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When you are hunting in the wintertime, nothing is more uncomfortable as cold feet. Having freezing feet will make you want to cut your hunt short and make the time spent in the blind or on the stalk just miserable. That is why a solid pair of hunting boots is absolutely necessary for a great successful hunting trip, especially in the coldest weather when the deer start moving and your opportunities for bagging that big buck increase. But you cannot take advantage of this time of the hunting season if you are stuck camp trying to unthaw your feet from their freezing cold condition left by inferior hunting boots.
Best Cold Weather Hunting Boots in 2020 Reviewed
I know from personal experience that having the wrong pair of boots is a miserable condition to be in and it ruined one trip for me because my boots were not as waterproof as advertised and it rained the entire length of our hunting trip that year. So, by the second day, my boots were logged with water to the point they could be ringed out and the water would come flowing out of the insulation.
This made my feet cold all the time, which made it difficult to enjoy anything other than sitting around the campfire with my regular shoes on while I tried to dry my boots out as much as I could without burning them on the fire. It totally spoiled the trip and all I can remember about it is sitting in the blind absolutely miserable and just wanting to get back to camp and sit by the fire. I couldn’t even concentrate on watching out for the deer to come in, I had to keep my feet moving to try and warm them or keep from losing the feeling.
This kind of situation can be avoided on your next hunting trip simply by choosing a proper pair of hunting boots before you head out there to enjoy your hunting season trip to the woods. But what makes a good pair of boots? What features does a great pair of hunting boots possess? There are five main features you should be looking at when you try on your next pair.
How to Choose Good Winter Hunting Boots
Insulation and Comfort
The first of these important features is a great pair of boots will have solid and effective insulation in them. There are different types of insulation, from natural materials like wool to synthetic insulation materials of all kinds, and they each have their own pluses and minuses. For example, wool is a great insulation material for somewhat dry climates, but if you hunt in an extremely wet climate or expect to be crossing streams and creeks during your hike through the woods, then you may want to look into different synthetic materials because they have created some really great, advanced, and completely waterproof materials recently.
Some of these materials are lighter than others and the overall weight of the hunting boot is important because you will wear out slower the lighter the boot is. This means if you pick out a lightweight hunting boot, then you will be able to cover more ground easier than you would with heavy boots. So, look for a solid insulation material that is rated to be effective in temperatures at least 10-15 degrees colder than you expect to experience on your trip. This will ensure that if you happen to get caught in a cold snap during your trip your boots will still be effective in those temperatures.
Size and Length
The second feature to inspect closely is the size and fit of the boots you are looking at. They should fit snugly over a thicker cold weather rated pair of socks. So, if you are trying them on with your regular socks you want to make sure that they still have a tiny bit of room to allow for those extra thick winter socks to fit without the boot squeezing your foot. You want this tiny bit of extra room because it can be very uncomfortable wearing boots that are too tight, especially when worn for long durations like during all day blind or tree stand sits. Also, you do not want them to be too big either because any major sliding around inside of your boot can cause friction and this causes blisters. These can make a trip through the woods unbearable when the boot is rubbing on a raw blistered area. This is just one of the reasons that having just the right fit is extremely important to have in your hunting boots.
The third important aspect of a great pair of hunting boots is the type of traction they have. Different treads work for different types of terrain and you should know your hunting ground from all your scouting trips there over the summer so you should have a decent grasp of what kind of traction you need. For example, you do not want a heavy wavy pattern tread if your hunting grounds are especially muddy because this type of tread picks up and collects the mud on the bottom of your boot. This collected mud on the bottom makes the boots heavier than they should be and this causes you to work harder to cover less ground. Another specific example is if your terrain is full of slick wet rocks, then you may want a tread that has some felt in it to help grip onto these types of surfaces. Whatever terrain your hunting grounds have there is a tread pattern specifically designed for that kind of surface and you need to make sure you get the correct one to meet your hunting needs.
The final feature that you need to pay close attention to when picking out a perfect pair of hunting boots is the camouflage pattern they have. Does it match the rest of your camo? Is it appropriate for your hunting grounds? For example, there are grassland camo patterns for hunting the edges of meadows and fields or there are heavily wooded patterns for fitting in among the trees while up in a tree stand. Whatever your specific hunting situation is, which you should know ahead of time what your plan of attack is, you want the right camouflage pattern to blend in well to your surroundings and increase your chances of having a successful hunt.
Once all of these aspects have been checked off the list, then you can be confident that you have a great pair of hunting boots and that you will have a more enjoyable trip because of them. In fact, we have found a few of the greatest hunting boots for a couple of situations that you should definitely check out before some other possibilities. Here are our picks for the best hunting boots on the market today:
Best Cold Weather Hunting Boots Reviewed
EDITOR’S PICK: Muck Boots Woody Arctic Ice Extreme Winter Hunting Boot
These boots are our top pick for a few reasons. First, they have 2 mm of soft foam insulation under the footbed and are rated for weather down to -60 degrees Fahrenheit. They also feature plenty of soft fleece lining which keeps the rest of your foot warm in all weather.
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Plus, they are 100% fully waterproof and are made of a strong durable rubber material that keeps your feet dry from even the swampiest of wetland trekking. This makes these boots perfect for duck hunting, ice fishing, deer hunting, or any outdoor activity where you may encounter some wetter weather or terrain.
Also, they have a proprietary Vibram Arctic tread for added traction even on the wettest of icy, frozen terrain, and a Vibram Icetrek tread below it for superior traction on drier icy surfaces. This makes them perfect for traveling along in deep winter conditions anywhere you may normally have slipped due to the ice on the ground up to and including frozen lakes or ponds. The shell is made of an 8 mm neoprene layer that not only form fits on your foot to help you avoid blisters but it also keeps the heat in and water out. All this adds up to the perfect combination for hunting trips to really cold and wet climates in the dead of winter.
BEST BUDGET: Kamik Men’s Icebreaker Cold Weather Boot
This model of boots is incredible and was made to take on any weather conditions. Your feet won’t even notice how cold it is because they will be comfortably warm in even the most frigid of temperatures. These boots are 100% rubber on the outside which means they are 100% waterproof and you can walk through big puddles or even cross a small stream without the worry of your feet getting at all wet. Plus, these boots have a removable lining and insole which allows you to dry out the sweat from your toasty feet at the end of the day.
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Also, you can wash these to keep your boots scent-free; that is important for hunting because you never want to be winded by your prey before you get an opportunity to harvest it and with a total rubber outer shell you can be sure that your scent doesn’t stick or give you away. This is a very important aspect of hunting boots because feet are one of the most scent producing areas of the body and being scent-free is one of the most important aspects of hunting, especially for bowhunters who need to get close enough to harvest their winter meat. Then these boots have a cinchable nylon collar so that any scent your feet do produce while your out in the field stays trapped in the boot along with all the heat.
So, your feet will remain nice and warm, dry, and scent-free with these amazing cold weather hunting boots.
BEST UNISEX: Muck Boot The Original MuckBoots Unisex Woody Max Boot
This ultra-popular original muck boot design is the top of the line for the hunting boot industry. You would be hard-pressed to find a better boot because of how well manufactured this boot is.
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The MS-1 molded rubber outsole was built to take on even the roughest of terrain without losing its waterproof and warmth capturing integrity. Then there is a 2 mm thermal foam added to the instep area of the boot which holds in the heat and keeps your feet from getting cold even when sitting still for hours and hours as you sit in your tree stand or blind.
Also, the inside of the boot is made of 4-way stretchable nylon that hugs your feet and gives you the perfect snug fit that doesn’t squeeze or pinch your feet and also keeps your feet from sliding around within the boot which causes blisters and chaffed areas that can quickly ruin a hunting trip experience. Then there is also the stretch to fit topline binding which hugs your calf and keeps out all the cold and moisture while retaining all the heat within.
So, your feet will be warm, dry, and free of any wear from rubbing against a boot. Finally, the boot is fleece lined for a soft fit that makes it feel like your feet are being hugged by a warm cloud.
BEST FOR EXTREME COLD WEATHER: Irish Setter Men’s 3888 Snow Claw XT
The final addition to our list of the best cold weather hunting boots is this Irish Setter boot that is so ruggedly designed that it will hold up against a ton of use and abuse. You can hike confidently knowing that your feet are protected from everything outside while snugly hugging your feet on the inside. They are made of super-strong leather and Cordura.
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The Cordura lining is 100% waterproof and non-porous and water will simply bead up and roll right off the surface of the boot instead of holding on and soaking into the outer layer like with regular nylon linings. Then the leather keeps the boots together with a toughness that is unmatched in the boot industry.
These boots are made using thermal boost nanotechnology built midsole which is the newest element of warmth capturing technology in boots and is guaranteed to keep your feet warm even in sub-zero temperatures while you sit still in a blind or tree stand.
Normally, when you would sit still for hours on end while you wait for that big buck to wander on down the game trail you are watching over your feet would get very cold because the cold would slowly seep into and through your boot, getting to your feet and without any movement or activity, your feet would absolutely freeze. This is not the case with these boots and their 2000 grams of Thinsulate insulation keeping your feet warm by trapping every BTU of heat inside and not allowing the outside frigidness to penetrate into the boots.
Finally, these boots are extremely nicely camouflaged with the top of the line Realtree AP woods camouflage pattern that is perfect for a variety of areas from woods and up amongst the trees in your tree stand to down on the forest floor amongst the fallen leaves and dried up grasses. So, with these amazing boots your feet will keep warm even in the coldest of weather conditions, will stay safe from harm due to the rugged exterior construction, and will stay hidden from sight by your prey.
Wearing these boots, you will be able to comfortably hunt for an entire day without your feet getting too cold while you sit. You will not have to worry about your feet getting too wet while you hike through the snow- or dew-covered grasses and fallen leaves. Lastly, you will not have to fret about your feet getting hurt by outside elements like branches, thorny brush, or sharp rocks.