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Why are numerous lists of the best mountain hunting boots are born days in days out? You still have your feet on the ground, you just wear better waterproof shoes whether in winter or summer, inactive or sedentary hunts, on terrain or wet, in backcountry or ridges, for hiking or hunting, for dove or elk tracks.
Time is ticking and you’re running out of patience? Then look closely for these three models first:
- Best Overall – Our Top Pick: XPETI’s Thermator Mid Rise
- Top Rated For Comfortability: TACTICAL RESEARCH TR’s Khyber 8”
- Great For Camouflage and Lightweightness: DANNER’s Vital 8”
But to stay objective, we make a careful attempt to screen out the other 7 as great boots for you to diversify your portfolio. Let’s see, shall we?
What’s the Best Mountain Hunting Boots in 2021?
- XPETI Men’s Thermator Mid-Rise Waterproof Hiking Trekking Insulated Outdoor Hunting Boot – Best for Low Budgets
- TACTICAL RESEARCH TR Men’s Khyber TR550 8″ Lightweight Mountain Hybrid Hunting Boot – Best for Dry Rough Terrains
- Danner Men’s Vital 8″ Waterproof Hunting Boot – Best For Camouflage and Lightweightness
- Asolo Fugitive GTX Men’s Waterproof Hiking Boot for Light Hikers and Trekkers – Best for Narrow Feet
- Kenetrek Men’s Mountain Extreme 400 Insulated Hunting Boot – Best for Winter Mountain Hunting
- Lowa Men’s Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boot – Best for Mid-weight Backpackers or Hikers
- Danner Men’s Pronghorn 8″ Gore-Tex Hunting Boot – Best for Large and Cold Feet
- Rocky Men’s Blizzard Stalker Pro Mobu Hunting Boot – Best for Winter Hunting
- Danner Men’s 453 5.5″ Gore-Tex Hiking Boot – Best for Winter Hiking
- Lowa Men’s Zephyr GTX Mid TF Hiking Boot – Best for Duty Personnel
Reviews of Top 10 Best Mountain Hunting Boots – An Updated 2021 Guideline
#1: XPETI Men’s Thermator Mid-Rise Waterproof Hiking Trekking Insulated Outdoor Boots – Best for Low Budgets
- Weight: 48 oz per pair
- Shaft: 8” from arch
- Sole: Rubber
- Insulated: 200gr Thinsulate Insulation
- Colors: Black, Grey, and Camo
- Sizing: 7 M US – 14 M US
- Ideal for spot and stalk or still big game hunters through rugged woodlands or hillsides, snow traveling, or shoveling during winter
Since XPETI has claimed that this Thermator line is specifically produced for hiking and trekking purposes, adhesive and flexible soles should be put in the limelight.
EVA midsole, along with Ortholite footbed, is both made from rubber. Yet Thermator 8” EVA midsole has an advantage over Danner’s Pronghorn 8” Ortholite footbed due to the fact that they’re more eco-friendly and give more praise to cushioning and stability.
Waterproof mesh upper and Hydroshield Membrane moisture-wicking mesh lining
The outsole, furnished with mesh upper and liners on top and Hydroshield Membrane rubber, forms a breathable and water-resistant cushioning layer to promote the health of your feet. Trudging through streams and creeks or sinking in snow drifts all you can, the water can’t sneak in from the top, sides, or bottom.
Molded TPU ankle support
Molded TPU support is explicitly designed to ensure you would have the most comfortable experiences through a shaft that fits your ankle to the T. It can stretch out after a few breaks-in in cold weather, it can resist abrasion, chemicals, hydrolysis, microbes, and snake fangs, as well.
200 gram Thinsulate insulation
If you go for Colorado elk or deer hunting excursions from October to December, then a pair of moderately insulated boots is a must-have. XPETI Thermator 8”, as indicated from its name, packs 200 gram Thinsulate insulation liners for -30℃ to -25℃.
Imagine spending a fortnight still hunting or spot and stalk along treestands, hillsides, wetlands, prairies, rain forests, scrublands, or mountains. The fleece polyester liners would function as luxurious double-layered socks to prevent your feet from getting iced and frostbites.
Molding rubber toe cap and molding TPU at heel
The TPU heel may foster traction and anti-slipping power. And since the toe cap is made of rubber, it’s super light, durable, and waterproof. Rubber, in fact, can actually block water more effectively than GORE-TEX, so you can dream of dry and movable over time.
Caveat: Since the boots are already fully furred inside, just wear thin socks unless you want to drench stinky sweaty feet.
If the boots are worn out and the sole becomes compressed, you can replace the Ortholite footbed with brand new ones, but that’s not the case with EVA midsole. Instead, you must add some EVA insoles for support.
Since the shaft is only mid-rise and does not reach calf level, it’s inevitable that your freshly bought pair of jeans would be wet if your legs get buried a few feet down deep snow.
- Great traction and flexibility for harsh terrains.
- Durable synthetic non-leather against harsh winter.
- Stylish and chic looking.
- Low priced.
- Some back was broken after just a few months.
#2: TACTICAL RESEARCH TR Men’s Khyber TR550 8″ Lightweight Mountain Hybrid Boot – Best for Dry Rough Terrains
- Weight: 48 oz per pair
- Height: 8” (Standard Military Height) sole
- Uppers: 100% cattle hide leather and nylon fabric
- Midsole: Exceptionally padded, shock-dampening
- Outsole: 100% rubber EXCLUSIVE VIBRAM “IBEX” for rugged terrain
- Insole: TR-1 load bearing orthotic
- Colors: Coyote
- Sizing: 6.5 – 16 Wide
- Ideal for active athletes, military officers on frequent patrol, high-arched people, hunters, or hikers knocking off muddy, rocky, or desert terrains in the summer.
EXCLUSIVE VIBRAM “IBEX” rubber outsole and Sharp angled lugs
The first thing comes to our mind as hikers and hunters about a pair of hunting boots is, of course, are they anti-slipping? What we hate more than anything must be the sudden loss of grip while heading down steep slabs or trailing uphills.
So, is the EXCLUSIVE VIBRAM “IBEX” rubber outsole sticky enough to go against gravity? Sadly, it seems like the stiff Vibram, in general, doesn’t do a very good job on wet surfaces such as mossy logs or glacial polish during the rain.
But there’s no way Tactical Research would launch the Khyber series without a decent outsole for rough terrains hikers and hunters often have to confront, since they are the main prospects of a hunting boot, after all. So it’s actually pretty clever of the brand to add sharp multi-angled lugs to give muddy ashy terrains a shot.
In the end, did the lugs work? Quite brilliantly, we supposed, since it’s enough to shred dirt clumps picked up on the trails and the stiff Vibram added a hint of durability to the outsole.
Serrated toe bumper and Defined traction maximization heel
You wouldn’t want your knee to buckle or your heel to be injectable over the course of an ascent or descent, either. It’s as clear as daylight that good boots have to come along with proper front and back bumpers.
The rough design of Khyber TR550 consisting of serrated toe bumpers and traction maximization heels is a powerful combo in adjusting ankle motion and contingent knee flexion.
AR 670-1 Compliant
There’s something unique in the design of Khyber TR550: it’s in compliance with the Army combat boot as authorized via code AR 670-1, so it owns almost all the strengths of a combat boot.
It’s super lightweight due to the standardized heights and thickness of every component, which eases foot fatigue and boosts comfortability all day long. This is critical in combat boot complaints since they’re supposed to serve military officers on patrol frequently.
The TR-1 insole initially intended for athletes is effectively shock-dampening. This makes the boots lighter, helps deployed military officers and policemen who are on patrol to utilize their muscle use to the maximum.
The outsole patterned with rappelling bars reinforces longevity, which is a must for active soldiers since they can’t afford to step on acute stones or weapons while combating.
The upper which is coated with cattle hide leather upper does a decent job in resisting heat and oil. With Breathe Right combat lunar lining technology, the boots are extremely breathable, allowing smooth air and sweat passage.
Low profile sole
The low profile construction of cushioned midsole, and serrated rubber outsole aids in bringing the natural gait of users’ walking posture out of fully-activated calves, hamstrings, and glutes. This helps to improve leg strength and agility.
Stiff Vibram outsole that doesn’t grip well on smooth and damp surfaces. It’s not waterproof due to the tongue material, internal breather holes, and a lack of GORE-TEX liners.
- Long lifespan.
- Strong and easily adjustable laces.
- Sturdy and comfortable for all-day use.
- The bottom-most grummet digs into the ankle bone.
- Flatter arch support and narrower toe box make large footed and low arched people more painful.
#3: Danner Men’s Vital 8″ Waterproof Hunting Boot – Best For Camouflage and Lightweightness
- Weight: 47 oz per pair
- Height: 8”, including:
- Shaft: 7” from arch
- Heel: 1.25”
- Platform: 0.05”
- Materials: 100% leather and textile
- Sole: Rubber, including:
- Outsole: Danner Vital
- Midsole: Danner Plyolite
- Manufacturing: ImportedColors: Brown (41550), Mossy Oak Break-Up Country (41553), Realtree Edge (41559)
- Insulated: No
- Size: US 7 – US 16
- Ideal for still hunters or bird hunters who place stress on extreme comfortability and agility in early seasons (spring and fall).
Danner’s message through this line is literally delivered in the colors of the boots: brown to resemble soil, oak and Realtree to represent flora system in the wild.
Beyond question, Vital 8” is made for active hunting trips that revolve around spot and stalk, especially for deer or elk hunting, which requires hunters to camouflage as their surroundings when approaching their games.
Compared to the 435 5.5” PU leather shank, the nylon piece inside Vital 8” is much more durable. It does a good job of heat conduction like its brother but offers more lightweights and flexibility. Your feet are given more room to move around while your arch’s aches and pains are sufficiently alleviated.
Leather and textile upper
The textile uppers are intended to make you feel like you ain’t wearing anything outside, in coherence with the lightweights and comfortability which have ruled the theme of these boots from the start. And thanks to the textile, they are also washable after long hauls of footwork in mud or red clay with ease.
Fused in this textile is leather – non-scuffed and abrasion-resistant. It makes the upper smooth like new even after miles and miles of hiking and trekking.
The breathability and ventilation of these Danner models are triple enhanced via the foam, the open-cell PU leather, and the mesh liners. They allow moisture and air passage, thus drying up your sweat and preventing fungus.
Multi-density foam patterning
In Danner’s product description, it’s said that a pair of Vital 8” is coated with multidimensional foam patterns in aid of different pressure distribution on different parts of your feet. These properties, coupling with breathability, will boost your feet’ proficiency and speed.
Molded open-cell PU footbed
The Vital 8” comes along with an open-cell PU footbed to reduce the slope of forwarding bends during your daily or ascending movements. Your posture will be improved and the load incurred on your toes and midsole would be relieved.
Mesh liners layered over Danner Dry
The mesh Danner Dry liners act as a barrier filtering water and moisture in and out properly. We would recommend Vital 8” if you insist on duck or bird hunting sessions that require agility or if you’re keen on stationary hunting styles.
The nylon shank may be losing its weight compared to leather and steel ones in terms of rock and sharp object confrontation.
- Heavy-duty sole that prevents fatigue with sufficient flex.
- Super light.
- Firm canvas perfectly blended for hunting, hiking, and walking long miles.
- Not really waterproof
- It can feel steep rocks when stepped on.
#4: Asolo Fugitive GTX Men’s Waterproof Hiking Boot for Light Hikers and Trekkers – Best for Narrow Feet
- Weight: 50 oz per pair
- Height: Over-the-ankle
- Manufacturing: Imported
- Upper: 1.6 – 1.8 mm leather suede + Cordura nylon
- Sole: Asolo Syncro (Rubber PU)
- Can be resoled: Yes
- Sizing: US 5 – US 17
- Colors: Wool/Black, Truffle/Stone, Black/Gunmetal, Grigio/Gunmetal, Grey/Black/Mandarin
- Ideal for narrow-footed and heavy-loaded hikers and trekkers who enjoy hitting desert and debris-packed terrains.
Polyurethane midsole on top of the bi-density rubber outsole
The stiff polyurethane is not the best friend of the tall flexible high ankle collar, that’s why some people may find the boots hard to move or bottom heavy. Yet, compared to the lightweight EVA midsoles, this unique stiffness supports the feet better when making big strides.
And it’s also this stiffness – or according to Asolo’s gimmick high resilience – is the key player in magnifying traction when laid on top of a bi-density Asolo Syncro rubber-PU outsole. As a result, the traction turns out to be more durable and compatible with diverse terrains via self-cleaning lugs.
Cordura fused suede leather upper lined by GORE-TEX
Objectively saying, Fugitive GTX was almost too heavy to be mentioned in this list. But what paved the way was its irresistible exceptional tenacious
Cordura nylon fused in suede upper. The synthetic Cordura not only is extra durable in harsh weather conditions but as well allows almost no water to leak in, outside being lined by waterproof and breathable seam-sealed GORE-TEX. These seams might be potential leaking holes, right?
But don’t worry! You can combat this problem with waterproof wax, oil, or spray.
Rubber outsole, heel cup, and toe cup
The pliable suede top is almost too soft and thin compared to the stiff and heavy bottom of the boots. It generates the idea that heavy-loaded backpacks (about 60 lbs) would set hikers and trekkers in more secure postures on feet inside their minds.
To encourage this theory, Fugitive GTX also packs a firm toe box suitable for narrow-footed and heavy-loaded trekkers and hikers.
Padded tongue and High collar
The cushioned tongue and ankle collar develop a support system that burns pressure put on our back and forefeet while screening out all debris finding ways to penetrate inside the boots. You can walk into a construction site full of wreckage or hit the desert stacked with ashes and sand with confidence and sanitation.
Asoflex thermoplastic support
Torsional stability is reinforced with the Asoflex thermoplastic support. It also combats any shock or bruises caused by rocky and rugged terrains.
Fugitive GTX, though hooked with a secured lock and load lacing system, is still reported to have slick and loose wires. In order to mitigate this issue, insiders often browse for paracord as an alternative.
Upper seams that leak water.
- Compatible for various topographies.
- Moderate stiffness for better stability.
- Easily disintegrating supporting foam.
- Some soles become unglued after ten or so miles.
#5: Kenetrek Men’s Mountain Extreme 400 Insulated Hunting Boot – Best for Winter Mountain Hunting
- Weight: 67.2 oz per pair
- Shaft: 9” from arch
- Uppers: 2.8mm thick premium full-grain leather
- Sole: K-Talon
- Insulated: 400gr Thinsulate Insulation for -20℃
- Colors: Brown
- Sizing: 8 Narrow – 13 Wide
- Ideal for experienced hunters who are on sheep, Colorado elk, coyote or deer hunting trips in winter.
The fact that Kenetrek’s Mountain Extreme 400 is ranked at the top among the best hunting boot for winter is out of the question. The most crucial key to defining a pair of good quality mountain boots is good quality soles.
The Extreme 400 is geared up with 7mm of lightweight, heat conductive, and elastic nylon midsole, which provides extra support for stability and reduces the pressure exerted on feet and ankles.
Kenetrek also applied their exclusive 13-year-old K-Talon technology in manufacturing Extreme 400’s outsole, breathing a new breeze via a unique rubber texture distinguishable from Vibram.
They offer extra grip and traction while being patterned with open treads to shred any soil, snow, or mud clumps, and in fact, great for rough uphill hikes. Yet, the K-Talon rubber is much softer than Vibram, thus takes less time to wear out.
You don’t have to go as far as a stream, swamp, or creek crossing to know that wet feet suck big time, even the smallest dew that leaks in when you are doing lawn mowing every morning are enough to kill. The best hunting boot, without saying, has to deliver outstanding waterproof properties.
In response, Kenetrek introduces their signature Wind-Tex membranes which focus on waterproofness, breathability, and quick dry-up process.
Here’s an annoying fact: the membranes have a short lifespan and are breathable only at a minimum temperature of 15oC between the boots’ outside and inside.
Due to this fragility of the membranes, the Extreme 400 has been receiving mixed reviews in terms of waterproofness from the public. Even though the brand has raised the high alert about the main culprit behind the scene that often allows water to leak in, the seams, and claimed no seam down the tongue, hunters are still hypersensitive about them.
How to address this problem: Many consumers have had to simultaneously combine Wind-Tex membranes with GORE-TEX socks for better water resistance.
400 grams Thinsulate insulation and Full-grain leather upper
This is the perfect thickness for midseason hunts. You can lock yourself on a treestand months after months without iced feet. The insulation stays soft and lightweight, which boosts mobility on ice and snow.
And you know, to fit the theme of harsh winter conditions, abrasion-resistant full-grain leather was chosen to be the coat outside Extreme 400’s upper. Any sharp objects can’t even touch an inch of your skin.
Since the outsole is not as easy to replace as a footbed, Extreme 400 may not last as long as it’s supposed to when taking its sky-scraping price into consideration.
- Stiff but secure ankle and arch support.
- Elaborate Italian craftsman design.
- Extra comfortable, true to size.
- Top-notch customer service.
- High priced.
- Rough 50-mile break-in period that requires applying proprietary wax on.
- Great components but poor overall construction.
- Allowing water to leak in.
#6: Lowa Men’s Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boot – Best for Mid-weight Backpackers or Hikers
- Weight: 48 oz per pair
- Shaft: 5” from arch
- Heel: 1.75”
- Platform: 1”
- Sole: Vibram
- Colors: Deep Black, Anthracite/Denim, Asphalt/Green, Black/Black, Black/Chili, Black/Grey, Black/Red, Dark Grey/Navy, Espresso/Brown, Espresso/Rust, Grey/Green, Grey/Rust, Sepia/Sepia, Slate/Carmel, Slate/Olive, Stone/Brown.
- Size: US 7.5 – US 15
- Ideal for mid-load pack-backers (about 35 lbs) or easy hikes (like a day pack on Kilimanjaro) in the summer. It’s top-rated among the best summer hunting boot.
The name of this line, Renegade, totally captured our attention at first sight. So, are these really traitor boots that would abandon you on your deer stalking hunt amidst the craggy Colorado Rocky Mount?
Cushioned tongue and collar lined by GORE-TEX
A break-through in Renegade’s design that particularly caught our eyes is the deep arc back ankle-level collar. It’s amply cushioned and makes more room for our feet to flex.
In recent years, the Renegade GTX has been receiving criticisms over its longevity, probably due to the presence of various upper seams. These are sewn to connect four pieces of leather for forefoot flex maximization.
They are supposed to allow water to leak in, but fortunately, the sophisticated GORE-TEX liners have built a fort against the current. Since these boots are woven from leather and synthetic, they need to treat with beeswax or hemp seed oil for improved waterproofness, softness, and durability.
Lowa’s proprietary Vibram Evo sole
Vibram Evo is a sole manufacturing technology patented by Lowa. Lowa has introduced diverse Evo sole lines: Scalatore Evo and Rock Trac Evo for alpine terrain, Evo Trac for ascents and descents, or self-cleaning Enduro Evo Junior for kids.
Yet, Vibram Evo still holds its weight among its brothers in terms of multifunctional profile for diverse hiking terrains and defined heel profile for descents. Pack a 25-lb load on your back and be confident to conquer any snowdrifts, moss cobble-stones, rocky sands, or hillsides.
Climate-control footbed and nylon shank
The airy climate-control footbed is inserted inside the Renegade to adjust inner temperatures. Your feet will be dry and ventilated whether it’s spring, summer, fall, or winter.
Along with a durable full-length nylon shank, your feet won’t pop any hot spot or blister inside the spacious room created from the shank’s elasticity.
Polyurethane Monowrap frame at midsole
The PU MONOWRAP Frame integrated midsole performs true to its designated roles: shock-absorbent, durable, flexible, and eco-friendly.
Too many upper seams that allow water to leak in.
Many customers have reported having problems with the overly thin soles and overly soft heels. They provide insufficient arch and ankle support, which can cause pain for people with plantar fasciitis.
- Cool and comfortable.
- Great grip on smooth rock.
- Lightweight and smooth stride on the move.
- Strongly waterproof.
- Entirely made in Europe (Slovakia and Germany).
- Lack of arch support.
- Easily detached sole.
- Easily breakable lace.
#7: Danner Men’s Pronghorn 8″ Gore-Tex Hunting Boot – Best for Large and Cold Feet
- Weight: 53 oz per pair
- Height: 8”, including Shaft: 7” from arch
- Materials: 100% Leather, Cordura
- Sole: Rubber
- Manufacturing: Imported
- Color: Brown (41340)
- Insulated: No
- Size: US 7 – US 16
- Width: Men’s D – Medium, Men’s EE – Wide
- Ideal for still large game hunters, upland bird hunters, hikers or trekkers who own large and cold feet in early seasons (spring, fall) and winter.
1000 Denier nylon fused full-grain CamoHide leather upper
Danner has declared war with harsh weather and terrain conditions this time through their Pronghorn full-grain leather and Cordura nylon geared boots. These materials boost extra durability, particularly in the upper space, and prevent you from snake bites and venoms.
Full-grain leather heel cap combined with rugged hardware
The full-grain leather heel cap, on top of rugged hardware, promotes ultra traction and glues your feet on the ground over the course of an ascent. Imagine stepping over limbs and rocks or lose terrains amid your 1-week Appalachian trail without soreness and foot pains.
What a dream for any hiker!
Padded three-density open-cell polyurethane Ortholite footbed
Pronghorn 8” is packed with OrthoLite’s open-cell polyurethane rubber footbed, resulting in enhanced durability and shock-damper. The open-cell attribute reinforces the boots’ breathability and makes ways for moisture and sweat to pass, keeping your feet dry and comfortable.
The three-density footbed enables you to adjust the level of heel-to-toe flex effortlessly at your wills. This translates the clearest via your unstrained ankles and the boots’ flexibility against diverse terrains.
TERRA FORCE NEXT double shank and Vibram midsole
The most raved about maneuverability maximization of this line stems from a harmonious collaboration between Danner’s TERRA FORCE NEXT double shank and Vibram SPE midsole, which relieves pressure built up on your arch and torsion.
The fifth-generation Vibram Pronghorn outsole offers improved rivet and traction over harsh terrains. These equal walking long miles, going for spot and stalk deer hunting, conquering steer and craggy mountain tops, or climbing uplands for bird hunting without added weights or slips.
Since the leather sole is directly glued and sewn to the heel, if the stitches become undone, then it’s time to kiss your boots goodbye for good.
Yet, you should consider the fast-paced drying out process of the leather, which causes potential scratches and cracks if you do not reach for a Pronghorn wax or oil.
- Excellent traction support sole.
- Spacious toe box for extra-thick socks.
- Great for hiking.
- Short-lived longevity.
- Easy to be scuffed.
- No warranty if the boots fall apart even after a short purchase.
#8: Rocky Men’s Blizzard Stalker Pro Mobu Hunting Boot – Best for Winter Hunting
- Weight: 88 oz per pair
- Height: 11.5”, including:
- Shaft: 9.5” from arch
- Heel: 1.5”
- Platform: 1.0”
- Sole: Rubber
- Insulated: 1200gr of 3M Thinsulate Ultra Insulation
- Colors: Brown/Mossy Oak, Brown/Black
- Size: US 3 – US 18
- AAA/AAAA: Extra-Extra Narrow
- AA/B, AA: Extra Narrow
- A/B/C/Slim: Narrow
- D/R/Regular: Medium, E/EE: Wide
- EEE/EEEE/WW: Extra Wide
- EEEEE/EEEEEE/2XW: Extra-Extra Wide
Ideal for frontline personnel, snowmobilers, or hunters maneuvering through snow and ice in subzero temperatures. They are heavy so not really great for hikers.
1200 gram Thinsulate insulation
The BlizzardStalker PRO dominates a niche market with a whopping 1200 gram Thinsulate ultra insulation, super warm but heavy as well. Here’s how Thinsulate’s working mechanism operates: the more you move, the more heat it retains.
By virtue of this, the Rocky model works excellent for active hunters contriving through thick snow and ice. That does not translate to cold feet on the deer stand or still hunting trips (where you just sit at the tracks on which deer would pass by and wait for the big game).
A small notice: The full insulation from toe to top, as described by the manufacturer, would hinder your pant tucking process. Overalls would not be our choice, yet jeans or sweatpants may be the ways to go.
Removable mesh PU footbed
The footbed and outsole are made of mesh PU rubber, which is patterned to increase air and sweat passage on purpose. The PU employs numerous benefits for the sake of your feet’ health.
Some highlights can be listed: high load-bearing capacity (which means you could carry 60 lbs without fearing to wear your boots out); flexibility (which eases fatigue); abrasion and impact resistance (which helps the boots survive low temperatures) and mold, mildew and fungus prevention.
Multi-directional Blizzard outsole
Multi-directional treads on the Blizzard outsole offer fortified traction and stability on hard terrains both front to rear and side to side. It brings out the inner goat of yours as the rubber sole can stick on any surface from damp snow to hard rocks.
Split suede with 900 Denier waterproof upper
It’s pretty interesting that these boots aren’t GORE-TEX lined. So you may be wondering, are they waterproof? Fortunately, the split suede upper and rubber sole are both heat, oil, and water-resistant. The rubber vamp keeps your toe warm, dry, and impact-free all day.
Molded foam padded collar with TPU heel stabilizer
The soft foam cushioned high collar will keep your feet debris-free. More by token, the PU foam would amplify sweat ventilation and soothe the strain and load incurred on your ankles and calves.
Some people may raise concerns over the level of BlizzardStalker PRO’s stability support with this soft collar. But don’t worry, the designer foresaw this problem and added a TPU heel stabilizer substantial enough to make your feet perfectly balanced.
Thick insulation makes it hard to tuck pants in. The leather needs frequent treatments.
- Superior mobility.
- Sturdy and substantial enough for harsh weather and terrain conditions.
- Warm even with little to minimal movement in the cold.
- Too thick insulation to fit wide feet.
- Thin sole.
- Narrow tongue.
#9: Danner Men’s 453 5.5″ Gore-Tex Hiking Boot – Best for Winter Hiking
- Weight: 50 oz per pair
- Shaft: 5.5” from the arch, lace-up
- Sole: Rubber
- Insulated: No
- Colors: Brown (37510), Distressed Brown (45384), Dark Tan (45364), Steel Gray (45382), Tan/Grey (45370)
- Size: US 7 – US 15
- Width: Men’s D – Medium, Men’s EE – Wide
- Ideal for men with intense routines (hunting, automotive or construction workers, military officers) on ascent or rocky terrains in winter.
This pair is a perfect indication of Danner’s motto: They are craftsmen and their boots are of high quality as being hand-made. Every stitch on the outer of 453 5.5” is sewn to the soul, thus these shoes are held over years without falling off or wearing flat.
435 5.5” is also equipped with the latest GORE-TEX lining technology that makes your boots ventilative and waterproof. This can benefit you in two ways: ventilation allows heat and perspiration to escape while waterproof prevents water from rain, puddles, creek crossing or swamps to penetrate inside.
Full-grain leather toe cap
Having dry feet all day no matter how intense your activities are is not the end. What turns the Danner Men’s GORE-TEX Hiking Boot into a rave and is rated among the top 100 best hunting boots are their multisized toe box and durable upper.
So strong are the hard leather toe boxes that people often think they’re covered in steel for safety, except they aren’t, not to mention their width that fits for even the largest feet on earth. This makes 435 5.5” become a favorite among athletes, male hunters, construction, and automotive workers.
Nubuck leather upper
The upper stands out for its hardcore materials including full-grain and Nubuck leather. That means your feet are being protected by almost natural and anti-decaying leather, the top-tier in the industry.
Speed lacing system
These boots also feature a zero friction speed lacing system which approves the shoes to go on and off with minimal effort and improves the time you waste on adjusting boot laces by positioning them on the surface instead of sticking them inside.
Thermoplastic PU shank
But you cannot view everything through rose-tinted glasses. Your feet may still be drenched in sweat via a thermoplastic PU shank in-between the outsole and insole. That’s also the reason why 435 5.5” is uninsulated but still be able to retain your feet temperature during winter and thus, keep you warm whether on the move or in stationary hunts.
It’s beneficial for your feet and calves to be supported and taken off the load exerted on with every upward movement, so a shank is crucial for hiking boots.
The shank becomes worn out and cracked after just a few months and it remains an unsolved downside of PU leather. Thermoplastic PU leather shank is not really breathable.
- Heavy-duty sole fit for conquering rocky terrains.
- Comfortable requires minimal break-in.
- Sturdy and versatile for work and daily usage.
- All year round and responsive warranty policy.
- Uppers lease dye and stain light-colored socks.
- Loud squeaks on the move.
- Flimsy laces.
- Weak ankle support.
#10: Lowa Men’s Zephyr GTX Mid TF Hiking Boot – Best for Duty Personnel
- Weight: 40.8 oz per pair
- Height: 6”, including:
- Shaft: 5” from arch
- Heel: 1.5”
- Platform: 1”
- Sole: Rubber
- Colors: Coyote/Olive, Anthracite/Blue, Anthracite/Green, Beige/Brown, Brown/Rust.
- Size: 7.5 US – 14 US
- N/A: Narrow
- B/M/D: Medium
- W/EE: Wide
- XW/EEE: Extra Wide
- Ideal for mid-loaded (about 30 lbs) hiking lovers, deployed military officers, frontline operators, on-patrol policemen in 3+ seasons except for winter.
Zephyr GTX is the only boot out of this list that’s fit to be worn in almost every weather, except for winter, thanks to the flexible climate-control footbed and a dream-like combined power between split leather and fabric incorporated upper.
Cordura fused split leather upper
Insiders have shared one word or two, that split leather (the bottom part of the hide) is the most abrasion-resistant stemming from its densely constructed fibers, and even more flexible than grain leather (the top part of the hide). The 1.4 – 1.6 mm split leather (suede) fused into Cordura reinforces a more durable and superior ankle-supported upper.
However, split leather loses a few edges when it comes to water resistance in wet and wintery weather compared with grain leather. Lowa, therefore, has compensated this feature by offering GORE-TEX liners for better heat retention, waterproofness, and breathability.
Lowa Cross outsole
The LOWA Cross II outsole, double injection DuraPU midsole, and Task Force Medium stabilizer join hands to fortify muscle strengths and traction against any surfaces.
Not only does a LOWA Cross II outsole feature an anti-slipping profile on various terrains but it’s also well-equipped with a self-cleaning profile to shred any dirt clumps stuck on the sole. Yet the climax is about to come: it’s super adhesive.
You can trail through timberlands, trudge through boggy river banks, sink in sand dunes, step on the Alps boulders and your boots still stick on any land-surface like glue.
Nevertheless, every man has his days and so does Zephyr GTX’s super viscid sole. Since the softer the sole is, the better grip it holds, so you may experience worn-out tread and ill-performed rubber against wet tiles or smooth canvas.
Polyurethane Monowrap frame at midsole
The DuraPU injected cushioned midsole puts emphasis on extended wear without added weight, enhanced toughness, and stability employed in ATC models. It’s still constructed abiding by the MONOWRAP Frame, similar to the Renegade GTX, yet with better shock absorbance and flexibility to relieve torsion strain.
Split leather offers a weak ability to resist water. The rubber outsole doesn’t grip well on wet and smooth surfaces.
- Extremely lightweight and comfortable.
- Extensively heat resistant.
- Excellent toe protection.
- The trade-off between traction and longevity of the sole.
- Quality’s taken a dive in recent years.
- Weak lace reverts.
Our Evaluation Criteria
- Comfortability: Are they soft and supportive enough to wear 24/7? Do you experience any foot pain or blisters?
- Stability: Are the collar and toe box firm enough for you to keep balance while moving?
- Traction: Are the rubber soles sticky enough to grip damp, smooth, and rugged surfaces? Do they fall apart after just ten or so miles? Do you slip?
- Lightweights: Do you feel like carrying a dozen extra pounds more on each foot?
- Water Resilience: Does the water leak inside the seams and sole?
- Durability: How long do they last on usual?
- Muscle and Mobility Support: How well incorporated the shank, midsole, and outsole are together to give more flex for your ankles, toes, and calves? What are the tread patterns like under the bottom?
1. Are hunting boots steel toe caps or safety toe caps?
No, they aren’t. Steel toe box would add to the overall weight and make your toes feel colder than leather or rubber ones.
2. Do hunting boots stay true to size?
Normally, they would fit right out of the box if you make good ratio conversions on retailer online sites. Yet with insulated and firm toe box boots, you would want about half size up and vice versa with soft and spacious toe box ones.
3. Who makes the best-insulated mountain hunting boots?
Overall, we would give the highest score to XPETI’s Thermator Mid Rise for affordable price and lightweights. It still performs well down to -30oC without the added weight from the 400gr or 1200gr insulation layer.
Kenetrek’s Extreme 400 has equally high-quality components but poorer construction. Rocky’s BlizzardStalker PRO cannot stand by Thermator with respect to waterproofness. And they both rip your wallet more than Thermator, for sure.
4. What are the most comfortable hunting boots?
The most comfortable award must clearly be conferred to tactical hunting boots. They must be extra light and support agility well for military officers, frontline personnel, or policemen who are on frequent deployment and duty to maneuver with ease.
That’s why we give credits to the five following boots in descending order:
- Tactical Research TR’s Khyber 8”.
- XPETI’s Thermator Mid Rise.
- Kenetrek’s Extreme 400.
- Danner’s Vital 8”.
- Lowa’s Zephyr GTX Mid TF.
5. What are the best boots for elk hunting?
The best elk hunting boosts must first be durable for intense footwork on uplands and rugged terrains, so they should have EVA foam footbed and elastic but breathable upper. And since we often set off to hunt elks from October to December on Colorado ridges, the boots should be moderately insulated to keep your feet warm but not drenched in sweat.
In addition, it also goes without saying that our feet can’t afford to be drowned in snow, so the boots should also employ hydrolysis lining technology for extra waterproofness and breathability.
All in all, what satisfies all of the above is still the previously highly-awarded XPETI’s Thermator Mid Rise with:
- 200 gram Thinsulate insulation.
- EVA midsole and Hydroshield Membrane outsole.
- Breathable moisture-wicking mesh lining.
6. How do I choose mountain hunting boots?
Rules 1: By Purpose
What is your goal before hiking craggy ridges? If it’s for hunting, then something durable, muscle supportive, and can be camouflaged is the best. It doesn’t need insulating as proper socks can do all tricks but if you’re into still or stand hunting, maybe moderate insulation would be a bonus.
And, remember to check if your boots go scent-free because you wouldn’t want them to give off unnatural or predator-imitated smell downwind.
But if you insist on hiking or trekking only, then the boots need to be more high collar and stiff to hold grip well on ascents or descents even if you’re loaded 30-60 lbs more on your back.
That’s when you should pay attention to the shaft, heel, and toe box to see if they’re shock-absorbent, muscle strain relieved and well-flexed.
Rules 2: By outsourcing origin
We know a lot of people are sensitive to the outsource factories of these boots, but whether they’re assembled and sewn in Europe or in Asia is not important. That means the most should be if the brand you have in mind is preserving their manners of manufacturing technology and harmonious boot construction that’s made them known over the years.
Rules 3: By season
There are three hunting seasons available: early season, midseason, and late season.
- Early season – hunts should be kicked off in late summer and early season fall. The temperature keeps rising at positive two-digit levels, so the boots are supposed to be super breathable and lightweight. And check out if there’s any summer rain before heading out because you would need some waterproof liners such as GORE-TEX or other hydrolysis rubber. The sole must grip well on damp and upland surfaces, if you’re a fan of spot and stalk after big games like muleys and bull elk. And you may encounter a lot of snakes in the jungles and down the streams, so make sure your boots are snake-proof or fang-defecting.
- Midseason – not freezing but not scorching hot. In order to indulge in a wide range of weather conditions, choose moderately insulated waterproof boots (about 400-800gr). They should be good enough to combat cold morning dew without baking your feet during warmer daytime later.
- The late-season is when the snow starts swirling around at subzero temps but you still need to hook some treestands all months-long to successfully bait a deer or elk.
That’s why you should gear yourself up with some 1200 gram insulated pairs of boots to protect your feet from being iced in long stationary positions. The soles should also be patterned with multi-directional rubber treads and lugs for slip resisting and snow clump shredding.
The Bottom Line
Our list is to find the best hunting boots for mountain hunting, and the XPETI’s Thermator Mid Rise seems to be the overall champion. It has won the crown after being assessed with distinctive scores re comfortability, stability, traction, lightweights, water resilience, durability, muscle support, and mobility.
It’s geared up with 200gr Thinsulate insulation compatible with wide ranges of weather conditions for multi-purpose hunting types.
- The soles offer good flex for ankle and calf support, plus they are hydrolysis rubber.
- It’s super comfy and lightweight.
- It’s on a low-budget spree.
But that’s just our grounds. What about sharing your takes of personal selection with us down about your best mountain hunting boots in the comment box below?