Check out the Irish Setter Tall Boots - our pick for best lightweight hunting boots overall.
Good quality boots might seem like a luxury, but they are important safety gear. Talk to anyone who’s suffered falls, frostbite, or ankle injuries, and they can tell you. Find the best lightweight hunting boots you can, if you want to be safe and comfortable outdoors.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST HUNTING BOOT FOR YOU
Whenever my grandfather hunted, he pulled out his old pair of rubber hunting boots and off he went.
Why not? Simple lightweight rubber hunting boots kept his feet dry all day. They were light and easy to walk in. They didn’t absorb much scent, and he could clean them with a garden hose.
Sure, they wore out in a few months, but they were cheap to replace.
Of course, on chilly days even his extra pair of socks couldn’t keep his feet warm, and he'd complain. Then as he got older, his sore feet and bad back kept him inside more and more. Finally, he gave up hunting and tracking altogether.
Since then, hunting boots have evolved. New high-tech materials keep us safer and more comfortable, even in extreme conditions. Better still, they're becoming lighter all the time. As a result, we have increased flexibility and speed on the trail, and less strain on the feet and legs.
There's a downside to having so many new choices. Choosing the right pair can be daunting, especially when shopping online. To narrow your choices, start by making a few notes on how you'll use your new boots.
For instance, what terrain do they need to handle? Will you be hunting, fishing, climbing, or riding? Also consider your own personal taste, and your budget. Your answers should help you focus your selection.
Whatever you end up with, it’s important to never skimp on quality. A boot that leaks or falls apart will make you uncomfortable if you're lucky. Losing a boot can be downright dangerous in freezing cold, or on rocky terrain.
A good pair of boots can help save you from the most common hunting accident reported in the US every year. Hundreds of hunters fall from tree stands each season, or lose their footing on rough trails.
Some of these accidents are fatal, or result in permanent disability. Wearing boots with a good tread or non-slip sole can keep such accidents from happening to you.
The first thing to consider when looking at new boots is safety. Non-skid soles with a good tread are a must for preventing falls. If you’ll be on ground that gets muddy and slippery, look for deep treads on strong rubber soles. Rocky climbs or trails with loose stones call for a more rigid, solid sole.
If you'll be walking many miles, or climbing, look for a more comfortable, flexible sole. Remember, your stability is only as good as the contact you make with the ground. Make sure that the sole of your boot can stand up to the conditions you’ll face.
Next, look at the boot's construction. Waterproof boots are necessary if you'll be crossing streams and mud. The deeper the water or marshy ground, the taller your boot should be. If you’re prone to ankle injuries, or will be facing rocky or tricky terrain, be sure you’ve got good ankle support. As you look at boots, take a moment to imagine each one in your environment.
Along with safety, comfort should be your highest priority. You know that walking miles on aching feet or blisters is miserable. Do you also know that it can impact the long-term health of your feet?
Poorly-fitting or uncomfortable boots can injure feet over time, or cause bad falls. The American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society recommends ten points of proper shoe fit. Following their advice will help you avoid dangers such as stress fractures.
If you're still wearing the same size boot you wore ten years ago, you may want to stop in at a shoe store for a fitting. Most adults will gain a half-size every ten years, but many of us buy the same size longer than we should. Falling arches, age, and foot injuries can change your size, or the shoe width you need.
To help you get the right fit, the National Outdoor Leadership School provides a great video. Besides tips for fitting your ultra lightweight hunting boots, they have great advice for breaking them in, too.
Modern boots offer some head-turning features, from memory foam insoles, and leather uppers to abrasion resistant soles engineered for traction. All these bells and whistles can distract us from the basics we actually need.
Wet conditions, for instance, need waterproof boots, plain and simple. In cold climates, good insulation is essential for comfort and safety. Farther south, you'll want breathable materials and protection from snakes. In all cases you want to know your boots are designed for protecting your feet. Make a list of your non-negotiables, and make sure your new boots meet them all.
Lightweight Hunting Boot Reviews For 2019
The boots on this list are the best lightweight hunting boots on the market today:
1. Danner Pronghorn 8” Uninsulated Hunting Boot
Classic leather meets lightweight comfort in this pair of 8” hunting boots. This Danner boot may be the perfect fit if you prefer old school looks and quality. These are some of the best uninsulated hunting boots on the market.
The rubber sole has a formidable tread without being clunky, and will suit most terrains. The GORE-TEX® lining is waterproof and breathable to keep feet dry. The Ortholite footbed gives triple layer cushioning for all day comfort
2. LaCrosse Alphaburly Pro 18" Hunting Boot
These knee-high waterproof rubber hunting boots are flexible enough to get on and off easily. The neoprene liner is high quality - keeping your legs and feet cool and comfortable in any weather.
For those worried about fit, an adjustable gusset accommodates a range of calf sizes. Extra-thick cushioning makes long treks easier. On rough terrain, the rugged tread will keep you on your feet. This is the perfect muck boot.
There's also an ankle pocket feature that allows you to adjust the fit around the top of the foot. Even with the extra length, they weigh only 4.8 pounds per pair.
3. Rocky Broadhead 8" Hunting Boot
These ultra lightweight broadhead boots are waterproof, perfect for navigating mud or boggy ground. They are designed to be 33 percent lighter than the average hunting boot. No worries about slipping either. It's tread on the outsole is engineered for great traction. The Realtree Xtra camouflage pattern makes it the ideal pair of hunting boots. Inside, 440g insulation keeps your feet warm but allows them to breathe and stay dry.
4. Irish Setter Vaprtrek Waterproof Snake Guard Boots
These 17" boots offer lightweight snake protection. The RPM composite sole provides support and comfort without adding weight. They're also waterproof, and equipped with ScentBan odor control.
For climbers, Armatec protects the toe and heel. For hunters, Realtree Xtra camouflage keeps your feet unseen. Remember those tree stand accidents?
A special wraparound instep in these boots grips tree stand rungs or ATV footholds. Front lacings assure a comfortable, safe fit, and the boots go on and come off very with ease.
5. Under Armour UA Speed Freek Bozeman Hunting Boots
These suede and nylon boots feature a waterproof, breathable lining. The outsole's high-abrasion rubber grips any surface while shedding extra debris. Inside, a molded Ortholite® sockliner features a memory foam top & PU base for all day comfort. On long trails, the ultra-light EVA midsole cushions every step. Reinforced toe and heel caps provide extra strength and durability.
6. Wolverine Edge Extreme Boot
Wolverine offers this lightweight boot in handsome and durable Nubuck and polyester. A Vibram rubber lug outsole protects against wet and cold. Inside, the GORE-TEX waterproof breathable membrane keep your feet dry, warm and comfortable.
On winter days, 600 gram 3M Thinsulate Ultra Insulation keeps out the cold. A compression-molded EVA midsole and a removable polyurethane footbed provide support and comfort. Measuring 8” high from the arch, this boot provides coverage and ankle support.
For safety and comfort, those of us in poisonous snake country will want the Irish Setter Tall Boots. Their snake protection and wraparound instep could be lifesavers in the woods. Although they cost a little more than other boots, they're clearly a step above the rest.
If tall boots aren’t your style, no worries. Your best lightweight hunting boots may be any of the others listed. All are solid, safe, and comfortable, offering good value for hunting seasons ahead.