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Proper foot wear for back country

DannyAttacksTheMountain

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Hey all,

Just curious if anyone can recommend a good boot for those long tracks out to the hunting spots in the mountains?

The ol rubber boots just are not the best for the terrain.

Looking for something good for mountainous terrain as well as a good cold weather boot.

Thanks all,

DATM


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elk yinzer

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One that fits. I like light hikers as opposed to the stiffer soled mountaineering boots. Lowa Renegades are my go-to for 90% of the scouting and hunting I do. Salomon and Vasque are a couple other brands I would consider. Salomon Quests are a great looking boot, highly regarded, for a decent price I've been meaning to try. Cheap boots have no place in a serious mountain hunters gear, save money elsewhere. I also put Superfeet insoles in all of mine, I have a "low volume" foot and they help with fit.

I prefer to wear uninsulated boots and put on boot blankets when I get on the stand. That works for me in temps down to a little below freezing for extended sits. Colder than that I have to go to a pair of insulated boots, of which I currently have an under armour pair I don't care for, but don't use enough to want to upgrade.
 

Nutterbuster

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I live in an area where a hill is defined as a place that doesn't hold water, so I wear rubber boots. But I've done some backpacking in North Alabama hill country and have had good luck with merrel's trail boots. Not sure how cold cold weather is for you, but I've never been impressed with the heavy insulated boots for serious hikes. I'd rather have lighter boots for the hike in and a boot blanket or chem packs once I sit a while and get chilly.
 

elk yinzer

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Also look at gaiters to pair with a good pair of goretex hikers. Great for keeping your feet dry in wet vegetation. Very underappreciated piece of gear by Eastern hunters. I think to the extent that scent trail concerns exist versus a rubber boot, they help mitigate that to a degree as well.
 

Vtbow

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I wear lacrosse "burly" rubber boots with their air grip. Non insulated. The non air griip slip horribly, but these are great. I walk a ton in the mountains--rocky, muddy, swampy, logging roads, you name it. This has been the only thing that will do it all--with snow and ice thrown into the mix too.
 

flinginairos

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In the hills of WV rubber boots just suck. I do use them but in all the rocks I prefer a stiff sole hiking boot and gaiters. The main thing with rubber boots is the terrible heel slip you get with them. Maybe I just haven’t tried the right pair yet but none have fit snug enough to walk any distance with them.


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Vtbow

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In the hills of WV rubber boots just suck. I do use them but in all the rocks I prefer a stiff sole hiking boot and gaiters. The main thing with rubber boots is the terrible heel slip you get with them. Maybe I just haven’t tried the right pair yet but none have fit snug enough to walk any distance with them.


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huh...I walk like 12+ miles a day in them hunting during rifle season. Like I said, mixed terrain, lots of vertical feet. I find the biggest thing is actually a really high quality sock that wicks, but doesnt pack out too fast(pile flattening) thats when I get slippage. Boots are pretty individual though...foot shape, arch height, width, pronate, supenate, etc. etc. To each their own, and unfortunately sometimes it take years of trial and error to really find the right ones...
 

Nutterbuster

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Boots are extremely individual. 12 miles a day is pretty extreme. I think the most I've ever covered in a hunting situation is half that. Hiking I've done more than 12, but wouldn't want to do it in my mucks, or any rubber boots for that matter.

I will say that I've used some Irish Setter boots that fit very well in the heel, and were a cut above with regards to slippage.

Socks are also absolutely every bit as important as the actual boot. No sense dropping muchos pesos on boots and then balking at $20 a pair socks.

I don't do that much walking deer hunting. 2 miles tops to get to a spot usually. Not uncommon for me to utilize the TactiCoon-Ass Mocassin (Crocs). Scouting, squirrel, and hog hunting is usually where I wear out the boot leather.
 

Vtbow

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Boots are extremely individual. 12 miles a day is pretty extreme. I think the most I've ever covered in a hunting situation is half that. Hiking I've done more than 12, but wouldn't want to do it in my mucks, or any rubber boots for that matter.

I will say that I've used some Irish Setter boots that fit very well in the heel, and were a cut above with regards to slippage.

Socks are also absolutely every bit as important as the actual boot. No sense dropping muchos pesos on boots and then balking at $20 a pair socks.

I don't do that much walking deer hunting. 2 miles tops to get to a spot usually. Not uncommon for me to utilize the TactiCoon-Ass Mocassin (Crocs). Scouting, squirrel, and hog hunting is usually where I wear out the boot leather.
Yeah, we walk a lot during rifle. Literally start on opposite sides of the mountain as the others we hunt with, usually dont see each other unless we need to help drag--I"ve had it take 2 hours to get my father to help him drag a deer out. I've passed on bears while deer hunting and they were in season just cause I didnt want to spend the next 10 hours dragging... In pre dark, out post dark.

Also sometimes overlooked, a good set of insoles can make a huge difference as well(I'm not talking gel insoles here). Get a set of green or blue superfeet depending on how you walk and what you are looking for stability wise and it will make a set of footwear feel like a totally different boot. Again hard to put a pair of $38 insoles in a $200 boot, but...pull out the flimsy piece of crap closed cell foam they put in there and youll see why its important...
 

flinginairos

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huh...I walk like 12+ miles a day in them hunting during rifle season. Like I said, mixed terrain, lots of vertical feet. I find the biggest thing is actually a really high quality sock that wicks, but doesnt pack out too fast(pile flattening) thats when I get slippage. Boots are pretty individual though...foot shape, arch height, width, pronate, supenate, etc. etc. To each their own, and unfortunately sometimes it take years of trial and error to really find the right ones...
Yep, definitely comes down to each individual. I can certainly walk good distance in rubber boots, done it many times, but for that type of stuff I just prefer a good solid hiking boot. I don’t encounter much water here either so rubber boots are overkill for the small streams I cross. I do have them for when I hunt certain spots tho. I have a small fortune wrapped up in boots that’s for sure lol.


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PAhunter90

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I invested in Kenetrek Mountain extremes and are amazed in the shear comfort and support these boots give. I can hike way faster and further in these than muck boots. I still use my mucks and love them but not for long hikes. Its much easier in my opinion to climb sticks and stepps in hiking boots than rubber boots as well
 

Nutterbuster

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I'd stay clear of any boot with Gore-tex. Feet sweat and you need a boot that will breathe. Gore-tex does not breathe. To keep your feet healthy get a good leather boot without any waterproof membrane.
I'll raise you one and say you can have breathable or you can have waterproof, no matter what the marketing department tells you. I've owned lots of waterproof gear from different manufacturers, and none of it breathed well.
 

Wirrex

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I have been wearing a pair of Solomon’s for 2 years now. They are great for puting on the miles.

Positives: Zero break in, light as air, super tough, goretex

Negatives: Stiff sole

I never roll my ankles and just wish I had greater ankle mobility and softer sole so they were more quiet.

I have also ran a pair of muck woody elites about as hard as one can and felt they were great whitetail boots. I wouldn’t wear them on a western hunt or below 25 degrees.
 

DannyAttacksTheMountain

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I'll raise you one and say you can have breathable or you can have waterproof, no matter what the marketing department tells you. I've owned lots of waterproof gear from different manufacturers, and none of it breathed well.
Great point! I’d would also assume(I’m no footwear expert) that if they don’t breath then they get wet and cold in the winter after a long hike of sweating feet


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Nutterbuster

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Great point! I’d would also assume(I’m no footwear expert) that if they don’t breath then they get wet and cold in the winter after a long hike of sweating feet


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Yep. My experience is that if you do a lot of walking, your feet will sweat. End of discussion.

If your feet sweat, they will get chilly when you quit moving. I wear uninsulated boots even when it dips into the teens. I use warmers, and will change into dry socks if it's bad. I've also been known to use spray on deodorant on my feet. Trick I learned from a buddy that worked in a grocery freezer all day. You wanna talk cold, try below 0 for 40 hours a week.
 

DannyAttacksTheMountain

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Yep. My experience is that if you do a lot of walking, your feet will sweat. End of discussion.

If your feet sweat, they will get chilly when you quit moving. I wear uninsulated boots even when it dips into the teens. I use warmers, and will change into dry socks if it's bad. I've also been known to use spray on deodorant on my feet. Trick I learned from a buddy that worked in a grocery freezer all day. You wanna talk cold, try below 0 for 40 hours a week.
This is what has screwed me in the late season. I’ve tried all kinds of sock combos with my 1200 gr insulate rubber boots and no luck. Toes froze


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ricky racer

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I'll raise you one and say you can have breathable or you can have waterproof, no matter what the marketing department tells you. I've owned lots of waterproof gear from different manufacturers, and none of it breathed well.
I agree whole heartedly. There is no such thing as waterproof and breathable. It only exists in the marketing department.
 
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