Hunting boots are a particular kind of beast. If your boots don’t hold up to the elements, odds are you won’t either.
Apart from being burly and weather-proof, the best hunting boots all have unique qualities. A good fit almost always depends on the wearer and the feet they’re packing. Some boots do stand above the rest, however, so we’ve compiled a diverse list of options to help you narrow down your choice.
When looking for the best of the best, we doubled down on researching what hunters wear for various styles of hunting. Finding the best hunting boot for your specialty can be the difference between an optimal day in the field or hoofing it back to the truck empty-handed because your feet are unhappy.
From the best elk hunting boots to the warmest boots for the treestand, you’re bound to find something that’ll work in this list.
Check out the links below if you know what you’re looking for, or keep scrolling to get a rundown of the best for each category. If you don’t know where to start, check out our comprehensive buyer’s guide.
The Best Hunting Boots for Men of 2023
- Best Overall Hunting Boot: Crispi Nevada GTX
- Best Budget Hunting Boot: LaCrosse Atlas
- Best Elk Hunting Boot: Schnee’s Kestrel
- Best Hunting Boot for Ankle Problems: Kenetrek EverStep Orthopedic Boot
- Best Upland Hunting Boot: Irish Setter Wingshooter 9″
- Best Rubber Hunting Boot: XTRATUF Legacy 15″
- Most Versatile Hunting Boot: Danner Recurve
Hunting Boots Comparison Chart
Why You Should Trust Us
We realize hunting boots can make or break your trip. And we want you to have a good hunt. Our recommendations come based on literal decades of experience in the field. Our lead author on this article began hunting at the age of 12 and is now well into his 40s. He and our team meet with brands many times a year to learn about new technology and design in the footwear space.
Finally, we put these boots to the test in person. We’ve used the boots everywhere from Alaska to Montana, Colorado, Nebraska, and more. Our goal in this article is to help you find the best hunting boots for your specific needs — just as we would for our friends.
We’d love to hear from you too, so please reach out on social media or contact us by email if you have comments about our selections. Thanks for reading, and have a great hunt!
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Right Hunting Boot
Choosing the best hunting boots comes down to your style of hunting. If you’re waterfowl hunting from a marsh blind in the South, you’re probably not going to wear a pair of insulated Kenetrek boots. Upland hunting in rattlesnake country? Snake boots might be a necessary evil.
Weather, terrain, and habitat challenges are the three dictators of which boot you’ll pull on. Here are a few things that can help you find the best boot for your foot. And if you need more detailed info, check out our 20 tips on buying the perfect boot.
Know Your Size & Boot Fit
Remember those weird metal slide things that you’d step into for sizing? They’re still a helpful tool. Feet can change and grow as we get older, and getting precise measurements at your local REI, Scheels, or sporting goods store can help you choose the right pair.
You might wear a 9 in one brand and a 10 in another or need a narrow or wide size. Be open to trying something outside of your size range.
If you plan on doing long days in your new boots, some foot swelling is probably in your future. Try on boots at the end of the day, as feet tend to be bigger then.
If a boot feels snug all around, a half-size up is probably your better bet. And if they’re tight in the toebox on day 1, you don’t want to experience day 2 in them.
Avoid Hot Spots & Get Your System Down Early
Don’t try on boots with socks you wouldn’t wear while hunting in them. Make sure your socks are seasonally appropriate and fit well with your boot. Take a look at our guide to the best hunting socks for our top recommendations. If you’re looking for a boot to get you through a late-season elk hunt, then focus on insulation and waterproofing.
If you’re looking for an early-season archery boot, put on your lightweight hiking socks and make sure they’re breathable. The biggest thing here is to avoid hot spots that can lead to blisters. You’ll want to nail down your system before heading into the woods.
Is the fit still a bit off? Another thing that can help correct fit is finding an insole that you like. Superfeet is a favorite, and the brand has a plethora of insoles to choose from for various scenarios. Additionally, you can try multiple lacing systems to get the fit of your boot just right.
Where Are You Going?
Are you planning to move fast in steep, rocky, desert terrain? Think breathability, traction, and stiffer ankle support. Going on a late-fall hunt with a heavy pack in the Northwest? Think waterproofness, stability, and warmth. Not sure what types of terrain you’re getting into? An all-around boot with water resistance might be your best bet.
Above all, wherever you’re going, break in your boots before you go. Wear them around the house, to the store, and on some local short trails. Find the hotspots before you’re committed to a major outing. You do not want blisters during a backcountry hunt!
Break-in time can vary from boot to boot. Read reviews. Know what your break-in goal is for your pair of hunting boots, and make sure that boots feel comfortable before hitting the hills. Your feet will thank you in the long term.