As an avid hiker and hunter, having the perfect boots to take with you for the journey wasn’t always easy for me to find. I’ve worn down countless pairs over the years, and have learned that each pair had something that I liked and sometimes didn’t. The experience has taught me what to look for and attributes that make a set of boots ideal for certain types of terrain.
Reviewed below are ten of the pair that I happened to find the most useful and comfortable, so read over their description and see which you think will work great when you’re ready to hunt. The value section that follows consists of lots of time-saving tips and suggestions for you to use during your search. Look over it so you’ll know how to get the perfect pair that will last for more than just a single hunting trip.
These Boots Will Keep Your Comfortable For Your Next Big Elk Hunt
|Product Name||Material||Waterproof||Weight (pair)||Height||Protective Toe Cap||Sole||Insulation|
|Irish Setter 880 Elk Tracker Hunting Boots|
|Leather||GORE-TEX||2 lbs 13 oz||12''||No, plain toe||Rubber outsole||200g Thinsulate|
|Lowa Tibet GTXEditor's Choice||Leather||GORE-TEX||4 lbs||7''||Yes, rubber||Vibram||No|
|Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX||Textile/Nubuk Leather||GORE-TEX||2 lbs 13 oz||6''||Yes, rubber||High Traction Contagrip||No|
|Zamberlan 996 Vioz GT||Leather||GORE-TEX||3 lbs 3 oz||5''||No, plain toe||Zamberlan Vibram® 3D||No|
|Merrell MOAB 2 Mid Waterproof||Suede leather and Mesh||GORE-TEX||2 lbs 4 oz||5''||Yes, rubber||Vibram||No|
|LaCrosse Alphaburly Pro||Rubber Over Neoprene||100%||4 lbs 13 oz||18''||Yes, rubber||Lug Sole sole||Neoprene plus Thinsulate Ultra Insulation|
|Danner Pronghorn Realtree Xtra||Leather and Fabric||GORE-TEX||4 lbs 1 oz||8''||No, plain toe||Rubber outsole||1200g Thinsulate|
|Keen Durand Hiking Boots||Leather||Keen.Dry membrane||2 lbs 12 oz||6''||Yes, rubber||Rubber outsole||No|
|Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX||Leather and Synthetic||GORE-TEX||1 lbs 16 oz||7''||Yes, rubber||High Traction Contagrip||No|
|Asolo Fugitive GTX||Leather||GORE-TEX||2 lbs 3 oz||6''||Yes, rubber||Rubber outsole||No|
It’s very appealing with the elongated shaft and light-brown lace hooks. The shaft is where it gets the most praise, which looks unique and keeps the lower legs and feet comfortable without a stiff fit. But the ankle support isn’t very deep which may cause people with big arches to feel that the boots have too much room in them. Even with this, they will hold up with for a long time and take on little to no odor.
The Lowa Tibet GTX has a very strong-looking heel that goes almost toward the center portion of the shaft. This helps that boot maintain good lift-off when moving at a fast pace.
The tread isn’t perfect but should perform well within at least a year of them being used heavily.
It’s a heavy boot but has the weight distributed evenly across the bottom so that travel won’t be impeded. Your feet and legs will stay flexible the entire time that you wear it.[/su_note] The tread isn’t
From it’s looks, the Salomon Quest 4D 2 is beautiful and will look well on anyone’s feet. They will take you through the hunt without ever having to look down at your feet in discomfort. There a great deal of room along the toes but not to the point where you will feel your upper foot “picking up” the boot from the weight. Breaking them in should go fast as well. Just be sure to get them in the right size to prevent too much drag along the heels.
The Zamberlan 996 Vioz GT boots looks like a cross between old military-style footwear and contemporary boots that have a medium-sized shaft.
Lacing is smooth sailing, and the treads are both hard but provide good cushioning to dampen the impact of hard rocks when you’re hiking along rocky or mountainous terrain.
The Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots are all about comfort in the inside. The exterior portion helps with this a lot, having a mesh lining that gives them a striped appearance that’s perfect for going fast without concern of getting sweaty feet. Even though it’s advertised to be waterproof, you should take it easy when it’s wet outside. Moisture can get through in regions that have this sort of weather during the season, but drier climates are a perfect setting to have them around.
The LaCrosse Alphaburly Pro goes well in places with lots of snow, rain, and mud.
And the strap at the top of the shaft will help immensely when you’re trying to put them off or on since it expands to make it effortless when you’re preparing or disrobing. Cleaning is simple; just hose them down and the rubber exterior will look like it’s never been worn again.
The Danner Pronghorn Realtree Xtra is brown and has the looks of a rugged boot that one would wear in the thickest of the brush. Soles are top-notch and keep your feet warm in cold climates, although the toe room could be improved. With this in mind, you might want to go up a size if you think your feet will be too big with the charts given by the manufacturer, but don’t fret over it too much; break-in will make any stiffness or tight areas go away after a while.
The Keen Durand Mid Waterproof, as the name shows, is great for the winter months when cold rains occur. Temperature rating is low with this one, and the feet should remain at room temperature when the air is close to below-freezing.
The next Salomon boots are called Ultra 3 Mid GTX. This is what you’ll want if the tread is a big concern. You’ll be able to stick to the ground without them skidding, something that’s great for those living in areas that expect some rain during the elk hunting season. You’re also pretty lightweight. Ground residue like mud and soot won’t cling to the bottom either. Try this one out if your arch is well above the sole.
The Asolo Fugitive GTX Boots really stand out with the blackened guard along the front. This pair looks like there’s a mixup of different materials added to the exterior portion along the sides.
They could erode away while though, mostly near the guard and upper tread. Try to keep them clean so that nothing clings to the rubber once you finished using them. Doing so could make chipping less likely to happen.
When Elk hunting season comes around, you’ll want to have everything prepared some time before you actually head outdoors. Because of all the bigger items that one must carry with them during the hunt, it’s no surprise that footwear is sometimes forgotten about. If this happens, rushing is likely due to the short amount of time available to acquire the boots and allow them to break in. In this situation, knowing the information below will help you avoid getting boots that would otherwise be a likely return item.
Pay Attention to the Tread
When searching for new boots, you should think of the treat in the same way that you would when changing the tires of your automobile. As you know, the bottom of the wheels is also called the tread. Similar to boots, some treads (on the footwear) change depending on the quality of the boot itself. Just a good observation, whether in-person or from a photo online, could give you an idea of how the tread will perform when you have them on.
But this isn’t always enough. Try to read up on the evaluation of what others, such as myself in the reviews above, has said about them. Some treads are skid resistant, and others could be cheaply made and show signs of wear early in the boot’s lifetime. Those with broad, bold teeth in the rubber are some of the best since they provide good grip to the ground, no matter if it happens to be wet or very dry.
Stiffness vs Break-In
Like many shoes, boots will feel a little stiff the first time you put them on. As you walk around in them for a while, the stiffness will dull or go away completely, leaving you with good room around the toes and an ergonomic fit along the heel area. Break-in time is sometimes hard to judge, but the best way to ensure that comfort will be met as fast as possible is to purchase boots in the correct size. Not too tight yet a little firm, especially around the midsole and ankles.
Your toes should have enough space to not feel bunched together, yet relaxed to the point where you won’t want to move them around too much. However, some pairs may remain stiff for the entirety of them being worn or get worse over time. Check out the information regarding the soles and shape of the boot itself. This will give you a good indication of how long it will take for you to feel at home in the footwear.
Part of the fun in elk hunting could be just hiking along and checkout out the sights and sounds of the wilderness. You might even want to take a few pictures during your adventure. Whatever you do, you should have a general idea on how much walking you’ll do. This is because some boots are better formulated for long distance travel, where the material is lighter on the feet and legs, giving the wearer fewer chances of feeling fatigued.
Heavy boots could make you lag, particularly if you’re not adjusted to having them on for hours at a time. Prevent wreaking havoc to your feet later on by looking at the weight of the boots. What was the weight of the last good boots that you purchased? Where you comfortable in them? Did they have enough flexibility for you to move your ankles around? These questions should be in your mind when you’re looking for new boots.
Adjusting to the Weight
Just prior was discussed how distance relates to comfortability in a new pair of boots. Weight is a factor in knowing this. Some boots are extremely heavy, having a borderline feeling of cement bags that just seem to get heavier each time you put them on. If you’re feeling irritation in the footwear you use, all sorts of problems could arise. Blisters, calluses, and corns can develop from shoes that are too heavy. Additionally, the weight could make your feet move inside the boot, exacerbating the problem and leading to prolonged inflammation at the bottom of the feet. Boots with large tread and soles tend to be the heaviest, whereas those with more synthetic materials are on the lighter side.
The Lacing System
Not everything likes to lace their boots, and are fine with the way they are straight from the box. But if you do like to tie them up differently, having lace hooks that are strong and won’t tear the laces themselves should be a high priority for your next pair of boots. Laces may also be cheaply made when sold with the boots, although this is definitely an exception.
Big laces are sometimes more difficult to tie and may loosen very quickly no matter how tight you tie them. Thinner varieties might tie tighter but could break or tear away very fast. This is more of a personal choice, but if you’re not sure about the laces in a boot that has grabbed your interest, don’t be afraid the get a set of strings separately from the product.
Where Will Elk Hunting Take Place?
In the United States, Elk hunting takes place throughout the country, in both temperate and colder regions. The areas you live in can say a lot about the type of boots that would benefit you the most. Midwestern states have it better than, say, people in the west. Regions with flatter or rolling hills that don’t have lots of rocks to hike over are fine for many lightweight boots. Rockier places would be better with good treads that don’t break quickly. Of course, there may be ice on the ground by the time the season has rolled around too. So check the temperature ratings when available to see if your feet will stay warm when you’re outdoors in below-freezing temperatures.
One could argue that shoes are the most important part of your attire since it’s the only piece that comes into steady contact with the ground. Getting a good pair of boots for your elk hunting is crucial to whether you’ll be able to focus your attention on hunting or become irritated with the footwear you’re using to the point where it takes your attention off your purpose for going in the first place.
The top picks on the list are the Salomon Men’s Quest 4D 2 and X Ultra 3, favored for their ability to repel water and short time required to break them in. But truthfully, all of the boots on the list a great footwear for any hunter in some way, so look into the other eight if you think something else would suit your feet better. Regardless of your choice, it’s a given that you’ll end up with boots that you might be tempted to wear like an ordinary pair of shoes.