Mountain hunting may not be something that you get to do more than a few times in your life owing to the remote locations and rugged terrain, it isn’t generally a weekend hobby.
However, those with a taste for the outdoor lifestyle and a sense of adventure may love to experience this enthralling activity as often as possible.
But as with anything, you must have the correct footwear. If you don’t, you may end up with sore feet at best and injuries at worst.
If you are new to the concept of wearing hiking boots for mountain hunting then you may be intimidated by all of the boot-based jargon that is so often spread around the internet. But we wanted to make it simple for you.
In this guide, we will be looking at the top three editor’s picks for hiking boots for mountain hunting as well as giving you the rundown on everything you will need to know to find the most excellent pair for you.
Why Do I Need Hiking Boots For Mountain Hunting?
If you’re a good huntsman, you will likely make a kill while up in the mountains. But let’s say you take down a huge deer and have to bone the animal and carry 100lbs or more of meat down the rough, uneven terrain of the mountainside – are we creating an image here?
Imagine doing this in a pair of sneakers, even a layman would be able to tell you that this would be near impossible. The shoes simply would not have enough tread in them to offer you the traction and support you would need to carry a heavy load down a steep incline.
This is one of the first reasons that choosing an exceptional pair of hiking boots is imperative before heading out into the mountains to hunt.
But there is so much more to this. There is a very high chance that you will be out for long periods and much of this will be spent on your feet. When you are not wearing the correct footwear, an incredible amount of stress is put onto your feet and this can result in painful foot conditions developing which can be difficult to treat if they are left ignored.
In addition to this, you cannot guarantee the weather, so when you are out on a mountain hunting adventure, you will need a diverse pair of hiking boots that can stand up to any extreme. Come rain, shine, and even ice, the best hiking boots for mountain hunting will be able to adapt to the weather. Not only will this mean that your feet are more comfortable, but they will be healthier too.
The Best Hiking Boots For Mountain Hunting – Editors Top Picks
There is an astonishing number of hiking boots on the market and as such, it doesn’t take much to find yourself in a sea of products wondering which way to turn.
But there is no need to spend hours trawling the internet to find the right hiking boots, especially when this time could be better used preparing for your trip.
We have taken much of the hard work out of the job and have sourced, what we genuinely believe to be the best hiking boots for mountain hunting. Each pair offers comfort, stability, durability, and support. No matter what your hunting adventure brings, these boots will have you covered.
1. Scarpa Men’s Zodiac Plus
When you are looking for boots that will serve you well in the mountains, one of the first things you think of is not typically fashion. The most important consideration is how well the boots protect the feet and these are adept in this area and we will discuss this.
However, there is no denying that these are some of the most incredible looking pairs of hiking boots available and we cannot fail to mention this striking design. Anyone who wants to keep looking their best even when on an exciting adventure would do well to choose these boots for their pleasing aesthetics.
But more than this, the boots offer an unparalleled amount of support and comfort for the feet that is essential when spending long periods walking and standing.
Primarily, you will notice that the boots are crafted from 100% suede. This is a soft material that will not require breaking in, unlike leather boots. It is ideal for anyone who puts comfort at the peak of importance when choosing a shoe.
The boots boast Sock Fit DV construction which means that they will fit snugly to the feet without being constricting. This is another important quality related to how the shoes feel once they are on.
They feature a tough rubber sole with excellent traction which is critical when moving around sloped terrain, particularly on the descent. This rubber sole also provides you with an excellent support base. Many people think that the mid and insoles are the most important in terms of support but the outsole plays a crucial role.
Furthermore, these feature a higher shaft at 6 inches which gives incredible support around the ankle. When moving down the mountain, you can feel confident that you won’t end up rolling the ankle.
If you are planning to head out in cold or wet weather, then you can feel confident that these hiking boots will keep your feet warm and dry. This is thanks to the GoreTex lining which is designed to keep water out, making these boots fully waterproof. Conversely, in warmer weather, this lining will also help to keep your feet cool since it is highly breathable.
2. Salomon Men’s Quest 4D
There is not a lot that we can say negatively about these boots, everything about them speaks quality and performance. But what else would you expect from a company that has been making hiking boots since 1947?
The boots come in a choice of three colors but if we are totally honest, we think black looks the most stylish. What’s more, you can quickly change the appearance with the addition of some colorful laces, if you want to stand out a little more.
Far from just being a nice-looking pair of boots, the Quest hiking boots are excellent for tackling rugged and uneven ground. This is because they feature a thick rubber sole that promises maximum traction. As we mentioned earlier, making a descent with heavy equipment and a potential kill can be incredibly dangerous without the right footwear. The fact that these were designed to grip the ground effectively, gives you a ton of confidence.
That being said, even once you have finished mountain hunting, these would give you just as good grip when walking the dog.
The boots have a unique 4D chassis that has been manufactured with the most superior support in mind. As you walk, the boots will move with your foot and guide it, making sure that each step is correct and will not cause foot pain; wearing these boots on demanding hikes will drastically reduce foot fatigue.
Furthermore, they boast exceptional ankle support which is imperative when navigating rocky ground. They also have elasticated laces making them easy to get on and off.
You might think, and could be forgiven for doing so, that all of this support and comfort comes at a price. Many people would believe that this would be in the form of a much heavier boot, but the opposite is, in fact true. The boots are extremely lightweight which will further reduce the strain you feel with each step.
One of the first things that will jump out at you when you look at these boots is the bright shock of red laces. Red laces are a staple of traditional hiking boots, so if you prefer a more conventional design, this is the way forward.
Aside from this, the boots come in a choice of three colors making them versatile enough to suit all personalities and tastes. But they don’t stop impressing on the face of it.
These boots are made with a mix of Condura, leather, and suede giving you the best of both worlds in terms of comfort and durability. This unique blend of materials enables the manufacturer to create a pair of hiking boots that are soft yet amazingly tough, which is something you are going to need when out on a mountainous trail.
They provide you with great support, especially around the ankles and this is down to the 5.75-inch shaft which cradles and surrounds the joint, keeping it from moving about while you are walking.
This support is further enhanced by the solid rubber sole which also provides you with excellent traction.
These boots are exceptionally comfortable. This is achieved by blending two types of material in the midsole. This allows for the most effective shock absorbency as well as a wonderful cushion for the feet. When you are on your feet for long hours, it is vital that you look at the quality of the midsole and these boots do not disappoint.
The Fugitive boots are perfect for use in any weather thanks to the GoreTex lining which will keep your feet dry at all times without compromising on the boots’ ability to breathe. The upper is also water-resistant for that extra layer of protection which is essential when in the unpredictable surroundings of the mountains.
What To Look For In Hiking Boots For Mountain Hunting
Hiking boots all come with a lot of standard features, but there are some that are more suitable for certain activities than others. The time of year you will be wearing the boots, the type of terrain you will be walking on and the materials that the boots are made from will all have a bearing on their suitability.
For this reason, it is no good buying the first pair of hiking boots that you see, and looking at the features closely can give you a good idea of how well they will work for mountain hunting.
Before you part with any of your hard-earned cash, you should explore each potential pair of boots in depth. While our top picks are all excellent for mountain hiking, you may have unique needs that make some boots more suitable than others.
Type Of Hiking Boot
When you think about hiking boots, you might think that all hiking boots are the same, but there are sub-categories that can make things even more confusing. But knowing the difference between the types of boots can make it much easier to choose.
How and where you are planning to hike will depend on which type of boots you will need. For the most part, mountain hunting is a much more demanding activity, so you will certainly need something durable, but let’s take a look at the different types.
Hiking shoes are perhaps more like sneakers in their design, as they are more like a shoe than a boot, hence their name.
These are very lightweight and low cut making them perfect for day hikes and less demanding terrain.
Experienced hikers may like to use these for long-distance walks but do this with caution as some may not have the durability you might expect.
Day Hiking Boots
As their name may suggest, these boots are designed for hikes that take place over the course of just one day. They are generally much more lightweight than other types of boots like the backpacking boot and as such, can be far less durable.
They are not designed for carrying heavy loads and for this reason, we would advise against them for such things as mountain hunting. There are many excellent pairs of day hiking boots that serve their purpose well but when it comes to more demanding hikes, they might not give you everything you need.
Now, if you want something that is incredibly durable, offers a great amount of support, and will remain comfortable no matter how long you are on your feet then a backpacking boot is the way forward. We would always recommend these for the challenging activity of mountain hunting.
They are made for heavy loads and for longer trips that cover several days. You will always feel confident that you are getting the most effective support when using backpacking boots.
The materials from which the boots are made play an important role in the overall function of the shoe. You must find something that gives a good amount of durability since you will need this when moving around sloped or uneven ground; the boots will indeed be put through their paces.
In the main, hiking boots will be made from leather, or will at least have some leather on them. This material is both long-lasting and comfortable, once you have broken the boots in. It is super-important never to wear boots out of the box on a mountain hunting expedition as you will likely notice that they quickly become uncomfortable or even painful.
You should also consider that the material of the boots will also contribute to their weight and may affect how well they resist water. If you follow a vegan lifestyle, you will also notice that there are plenty of hiking boots that are made from other materials. These synthetic materials also tend to be a lot more lightweight and are much easier to break in. What’s more, they are typically a lot less expensive than other materials so you are benefitting in more ways than one.
If you come across a hiking boot that does not have a rubber sole, it is advisable to run as far away from the product as possible. Rubber is most commonly used because of its durability and traction.
The outsoles are the primary component of the boots that will determine how well they grip the ground. One of the things that you should be looking for is information on the lug depth. The lug or the grooves on the bottoms of the sole will determine how grippy they are. When you are looking for a boot that will work well on mountainous terrain, you will need to have a generous lug depth.
In addition to this, you will need to find hiking boots that have a good heel brake. This part of the shoe is at the back and is definable from the rest of the boot sole. Having a sturdy and generous heel brake will prevent you from slipping as you make your way back down the mountain.
It is always a good idea to try on your hiking boots before you buy them as badly fitting boots open you up to a world of discomfort and even pain.
A good pair of hiking boots will not be tight anywhere but at the same time should not feel loose; in short, they need to fit snugly with a good amount of space to wiggle the toes. The best way to find this perfect fit is to know your size, but things get even more complicated when you learn that a lot of people suggest buying hiking boots in a size up to your normal one.
However, we would recommend that the best way to find a hiking boot that fits is to go and have your feet measured. There can be no room for error if you know exactly what you need.
When you go for a boot fitting, it is a clever idea to go towards the end of the day, this is because the feet naturally swell throughout the day so when you first get up in the morning, this may not be your true size.
The midsoles are important for comfort and in the main, there are two types of midsoles. Depending on whether you put comfort over durability or vice-versa will depend on the type you go for.
- EVA midsoles are extremely cushioned and soft, they are a great choice for anyone who has struggled to find a comfortable boot in the past and is looking for something that will keep them feeling good all day. However, these tend to not last as long so you may find that you need to replace the boot more frequently. You will normally find this type of midsole in a lighter shoe.
- PU midsoles are a lot firmer but will also last for much longer. For this reason, a lot of backpacking and mountaineering boots will feature this design.
Having boots that support the feet is one of the most critical factors in choosing your hiking boots for mountain hunting. The last thing you want is for the feet to be under unnecessary stress which could lead to painful conditions.
Many hiking boots will be fitted with plates that sit between the midsole and the outsole. These are crucial for things like mountain hunting as they will stop your feet from being injured if you step on rocks or hard ground.
Furthermore, you may wish to look for a hiking boot that is fitted with a shank. Not all hiking boots have a shank but if they do, you will notice a great difference as these are designed to help with load-bearing.
The height of the boot will determine how well it supports the ankle. When you are making a steep descent, there is a very real chance of slipping and rolling the ankles. Furthermore, some people suffer from weak joints and need additional support in this area. The shaft height will tell you how far up the ankle the boots will come.
Mountain hunting can be a great adventure and one of the most exciting activities you do in your life. However, it can be made much less exciting if your feet aren’t well looked after. The best way to do this is to wear the correct footwear, in short, a pair of suitable hiking boots.
There are many excellent pairs on the market that have all the features you would expect but our editor’s picks demonstrate the cream of the crop when it comes to hiking boots for mountain hunting.