hunting Boots: your recommendations, please


July 23, 2007, 11:29 AM
My last pair of hunting boots finally crapped out. They were an old pair of Cabelas with really soft soles which made them silent, but not durable.

Im looking for a new pair, to be used for spring turkey and deer. Waterproof, is of course a must, camo and scent-blocked would be nice also. I dont want a heavy boot with really hard, loud soles.

Ive looked in Cabelas and Bass Pro and have read the reviews on their websites and havent found a boot that is really want I want.


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July 23, 2007, 11:40 AM
The boots I keep going back to are not hunting boots. They're Asolo backpacking boots. Not as tall as hunters, if you need height. I find desert gaiters keep the crap out of the boots well enough. Comfortable as all get-out. Gore-Tex all-leather version is $210 at REI I think.

I've noticed that 90% of the camo on my 9" Cabela's hunting boots never shows anyway. It wouldn't matter if they were bright pink, under my camo pants. Comfort matters a lot more than camo, unless you get the all-camo ones with camo soles and everything, for sitting against a tree waiting for a turkey.

All of that said, if you want a boot that feels like a running shoe, it will last like one. That might be the tradeoff you're willing to make; just don't expect a boot made for fast hiking to last like a work boot.

With those Asolos, I never think about the boots being heavy on the trail. They aren't overly heavy, but they're not ultralights, either. They just fit well, and the soles make them really comfortable for walking.

July 23, 2007, 11:45 AM
I bought some Hi-Tecs five years ago for $30, they are still going strong and very light weight.

July 23, 2007, 11:47 AM
Bear, I've got a pair of those Asolos, really nice boots have lasted me many miles.
Just like with car tires, I dont expect a soft soled boot to last forever.
For turkey and bowhunting, I do want a quiet boot.

July 23, 2007, 11:55 AM
Quiet also depends on the nature of the trail.

There's no such thing as a quiet boot here.:) Never heard my boots, actually, over the crushing gravel, dry leaves, or whatever was on the trail. If you're moving, you're making noise, unfortunately.

I guess in the East you have wetter conditions that are more conducive to quiet walking in the woods. I'd forgotten about that.

July 23, 2007, 12:03 PM
This is true, around here, there are a few chances to sneak around.

July 23, 2007, 02:05 PM
I wear Vasque boots, mine ran me around $185. I used my Vasque's last year on an elk hunt in the Missouri Breaks and I couldn't have been more pleased with any other boot. They have a really good sole with lots of traction and the comfort is second to none. The Vasques I have are all leather with a nice rubber toe bumper built on them. Great boots, these are my second pair, and when these need to be replaced I will get another pair. They are water proof but not insulated. I wear a pair of gaiters to keep the snow out of them and off I go. Nothing beats a good pair of boots. Good luck.

July 23, 2007, 04:31 PM
FWIW...I just use knee high rubber boots like Northerners for turkey, deer, etc. They're light, I can add or remove layers of sox to keep my feet warm or cool, and they're totally waterproof up to knee high.

I have some Rocky boots that have been in my closet for years. They're awful. Heavy, leave scent during deer season, and the cleats pack with mud and then they're super heavy.

July 23, 2007, 04:48 PM
One of the best boots for comfort and value is LL Bean's "Maine Hunting Shoe". They can be resoled for a nominal fee.
My Danner Pronghorns have been comfortable, but not as durable as hoped, and they're DINO's (Danner in name only) made in China- I won't buy another pair.

July 23, 2007, 08:24 PM
If it's hot and I am not walking far I wear $20 or $30 Hi-tech hikers from Big-5 that are cheap, if I need a good boot, which is 90% of the time, I get out my Danner 18000 Firelines or my hand made Wescos. If still hunting in the snow, good Pack boots, in other words wear what you need for the circumstances.
I wear these the most, even though their 100 bucks or so cheaper then the Wescos.

July 23, 2007, 08:37 PM
I can't really suggest a boot at this time. But I can tell you that I am DONE WITH DANNERS!!

They have been cheapened to the point of in usability. I kill a pair of "Danners" in less than year. They have become CRAP!!

A buddy of mine strongly suggests the Kenetrek Mountain extreme and I've heard good things about Russell boots.

I am in the market for new boots too.

July 23, 2007, 09:32 PM
Thanks for all your suggestions so far im looking for boots to.

July 24, 2007, 12:12 AM
The American made Danners are awesome. The Ft. Lewis Go-Devils in particular.

Matterhorns would be another choice I'd make.

July 24, 2007, 01:26 AM

Which ones are American made?

Steel Talon
July 24, 2007, 03:28 AM
IMHO Irish setters by Red Wing Shoes is the way to go. My current boots is 12 seasons old.

here is the webb site click on the "hunting" tab..

July 24, 2007, 06:09 AM
H&H, I read an older post of yours about Danners, and glad I did since I was about to buy a pair of there boots. I think the Danners that are made by the US advertise as such.
Steel, Ive been looking at those Irish Setters, seems pretty good for the money.

July 24, 2007, 09:06 PM
They have been cheapened to the point of in usability. I kill a pair of "Danners" in less than year. They have become CRAP!!

You must not be thinking of the same company I have bought a few pair from. 18000's are not even said to be water proof yet oiled with Orbenauf's I have worked in pouring Washington Cascade Mtn rain all day, or in and out of a 4 or 5 inch deep Idaho creek all day for days, and always came home with dry feet. They have lasted several years worn several months a year all day every day. But then I have absolutely no experience in the hiker or cloth Danners just the good work or Fort Lewis leather types. All of those I have owned have been top quality.

July 29, 2007, 09:02 PM
For what it is worth I just went through this. I looked at danner, whites, Meindl, Kenetrek, and Lowa. I settle on the Lowa Tibets GTX, the Lowa Hunter would have been My next choice. Check them out, awesome support, very comfortable and very rugged. A great boot if you are in tough terrain.

Good luck


July 30, 2007, 12:06 AM
I've heard good things about Russell boots.

I've been eyeing the Russell's as well. The Trackers ( like they fit the bill for durable yet quiet.

July 30, 2007, 08:02 AM
I am on the market for shoes too and I am leaning towards the one below:

I have hiking boots by Merrell and there is no better shoe on Earth than those. I ditched my last pair after having them for about 5 years and using them every single day (I used in the gym too). The shoes were intact but dirty and my wife persuaded me to buy new ones which I did.

All in all, sturdy shoes and very comfortable. Just my .02 cents.

July 30, 2007, 02:24 PM
I like to wear the knee high Lacrosse Buckmasters. I think they're also called Alpha Burly's. They're lightweight, water proof, scent proof, and affordable at about a hundred bucks a pair.

July 30, 2007, 02:33 PM
IMHO Irish setters by Red Wing Shoes is the way to go. My current boots is 12 seasons old.

Irish Setters/ Red Wings are great boots. They cost a little more, but they are worth every penny. The USA made Danners are great also. I have a pair of Ft Lewis boots that are 8-9 years old and are still ticking. They are super comfy, but may not make the best hunting boot due to thin insulation.

July 31, 2007, 07:11 AM
Ive decided to try the Irish Setter 8" uninsulated Shadow Treks. Looks like a good boot, hopefully my feet will find them comfortable.

July 31, 2007, 10:05 PM
My vote goes to Vasque. One of the most comfortable shoes I have ever owned. They are actually boots, sundowner classics, but I'll call them shoes because of the comfort level. Good ankle support, good traction, waterproof, full grain, comfortable with a pack on going downhill. This is my second pair of the same boot, I bought the first ones six years ago and just replaced them this summer. And I even wore the old ones out fishing the other day because they are still darn comfortable, just ugly as sin and with cracked soles.

Can't offer a good comparison to other brands because I bought Vasques and have never had a need to look anywhere else.

Also, I need to join in and say that I will never own another pair of Danners. Mine were the Stryker GTX and they are flat soled in under 1 1/2 years. Never again.

Steel Talon
August 1, 2007, 01:39 AM
Ive decided to try the Irish Setter 8" uninsulated Shadow Treks. Looks like a good boot, hopefully my feet will find them comfortable.

Good Choice!

Steel Talon:cool:

Sir Aardvark
August 1, 2007, 03:04 AM
Check out Vasque boots. They make the best boots I have ever worn - they are SuperHiker II's.

They are a subsidiary of Red Wing Shoes.

August 1, 2007, 07:46 AM
I have tried Vasques, they are GREAT boots. I was deciding between those and the ASOLOS for a hiking boot. The Vasques were just too narrow and the store didnt stock any wider sizes, so I got the ASOLO.

August 1, 2007, 07:56 AM
Seconding Irish Setters.

Regular hiking boots are very well suited for hunting - as are the less specialized mountaineering types if you are hunting in mountain areas. Afterall, the differences between the best hiking boots and hunting boots are largely cosmetic and marketing.

A good way to quieten down a pair of soles - just a tad - is a pair (or two) of oversized ragwool socks. Simply wear them over your boots during the actual hunt. They obviously will affect traction on some surfaces and this should be kept in mind.


August 1, 2007, 10:41 AM
I wear wide Vasques.

Also worth mentioning, I have had collapsed arches in the past. Other boots and shoes I needed to add Superfeet insoles. The Vasques were my most comfortable boots through that with no added insoles at al. The footbed in these is top notch. I think it was my Danner's I was wearing at work that broke my feet in the first place.

August 1, 2007, 06:16 PM
Danner pronghorns and the Zamberlands I picked up from REI. both are great boots. Comfy, dry, and good traction with out all the extra weight. They haven't fallen apart like my past Rock-ies...or weighed as much.

August 1, 2007, 06:37 PM
Irish Setters get my vote. I've had lots of different boots but bought my Setters 3 years ago, use them heavily, and they still look and function like new ( except the sore feet part ). Best pair I've ever owned.

August 2, 2007, 12:38 PM
H&H Hunter,

All the high-end models are American made. The Go-Devils, Acadia, Elk Hunter(?). The American made models have a prominent "Made in USA" tag on them near the top either on the inside or outside.

If you order from someone like Cabela's, they'll tell you in the product description whether they're American made or imported........or there won't be an indication of the origins of the imports. The Danner website does the same.

BTW, Matterhorns are American made too. They're owned by Corcoran Boot.

August 2, 2007, 12:44 PM
I hunt with knee high rubber boots. scent free, comfortable, and they help on those shallow creek crossings. They are a bit heavy though, so if you're doing a lot of stalking, they probably aren't the best choice.

August 2, 2007, 01:16 PM
When it is really cold or wet I wear my old Matterhorn Cold and Wets I bought in the Army 15 years ago. Best boots I have ever owned and are the only piece of military gear I still use. I bought them after my first winter field problem wearing "cruit boots. God that was miserable...

For warmer weather hunting and hiking I wear Vasques.

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