If you have ever hunted elk, you will know what an important part of the experience hunting boots are. Not only are they necessary for your comfort, but they can also greatly impact your movements in the wild.
The right hunting boots will offer you a combination of good ventilation, insulation, and durability, and be suited to the specific terrain in which you are hunting.
However, it can be a pickle figuring out which boots are really worth your money.
We’ve done the research, so you don’t have to. Keep reading for our top picks for the best elk hunting boots on the market right now.
In the hunting boots market, the competition among the manufacturers is increasing day by day. Some of the major manufacturers within the regional level of the hunting boots market are Irish Setter, Kamik, Bogs, LaCrosse, Lowa, Crispi Sport, Keen, Kenetrek, LLC, LaCrosse Footwear and among others.
Top 10 Best Elk Hunting Boots Reviews
After conducting hours of research and analysis in finding the finest boots for elk hunting, we present to you our top 10 picks. Hopefully, you will find the right pair here!
#1. Irish Setter Men’s 882 Elk Hunting Boot
We’re starting off our review list with a pair from one of the most widely recognized names in hunting boots manufacturers, Irish Setter. If you’re a serious, hardened elk hunter, then, of course, you need serious, hardy elk boots. And we’re glad to say that we probably have the perfect pair for you. Yes—it’s this 100% leather pair from Red Wing.
Featuring resilient, aggressive cleats and made entirely from premium work-grade leather, these large 12” boots were made specifically with elk hunters in mind. The moisture-wicking nylon lining and Goodyear leather welt combine to make this a sturdy, rugged pair of boots.
This sturdy bearing of the shoes also owes itself to the superior combination of construction materials. On top of the high-quality leather, these boots come with an EVA footbed (which are also removable, should you want to enable that option), Gore-tex waterproof fabric lining, and 600 grams of Thinsulate insulation.
That means these boots will be able to see you through long and hard elk hunting trips in any weather and any terrain.
The boots are especially resistant to the deterioration of the shoe materials that extremely high temperatures can expose any pair of shoes to. But they’ll also keep your feet warm and comfortable no matter how long you’re out hunting.
To be sure, this is not the most affordable pair. If you’re not a seasoned elk hunter or don’t plan to do it very often, then you may be better off buying a less expensive pair. However, if you’re looking for superior performance above all else, then we find no reason to hold you back.
- Large and weighty boots perfect for heavy-duty hunting expeditions
- Offers unparalleled resistance to wet and cold environments
- Takes almost no time at all to be broken in
- Provides ample ankle support
- The Irish Setter Elk Trackers are well-built and very tough
- Depending on the reseller, you might get a pair with weak soles
#2. Timberland Men’s White Ledge Mid Waterproof Ankle Boot
If you’re specifically looking for a reliable waterproof pair at a reasonable price, then The White Ledge is a good place to start.
The uppers on this pair are made from full-grain waterproof leather, with seam-sealed waterproof construction. So, if you’re hiking in particularly wet areas, then this pair of boots will definitely be your friend.
We also like the lacing on this pair: the rustproof laces are designed to be able to be worked swiftly, and they come with hooks at the top to enable you to lace up securely and surely.
The footbed and midsole are made from EVA, which is a soft and flexible elastic copolymer that is especially resistant to cracking and hardening. Plus, it also enhances the boots’ waterproof capability and stays flexible in lower temperatures.
Plus, these boots just look great! If you’re a style-conscious hiker who likes to look the part as well as to act it, then you can depend on the oiled-leather finish to pull your look together smartly.
The only issue seems to be concerned about durability; however, this sort of issue usually depends on where you order through. So be careful to select a trusted reseller while making your purchase.
- Padded collar for extra protection
- Has an attractive oiled-leather finish
- Comes with a dual-density EVA footbed
- The quality seems to be inconsistent across pairs
If you are looking for boots for elk hunting, then the footwear that is worth your consideration most are the ones that are breathable. This is because, as with any hunting expedition, elk hunting requires one to walk great distances and potentially over many different terrains. This means that your feet will sweat a lot.
The reason we like this pair from Columbia so much is that it offers superb breathability. The full-grain leather, durably constructed mesh tongue and lightweight suede construction will ensure that your feet are able to breathe in these things, no matter how far you walk.
Furthermore, the midsole has a lightweight construction, which not only gives great comfort but also provides superior impact absorption ability. The outsole provides advanced traction, so you can wear these in almost every kind of terrain without worrying about slipping.
Since this pair of boots are designed specifically for hiking, it’s a perfect match for any elk hunter who needs to traverse long distances before arriving at the hunting site. Plus, the break-in period is very short, which increases its overall comfortability.
However, if you’re going to be exposing the shoes to water frequently, then you may want to reconsider this pair. Unfortunately, despite the full-grain waterproof construction, some users report them to not be the best waterproof pair out there. Overall, however, this is a reliable pair of boots for the price.
- Comes in multiple sizes and colors
- Features a Techlite lightweight midsole
- Has a long-lasting mesh tongue that increases breathability
- Lightweight suede construction
- Has a high-traction gripping ability
- Waterproof capabilities are not up to par
- The shoelace holes are prone to bending
#4. KEEN Men’s Targhee II Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot
Next, we’re going to discuss a great waterproof hiking boot from a lesser-known brand. But don’t be led astray if you can’t recognize the brand name; this boot offers great performance while making your comfort the top priority, making it a true hiking boot. Let’s look at some details.
First off, we love the mid-cut height; it provides adequate support for your ankle without making the shoe too heavy. The 4mm lugs on the outsoles make for superior traction, so you’ll be able to keep your balance no matter what sort of terrain you’re walking on.
The breathable membrane integrated into the construction of this shoe is another plus, as it will keep your feet comfortable and dry no matter what distances you’re walking. The leather lining is also made to be breathable.
Adding to the overall comfortability of the shoe is the ESS shank, which serves the purpose of providing torsional stability. The padded tongue and collar will also ensure that you enjoy a snug fit.
Nevertheless, one of the complaints about this thing seems to do with the manufacturing quality, specifically in regard to the heel of the shoe. It could be that the manufacturers were trying to keep the shoes lightweight; however, to avoid possible disappointment, rough terrains should be avoided.
- The heels have added security and durability for long walking distances
- Features a stability shank for added support on uneven terrain
- Offers superior comfort
- Great traction
- The materials seem to be of low quality despite the price
#5. Salomon Men’s Quest 4D 2 GTX Hiking Boots
The next boot on the list is a highly-rated option that is known for its ability to provide amazing grip and traction, and outstanding comfort, in equal measure. Plus, this is an update from an older release of the same line, and updates are always great!
Made from textile/Nubuck leather, this pair of boots offers the winning combination of performance and wearability. You can tell from the lightweight construction of the boot that nevertheless does not compromise on support for your heels and arch.
That’s thanks to the features this pair has in common with running shoes, which allow it to retain stability without weighing your foot down. We’re also a fan of the high-top cuffs, which add on to the protection and comfort you can expect.
And since these things come in 3 carefully selected color schemes (have your pick from iguana green, black, and fossil), you can expect to find a pair that fits your particular camouflage needs, as well. Plus, they look great, of course!
However, this is definitely a pricey pair. There are concerns about the waterproof capabilities of these boots as well, which might make the price seem more unreasonable. If you’re confused, you can always go back to trusted name brands.
They are 100% Waterproof. They will keep you warm and dry. It has also a kick-rim feature. It is easy to remove.
- Durable despite its lightweight construction
- Comes with strong protective rubber toe caps
- Offers enhanced foot protection and comfort with dynamic cushioning
- Features an ergonomic tongue design for added comfort
- There seem to be concerned about the shoes’ overall durability
- Definitely on the pricier side
#6. Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot
Made fully from mesh and suede leather, this waterproof hiking boot from Merrell is a favorite amongst many experienced hikers. The synthetic sole and molded nylon arch shank combined make this a highly comfortable pair to wear. But the manufacturers haven’t skimped out on providing great comfort, either.
The Vibram TCG outsoles (made from, primarily, vulcanized rubber) with 5mm lugs should leave no doubt in your mind about this shoe’s ability to maintain your traction and stability. Plus, the patented Merrell air cushion integration in the heel will increase stability and absorb shock.
The midsole is made from EVA, which also translates to higher comfort and stability. Add to this the fact that this is one of the most functionally lightweight pairs we’ve come across, and you have a shoe that promises to be your best friend on hunting trips.
We also love this pair for its great insulation; so, if you’re hunting in colder weather or in higher altitudes, then you’ll be happy you got this pair.
However, if you’re going to be wearing these in hot weather, they do tend to sometimes heat up too quickly. Fortunately, the mesh lining is breathable, so moderately warm temperatures shouldn’t be difficult to deal with.
However, despite the price, there do seem to be concerned about the stitching if you’re going to be walking on rocky terrain. On the whole, however, this thing is fit to see you through mile after mile on your hunting expedition.
- Features hardy and durable Vibram soles
- Comes in a variety of color options
- Well suited to cooler climates due to high insulation capabilities
- Provides great ankle support
- The soles might come apart sooner rather than later
- The lace eyelets seem to not be stitched securely
#7. Irish Setter Men’s 860 Elk Big Game Hunting Boot
If you’ve been hunting elk for a long time, or if you’re frequently exposed to rough hunting conditions, then you need a pair of boots that will respond accordingly. This next pick is also from Red Wing, and it’s perfect if you match the conditions we’ve just described.
Let’s start with the outsole because in our experience it’s one of the most aggressive and rugged ones out there. We’re a fan of the multi-directional lugs on the soles, which, together with the steel shank, are widely recognized to provide superior balance and stability on the move.
Furthermore, the manufacturers have taken into account all the icky business associated with heavy shoes. That’s right—we’re talking about foot sweat and its resulting odors. They’ve integrated into these boots their special ScentBan technology, which kills bacteria and eliminates odors.
Plus, the 1000g Thinsulate and Gore-tex lining also work together to keep your feet dry and warm wherever you are, meaning the shoes are fully insulated and waterproof. That makes the shoes a great match for particularly cold or wet environments.
However, do note that these are very heavy shoes. So, if you’re just starting out as an elk hunter or don’t do it frequently, then these shoes might not be for you. Especially considering the significant price tag, it might be better to opt for a less heavy-duty pair for now.
- Highly suitable for cold, wet or high-altitude areas
- Has unique built-in ScentBan technology to reduce unpleasant foot odors
- Integrates 1000g 3M Thinsulate for high-intensity insulation
- Perfect for hardened and experienced elk hunters
- The outsoles are made from carbon rubber to provide superior grip
- The heavyweight might make it cumbersome for many users to wear
- Not recommended for use by those with small frames
#8. Asolo Fugitive GTX Men’s Waterproof Hiking Boot
If you prioritize high performance in your hunting boots, then this pair from Asolo is likely to answer all your needs. Breathable, lightweight, and waterproof, these shoes will offer a performance unmatched by even many well-known name brands.
This pair is made from full-grain Italian leather and features a Vibram sole. Additionally, there is the hardy part-Cordura fabric construction, which improves stability while preventing you from feeling weighed down by your shoes.
All of these features combined give you a hiking boot that will be able to take you far and wide over all kinds of terrains and landscapes.
And that includes riverine areas, or areas with high moisture, as well. The Gore-tex lining makes these shoes supremely resistant to water damage, while also increasing the breathability of the shoe. And of course, the aforementioned Italian leather construction is also waterproof.
The integrated Asoflex thermoplastic torsional support will prove its mettle when you take these shoes into rough terrain but succeed in bringing them back unscathed and unbruised.
And as for your own comfort, you can count on the PU midsole to adequately absorb shock and provide cushioning, despite being light and unobtrusive. Coupled with the natural alleviation of pressure points by the midsole, these boots will make you feel like you’re walking on air.
Your feet will also be duly protected, thanks to the reinforced rubber heel cup, outsole and toe cup, which also enhance traction.
All in all, this pair comprises all the characteristics you can expect in the best elk boots. As far as we can tell, you won’t regret buying them.
- The gore-tex lining ensures great waterproof protection
- The polyurethane midsoles are hardy and resilient
- Gives a lightweight and comfortable fit
- The soles may wear out when exposed to certain terrains
#9. Scarpa Men’s Kinesis Pro GTX Hiking Boots
Right off the bat, we’re going to tell you that this is the most expensive pair of boots on our list. So, accordingly, if you can’t spend a lot, you’re going to want to skip this review. But if you have a big budget, then you’re going to be really happy with what you’re about to learn about this pair from Scarpa.
Whether you’re on the trail or off of it, this rugged pair is going to provide superlative balance, traction, stability, and most importantly, comfort. The upper is made from full-grain leather, while the midsole has a multi-density cushioning that. Add to that the cushioned tongue and collar, and you get a pair that ensures a snug fit for your feet.
And of course, like any other respectable pair of hunting boots, this pair also offers Gore-tex lining, along with a sturdy rubber sole that is suited to all types of terrains. The dynamic TPU shank and no-friction micro-pulley hardware integrated into the construction also work to help you to comfortably maintain your balance on the trail.
We also love that the break-in pair of these boots is practically non-existent; you’ll start feeling at home in them right out of the box. Even if you go hiking or hunting in extreme weather conditions, this pair is very unlikely to let you down.
- The Vibram outsole promises to provide great traction on every terrain
- Features micro-pulley hardware lacing for secure and snug fit
- Constructed from 100% weatherproof leather
- Looks great even if you pair it with a casual outfit
- Despite the high price, some users report flimsy lace eyelets
- Quite pricey
#10. Lowa Men’s Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boot
This is undoubtedly one of our favorite elk boot pairs. Made from nubuck leather with a Monowrap midsole, this hiking boot from Lowa offers all the performance of a heavy-duty boot without weighing your feet down. And what’s more, it provides all that at a price most other heavy-duty boots can’t match.
First, let’s talk about performance. These boots come with a full-length nylon shank that will ensure you have great stability on all kinds of terrain. A comfortable and secure fit is also ensured by the derby-style lacing.
Moreover, the different size specifications are crafted for both male and female feet of all kinds, so finding a perfect fit is very likely.We’re also a big fan of the Vibram outsole with its nonslip, thick rubber lugs, which allow you to enjoy great traction and grip on the trail.
And while you’re on the move, your feet are kept dry and light, too, thanks to perforations in the lining of the boot. These holes enable great air circulation, thereby reducing moisture, and lessening fatigue and friction.
On the whole, this is a great pair that we have very few complaints about. The only issue seems to be that you’ll have to keep a close watch over them; so, if you are not the maintenance kind, maybe skip this pair.
- The unique shank allows you to enjoy unparalleled stability
- Comes in a variety of color options for your specific camouflage or style needs
- Comes with a Gore-tex lining to let your feet breathe comfortably
- The Vibram Evo outsole offers a combination of great balance and traction
- Does not require any time at all to be broken in
- Narrower in size
- The boots are very likely to start falling apart without proper care
Buying Guide for Elk Hunting Shoes
When it’s time to gear up for elk hunting season, you’ll want to be fully prepared. And it goes without saying that you can’t be prepared without the right elk boots.
Before you buy a pair, though, there are some factors to consider. They are detailed below.
This factor is of utmost importance because it will play an important part in determining nearly everything else, most importantly durability. A boot whose uppers are made of premium quality materials will help to protect your ankles and feet against the wild, namely thorns, twigs, and rocks.
The best material for the construction of the shoes upper tends to be a combination of leather and synthetic fiber, or leather and nylon.
The reason leather is usually chosen is because of its superior ability to offer protection. Plus, it is also more durable than other materials. Synthetic fiber and nylon, on the other hand, serve the purpose of making the shoes waterproof.
It goes without saying that boots made from high-quality materials will be more on the expensive side. Cheaper pairs will undoubtedly be less durable. If you don’t hunt very frequently, though, then that shouldn’t be an issue.
Depending on where you’re going elk hunting, you may be subjected to all sorts of terrain. The tread of the boot will affect how your feet handle the terrain.
The tread is basically the bottom of the boot, and it determines the level of stability, traction and shock absorption that you can expect from the boots; furthermore, it will also determine how comfortable the shoes will fit your feet.
Look out for the tread pattern and lug shape on the soles of the boots. Some prefer shallow treads because they prevent mud and/or debris accumulation over time; however, they work better for even terrains.
Or maybe you need skid-resistant tread, depending on the terrain you will be hunting at. Boots with treads of bold, broad teeth will provide a good grip, no matter whether the ground is dry or wet.
Most shoes will feel stiff when you first wear them; over time, with use, this stiffness will wear out. The time it takes for this to happen is referred to as the break-in period. Unfortunately, there is no one way to figure out the break-in period of a shoe, but a good place to start is to buy shoes of the right size.
The perfect size and fit tend to be offered by shoes that are just a little firm, but not too tight, especially around the ankles and midsole. Your toes should be relaxed when you are wearing shoes, and there should be a little room beyond them.
Another helpful tip is to first measure the size difference between your two feet. Human feet usually tend to differ in size, so you should opt for the pair which fits your larger foot.
Insulation and Breathability
Insulation refers to the boots’ ability to keep your feet warm with the help of a material (such as sheepskin) that trap warmth.
Obviously, if you’re used to hunting during the colder seasons, you will have use for an insulated rubber boot. However, if you hunt during all seasons, you will probably need two pairs of boots; one insulated, and the other not.
Now, humans sweat; this is unavoidable when engaging in such a physically taxing activity as hunting. Especially if you’re hiking a long distance before arriving at the hunt scene, breathable boots are a must.
In general, breathable boots are those ones which contain material that allows water vapor to dissipate while maintaining water repellence. They will allow proper air circulation, thereby preventing bacteria growth. It will also reduce unpleasant feet odor.
In our experience, the best elk hunting shoes are waterproof. When hunting, you will run into various climate conditions, which the boots will not be able to withstand if they’re not equipped with waterproofing capabilities.
What you may not know is, what makes a boot waterproof is not the exterior fabrics that are used for it, but rather the internal materials. The inside of the boot is basically a waterproof sock which is seam-sealed; it’s a tri-layered membrane in a sock shape which prevents water from leaking in.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q.1. What is the best lacing for hunting boots?
Ans: The best hunting boot comes with good and quality laces. 200cm is more than enough.
Q.2. How much durable the hunting boots are?
Ans: It depends on the quality and the materials of the boots.
Q.3. What materials are best for hunting boots?
Ans: Leather, rubber, waterproof, extreme durable are the materials to look for the best hunting boots.
Q.4. What features a best elk hunting boots should have?
Ans: Best hunting boots for elk should have flexibility, good sole, waterproofness, good protection and able to stand in any harsh condition.
Q.5. Are all the hunting boots of the same size?
Ans: No. Not all hunting boots are of the same size. They are different from one to another.
Q.6. Where I can but best-hunting boots?
Ans: You can find the best hunting boots in Amazon.com. Amazon is, and you can easily find hunting boots there.
Q.7. Should I choose a heavy pair of boots?
Ans: Heavy shoes that are cumbersome to walk in can definitely be an obstruction to a smooth hunting experience. Furthermore, they can also cause calluses, blisters, and corns on your feet. Also, if you want a heavy-duty pair, then a hefty price you will probably have to pay.
Q.8. Should I take hiking distance into consideration?
Ans: Definitely. For many elk hunters, one of the best parts of a hunting expedition is the hike up to the wilderness. If you’re one of them, then it would be better to opt for hiking boots, as they are made for long-distance walking.
Q.9. Is lacing something I should be worried about?
Ans: Yes, because laces hold your boot together when you’re on the move. Shoes with strong eyelets/lace hooks are imperative in ensuring that your laces don’t suddenly break off in the middle of a hunting expedition.
Q.10. What is the shank of a shoe? Does it matter?
Ans: The word “shank” refers to the nylon footbed which runs from the heel to the toe. The shank’s thickness determines how supple or stiff your boot will be, thereby also determining the stability the boot can provide you.
Q.11. Are hunter boots comfortable for walking?
Ans: Most of them are. But if wanna buy shoes only for walking, it would be wise to purchase regular ones.
Before You Buy:
Best hunting boots aren’t chosen for its appearance only. Before buying the elk hunting boots you should know the feature a hunting boot should have. Choose hunting boots basing on the place you hunt and how much you hunt. You must keep into consideration the durability, types of sole, breathability, flexibility, the waterproofness of hunting boots before buying.
The topmost brand and quality of hunting boots you will get in this elk hunting boot. You should make the right choice in using your suitable hunting boots. Hunting boots play a great role during the hunting period. So, it is better to know about the boots and choose the best one.
Given our great selection of the best elk hunting boots, choosing just one pair can be confusing. So, here’s a rundown.
Our top pick is undoubtedly the Asolo Fugitive GTX with its winning combination of comfort and performance. However, if you need a more heavy-duty pair, the Red Wing Irish Setter 860 is definitely the one for you. If budget is a concern, Timberland is always a great option.
Whichever you choose, good luck!