If you’re an elk hunter, you may already know by now that you shouldn’t undermine the importance of your hunting boots. When it comes to elk hunting, it’s not only the firearm that counts, but also your boots. only a newbie is going to think that he can search high and low for the game in the wrong pair of hunting boots.
From the fit and comfort, to the stability, boot material and overall performance, there are several things to pay attention to when selecting your elk hunting boots.
Let’s not waste any of your precious time and take a closer look at the aspects that you need to remember when shopping for your elk hunting boots.
The seasonal conditions are fundamental when elk hunting so it makes sense that you have the right hunting boots for the season. If you’re going to hunt through November and December, you shouldn’t get just one pair of boots as you need to adjust to the temperature fluctuations and various weather conditions.
For some September archery hunt, un-insulated hunting boots are going to work most of the time.
When you’re bow hunting in the early part of the season, a pair of lightweight, less insulated hunting boots are going to help you get your game. Heavier insulated boots are going to be needed for hunting in October and November- the higher the elevations, the colder the temperatures so you may want to have warmer hunting boots.
Even though it’s not mandatory, you can find elk hunting boots that are comfortable right out of the box and don’t even need to be broken in. most of leather hunting boots are going to need some time to break-in, nevertheless.
No matter the material or the comfort right out of the box, it’s important that you feel nice and cozy when you go elk hunting. You should be perfectly capable to cover 20 miles a day during the heat of the rut with no hot spots or any other type of discomfort.
Most feet are going to eventually swell after walking all day long, which is why it’s important that you go up a size when buying your elk hunting boots.
You should try new models later in the day, when your feet are going to be at their largest. A snug fit around your ankles and no heel sleeping are to wish for. You need enough space for wiggling your toes, but you don’t want to slide on the sides inside the boots either. It’s wiser to get your new boots early in the season so that you have enough time for breaking them in. even boots that feel comfy right out of the box may need some time for breaking in.
Remember to put on your hunting socks when looking for a new pair of elk hunting boots. stay away from the cotton athletic socks as cotton soaks in moisture. A very thin liner and merino wool socks are a great combo for the elk hunters.
Any dedicated elk hunter knows that terrain is going to vary a lot throughout a day’s hike. An elk hunter may have to deal with plenty of obstacles. Sand and mud, wet grass, cacty, creeks and streams, briars and thistles- are only some of the challenges out there. The main idea is that you need elk hunting boots that are made for handling all sorts of obstacles of terrain. They should be tall enough for giving enough support of your ankle, but also to have reliable soles that provide traction, lateral stability, under-the-foot comfort and shock absorption as well.
The tread pattern and lug shape are also essential when choosing your boots. a shallow tread is going to reduce the risk for debris and mud accumulation, whereas deeper and more aggressive tread pattern is going to work amazing on rugged terrain.
The ability to maintain your feet dry
Having wet feet is one of the problems you never want to deal with while elk hunting. No matter where your trail is going, you should have dry feet so that you can finish what you’ve started earlier in the day. Good moisture management lining and waterproof elements of the hunting boots are fundamental when going through the options out there.
Even if the waterproof hunting boots are ideal for elk hunting, some may go with gaiters instead. If you’re going to hunt in an area with a lot of snow, water and debris, the gaiters are going to reduce the risk for moisture to get inside your boots.
Are they warm enough?
You may need or not insulated boots (going back to the season, remember?). if you need insulated boots, it’s good to know about insulation. The insulated boots are made with a layer of insulating material and this one is measured in grams. Insulation may vary from 0 to 2,000grams.
You should go with the level of insulation that matches the temperatures in which you’re going to be elk hunting. For instance, you may very well go with uninsulated boots for some early season bow hunting.
When you’re going to hunt at higher elevations or during the late season, you definitely need hunting boots that keep your feet dry and warm throughout the whole day. Get hunting boots that come with 600 to 2,000 grams of insulation.
One thing to mention is that, no matter the amount of insulation on your hunting boots, your socks are also important for keeping your feet dry and warm. It’s best that you go with moisture absorbing socks that help your feet stay dry and warm at the same time.
The type of terrain you are going to hunt plays a big part when selecting your elk hunting. Most of the time, you’re going to want to get elk hunting boots that provide good support for your ankles and arch, ensuring stability no matter the type of terrain. Take a look at the backpacking boots as they may give you a hint about what your hunting boots should look like.
The boots materials
Even if you don’t know much about the boot materials, you should take a look at them too. Most of the time, you’re not buying for just one season of elk hunting, but for the years to come.
Upper materials are typically leather or leather combined with some synthetic fabric. Leather ensures amazing protection, comfort and support, taking the use for a long time even in rocky conditions. Not all leather has the same quality so make sure you choose right. The full grain waterproof/water-resistant leather is what you should aim for, but you’re going to have to pay the extra buck for it. You may also find more affordable leather options, but you’re going to make a compromise on the durability and overall performance. You should also remember that most leather boots out there are going to need some time until breaking in. Once they’re broken in, the comfort is amazing so it’s totally worth the wait!
Nylon materials are a common option for the lightweight hunting boots. even if they’re light, they’re more capable than you’d think, taking heavy-duty use and rough terrain altogether.
The breathability of the materials is also something to take under consideration and the rule of thumb is that highly waterproof materials aren’t highly breathable. Make sure you know exactly what you need.
If you’re only looking for some lightweight, flexible and affordable hunting boots, the models made with fabric panels (many come with camo pattern for better hide in the surroundings) are going to be the better choice.
Look for the durability
Elk hunting boots are essential for your overall hunting experience. You don’t want to buy the very first model of boots that you see on the shelf so make time for deciding which one works the best for you and your wallet. Pretty looks aren’t important and you should take a very good look before paying the price.
For many, the price tag is going to be the deal sealer when choosing. You want your elk hunting boots to be a wise investment of your money any given day. If your wallet is thin, don’t lose hope as there are plenty of budget-friendly options too. Just don’t rush into it and give a good thought before sealing the deal.
The most important tip of all
It’s not going to be easy to pick the right pair of elk hunting boots. truth be told, some of us out there are going to need to try several models until getting it right. As long as you’re determined to find the right boots for becoming a better elk hunter, you should be able to find what you’re looking for.
Never take your brand new elk hunting boots for a hunt unless you broke them in first. And once you take them, remember to give them a good clean and good care. This is going to help your boots perform better and for a longer time. At the end of the day, you’re not getting your boots for just one season, but for years to come.