Stalk Boots


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Mencius
December 20, 2012, 08:56 AM
Ok, now that I am a professional still (or stalk or whatever) hunter* because I have done it, well, twice now I was thinking maybe I needed to upgrade my footwear. Keep in mind I am hunting in fairly thick woods, but do any of you have any moccasins or boots you would recommend?

I was thinking I need something with a soft sole, but still thick enough so thorns and such won't punch through. Probably need waterproof too. I found the Russell Tracker boots (http://www.russellmoccasin.com/boots_stalkingtracking/tracker.html) which seem pretty good, but expensive.

Most likely won't pull the trigger on this until next year, but would like to get your opinion on it.

*that was a joke just in case sarcasm does not come through well here...

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Sav .250
December 20, 2012, 09:32 AM
If you don`t walk slowly and more importantly watch what`s in your path, then what ever you get won`t help much.
Consider the conditions. Snow on the ground. Heavy frost. Dry leaves.
Going through thick brush. Climbing over rocks. Just a few of the conditions one can come up against. If you don`t help yourself (read above) then the boots just help keep your feet warm. :)

If your a native American,you`d already have moccasins.**

** That was a joke. :)

buck460XVR
December 20, 2012, 10:05 AM
You don't need a $350 pair of custom made boots to still hunt. You need something comfortable and relevant to the weather, terrain and conditions of the hunt. Waterproof lightweight hiking boots work well in most scenarios. Steep rocky terrain or extremely slippery conditions demand more support and aggressive soles. Heavy boots become cumbersome and will tire you out as your feet are in the air for a longer period of time and you lift your feet higher on each step when walking with stealth.

BBQLS1
December 20, 2012, 01:02 PM
I'll also add: I broke a leg last year after slipping on a relatively low bump in the road. I think what happened is that my footing slipped and then caught again in a spot where I it caused me to land on my leg. Keep this in mind when selecting boots. Be careful out there too.

rcmodel
December 20, 2012, 01:16 PM
Personally, for walking around in the woods in all kinds of weather, I want a hunting boot with a lug sole for traction.

Wet leaves, mud, snow, & ice will all land you on your butt sooner or later with those slick soled moccasin style hunting boots.

Lug or vibram soles are no more noisy in the woods then anything else if you pay attention to what you step on.

I wear Bates Gore-Tex and they are quiet like cats paws, yet never slip on anything.
http://www.lapolicegear.com/bates-2488-insulated-boot.html

For really cold wet weather, Muck boots or LaCross Alpha Burly's are awful hard to beat.
http://www.cabelas.com/product/Footwear/Mens-Footwear/Hunting-Boots/Rubber-Boots%7C/pc/104797980/c/104747580/sc/104826780/i/104806080/Muck8482-Wetland8482-Premium-Field-Boots/729175.uts?destination=%2Fcatalog%2Fbrowse%2F_%2FN-1102525&WTz_l=DirectLoad%3Bcat104806080

http://www.basspro.com/LaCrosse-18-AlphaBurly-Sport-Neoprene-Insulated-Hunting-Boots-for-Men/product/103746/


rc

heeler
December 20, 2012, 01:21 PM
I found a pair of those old 70's era desert boots that are kind of coming back and they are light and quite because the sole is pretty gummy.
Of course these are just casual above the ankle street shoes so dont expect dry feet if it's wet out.
Even a light pair of running shoes would work.

ClickClickD'oh
December 20, 2012, 01:24 PM
For stalking I wear a pear of ankle high hiking boots I got at Academy Sports for $50. I've walked up on plenty of deer and pig while wearing them. The hunter is much more important than the boots they are wearing. Save the extra $300 for something else.

adelbridge
December 20, 2012, 05:17 PM
I use and old pair of my asic trail running shoes, I put them in the wash with some tide free and they are quiet and scent free. I hunt south texas so the weather is warm. I dont see any need for anything that covers the ankle, I run many miles of trails per week in them and knock on wood......

Rail Driver
December 20, 2012, 05:37 PM
I have never had a problem wearing military style combat boots to hunt in - works just fine for me, and no louder than tennis shoes if I watch what I'm doing.

rcmodel
December 20, 2012, 05:39 PM
I hunt south texas so the weather is warm. I dont see any need for anything that covers the ankle,I thought they had a rattlesnake behind every scrub bush & also cacti down that way!!

That would be good enough reason to cover my ankles and half my legs for me.

rc

JeffDilla
December 20, 2012, 06:28 PM
I wear insulated Muck boots because late November in Maine can get pretty cold. They've been great over the past 3 years.

Mencius
December 21, 2012, 09:05 AM
Yeah, y'all are probably right. I have been using just some standard Danner boots and they fit me like a glove. I will probably just stick with them, until they wear out.

Kingcreek
December 21, 2012, 01:47 PM
For over 20 years I've worn the LL Bean Maine Hunting Shoe in a 10" lace up. They are very comfortable and waterproof with good support and the sole is flexible enough to feel sticks and rocks underfoot.
I just got them back after sending them in to LL B for rebuild and repair for the second time. This time was $16 charge. Makes them a heck of a bargain too.
And made in the USA!

Mencius
December 21, 2012, 01:55 PM
Those look pretty nice actually. I might have to get a pair of those when I wear out the ones I have now.

LordDunsany
December 21, 2012, 06:40 PM
Ditto on the Maine Hunting Boots from L L Bean!

I have two pair of the ankle height boots, also had the ten-inch ones but gave them to my son as the calf was too tight on my ex-footballer legs. They wear like iron, are easily waterproofed and also are easy on the feet.

I don't recommend them for mountaineering or 20-mile hikes but they excel (for me) when used in still and stalk hunting. Get them large enough to accommodate two pair of socks and be sure they are the genuine article from Bean Co. The knockoffs suck bigtime and aren't worth even looking at.

Don't know about snake proof but they haven't let any big thorns in so far...

Ron in Texas

JeffDilla
December 22, 2012, 01:07 AM
The Bean boots are great, I wear mine bird hunting, but they don't really hold up to the cold all too well. Even the insulated ones aren't too warm. I do recommend them though, if you aren't hunting in overly cold weather. I've had mine for 15 years now and they're my favorite boot.

heeler
December 22, 2012, 01:59 AM
Sounds like I need to look into these Bean boots.

JeffDilla
December 22, 2012, 11:24 AM
For anyone interested:

http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/33171?from=searchcompare&feat=compare&compareIds=33171|31180&selSwatches=206042_2764_42|175054_2764_42&page=men-s-maine-hunting-shoes-10-&attrValue_0=Brown/Brown

d2wing
December 29, 2012, 05:16 PM
In the weather I hunt in, all weather leather light boots with goretex and thinsulate suit me well. Danners are my favorites. My feet sweat in muck boots I only use them when I go into a swampy area or streams, and pack boots are too heavy and bulky but they are comfortable for stand hunting. It depends on where you hunt. I also prefer lug soles for traction. Stealth depends more on skill than boot soles. Moccasins are a trade off not useful to me.

1911 guy
December 30, 2012, 12:22 AM
I tend to agree with the others. My priotity in selecting hunting boots is comfort, warmth and dryness. If I'm comfy, warm and dry, I'll pay much more attention to where I'm putting my feet down. I'll also keep my head on a swivel a lot more if I'm not thinking about how miserable my feet are.

dubya450
December 30, 2012, 08:22 AM
I looked for almost 2 years to pico out a pair of walk/stalk boots. I decided on Irish Setter (Red Wing) Shadow Trekker boots. They're really light like a sneaker, great traction. Well built and they have three different levels of insulation. I have the middle version and i keep plenty warm in the cold MN winter's. They're only about $150 too which is fairly cheap for quality boots. Somewhat waterproof as well although i haven't walked directly through deep water.

Art Eatman
December 30, 2012, 12:59 PM
Hunting in central and in southwest Texas, I've not had to deal with wet weather all that much, or with snow. I've used Russell Birdhunters and RedWing 20-mile boots. Sort of a crepe sole, smooth, no tread. Never had any traction problems. They sure are quiet.

Eleanor416Rigby
December 31, 2012, 12:01 PM
Rattlesnakes don't often, if ever, come out in Texas deer season. It's the spring turkey hunters that have to deal with rattlers coming out of dens for their first meal.

99% of the time, I hunt in the same boots I would do my every-day working/stomping around in. That's a 15+ year-old pair of Justin western boots in brown cowhide with a grip re-sole. I KNOW they will be comfortable all day, and they don't slip. Stealth is in how/where you place your feet, IMHO. Ditto for thorns and snakes, but my boots will slow either down. Second choice would be sneakers. The other 1% is if I know I will be crossing streams or in very wet/muddy conditions.

Skyshot
December 31, 2012, 07:44 PM
You must be stalking in flat land, because you would bust A** in steep country in the Russells. In the Mountains of East Tennessee I have to have a strong lugged boot with firm ankle support in order to stalk and even then it's more of a "controlled" fall if you know what I mean.:D

788Ham
December 31, 2012, 11:03 PM
I got a pair of Irish Setter 9" lace up boots about 3 years ago, Vibram sole, insulated, they do me fine. Walking softly is up to the hunter, step OVER the limbs on the ground, even moccasins will snap a dry limb giving you away. Blend in with your surroundings, that means no noise!

buck460XVR
January 1, 2013, 11:18 AM
You must be stalking in flat land, because you would bust A** in steep country in the Russells. In the Mountains of East Tennessee I have to have a strong lugged boot with firm ankle support in order to stalk and even then it's more of a "controlled" fall if you know what I mean.:D

...and this goes to show what many of these posts to the OPs question are trying to tell him. That like firearms or hunting techniques themselves, no one boot/shoe is the best for every situation and part of the country. Sheesh, there are times in the Tamarack swamps of Wisconsin when my stalking boots are a pair of chest waders. Part of being a knowledgeable hunter is knowing what kind of equipment works best for different situations. Asking for suggestions is a good thing, but till one goes out and walks a day or two in their hunting scenario, will they know if those things on their feet was a wise choice.

ArmyAviator
January 1, 2013, 12:36 PM
All acceptable choices submitted herein; but don't overlook the amazing technology (waterproof, arch support, proper lace trace, etc.) in top shelf hiking boots/shoes. Amazon.com is a solid start for reviews as is backcountry.com. Keen, Merrill, and Vasque have had my vote two combat deployments. If waterproof is not essential, Lowa can't be beat; bad SW Asia desert, rock, sand...light as a running shoe and equally comfortable.

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