Boots for Elk Hunting?

PAelkhunter

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Jan 17, 2018
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24
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Pennsylvania
Kenetrek Mountain Extremes 400g is what I use and absolutely love them for elk and deer hunting. They’re amazing for side-hilling as they don’t let your ankle roll and they dig in to keep you from slipping. Also, get a 1/2 size larger than your foot measures for toe room when going downhill.

Pair them with some Darn Tough socks (lifetime guarantee) and you’ll be set. I look at boots like I do my rifle. Spend the extra $$ on something that’s gonna be reliable when it counts!
 

RoaminPublic

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Mar 3, 2020
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14
Meindl Vakuum Hunter for me. Bought Meindls when cabelas sold them. Best boots ive worn. It does come down to personal preference. If you go Danner, I would go the USA made route. Elk hunting is rough on boots.
 

elkhnter

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Aug 7, 2009
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390
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Somewhere in the camper!
Have the Pronghorns, waterproof lasted about 2 years.
Got a set of Kenetreks, 400 grams. Great boot for COLD weather elk hunting and snow. Picked up a set of IS Elk Tracker, uninsulated. Good boot so far and plenty warm for walking down to 20 degrees. If I hard to pick one, it’d be the Elk Tracker and add socks.
 
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diamond hitch

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Feb 9, 2020
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Western Montana
For dry ground I wear Whites loggers most of the time. I have a pair I bought in 1981 that still work fine. When the snow is wet and sticky I wear Hoffman pacs with felt liners. I have them altered with caulks on the instep to avert downhill sliding on poles. When the snow is dry I wear Hoffman caulked pacs with felt liners. I don't slide on trees, rocks or vegetation. I started wearing them in the early 90s after a day on 100% slopes covered with bear grass and 2-3 inches of snow. After 30-50 falls I just got tired of getting up but it was too cold to just lay there. If I fall more than once a year it is an unusual year.
 

MNElkNut

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Jan 27, 2012
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753
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Minnesota
Schnees bearthooth for me! I have had a pair for 12 seasons now that are still going strong. If I lost them, I would not even look at another brand (no disrespect for other brands). I would just go plunk down my money and have a smile on my face!

Someone mentioned Darn Tough socks. Tried a pair this year. They seem durable, but they shrunk so bad my 11 year old son wears them now. I will stay a Smartwool guy.
 

backcountry_sassn

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Sep 2, 2016
Messages
108
I think it breaks down to budget, and what kind of hunting.

If its going to be a one time hunt and aren't planning on packing in far then you don't need to get something super expensive. Still don't go cheap, but something like danners, under armor, or Irish setters will be a perfect a boot.

If you are going to be packing back far, meaning you could be packing out heavy if successful, then you are going to want to get something nicer that has support like Crispi/Kenetrek.

If your budget is already tight then the Danner/UA/Irish Setter option would be best, and if your budget is bigger then go the Crispi/Kenetrek route.

When it comes to durability, they are all pretty close to the same. I burn up boots pretty quick. I started with Danners and after a season or two they would be totally shot. So i went for the higher end under armor and they did the same. My next try was Irish Setters. Exact same results. So my thinking was that this mid price point boots just don't last so two years ago I went with the Crispi Nevadas. Well they are now shot. The nice thing with the Crispis is I can get them resoled for less than buying a new pair of the mid priced boots. Durability doesn't change much with the price range, but comfort is entirely different. Sore feet aren't ever on my mind with my Crispis plus knee and ankle pain are way down. When you load down your back with meat, that comfort goes a long ways. I haven't tried Kenetrek yet, but they are the next boot I'm going to try when the leather wears out on my Crispis. Even though I haven't tried them, I've heard from a lot of hunters that they've had similar experiences like I have with my Crispi. Durability is the same, but comfort is way better than mid priced boots.

You will hear different answers from everyone and I'm sure there are a lot of people who don't agree with my opinion. Bottomline is you can kill elk barefoot if you want. You just have to weigh out whats most important to you.
 

Elk Junky

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Feb 9, 2020
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Currently Meindl Cabela's. Soon to be another pair of Meindl's. I've had these since 2011. I could get a couple more years but the waterproofing is slowly but surely going away. I simply couldn't trust another boot based on my experience with these. All terrain, all conditions, all weather and all hunts.
 

lifesupport4u

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Aug 14, 2016
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198
I am going elk hunting later this year out west, and I need some good boots for walking that are comfortable and waterproof. Also, they probably need to be 700 to 1,000 thinsulate. Thanks for all the info!
I have hunted late season a few times and am pretty happy in an uninsulated boot with good socks. I think it depends on your hunting style but putting miles on in 700 gram boots would be way too hot for my comfort. I would look at Kenetreks or Lowas. I have even hunted in Salomons late season and have been just fine. Depends where out west you are headed- but at least in CO the weather can be -10 to 65 F so don’t bank on it being cold enough to need a heavily insulated boot unless your sitting all day. I think Randy wears uninsulated Kenetreks no matter the weather. I have also heard good things about Hanwags.
 

Wildabeast

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Mar 11, 2020
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Park City, UT
Agree with others that 400 gram thinsulate is plenty if you are moving. I grew up stand and still hunting in the Midwest and it’s very different out here in elk country. I like Kenetreks, but that’s all about fit for your foot. There’s numerous good brands in the same or slightly lower price range. Find what fits you best. If you’re going to spot and stalk, good boots are the difference between misery and an enjoyable hunt. Err on the side of stiffer vs more plush. You’ll be doing lots of side-hilling and your ankles will thank you! $100 more for mountain guides vs mountain extremes is the best $100 you’ll ever spend.
 

Elk Junky

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Feb 9, 2020
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23
Unless you're sitting around I would lead you away from that much insulation...your feet will get sweaty then cold.

Do a search up in the right side of the forum. There must be 200 threads. My personal preference is a higher end boot (Kennetrek, Lowa, Meindl, Hoffman, Crisipi) and to stay away from Danner, UnderArmor, LaCrosse, etc.
Agreed. I've had the Danner's and Irish Setters and Miendl's. No more Danners, IS'ers. I bought the Meindl's in 2011 and haven't looked back. The Danners and Setters just weren't a true mountain boot. No ankle or arch support and feet would slide inside the boot when going steep downhill. Sidehilling was hard too. I'm looking at the Meindl Perfect Hunter for my next pair
 

PaulRevere

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Jan 9, 2018
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269
Location
Western Montana
My Schnee's lasted less than one season, although they refunded me for the full amount so that was cool. Purchased two pairs of Asolo's on Sierra Trading Post and haven't looked back.
 

azelkhntr

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Mar 21, 2020
Messages
47
Boot requirements are a tricky subject. The first consideration is what is the ground like where you'll be hunting? Second is what time of year? Third is possible temp variations. I recommend you not buy any boot for hunting over 600grs. You can always tailor your socks insulation easier and cheaper than changing a boot out. I always take at least 3 different boots with me on a hunt; not only to change out but to adapt to the weather and terrain. It never hurts to have a pair of pacs on hand for sudden temp drops and big snow.
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2019
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48
Location
MT
I have 4 different hunting boots I use and love.
1. Lowa lightweight ankle hiker (early archery)
2. Schnees Beartooth II ankle (All year as long as no deep snow)
3. Schnees hunter pack boots (good for cold weather and snow)
4. Schnees extreme pack boots (only use these when its really really cold or i'll be on horseback all day)

Additionally, whenever there is snow i'll throw a gator on. Especially with the pack boots being that they are leather, it'll keep them dry. I also have 2 extra sets of liners for the pack boots because usually your feet will sweat and they will be wet. Not a big deal if you can dry them in a camper overnight but if your in a tent you may be SOL.
 

HUNTNNW

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Nov 13, 2012
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184
only your feet will know, nobody's response is valid to what fits you . The best boot in the world to one guy is the worst boot you have worn.
 

ChrisAU

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Jul 17, 2019
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98
Location
AL
Schnee's has a sale on now.
This sale sent me over the edge on some Beartooth's (0g). I'll echo what others have said, if you are going to be moving much at all and don't have problems with cold feet, get uninsulated. A lot of people think they have problems with cold feet, but its only because they wear too heavy a sock or too insulated a boot, their feet sweat, and then that sweat freezes. Minimal works great for me temp wise. It was in single digits to the teens every morning of my last elk hunt and I never once got cold feet with some very thin UA boots (that were great, but not even close to waterproof), a super thin merino injiniji liner (eliminates the air pockets between your toes), and a thin First Lite merino sock over that. I even took them off after the longest hike and let my feet, socks, and boots air out for half an hour or so and was comfortable....little thermometer I have clipped on my pack indicated it was 25-30*F out in the sun.

I haven't used Kenetrek or Schnees yet, but heard plenty of good things about Schnees, seems a bit more of a mixed bag on the Kenetrek's but still seem well reviewed overall. I tried two pairs of Crispi's and neither would work with my foot at all. The most comfortable boot I have is the ones I took on my first elk hunt a couple years ago, Irish Setter Ravines. They, like the UA Infil Ops from this past season, were not waterproof even a little bit, but they were super comfy. My hunting partner has used the same pair of Danner High Ground's for our last two elk hunts and loves them, he has probably 300 miles plus on them now. I've also tried a few Scarpas that didn't fit my foot well.
 
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