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It’s time to buy yourself the best upland hunting boots for this year. Imagine that you are wearing a pair of boots that are uncomfortable-fit and not durable enough to keep your feet dry and warm like home, how can you hold a steady aim and shoot a quick bird, pheasant, or quail target? Choosing footwear for upland hunting is not easy because you will have to consider many factors.
This post is to help because we present the top 6 most favorite upland shoes provided by famous brands like an Irish setter, Danner, Rocky, Orvis, and all you need to know about the upland boots.
What’s the Best Upland Hunting Boots 2021?
- Irish Setter Men’s 838 Wingshooter Waterproof Upland Hunting Boot
- Irish Setter Men’s 802 Havoc Waterproof 10″ Upland Hunting Boot
- DANNER MANUFACTURING Men’s Sharptail Hunting Shoes
- Rocky Upland Waterproof Outdoor Boot
- Orvis Featherweight Kangaroo Upland Boots
- Chippewa Men’s 9-Inch Bay Apache Waterproof Steel-Toe Super Logger Boot
Best Upland Hunting Boots: A List of 6 Reviews
Here come the most favorite shoes for upland hunting. They are all high-quality and comfortable!
- 100% leather made
- Artificial synthetic sole
- Great for upland hunters and hikers in damp and rough terrain
It is not a nature that hunters often opt for Irish Setter shoes as the first choice for hunting footwear.
Take the Irish Setter Men’s 838 Wingshooter, for example. This pair of hunting shoes are good for heavy-duty upland hunting thanks to its UltraDry technology and high-collar design.
All Irish Setter boots are made of leather. This 838 Wingshooter is not an exception. It is made with leather upper, combining with contrast moc-toe stitching and a speed-lacing system.
Such a design ensures that your boots will fit their shape no matter how hard you walk or run through rough paths. No need to bother tightening the boots amidst your hunting.
UltraDry Waterproofing Technology
As its name suggests, this technology is to keep your feet dry and warm all the time.
There is moisture-wicking nylon lining around the boots to repel your sweat and allow the air to flow in and out. The nylon lining is also good for cleaning. You will need less detergent and water to wash off the dirt.
Besides the material, the boots’ ankle is high enough to prevent mud from reaching the interior part.
Steel Support Shank & Molded Counter
The shank made of steel, combined with the molded counter in the heel, will protect your feet from sudden shock or the entry of sharp objects. You will have the confidence to pass over any rocky terrains.
The artificial synthetic sole is light and cushioned underfoot. It helps reduce the overall weight and makes it easier to move your feet. As a result, you can balance yourself to take shots.
When mentioning the Irish Setter 838, people also compare it with the Irish Setter Men’s 808 Wingshooter, which is made with the same material and technologies. Nonetheless, the 808 is bigger in size.
What to complain about the 838 version is the shaft measurement of 7 inches from the arch. This length is good for summer but not enough for winter hunting. Moreover, the boots smell annoying when getting wet.
- Not very expensive
- UltraDry material and construction
- Sturdy steel support shank
- Lightweight and cushioned sole
- Better to have a higher ankle
- The annoying smell when getting wet
#2: Irish Setter Men’s 802 Havoc Waterproof 10″ Upland Hunting Boot – Best for Strolling in Bush
- 100% leather made
- Rubber sole
- Great for bird hunters strolling in the bush or winter
The next list is the Irish Setter Men’s 802 Havoc – a choice for hunters in the winter or those walking through the bush.
Waterproof Leather Boots
Like the 838, this 802 Havoc is also made of waterproof and breathable leather. There is a hand-sewn moccasin-stitched toe to increase the comfort and flexibility in shape.
Full-length Medial Zipper
While the 838 features a quick lacing system, these second boots for upland hunting have a zipper. When you are in a hurry, the zipper helps slip your feet in and out of the shoes quickly.
The buckle strap is also available to adjust the fit easily around your feet to increase overall comfort.
Some upland hunting games require you to go into the bush – then, you had better wear high boots. Then 9 inches are enough for a troll in every place.
The collar is also padded so that you will always feel comfortable.
Removable Rubber Boot Footbed
The sole is polyurethane-made so that the air can flow breathable to keep your feet dry and warm. It also gets softened a bit once they form to your foot. More importantly, the sole is durable and well-gripped on any surface.
We like the wise length of the boots. However, the ankle bending a little on the top makes it a bit stressful on the toes. For that reason, you might not want to wear the 802 Havoc for an extended time.
- High ankle to protect your legs
- Easy for us to slip on thanks to the zipper
- Adjustable fit with the trapper
- Breathable and supportive footbed
- Expensive than expected
- Snug fit on the toes
#3: DANNER MANUFACTURING Men’s Sharptail Hunting Shoes – Best Breathable Hunting Shoes
- 100% leather made
- Rubber boot sole
- Shaft measurement of 8 inches from arch
- Great for frequent hunters and hikers to enjoy games in the early seasons.
The Sharptail is the most famous version among DANNER Men’s Sharptail Hunting Shoes. It is built to last from seasons to seasons through mud, snow, rain, or tall bush.
GORE-TEX Waterproof Lining
The shoes have a camo look built from full-grain leather. There are also GORE-TEX nylon panels around the boots, which are less insulated. This feature helps reduce the overall weight while it will seal out any moisture elements. Even in summer, you can wear wool socks without feeling hot.
Cushioning triple-density Footbed
We appreciate that the DANNER Men’s Sharptail is built with cushioned orthotic footbeds, including a triple-density gel and open-cell PU construction. You can expect this sole to boost strength, endurance, and energy, as well as absorb shock.
EVA Cushioning and Shock-absorbing Midsole
Together with the gel insoles above, the midsole is also made of anatomical cushioning and shock-absorbing to improve overall comfort and protection.
Stable TERRA FORCE Platform and Outsole
The TERRA FORCE Platform is relatively lightweight – good enough for early-season hunting because you will not feel heavy underfoot. Besides, the outsole is shallow and not very aggressive to start with. Thankfully, the traction is still acceptable enough to shed dirt and mud quickly.
There are also chevron-type patterns to improve the grip on wet and slick terrains.
These boots are very little insulated, so we do not recommend them if you plan to sit in late-season stands or walk through snowy mountainsides.
- Comfortable boots and breathable wearing
- Waterproof GORE-TEX lining
- Comfortable cushioning soles
- Lightweight and shallow outsole
- Expensive boots
- Not insulation designed for cool weather
#4: Rocky Upland Waterproof Outdoor Boot – Best Budget
- 100% leather made
- Rubber sole
- Shaft measurement of 8 inches from arch
- Great for infrequent hunters for upland hunting games
Rocky is not a famous brand of hunting footwear, so their products are often a bit cheaper than the Irish Setter or Danner ones. Interestingly enough, the quality of Rocky shoes – like Rocky Upland Waterproof Outdoor Boot, is more durable and helpful than expected.
Full-grain Waterproof Leather
Rocky Upland Waterproof Outdoor Boots are, as advertised, completely waterproof with light Gore-Tex insulation similar to the DANNER boots above. As a result, the Rocky shoes are lightweight and comfortable for everyday wearing or early-season hunting.
Rocky Briar & Thorn Guard
Not only is the material durable over time, but the boots are also even protected with Rocky’s Thorn and Briar Guard technology. This snake-proof feature helps improve abrasion and safety, even in the toughest environments.
San Crispino Construction
The shoes are made in the San Crispino style, in which the upper is folded into the insole before adding the stitching outsole. In the end, the outsole is attached with vulcanization.
This construction ensures that the boots will stay durable on rough surfaces.
High Abrasion Blown Rubber Outsole
The outsole is an EnergyBed LX blown rubber piece improved by memory foam and fiberglass shanks. This part will improve the overall stability and support.
This is an insulated hunting boot, limited to summer or early-season hunting. Moreover, its leather material is not as durable as others.
- Classic upland hunting boots
- Helpful Rocky Briar & Thorn Guard
- Durable San Crispino construction
- High-abrasion rubber outsole
- Not very durable leather
#5: Orvis Featherweight Kangaroo Upland Boots – Best for Big Feet
- Improved Kangaroo leather
- Rubber sole
- Various sizes available
- Great for hunters with big feet so that they can break in the shoes quickly
The most famous upland footwear of Orvis is the Kangaroo Upland Boots. They are preferred by those with big feet thanks to the comfortable. Kangaroo leather and various sizes available.
The selling point of the Orvis Featherweight is its upper material: the Kangaroo leather. It is lighter yet more durable than the common cowhide. As a result, the shoes are often lightweight and comfortable underfoot.
Moreover, Kangaroo leather features a thin grain layer and elastin content so that it will stretch uniformly. This is helpful to keep big feet cool and relaxed. After several wearings, the fit will be close to your feet’ sizes.
Moisture-wicking and Abrasion-resistance Insole
Inside the leather is a cushioning insole like other upland hunting boots. That insole can wick sweat and moisture away quickly and keep your foot cool and dry.
It also absorbs shock while you walk or run quickly to improve support during the game.
Reinforced Toe Resists Wear and Tear
The toe’s material is thicker than in other places so that your toes will stay safe under harsh and sudden pressure. The thread around the boots’ head is also handcrafted carefully.
Various sizes available
There are 2 reasons we recommend this pair of boots for hunters with big feet – the shoes come in various sizes for both men (7 to 15 inches) and women (5 to 12 inches), and the lacing system is various to get your big feet in easily.
Kangaroo leather takes more effort to clean and maintain than other leathers. Without frequent maintenance, the shoes might break down easily.
- Stretchy and comfortable Kangaroo leathers
- Moisture-wicking insole
- Enhanced toe to cope with wear and tears.
- Many sizes available for both men and women
- Not very true to sizes
- Extra effort to clean the shoes
#6: Chippewa Men’s 9-Inch Bay Apache Waterproof Steel-Toe Super Logger Boot – Best for Early-Season Hunting
- 100% Leather
- USA-made and Imported
- Vibram uninsulated sole
- Shaft measurement of 9.5 inches from arch
- Heel measures 2.25 inches
- Good for hunters who want lightweight and comfortable shoes for early-season hunting.
Coming in the last place of this review post is Chippewa Men’s 9-Inch Bay Apache. The boots are uninsulated so you will feel light and comfortable when wearing them on early-season hunting.
Form-wise, the shoes are made in Welt style – a round toe, classic cork midsole, and leather outsole. This product is made from thick Crazy Horse leather. It does not mean that it is horse leather – but the manufacturer is often applied to make horse saddles. Interestingly enough, the leather is still fun-grain, so that the boots are very durable.
Because of its cost, not many manufacturers use the Texon to make their insole. Hilariously, Chippewa uses it to increase the support underfoot and under the arch support.
Waterproof Steel-toe Boot
Accordingly, the toe block is a bit larger and asymmetrical. Thanks to this, your feet will be more comfortable to move around. There is also a steel cap that can handle pressure very well.
Wide Ankles of 9 inches
As you can see, the ankle looks large and high to prevent snow and dirt outside. You can also wear this boot to pass through a high bush!
That the manufacturer tries to create these shoes with premium materials and helpful features, the 9-Inch Bay Apache, in the end, is more expensive than others on the list.
- Durable leather welt
- High and tidy collar
- Soft and supportive insole
- Improved toe box
- Expensive boots
- Slippy outsole
1. What Are Upland Boots?
As the name suggests, upland boots are footwear specially built to keep your feet comfortable even after a toll on your feet on various fields – for example, walking on grassland or climbing trees/rocks.
A good pair of upland boots should put durability, support, and better – water resistance in a major concern. The boots must also be seasonal, meaning that summer hunting boots are often lighter and less insulated than winter boots.
Above, we already provided some good upland hunting boots with complete reviews on all features for your reference.
2. Which Brands in The World Make The Best Upland Hunting Boots?
Whenever you find hunting boots, you will always find the Irish Setter shoes as one of the most recommended choices.
The manufacturer focuses on work boots, hiking boots, and hunting footwear that offer extra durability and support thanks to their quality materials and superior craftsmanship.
Irish Setter boots are also preferred for the stylish red design.
Since its introduction in 1932 in Portland, Danner’s name has been associated with beautiful and built-to-last boots.
Most Danner footwear we know features a combination of full-grain leather, lightweight nylon, and water-free GORE-TEX® lining. Together, the boots are comfortable for both indoor and outdoor jobs.
Nonetheless, Danner upland boots are often costly to buy.
Orvis promises to provide waterproof, well-constructed, stable, and traction boots for upland bird hunting in different terrain.
Their shoes are the lightest options in the field that use strength-to-weight kangaroo leather. Not to mention, the sole is Orvis-patented after careful research of the quail plantations. It is extra comfortable even after a long trial.
Above are the three most creditable manufacturers of hunting boots in general and upland boots in particular. You can also consider other names such as Rocky or Chippewa. Although they have less experience, their shoes are very good at a reasonable price range.
3. What Should I Look for in Upland Hunting Boots?
Even after you read all the best upland hunting boots above, you might not be able to figure out your most favorite. Then, you should spend some more minutes reading this thorough buying guide.
Get started with finding a proper size for your feet. Otherwise, you will suffer from foot blisters and discomfort, and you just desire to get rid of the boots right away!
You should carefully refer to the manufacturer size guide. We recommend a snug fit around your heel, instep, and ankle. You also need to get a bit larger in length so that you can wiggle your toes because your feet get larger in the late afternoon.
For example, choose a size 10-1/2 hunting boots if you normally put on 10-inch casual shoes.
A rule of thumb for upland hunting boots is to get an overall height of six to ten inches. This height range is ideal for both summer and winter hunting.
Otherwise, you can choose separate shoes for each season.
A shorter height is often found on early-season hunting boots because they are lighter and cooler. Meanwhile, taller boots are preferred for cold weather to keep snow out.
Weight and Material
After the size, let’s take a closer look at the boots’ quality.
The material should be durable enough to cope with wear and tears from upland fields. Meanwhile, it is still lightweight and comfortable to wear for a long time.
The boot upper is often made of premium all-leather fabric or leather combined with nylon. These two materials help protect your ankle and foot against thistle or rocky conditions.
The full-grain leather uppers are more expensive than the second split ones. However, it is also less breathable and heavier.
The frame should be in metal to keep a durable form around your foot. It would be better to have steel-toe reinforcements to protect your toes from sharp objects.
Most manufacturers offer both waterproof and non-waterproof boots. If you go hunting on very dry upland terrain, you can go for the second option because they are cheaper. However, we still recommend the water-resistant product to keep your feet all dry and warm in case of sudden rain or so.
Think about a sudden rain, snow, or a dewy field you might encounter while hunting upland. Your feet get soaked then, and nothing runs a hunt in that situation.
Insulated or Non-insulated
Insulated or non-insulated boots are a question that should be answered by the hunting seasons and temperatures outside, as well as your own inner thermostat.
Insulated boots are recommended for cold weather. Boots’ brands often indicate the insulation is in grams from 200 to 2000 grams. The higher it is, the better to keep your feet warm and toasty.
The sole is another important factor to consider as it is the soul of any hunting shoe.
The thin sole lacks traction and shock absorption, so you might do more skating in the fields rather than walking. You are also at risk of hurting by nails, sore and tired feet.
Of all the boots above, the Irish Setter Men’s 838 Wingshooter is the winner for the best upland hunting boots around.
This boot is provided by a well-known brand, meaning that you can rest assured of quality and durability on any hunting terrain. It is also lightweight and waterproof enough to keep your feet comfortable and dry the whole time.
Only the short ankle length should be improved – but you can solve it by wearing long trousers to give extra protection.