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3 Tips for Choosing the Ultimate Hunting Boots

May 21, 2015 |  #Hoyt #bowhunting #compound

Here is reality: most bow hunters take their boot fit for granted, or have been ill-advised on boot choice, and unknowingly jeopardize their “hunt of a lifetime” when the opportunity finally comes around. My goal in this blog post is to educate each reader on the importance of fit and boot choice in preventing the frustrating foot-related issues I hear about on a regular basis.

#1: Know your size

Studies show that 40% of all hunters wear the wrong size boots! Things change, and your feet are no exception. Your feet should be measured and fit-evaluated yearly to ensure you are still wearing the correct size. Proper fit may not matter for a pair of sneakers, but it matters when it comes to demanding treks on a hunt. Get your measurement and evaluation done by a reputable company with an understanding of feet and your intended use of the boot.

#2: Is that boot right for my feet?

With so many boot manufacturers around today, it is easy to get overwhelmed by the selection. Each boot brand fits differently, and some brands will run too narrow for you, while others will run too wide. I suggest you let the boot pick you.  

  • Try on as many brands and styles as you can.
  • Wear the weight of sock you will use for your hunts during the selection process.
  • Don’t get hung up on brand names.
  • Be aware of any small imperfections in fit, as they will be greatly magnified in the woods.

#3: Match the boot to the environment

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Your boots are the foundational element for your entire body structure on a hunt. It is important that you match the stiffness of your boot to the environment and circumstances you will be hunting in. I recommend a rigid, more stable boot platform for steep, rocky country, especially when carrying a heavy load. A stiffer boot will help eliminate excess strain on your body during periods of heavy exertion.

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For lighter-duty hunts or day trips, where the country is mellower and your pack is lighter, I recommend a more flexible boot. A flexible boot affords you a bit more freedom of movement. It also allows you to better feel the ground beneath you, which is a huge benefit when you are trying to silently close the distance between you and your buck.

Still having trouble?

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Maybe your hunt last year was miserable, and blisters became your middle name. Or perhaps you broke the bank trying to find the right boot, and shipping back bad boots, and you still didn’t get the comfort and performance you were looking for. If this sounds like you, consider finding qualified help you get custom-fitted boots. With a mapping packet and a few simple photos, a custom boot system can be developed to match your feet and hunting needs exactly.

Good luck out there!

~Stephen Lathrop

About the Author:

Stephen and James Lathrop are avid bowhunters who own and operate a specialized boot shop and foot orthotic laboratory in Illinois. They have helped numerous big game hunters, including several Hoyt employees, to relieve chronic foot and back issues, and prepare for hunting season, by providing recommendations and/or custom-fitted footwear.  

Keep your eyes peeled for the next installment in our footwear series regarding insoles, foot beds and socks. 

Stephen Lathrop

Lathrop & Sons

[email protected]

Lathropandsons.com