November 04, 2010
With the huge variety of boots currently available, the proof is in the pudding. First and foremost, you should try on various models and sizes to find maximum comfort. Pay attention to features like in-sulation, waterproofing, and ankle support for serious walking. Match boots to your personal hunting needs.
Here are specific tips about boots.
First, select a sole that is quiet. For silent stalking, you should be able to slightly depress the sole with your thumb. Neoprene, gum rubber, air-bob patterns, and soft Vibram are excellent. For treestand sitting, a harder, better-gripping sole like traditional Vibram can enhance climbing and overhead safety.
Second, it is wise to select hunting boots a full size larger than you normally wear. This lets you put on two pairs of socks instead of one for better warmth. Two socks also prevent blistering, because most of the rubbing occurs between the socks — not against your skin.
Finally, wear new boots at least one month before the hunt. The late, great Fred Bear once told me he always walked in a lake or stream with new leather boots, then continued to hike until they were dry. I have found this to be a great way to break in hunting footwear and prevent hotspots or blisters later on.