Best Elk Hunting Boots
With hunting boots, most hunters know that not one footwear option is appropriate in all hunting environments. For example, if you are hunting in south Texas for your favorite gobbler, you will most likely want to have a set of boots that feature a snake-proof liner or protection. Hunting in spring for geese, you might want a good waterproof rubber boot.
If you are hunting Musk OX in Greenland, you will want a heavily insulated pac-style boot to keep your feet warm. If you are not familiar with pac boots, these are generally defined as winter boots with a thick, rubber lower shell. Most pac boots have a thick insulated liner, which may or may not be removable.
By now, you get the picture, and this approach holds true when you are looking to take a monster bull elk too. The footwear you choose can have an impact on your comfort and success. Whether you are hunting in New Mexico or Colorado, or one of the many other states featuring growing heads of ELK, it’s important you choose the right footwear.
What to consider when selecting your elk hunting boots
Consider these things when selecting your footwear:
- What type of terrain will you be dealing with? Will you be climbing in various elevations?
- What is the average temperate like in the geography where you will be hunting?
- How often will you be on the move stalking your hunt? Or, is it more likely that you will be stationary or sitting in a stand?
- Are you staying at a camp and will you need to carry in your gear?
- What is your budget?
See below for recommendations for Elk-specific hunting boots:
- Irish Setter Men’s 882 Elk Tracker Waterproof 600 Gram 12” Big Game Hunting Boot – These boots are mid-range in price and will serve as a long investment. Hunters have often loved these boots so much that they have invested in resoling vs. completely replacing the boot since the uppers hold up so well. These boots feature a 12” full grain leather upper, which will provide tremendous durability for the long haul and stability as you scramble over rocks and up hills during your adventure. One note, these boots will require sufficient break-in time. So, ensure you plan to acquire these weeks before your hunt and wear them around to get the best comfort and performance. The inner liner has many distinct features to help you when walking for miles. The 600-gram 3M Thinsulate insulation and waterproof GORE-TEX fabric lining will ensure your feet stay dry and warm from outside moisture when walking through wet grass in the early morning or when crossing a shallow stream. Also, Gore-Tex has properties that allow the sweat generated by your feet to escape. This, along with the moisture wicking nylon lining, will keep water from coming in, while also allowing for sweat to escape, keeping your feet dry and comfortable. The boot has a removable comfort cork EVA footbed with memory foam. This ensures you can take the footbed out at night to ensure they are dry and warm for your next morning, while providing extreme comfort as you are hiking. The last feature is ScentBan technology to kill odor-causing bacteria; whether you are a firearm or archery hunter, you will appreciate this as we know scent is a killer when looking to stalk prey.
- Irish Setter Men’s Vaprtrek 8” Gram Hunting Boot – Retailing for around $150, this boot is unique as it’s a new style, popular among hunters. This is more like a synthetic hiking boot than a traditional full grain leather boot. At 7”, it is a shorter boot than the Elk Tracker mentioned previously. The shorter height and upper material give the hunter less stability to carry heavy gear while traversing different grades. However, it is more flexible and considerably lighter. The upper features 400-gram Prima-Loft insulation to keep your feet warm in mild temperatures. It does not feature GORE-TEX lining for waterproofing and sweat release; however, it has its own proprietary technology, an UltraDry Waterproofing system. The UltraDry technology may not perform as well with moisture release as GORE-TEX but does a great job keeping water out. This boot also features ScentBan technology to kill odor-causing bacteria. This is a great boot for hunting where the temps are mild, and if you will be required to hunt carrying minimal gear on fairly easy to maneuver terrain.
- Kenetrek Men’s Mountain Extreme 400 Insulated Hunting Boot – This boot retails for approximately $500. At this price point, you will need to consider these boots as an investment to your hobby. This boot is fashioned off of high-altitude mountaineering boots and will perform as it is a serious boot for rugged terrain. The boot is 100% high-quality leather, and features split grain leather that allows for more flexibility and a faster break-in. It has a rubber sole featuring a full rubber rand. The rubber sole gives you amazing traction when walking on slick rocks or loose gravel, whereas the rubber rand (the rubber band above the sole running around the base of the upper) protects your feet from rock abrasion and gives the boot tremendous durability. The boot features top-notch craftsmanship, and for a physically larger boot, it is remarkably light. It features Kenetrek’s proprietary waterproofing system, Wind-tex. This performs very comparable to FORE-TEX in waterproof(ness) and sweat release. The liner is made up of a highly flexible membrane and 400 grams of Thinsulate insulation. This boot is gear for the serious hunter that will be hunting in mountains or extreme terrain and does not want to leave any of his or her gear to chance.
- Under Armour Men’s Brow Tine 2.0 400g Ankle Boot – At $110, this is a very economical choice. Do not let the lower price point deter you; this is a serious hunting boot that will perform well and is a solid value. It’s designed as a hybrid of a synthetic hiking boot, mountaineering boot, and pac boot. It’s targeted to a hunter that will be in colder temperatures and will be hiking minimal distances over moderate terrain to get within range. It features a Waterproof full grain leather with a moisture wicking textile upper. Under Armour utilizes a proprietary Storm Waterproof membrane for breathability. This is effective but does not perform as well with moisture release as Gore-Tex or other technologies. For insulation, they use Primaloft 800G, which is great for keeping your feet warm in cold weather when you are staying in place for extended times or when walking through snow. To aide in scent-control, it features a UA Scent Control lining with a Cupron anti-bacterial copper infused sock liner top cover.
- LaCrosse Men’s AeroHead 18” 3.5MM Hunting Boot – This boot is great for elk hunters stalking their prey in wet conditions. The boot has a rubber sole and is waterproof with camo-print shaft featuring adjustable back gusset with strap and traction outsole. Reviews on Amazon show hunters have been very pleased with this boot’s comfort, fit, durability, and quality. However, many hunters do not like hunting with rubber soles, so be sure to consider your conditions and whether or not the design is right for your needs.
- Kamik Men’s Hunter Boot – This boot is 100% synthetic and has a rubber sole. The shaft measures approximately 13” from the arch and the heel measures approximately 1.5”. The 8mm Thermal Guard removable liner keeps in the heat for a warm interior and is made of 100% recycled content. The moisture-wicking lining removes sweat from the skin for a drier foot environment. The EXPLORER synthetic rubber outsole provides excellent traction and grip on various terrain, appreciated by many elk hunters.
- Danner Men’s Pronghorn 8” 400G Hunting Boot – This boot is made 100% from Cordura leather and has a full-grain leather toe and heel cap. This boot is rugged hardware for a secure fit and long-lasting performance, with a 100% waterproof and breathable GORE-TEX lining. 400-gram Thinsulate Ultra Insulation offers lightweight warmth for those needing protection in cold climates. This boot is lightweight and brings stable performance with Danner’s TERRA FORCE platform Danner Pronghorn outsole for solid traction over rugged terrain.
Everyone’s feet are different… invest in the elk hunting boots that are right for you
When selecting the boots that are right for you, whether you purchase one of the recommendations above or take a different path, remember the following:
- If you can’t walk or stand comfortably in your boots when dry, it’s unlikely you’ll tag an Elk, now, or later.
- One boot might not be the end all, be all. You may find that you need to invest in different pairs of boots for different weather conditions and terrain.
- You need support, and each hunter is different. The support you need in your boot might be different than that of your long-time hunting buddy. To determine if a boot offers enough support, put the boot’s toe in one hand and the heel in your other, and twist in opposite directions. You will want to look for low-twist, which will help with grip in uneven terrain.