An essential part to preparation for a hunt is to know what kind of boots to where. Keeping in mind the time of year and type of weather and conditions you’ll face is very important. There are different style boots made specifically for different parts of the year that you’ll want to consider.
There are 3 main categories that hunting boots fall under: Early Season, Midseason, and Late Season. Once you identify what category aligns with your upcoming hunting plans, you’ll know right away what kind of boots to purchase.
For late summer and early fall hunts, you should focus on heat relief and walking comfort. With temperatures still being up during that part of the year, you want boots that are especially breathable and lightweight. Uninsulated boots or up to 200 gram insulated model boots are a solid pick for the transition period of summer into fall.
Early season temperatures won’t bring about snow just yet, and you’ll probably deal more with rain, resulting in a lot of moisture on the ground. Even early morning dew could soak through the fabric. Go with boots with waterproofing technology to stave off these threats.
A premium waterproof breathable membrane stitched into the lining between the shell and the foot will keep the feet dry and comfortable. Gore Tex is an effective material that will keep your feet waterproof while allowing proper breathing.
If in a particular area where moisture isn’t as much of a concern, you can go with a ventilated hiking boot instead. Upland boots with a lighter tread design are practically required to trek long distances, regardless if the land is wet or dry.
Midseason style boots are the most popular because they cover virtually all fall hunting situations. These boots cover the widest range of weather conditions. These types of boots are also preferable for higher altitude hunts as well as sedentary hunts in northern regions. As the terrain gets tougher, higher, and steeper, demands on the boot increase.
The versatility of midseason boots will allow them to be reliable over the full course of the day. They keep you insulated during the cold mornings, yet later in the day won’t become ovens on your feet when things warm up. Most boots in this category take advantage of waterproof membranes to increase versatility in all types of moisture, including the increasing threat of snow.
Now when the snow, wind, and dipping temperatures really start wrecking havoc on things, you’ll be in need of the extra protection of late season boots. At over 1000 grams, these boots are obviously heavier.
Stand and blind hunting in those below freezing temperatures will require heavily insulated boots, as you won’t be moving around quite as much.
Such styles as pac boots will be good for these situations. They’ll protect your feet from cold air with their thick insulation and warmth trapping liners.
The thick bulk of boots like these will make them less ideal for walking further distances, so if you still need to be on the move in really cold temps, try a pair of 800-1200 gram insulated boots. They’ll be perfect for spot and stalk hunting in the late season.
Of course there are many specific hunting boots out there, for specific hunting needs in the three main parts of the season.
If you’re hunting elk, mule deer and sheep in higher altitudes, go with high country boots. Over boots can easily be slipped on and are good for cold conditions when you won’t be moving around as much. Then of course there are rubber boots, which are specially made for protection in wet, marshy conditions when hunting moose and ducks, among others.
There are many things that have to be considered when preparing for a successful hunt, and choosing hunting boots is one that should be a top priority. Becoming familiar with all the different types of boots available as well as the seasons they are preferable for will help lead you towards your hunting goals.