OutdoorHub Editor: Keenan Crow 01.06.21
Completing your hunting kits with the right pair of boots is paramount for staying comfortable in ever-changing environments. Assuming you have dabbled in multiple outdoor pursuits, you’re probably well aware there’s not just ‘one-size-fits-all solution’ that will have you covered from one pursuit to the next. For example; I wouldn’t bring the same boots I wear for grouse hunting in September to a late-season whitetail hunt. And you (most likely) wouldn’t prefer your early season whitetail boots when sitting in a duck blind.
With this in mind, I arranged a collection of hunting boots made for specific pursuits that would be great for the upcoming 2021 hunting seasons.
1. LaCrosse Grange 18″ NWTF Mossy Oak Original Bottomland Knee High Boot
Since my 2021 hunting season will officially begin with spring turkey in a few short months, this is where my list begins.
Now, depending on where you hunt spring turkey season can bring a mixed bag of weather conditions, so it’s important to have a boot that covers all the bases right off the bat. For this reason, many turkey hunters opt for above the calf rubber boots like these from LaCrosse.
Pro Tip: If you do a bit of fore-thinking here, you could also get away with wearing these same rubber boots for early whitetail season – which often falls in line after turkey season. If you do decide to go this route, you may want to spend up just a little more so you’re getting a boot that’s ready to take on back to back seasons. I would recommend a boot like the LaCrosse Alphaburly Pro 18″ 400G Hunting Boot – which is also available for women, too!
Pros/Waterproof – Not heavy and bulky
Cons/A little stiff out of the box
Bottom Line/Great fit and price for an entry level hunting boot
2. Crispi Ascent EVO GTX
New for 2021, Crispi introduces another player in their ever-popular GTX lineup.
This is the Ascent EVO GTX, which the company claims was designed and developed for early-season hunting, long walks on hills and plains, and is even recommended for dog training and hunting with dogs.
This past year, I ran the Thor II GTX boots for the latter, but also on several hikes and even some early season whitetail hunts. I was really impressed with how the Gore-Tex waterproof lining performed all season long, and so far they seem to be standing up to anything I throw at them. While wrapping up the late grouse season here in Michigan, I spent several days walking through ankle deep snow for hours at a time, and my socks and feet were both bone dry at the end of each day.
Further, you will notice a superior ‘feel’ when walking around in the GTX boots, and it’s something I’ve really come to appreciate after walking hundreds of miles in unforgiving terrain. Whether it’s up and over blow-downs, or traversing uneven rocky trails, the Thor II’s never back down. I expect the same, if not even more, from the Ascent EVO GTX.
Pros/Light and Sturdy – Waterproof – Versatile from season to season
Cons/High end price point
Bottom Line/High quality boot with exceptional construction that is made to last season after season
3. Danner Men’s Vital Trail 5″ Waterproof Hiking Boot
Here’s another solid all-around boot that could be worn casually, or while picking apart sections of hardwoods looking for shed antlers! This abrasion-resistant, waterproof boot will keep your feet protected during scouting season, and won’t let you down when time comes to get more serious.
AGGRESSIVE YET STEALTHY
Weather changes, terrain varies, and sometimes you find yourself traveling further afield than planned – the Vital is designed for the unknown and the unexpected. Light, fast, aggressive, yet stealthy. Let your feet help you disappear into your environment.
Follow The Trails Wherever They Lead
Danner has taken one of their most popular hunting styles and converted it into a rugged, all-terrain hiker. It’s a high-performance combination of light and fast technology from today’s best outdoor and athletic footwear with the durability and reliability Danner is built upon. The Vital Trail will get you where you need to be at the moment you need to be there.
Pros/Lock and load lacing system
Cons/Not effectively waterproof
Bottom Line/Good early season boot for scouting/hiking
4. Under Armour HOVR Dawn Hunting Boot
Not all hunts are created equal, and sometimes you have to think outside of your deer blind to make something happen on your own. Under Armour’s HOVR Dawn hunting boots are made for the hunter who doesn’t shy away from putting in the miles to get their opportunity.
If you’re a hunter who doesn’t remain stationary for hours while hunting, these will be a pleasure for your feet!
“In order to make the perfect backcountry hunting boots, we took our lightest, most durable materials and added in the energy-returning UA HOVR™ cushioning from our best running shoes. It’s comfort you can take off trail.”
Here are some “why buys” as per Under Armour:
- Lightweight & breathable synthetic & textile upper with welded overlay for added protection & durability
- Breathable membrane is 100% waterproof but still allows sweat to escape so you stay dry
- External heel counter for added stability
- Molded, anti-microbial Ortholite® sockliner prevents the growth of odor-causing microbes
- UA HOVR™ technology provides ‘zero gravity feel’ to maintain energy return that helps eliminate impact
- Compression mesh Energy Web contains & molds UA HOVR™ foam to give back the energy you put in
- High-traction rubber lug outsole for enhanced grip on a variety of surfaces
Pros/Lightweight – Comfortable – Waterproof
Bottom Line/A great boot for hunters who aren’t stationary for hours
5. Drake Waterfowl Men’s Knee High Mudder 2.0 Rubber Boots
When waterfowl season rolls around, you’re going to need another pair of rubber boots, but these need to be much more ‘beefy’ than your rubber boots for turkey or early deer season.
Drake makes an excellent go-to boot for both avid waterfowlers, or anybody looking to complete their waterfowl kits. These are especially useful if you don’t currently own a pair of waders! Naturally insulating 6mm neoprene uppers deliver 100% waterproof protection, keeping feet dry and warm. Rubber overlays over the feet protect against low level hazards such as rocks, sticks, and other snags. Felt insoles provide a cushion under the feet all day long.
Pros/Comfortable, easy on/easy off design
Bottom Line/Durable, waterproof boot that is a decent alternative to waders
6. Irish Setter Men’s Rutmaster 2.0 Insulated Rubber Hunting Boots
Now we’re getting to late season hunting, which covers firearm, muzzleloader and late season archery. This is the time of year when there’s often snow on the ground , and you’re reaching for the heaviest gear in your hunting closet.
When the temperatures drop below freezing, you should have a pair of insulated boots that has AT LEAST 400G of insulation. However, if you’re like me and your feet get cold no matter what, I recommend you bite the bullet and invest in a pair of boots with 800G insulation like these RutMaster 2.0 boots.
Trust me, when the weather calls for it you’ll be happy you did!
Today’s deer hunter demands a special boot; waterproof, scent-free, excellent traction, superior fit, and easy on/off. The RutMaster™ 2.0 answers each of those calls, with lighter (3.5 mm) neoprene, ScentBan™ technology, RPM™ outsole, and ExoFlex® enhancement.
ExoFlex technology is an Irish Setter exclusive that allows the boot to expand to accommodate the back of the foot. Once the foot is in, the panel contracts for a lock-tight, high-performance fit that provides toe spring and agility in every stride.
Pros/Super warm – Comfortable fit – ScentBan technology
Cons/Not all season friendly
Bottom Line/Must have boots for when the weather calls for it. Very approachable price tag.
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