Whitetail Hunting Boots: 4 Great Choices From Opening Day to Season’s Close

To hunt effectively throughout the 2020 deer season, the author will rely on four whitetail hunting boots to keep his feet comfortable and dry.

Whitetail Hunting Boots: 4 Great Choices From Opening Day to Season’s Close

One look at my boot rack reveals I am not a minimalist when it comes to footwear for whitetail hunting. Because I hunt Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin, and perhaps another state or two depending on the year, I need a variety of whitetail hunting boots to keep my feet comfortable and dry from September through December. Air temps can range from highs in the 80s to lows of minus 20; yes, a 100 degree swing during deer season.

Below is the four boot system I’ll use in 2020. Note: I’m not claiming these boots are the best of the best, or you have to own them to tag a whitetail. Everyone should find gear that works well for them.

For simplicity sake, I’ll divide the 2020 Midwest deer season into the four primary months and then explain which boot I plan to wear, and why.

September: LaCrosse Grange

First introduced in 1957, the LaCrosse Grange isn’t exactly a newcomer to the whitetail woods. Regardless of its age, the Grange is still a top pick for deer hunters who need a lightweight, non-insulated, 100 percent waterproof rubber boot. I own a few pairs of LaCrosse Grange boots, and the only time they’ve leaked is when I cut them by catching my foot on a barbed-wire fence. Even then, the boots were easy to repair.

I like that my foot doesn’t slip around in a Grange while hiking, even in mud, thanks to the boot’s Ankle Fit design. Speaking of mud, the Grange provides good traction but doesn’t become clogged with mud due to its Chevron Cleated Outsole.

MSRP: $80. Contact: www.lacrossefootwear.com

LaCrosse Grange
LaCrosse Grange

October: Thorogood Infinity FD (800G)

October is a month of changes in the Midwest whitetail woods. Leaves are changing, and acorns and temperatures are falling. When it comes to footwear, I need a fully waterproof rubber boot for crossing creeks and swamps. During October 2020 I’ll wear the Thorogood Infinity FD with 800 grams of 3M Insulation and Realtree EDGE camo (model No. 867-0208). The boots also feature NASA-inspired SOLARCORE lining, which the company says has been tested to retain 50 percent more heat than insulation alone.

The Thorogood Infinity FD has an adjustable calf gusset, which is helpful when tucking in hunting pants into the boots. Finally, the outsole is advertised as self-cleaning, meaning mud and debris should fall away while walking, making it safer to climb into treestands. 

MSRP: $180. Contact: www.thorogoodusa.com

Thorogood Infinity FD (800G, in Realtree EDGE)
Thorogood Infinity FD (800G, in Realtree EDGE)

November: Irish Setter MudTrek

I spotted these 100 percent waterproof neoprene/rubber boots during the 2020 ATA (Archery Trade Association) Show, and because I’ve had great success with the Irish Setter brand in the past, I plan to field test the new MudTrek this fall. While the new MudTrek lineup comes in two fit styles (athletic ankle fit and traditional full fit), I’ll wear the traditional full fit because it comes in higher insulation options. Specifically, I’ll test model No. 4854, which has 1,200 grams of PrimaLoft insulation, as well as ThermoBoost insulation.

In South Dakota, where I spend the best two weeks of the whitetail season pursuing rutting river-bottom bucks, I often need to cross a creek to access treestands. The water is typically 8 to 16 inches deep in the shallow spots. After crossing the creek, I need boots that will keep my feet warm in temps of 5-35 degrees (normal November). I think the 1,200 grams of insulation in the MudTreks will do the job. 

MSRP for model No. 4854: $209.99 (other styles in the series are priced from $179.99 to $199.99). Contact: www.irishsetterboots.com Note: These boots are so new that at the time of this writing, they are not featured on the Irish Setter website.

Irish Setter MudTrek, model No. 4854
Irish Setter MudTrek, model No. 4854

December: Thorogood Mountain Ridge Boots

Late-season whitetail hunting demands warm boots, which is why my choice this December is the new cold-weather offering from Thorogood. Called the Mountain Ridge, this 10-inch leather boot has 2,000 grams of 3M Thinsulate Insulation. The boots also have SOLARCORE lining, which I mentioned previously in discussing my boot choice for October. The Mountain Ridge has an aggressive rubber outsole, which looks like it should provide good traction on snow.

Even though most water has turned to ice during my December deer hunts in the Midwest, the waterproof membrane of the Mountain Ridge will keep my feet dry if I must cross an open-water riffle of a shallow creek. In addition, during some Midwest winters we receive a lot of snow on not much ice, which results in slush hidden beneath the snow. You don’t know you’re wallowing in slush until it’s too late, so having waterproof winter boots is critical. 

MSRP: $200. Contact: www.thorogoodusa.com

Thorogood Mountain Ridge Boots
Thorogood Mountain Ridge Boots
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