We all know that elk, sheep, or more precisely, mountain hunting requires total focus. But how can you stay focus on a hunt when your feet feel cold, hot, wet, or sore after traveling those uneven terrains with lots of up and down and side-hilling.
I mean, it’s not like you can take off your boots when your feet start to feel the heat or gets the pain. Whether it’s sunny, raining, or snowing, the boots you wear can be the difference between success and failure.
So, what boots should you wear as an elk hunter? Obviously, the best elk hunting boots, AKA, the best mountain hunting boots.
In this article, I will be discussing some of the things to consider when shopping for Mountain and elk hunting boots. Also, I have selected 7 of the best boots for elk hunting for reviewing. But first, here is a quick comparison of the 7 boots I will be reviewing.
Comparison of 7 Best Mountain Hunting Boots
Irish Setter Men's 882 Elk Tracker big game hunting boot
Danner Men’s Pronghorn Uninsulated Hunting Boot
Irish Setter Men's 880 Elk Tracker Big Game Hunting Boot
Meindl Men's "Perfekt™" Extreme Elk hunting boots
Irish Setter Men's 2870 Vaprtrek Hunting Boot
Which Criteria Makes a Boot To The Best Elk Hunting Boots
As with any other product, there are some things you should consider before buying a best mountain hunitng boots such as - elk hunting boots. These are the things I will be discussing below.
Elk hunting boots are shoes first before they are anything else. Thus, the first thing to consider when buying a boot is how it fits you. Whenever I go shopping for new boots I always wear the socks I normally wear when going hunting. This I do to ensure the boot I choose perfectly fits me even when I am wearing socks. It is something I recommend you do when buying new boots.
Boots are generally built for mobility, not for luxury, and elk hunting boots are no exception. It is for this reason that most boots are made from nylon materials. Nylon materials are known for being lightweight and the best rubber hunting boots for hunting need to be lightweight. Moving about in a forest can be difficult if your boots are heavy.
As hunters we find ourselves having to walk over wet or swampy surfaces. And at other times we have to contend with the rain. In such unfavorable conditions, the last thing you want is your feet getting wet. With waterproof hunting boots wet feet is not something you need to worry about. This being the case, always go for boots that are waterproof and will not let water in.
Season and weather
Different weather conditions demand different boot types. During the month of September when the temperatures are still relatively high an un-insulated boot is ideal. However, as the temperatures start to drop and winter sets in go for an insulated boot. The insulation is to keep your feet warm during winter. When it’s sunny insulated boots may cause your feet to sweat and feel uncomfortably hot.
Different people hunt in different environments, Some like elk hunting with crossbow some prefer rifle hunting. There are those who prefer mountainous Colorado while others prefer New-Mexico’s dry desert-like environment. For hunting in the mountain, a boot with good support is needed. Also, a boot with a reinforced toe guard will work best in a mountainous region. On the other hand, in a dry and hot environment boots with a synthetic inner lining for breathability is ideal.
Best Boots For Elk Hunting & Mountain Hunting - Based on Field Test
Elks can be found in the Western parts of the country. This is a region prone to changes in weather conditions. Of importance is knowing the season you want to go elk hunting. During the early and archery seasons, insulation is not a priority.
During early and archery season temperatures are usually warm, and thus the best insulated hunting boots should not be your first choice. Instead, go for lightweight hunting boots, preferably those that weigh between 2.5 lbs and 3.5 lbs.
But during the second and third rifle seasons, temperature drops are more likely. Thus, insulation will become an important factor. In essence, the early season requires lightweight hunting boots while the late-season requires heavier and more insulated boots.
Irish Setter Men's 882 Elk Tracker Big Game Hunting Boot
Irish Setter is a brand that can never go unmentioned any time there is a discussion on the elk hunting boots. Thus, it should not come as a surprise that the manufacturer’s 882 Elk Tracker boots top my list. These all leather boot is the perfect shoe for elk hunting.
All leather construction
This 12-inch boot is constructed from leather. Meaning you get the durability and toughness that leather is known for. But that is not all, the leather upper is 100% waterproof giving you the ability to walk on dry as well as wet surfaces.
Inside, your feet are encased in 600 grams of ultra-insulation Thinsulate. The insulation comes in handy when hunting in low temperatures. This insulation combined with the EVA insole with memory foam makes it both comfortable and warm.
A synthetic outer sole and sturdy cleats give the boot stability. Combine this with the steel support shank and you get a rigid and stable boot. With it, you can venture into mountainous environments with ease.
What makes these boots ideal of elk hunting in different regions is their odor control feature. The boots remain odorless even after hours of being worn. This is an important feature as it complements your stealth hunting techniques.
- Are constructed from work grade leather for optimal durability
- Provides a stable grip on different terrains
- The boots are 100% waterproof
- The boots come in a variety of sizes to choose from
- They remain odorless even after being worn for hours
- They tend to become less comfortable after some time
- Due to them being made of leather they may take some time to break in
The 882 Track Big game boot is a versatile shoe that can be worn in different environments. Also, they are ideal for hunting in general due to their odorless feature. On top of this, they are waterproof and come with insulation.
Danner Men’s Pronghorn 8” Uninsulated Hunting Boot
The best boots for elk hunting need to be breathable, comfortable, light, and waterproof. In my experience, not many boots can claim full marks on these categories. However, the Danner men’s Pronghorn come very close.
First of all the shoe looks really amazing with a brownish color. But it isn’t just all good looks as it is also very comfortable. While they are marketed as uninsulated the inside of these boots feel warm even in low temperatures.
The sole on these hunting boots are made of rubber. Given that rubber is a tough and durable material, the sole is of high quality. There is no terrain too rough for this sole.
Unlike previous models of the boot, this version has a toe side stitching in its exterior. This stitching complements its overall stitching. The result is a boot that will not wear out easily and last longer than previous models.
The boost is made of leather with a denier nylon. These two materials are both lightweight and tough. It is for this reason that the boot is long lasting. Inside the boot features a Gore-tex lining making it waterproof.
- Can be used on a variety of different terrains
- The boots are breathable and leave no odor
- The boot is made from full grain Camo hide for durability
- It is a very sturdy boot
- It is very well made and does not wear out easily
- It takes some time before breaking in
- It may feel uncomfortable around the ankles
A good shoe needs to be both functional and appealing to the eye. This is something that the Danner Men’s Pronghorn achieves brilliantly. It looks great and at the same time is functional. As a result, it is a versatile boot.
Irish Setter Men's 2870 Vaprtrek Waterproof 8" Hunting Boot
Another beautiful creation of Irish Setter, the 2870 Vaprtrek hunting boot is the last on my list. However, do not let their position on the list fool you. This pair of boots has all the qualities of the best hunting boots for elk hunting.
As a hunter the last thing you want is your prey catching a whiff of your masculine sweaty feet musk. Thankfully, the 2870 Varptrek boots come with the scent ban feature that Irish Setter has become synonymous with. This feature ensures that during those hot summer days your feet stay dry and the scent stays contained.
The 2870 Varptrek boots are not some cheap boots made from low-quality leather or cheap plastic. These boots are built using a composite material that makes them feel lighter than most other hunting boots. The sole wraps around the instep to provide you with added support and protection.
Reinforced toe and heel
We all know that the toe and heel are always the first parts to wear out. And so do the good folks at Irish setter. It is for this reason that these boots come with a reinforced toe and heel. The two parts are wrapped in a proprietary material known as armatec. The latter is a protective covering that is both tough and abrasion resistant.
Ultra dry technology
This is a term you will find on the description of the 2870 Varptrek boots, which is a fancy way of saying they are waterproof. These boots won’t let any water reach your feet.
- They are lightweight
- They offer support, and protection without compromising on weight
- They come in a variety of sizes
- The Realtree camo color helps keep you hidden when hunting
- Come with a scent blocking feature
- They tend to wear out around the sides
Very few boots can match the Varptrek’s offering of performance and affordability. These boots are built for the hunt. The armatek protective covering helps keep your feet protected. On the other hand, the sole ensures you are safe from broken branches and other such things. In a nutshell, these boots are worth every penny you spend on them.
Best Sheep Hunting Boots Aka Mountain Hunting Boots Review
Mountainous terrains can be a nightmare to traverse. This is why you need a pair of hunting boots that are up to the challenge. Ideally, the best mountain hunting boots should be lightweight and tough.
In these terrains, you are likely to encounter rocks out of the ground. Thus, your boots need to be abrasion resistant. But most importantly, they need to be lightweight. In such terrains, you need to be flexible.
Elk Hunting in mountainous terrains requires boots that are tough enough. Below are our top picks for the mountain hunting boots as well as sheep hunting.
Irish Setter Men's 880 Elk Tracker Waterproof 200 Gram 12" Big Game Hunting Boot
The Irish Setter men’s 880 Elk Tracker boots are boots I would recommend to any elk hunter, and not just because I own a pair. There are many reasons why this boot comes highly recommended.
The 200-gram 3M Thinsulate insulation is enough to keep you warm in early fall without compromising on comfort on hotter days. I wear these boots mostly during spring and summer seasons. However, they have proven themselves more than capable to keep my feet warm during those cold early fall months.
An eve insole with memory foam guarantees unrivaled comfort. Walking in these boots is such a delight that you might forget to take them off.
There are a few things I hate more than my feet getting wet. Thankfully, the 880 Elk Tracker boots come with a Gore-Tex lining. This lining prevents water from reaching my feet. Therefore, my feet stay dry and warm throughout.
Scent ban lining
As a hunter the last thing you want is the scent of your shoes or feet giving your position away. The scent ban lining of the 880 Elk Tracker boots helps prevent this. This unique lining keeps away odor from your boots and feet.
- The boots are made from premium leather for durability
- The boots are waterproof
- They come with an aggressive outer sole that can handle virtually every terrain
- The boots come in a variety of sizes
- There is no odor produced even after hours of wearing the boots
- Sometimes when you wear them with socks the back rubs into the back of your heel
Irish Setter has been producing high-quality hunting boots for years. The company has thus become synonymous with high-quality footwear. The 880 Elk Track hunting boots are right up there with the best mountain hunting boots.
Meindl Men's "Perfekt™" Extreme 400-Gram Hunter Boots
Meindl Men’s “Perfekt” boots are marketed as the perfect boots for mountainous regions. This is something I wanted to find out for myself. So naturally, I bought myself a pair. First of all, these boots are not as cheap as others on this list. Which begs the question are they really worth their price.
The first time you slip your feet into these boots you immediately realize how well made they are. The food bed has a foot conforming natural cork, which I love. This cork protects your feet from shocks and molds to your foot for added support.
During the cold season, these boots become your best friends. They feature 400 grams of Thinsulate insulation, which help keep your feet warm. I have used these boots during the winter season and they have never disappointed.
With such insulation wearing these boots on a hot day must be unbearable, right? Wrong. The boot’s footbed have a moisture-managing layer. This layer draws moisture and draws it away to a dispersing layer. Therefore, your feet remain nice and dry.
The comfy interior of the boot is surrounded by a tough full-grain nubuck leather. The upper comes with full rock rands that protect your feet from jagged terrains. In addition, the boots are 100% waterproof thanks to their Gore-tex lining.
- Can be used in different weather conditions
- Offers optimal support for walking on mountainous terrains
- The boots are waterproof
- Has a durable poron heel inserts for added support and stability
- The boots have a great fit
- Some users have complained of the rand coming lose
Though they are not the cheapest boots out there they do deliver on their promise. Thanks to their 400 grams of insulation they are the ideal for cold weather. Furthermore, these boots are designed to be used in mountainous regions. Meaning that they are versatile and can be used in different terrains.
Boots come in all shapes and sizes, some are made of rubber while others are made of leather. The trick is to know where you will be hunting. For example, the rubber boots are best suited to wet and swampy areas. While the elk hunting boots are those that can be used in different environments.
About The Author:
Lake Streeter, A Gun enthusiast, and loves to hunt in the middle of the wood. Always check the latest hunting gears out in the market and try to share his honest opinion with the audience in OUTDOOR EVER.