How to Choose Hunting Boots for Every Season
The right hunting boots can make or break your hunt. When you’re looking to purchase the right type of hunting boots, you need to consider some important questions. Boots will differ depending on types of hunting and the boots’ purpose, so here are some thought-provoking questions to ask yourself before buying a pair:
- Season – Are you a year-round hunter or are you specifically looking for the warmest hunting boots for winter? Will you be actively walking through deep snow or are you more of a tree stand kind of hunter?
- Types of hunting– Big game, small game, wild boar, bait, bird, camouflage, hunting with dogs, archery, bow, or rifle? There are many different types of hunting and while some will focus on covering long distances on foot, others might require you to walk a short distance but stand on your feet for long hours. In other cases, you might have to run and imagine running when you’ve chosen to wear cheap rubber boots that go up to your knees. Keep these thoughts in mind when picking out what boots will be on your feet for those long trips.
- Hunting Method – Will you be using a gun or bow? Depending on the different type of gun or bow you choose, you might need to be closer or farther to the animal. Believe it or not, what you wear on your feet can make the difference between getting close enough for a good shot or scaring off a potential animal.
Types of Hunting Boots
Hunting boots can come in a few different styles depending on their purpose. Hunting boots aren’t just designed for the wildlife to admire, but they’re also intended to protect you from nature’s elements, unfriendly critters, and from yourself when you accidentally drop things on your feet. Depending on the level of protection you desire, you can opt for features like safety toes, waterproofness, or snake protection. Or, if you enjoy the freedom and breathability of showing off your calves, you can also go with more basic 6″ hikers.
- Insulated hunting boots – Different levels of insulation is an important technical factor in boot construction, especially if you’ll be trekking through snow or standing on ice.
- High Country hunting boots – If you’re hunting big game like sheep, elk, or deer that live on rugged terrain, consider a taller pair of boots that can prevent twisted ankles and injuries. Designed for extreme durability, these are a great choice for higher-elevation hunting.
- Rubber Boots– These boots are tall and are meant to keep your feet from getting wet when you’re crossing streams, rivers, or wading through some muddy patches. We don’t recommend choosing these for a 15-mile hike searching for wild boars.
- Hikers – Designed to protect and stabilize ankles but allow for the greatest freedom of movement, these are a good choice for uneven terrain and long days.
- Snake boots – Walking in snake country can be adrenalizing all on its own, but focusing on the hunt instead of where you’re stepping can be even more worrisome. If you know you’ll be parading through snake country in early spring, consider protecting yourself with a pair of snake boots.
- Safety toe boots – These multi-purpose leather boots lend themselves for both work and play. If you’re looking for a versatile pair of hunting and work boots that offer protection, you can’t go wrong.
- Scent-proof hunting boots – Wondering what type of boots help minimize human scent? Rubber boots are your answer, plus Thorogood’s rubber boots don’t have a lingering rubber or chemical smell to them either. The molecules in rubber boots are more tightly packed and prevent odor from escaping, while leather boots are more breathable. Consider rubber boots when scent is a factor, and make sure to prepare scent-free clothes to match.
How to Choose the Warmest Hunting Boots
Whether you choose to hunt in spring, fall, or the dead of winter, the right hunting boots can make a world of difference. We know, because a lot of our team is made up of avid hunters and outdoor enthusiasts. When you work hard during the week, you deserve to play hard off the clock, so whether it’s ice fishing or early fall hunting trips, we can help you learn how to choose the warmest hunting boots based on insulation levels.
Boot Insulation Explained
Now that you’ve considered some vital questions, let’s look at hunting boot insulation levels. Boot insulation varies in quality and, for comfort and usability, maintaining warmth without bulk is ideal. You’ll also want to consider activity levels since less insulation is typically needed if you’ll be actively moving and walking, while more is needed for stationary activities.
Pro Tip: Everyone has a different internal thermometer. What temperature and condition we think is “cold” will vary, as does our body’s circulation and comfort levels.
Boot Insulation Gram Chart
Keep in mind that these are general guides and that everyone will feel cold differently. The below chart shows different boot insulation weights in grams and a general guide for activity and weather types to help you choose the warmest hunting boots for your situation.
What is Thinsulate™?
Thinsulate is the most frequently used type of boot insulation. Made by 3M, the synthetic fiber thermal insulation is used in clothing and footwear. Since it’s thinner than polyester fibers, it’s less bulky than other insulation types and also has waterproofing qualities. Fun fact: Thinsulate™; is also used in fabric roofs on sports cars (Porsche Boxster) to reduce heat loss and noise levels, as well as in upholstery.
How is Thinsulate™; measured?
Thinsulate is measured by weight, more specifically in grams per square meter of insulation. Thinsulate in boots typically ranges from 200g to 2500g.
What is SOLARCORE®
SOLARCORE® is NASA-inspired aerogel that is proven to retain 50% more heat and is designed with minimal bulk to block the cold. The same science used to insulate spacecrafts on voyages at -450°F is now used in apparel and footwear (so don’t complain to us your feet are cold with it because it definitely doesn’t hit -450°F!)
How is SOLARCORE® measured?
SOLARCORE® isn’t measured in grams the way Thinsulate is. It’s formed in one 2mm thin layer and is added below our boots’ footbed to form a cold-stopping barrier between the sole of the boot and the footbed. It’s also added to the toe cap, protecting your toes as well as creating a barrier on the bottom of your feet. Thinsulate™; paired with SOLARCORE®; creates the ultimate insulated hunting boot to protect you on your outdoor pursuits. Say goodbye to numb toes!