Best Hunting Boots | Top Rated Waterproof Boots for Hunting, Mountains and More

best hunting boots

A couple of years back, I booked a hunting trip in Africa. I was going to bag at least one of the big five. I wanted to be well-prepared, so I got myself an awesome pair of hunting boots—waterproofing, insulation, the works. I dropped a lot of cash on them.

I wanted the best—I wanted top-rated hunting boots—and I got them. That is if I was hunting in the snow. That’s the part I missed. Two hours into our first hike, and my feet felt like they were on fire.

I ended up having to get another pair that was more suitable to wear in the heat. Ever since then, I’ve been scrupulous about checking for the best hunting boots for the situation at hand.

In the latest of my hunting boot reviews, I’ll go over my top choices for this year. I’ll identify my pick for the best waterproof hunting boots.

The Best Hunting Boots Overall

The top hunting boots award goes to The Rocky Men’s Prolight Snake Boot. It’s got ample protection from the elements and things that slither through the undergrowth.

Best Hunting Boots of 2019 Reviewed

Irish Setter Men’s 2870 Vaprtrek Boot — Best Hunting Boots for Versatility

Irish Setter is one of the world’s most well-loved shoe brands for a good reason. They produce great looking and highly practical footwear.

Key Features

  • Imported
  • 100-percent synthetic
  • Sole made of rubber
  • The distance between the shaft and arch is about 7 inches
  • ScentBan tech to mask the scent
  • Lightweight
  • Ankle-high boot
  • Durable
  • UltraDry tech keeps your feet dry and comfortable

What I Like About This Product

One thing that sets this boot apart is that it is very lightweight. If you need to move through the woods with ease, you’re going to love this boot. They feel like they’re barely there.

The scent masking chemicals are found throughout the lining. This kills off any bacteria that might be present. This is important. It’s not the sweat itself that smells. The odor is as a result of bacteria breaking down the sweat.

The boot uses a combination of waterproof materials and a special lining to keep your feet dry. The lining wicks away moisture from your feet, leaving you dry and comfortable.

What I Don’t Like About This Product

For me personally, I prefer a taller boot. With these, you’ll have to be careful about what puddles of water you’ll cross. If you want to walk through a stream, these are probably not a good bet.

Pros

  • Masks scent
  • Can choose camo pattern
  • Waterproof
  • Lined
  • Comfortable
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • No full leg protection

This is a good set if you’re a more active hunter and need to be able to move as fast as possible.

Overall Rating

3 ½ out of 5 Set yourself up for success

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Kenetrek Mountain Hiking Boot

Though not technically a hunting boot specifically, this is a good option for hunters thanks to the durable construction and the firm support.

Key Features

  • Leather uppers that are 10-inches in height
  • Double stitching throughout with areas prone to being under strain triple stitched
  • Custom outsole for excellent traction and grip
  • Nylon midsole provides firm support and helps to stabilize the foot
  • The hardware has been forged strongly to ensure that it is resistant to corrosion and will swivel instead of breaking
  • Waterproof membrane keeps water out
  • Perfect for warmer climes as there is no insulation
  • The sole guard has been reinforced to help it resist scratches and scrapes

What I Like About This Product

I find that leather is usually worth paying more for. In this case, that’s definitely true. They’ve used a good-quality leather, and this should hold up well. I like that they’ve double stitched all seams, and triple stitched those subject to more pressure.

You can’t beat the traction that this pair offers. They have enough flex to make it easy to get a grip over rocky terrain. The foundation ensures that your feet remain stable so you can tackle uneven ground with confidence. The waterproofing is excellent too. This boot also makes the top spot in our list of best boots for elk hunting.

What I Don’t Like About This Product

It doesn’t have any kind of insulating membrane. That’s great if you only ever hunt when it’s warm, but not if you hunt in the cold.

Pros

  • Good build quality
  • Leather upper
  • Stitching has been reinforced
  • Waterproof
  • Great traction
  • Sole has been reinforced

Cons

  • Pricey
  • No insulation for colder weather

Perfect for those who like to vary their activities when outdoors. These will work as well on a hunt as they will on a hike.

Overall Rating

3 ½ out of 5 For those who want a boot that works as hard as they do

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LaCrosse Alphaburly Hunting Boot – Best Waterproof Hunting Boots

LaCrosse has done it again with a quality build and materials. If you need to wade through water, check these boots out.

Key Features

  • 100-percent rubber laid over a neoprene inner core
  • Lug sole
  • The distance between the shaft and arch is around 16 inches
  • The leg opening measures around 16 inches all around
  • Masks scent
  • Waterproof
  • Flexible
  • Nylon shank
  • Fully lined to ensure moisture is wicked away from the surface

What I Like About This Product

The fact that it’s made from rubber masks your scent when you’re out and about. The neoprene provides an insulating layer, so these are reasonably warm. These are not your typical rubber boots.

The lining does help to keep your feet dry thanks to its moisture-wicking properties. The traction is excellent, and the design on the sole makes it easy to shrug off the mud. The midsole is thick, providing ample support. These are great for when you need to tramp through a stream.

What I Don’t Like About This Product

My feet tend to sweat a lot. While the lining in here definitely helps to keep the skin dry, these wouldn’t be great for long trips in warm weather.

Pros

  • Masks scent
  • Durable
  • Comfortable
  • Fully lined
  • Waterproof

Cons

  • A little heavier
  • No breathability

Overall, these are well-made and should last you through a good few seasons.

Overall Rating

4 ½ out of 5 When you need your feet to stay dry at all costs

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Under Armour Brow Tine Boot — Top Rated Hunting Boots in the Value for Money Section

Our award for the best value for money option offers a stylish blend of comfort and practicality.

Key Features

  • Rubber sole
  • Leather/ textile upper
  • Primaloft used to provide insulation
  • Gore-Tex lining for waterproofing
  • Scent-controlling
  • Waterproof
  • Speed lacing system that’s easy to adjust

What I Like About This Product

This pair uses a combination of leather and textile uppers to get the best balance between protection and weight. They’re comfortable and will keep your feet warm and dry. I prefer these to the previous model because the uppers are more breathable.

The leather is of good quality. The build construction is solid. As long as you take proper care of these, they should last you many years.

The sole offers superior traction and also a reasonable amount of support. The lacing system is secure and simple enough to use. Overall, I like these boots for their comfort and ease of use.

What I Don’t Like About This Product

It’s minor, but these are better suited to colder climes.

Pros

  • Scratch-resistant
  • Scent-control
  • Excellent insulation
  • Waterproof
  • Comfortable thanks to the leather/ textile upper
  • Lacing system easy to use and allows you to adjust the fit

Cons

  • Not great for warm conditions

Overall, these boots offer excellent value at a reasonable cost. They’re durable and will make a fine addition to any hunter’s gear.

Overall Rating

3 ½ out of 5 Value for money and good looks. Who doesn’t want to pick up this pair?

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Rocky Men’s Prolight Snake Boot – My Top Pick

Hunters wear boots to protect their feet and legs. These boots take things to a new level. If a snake does bite you, it won’t be able to penetrate the fabric.

Key Features

  • Distance between arch and shaft is 14.75 inches
  • Rubber sole
  • Nylon and leather upper
  • Snake-proof
  • Waterproof

What I Like About This Product

These boots are designed to be snake-proof. That means that even if a snake does strike, its fangs won’t be able to penetrate through to your skin. For me, that’s a big deal. You never know when you might accidentally come across a snake.

If you’re hunting in an area where there are few snakes or the snakes are harmless, then you probably don’t need to worry.

The traction is excellent, and the boots are comfortable. The waterproofing helps to keep your feet dry and comfortable.

What I Don’t Like About This Product

You do need to be gentle with the zipper. This is something that I feel the company needs to address. I’d also have liked some sort of scent masking to be built in.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Excellent traction
  • Waterproof
  • A snake bite won’t penetrate
  • Comfortable
  • Breathable

Cons

  • No scent masking built-in
  • Handle the zipper with care

Overall, these are not badly priced, and they give you an adequate level of protection. If you’re in an area that has deadly snakes, this could save your life. I did expect a better quality of zipper, but I’m willing to live with that.

If you’re careful with the zipper, it should be fine.

Overall Rating

3 ½ out of 5

Unparalleled protection against snakes.

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Bogs Classic Waterproof Boot

If you’re looking for a no-nonsense waterproof boot, this could be a good option for you.

Key Features

  • Waterproof
  • Rubber sole
  • Imported
  • Distance between arch and shaft is around 12 inches
  • The top of the shaft measures about 14.5 inches all the way around
  • Rubber outer with bootie inside for extra comfort
  • Lining is designed to wick sweat away from your foot
  • Scent-beating tech

What I Like About This Product

Hunting boots are useless to you if they aren’t comfortable to wear. That’s why Bog’s has taken so much time when it comes to improving the comfort of their boots.

The boots are completely waterproof. That, combined with the inner lining, ensure that your feet stay warm and dry. These are good if you’ll be wading through shallow waters.

The insulation is good. The bootie on the inside stretches nicely to accommodate your whole foot. The company has also added an anti-bacterial agent to ensure that odors are dealt with before they get a chance to start.

The tread is also interesting. It’s got a series of lines and lugs that give you excellent traction across several different surfaces.

What I Don’t Like About This Product

The sizes run on the small side. If you’re ordering a pair, go a size up to start with.

Pros

  • Waterproof
  • Comfortable
  • Well-insulated
  • Good traction

Cons

  • The sizes run small

These boots are comfortable and highly effective at keeping your feet warm and dry. They’ll make a useful addition for anyone needing to wade through cold streams.

Overall Rating

4 out of 5 All the makings of a cult classic.

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Muckboots FieldBlazer Hunting Boot

Muckboots have become a popular brand over the years thanks to their innovative products. Let’s have a look at one of their FieldBlazer models.

Key Features

  • Made from textile and rubber
  • Knee-high boot
  • Waterproof
  • Imported
  • Rubber sole
  • Durable
  • Extra support for the Achilles tendon
  • Shank is reinforced

What I Like About This Product

What I like best here is the fit. The shank is made from nylon that stretches easily to accommodate your calf. You get a snug fit without having to worry about laces. These are easy to put on and pull off.

The boot itself doesn’t have insulation built-in, but the snug fit of the shaft stops cold air getting to your feet.

If you need to splash through water, you’ll love these boots. They’ll keep your feet very dry.

What I Don’t Like About This Product

I did think that there should be some kind of scent-control lining. If you’ve got a tendency towards stinky feet, these might not be the best option. Having said that, you can help with this issue by allowing the boots to dry and air thoroughly between uses.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Waterproof
  • Great support for the ankles
  • Excellent traction
  • Shaft made of four-way stretch nylon

Cons

  • No scent control tech

This is a fantastic pair of boots that should last you well. They’re easy to clean and provide ample protection in a range of hunting situations.

Overall Rating

4 out of 5 Bog’s boots beat out all rivals

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Lowa Men’s Tibet Boot – Best Waterproof Hunting Boots for Covering Long Distances

This is the second entry on our list that is actually not only for hunting. This was designed as a hiking boot but does excellent duty as a hunting boot as well.

Key Features

  • 100-percent leather
  • Made in Germany
  • Synthetic sole
  • The distance from the arch to the shaft is about 7 inches
  • Speed-lacing
  • Double-stitching
  • Padded collar and tongue
  • Waterproof Gore-Tex lining that wicks away moisture

What I Like About This Product

There is no denying that you’re getting exceptional quality here. The boot stands up to a lot of abuse and will stand you in good stead when you’ve got to walk for miles.

They’re comfortable and should last you a long time. The support for the ankles is something that is lacking in a lot of boots that we looked at. That’s why a couple of hiking boots also ended up on our list here.

The traction here is excellent, and the waterproofing works very well. The lining absorbs sweat and keeps your feet dry.

What I Don’t Like About This Product

The insulation doesn’t really measure up.

Pros

  • Great stability
  • Excellent traction
  • Support for the ankle
  • Waterproof
  • Durable
  • Keeps feet dry
  • Perfect if you need to be more active on the hunt.
  • High-quality

Cons

  • Insulation is not great
  • Pricey

Great for the active hunter who needs to be able to move fast and unencumbered.

Overall Rating

4 out of 5 Comfortable support and quality engineering.

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Buying Guide

I’ve given you a lot of options there. How do you choose which the best hunting boots for you are? All good hunting boot reviews should include a section on what’s most important to look for in top hunting boots.

So, let’s go through some of the things that are important when it comes to your final selection.

Your Budget

In a perfect world, you could walk into the store and buy the best of the best. That’s not an option for all of us, though. Before you make your final decision, I suggest that you work out how much you can afford to spend.

I know it’s boring, but this way you know what your ceiling is. Then you can look at boots within your price range. Why? Think of it this way. If you went car shopping and test drove a top of the line Lexus, how would an entry-level Toyota measure up?

It’s nice to know what’s out there, but you don’t want to feel like you had to settle because of your budget.

Cost Per Wear

With any purchase you make, you want the best possible value for money. You pay a fair amount for a pair of top-rated hunting boots, so you have to factor in the cost per wear.

If you’re going out every weekend and every chance that you get, it makes sense to pay extra and get a decent pair. If you’re only going out once a month, do you need to spend as much?

It’s like buying a tux. It looks good, but if you’re only going to wear it once or twice a year, it’s a lot of money per use. Now, if you’re in the habit of attending smart dos, your cost per wear makes it a lot cheaper over time than renting a tux.

The same holds true when it comes to boots. There are many different models out there. Before you opt for a more specialized type, consider your cost per wear. It may pay you to choose something more versatile that you’ll get more wear out of.

Usability

That brings us to our next point, usability. Will you find them easy to use? Will they be easy to pull on and off? If not, you’re probably not going to want to wear them, and they’ll stare at you balefully from the back of the closet.

Another aspect of usability that we often fail to consider is the maintenance of the boots. Nylon boots are easy to care for – just hose them off and make sure that they get ample time to dry out.

Leather boots are probably going to last longer but require more care. You’ll need to clean them off as soon as possible and apply a waterproofing compound. It’s doesn’t seem like a big deal, but if you don’t do this, the boots will need replacing more often.

You need an option that’s going to be easy for you.

Durability

This is a big one, especially if you’ve spent a lot of money. Durability is determined by the material used to make the boot and the quality of the construction. A cheap pair might look good initially, but how long are they going to last?

Hunting is hard on boots; you need to know you’re getting a pair that’s going to last. Aside from the cost, having to break in a new set is a pain in the butt. Choose a pair that’s durable to ensure that you don’t need to replace them as often.

Look for features like double or reinforced stitching, one-piece uppers, and high-quality materials to get the best results. A good pair of leather boots will last ages if properly cared for. They tend to last the longest.

That said, nylon boots also have a good lifespan, if you choose a reputable brand.

Where You’ll Be Hunting

Your next consideration is where you’ll be hunting. If you’re out in a Florida backwater and wading through swamps, leather is not going to be your best option. There you’d be better off sticking to a taller pair of rubber boots that are properly waterproofed.

By the same token, if you’re going to skip the bayou and concentrate on land, you might prefer breathability over complete waterproofing. In this case, leather would be the better choice because it allows your feet to breathe.

What You’ll be Hunting

Now, no hunter wants to go crashing through the woods, but silence becomes even more critical if you need to get as close to your prey as possible. Upland boots, for example, are designed to be lightweight.

Their design lets you sneak up on birds more easily because you won’t be clumping around.

On the other hand, birds are not likely to get a whiff of your scent. If you’re hunting deer, you might want to look at a boot that is designed to help mask your scent, which brings us to…

Scent masking

Leather boots will naturally leave a scent behind, so you’ll need to take extra steps to mask your scent. Rubber knee-highs are great at masking scents because they’re not breathable and don’t leave a smell behind.

It’s not essential to get boots that will mask your scent. You can use a masking agent in much the same way that you would on your clothes. Considering that it can wear or wash off, you might find it convenient to stick to boots that mask the scent instead.

The Height

Where the boot ends on your leg is a significant factor. Taller boots are more restrictive and a little heavier but offer more support and protection. The higher the boot, the more protection you have against snakes and scratches.

If you’re going to be wading around in the water, you need a taller option as well. In general, though, the extra length doesn’t add a lot of weight. My personal preference is to go with something that ends just below the knee.

That height gives ample support for the ankle and adequate protection for the leg. A good general height is 16 inches.

If you need to move faster, then you might want to stick to a shorter height of around 10 inches. These are less restrictive and make it easier to move.

The Sole of the Shoe

The thickness of the sole will affect how easy it is to grip the terrain. A thinner sole is more flexible and so might be better if you’ll need to get a better grip on rocky or mountainous terrain.

A thicker sole with deeper treads makes it easier to get a grip in muddy conditions. Just check the treads to make sure that they won’t pick up small stones or gravel.

Weight

I’m sure you’ll agree that two pounds is not a lot of weight to lift. You could do it without much effort under normal circumstances, but every ounce of extra weight is going to count against you out in the field.

The heavier the boots, the more they’re going to slow you down. You’ll also have to work harder when walking. This is not so serious when you’re going to the store to buy something quickly.

When you’re tracking a deer through the wood for a few miles, though, you’re going to want something lighter.

Waterproofing

In my opinion, waterproofing is essential. This usually means adding neoprene, rubber, or some other synthetic material and that doesn’t breathe.

Yes, your feet are going to sweat more, but when you’re out in the woods at five in the morning, the only thing worse than a cold foot is a wet, cold foot. Waterproofing also helps with insulating your feet.

Insulation

If you live in a milder climate, insulation becomes less vital. If you’re out in the snow, it becomes essential. That said, even in a warmer climate, it can get chilly when the sun’s not out.

If you’re concerned about your feet feeling like they’re in a sweat lodge when the sun comes out, you can opt instead to use extra socks for insulation. At least then you can pull off the layers of socks if it becomes too warm for you.

A well-insulated pair will help keep you that little bit more comfortable when the weather is colder. This makes it easier to stay out for more extended periods.

Comfort

Hunting isn’t for wimps. That said, being comfortable is extremely important. The more comfortable your footwear, the more distance you should be able to cover. While you do need to break a new pair in, they should feel relatively comfortable from the start.

Leather will stretch a little, but if it’s pinching you from day one, it’s a bad fit. Make sure that you get the right size to fit your foot.

The Fit

Choosing the right fit is the most crucial aspect when it comes to comfort. You want some wriggle room for your toes, but other than that, you want a reasonably secure fit. There are even some makers who design hunting boots that are especially for women, paying extra attention on fit.

A boot that is too loose is just as bad as one that’s too tight. Your feet will slosh around in them, increasing your chance of developing blisters. It also increases your chances of getting injured because the boot might not be supportive in the right places.

The lacing system used is important here, as well. A sound lacing system is reliable and allows you to adjust the fit properly.

If you’re going to wear thicker socks or extra socks, you’ll need a slightly looser fit. If you have a good lacing system in place, you’ll be able to adjust the fit to tighten it when wearing thinner socks.

Break Them In

I don’t care if those boots fit you like a glove. Before you field test them, wear them for a while to break them in. You don’t want to be doing this during a three-mile hike.

Here’s a video on how to do it.

 

Proper Care for Your New Boots

As with all your equipment, proper care will help you get the best use out of the boots. No matter what type you choose, it’s a good idea to let them dry out entirely between uses.

With leather boots, you can dry off the outside as much as possible. If the boots themselves are soaked, stuff in newspaper overnight and leave them out where they can air. Remove the paper the next day, and it’ll have absorbed a lot of moisture.

Rubber boots are best just rinsed off and left upside down to dry. With nylon, you should also leave them upside down to dry.

Do wipe off as much crud as possible before leaving them in a warm place or opt for a boot drier.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right pair of hunting boots is like selecting the right partner in business. They need to pull their weight so that you can get the job done. Hopefully, these hunting boot reviews will help you narrow down your search.

Personally, I’d choose the Rocky pair as the best overall pick. It is a quality product that provides excellent protection from snakes.

The Lowa pair offers unparalleled quality and comfort to hunters who need to move a lot, and the Irish Setter pair is best in terms of overall versatility. LaCrosse came in as our best waterproof pair.

At the end of the day, any of the boots on this list should make an excellent addition to your hunting gear.

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