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.
Best Rubber Hunting BootLacrosse Alphaburly Pro Read More
Best OverallMeindl Vakuum Hunter Read More
Best Premium Hunting BootGokey The Supreme Read More
Best Budget Hunting BootSalomon Quest 4 GTX Read More
Best Beginner BootChippewa Bolville Read More
What to Look for in a Hunting Boot
Leather versus rubber
There are two major differences between leather and rubber hunting boots: wearability and comfort. Leather hunting boots can generally transition from life outdoors to social events if need be. They pass as an everyday boot in most cases and can be more lifestyle-oriented. Leather is renowned for its ability to be molded, and a leather hunting boot is no different — it'll form to your foot over the long run, resulting in an almost-custom fit.
Rubber, on the other hand, does not change its shape; if you have the foot shape that works well with a rubber boot's mold, great. If not, you're in for some discomfort down the road. Making a rubber boot fit into an everyday mold is equally impossible; they're much less low-profile stylistically than a leather option. Scent Control Rubber boots are valued by whitetail deer hunters — they trap odor and don't allow your scent to escape, providing more access on the hunt.
Loose versus tight fit
The best fit for a hunting boot should be fitted around your instep and ankles — when you're carrying a heavy load or traversing variable terrain, you'll want to be able to count on the stability of your boot. If you're planning on adding a liner to your pair, you'll want to size up at least two sizes to accommodate both your foot and the liner. The best time to try on new hunting boots (or shoes, for that matter) is at the end of the day: your feet are more swollen then, so you won't end up with a too-small shoe or boot later on.
Insulation is the material that keeps your toes warm on a hunt and is measured in grams — the higher the grams of insulation in a boot, the warmer it will keep you. The level of insulation you choose is seasonally dependent: you won't wear the same boots for summer as you will in winter. Around 200g is a good benchmark for summer nights; boots can range all the way to 1400 grams of insulation for the harshest of winters.
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.
LaCrosse Alphaburly Pro
Rubber hunting boots are revered for their waterproof, scent-free structure, and no brand has been churning out quality footwear options quite like LaCrosse. Building off the legacy that began way back in 1897, the LaCrosse Alphaburly Pro is the brand’s premium rubber silhouette. The hand-laid premium rubber cloaks a 3.5mm neoprene core that’s flexible, comfortable and a downright workhorse. An aggressive lug pattern easily expels mud and muck when walking, and multiple camouflage patterns are available to match your kit, too. Whether sitting in a treestand or trudging through a swampy marsh, the Alphaburly Pro is ready for the chase.
- Exterior Material: Natural rubber
- Lining: Neoprene
- Sole Material: Rubber
- Manufacturing: Imported
Meindl Vakuum Hunter
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 tree line and back with ease.
- Exterior Material: Nubuck leather
- Lining: Stretch Gore-Tex
- Sole Material: Vibram Alpin
- Manufacturing: Made in Germany
Gokey The Supreme Boot
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: Calfskin
- Sole Material: Vibram Gumlite
- Manufacturing: Handmade in the U.S.A.
Salomon Quest 4 GTX
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
- LiningL Textile MCL, Gore-Tex
- Sole Material: Contagrip TD rubber
- Manufacturing: France, China, and Vietnam
Chippewa Bolville Nano Comp Toe
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
- Manufacturing: Made in the U.S.A. in Carthage, Missouri
Baffin Impact Snow 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
- Manufacturing: Canada
Kenetrek Mountain Extreme 1000
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
- Manufacturing: Handmade in Italy
Scarpa Fuego Boots
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
- Lining: Taibrelle
- Sole Material: EVA-MP midsole, Vibram M4 Tech, Mont outsole
- Manufacturing: Northern Italy
Lowa Renegade GTX Mid
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: Nunuck leather, Cordura nylon
- Lining: Gore-Tex
- Sole Material: Polyurethane midsole, Vibram Evo outsole
- Manufacturing: Made in Slovakia
Le Chameau Chasseur Jersey Lined 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
- Manufacturing: Handcrafted in Casablanca, Morocco