I’ll admit that I have a bit of a boot addiction. It’s hard for me to get on my wife for having too many shoes, when I’ve got a collection of hunting boots. I’m constantly searching for the perfect boot and new technology allows manufactures to make boots lighter, more waterproof, more breathable, more comfortable and warmer, too. This spring and summer I’ve been putting in some miles on a few hunting and work boots and here’s some that I liked.
Wood N’ Stream Maniac Series
Wood N’ Stream has been making high-quality boots since 1957 and their new Maniac series is no exception. These athletic-inspired boots are for the hunter on the go, providing superior comfort and less fatigue with its extremely light design. While each boot only weighs 21 ounces they are packed with comfort features, such as, compression molded EVA midsole and an outsole with a visible gel system built. It also features an aggressive non-marring, oil-resistant and slip-resistant tread. Other qualities include a free-floating lace system, up to 800 grams of Thinsulate Ultra insulate (non-insulated boots available) and Tuff Skin High Abrasion Leather. The Maniac series comes in brown leather or Mossy Oak Break-Up Infinity. The boots are Goodyear welt constructed, breathable, waterproof and feature a scent-masking element as well as Scotchgard protected. MSRP $150 to $180.
My Take: You can feel the comfort as soon as you put this boot on. The removable EVA midsole offers great cushion to your foot and the built-in visible gel system makes you feel like you’re walking on a cushion of air. The lightweight design, cushioned ankle support and quick-lace system give you incredible foot support for aggressive hiking and stalking. The leather skeleton design with mesh sides allows the boot to flex while walking – reducing or eliminating the break-in period typical with most boots. This is an excellent boot for the hunter on the move, such as, hunting predators, elk, turkey, etc. Insulated models would be great for sitting still in a treestand for hours, too.
Muck Pursuit Glory
Muck Boot Company has come out with a new addition to its Pursuit line of boots. The Pursuit Glory wears more like an athletic shoe than a 16-inch-tall rubber boot. The Pursuit Glory is lightweight and aggressive and the addition of fleece lining on the inside makes them exceptionally warm and comfortable. Its 5mm neoprene flex-foam uppers are insulating and waterproof and are protected by a rugged Spandura exterior. Medial rubber reinforcements give the boot even greater durability and strength. Muck also incorporates a scent-masking technology called Inscentible along with and agion antimicrobial technology to combat game-spooking odors. Triple density PU sockliners reduce friction, heat and moisture and the EVA midsoles give you a cushioned feel. The rugged outsole provides great traction and Muck says the boots are comfort rated from -40° to 40°F. The Pursuit Glory is available in Realtree Xtra. MSRP $249.
My Take: I’ve been hunting in Muck Boots for several years now. I’m a big fan of a slip off boot with great waterproof protection. The Pursuit Glory is an excellent cold-weather boot, too. It’s very comfortable, provides 16-inches of waterproof protection, and because it’s insulated to the top of the boot it keeps more of your leg from getting cold, too. I’ve got a pair of the Pursuit Glory boots at my hunting camp because I love the ease of slipping them on early in the morning without having to think about laces and then slipping them back off mid-morning when they’re covered in mud and all I can think of is getting inside for a warm cup of coffee and breakfast.
Woods N’ Stream Gen-flex3
This is a heavy-duty hunting boot that can take a serious beating in the field. The 9-inch tall leather boot comes in brown and Mossy Oak Break-Up Infinity. I got my boot in 800 grams of Thinsulate, but you can also get it with 200 grams. The Gen-Flex3 features a removable high-density polyurethane foot bed, double EVA cushion midsole with visible gel system and a multi-directional traction lug outsole. The boot is Goodyear welt constructed, breathable, waterproof and Scotchgard protected. MSRP $170.
My take: I hunted in the 800 gram Thinsulate boot last winter and it’s a great cold weather boot. My feet stayed warm and comfortable even on frozen mornings. The 9-inch boot offers great ankle support and even though this is a heavier boot it worked great for all day hunts while calling predators. Like most sturdy boots, I wore the boots to work and around town for several days so that they were well broken in before hitting the field.
Sometimes it seems like I do more work at our hunting property then hunting. Work at hunt camp consists of clearing roads, traversing rugged terrain while running a chainsaw, conducting prescribed fires, planting food plots, etc. Because of this, I value a good work boot that can keep up with the demand. Here’s a couple I put through the grinder this summer.
Irish Setter Trailblazer 868
This Goodyear leather welt constructed boot is both waterproof and breathable, as well as, non-insulated so your feet don’t overheat while busting tail. The Trailblazer 868 features an aggressive tread and the 7-inch boot offers plenty of ankle support with its lace-up design. While it makes a great work boot, this boot was designed as a heavy-duty hunting boot with Scent Ban technology built in. MSRP $179
My Take: For the guy who likes a lace-up work boot, you’ll love this one. It’s a comfortable boot that is built like a tank. The breathable/waterproof design is perfect for working out in the field and its rugged build will last years, even under a heavy-work load. You’ll want to give this boot some break-in time before spending all day going up and down hills with a chainsaw in hand. Once broken in, this boot wears like a dream.
Wood N’ Stream American Tradition Wellington
For those that prefer a slip-on Western-style boot for hunting camp chores, the American Tradition 11-inch Wellington boot is for you. The Goodyear welt construction with single-density polyurethane outsole makes this a tough boot. It’s non-insulated for cool comfort while working and it’s also Scotchgard protected. The removable dual-density polyurethane insole and rubber midsole make this a comfortable boot as well. MSRP $159
My Take: I put this boot through its paces during our last work weekend at the hunting club and I fell in love with it. I prefer a Wellington boot for working because I love the ease of not messing with laces when I’m hot and sweaty. This boot offers good ankle support, but the leather is supple and doesn’t take long to break-in. I spent two straight days from early morning to sunset building three new food plots and spreading more than a ton of lime in the new plots and my feet felt great come Monday.