We’ve developed what we call the four boot rule to cover the footwear needs of hunting and all these diverse conditions. What I’m talking about is a four boot rule. And then I’m adding a pair of waders. I’ll get to that at the end.
Light Hiking Boot
The first boot is a six-inch leather uninsulated or lightly insulated hiking boot. LOA makes this boot. I wore this for about three seasons of shooting duck, and they’re pretty much cashed out, but it’s a boot that I enjoyed very much. These boots are lightweight, they’re comfortable, and yet have a high level of support. They’re suitable in the mountains, and they’re useful in flat country. They’re ideal in warmer weather. If it starts getting cold and the snow begins to fall, this is not going to be the boot that you want to pull out, but this is great for early season elk hunts, antelope punts, anything where you’re not too worried about freezing your toes.
Backpacking Boots For Steep Hill Country
The second boot in my arsenal is a backpack hunting boot. Backpacking boots are typically insulated and Gore-Tex. It’s got a tall leather upper, and it’s a very stiff, heavy backpacking boot. It has a very solid footbed to help you side Hill in steep country. It’s warm, it works for you well into the late season, and it’s a great all-around backpacking boot when you’re carrying a heavy load on your back or when you’re going to pull out a big animal off a mountain. I would suggest this backing boot as your go-to mountain boot.
Pack Boot Are Great For Light Cold Weather
The next boot is a pack boot mad by Schnase. It is a lightweight cold-weather boot that still works well for hiking and action. You can wear this boot in a tree stand hunting for whitetail. You can be sedentary in this boot, and it has insulation that will keep you warm, but it’s light enough and built well that you can also hike up mountains through the forest and be active in this boot as well. It has a rubber sole, which is very good for traction. It’s suitable for snow, it’s good for ice, and then it has a leather upper that is reasonably waterproof, helps keep you warm. It’s just a rugged, decent all-around boot. One of the crucial parts of these boots is that they have removable felt liners. You can get some with removable liners as well.
Don’t Forget Removable Liners
I recommend you getting removable liners because you can pull the insulating material out of your boot. It’s separate from your boot, and the advantage of having it separate is that you can bring a couple of pairs on a hunt, and if they get wet one day, you can dry them out and go back and exchange. Your wet is for your dry ones each day.
Knee-High Rubber Boots For Wet Environments
The 4th boot in the four boot rule is a knee-high rubber boot. Now, this model is specifically made by Eagle. They’re a European company, and this is an insulated boot in Alaska. There’s a couple of other brands that make knee-high rubber boots in the United States, and they are a handy boot to have around. There are some situations in hunting where these come in handy. One of those is where the scent is an issue. If you’re a bow hunter and you’ve got to climb into your stand, and you’re anxious about scent, rubber does not hold scent very well. What you can do is scrub these down, clean them up, rub some dirt and mud on them, and have a very scent free boot walking into your stand.
Other prominent reasons that these are great is for any wet country, any low country hunt, any marshy hunt, or even any rainy day. If I know, I’m suiting up with my rain gear all day long. I would love to have these along to stay dry. One thing on the negative side of this boot is this isn’t a mountain boot. There’s no ankle support here. It’s just rubber and then a solid rubber sole, so this is not what you want to climb up a mountain, and there’s not support. You could get super blistered up or even get yourself into a pickle.
Another Important Boot Is Waders
You put the waders on, and then you put the wading boot on over top of that. This specific wading boot is my go-to for hunting. This particular model includes a Vibram sole. A lot of wading boots have a felt sole. A felt bottom will help you grip rocks while you’re fishing and things like that. But what I have found is I do a lot of cold weather duck hunting and wearing a felt boot in the cold weather tends to freeze up. You get these big blocks of ice, whereas this Vibram sole stays free of ice and is safer for wading in water. And cold temperatures.