A good pair of boots is an essential part of hunting success. You do not want wet or even cold feet. If it is extremely cold outside, wet feet can quickly become frostbitten . If you have a great pair ofhunting  boots, your feet will stay warm and dry, and then you will be able to focus on the task at hand, and that is hunting or fishing! Here is some information that should clear up some of the confusion that surrounds them. 

In order to be effective, they need to serve the following purposes: 

1) Keep your feet warm:

What separates hunting boots from traditional work boots is their ability to keep your feet warm. The problem with adding insulation is that sooner or later the boot will become too bulky to be practical. Hunters often walk for miles through some of the toughest terrain imaginable. Also modern day manufacturers use state of the art materials to wick moisture away from your feet. This prevents your feet from becoming soggy.

The compromise that the industry came up with is called thinsulate. Justinbootstore.com defines thinsulate as " manmade microfiber created by 3M that traps insulating air to keep you warmer. It is non-bulky, lightweight, compact resistant and durable. Warmer than foam, felt, pile for the same thickness, it insulates under damp conditions absorbing less than 1% of its weight in water and dries quickly." Put simply, thinsulate keeps you warm without making the boot too heavy to walk around in.

The amount of thinsulate is measured in grams per meter of insualtion. Manufactures report the amount of thinsulate in their boots right on the box. 3M makes recommends lower amounts of thinsulate for activites that require a large amount activity and larger amounts of thinsulate for extreme cold and low activity.

The following is the recommendations from 3M as the amount of thinsualte in boots for a given activity or activity levels:

  • 200 grams* for cool conditions or high activity levels – Recommended for work ‚ hiking b‚ rubber bottom ‚ hunting ‚ snowboard ‚ alpine ski  or athletic winter boots.
  • 400 grams* for cold conditions or moderate activity levels – Recommended for rubber bottom ‚ hiking ‚ PAC‚ hunting ‚ or work boots.
  • 600 grams* for very cold conditions – Recommended for hiking boots‚ work boots‚ hunting boots‚ or PAC boots.
  • 800 grams* for extremely cold conditions with light activity levels – Recommended for hunting ‚ PAC‚ or work boots.
  • 1‚000+ grams* for extremely cold conditions with light to minimal activity level – Recommended for unique applications requiring additional insulation.

This table was taken from the 3M website.

2) The second thing that a boot needs to provide for the wearer is protection from water. Gore tex is a laminated material. Boots made with this material are waterproof, breathable, windproof and lightweight. Breathable means that this fiber will not cause your feet to sweat.

There is an endless variety of hunting boots to choose from. These attributes are two of the most important aspects to consider before you make your decision. Another thing to consider that you get what you pay for!

Modern day hunting boots are a true joy to wear. I find them lightweight, breathable, and they allow for an entire range of motion. Another thing I have found is that if I wear a good pair of socks, blisters are a thing of the past. I don't miss them a bit!

A selection of high quality hunting boots can be found at http://astore.amazon.com/infobarrelc050c-20

Irish Setter Grizzly Tracker Hunting Boots
Credit: bootbay.com