Your success as a hunter often hinges on the smallest details. If your hunting pack makes a sound in the brush or your knife lacks an edge, there’s a good chance you’ll return from a hunt feeling disheartened. Any element of your arsenal can make or break your experience, but there’s an argument to be made that a well-chosen pair of boots can spell the difference between hours of comfortable, effective tracking and aching, cold or wet feet that cut a hunt short. These specialized boots are a vital part of any hunter’s gear, and the best hunting boots get you one step closer to success in the wild.
From tread to waterproofing to insulation and cuff height, below you’ll find a curated list of the best hunting boots that capitalize on every feature. We put some of these boots to the test in the Rocky Mountain West, where tough footwear is a must-have, and other boots we researched extensively, poring over facts, figures and independent evaluations to identify the best of the best. So before you pull those tags and load up the truck this season, consider investing in what goes on your feet to ensure you’re contributing to a comfortable experience. If you find yourself hunting for boots down the line, remember to revisit this article, as we’re constantly walking in boots, researching tech, adding new favorites and updating this guide.
Why Trust Forbes Vetted
To find the best hunting boots for this list, I spent ample time sourcing the best options from established industry labels. Upon rounding up a series of noteworthy picks, I looked at each boot’s features, from cuff height to waterproofing to insulation. After narrowing down my options to the top selections, I sorted through customer reviews and ratings, eliminating any boots with concerning or inconsistent reviews that cited cold feet, discomfort or poor build quality. I also tested a handful of these boots in Colorado to ensure they could meet the demands of long days in the backcountry.
When creating this finalized list, I made an effort to include boots that suit the needs of different hunters. For those who prefer to hunt in cold weather, I included boots like the Zamberlan 3031 Polar Hunter GTX, which features plenty of insulation and a secure fit. I also included models like the Bogs Blaze II for those who prefer purely rubber boots over fabric-based options.
How Should A Hunting Boot Fit?
A hunting boot should fit snugly about your foot but not too tight—it should provide support and comfort while allowing room for thick socks. A hunting boot should also have enough space for your toes to wiggle without feeling cramped, and your heel should not slip when walking. Additionally, consider the terrain and weather conditions for the appropriate boot type and insulation.
What Is The Best Height For A Hunting Boot?
The answer to this question often depends on the terrain you’ll encounter and your preferred hunting style. However, you’ll generally want a boot with a mid- to high-cuff as this offers the most protection—something between an 8-inch and 10-inch cuff height should be perfect. Anything within this range will provide solid ankle protection and support while also keeping water, snow, dirt and debris out of the boot.