As the leaves begin to change and the temperatures start to drop, dedicated hunters know it’s time to prepare for the coming winter hunting season. When frigid conditions arrive, having the right gear can make all the difference between a successful hunt and being forced back to the warmth of the cabin. Arguably one of the most critical pieces of cold weather hunting equipment is a solid pair of boots. The right boots keep your feet warm and dry even in freezing temperatures and deep snow. For many experienced hunters, that means picking up a pair of Irish Setter boots before heading into the field.
Why Irish Setter Boots Are Ideal for Cold Weather Hunting
Irish Setter has been handcrafting hunting boots since the 1950s and their designs are trusted by hunters across North America. Their boots stand out for their durability, traction, and most importantly, their exemplary insulation. For anyone planning to hunt through the winter, Irish Setter’s specialized cold weather hunting boots offer key advantages.
Keeps Feet Warm and Dry
Irish Setter uses a combination of proven designs and innovative materials to keep your feet warm and comfortable all day long in frigid conditions. Their boots utilize a cushy UltraDry waterproofing system along with moisture-wicking linings. This keeps your feet dry while also preventing sweat buildup. Cold air is locked out thanks to a gusseted tongue and padded collar. The uppers are made of full-grain waterproof leather and rugged nylon. Irish Setter’s proprietary RPM composite outsoles provide temperature stability so your feet stay warm.
However, the true key to their unmatched insulation are the ThinsulateTM Ultra insulation and 3MTM ThinsulateTM Ultra insulation. This revolutionary insulating material traps air molecules between you and the cold. The 600 gram insulation provides enough thickness to keep your feet toasty without inhibiting mobility. Irish Setter hunting boots with 600 grams of Thinsulate Ultra are rated for temperatures down to -40°F when inactive and -25°F when active. For even more insulation, boots like the 882 Irish Setters have 1,000 grams of Thinsulate Ultra insulation for extreme conditions.
Traction for Slick Surfaces
Walking over snow, fallen leaves, mud, and other wet, slick surfaces is inevitable during winter hunts. Irish Setter boots use rugged designs and strategically placed lugs to keep you steady on uneven terrain. The RPM composite outsoles deliver superb traction thanks to their multi-directional lugs. These give you bite no matter if you’re moving forward, backward, or laterally. Irish Setter’s ScentBan kills odor-causing bacteria to eliminate odors over time while abrasion-resistant guard plates provide protection. Their boots also utilize tough, durable uppers to prevent damage.Traction and stability is further enhanced by Irish Setter’s exclusive ArmaTec coating. This wrap-around protective covering shields the lower shell and increases traction on slick surfaces.
Support and Comfort for All-Day Wear
Hunting in frigid winter conditions often requires being on your feet all day long. Irish Setter boots provide ample support and comfort so your feet feel great even after miles of trekking. Their boots utilize memory foam footbeds that mold to your feet and provide cushioning as you walk. This is paired with stabilization components to reduce fatigue. The fit can be customized thanks to Irish Setter’s exclusive Dual Density EVA and polyurethane footbed. This allows you to soften or add firmness until you find your perfect fit. Irish Setter’s boots also avoid uncomfortable pressure points thanks to a roomy fit and padded collar. For all day comfort, choose one of their boots with a taller ankle height for maximum support.
Ideal Traction and Insulation Combination
By combining innovative insulation materials like 3M Thinsulate Ultra with temperature stabilizers and moisture wicking linings, Irish Setter produces ideal cold weather hunting boots. Even when standing inactive in frigid conditions, the 600 gram and 1,000 gram Thinsulate Ultra options keep your feet warm and dry. Irish Setter also balances this insulation with proper ventilation so your feet don’t overheat. Their boots are ready for any conditions thanks to rugged traction systems that provide stability on uneven terrain. Irish Setter has perfected the tricky balance between insulation and traction.
Before heading out on those frigid, early morning hunts, be sure to equip yourself with the proper footwear. Irish Setter’s specialized hunting boots offer the ideal blend of insulation, traction, and comfort. Their innovative designs can make hunting in freezing temperatures not just bearable, but enjoyable. Stay focused on the hunt rather than battling the cold by picking up Irish Setter hunting boots this winter.
When gearing up for those frigid winter hunts, a trusty pair of boots can make all the difference. Irish Setter has long been a go-to brand for serious hunters and offers multiple models optimized for warmth, traction, and comfort. Two of their top cold weather hunting boots are the Elk Tracker and Huntmaster designs. Both utilize innovative technology and materials to keep your feet toasty and provide stability on uneven terrain. But with similar features, how do you decide between the Irish Setter Elk Tracker vs Huntmaster boots?
Comparing the Irish Setter Elk Tracker and Huntmaster Boots
These two Irish Setter models share a focus on providing insulation and traction for winter hunting. However, there are some key differences hunters should consider when choosing between the Elk Tracker and Huntmaster.
Both boots utilize a combination of waterproof leather and textile uppers along with seam-sealing to keep your feet dry. The Elk Tracker features a Gore-Tex waterproof lining while the Huntmaster relies on Irish Setter’s own UltraDry lining. For keeping out snow and rain, both boots perform well thanks to gusseted tongues and padded collars.
When it comes to insulation, the Huntmaster wins out. It contains 1,000 grams of 3M Thinsulate Ultra insulation, making it Irish Setter’s most insulated design. This makes it ideal for bitter cold well below zero. Meanwhile, the Elk Tracker has 600 grams of Thinsulate Ultra, still enough for most winter conditions but not extreme cold.
Traction and Stability
Ice, mud, slippery leaves, and snow can make winter terrain unpredictable. Both the Elk Tracker and Huntmaster utilize Irish Setter’s RPM composite outsoles. This multi-directional lug system bites into the ground for traction in all directions. A key difference is the Elk Tracker covering features Irish Setter’s exclusive ArmaTec coating to further improve slick surface traction.
For stability, the wider and taller Huntmaster has the advantage. It provides more coverage higher up the ankle. Both boots integrate Irish Setter’s specialized supportive sole components to reduce fatigue. However, the Huntmaster’s taller design offers slightly better stability for all-day wear.
Comfort and Customization
After miles of hiking over rough terrain, comfort is critical. Both boots use memory foam footbeds that mold to your feet. They also avoid pressure points thanks to their roomy fit. The Huntmaster features a memory foam collar lining for added cushioning. An advantage of the Elk Tracker is the Boa lacing system that lets you dial in the perfect snug fit.
A key feature of both boots is Irish Setter’s customized Sole insole system. This lets you independently add or remove firmness from different parts of the footbed to customize fit. However, the Elk Tracker insole offers more sculptability for a truly personalized level of comfort.
When trekking long distances, excess weight can quickly lead to fatigue. Here the Elk Tracker has a noticeable advantage. It weighs in at just 2 pounds per boot compared to the Huntmaster’s 3 pounds per boot. That pound less adds up and makes a big difference over the course of a full day hunt.
With more insulation and a taller shaft height, the Irish Setter Huntmaster does come at a higher retail price point. Expect to invest around $280 for the Huntmaster versus $240 for the Elk Tracker. However, during sales you can sometimes find the Huntmaster for under $200 making it a stellar deal.
The lightweight design and ArmaTec coating of the Elk Tracker make it ideal for hunters covering longer distances in colder but not extreme temperatures. It’s perfect for upland bird hunting where agility is key. Meanwhile, the ultra warm Huntmaster with its taller shaft excels at keeping you insulated during stationary stand hunting in bitter conditions below zero.
So which of these stellar Irish Setter boots is right for you? For staying light on your feet, choose the Elk Tracker. When you need maximum insulation, go with the Huntmaster. Either way, you can’t go wrong giving your feet the winter protection they deserve from Irish Setter.
Stay warm and hunt strong this winter with Irish Setter boots! Their innovative designs offer the peak performance elements serious hunters demand. Before heading into those freezing winter landscapes, equip yourself with Irish Setter’s hunting-optimized footwear. Their Elk Tracker and Huntmaster models provide ideal traction, insulation, and comfort to help you bag your harvest no matter the conditions.
When icy winds blow and snow starts falling, dedicated hunters know it’s time to prepare for frigid weather hunts. Having the proper gear for warmth and traction is crucial when the temperatures plummet. Arguably the most important piece of equipment is a solid pair of insulated hunting boots. For many experienced hunters venturing out into extreme cold, the Irish Setter 882 boot is the top choice.
Key Features of the Irish Setter 882 Hunting Boots
With innovative designs field-tested by avid hunters, Irish Setter footwear is trusted for its durability, traction, and warmth. The Irish Setter 882 stands out as their warmest and most rugged hunting boot ready for the harshest conditions. Here are some of its key features that make it ideal for winter.
Ultra Insulation System
What truly sets the Irish Setter 882 apart is the insulation. It contains an incredible 1,000 grams of 3MTM ThinsulateTM Ultra insulation throughout the boot and collar. This is one of the thickest insulations used in hunting boots today. The revolutionary Thinsulate Ultra material traps air molecules for maximum warmth while staying flexible. Even when inactive in frigid temperatures, your feet stay toasty warm inside these Irish Setter boots.
Along with insulation, staying dry is critical for keeping your feet warm in winter’s cold and snow. The Irish Setter 882 hunting boots utilize a waterproof UltraDry lining. Paired with a gusseted tongue, it blocks moisture from seeping in. Sweat and humidity inside the boots is also prevented thanks to moisture-wicking fibers built into the lining. This combination keeps your feet warm, dry, and comfortable all day long.
Traction and Ankle Support
Walking for miles on uneven, icy, or snow-covered terrain can be challenging. But the Irish Setter 882 provides excellent traction and ankle stability. The multi-directional lugs on the proprietary RPM composite outsoles grip the ground when moving laterally, forward, or backward. Their wide platform and tall 17″ shaft height offer great coverage and support when dragging your feet through deep snow.
Cushioning and Comfort
After hours of trudging through the woods, your feet better be comfortable! Irish Setter built these hunting boots for all-day wear. Memory foam footbeds cushion each step and mold to your feet. The Irish Setter Sole insole system lets you customize different zones of the footbed’s firmness. Pressure points are avoided thanks to a roomy fit and padded collar lining. Even when wearing in extreme cold, a relaxing fit eliminates discomfort.
Odor and Abrasion Resistance
The Irish Setter 882 boots are ready to withstand tough hunting conditions. ScentBan technology kills odor-causing bacteria inside the boots for long term odor elimination. Tough TuffGuard leather protects the uppers from abrasions from brush and rocks. Combined with sturdy hardware and a rugged Goodyear welt construction, these boots are built to last season after season.
Even with such heavy-duty insulation and construction, each individual Irish Setter 882 boot weighs just 25 ounces. That’s incredible considering competitors with similar insulation weigh nearly double. The lightweight build enhances mobility and reduces fatigue over long distances.
The Irish Setter 882 definitely lives up to its reputation as the brand’s warmest hunting boot. The 1,000 gram Thinsulate Ultra insulation provides unmatched warmth even in freezing conditions. Traction, support, fit, and moisture protection abilities are also top notch. While all Irish Setter boots are known for quality, the 882 model truly stands out as the ideal choice for extreme cold weather hunts.
Don’t let frigid temperatures stop you from continuing your season. With Irish Setter’s hunting-optimized boots, you can stay focused, effective, and comfortable no matter the conditions. Their innovative technology and designs deliver the traction, insulation, and performance avid hunters demand. Before your next excursion, ensure you have Irish Setter 882 boots ready for those sub-zero winter hunts!
When the winter winds howl and snow piles high, dedicated hunters know it’s time to prepare for frigid weather hunts. Having the right cold weather hunting gear, especially footwear, can make or break your outing. Proper insulation is crucial for keeping your feet warm and dry even in freezing temperatures. Many top hunting boot brands like Irish Setter rely on 600 gram insulation to lock in heat. But how exactly does 600 gram insulation provide effective warmth and weather protection?
How 600 Gram Insulation Keeps Feet Warm and Dry
For hunters braving the ice and snow, 600 gram insulated boots from Irish Setter and others represent an ideal balance of warmth and mobility. The key is the innovative insulating material and how it’s integrated into the boots’ design.
ThinsulateTM Ultra Insulation Material
The majority of 600 gram insulated hunting boots utilize 3MTM ThinsulateTM Ultra insulation. This revolutionary, lightweight material excels at trapping air molecules while allowing flexibility. The strands are much finer than other insulations, with an incredible seven fibers per every square millimeter.
This creates thousands of tiny air pockets surrounded by the insulation strands. Heat radiates from your feet and is captured in these air pockets, creating a barrier from the cold outside the boots. The more air pockets, the better the insulation’s ability to contain warmth.
Insulation Weight and Density
600 grams refers to how much a square meter of the Thinsulate Ultra insulation material weighs. The lighter and finer the strands, the higher the insulating power for the weight. A higher gram weight means there are more insulation strands per square meter to trap heat.
600 gram Thinsulate Ultra balances lightweight flexibility with dense insulation density. Boots with 200 grams don’t provide enough coverage, while 1000 gram models restrict mobility. The midrange 600 gram insulation delivers ample warmth while retaining freedom of movement.
Strategic Insulation Placement
With hunting boots, insulation isn’t distributed evenly throughout. More is concentrated in vulnerable areas like the toe box and lower foot. The ankles and top of the foot feature less insulation for flexibility. This allows you to move freely while vital areas stay insulated.
The adjustable collar with 600 gram insulation seals out snow. Moisture-wicking linings and waterproof exteriors also work in conjunction with the insulation to provide warmth and dryness.
Tested Temperature Rating
According to testing by manufacturers like Irish Setter, 600 gram Thinsulate Ultra boots maintain warmth down to -25°F during active use. When sedentary, they keep you warm at temperatures as frigid as -40°F. The 600 gram insulation rating informs hunters these boots are ideal for most cold weather hunts.
600 gram insulated hunting boots strike the perfect balance between warmth and mobility. The Thinsulate Ultra material traps heat without restricting movement. Strategic insulation placement concentrates coverage where you need it most. Test results confirm 600 gram boots keep you warm and dry even during frigid winter hunts. This season, stay comfortable in the elements with Irish Setter 600 gram hunting boots!
When hunting season arrives, serious hunters know it’s time to gear up with performance equipment. High quality hunting boots play a critical role in keeping you steady, supported, and effective out in the field. Many top hunting boot brands like Irish Setter integrate Vibram outsoles to provide unmatched traction and support. But what makes these outsoles so ideal for hunters?
Traction and Support Offered by the Vibram Outsoles
Founded in Italy in 1937, Vibram has specialized in designing high performance rubber soles for more than 80 years. Their reputation for grip, durability, and support makes Vibram the outsole of choice for many hunting boot manufacturers. Here’s how Vibram outsoles excel at keeping hunters on their feet in the wilderness.
Multi-Directional Lug Patterns
Hunting requires moving over uneven terrain in all directions – forward, backward, and side-to-side. Vibram outsoles integrate deep, thick lugs in specialized patterns that provide grip no matter how you move. The lugs penetrate mud, snow, loose leaves, and other surfaces to prevent slipping.
Different Vibram outsole models feature unique lug configurations best suited for specific purposes. The Vibram Fuga, for example, excels for uphill and downhill use with its beveled lugs. Vibram’s Mont compound offers rugged durability and impressive slip resistance.
Rubber Compounds for Grip
Vibram’s decades of experience with rubber compounds allows them to design Supergrip rubber that adheres well even to wet and oily surfaces. Depending on conditions, their rubber mixes are optimized for grip on soil, rock, snow, oil or other surfaces. This gives hunters confidence on slick terrain.
Rubber pellets molded right into the lugs boost traction. Vibram’s polymers also retain flexibility and grip even in cold winter temperatures that can harden other rubber.
Supportive Stability Pods
Stability and impact absorption are crucial for comfortable all-day hunting. Key areas of Vibram’s outsoles integrate their Vibram Megagrip compound into hexagonal stability pods. These components compress to absorb shock and then rebound to return energy.
The pods provide lateral stability and dissipate torque to keep you on your feet. They also ensure proper flex zones for natural foot movement. Additional cushioning comes from an EVA midsole layered beneath the outsole.
Durable Abrasion Protection
Miles of hiking over sticks, rocks and other abrasive surfaces can wear down shoe soles. But Vibram outsoles withstand incredibly high abrasion ratings of up to 300,000 cycles. Carbon rubber reinforcements on the toe and heel prevent premature wear in high impact zones.
Vibram also offers proprietary technologies like their Icetrek rubber compound for enhanced winter traction and ROC Protect padding for underfoot protection. It’s easy to see why experienced hunters rely on boots with Vibram outsoles.
Stay steady and supported on your hunts this season with the help of Vibram outsoles. Their unparalleled traction, stability, and durability make them ideal for hunting boots. Before your next trip into the wilderness, be sure your boots feature Vibram’s specialized designs optimized for hunting performance.
When frigid weather arrives, dedicated hunters head out into the elements in search of their next harvest. But snow, sleet and icy moisture can quickly derail your success if your boots leak. That’s why more and more hunting footwear brands integrate high-tech waterproofing like Gore-Tex membranes. This innovative technology blocks liquid water while allowing vapor to escape for breathability. For hunters wanting 100% waterproof protection, boots featuring Gore-Tex offer unbeatable dryness.
Waterproof Protection from Gore-Tex Membrane in Select Models
Gore-Tex waterproof membranes represent the pinnacle of waterproof breathable technology. Here’s an inside look at how Gore-Tex keeps your feet dry during winter hunts.
Membrane Blocks Liquid Water
At the heart of Gore-Tex technology is an extremely thin expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) membrane. This membrane features over 1.4 billion microscopic pores per square inch. The pores are small enough to block liquid water drops from passing through, preventing exterior moisture from seeping in.
However, vapor water molecules are much smaller than liquid droplets. This allows perspiration vapor from your feet to pass outward through the membrane. This is crucial for maintaining interior breathability and avoiding a hot, sweaty environment inside the boots.
Waterproof Construction Practices
Even with a waterproof membrane, seepage can occur if water leaks in through gaps or seams in the boots’ construction. That’s why Gore-Tex qualified footwear must utilize specialized techniques. All potential leak points are sealed, and boots undergo rigorous tests for guaranteed waterproofing.
Vital zones like the lace eyelets, zippers, and seams get seam tape or sealing. Primaloft insulation placed over the toes enhances water resistance while retaining breathability. The result is dependable dryness hunt after hunt.
Performance in Extreme Conditions
The Gore-Tex membrane provides waterproofing even during repeated exposure to rain, snow, mud, and creek crossings. Laminating the membrane to face fabric gives the material strength and durability. And since the membrane is inside the boots, abrasion won’t degrade its water blocking abilities over time.
Gore-Tex continues performing in temperatures from -30° up to 60°C. So you stay dry and comfortable in all hunting conditions. Third party testing verifies the waterproof claims, so you can trust your Gore-Tex boots.
When getting your feet cold and wet simply isn’t an option, choose hunting boots featuring Gore-Tex. The advanced membrane technology reliably blocks moisture penetration without restricting breathability. Hunters around the world trust Gore-Tex to keep them dry season after season. Before your next hunt, ensure you have dryness guaranteed with Gore-Tex hunting boots.
When trekking for miles through snow, mud and uneven terrain, having adequate ankle support is vital. Hunting boot shafts that cut off too low provide minimal stabilization and expose you to potential rolled ankles. That’s why many experienced hunters opt for taller 10″ shafts over shorter 8″ models. But besides just height, other factors influence ankle support. Here’s a look at how 8” and 10” shaft hunting boots compare.
Difference Between 8″ and 10″ Shaft Heights for Ankle Support
While 2 inches may not seem like much, it makes a significant difference in coverage and stabilization. Here are some key distinctions between these two popular shaft heights.
Height Above the Ankle
The most obvious difference comes in how far up the ankle the shaft reaches. 8″ models end right at the ankle bone, providing just enough coverage to stabilize side-to-side mobility. Meanwhile, 10″ shafts extend a full 2 inches above the ankle bone.
This added height cradles more of the leg muscle to prevent rolling. On uneven ground or deep snow, 10″ boots feel far more secure. However, some find the extra height restrictive. It depends on your hunting style and priorities.
Good ankle support locks things in place, but you still need forward and backward flex for walking. Flex notches carved into the shaft promote natural foot motion. 8″ boots feature shallower, shorter flex points since they must bend more tightly.
With more material, 10″ shafts utilize longer flex grooves. The location is also more optimized for your stride. This improved flex patterning enhances support in 10″ models. Reinforcements around the notches prevent tearing.
Lacing and Padding
Proper lacing and padding ensures your foot stays locked in place inside the boot shaft. Taller 10″ shafts provide more space to integrate specialized lacing systems. This customizes the fit and support higher up the ankle. Padding materials are also more generous on 10″ models, hugging the ankle while avoiding chafing.
The extra height does add weight, with 10″ models weighing 1-2 ounces more per boot. This is a minor difference compared to the potential downsides of rolling your ankle in an 8″ design. The support outweighs the small weight increase.
When debating between 8” and 10″ hunting boots, factor in the 2” of extra support. While 8” models are adequate for firm terrain, taller 10” shafts excel at stabilizing the ankle on uneven ground. They lock things in place without restricting critical flex.
This season, ensure every step is steady and supported. Hunting-optimized boots with ankle stabilizing 10″ shafts provide the coverage and performance you need. Before heading into the wilderness, upgrade your footwear with trusted Irish Setter hunting boots featuring excellent ankle support.
When preparing for all-day hunts through miles of wilderness, having lightweight hunting boots can make a big difference in energy levels and comfort. Extended treks become grueling when your footwear weighs you down. That’s why for hunters who cover distance on foot, choosing lightweight boots while not sacrificing performance is vital.
Consider Weight of Boots for Comfort on Long Treks
Why does boot weight matter so much, and how light should your next pair be? Here’s what to keep in mind when choosing boots for those lengthy hunting journeys.
Fatigue Sets in Quicker
Heavier boots mean your legs must work harder lifting that weight with every step. Just a few extra ounces per boot becomes exponential over miles of walking. Fatigue starts setting in quicker, along with potential chafing and soreness.
Lightweight models reduce that burden, allowing you to go farther feeling fresher. You conserve energy for focusing on the hunt itself rather than just making progress to your destination.
Weigh Ounces not Pounds
When comparing boot weights, small differences of just 2-4 ounces matter much more than you may think. For all-day trekking,prioritize every ounce saved per boot. Boots weighing 40 ounces quickly drain energy compared to ones just 28 ounces.
Premium lightweight materials like nylons and advanced composites shed ounces without compromising performance. Don’t just look at the pounds, pay attention to the ounces.
Lighter Boots = Nimbler Movement
The weight on your feet impacts mobility and agility. Heavy boots make it tougher to quietly stalk prey and quickly pivot or change direction. Ankles and feet simply operate better unburdened.
Quality lightweight boots enhance stealth and reaction times. You aren’t just lighter on your feet – you’re also faster and more nimble. Those extra seconds of quickness can make or break a hunt.
Prioritize Insulation Over Weight
In freezing temperatures, proper insulation for warmth obviously still tops the priority list. However, advanced insulating materials like Thinsulate Ultra provide ample warmth at a fraction of the weight and bulk.
Don’t sacrifice needed insulation purely for weight. But with today’s technologies, you can have both effective insulation and lightweight performance.
When you have miles to cover by foot, every ounce matters. Lightweight hunting boots reduce fatigue, enhance agility, and provide comfort through extended wear. Before setting out, be sure to equip yourself with perfectly balanced boots offering superb insulation, traction, and lightweight freedom of movement.
With hunting season just around the corner, it’s time to inspect your gear. Breaking in a brand new pair of hunting boots properly is crucial. Stiff, unbroken boots can ruin your hunt with painful blisters and lack of support. Taking the time to break them in before hitting the field ensures total comfort and better performance. Here are some tips for getting those new boots ready for action.
Breaking in New Boots Before Hunting Season
Don’t wait until the last minute. Give yourself several weeks to break in boots so they’re primed for opening day.
Wear Indoors at First
Start by wearing the boots inside while doing housework or watching TV. This lets your feet and the boot components mold to each other gradually. Spend an hour or two for the first few days in your socks.Heat from your feet will help soften leather.
Use Boot Stretchers
Inserting boot stretchers pushes out the walls, speeding up break-in time. Crank them a quarter turn every few hours to gently stretch. Don’t overdo it to avoid damaging the structure. Rubbing alcohol can help soften stiff leather.
Try on With Hunting Socks
Wear whichever socks you’ll use hunting to get the optimal fit. The right thickness socks impact the snugness needed. The boot’s last shapes to your foot better with hunting socks versus casual ones. This personalizes the break-in.
Heat Molds the Shape
One shortcut is heating areas that rub using a hair dryer or hot towels. The heat softens and molds the boot to relieve pressure points. Focus on the toe box, ankles, and problem spots. Just don’t overheat areas.
Once the boots are comfortable inside, take them outside for short walks. Go on different surfaces like pavement, dirt, gravel, and grass. Bend knees normally while walking to locate stiffness. If any spots hurt, apply moleskin or foam pads.
Moisturize for Softness
Rubbing the leather regularly with a moisturizing balm keeps the material soft and supple. Coconut oil, beeswax, mink oil, or dedicated boot conditioner does the trick. This prevents the leather from becoming brittle and uncomfortable.
Be strategic about breaking in boots. Wear them incrementally indoors at first before taking them outside. Use heat, stretchers, and conditioner to mold the shape perfectly to your feet. With a few weeks of pre-season prep, your boots will be ready for comfortable miles come opening morning.
Quality leather hunting boots represent a vital investment for avid hunters. With proper care, leather boots can provide seasons upon seasons of unmatched durability, insulation, and performance. Caring for leather boots goes beyond just cleaning – it involves regularly conditioning and protecting the material. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your leather hunting footwear.
Caring for Leather Boots Properly
Implementing consistent boot care and maintenance routines helps retain water resistance, softness, and longevity in your leather boots. Here are some best practices.
Rinse and Brush After Use
Once home from the hunt, gently rinse your boots under cool water to remove dirt, blood, and debris. Use a soft brush to scrub away stuck-on mud or dirt. Avoid hot water or harsh scrubbing that could damage the leather.
Allow Boots to Dry Slowly
Never speed up drying with direct high heat. Simply allow boots to air dry naturally away from any heat source. The slow drying process maintains strength and shape. Rotate boots to dry a second pair while wearing another.
Inspect for Damage
Check over the boots closely for any tears, gouges, or stitching issues. Capture problems early before they worsen. For minor scratches, a leather filler balm can help minimize visual damage. Use a sealant on stitching if frayed.
Remove Salt Stains
In snowy conditions, salt stains may appear on the leather. Mix up a solution of one-part white vinegar to two-parts water. Soak a cloth and gently rub stains. Rinse with clean water and let boots dry.
Re-waterproof as Needed
Over time, leather can lose some of its water resistance. Re-apply a beeswax based waterproofer to boost protection. Ensure full coverage, let it soak in fully, then wipe away any excess.
Condition the Leather
This is the most vital step to retaining softness and durability. Use dedicated boot conditioner or oil to moisturize the leather after each cleaning. Allow the conditioner to soak in fully before buffing away excess.
Let boots fully finish drying before long term storage. Place boot trees inside them to retain the shape. Keep stored in a cool, dry spot away from direct sunlight and heat.
With routine cleaning and conditioning, quality leather hunting boots provide seasons of unmatched performance. Show your boots some love with consistent maintenance, and they’ll keep you comfortable hunt after hunt.
Achieving the perfect broken-in fit is crucial for hiking boot comfort. But footbeds molding to your feet over time can pack down and lose support. That’s why many top hunting boots now feature removable footbeds. Being able to swap out footbeds provides a quick and easy way to restore and customize fit.
Customize Fit with Removable Footbeds
Interchangeable footbeds offer hunters distinct advantages for dialing in personalized comfort and support. Here’s how they work.
Replace Compressed Footbeds
After heavy use, footbed cushioning compresses and conforms closely to your foot shape. This customized molding provides that slipper-like fit. But the cushioning eventually compacts down and loses bounce-back.
With removable footbeds, you can swap in a fresh replacement footbed restoring factory cushioning levels. It’s an easy way to rejuvenate unresponsive boots.
Choose Varying Cushioning
Interchangeable footbeds allow mixing and matching thickness and materials. Prefer extra cushy foam? Swap in a memory foam footbed. Need more support? Opt for a primarily EVA foam footbed. You can fine tune soft vs. firm cushioning.
Those requiring custom orthotics for foot support and alignment can remove the factory footbed. This allows inserting prescription orthotics without compromising boot comfort and performance.
Without this interchangeability, orthotic users face pressure points and misalignment trying to squash inserts into boots.
Footbeds also vary in their arch molding and metatarsal support. Swapping footbeds caters the arch height and contouring to your foot shape for maximum stability and alignment.
High arched feet benefit from rounded, cushioned arches while flat feet do better with supportive, corrected arches. Removable footbeds accomodate both cases.
Easy Field Swaps
Carrying an extra footbed or two in your pack allows quick trailside swapping as needs arise. Get miles deep into the wilderness before realizing your boots need a fresh footbed? No problem.
Research your boot’s compatible replacement footbeds to bring the perfect level of support and cushioning on your next hunt.
For hunters obsessed with stealth and concealment, effective camouflage is mandatory. When gearing up, choosing boots that match your camo pattern and hunting style matters. Boots that clash or stand out blow your cover. Matching boot style and camo to your hunting environment helps you disappear.
Style and Camo Patterns to Match Your Gear
Here are some considerations for choosing boot styles and camo that align with your hunting clothes and environment.
Matching Camo Brands and Patterns
Mixing camo brands that use different color tones, shades and printing techniques breaks up the uniform look. Brand matching camo ensures consistency. For example, Mossy Oak boots paired with Sitka gear.
Also ensure the camo pattern matches. Open range requires lighter shades like Realtree Edge. Brush and forest does better with darker Treestand patterns. Always match patterns between boots and clothing.
Blaze Orange for Required Seasons
During special seasons requiring it, choose boots with blaze orange accents for visibility. Orange pops against camo, meeting regulations without removing all concealment advantages.
Some boot brands like Irish Setter offer camo patterns with blaze orange incorporated. This meets requirements while coordinating with your other gear.
Upland Style for Bird and Turkey Hunting
For fast paced bird and turkey hunting over varied terrain, choose lightweight 8-10″ boots with minimal tread and soft leather. Upland models provide flexibility while protecting ankles from brush.
Low profile soles allow quick footing changes. Opt for highly brushed camo lacking bold patterns to avoid startling birds.
High Country for Western Big Game Hunts
Rugged backcountry hunts demand sturdier boots with aggressive tread for climbing, durable leather/nylon uppers, and ankle support. Look for rubbed out western camo in darker earth tones and a taller height.
Rigid soles excel on rocky slopes. A gusseted tongue keeps out scree while support and grip reduce rolling ankles.
Always consider your specific hunting sport and conditions, then choose appropriate boot styles and camo patterns that allow you to stealthily blend in. Match brands and shades between all gear for maximum concealment.
Finding the perfect fitting hunting boots is tricky business. Boots that are painfully tight or loose won’t just cause discomfort – they can make your hunt miserable and dangerous. Follow key proper sizing and fit advice to end up with boots customized to your feet.
Buying Tips: Proper Fit and Sizing Advice
Use these expert tips to choose hunting boots offering a personalized, precision fit:
Know Your Size
First, accurately determine your general size. Trace your foot on paper and measure from longest toe to heel. Measure width across ball of foot. Reference sizing charts to find your size in each boot brand.
Try On In Store
Shop later in the day when your feet are most swollen. Wear the socks you’ll hunt in. Walk around on inclined surfaces to test traction and flex. Bombarded salespeople? Politely ask for space while you test boots alone.
Wiggle toes – you should have at least a thumb’s width of space to the front. Toes jamming the front during steep descents causes blackened nails and agony.
Heel should feel cinched in without lifting when you walk. If it’s loose, your foot will slide and blister. Extra sock layers should ease snugness during cold weather.
Leather models start snug but stretch. Leave a pinky finger’s width of space so they expand to perfect fit. Too tight, and they’ll stay painfully constricting. Too loose causes instability.
Dynamic lacing like Irish Setter’s Boa system pulls the upper snug separately from the ankle/shaft. This customizes fit all the way up your foot for personalized comfort.
Removable insoles allow orthotics for foot issues. Aftermarket insoles can add cushion or support too. Having this customization option helps dial-in fit.
Don’t settle for generic sizing. Take time testing boots tailored to your foot shape and hunting conditions. A precision fit enhances comfort, stability and control for a successful hunt.
Scoring a pair of hunting boots featuring top technology and performance doesn’t have to destroy your budget. Savvy hunters know where to look online for deals on premium footwear. Check out these top ecommerce retailers for finding discounted prices on boots this season.
Top Online Retailers for Finding Deals
Stretch your dollar further by leveraging these online stores offering promotions, closeouts, and sales on hunting boots
Check the manufacturer’s direct website first. Brands like Irish Setter often run specials on previous year’s models. Sign up for email alerts about upcoming sales events and discount promo codes too.
Amazon provides discounted pricing on many hunting items and fast free shipping with Prime. Browse their hunting boot section and sort by discount percentage to uncover deals. Watch for coupons and flash sales around peak seasons.
This hunting megastore offers an impressive online selection with discounted prices on boots. Their bargain cave section lists deals on closeouts, returned items, and exclusives. Optimize searches for maximum discounts.
Sierra Trading Post
Specializing in discounted outdoor gear, this site routinely offers hunting boots at up to 50% off retail. Create a free account to opt into mailing list announcments about extra percentage-off deals and free shipping.
Shop their hunting boots section for overstock and off-season sales with solid markdowns. They also list special package deals bundling boots with socks and other accessories at a value.
For serious bargains, check eBay for used boots in like-new condition. Many hunters buy multiples then resell extras. Sort by lowest price and read seller ratings and boot condition before purchasing.
With the variety of deals available at online retailers, you can upgrade to those premium hunting boots while sticking to your budget. Do research and comparison shop across sites to snag the perfect pair this season.
Even with the best hunting boots, discomfort can ruin your hunt if feet aren’t prepped properly. The right socks and insoles make sure your feet stay ready for all-day endurance. Here are tips on choosing gear to keep feet in peak condition inside your boots.
Keeping Feet Prepared All Day – Socks and Insoles
Select Moisture-Wicking Socks
Excess sweat and moisture is enemy number one for your feet in the field. Choose merino wool or synthetic socks designed to wick away humidity and dry quickly. This prevents hot spots and blisters.
Look for snug fitting socks without bulky seams. Carry an extra pair to swap at midday if needed.
Cushion Critical Zones
The right socks cushion high impact zones like heels, toes and balls of feet. Padding neutralizes repeated pounding over miles of uneven terrain. Thicker socks also enhance boot insulation.
Evaluate your gait and wear pattern to customize sock cushioning density where you need it most. Double layering provides extra padding.
Prevent Sliding and Bunching
A smooth, snug fit ensures socks stay put without sliding around causing uncomfortable bunching. Snug elastic bands around the arches prevent migration inside boots.
Sliding socks lead to blisters in friction zones. Proper ankle height also keeps them from slipping down into boots.
Apply Foot Powder
Sprinkle antifungal foot powder inside socks and boots before hitting the field. This absorbs excess moisture while reducing odor and preventing athlete’s foot.
Reapply foot powder periodically for all day relief. Look for sweat-activated powders that increase absorbency as needed.
Use Supportive Insoles
Add or replace factory insoles with more supportive options. Custom orthotics provide stability and alignment for foot conditions. Aftermarket insoles can reduce pressure points.
Having removable/replaceable insoles enhances your ability to optimize foot comfort and performance all day long.
Give your feet the customized treatment they deserve inside hunting boots. The right socks and insoles provide moisture protection, cushioning and support from first light until nightfall.