One of the most overlooked pieces of hunting gear is pair of rugged, supportive boots. Spend a cold night or two out in the bush, though, and you'll quickly learn that warm, dry, comfortable boots are as essential as your choice of caliber. Not only will a good pair of boots keep you hunting longer, but they'll protect one of your most vital resources: your feet. Too many hunts are cut short by a hot spot that turns into an oozing blister or a pair of damp socks that become a frost bite-inducing folly.
Bear in mind that not all hunts are equal. If your quarry is bighorn sheep, you need something designed to carry you over rocky alpine terrain for days on end. But if you're tucked into a tree stand waiting for that fall whitetail, you're going to want something to keep your feet warm and protected from the elements. This list is the perfect primer for picking the right hunting boot. From upland bird hunting to stalking big game, these are the best hunting boots in the business.
More Great Hunting Boots
- Best Beginner Hunting Boot: Chippewa Bolville Nano Comp Toe, $235
- Best Cold Weather Hunting Boot: Baffin Impact Snow Boot, $250
- Best High-Altitude Hunting Boot: Kenetrek Mountain Extreme 1000, $500
- Best Alpine Hunting Boot: Scarpa Fuego, $369
- Best All-Purpose Hunting Boot: Lowa Renegade GTX, $240
- Best Rubber Hunting Boot: Baffin Trapper, $110
- Best Classic Hunting Boot: Le Chameau Chasseur Jersey Lined, $300
Seasoned hunters might recall Meindl for the beloved Perfekt Boot it produced in collaboration with Cabelas. A dark horse favorite for years, the Perfekt was discontinued in 2019. But never fear; the mad scientists at Meindl created the Vakuum Hunter, a boot of equal build quality to the Perfekt with one major improvement — Meindl's proprietary memory foam boot-within-a-boot design. The effect is a boot that feels custom-made from the first wear with all the rugged features you'd expect from its thorough German manufacturing. Though un-insulated, the Vakuum Hunters are well equipped to take you above the treeline and back with ease.
Exterior Material: Nubuck leather
Lining: Stretch Gore-Tex
Sole Material: Vibram Alpin
Gokey is the brand for upland hunting boots. Unsurpassed in build quality, Gokey's Supreme is a hunt-all-day boot that will stand up to years of abuse. The 10-inch bull hide uppers shield shins from brush while the rugged true-moccasin construction keeps seams far away from sensitive areas like the heel, toe and instep. Five brass eyelets and five-speed hooks make for a supremely adjustable fit and support.
Exterior Material: Bull hide
Lining: Calf skin
Sole Material: Vibram Gumlite
Best Budget Hunting Boot
The Salomon Quest is one of those rare boot styles that perform in such a wide variety of applications that owning a pair is like making friends with MacGyver. Lightweight, comfortable, waterproof and rugged, the Quest 4 Gore-Tex is engineered for long hauls under heavy loads. The ergonomic design is derived from Salomon's trail running footwear and allows for maximum support while paying mind to the natural flexion of your foot to help limit hot spots and foot fatigue. As a result, they're perfect for hunting everything from turkeys to elk.
Exterior Material: Full-grain Nubuck leather, textile
Lining: Textile MCL, Gore-Tex
Sole Material: Contagrip TD rubber
Best Beginner Hunting Boot
Chippewa is one of America's oldest boot makers. Since its start in 1901, the company's cordwainers have been crafting high-quality boots at approachable prices. The Logger is probably its most recognizable model with its thick lug sole and impenetrable leather upper. The Bolville Nanos retain that classic design but pepper in a welcome degree of comfort. The nine-inch upper is ringed with soft padding and lined with moisture-wicking technology. The Comp Toe is roomy and lightweight, while the multidirectional cross-lug Vibram sole grips on all types of surfaces.
Exterior Material: Full Grain Leather
Lining: 400g 3M Thinsulate, Dri-Lex Dri-Freeze
Sole Material: Vibram TC4 Plus Maltese Logger
Best Cold Weather Hunting Boot
Baffin has been building bulletproof boots for the better part of forty years. The Impact Snow Boots aren't technically designed for hunting, but they are a top pick among those that prize warmth. Baffin's waterproof multi-layer construction is proven to keep extremities toasty in sub-zero temps even when stationary, making these great for long hours in a blind or tree stand during the coldest parts of the season.
Exterior Material: Diamond-Lite insulated nylon
Lining: Removable, max-layer inner boot system / B-Tek insulation
Sole Material: Arctic Rubber shell, EVA midsole, Polar Rubber outsole
Best High Altitude Hunting Boot
High-altitude sheep hunts are some of the most demanding on the planet. Kenetrek knows this; that's why the Mountain Extreme 1000 exists. The full-grain uppers and seamless vamp design is crafted from 2.8-millimeter thick premium full-grain leather and stuffed with 1000 grams of Thinsulate insulation for comfort in sub-zero temperatures. The multi-layer soles are capped in lightweight K-Talon with a seven-millimeter backbone of nylon for extra support with a loaded pack. Topped with triple stitching, these boots will outperform even the wiliest quarry.
Exterior Material: 2.8mm full-grain leather
Lining: 1000g Thinsulate, Windtex waterproof/breathable flexible membrane
Sole Material: K-Talon
Best Alpine Hunting Boot
The Fuego is built for wildland firefighters. Its heavy-duty rough-out leather upper has an eight-inch cuff, is exceptionally durable and provides ample ankle support even under a heavy load on variable terrain. Tricked out with an aggressive Vibram M4 Tech sole, the Fuego will carry you through every tricky alpine stalk.
Exterior Material: 2.8mm Crosta Pro HS12 leather
Sole Material: EVA-MP midsole, Vibram M4 Tech, Mont outsole
Best All-Purpose Hunting Boot
The multi-tool of hunting boots, the Renegade GTX is an impressive all-purpose boot suitable for a slew of hunting applications. Gore-Tex waterproofing teams up with a Climate Control footbed to keep your feet dry and comfortable. A Vibram Evo outsole exudes grip, while the DuraPU midsole provides support for long treks on any substrate.
Exterior Material: Nubuck leather, Cordura nylon
Sole Material: Polyurethane midsole, Vibram Evo outsole
Best Rubber Hunting Boot
If Baffin's Impact Snow boot is for long hours in the coldest temps, the Trapper is its fair-weather sibling. But don't get it twisted; the Trapper is just as capable of keeping your feet warm and dry in nasty weather. The lightweight boot has a rubber sole and an adjustable collar that helps keep snow, rain and debris out while holding warmth in. Reach for these when you're navigating wet, marshy areas; they make an excellent slip-on for yard and farm work too.
Exterior Material: Molded polar rubber
Lining: Baffin inner boot system
Sole Material: Molded polar rubber
Best Classic Hunting Boot
Not all hunts are grueling summit-filled excursions. Some are civilized pursuits, fashionable even. The iconic taut look of Le Chameau's Chasseur handcrafted rubber boot is matched by its surprising functionality. The waterproof gusset has a snap-fastener to ensure a comfortable fit for long jaunts in search of grouse, partridge and pheasant. The sartorially-minded will enjoy the Jersey lining too, which is a reminder of this boot's use by British elites for decades.
Exterior Material: Rubber
Lining: Poly-cotton lining
Sole Material: Abrasion-resistant dual-density grip sole