Best Upland Hunting Boots | Reviews of Top Designs (2019)

Last Updated: by Aiden Williams

best upland hunting boots

When you’re looking for your first pair of hunting boots, you’re bound to go for the most badass pair that you can find. I know that was one of my criteria way back when. You soon learn to get a lot pickier, though.

A boot may look great, but that’s pointless if it’s not comfortable. One style of boot that you may find interesting is the upland hunting boot. These are more comfortable, weigh less, and are meant for longer hikes and hunts.

Let’s look at a list of the best upland hunting boots on the market today.

My Top Pick

The Danner Sharptail Snakeboot offers the most protection of all the boots on this list. So, it clearly has to take top honors.

Here’s a preview of our other top products:

Upland Hunting Boot Reviews

Irish Setter Men’s 808 Wingshooter Upland Boot

Irish Setter is one of the world’s best-loved brands when it comes to hunting gear. No roundup of upland hunting boot reviews would be complete without at least one pair from this iconic brand in it.

The Wingshooter is the classic design that made the brand famous. With this pair of boots, it’s easy to see why.

Key Features

  • High-quality leather upper
  • Rubber sole
  • Imported
  • Waterproof
  • Speed-lace
  • Removable footbed for extra comfort
  • Prairie sole
  • Heel-molded
  • Distance from the arch to the shaft is around 9 inches

What You Would Like

These are perfect for optimal protection against the elements. Irish Setter’s patented Ultra-Dry system utilizes several layers. Water is not going to make it through these boots. From the inside, the lining wicks away moisture and keeps your feet dry and comfortable.

The removable footbed can be left in for additional support and comfort over longer trips. Alternatively, if you have orthotics, you can easily take this insert out and use those instead.

These boots will keep your feet comfortable, dry, and warm, even with more extended hunts.

What You Wouldn’t Like

Check the sizing before buying. Lacing these up tightly enough takes some practice.

Pros

  • High-quality
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Waterproof
  • Lightweight
  • Nice height

Cons

  • The lacing system
  • Sizes may run small

Overall, this is a good brand with a well-earned reputation.

Overall Rating

4 out of 5 Cash in on some of the luck of the Irish and find your own pot of gold.

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Wolverine Men’s Bobwhite High Hunting Boot

Traditionally, upland boots have consisted of 100-percent leather uppers. This makes for a durable upper, but also makes it heavier. Wolverine has solved the problem by using leather and nylon for a more balanced shoe.

Key Features

  • Upper is made from leather and Cordura Nylon
  • Rubber sole
  • Imported
  • Distance from shaft to the arch is about 4 inches
  • Waterproof
  • Insulated
  • Unique design
  • EVA midsole for maximum comfort without extra weight
  • Lining that wicks moisture away
  • A fully padded footbed that is removable

What You Would Like

This is a good-looking boot. Now, when you’re out in the field, it’s comfort more than style that matters. It is nice when a company delivers on both.

The waterproofing on these is outstanding. You could stand for hours in a creek without your feet even getting wet.

If you’re going to be spending long hours on your feet, you’ll appreciate just how comfortable these are. They wear in quickly and are so lightweight that it feels like you’re wearing virtually nothing.

What You Wouldn’t Like

The lug design on the bottom could use some work. If you’re going to be tackling particular sharp, rocky areas, these are not the best bet. The traction is excellent, but the lugs seem to catch on sharp rocks.

Pros

  • Good price
  • Stylish
  • Waterproof
  • Comfortable
  • Durable

Cons

  • The lug pattern on the sole

Overall, these are great for longer hunting trips because of their comfort level. They’re not the best choice for rocky terrain, though.

Overall Rating

4 out of 5 For the most accomplished stalkers.

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Irish Setter Men’s 801 Havoc Hunting Boot

If you live in a warmer climate, you don’t need a heavy hunting boot to weigh you down. This option from Irish Setter has no insulation and breathes well, so it might be the right choice for you.

Key Features

  • 100-percent leather
  • Distance from arch to shaft around 9 inches
  • Rubber sole
  • Back pull loop
  • Post lace and eyelet closures make getting the perfect fit easy
  • Upper is crafted in the United States
  • Tongue and collar padded for comfort

What You Would Like

When what you need is to keep your feet cool as well as dry, these are a great option. They have a Gore-Tex lining to ensure that they’re both breathable and waterproof. The footbed also features channels to help improve airflow under the soles.

The lug pattern is cleverly designed to shrug off dirt and help maintain a secure grip on the ground.

The comfort here is excellent. The polyurethane footbed is comfortable from the outset. The combination of posts and eyelets with the lacing makes for a snug fit so that your boots stay put all day.

What You Wouldn’t Like

The only thing that I don’t like here is that they’re a bit pricier. There’s not a huge difference, and you’re getting a quality product. That said, it’s not the best budget option.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Waterproof
  • Keeps feet cool and comfortable in hot weather
  • Padded collar and tongue add even more comfort
  • Excellent quality

Cons

  • Pricier

Overall, if the worst thing that you can find to say about a boot is that it’s a little more expensive, then it’s a pretty great option.

Overall Rating

4 ½ out of 5 Beat the heat with these fine hunting boots.

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Wood n’ Stream Men’s 6006 Flyway Boot

Here’s a brand that manufactures its boots in the United States. These are a classically good-looking pair of boots.

Key Features

  • 100-percent leather
  • Synthetic sole
  • Imported
  • The distance between the shaft and the arch is around 8.5 inches
  • Waterproof
  • Non-insulated
  • Post-and-eyelet lace-up system
  • Breathable
  • Made in the United States
  • Removable insole

What You Would Like

These look similar to the Irish Setter Wingshooter pair. If you prefer to buy products made in the States, this might be a good choice for you.

The shoes are light on your feet and will keep you comfortable all day. The leather breathes nicely, and your feet are kept at the right temperature.

What You Wouldn’t Like

I feel that the sole would have been better if it was made from rubber. The traction is excellent here, so that’s not an issue. I do wonder how they’d stand up to daily use over a protracted period.

Pros

  • Breathable
  • Lightweight
  • Waterproof
  • Comfortable
  • Quality leather used

Cons

  • Synthetic sole

Overall, this is a fantastic pair of boots for hunting. They’ll keep your feet dry and comfortable all day long. Would I use these as day to day work boots? The jury is out on that one.

Overall Rating

3 ¾ out of 5 Roughing it doesn’t have to mean being uncomfortable

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Danner Sharptail Snake Boot – The Best Upland Hunting Boots Overall

This is the only model that I’ve included that claims explicitly to be snake-proof. That and the comfort of this boot made me award it the title of the best upland hunting boots overall in this series of upland hunting boot reviews.

Key Features

  • Leather and Denier nylon upper
  • Rubber sole
  • Imported
  • The distance between the shaft and the arch is 16 inches
  • Waterproof
  • TPU shank and snake-proofing
  • An Ortholite footbed that can be removed

Keeping the Lights On from Danner on Vimeo.

What You Would Like

The leather is butter-soft and flexible. Considering the height of these boots, making them full leather would have added extra weight that you don’t need. That’s why the nylon inset was a clever move on the company’s part.

The Gore-Tex lining helps to waterproof the boot, while at the same time being breathable. The removable footbed features and open-cell polyurethane to ensure that heat is channeled away from the feet. Choose to use the insert provided or put your own orthotic in instead.

The traction is great, and the soles are durable.

The snake protection is provided by a fabric lining sandwiched between the inner lining and outer surface of the boot. It extends for the full length of the boot.

What You Wouldn’t Like

For me, this boot looks clunky. The more relaxed fit at the top is a good thing if your calves are on the chunky side. Overall, though, I would have expected more streamlined lines.

Pros

  • Snake-protection
  • Waterproof
  • Comfortable
  • Breathable
  • Durable

Cons

  • Not the most exciting design
  • Pricier

Overall, these would be a welcome addition to my gear any day of the week.

Overall Rating

4 ½ out of 5 Show the snakes who’s boss.

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About Upland Boots

Upland boots are traditionally made to be lighter in weight. These boots are designed especially for bird hunters. When you’re out hunting pheasant in the wood and don’t want to spook them, you need to lighten your steps.

Standard boots are generally too noisy for these situations.

As I said, traditionally, they’re for bird hunting. More recently, other hunters have started seeing the benefits of this quality when hunting other game. Overall, the lightweight nature of these boots makes them very popular.

They’re also built more for comfort. If you’re going to be standing or walking for hours during a hunt, you want your feet to be protected. These boots will do that for you. They’ll often have extra padding or extra inserts to make them even more comfortable.

They are built to absorb the shock of walking a lot better.

The boots are usually waterproof as bird hunting may involve traversing swampy ground or wet areas. Check out our post on rubber hunting boots which are great in these environments too.

Insulation is not a given here, though. If you’re looking for a boot that is also well-insulated, you need to check the features carefully. If you’re choosing a pair without insulation, you can use it in conjunction with thermal socks.

Just keep in mind that these are thicker, and the fit will be affected.

Another popular aspect of this kind of boot is that they provide comfort at the worksite. These often do great double-duty as work boots. Just keep in mind, though, that they’re probably not going to:

  • Have reinforced toes
  • Be anti-slip on oily or slick surfaces
  • Protect against electrical surges

Final Thoughts

When it comes to choosing any of the pairs I’ve reviewed, you’re not likely to go wrong. I chose the Danner boot as my top pick because it offers the best level of protection overall.

If snakes are not an issue for you, then the Wood ‘n Stream boot offers a decent blend of comfort and protection. It’s also going to save you a fair amount of money over the Danner one. So, if the budget is tighter, it’s worth considering the Wood ‘n Stream model.

Overall, upland boots have a lot of great features that make them an excellent choice for any hunter. Hopefully, this review has helped you narrow down your choices.

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