So you are making preparations for your next hunting excursion. One of the things that need to be in top form is your hunting boots. In case to your old pair needs replacements, there a few factors that need to be considered when getting new ones.
Some of these factored will be centered on the time of year, the condition of the weather and the terrain. The boot you pick will need to perform at their optimum based on these three criteria.
The importance of picking the right types of shoes cannot be overemphasized. Without a doubt, it could be the difference between a successful hunt and a failure. There are four main problems that hunters face with regards to their footwear:
- The weather is too cold and the shoes lack sufficient insulation resulting in the freezing
- The conditions are too wet and the shoes fail to keep the water out
- The terrain is too slippery and rugged and the boots do not offer the right type of traction
- Shoes are either too loose or too tight causing friction and as a result, bruises
Types of hunting boots
There are two main types of hunting boots. These are field boots and rubber boots.
Field boots feature a variety of designs intended to make them efficient, breathable and highly durable. They are typically constructed from nylon, mesh upper or leather.
As the name suggests, rubber boots are made from, well, rubber. They are an excellent choice for hunters who chose to enter marshy and swampy areas. The added advantage is that they do not leave behind a scent trail allowing you to follow the animal without risk of it catching onto you.
The drawback is that rubber boot may get a bit too warm for comfort. Therefore, it’s good practice to check the temperature and to avoid using them during hot days.
The third category of boots are snake boots. They feature special materials that deflect snake bites are especially useful in locations where there are a lot of snakes.
How well does the boot fit?
This is a question that every hunter should ask themselves when buying a hunting boot. When out in the backcountry, you will probably wear thicker socks that provide extra cushioning. This will eat up some foot space. It is important therefore to select a shoe size that is larger than normal.
If you are an experienced hunter, you may have probably tried out different types of boots and come up with your own list of what tends to work for you. My advice, do not ignore this. Include them in your purchase decision and you should be able to find the right hunting boot for you.
The best hunting boots need to provide the hunter with adequate traction. Slipping when following your game will likely give your position away at best and at worst get you injured. If you are going after skittish quarry like deer, one false move could be the loss of a perfect chance at a shot.
Rubber cleats provide excellent grip especially in mountainous or rocky terrain.
There are a few factors that determine the level of insulation that you will require on your boots. One of them is how much you move. Consider being perched in a tree stand for extended periods of time in cold weather. Your feet are that much more likely to get cold than if you were moving around actively looking for prey.
The temperature of the day is a no brainer. The cooler it gets, the more insulation you will require. The lack of properly insulated boots in sub-zero weather will slow you down and result in a failed hunting trip.
So how can you pick the properly insulated boots? Well, they come listed in grams per square meter of construction material.
Insulation of below 200grams is best for warm to hot conditions. Such hunting boots usually allow for breathability.
Between 400 to 800 grams, is ideal for gentler conditions that are not too hot or cold such as late fall.
Insulation of above 1000 grams is best when trekking across snowy ground. They are ideal during winter months and offer best protection from the cold. They also do a great job at keeping water out.
As you can tell by now, there is a lot involved in the purchase of a good hunting boot. From weather to terrain to the animals you are likely to face in the wild such as snakes.
With the right type of information, new hunters have a strong foundation on making their next buying decision. Experienced hunters have a refresher course and can top up to their own personal experiences.
About the Author
Kevin Fleeman is the founder of Selfpatron.com that site is dedicated to the sport of hunting. We have a deep respect for nature and for the environment and we therefore take the sport of hunting very seriously. Selfpatron.com provides guides on how to hunt effectively, answer reader questions, and reviews of the latest hunting gear.
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