If you tried hunting before, you probably realize how important boots are to hunters (in fact, there are equally important to those who often venture into the woods). A pair of good hunting boots can make a whole lot of difference in your hunting experience. Why? Simply because they provide protection to your feet as well as improved gripping on slippery grounds. It’s one of the must have item for any outdoor trips, whether your are hunting or not.
While every hunter agrees that boots are vital for them, what exactly are the best waterproof hunting boots? Of course there aren’t hard and fast rule to say for sure which one will be the best for you as each individual hunter has his own preference. However, there are some basic characteristics every good hunting boots should have, and we will be going through them below.
Besides, we filter all the different products out there and came out with 8 top rated hunting boots review to assist you in making a wise decision rather than having you to search for gems in a haystack.
Note: Hey, check out our best hunting boots for women through this guide. It’s a comprehensive post created with women in mind.
Top Rated Waterproof Hunting Boots For Men Reviews
As promised, we reviewed 8 waterproof hunting boots that we deem are the best here (based on their specific price point). Just in case you need a quick comparison of the specifications of these top rated boots, we compile all their respective details in a comparison table to make things easier.
Note: If you aren’t too sure what to look at in order to choose the best hunting boots that suit you, then it’s advisable for you to check out our ultimate buying guide below the comparison table before deciding. Also, if you require more information of a specific boot, just look further down where individual product reviews are located.
In order to make full use of this comparison table,
|Rocky BearClaw||Yes||Good||Good||Very Good||Strong||85%||$$$|
|Muck Boots||Yes||Average||Very Good||Good||Strong||85%||$$|
|Kenetrek Mountain||Yes||Very Good||Very Good||Very Good||Strong||88%||$$$$|
|Irish Setter||Yes||Good||Good||Very Good||Strong||73%||$$$|
Ultimate hunting boots buying guide
As we discussed above, a good pair of footwear should come with some of the most important features and they should be the determining factor of whether or not you should be getting the boots. Roughly, there are:
- Height of boots (from ankle)
Although it’s obvious, it’s worth to mention that you should only pick the pair of boots that comes with the size of your feet. No matter how much you like a particular model, if your size is not available, then you are left with two options. You can either contact the manufacturer to custom make a pair of boots of your preferred size or you go for the closest alternatives you can find in the market.
It’s not easy to understand the code used to illustrate the size of the shoe either (at least I got confused when I first started looking for boots online). Generally, you get to choose from a wide range of size from 8 to 15. Some brands might even provide boots with size up to 18 or more. For example, if your current shoe size is 9, then you choose 9. Sounds simple?
However, what you will often see when you are choosing your size are two options, (say for example your size is 8) 8 D(M) US or 8 2E US. In short, the main difference between D(M) and 2E is the width of shoe at that particular size. So, if you have a wider foot, it’s wise to choose 8 2E US rather than 8 DM (US). Don’t go for larger size such as 9 D(M) US just to make sure your foot can fit in the shoes because the length will not be suitable for you then.
Most of the quality boots of there utilize a mixture of materials to improve the overall quality. For example, some boots might have a mixture of leather and neoprene to gain a balance between strength and flexibility. With the advancement of technology, more sophisticated ways of manufacturing boots are being employed. Generally, it’s good to know the materials used in the boots, but it’s not a great determining factor since you want the boot to be waterproof and comfortable, the type of materials used really doesn’t matter as long as you get what you want.
Leather. The most traditional form of material used to produce these boots. Although being a ‘traditional’ material, most hunters still prefer boots with leather being the primary material. This is because leather boots offer the most protection due to it’s strength and durability. The downsides are they are stiff and uncomfortable by nature (as compared to other modern materials).
Synthetic Materials. There are various forms of synthetic materials (also known as substitute to natural materials) such as neoprene and nylon. Generally, they provide better ventilation and comfort but they are not as strong as leather (which is why some products are a mix between synthetic materials and leather). Having that said, some of the higher range shoes are made purely from synthetic materials and they are extremely durable and strong.
Rubber. There are hunting boots that are crafted purely from rubber. Personally, I don’t recommend you to get these rubber boots because they are not comfortable and strong to use. However, they are great water repellent materials. Nowadays, rubber is widely used to make the soles of these boots because it’s the best in terms of gripping and stability.
Obviously, all hunting boots should be waterproof. If they are not, don’t even bother considering them despite how great their other features can be. You might be wandering, ‘why should my boots be waterproof since I am not hunting near swampy, muddy areas’. This is a big mistake that most beginners make.
Based on experience, you are going to need waterproof boots as long as you are going into the woods. It’s impossible to stay away from water totally in the woods where situation changes often. For example, you might need to cross streams while tracking down your prey or the grounds might be swampy due to a recent rain. For whatever reason, your shoes are definitely going to get wet.
It will be really uncomfortable to move around when your socks are drenched with water. What more, leeches might get be able to penetrate through your shoes, assuming it’s not a waterproof one.
Before, waterproof boots can be really poor in terms of air ventilation, especially in lower quality boots. However, with improvement in technology, most waterproof footwear are now made to support better air circulation.
As mentioned above, most waterproof shoes have poor air ventilation. The ability for air to circulate in and out of the boots is what we call as breathability. This is something important to consider especially if you are getting waterproof boots (where you absolutely would).
Bad air ventilation will result in the condensation of water vapor (due to sweat) on the inner side of your boots. If you are to wear the boots for a long period of time (more than 8 hours), then the inner side of the boots will be really wet if the breathability is bad.
Besides, bad breathability will also result in bad odor as the sweat can’t be released into the environment. If odor is something you find important, then you should pay close attention to this aspect.
Normally, high quality boots utilize fabric with membrane that is large enough for air and water vapor to pass through but not water.
Here, we are looking at the level of insulation provided by the boots. Generally, the higher the insulation, the warmer the boot will be. This factor is especially important if you hunt during cold seasons (winter and autumn).
Even if you aren’t hunting during cold seasons, warm boots are still important because most hunting grounds are pretty cold in the night. Depending on where you actually hunt, temperature at night might be as low as 10 Degree Celsius.
Normally, boots incorporates Thinsulate to improve the degree of insulation. The higher the amount of Thinsulate used, the warmer the boot will be. However, large amount of Thinsulate will make the boot stiff.
Having that said, it’s important to find boots that aren’t too warm to prevent discomfort when the surrounding temperature is high (between 30 to 40 degree, probably in the afternoon). It’s really up to you to decide the degree of insulation you need for a good hunting experience.
Note: For better insulation, it’s always best to wear a warm pair of winter socks to complement your hunting boots.
Types of Sole
High quality soles are a must for great hunting boots. The types of sole used is arguably one of the most important thing to look at especially when strong gripping is required.
If you often hunt around slippery areas or you need to hike up and down hill, then it’s crucial for you to choose sole with stronger gripping. You will notice a big difference in better gripping boots than normal boots when moving around these areas. There is no more feeling as if you will fall anytime.
While generally better gripping soles are preferred, it’s also important to know that it takes more effort to move around flat ground assuming that the grip of your boots is pretty strong. As long as the sole doesn’t have extremely sharp points (like those you see on footballer’s boot) then there shouldn’t be any issue walking on flat ground.
Therefore, it’s important to choose the type of sole based on your common hunting terrain. Also, rubber should be used to build the sole as it provides great grip and it makes the base waterproof.
Back to the days when most hunting boots are built to be rugged and strong, it’s not comfortable at all to put your feet in. Everyone will tell you to familiar yourself with these boots since you are exchanging comfort for greater protection which is vital in the woods.
Fortunately, it’s easier to search for boots that offer both protection and comfort now than ever. Normally, this is achieved by making the inner side of the boots comfortable to wear while the outer side strong and durable.
It’s really subjective to say what kind of boots are comfortable for you. It’s important to know what kind of terrains you are hunting in. Some boots are comfortable in certain terrains while some are not.
Height of Boots
One important question you should ask yourself is how high you want your boots to reach? Do you want boots are up to your knee or just over your ankles?
The key here is that, taller boots are perfect for better overall protection. They help in preventing water and debris from getting into your shoes. They also reduce scratches on your legs caused by twigs or branches.
On the other hand, shorter boots are more flexible which makes movement easier and comfortable. This is especially true if you need to hike a lot (moving up and down hill). Higher boots tend to restrict movements.
Therefore, it’s wise to pick boots of average heights to have a balance between movement flexibility and protection.
Camouflage is an important factor to consider especially if blending into the surroundings is important to you. While most hunters will tell you that camouflage is crucial so you can go unnoticed by your preys, it’s not really that important in my opinion.
Deers (or other preys) rely mostly on the sense of smell and pressure to sense the presence of their predators. Therefore, whether or not you blend in with the environment, it wouldn’t help much to your success in hunting down your preys.
Note: If you are interested in learning more about the senses of deers to improve on your hunting experience, check out this post.
Anyways, if you still feel more comfortable putting on hunting boots that blends in with the environment, by all means go ahead, as long as you don’t compromise with the quality of footwear.
Generally, it’s better to go for lighter boots rather than heavier ones provided that other criteria remain the same. This way, you don’t feel the burden while walking. Its weight is not really very important as long as it doesn’t go overboard.
Generally, as long as the weight falls within 1.7 to 3.0 pounds, then it’s not going to affect you much. Just keep an eye out for products that are around 4,0 pounds or more. If you are going to pick these heavier ones, just make sure that they are worth it for you to give in to the heavy weight.
Rocky Men’s Bearclaw 3D LTT Hunting Boot Review
Rocky Men’s Bearclaw is one of the most economical boot out there. It has most of the features that you will normally see only in expensive products, and they are pretty well designed too.
First of all, Rocky Men’s Bearclaw is made to be extremely strong and durable, which makes it long lasting. It’s built with a mixture of leather and synthetic material. This way, you can enjoy wearing the boot (because it’s comfortable and flexible) while providing you the strength you need.
Also, the hunting shoes are insulated with a layer of GORE-TEX fabric membrane which makes it waterproof. Unlike other waterproof boots that are completely sealed up, this fabric membrane used in Rocky Bearclaw allows water vapor and sweat smell to escape to the surroundings. It helps a lot in reducing bad odor as well as wetness due to condensation of water vapor.
Another great feature worth mentioning is that Rocky Bearclaw is comfortable to wear. It’s inner side is padded with cushion to reduce stiffness and impact while you’re walking. In fact, some of their loyal customers wear these boots everyday, anywhere.
The sole of Rocky Bearclaw is made of rubber, best material for strong gripping. The grip provided will be great for general purposes (whether you are hiking or walking on slippery grounds).
Also, it has an average height. It’s only great for general purposes. For example, if you spend most of your time hunting near swampy areas, a taller boot can prevent water/mud from entering your shoe. On the other hand, shorter boot (better flexibility) might be good if you need to move around often.
The only drawback is that it’s not made to be extremely warm. It’s built with 200g of Thinsulate which will probably be good enough if you aren’t hunting during winter. If you need to use your boots for a prolonged time outdoor whereby temperature will fall below 0 Degree Celsius, then this boot is not suitable for you.
This boot has a warranty period of 1 year whereby Rocky will guarantee that your boot is free from manufacturing error. However, if the cause of the defective comes from your end, then it’s not under the coverage of the warranty.
Who is this for?
- Willing to pay a little bit extra for an economical boot.
- Require a strong and durable boot.
- Not going to hunt in extremely cold condition (winter).
- Prefer upper of average height.
Muck Boots Men’s Arctic Pro Hunting Boot Review
If you are searching for the best pair of winter boots, then Muck Boots will be your best choice. It’s built specially for those that need to use them day in day out in extremely cold temperature, which is why they can be a really great pair of hunting boots during winter.
The boots are made to be strong and resistant to changes in temperature. Unlike other boots, Muck Boots is built in a way such that it provides great protection and strength. The boots are coated with tough rubber shell to prevent leather from cracking when the temperature is extremely low.
Since it’s mainly used during winter, it’s made to be fully waterproof. Muck Boots utilize rubber coating on top of breathable air-mesh lining to give the boot it’s waterproof attribute. This way, it wouldn’t leak even if it’s exposed to high pressure water for a prolonged period of time.
However, due to the fact that rubber coating is involved, the breathability is reduced. You have to expect sweat to form on the inner side of the boots. This is not a problem in winter since your body wouldn’t produce too much sweat in such a cold condition. If you plan to use them at room temperature, this is something you have to consider.
Also, Muck Boot soles are created to grip firmly even on icy grounds. Strong gripping is definitely a plus point for hunters. However, it might reduce your mobility on grasslands or rocky areas.
The lowest temperature that Muck Boot can support should be anywhere around -60 Degree Celsius. A thin layer of thermal foam is incorporated in the boots to keep your legs warm. Muck Boot takes this one step further by sealing the boot with a 8mm-thick foam (heat insulator material) to reduce heat lost.
This boot has a tall upper which limits your mobility and flexibility. While a higher upper improves the overall protection, it makes moving around harder. On the bright side, the upper of the boots are made to fit perfectly to your leg (stretch fit).
While Muck Boot is definitely one of the best winter footwear, it can’t perform really well in other conditions. Meaning to say, if you aren’t too sure that you will be using these boots during winter, then you should go for others which can perform better for the same amount of price.
Who is this for?
- Hunt during winter most of the time.
- Looking for boots that can keep your feet warm even at -60 Degree Celcius
- Strong gripping for snowy/icy conditions
- Doesn’t require high mobility
Guide Gear Men’s Insulated Monolithic Hunting Boots Waterproof Review
Initially, we hesitated to rate this model as one of the best boot in this post due to the fact that the manufacturer makes bold promises that the boot couldn’t deliver (more on that later). Although it’s not up to the level promised, it’s still a great boot to go for.
It’s definitely a strong boot that can stand the test of weather. It’s originally built to be used during winter. Although it’s pretty strong, it’s not built to last for a long period of time. You will probably need to replace one in a year or two as the leather will start to crack especially if you are going to use it everyday (nylon provides good strength but it’s not lasting).
The inner side of the boot is sealed with a semi-permeable membrane that makes it waterproof. Also, water vapor and sweat are able to escape to the surroundings. This way, the inner side of the shoes can always be dry and free from bad smell.
The inner padding and cushions contribute to the comfort the boots provide. Even after walking a long distance, your leg wouldn’t feel too stressed out.
Guide Gear claims that it has 2400 grams of Thinsulate incorporated in the boots. Sadly, this figure is being exaggerated by the manufacturer, at least in our opinion. If it’s true that there are 2400 grams of Thinsulate, your feet will still be warm even when the surrounding temperature is as low as -40 Degree Celsius (which is why we feel that the manufacturer made bold promises).
Having that said, the insulation provided is sufficient if you are planning to use them in areas with temperature above -10 Degree Celsius. Not too bad, but the figure (2400 grams of Thinsulate) is definitely inaccurate.
This product is rather tall which provide greater protection. However, the flexibility of the boots is being sacrificed. If agility is important to you, then you will have to go with one that promotes flexibility or you will have a hard time moving around.
No warranty provided by the manufacturer. However, you can definitely return the boots to Amazon for replacement/refund if you find that the product doesn’t meet your expectations.
Who is this for?
- Doesn’t require too much agility.
- To use them during winter (however, you can’t go below -10 Degree Celsius).
- If you have a fairly tight budget.
Note: If you are looking for a better pair of winter boots, then you should go Muck Boot instead, assuming that you are willing to pay slightly more for them.
Kenetrek Men’s Mountain Extreme 1000 Insulated Hunting Boot Review
Kenetrek Mountain Extreme is definitely one level above the rest. But, how much better is this boot compared to the rest to justify the amount of price paid? (it’s somewhere within three to four hundred dollars).
First of all, it’s good to know that Kenetrek Mountain Extreme is made mostly out of leather (around 90%). This fact tells you exactly how strong and durable the shoes can be. You wouldn’t see a high percentage of leather being used in average boots as the cost of using leather is high. The other 10% comprise of synthetic materials that are used to improve the overall flexibility of the boots.
Needless to say, Kenetrek Mountain Extreme is fully waterproof. The boots are sealed with a layer of windtex waterproof breathable membrane. The boot wouldn’t leak in most occasions, unless being subjected to high pressurized water. The breathable membrane promotes air ventilation which reduces odor and keep your feet dry all the time.
In terms of insulation, Kenetrek Mountain Extreme does a good job in keeping your feet warm. It’s built with 1000 grams of Thinsulate which is good enough to keep your feet warm even below 0 Degree Celsius. If you are to compare this model with Muck Boot, Muck Boot performs better in terms of keeping feet warm. However, Kenetrek Montain Extreme performs well even at room temperature, unlike Muck Boot which performs exceptionally well in extreme cold situation.
If you are looking for a pair of boots with really strong gripping, Kenetrek Mountain Extreme is the way to go. This boot isn’t built solely for the purpose of hunting. It supports hiking too (and we know very well that hiking requires strong gripping). The sole is made of rubber reinforced with steel shanks for extra support.
Other than all the other great features, it’s also comfortable wearing this pair of hunting boots. The inner side of the boots are padded with cushions to reduce impact while walking thus providing more comfort. In addition, the front side of the boots are reinforced with toe guards to reduce the pressure acting on your toes while hiking downwards.
It has an upper of average height making it appropriate to use in most occasions. Also, the upper are made out of full grain leather utilizing one piece vamp. This increases the resistance of the upper.
The only setback will be it’s price. Most hunting boots (even some of the high quality ones) will only cost you somewhere around $100-$250 bucks. This particular boot is about 1.5 times the price of other products. Is it worth the price? Definitely, considering the fact that it’s extremely durable and long lasting, it will be a one-off investment.
Kenetrek do provide buyers with a 1 year warranty from the date of purchase. They guarantee that you will have a defective-free product or they will more than happy to replace a new one for you. Damages caused from your sites are not covered in the warranty.
Who is this for?
- Looking for high quality boots that have all the great features you need.
- Require extremely strong gripping (especially if you hike often while hunting).
- Willing to invest more in long-lasting boots.
- Can be used in various occasions irrespective of conditions.
- Boots that are really comfortable to wear.
Bogs Men’s Classic High New Break Up Boot Review