The Best Hunting Boots

Gear We Use
The Best Hunting Boots

Every hunter with much experience under their belt has suffered through painful blisters, numb toes, and aching feet. It’s tough to focus on quarry when your dogs are barking and bloody.

That’s why it’s critical to find the best hunting boots for the job, whether that’s all-day rut sits or early-season stalks. After field testing dozens of models, we’ve narrowed it down to a few of our favorites.

What We Look for in Good Hunting Boots

We’ve put plenty of pairs through abuse in all kinds of country and conditions. Some have held up, and others have been retired from our gear kits. But our top picks and all the best hunting boots have a few common characteristics.

  1. Comfort
  2. Waterproofness
  3. Performance-to-Weight Ratio
  4. Durability

We’re looking for a comfortable pair of well-built boots designed to protect our feet and stand up to everything the hunt throws at us.

The Hunting Boots We Use

The MeatEater crew has logged hundreds of miles in these boots. They’ve taken a beating, endured the elements, and are still our top picks for the majority of outings.

What Makes Good Hunting Boots

Rubber boots that keep toes toasty in the treestand won’t work for warm-weather hikes through the backcountry and vice versa. But all good hunting boots should have a few things in common.

1. Comfort

Nothing can wreck a hunt like ill-fitting boots that give you painful blisters. A great hunting boot will provide the support you need without digging into your skin or rubbing your heels raw—and with minimal break-in time. What’s comfortable for one hunter could kill another’s feet. Stick to boots designed for your individual needs, whether you have wide or narrow feet and flat or high arches.

2. Waterproofness

Some boots can repel a light mist, but others will keep your feet bone dry in a deluge. Wet socks can rub your feet raw, freeze out your toes, and make moving just generally unpleasant. Especially if you’ll be crossing creeks, hoofing it in unpredictable conditions, or toughing it out in frigid temps, look for a pair of boots with fully waterproof construction.

3. Performance-to-Weight Ratio

Whether you prioritize a rigid design for scaling technical terrain or a well-insulated style built for sub-freezing sits, it’s essential to strike the right balance between the performance you need and the overall weight of the boots. Heavy, bulky boots can slow you down and make maneuvering difficult. But good hunting boots will offer the features and coverage the hunt demands without becoming a burden.

4. Durability

The best hunting boots can shield your feet and ankles from thorns, burrs, briars, rocks, and more without tearing or falling apart. High-quality materials and rugged construction engineered to take seasons of abuse will prevent soles from separating and your feet from being exposed.

Field notes from the MeatEater Crew

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