Key Features

  • 100% leather upper
  • Rubber sole
  • 3M Thinsulate insulation
  • Removable comfort cork EVA footbed
  • ScentBan Technology
  • Shock-absorbing midsole

The 880 Elk Tracker hunting boot is made of 100% leather and features a rubber sole to provide you with sufficient traction on all terrains. The boot has a high steel shank that measures 9.5 inches from the arch and an opening that measures 15 inches around.

The 3M Thinsulate insulation and waterproof Gore-Tex fabric lining keep your feet warm and dry when you are hunting in cold, wet conditions. For added comfort, the boot has a removable comfort cork footbed that features contouring memory foam.

What makes this boot especially suitable for elk hunting is the ScentBan technology that kills odor-causing bacteria—and more importantly, hides your scent from elk.

Minor drawbacks of the 880 Elk Tracker are that it is not as breathable as other boots in this category, and it doesn’t provide the best arch support, which can result in fatigue.

Pros

  • Specially designed for elk hunting
  • ScentBan technology kills bacteria
  • Gore-Tex waterproof fabric lining
  • 3M Thinsulate insulation to keep your feet warm
  • Comfortable memory foam footbed

Cons

  • Breathability could be improved
  • Lacking arch support

The 880 Elk Tracker hunting boot from Irish Setter is a durable, comfortable boot with the necessary features to keep your feet warm and dry while you are hunting. Rating: 4.7

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Danner Men’s Pronghorn

This Danner hunting boot offers a wide range of features to keep your feet comfortable and protected while you are tracking and hunting elk.

Key Features

  • 100% full-grain leather uppers, toe, and heel cap
  • Gore-Tex lining
  • Rubber sole
  • Open-cell polyurethane footbed
  • Lock and Load lacing system
  • Uninsulated

The Danner Pronghorns hunting boot is made of high-grade camo hide leather that enhances the boot’s flexibility, visual appeal, and ruggedness. The rubber sole with deep lugs offers sufficient arch support and traction on all terrains.

The Pronghorns are lightweight and features Gore-Tex fabric lining that is not only breathable, but that also keeps your feet from getting wet when you are moving through water or mud. The Lock and Load lacing across the boot’s forefoot allows for quick and easy lacing, and it contributes significantly to the ankle support that this boot has to offer.

The polyurethane footbed with its open-cell construction contours to the shape of your foot while allowing for air circulation and breathability.

There are two issues with this boot. The first is that it has a narrow profile, and if you have wide feet, you may have to purchase one size up. This boot is also quite expensive in comparison with other boots in this category.

Pros

  • Leather and rubber construction
  • Lightweight, warm, and comfortable
  • The rubber sole offers sufficient traction
  • The Gore-tex lining makes the boot waterproof
  • Thinsulate insulation

Cons

  • May be too narrow for many
  • High price tag

The Danner Pronghorn is the ideal boot for elk hunting with its leather uppers and lightweight design. Rating: 4.6

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Salomon Quest 4d GTX

The Quest 4d GTX from Salomon is a viable option for elk hunting and stands out when it comes to waterproofing and temperature control.

Key Features

  • Leather and synthetic construction
  • Rubber sole
  • 6.5-inch shaft measurement from the arch
  • Speedcross lug pattern
  • Gore-Tex weatherproofing
  • Contagrip traction

The Salomon Quest 4d GTX is designed to provide comfort and prevent fatigue. Despite the shoe’s light weight, it offers sufficient support for added loads. The Gore-Tex fabric liner keeps your feet from getting wet, and it is breathable to prevent the build-up of heat and moisture.

The soles feature Contagrip technology, which provides you with premium traction on wet and slippery terrain. For added protection, the GTX is fitted with a rubber toe cap. Comfort features include an Ortholite footbed, heel foam, and a gusseted tongue.

The shaft measures 6.5 inches from the arch and provides you with sufficient ankle support and stability while hunting.

One issue with these shoes is that the laces tend to become untied, even though the manufacturer claimed to have solved the problem.

In essence, the GTX is a hiking boot. While it has all the features you need for elk hunting, it was not specially designed for this application.

Pros

  • Durable leather and synthetic construction
  • Gore-Tex material for breathability and weatherproofing
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Perforated for enhanced airflow

Cons

  • Designed for hiking
  • Laces tend to come loose

The Salomon Quest 4d GTX is a viable option if you want a lightweight, waterproof hunting shoe. Rating: 4.5

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Meindl Island MFS Wide Active Shoes

The Island MFS hunting boot is made by Meindl, a company that specializes in work boots. The Island MFS is durable and suitable for women as well as men.

Key Features

  • Nubuck leather
  • Gore-Tex sock
  • Rubberized sole
  • Memory foam footbed
  • Shock-absorbing polyurethane wedge

This boot from Meindl comes with a combination of high-end features to ensure that your feet are comfortable, protected, and warm. The nubuck leather can withstand abrasion and blows, and its stitching is long-lasting and high-quality.

The shoe has a rubberized sole that offers traction and protects your feet from punctures. This sole works with a polyurethane midsole to absorb shocks and add comfort when you are walking on unforgiving terrain.

On the inside of the boot is a memory foam footbed that contours to the shape of your foot. This footbed is extremely breathable to prevent heat and moisture build-up. The Meindl Island is highly flexible and doesn’t require extensive breaking in.

It is hard to find something wrong with the Island MFS boot. However, it is quite expensive, but since it offers longevity, it may be worth the premium.

Pros

  • Lightweight nubuck leather
  • Cushioned comfort and shock absorption
  • Gore-Tex weatherproofing and breathability
  • Removable foot-forming insole
  • Durable construction that can last for years
  • Suitable for men and women

Cons

  • A relatively high price tag

The Island MFS from Meindl is a high-quality boot with every feature you need for elk hunting, including ankle support, waterproofing, and breathability. Rating: 4.8

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Kamik Nationplus Boot

The Nationplus boot from Kamik is widely used among elk hunters due to its high shaft, waterproofing technology, and rugged construction.

Key Features

  • 100% leather
  • Rubber sole
  • 10-inch shaft measurement from arch
  • 0.75-inch platform
  • Speed-lacing system is rust-proof
  • 200B Thinsulate insulation
  • Moisture-wicking lining

This minus forty degrees Fahrenheit-rated boot is made for cold weather with 200B Thinsulate insulation and a rubber sole that extends over the toes. These Kamiks also feature a moisture- wicking lining to help keep your feet dry.

The high shaft measures ten inches from the arch to provide you with ankle support and protection. Another key feature is the rust-proof speed-lacing system.

One drawback of the Kamik Nationplus is that it doesn’t feature Gore-Tex lining, and the quality of the sole rubber seems subpar.

Pros

  • Suitable for cold weather
  • Speed-lacing system that is rust-proof
  • High shaft for ankle protection
  • 100% leather for added durability
  • Moisture-wicking lining

Cons

  • Poor breathability
  • Rubber sole quality is lacking
  • No Gore-Tex lining

The Kamik Nationplus hunting boot is a viable option for hunting elk in cold conditions. The boot features adequate insulation and a 100% leather construction to keep your feet warm.

Rating: 4.5

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Buying Guide

Hunting Boot Types

There are three hunting boot types: field boots, rubber boots, and snake boots. Choosing the correct type for the conditions is crucial to ensure comfort and optimal mobility.

Field Boots

Field boots are typically made of leather, mesh, or nylon and are designed for dry and cold conditions. They feature optimal insulation and durable soles for complete traction and stability on rugged or slippery terrains.

One drawback of this type of boot is it tends to lack waterproofing.

Rubber Boots

Rubber boots are the best option for elk hunting in wet conditions. This boot type is especially suitable for hunting as it features odor control so the elk doesn’t smell you. Check out our post on the best rubber hunting boots here.

While rubber boots do a great job of keeping your feet dry, they may not keep your feet warm as they are not insulated.

Snake Boots

Snake boots combine the benefits of field and rubber boots. They are typically waterproof, insulated, and suitable for rugged terrains. Snake boots get their name from their extended collars that protect against snake bites.

Snake boots may seem like the best option for elk hunters—but consider your hunting conditions carefully. If you never encounter bodies of water or rain, a field boot may be more suitable. On the other hand, if you typically hunt in hot, wet conditions, consider a rubber boot for elk hunting.

 

 

Buying Considerations

Your elk hunting conditions, foot shape, tolerance for discomfort, and personal preferences are unique. To ensure that you find an elk hunting boot that meets all your needs, you have to take several buying considerations into account.

Below, we will discuss some of the basic hunting boot traits to help you select the most suitable pair.

Fit

The first requirement of any hunting boot is a perfect fit, regardless of your hunting conditions and personal preferences. If your shoes don’t fit perfectly, you will end up with blisters, pressure point pains, and extreme discomfort, especially if you are walking long distances.

Pay close attention to sizing charts, and measure both feet before selecting a size.

Height

The height of your boot depends on your typical hunting conditions. Higher, waterproof boots are great for moving through marshes or mud. Taller boots typically provide better ankle support as well and may be a better option if you are hunting on mountainous terrains.

Weight

The ideal hunting boot weight depends on your stamina, size, and age. Generally speaking, you want a boot that is light to ensure optimal mobility and prevent fatigue. Boots that weigh between two and four pounds are suitable for most hunters.

Fortunately, with contemporary shoe technology, you don’t have to forgo durability, waterproofing, and protection for a lightweight shoe.

Waterproofing

Waterproofing can save you from a lot of discomfort when following elk through rivers, marshes, streams, and mud. Gore-Tex linings provide sufficient waterproofing for hunting and, while these boots are typically more expensive, they are worth considering. Some high-end brands offer their own waterproofing features, which may be equally effective to keep your feet dry.

Soles

Soles have to withstand the most abuse while providing you with sufficient traction on rugged or slippery terrain. How much weight plan on carrying will dictate your soles’ thickness and their lug depth. All soles should be resistant to punctures and provide you with arch support for added comfort.

Lacing

Lacing is another critical consideration when shopping for hunting boots. Most boots have lacing that extends to the ankle, which is sufficient for boots that are up to seven inches high. If you are carrying a heavy load or hunt on many different terrains, however, you may need a boot with laces that extend higher up your leg to provide you with sufficient ankle support and comfort.

Breathability

While you are hunting, your body temperature increases and, if your shoes are not breathable, this can cause discomfort and excessive perspiration. For optimal breathability, select hunting boots with 200-gram insulation or a removable thermal liner.

 

Before Your Trip

Even if you purchase the perfect shoes, there are things you should do before your hunting trip to prevent discomfort and pain.

Choosing the Right Socks

The socks you wear can provide you with added comfort, support, and insulation. Find socks that repel moisture and have some structure for added support. If you hunt in cold conditions, merino wool or polypropylene socks will provide you with the warmth you need.

Your hunting socks should fit you perfectly and be comfortable. If you have sensitive skin, woolen socks may not be ideal, and you should instead opt for socks made from polypropylene or other synthetics.

Breaking in Your Boots

New shoes may take some time to conform to the shape of your feet. If you don’t break in your hunting boots, you may experience friction between your skin and your shoe. When breaking in your hunting boots, protect the sensitive spots with surgical paper tape, and wear thick socks.

The break-in period depends on your boots. Some may take a week to break in while others are immediately ready for the hunting trip. The sooner your shoes can be broken in, the better.

What is the Difference Between Hiking and Hunting Boots?

In many ways, hiking and hunting boots are the same. Both have features for ankle support and to allow for crossing unforgiving terrain. However, when you are hunting, you need specific features that hiking boots generally don’t have, including odor control, camouflage designs, and extra weatherproofing elements.

Some boots are also specially developed for hunting in certain conditions, while most hiking boots generally have the same features. See more hunting boots here. We also have our roundup of upland hunting boots here.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to elk hunting boots, it is difficult to beat the Mountain Extreme NI hunting boot from Kenetrek. This boot offers several features that make it ideal for this application, including a 100% top-grain leather construction of one-piece vamp, K-Talon outsoles for traction and stability, and a light weight of only 3.9 lbs.

The Mountain Extreme hunting boot features a breathable, waterproof Windtex membrane, and it is highly flexible for added comfort. You only buy hunting boots once every few years, and it may be worth your while to invest in this high-quality boot that will protect your feet and keep them comfortable and warm.

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