Hunting is an exhilarating activity that can bring you closer to nature, but nature isn’t always the most comfortable place to trek around in. Whether you are looking to do a little winter-time hunting, or you live in one of the colder regions of the world where most—or even all—of the year is frosty, it is crucial that you are properly prepared for the climate you will experience while you’re out there.
Warm clothes are a given, but we often have a tendency to put a lot of thought into the clothes that protect our core and only a fleeting consideration for our extremities. That is until we’re out in the cold and realize just how important good boots and gloves are.
Boots especially are essential, not just because keep your feet warm, but because the entirety of your body’s weight presses down on them, and minor problems can turn into big problems over time. Things like a lack of sufficient breathability leading to your feet sweating too much, which can, in turn, lead to fungal infections. Or improper fitting of the boots that, over enough use, can cause long term issues as far up your body as your lower back. A lack of water resistance can be a real problem in cold weather, as once your feet are wet, it is just about impossible to get warm without some dry shelter and a heat source. And, of course, the warmth itself self is crucial. Frostbite will always hit your toes and fingers first.
So, hopefully, we’ve impressed upon you the importance of good hunting boots when heading out into the cold, but we wanted to take things a step further, so keep reading for our top ten picks for best cold weather hunting boot choices!
1. Lacrosse Men’s Alphaburly Pro 18″ 1600G Waterproof Hunting Shoe
Lacrosse’s Alphaburly hunting boots are a boot with protection in mind. With an 18″ high cuff and waterproof upper, your feet—and indeed your entire lower leg—will be well protected from the elements. Not to mention many of nature’s beautiful creatures that might decide to take a bite. The cuff itself is somewhat flexible and has an adjustable opening, so getting the boots on and off should not be a problem, and you can adjust them for comfort once they are on.
Neoprene lining provides plenty of ventilation, which should help to keep your feet from working up too much of a sweat. The midsole is cushioned for added comfort and incorporates a shank for arch support and better underfoot protection. At the same time, the outsole features a unique tread pattern that should help you maintain grip in most typical hunting situations.
The materials used in this boot are premium, scent-free rubber, and neoprene, providing an excellent mix of durability and flexibility. Overall, this is a remarkably flexible and lightweight boot, especially when you consider how much protection it offers. Boots this light and flexible tend to be considerably less durable and not offer as much protection for the wearer—definitely a worthy inclusion in our best cold weather hunting boot list.
2. Kamik Men’s Hunter Snow Boot
The Kamik Men’s Hunter Snow Boot is not quite as tall as the Alphaburly, but it offers just as much protection for the areas it covers. As the name suggests, it is designed with snowy climates in mind. The boot is not only waterproof but oil and acid-proof. Granted, these aren’t exactly traits you would expect to need on an average hunt, but it does make the boot more versatile.
For your money, you will get a 13″ high cuff made of nylon, while inside the thermal guard removable liner should provide plenty of warmth. With a temperature rating of -40 degrees Fahrenheit, this boot will be more than enough for the average hunt. And moisture-wicking technology will keep your feet dry. The rubber of the outer section of the boot is extremely tough, and the synthetic rubber outsole provides a good amount of grip, which, as you might expect, is geared towards the snowier end of the weather spectrum. If you are hunting in winter climates where it is cold but not necessarily snowy, you might prefer a more agile boot.
3. Columbia Men’s Bugaboot Plus IV Winter Boot, Omni-Heat
One of the shorter picks in our best cold weather hunting boot list, the Columbia Men’s Bugaboot Plus IV is a sleek affair made from nylon, leather, and rubber in the outsole. This common combination of materials provides plenty of durability without completely sacrificing the flexibility that is often desired in footwear.
The shaft of the boot stretches a comfortable 7″ high, giving you plenty of ankle protection while still providing a good deal of mobility. The cuff itself presents a comfortably wide opening that should make getting the boot on and off easy enough, but if not, the lace-up design should allow for some wiggle room in that area, figuratively and literally. Underneath, we have a rubber outsole with an omnidirectional grip, which should help you avoid slipping in any direction.
Inside, the Omni-Heat lining reflects heat back to your feet, keeping your toes toasty during those cold outings without the need for lots of bulky insulation, though they can get a little cold if you spend long periods not moving.
4. Rocky Men’s Sport Utility Pro Hunting Boot
Rocky Men’s Sport Utility Pro boot is a more traditional style of boot, with a lace front design. The cuff is still quite high—10″ to be precise—so you are still getting plenty of ankle protection. They are waterproof, of course, with the upper being made from a 100% leather and nylon combination, which provides a nice mixture of strength and flexibility.
The molded rubber outsole features not only excellent tread for keeping your grip in a precarious situation but also includes extra protection for the toe and heel, which should help keep your feet better protected and prolong the life of those parts of the boot. Inside, Thinsulate insulation will keep your feet nice and warm without adding too much weight or thickness to the boot.
While the Rocky Men’s Sport Utility Pro Hunting Boot may not be the ideal footwear for hunting in deep snow, it is a relatively agile boot with plenty of grip and protection and is very well suited to rough terrain.
5. Bogs Men’s Classic High No Handle Waterproof Insulated Rain and Winter Snow Boot
Moving back to a classic high boot, the Bog’s Men’s Classic Winter Snow boot is a 12″ boot of rubber and neoprene construction, providing adequate protection around the foot and more flexibility around the lower leg. It is 100% waterproof, and the lack of a carry handle means you can wade into water as deep as your boots are high. The trade-off here is that getting the boots on and off isn’t as easy as it perhaps is with other tall boots that have handles or adjustable collars.
The outsole features a beefy tread that extends around the sides of the boot, giving you a little extra grip if you happen to roll your foot or find yourself attempting to gain traction at an angle. The outsole is also non-slip and non-marking. Inside, there is a removable sock liner with moisture-wicking properties to keep your feet dry and warm.
6. Muck Boot Woody Max Hen’s Hunting Boot
The second-tallest boot on our list, clocking in at 15″, is the Muck Boot Woody Max Hen’s Hunting Boot. Like the Bog’s boot above, this is a tall boot with a rubber lower section and neoprene upper section, though the rubber section extends much higher on this boot, providing additional support for the ankle and lower leg. There is just enough of the flexible neoprene to allow for different leg-sizes comfortably.
Of course, the boot is waterproof, and it is well-insulated, with a temperature rating of -40 degrees Fahrenheit. There is also a thick foam insole to keep your feet comfortable when trekking over harsh terrain.
Underneath, the outsole’s tread offers a good amount of traction, and being made from high-abrasion rubber, you shouldn’t have to worry about it wearing out any time soon.
7. Guide Gear Giant Timber II Men’s Insulated Waterproof Hunting Boots, 1,400-gram, Mossy Oak
Utilizing a stylish combination of suede leather and printed nylon for the upper, the Guide Gear Giant Timber II hunting boots are an excellent looking pair of boots that maintain a rugged exterior. In other words, just because they look good doesn’t mean that they’re not up to the job!
At 14″ to the cuff, this is one of the taller boots on our best cold weather hunting boot list, but unlike many of the other boots in this height range, the Timber IIs feature a lace-up design that should make it much easier to get the boot on and off, as well as adjust it for a more comfortable fit.
Of course, the boots are waterproof to keep moisture from getting in, while HydroGuard breathable membranes prevent moisture from inside becoming an issue. Along with the breathable membranes inside, you will find very effective insulation to keep your feet warm and ScentMask technology. After all, your feet will probably be in those boots for a while, enduring some tough times—it can’t hurt to have a little protection against odor!
8. Irish Setter Men’s Vaprtrek LS 827 1200 Gram Hunting Boot
Irish Setter has built a good name for themselves in the world of outdoor pursuits’ footwear, and the Vaptrek LS 827 is no exception. This 9″ tall hunting boot is constructed from synthetic materials and ripstop nylon, making light and durable, while the outsole is made from rubber and includes additional protection for the toe area. There are also specially designed rubber pods in the outsole to enhance balance and improve the gripping ability of the boot, which is also waterproof.
Inside the boot, there are 1,200 grams of lightweight PrimaLoft insulation, enough to keep your feet warm without adding too much weight or bulk to the boot. The addition of ScentBan technology should also keep your feet odor-free, even on those longer treks.
The Vaprtrek 827 is an excellent boot for people who expect to be doing a lot of trekking through uneven terrain, as it provides additional ankle support without restricting your motion too much. It would not be suitable for deep snow, however.
9. Danner Men’s High Ground 8 Realtree X 1000G-M
Made using oiled nubuck to improve water resistance, the Danner Men’s High Ground 8 Realtree X boots present an eye-pleasing mixture of browns and printed polyester to produce one of the more attractive boots on our list. The materials are abrasion resistant and designed with a shorter break in period in mind, so you won’t have to spend as much time struggling along in stiff boots.
It is 100% waterproof on the outside, while Gore-Tex breathable liners will keep your feet fresh and dry on the inside. The overall boot is lightweight, allowing you to move more quickly and quietly on your hunts.
10. Rocky Men’s Blizzard Stalker Pro Mobu Hunting Boot
At a little under 10″ to the cuff, the Rocky Men’s Blizzard Stalker Pro Mobu Hunting boot occupies a nice middle ground between the short and tall hunting boots. This height is excellent for people who want extra support and protection for their ankles but without losing lots of mobility, as they might with 14″ or 18″ boots.
The upper of the boot is made from 100% leather and textile to give an understated yet stylish look. They won’t set the fashion world on fire, but they look good. Naturally, for a winter hunting boot, they are waterproof. Inside there are 1,200 grams of Thinsulate insulation and a PU mesh footbed that allows plenty of ventilation to keep your feet fresh. The footbed is also removable for those of you who would like to use your own insoles. The outsole sports an impressive tread that will keep your footing on all but the slippiest of surfaces, and a TPU heel stabilizer helps to keep you from inadvertently rolling on your heel.
Best Cold Weather Hunting Boot Buying Guide
We feel we’ve given you a substantial selection to choose from there, but as good as our best cold weather hunting boot choices are, you may still feel the need to look for something else. Not to worry, our list is by no means definitive. While we do believe our picks are the best, that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of other great options out there. As you long as you keep a keen eye out for the most important aspects of a good winter hunting boot, you should be okay. So, to help make sure you don’t miss anything, we’ve put together this buying guide.
The upper section of a cold-weather hunting boot needs to be durable and water-resistant. It would be nice to have the kind of flexibility and suppleness you can get with lighter boots, but there are trade-offs to make if you want to head out into the cold wilds, and it is likely you will have to prioritize the more essential traits of your boots.
The water-resistance may not be essential in all cases, but if you are hunting in cold weather, your chances of encountering rain or snow are much higher, so it’s a safe bet you’ll want your boots to be able to keep your feet dry. The durability is obvious—if your boots rip or tear, they’ll be leaving your feet exposed to the elements, not to mention compromising any water-resistance.
The inner linings of your boots need to do double duty, both as insulation and cooling, which can sound a little counterintuitive at first. Naturally, you will need your winter hunting boots to keep your feet warm against the cold outside, but adequate breathability is also essential.
If your boots are just packed with insulation, your feet may be kept warm, but they will also be enclosed and liable to start sweating. This can be a nightmare in especially cold environments because wet feet—however they got wet—are considerably more uncomfortable than dry cold feet. Be on the lookout for breathable linings or moisture-wicking properties. Anti-bacterial treatment is also a good thing to have in your boots.
In the midsole, you will need a nice balance of comfort and firmness. Hunting nearly always means venturing off the beaten path—nobody sits at the side of the road waiting for deer to come speeding out into the open. It also tends to mean you are on your feet for extended periods.
The comfort factor is important, of course, because you don’t want your feet developing painfully rubbed spots or bruises. But at the same time, you need a good amount of stability from your midsole to prevent things like stones from giving the soles of your feet too hard a time. A solid shank is often a good indication of a midsole with enough strength to keep your soles protected. Again, a good amount of flex may make for easier walking in some cases, but these are the trade-offs you will have to make.
For the outsole, things are relatively simple—you want traction. The last thing you want while carefully lining up a shot is to lose your footing. The same goes for any time you are trekking through the woods with gear on your back—being crushed by the weight of a falling human body isn’t exactly something your average camping stove is designed for. An outsole with good grip is essential for any jaunt into the wilderness, and hunting is no exception.
If you are hunting around regions that tend to be wet or are near rivers, you may also want to look for boots with anti-slip outsoles, as this may help with things like slick stones.
There is nothing special to look for in the toebox area other than comfort. Don’t get a pair of boots that crush your toes together, but you don’t want them rattling around in a cavernous boot, either. It can help to look for boots with reinforced toe areas, even if it is just extra leather. That part of your boot will be taking a lot of abuse during a typical hunt.