27 replies [Last post]
Joined: 03/13/2010
Posts: 329
Hunting Boots in the West

My Vasque boots I had for the last 6 years have finally come to an end.  While out Archery Elk hunting this weekend both soles have separated from the actual boot.  The strange part is both boots had the same sypmtoms. It almost seems the glue has failed or something. I am not sure if they have a warranty or not.

My question is: What are the best boots for hunting in Western states.  I am looking for something that can handle long hikes, Rugged mountain terrain and still keep feet warm and dry.  I don't plan on sitting much so nothing bulky.

I have been reading about the Lowa Tibets and like the Danner Highcountries.  The Tibets are pretty pricey, what makes then so good?  I am looking for feedback and suggestions.


hunter25's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Colorado western slope
Joined: 11/13/2009
Posts: 3040
The only boot brands I have

The only boot brands I have experience with are Rocky and Danner. I had problems with a new pair of Rockies many years ago and they didn't really care so I never bought another pair. The Danner's have always been  great with no problems whatsoever and I know many others that will buy nothing else.

My current pair are Danner Kestrels uninsulated, for me as long as I'm moving once in awhile I don't need an insulated boot till the temps get down around 10 degrees.

exbiologist's picture
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2397
I wish I knew

I run through boots like crazy.  Need a new pair most years, and every pair I've ever owned had a similar failure with the soles detaching.

I hate pac boots as they tend to have crappy traction and ankle support.

My preference in an all season boot is about a 12 inch high 600 gram Thinsulate boot with some kind of toe reinforcements instead of a pure leather boot.  I've hunted sub zero late season elk and sat in goose pits with boots like that and find them sufficiently warm for both sitting and serious hiking, even in the summer.  Could probably make an argument for two or three pairs of boots though, one uninsulated for early stuff, a medium insulated like I mentioned and a more heavily insulated, bulky boot for operations where you aren't moving much.

Anyway, did you get into any elk?

Critter's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 4433
What I have been reading and

What I have been reading and hearing the Cabela's line of boots made by Mendi are the best out there.  They are also spendy but their waranty is one of the best out there.  I have also heard that Danners have been going down hill with their quality. 

I have to get myself a new pair for a hunt next spring and I am looking at the Cablea's just on what I have heard. 


HeavyC's picture
Location: Greeley, CO
Joined: 07/19/2008
Posts: 635
Best overall...

Sware by Danner myself. Mid range prices, and upper range quality!

I believe I have 6 pair, that I have purchased over the last 3-4 years, and all are breaking in just fine and with zero issues. So along with my three older pair (one pair is 23 years old! Ft Lewis pair!) ...I have had zero issues with any of them! The pair I wear the most is nearing 8 or 9 years, and are by far, my favorite pair of boots, I have ever owned.



Joined: 03/13/2010
Posts: 329
I managed to get out on a

I managed to get out on a Solo hunt Saturday morning.  I camped out Friday night and it poured rain all night.  I was in the field by 6:30am still huinting.  I had a Mulie doe walk past me at 40 yards within the first 10 minutes of the hunt.  She never saw me or just never payed attention to me.  I then had a stare down with a Giant cow moose.  After 5-10 minutes of checking her out I decided to move on and then spotted her baby.  After another half hour of still hunting I had something blow at me 3 times or perhaps 3 different deer.  I am assuming they were mulies.  I never saw them. I had to pull the binos up to make sure it wasnt a cow elk. Overall it was good to see the wildlife but no elk.

Things I learned on this hunt:

1: check and recheck all your gear before you leave home.  I forgot my compass.  Had to stop and buy a new one in the middle of no where. 

2: Rage expandable broadheads do not stay in the quiver very good.

3: check and recheck gear before actually going in the field.  I forgot my range finder at truck.


WesternHunter's picture
Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2374

I've worn quit a few pairs over the years - Vasque, Carolina, Whites, Mindel, Merrell, Matterhorn, Danner, and so on. I've always liked an 8 inch to 10 inch high leather boots for wilderness wear regardless of type, that height works well for keeping crud out. I also look for a good agressive vibram sole and a good ridigid midsole shank.  I look for agility and good flexibility in the vamp of the boot, but I want a tough supportive outsole and midsole.  Full grain leather.  I also always bring along a taller pair of LaCrosse Grange rubber pull-on boots or a pair of hip waders, just in case the weather or other conditions makes the ground too soggy where I'm hunting.  Had to use them a handful of times and think they come in extreamly handy to have in the truck.

Anymore I don't buy into the whole gore-tex gimick thing in footwear.  I just don't think gore-tex in footwear is worth it, and I've found that it doesn't last very long inside footwear.  I've found that as long as a boot is constructed with quality thick full grain leather, quality materials and stichings, and as long as you keep the leather dressed with a good bees wax formula preservative I've never had an issue with leakage or wet feet due to leakage, and that's after extended wear in very wet conditions.  Plus I think non gore-tex lined boots or any boot that doesn't have a waterproof membrane actually breathes much better and dries easier from condensation compared to those that do have the membrane. Just don't wear cotton socks.  Merino wool socks or other polyprop type socks are best. Not telling anyone what to buy or what not to buy, that soley up to you. Just saying what I've used.

Location: SW Mtns. NM
Joined: 05/04/2008
Posts: 227
My everyday workboot for

My everyday workboot for 16years as a Park Ranger where Danners,Cascades w/goretex.Still have two pairs,one 12 years old,6 sets of soles.For hunting the last 10 years it's been Meindel Ibex from Cabellas also with goretex. Cold weather and snow it's  Kenetrek Grizzly,great soles and support.I swear by the goretex and Merino wool socks to keep my feet warm and dry!

Ca_Vermonster's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: San Diego, CA
Joined: 07/27/2007
Posts: 5813
I can get 2 or 3 pair of

I can get 2 or 3 pair of Danners each year for free, so I am partial to them.... Wink



buckykm1's picture
Location: Vicksburg, Mi
Joined: 11/24/2010
Posts: 366

I like the Cabela's alaskan guide series, they hold up well for me.


Location: north idaho
Joined: 06/11/2004
Posts: 610
lowa makes a good boot.  they

lowa makes a good boot.  they are more on the upper end of pricing.  but i have  never gotten a blister in my lowa sheep hunters.  That to me is worth the money right there.  I still carry moleskin but haven't used any in 4 season of hard hunting.  even when both socks and boots are soaked no blisters. 



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