There are a few fundamental tactical necessities that all hunters or outdoorsmen should have at all times, most overlooked, however, are hunting boots.
What you have on your feet while out on a hunting trip, is equally as important as the rifle you are using. You need to have a good pair of hunting boots on your feet to help protect your precious digits from the elements and keep you moving swiftly all day long.
The lack of comfort and some level of mobility can severely impact your hunting excursion and leave you wishing you would have just stayed home for the day.
But with so many high-quality brands throwing their best version of hunting boots in the ring with all the latest in their patented technology, it can be hard to wade through them all just to find the right pair for you.
And that’s why we’ve done the legwork for you, and decided to do a review on what we consider to be the 5 best-hunting boots for 2018. Not all of these were released this year, but if a pair of hunting boots can survive the test of time, that simply speaks volumes about their quality.
So, if you’re ready to slip on a new pair of hunting boots this season, go ahead read through our review and check out our tips section before you rush out to buy a pair… you and your feet will be happy that you did.
Table of Contents
- 1 1. Kamik Nationplus Boot (Best For Entry Level)
- 2 2. Columbia Bugaboot Plus 3 (Best Deal For The Money)
- 3 3. Bogs Classic High Boots (Best For Mud Or Water)
- 4 4. Wolverine King Caribou 3 Hunting Boot (Best For Cold Weather)
- 5 5. Danner Pronghorn Hunting Boot (Best Overall)
- 6 What To Consider When Purchasing A Pair Of Hunting Boots
- 7 Final Thoughts
1. Kamik Nationplus Boot (Best For Entry Level)
The Nationplus Boot from Kamik is constructed from a waterproof suede and ballistic nylon upper material to give your feet the protection they need for your longer hunting trips. The flexible all rubber shell on this boot is a bit bulky, but because it is so large, it will fully cover most of your foot.
All of the seams on the Nationplus Boot are sealed up completely to add to its water-resistance for those rainy days. Honestly, these boots are so good at protecting your feet from wet environments they double really well as boat boots. Switching up from hunting to fishing has never been easier. Even the eyelets on the speed lacing system are rustproof.
But what about when it isn’t the environment getting you wet, but rather, your own feet sweating? Well, you are in luck because the Nationplus Boot has a moisture absorbent wick lining that is designed to be both absorbent and breathable.
If the ultimate in grip and traction even on snowy surfaces is something you absolutely must have, the Kamik Nationplus Boot delivers with its SNOWTREAD synthetic rubber outsole.
All said, for the price, you really can’t beat these boots. They are comfortable, lace up quickly, and provide a high level of protection from the elements.
- Moisture absorbent lining
- Speed lacing system
- Waterproof sealed seams
- Bulky design
2. Columbia Bugaboot Plus 3 (Best Deal For The Money)
If you already own a pair of entry-level hunting boots but want to step up your game a bit, let us introduce you to the Bugaboot Plus 3 from Columbia.
Columbia has earned a named for themselves in the outdoor equipment and clothing industry for a reason. Their products are made from high-quality materials, and they actually last. The Bugaboot Plus 3 carries on this tradition of quality craftsmanship without a doubt.
Made primarily for those who are going to be adventuring through cold or snowy climates, these boots feature a thick layer of 200g insulation and thermal-reflective liners. These two features alone score these boots a positive rating for temperatures as low as -25F/-32C.
The shell that wraps around the upper foot is made from a patented Techlite material, as is the midsole. This material is waterproof and feels durable yet sturdy to the touch. To help ensure the maximum level of water resistance, all of the seams are sealed as well.
The most impressive feature of this boot has to be the Omni-Grip outsole. This has what is probably one of the best rubber traction designs available on the market right now. It prominently features multiple traction marks designed for a variety of terrain including water, snow, ice, dirt, and several others.
It has siphon grooves that run toward the outside of the boot in order to allow water to simply pass across the sole, and wide gaps to prevent mud or gravel build up forming.
If you are looking to upgrade without spending a ton of money, this is the hunting boot for you.
- 200 grams of insulation
- Rated for as low as -25F/-32C
- Great traction on the outsole
- Siphon grooves get easily clogged with mud (only the grooves seem to do this)
- Sealed seams have been known to start leaking after moderate use
3. Bogs Classic High Boots (Best For Mud Or Water)
The Bogs Classic High is a boot that has something to prove! While this boot is intended mainly as a rain boot, it is perfect for those hunting trips during or right after a heavy rain, and trekking through thick mud.
Before we get into all the juicy details, let me start off by saying that this boot is minimalistic, and is designed for trekking through extremely frigid climates. It probably is not what you want if you are looking for something that is ultra-breathable or flexible. But for the job that it does serve, it serves well.
Constructed from durable rubber, the Bogs Classic High will protect your feet from some of the most frigid conditions ranging all the way down to sub-zero conditions. And as you may have already guessed, with all that rubber, your feet are sure to stay 100% dry, even if the rest of your body is soaking wet. And for any sweating that may occur, the interior contains DuraFresh biotechnology that helps to prevent unwanted odors.
The interior of this boot features a 7mm four-way stretch Neo-Tech bootie to make sure that you can get your feet in and out with ease. This inner-bootie also helps the boot retain a firm grip on your foot that is comfortable, sealed, and doesn’t rub against your skin.
The outsole grips all kinds of terrain rather nicely and is extremely easy to clean.
If you are hunting in freezing climates, you need a pair of hunting boots that keep your feet warm and limber. They don’t get much warmer than the Bogs Classic High.
- Minimalistic design
- Great for frigid climates
- Easy to clean outsole
- DuraFresh technology helps keep the boots from building up unwanted odors
- Very rigid design
- Not great for hunting trips where you need to be extremely mobile
- Not breathable
4. Wolverine King Caribou 3 Hunting Boot (Best For Cold Weather)
Wolverine is one of the big names you are likely to encounter while searching for high-quality boots. And if you’ve ever owned a pair of Wolverine boots, you know why they are so popular. While their hiking boots are some of the best around in our opinion, Wolverine has gone and done it again with their King Caribou 3 Hunting Boot.
This hunting boot is made from a rugged 900D polyester upper that is abrasion-resistant and lightweight. Meanwhile, the outsole is wrapped in a Wolverine TPU material designed to absorb minor impacts that you are sure to throw its way with the usual wear-and-tear.
The outsole is made of thick rubber, complete with cleat style traction studs to help keep your feet firmly planted wherever you are. The extra padding that the thick rubber provides is nice, but the removable full-cushion footbed and compression molded EVA midsole helps with shock absorption.
The interior of this hunting boot contains 800 grams of 3M Thinsulate ultra insulation that will keep your feet warm all day long, while the waterproof membrane lining makes sure that they stay dry.
- Excellent for colder climates
- Sturdy lacing system
- Cleat style traction can hinder you from crossing certain terrain easily
- Footbed begins to slide around a bit after heavy use
5. Danner Pronghorn Hunting Boot (Best Overall)
Want to sport one of the absolutely best-looking pairs of hunting boots available right now? If so, you are wanting the Danner Pronghorn Hunting Boot. This boot not only looks classy, but the attention to detail and overall design is impressive.
The upper on the Pronghorn is made from 1000D nylon and a full-grain leather that has undergone a type of marbling process that Danner calls CamoHide. This is what gives the leather its unique look, and the process used makes sure that the camo marbling will never rub off or fade away.
The outsole is constructed from a rugged fourth generation rubber design. It does not feature as many traction patterns as most of the other boots in this review, but that does not detract much from its gripping capabilities.
On the interior, this boot contains waterproof and breathable, GORE-TEX liners to ensure that no water will get in, while at the same time allowing sweat to escape quickly.
To keep you moving swiftly, the Pronghorn hunting boots have a soft collar, a lightweight footbed, and more breathable material in place of excess bulk. After all, reducing the amount of weight you have to carry around all day is a huge bonus to any hunting trip.
Oh, and the fit on this boot feels great! It has been designed to offer great heel capture and a more spacious toe box. Use the pull loops to get them on and get your semi-locking laces tied for a secure fit, and you are ready to start hunting in style.
- Clean, classy design
- 1000 Denier nylon upper
- GORE-TEX interior liners
- Limited traction patterns
- Stitching on the seams are not of the best quality
What To Consider When Purchasing A Pair Of Hunting Boots
Of course not. And it is no different for your hunting boots.
These things are going to be on your feet for long periods at a time and they are charged with a few important tasks, so you need to know what to look for in a pair of high-quality hunting boots.
Luckily, I’m here to give you a few pointers to help you out.
The worst thing in the world when it comes to picking out any type of footwear that you plan on having on your feet for extended periods of time is getting the wrong size. Buying a pair of hunting boots that fit your feet poorly can result in pain, and even damage your feet.
If your feet feel cramped tight inside your hunting boots or your toes touch the front end of the boot, it’s time for you to try on a different size. Just imagine trying to walk around all day while you track that perfect 10-point buck, but you can’t focus on hunting because all you can think about is your sore feet.
If they fit too loosely, you are just asking for blisters to form from the boot constantly rubbing against your skin.
When you find the right pair of hunting boots for your feet, you will know it. They will fit snug but loose enough that you can move around comfortably and your feet have a little extra room to breathe.
Insulation is important for two reasons.
First, in colder climates, the extra insulation that a good pair of hunting boots provides can make or break your hunting trip. Insulation can mean the difference between hardly being able to walk because your feet are frozen, and staying warm enough to move around swiftly. Trust me, when you get cold enough it can be rather difficult to stay focused on actually hunting.
Secondly, a nicely insulated hunting boot will help to absorb any water that happens to seep in, as well as any sweating that may occur. If you want a pair of hunting boots that will provide you the best absorption rate, pick a pair that is not only well-insulated but that also contains a wick lining designed specifically with that in mind.
On long hunting trips, you can expect that you’re going to sweat in places you’ve never dreamed of, and your feet are certainly no exception. To keep those feet dry, you need to make sure you have on hunting boots that feature a high-quality ventilation system. If you do often sweat heavily after a few hours of hunting, we recommend that you buy a pair of boots that are also absorbent.
Most of the boots that we have featured in this review have good ventilation and are fairly absorbent, so you can’t go wrong with any of our recommendations.
Last, but certainly not least, you need to consider the level of protection that your hunting boot provides your feet. If you are going to be hunting in an area that is covered in tall brush, standing water, or dangerous critters running around by your feet, you want to make sure your feet don’t suffer for it.
Hunting boots with a high level of protection will generally feature a thick rubber sole to protect the bottoms of your feet when walking across more difficult terrain such as sharp rocks, snow, and water. Most hunting boots feature well-constructed outsoles, but the best hunting boots available contain multi-directional traction tread on the bottom of the outsoles, adding to their versatility of use through multiple types of terrain.
When it comes to your feet, protecting them from the elements should be your number one priority. We have kept this same thought in mind for this article, and hope that with our tips and reviews you will find the perfect pair of hunting boots for yourself.