Insulated boots or just carry warmer socks?

Irish52084

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I am super picky about my boots and socks when I have to walk or hike any distance in them. I have never found insulated boots that fit the way I like and that I can tolerate wearing more than a few miles. We are heading to southeastern Montana in November and the weather is potentially going to be much colder and snowier than I usually hunt in. It's been over a decade since I last bought insulated boots so maybe they've improved dramatically.

Should I bother buying insulated boots, or just hike with my uninsulated boots and carry warmer sock to put on when we stop to glass? Are insulated boots really that much warmer than just wearing extra socks?

I usually hunt in mid October with high temperatures in the 50's and lows in the high 20's. Every few years we hunt in November and rarely get much snow. The coldest November temps get to -5 but that's rare and usually it warms up into the 20's on the coldest days.
 

p_ham

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I can't handle insulated boots until it hits at least 0. I do like thicker socks though, they help cushion and keep my feet secure.
 

Addicting

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I have a lot of different pac and uninsulated boots with various socks and gotten mixed results. Most of that was Army and hunting around MI. This year I pulled out the check book and bought some Kenetreks and the Kenetrek socks. They are top quality and I can see why they get talked about so highly. If those are not in your budget I would look for a good water resistant Noninsulated and buy the best merino socks in varied thickness you can.
 

WestT

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If I'm going to be in a remote camp I prefer non insulated. Reason being is that if you're moving around your feet will be sweating and it's hard to get them dried out for the next day.
 

wytex

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We had a deadly blizzard last Nov. in NE Wyoming that literally nearly killed a good friend of mine and parts of his family. Their vehicles got caught in an instant blizzard when the front blew in. They were driving down a long rural driveway when it hit. He had frost bite on his toes and fingers. Weather in Nov. can be brutal.
I wear insulated boots for archery hunting most years. If you can't find insulted boots that fit I would highly recc. you have good waterproof ones to keep out the moisture.
The weather could be very cold and snowy, just sayin'.
 

Irish52084

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I have a lot of different pac and uninsulated boots with various socks and gotten mixed results. Most of that was Army and hunting around MI. This year I pulled out the check book and bought some Kenetreks and the Kenetrek socks. They are top quality and I can see why they get talked about so highly. If those are not in your budget I would look for a good water resistant Noninsulated and buy the best merino socks in varied thickness you can.
I tried the kennetrek boots 2 years ago for a sheep hunt but they just didn't fit me right. They are top quality boots for sure but I'm a weirdo about my feet so things have to be perfect. Lol

I'm leaning towards carrying extra heavy merino wool socks and maybe a couple hand warmers to stuff in my boots if my feet start to get cold. I haven't bought insulated boots in so long I was kind of hoping someone made a really good one that I might like or maybe technology had come further along.
 

TimeOnTarget

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I rarely use insulated boots anymore. A good pair of waterproof uninsulated boots gets me well below 0. I do have a pair of 1000gram boots for when actual temp gets to -30f. But i still hate walking any distance in those because me feet sweat and once that happens, instant cold feet no matter the boots.
 

Rancho Loco

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Bozeman, MT
I am super picky about my boots and socks when I have to walk or hike any distance in them. I have never found insulated boots that fit the way I like and that I can tolerate wearing more than a few miles. We are heading to southeastern Montana in November and the weather is potentially going to be much colder and snowier than I usually hunt in. It's been over a decade since I last bought insulated boots so maybe they've improved dramatically.

Should I bother buying insulated boots, or just hike with my uninsulated boots and carry warmer sock to put on when we stop to glass? Are insulated boots really that much warmer than just wearing extra socks?

I usually hunt in mid October with high temperatures in the 50's and lows in the high 20's. Every few years we hunt in November and rarely get much snow. The coldest November temps get to -5 but that's rare and usually it warms up into the 20's on the coldest days.
What do you consider insulated? My 200 gr. Vasques can get me pretty far into the season before I need the Pac's.
 

Irish52084

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What do you consider insulated? My 200 gr. Vasques can get me pretty far into the season before I need the Pac's.
Usually anything with added insulation beyond what you get from padding inside the boot. If a boot has something like thinsulate or similar I generally consider it insulated.

I'm trying out the Salomon quest 4d2 boot right now and so far so good. It's not insulated but is waterproof and well padded.
 

MJE2083

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I generally go with a lightly insulated boot (100-200g thinsulate) not too heavy or hot, and a good pair of merino socks. and Gortex
 

Rancho Loco

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Usually anything with added insulation beyond what you get from padding inside the boot. If a boot has something like thinsulate or similar I generally consider it insulated.

I'm trying out the Salomon quest 4d2 boot right now and so far so good. It's not insulated but is waterproof and well padded.
I can't go with just thicker socks, no way will that be warm enough for me, and it would throw my shoe's fit out the window. But that's my personal preference, I really don't like thick socks, or doubling them up.
 
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Cold feet for me usually aren't an issue unless I'm stationary in the bitter cold. I don't use my 800g boots until the snow gets deep and temps below 10 or so. Other than that I use the same socks in the heat as the cold (Darn Tough Full Cushion knee high). Another option may be to add the Superfeet merino insoles with thick socks.
 

hank4elk

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I get cold feet & wear Lowa Tibet GTX now or Kenetrek Packs if it gets real cold & working or just getting around in NM winters.
I wear merino socks year round. I like the way the wick away the moisture & heat from my feet. Rather have hot feet than chance cold.
The Lowas are more insulation/400 than my last Meindels200,but I can wear them here in warm weather too.
Very comfortable and were actually very warm last winter with thick wool socks sitting or hiking. Even when it got below zero a couple days.
 

TheNorthStar

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Minnesota
I hike in 400 gram boots all year round. I always have a pair of extra socks with though to keep from getting swampy.

Hell, I work all year round in 200 gram boots. My feet have acclimated, I suppose.
 

2dogs

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I hunt the early seasons with uninsulated boots and wool socks. As it gets 20 ish I go to 400 gram insualation with the wool socks. When the snow piles up and it is staying below 20 I switch to my Steeger Mukluks and never have cold feet. They let the moisture escape. I'm very partial to Irish Setter boots also.
 

Elkdog

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Lowa are great boots, mine are 200 gm I think. With merino socks my feet don't get cold unless I sit a long time. Those booties Elkduds posted look interesting.
 

tx_basser

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Aug 14, 2017
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Sachse, TX
I try and use uninsulated as long as I can, but have a pair of 1200g hunting boots and a pair of 800g rubber boots for wet cold weather that I use maybe once/twice a year when really cold. I have not found that owning a single pair of hunting boots to suffice. My wife says I'm like a woman with shoes.. compared to my hunting boots. Two pairs rubber boots, Pair of Maine hunting boots, 1200g pack boots, hip boots, leather hikers.
 
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