Best Upland Hunting Boots 2020

best upland hunting boots

Hunting boots come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and fabrics. Technology has made a transformative mark on the industry, both in style, form, and function.

Upland hunting boots have gone from drab colors to fashionable layered footwear. New camo colors combined with imported leathers, make bold statements for the new Upland Hunting Boot.

The gear is much lighter than in years past. Drastically improved manufacturing processes help boots last longer through harsher conditions, your boots need to be the least of your worries.

Five of The Best Upland Hunting Boots 

Rocky's Men's 8 Inch Retraction 800G Hunting Boot by ROCKY

ROCKY has a long, varied history starting in the great depression of 1932. Through the decades, the ROCKY brand finally found its name in 1979 with Mike Brooks.

The ROCKY Retraction is available for both women and men. The boots are waterproof and insulated with 800 grams of 3M Thinsulate Ultra Insulation. The Retraction comes in Realtree Camo, is 100% synthetic, and resists tears and abrasions.

The ROCKY Retraction features a nylon shank, full-grain leather, and rubber outsole. Plenty of other exclusive additions make this one the best hunting boots available. A footbed that features EnergyBed with memory foam shapes to the contour of your foot for hours of comfortable wear. Strobel cement construction for a lifetime of comfortable wear.

Pros:
•Great looking affordable footwear
•Designed for multiple terrains and a variety of conditions
•Very Comfortable

Cons:
•Some customers report water coming through the sole
•Inserts are prone to come loose
•Soles are poor construction

Men's Sharptail Snake Boot by Danner

Danner has been making quality distinctive boots in the Pacific Northwest for nearly 100 years. Charles Danner felt the call to move to the west to build one of the best logging boots available.

The distinctive Sharptail Snake Boot may be one of the best looking hunting boot you can buy. It features 100% full-grain dark brown leather, and If you are in snake-infested woods, this is the perfect boot. The shaft of the Sharptail is 16" with an opening of about 19", giving the hunter a lot more comfort.

Combine the full-grain leather with a lightweight 900 denier nylon, and you have one of the most distinctive-looking hunting boots. The essential features of the Sharptail series is a Gore-Tex liner, giving the hunter another layer of comfort to protect against outside water. The Gore-Tex also creates a breathable boot to let out any sweat and moisture.

Three layers of varying density fabric enhance the functionality and comfort of the Sharptail Snake Boot's sole. The entire footbed is made of open-cell polyurethane for better air circulation.

Pros:
•Distinctive and Inspired footwear
•Quality construction and lightweight
•Athletic true to size fit and support

Cons:
•May have waterproofing issues
•Ordered sizes may be too loose
•Some of the seams are nor up to Danner quality

Men's 801 Havoc by Irish Setter

The history of the Irish Setter brand is fascinating and can be traced back to 1905 with its first Red Wing work boot. The companies hunting brand started in 1929, and the Irish Setter name came into being in 1950.

The 801 Havoc is a classic example of an upland hunting boot. 100% full-grain leather and waterproof make this one of the very best hunting boots on the market. Plenty of advanced technologies have gone into this elegantly designed upland hunting boot. The Havoc Upland Hunting Boot features "FlexLock." This technology incorporates state of the art construction, which is conforming upper leathers handsewn to the sole of the boot.

"Gore-Tex" keeps feet dry by preventing water from getting in and allowing sweat and other moisture to pass through to the outside. The Irish Setter 801 Havoc uses exclusive Trout Brook Leather from Irish Setter's tannery in Red Wing, Minnesota. Time-proven techniques and premium steer hides are used in the tanning process.

Another innovation for the Irish Setter Havoc is the "Cushin Comfort Tongue." This technology minimizes pressure on the hunter's shin by a four-inch-wide stretch of nylon and an internal waffle mesh padding.

Pros:
•Classic styling and quality construction
•Ready to hunt out of the box, no break-in period
•True fit and width

Cons:
•Some customers are reporting issues of different fit with the left and right boot
•Comfort problems in very harsh conditions
•Marginal waterproofing

Bobwhite High Hunting by Wolverine

For over 130 years, the Wolverine brand has been part of the American Landscape of homegrown success stories. Still headquartered in Rockford, Michigan, Wolverine is now an international brand with facilities across the world.
The Men's Bobwhite High Hunting Boot is a combination of 50% leather, and 50% Cordura Nylon accented in green camouflage. The Wolverine Bobwhite is waterproof and insulated with a mesh lining for managing moisture. The small details are what sets the Wolverine brand apart from its competitors. The Bobwhite Hunting Boots come with an asymmetrical opening and tough corded laces.

Each Wolverine Boot Technology features plenty of advanced processes for warmth and comfort. The Bobwhite boot has 900 Denier Nylon and full-grain leather. Thinsulate insulation provides extra warmth on cold mornings. Midsoles are compression molded, and the mesh lining offers a breathable waterproof membrane with moisture-wicking.
Camo lovers will enjoy the new colors, featured on the Bobwhite. This footwear is ultra light at 3 ½ pounds, for extended stays in dense woods. The 7" Bobwhite is extremely comfortable through harsh conditions.

Pros:
•True fit boots
•After a short break-in period, these are all-day comfortable boots
•The lightweight is a joy
•A perfect quail and pheasant hunting boot

Cons:
•Could use better durability
•Deeper tread for Chukar Hunting

Men's 808 Wingshooter by Irish Setter​

Irish Setter leads the industry with its groundbreaking technologies. The company is great because it never stops innovating for the hunters and workers it serves. Red Wing and Irish Setter have developed High Rebound Energy Return, Exclusive waterproofing, Cold Layer protection, and Irish Setter Scent Control.

The Men's 9" Wingshooter Is a classic design Upland Hunting Boot. The shaft measures approximately 8 ½ inches from the arch—the Upper features superior ankle support on those long treks into where your game lives. The Dark Brown Wingshooter provides excellent stability and traction with 100% imported leather.

Exclusive features of the Wingshooter are a contrasting stitched moccasin toe. The 808 includes speed lace hardware at the top and lace-up vamp. Some of the Irish Setter technology includes UltraDry waterproofing. The system provides a moisture management lining for long-lasting performance. The sole of the Wingshooter is a debris-shredding technology for miles of comfort.

The Footbed of this Irish Setter Boot is a removable polyurethane technology. Another comfort feature is the Wingshooter gives the hunter a full 13" opening.

Pros:
•The iconic style that launched The Irish Setter Brand
•Maintains waterproofing through harsh conditions
•Reasonable price for the quality received

Cons:
•Boots are horrible in frigid environments; soles are too hard
•Laces have significant issues, wear out quickly.
•Uppers stretch too much

Upland Hunting Boots Buyer's Guide

The best upland hunting boots will always feature quality materials and construction. The companies you buy from have long histories of building quality work and hunting footwear. One of the first considerations in superior development is the boot's insulation. Popular insulation in modern hunting boots are usually Thinsulate, or Shearling with Thinsulate used the most.

Thinsulate is an extremely durable material, does not break down quickly, and is ideal for harsher conditions. Shearling is a softer, lighter weight boot insulation and is better for milder climates.

Outsoles of an Upland Hunting Boot are essential features when making a purchase. New outsoles are built from natural rubber, polyurethane, or polyvinyl chloride. Consider the structure of the outsole, which can be made in a single layer, or can be very complex with multiple structures or layers. Look for the right traction in the type of hunting you will be doing.

Another consideration is the small lugs. Most people ignore these features altogether; however, if the lugs are too big, they will get clogged with mud and debris. Never overlook any element when buying an Upland Hunting Boot.

Weight, Insulation, and Fit of an Upland Hunting Boot. If at all possible, head to your favorite sporting goods store and try on the boot. You do not want to be treading through harsh conditions and then find out the boots do not fit.
Boots should be snug around your ankles and instep. You should also be able to move your toes a good bit inside the boot. If you can not, the boots are too tight. Another noticeable feature, make sure the top of the boot and top lace does not cut off circulation. If at all possible, walk around in the boot and find an incline to see how your boots react.
•Insulation is possibly one of the most overlooked aspects of a Hunting Boot. Quality manufacturers give hunters wide-ranging choices. Whether or not it is Thinsulate or Shearling insulation, use the following as a guide.
200 grams of insulation is excellent for mild evenings or morning hunts, with high hunter activity. Colder days and hunters with mild activity, like sitting in a tree stand all day, should consider only about 400 grams of insulation. If you are hunting on cold days in 30 to 40-degree weather, find a boot with 800 grams of insulation. 1200 grams of insulation or higher is for icy weather conditions. These are typically winter months with no activity and below-freezing temperatures.

Upland Hunting Boots FAQ

Are hunting boots, snake-proof?

One consideration experience hunters make sure to evaluate when choosing their boots, snake proofing. Plenty of boot builders say their product is snake-proof, but only a few are genuinely impervious to these bites. When evaluating a snake boot, look for tall upper full-grain leather boots.

Boots need to have a tight fit and either a very good lace up front with an attached tongue, or sturdy zippered closure. A functional removable footbed should be another feature to look for after a tough day. Distinct features on the best boots are hardened rubber soles with documented durability.

Can you wash hunting boots?

Hunting boots are generally easy to clean. If there is a great deal of caked mud on the boot, then simply hose them off and let them air dry. Quality boot manufacturers build durability into their products. If hunting and trekking through muddy conditions is a way of life, look for boot builders who are proud to display the strength of its merchandise.

Once in a while, your boots need a good soap cleaning. Use warm and clear water with a brush and wash the dirt from the boot. Dig deep into the seams, making positive the dirt and debris have been cleaned out. Let the boots dry at room temperature and never put them in front of a heat source.
Leather treatment is an excellent idea to keep full-grain hunting boots waterproofed and durable. A good oil paste works well. If you are trekking through water, use a silicone water repellent to help the waterproofing of the boots.

How to break in hunting boots?

Boot builders generally tell their consumers what the procedures are for breaking in their products. The last thing they want are customers coming home with blisters on their feet. Customers should take breaking in their boots seriously. If the fit and feel of your new boots are right, then go slow with the break-in.
With a few months of lead time before your first hunt, wear the boots daily at least for a few hours. If you can stand to wear them all day without causing significant damage to your feet, that is the way to go. Over time, leather will start to conform to your feet. If needed, put some Moleskin fabric on the tender areas of your feet and keep wearing the boots.

After a few days, your feet and boots will start to conform to each other. The more you wear your boots, the more comfortable they become. It is a beautiful thing!

Conclusion: What is the Best Upland Hunting Boot?

A pair of quality hunting boots like one of the reviewed above, broken in properly are a joy to wear on extended hunts. Experienced hunters do not underestimate the need for taking care of their feet. Because each hunter has had some type of bad experience with blisters or other extensive foot problems.
Taking proper care of your feet will allow you to hunt harder and go farther than you have ever gone before. Be vigilant about your feet when out on a hunt. Small problems can become large one in a hurry.
You can not go wrong with any of the reviewed products above. I would recommend the Sharptail by Danner as my pick. Primarily because of the overall quality the boot provides and the exceptional long term superiority of the company.

Upland boots make an excellent choice for most any type of work or play. More than anything, it is vital to make sure the fit is as close to perfect as you can get. Your favorite sports store can be a tremendous advantage. 

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