When hunting, comfort is just as important as safety because when you wear comfortable clothes and shoes, you can hunt comfortably and safely, too. The right shoes are important because they allow you to move smoothly across long distances without hurting your feet. Now, if you’re new to hunting, you might think your cowboy boots will do—but are they suitable?
You cannot wear cowboy boots while hunting, unfortunately. These shoes are designed to stay in a stirrup while riding and not for hunting. You’ll feel off-balance when walking and slip on wet rocks. A good pair of hunting boots will serve you way better.
This article will discuss what kinds of shoes are appropriate for hunting and why cowboy boots don’t fit that criterion. Keep reading.
Cowboy Boots Are Not Designed for Hunting
On first thought, all outdoor shoes should be interchangeable.
However, as I mentioned before, you need shoes that meet hunting-specific needs, and cowboy boots simply don’t do that.
Here are the things manufacturers focus on when making cowboy boots:
- An angled heel to keep you in a saddle
- A toe box to protect your toes in case a horse stepped on them
- Long shafts to protect your legs
So when you get a pair of cowboy boots, you’re primarily paying for these functions. They won’t help you out when you’re out hunting.
You need shoes that consider hunting requirements, and you don’t get that with cowboy boots.
Schnee’s Boots, Shoes & Outdoors says that these shoes “have no traction on the bottom, which is very important.” Moreover, this well-respected boot retailer told me that hunters are “going to want a boot that has good ankle support. Cowboy boots are very flexible and offer none.”
So as you can see, your needs as a hunter are very different from what cowboy boots can offer you.
Being flexible is part of what makes a shoe a great cowboy boot. But that’s one of the biggest reasons the shoe is an inappropriate piece of hunting apparel.
Therefore, a good pair of cowboy boots will never be a good pair of hunting boots.
So I believe that the best thing for you is to buy shoes designed for the purpose you intend to use them for.
What Boots Should You Wear Hunting?
The boots you should wear hunting should be waterproof if you live in wet or snowy conditions. Non-waterproof boots are acceptable if you live in warm or dry areas. Try to get lightweight boots so you can move quickly. Also, consider boots with a textured base for enhanced traction all year round.
You may also consider wearing leather boots in the early season or synthetic boots in the late season.
Wear Waterproof Boots for Wet, Snowy, or Dusty Conditions
Waterproofing keeps your feet dry in wet conditions. So if you’re hunting in an area with accumulated snow, you should get hunting boots with this feature. It’s essential to have waterproof boots to prevent your feet from getting cold if the boots get wet, especially in harsh conditions.
Wear Non-Waterproof Boots for Warm or Dry Areas
Non-waterproof boots are typically more breathable than their counterparts. So if you aren’t going to encounter any water, I’d recommend not getting waterproof boots to avoid sweaty feet. Non-waterproof boots will do just fine.
You may also opt for water-resistant boots. They’ll do fine in normal conditions and will protect your feet even during a drizzle.
Consider Wearing Leather Boots in the Early Season
Leather boots are malleable and will adjust their shape according to your foot. This adaption will give you the ankle support Schnee was talking about.
These types of shoes are also durable and last a long time.
At the same time, these boots are not very breathable and will cause your feet to sweat. So they’re much more suited to colder months.
Choose Synthetic Boots for the Late Season
Synthetic boots breathe well. You’re much less likely to have sweaty feet when wearing them. This feature makes them a great fit for hunting in warmer months.
The Cungel Men’s Camo Hiking Boots are great for hunting and hiking. You can wear them while exploring rocks and mountains, even in snow. These shoes are waterproof, durable, and slip-resistant.
Get Boots With a Textured Base for Enhanced Traction All Year Round
Always get boots with a textured base. It’ll ensure you don’t slip in the mud and stay on your feet. Slipping in the mud is no fun because nobody wants to be covered in mud while hunting. Mud can weigh you down since it’s heavy!
Also, boots with a textured base ensure that you can move easily.
Opt for Lightweight Shoes So That You Can Move Around Quickly
Another evergreen feature you should look for is weight. You always want lightweight shoes so that you can move around quickly, especially in challenging terrain.
If your shoes aren’t dragging you back, you can carry more gear like firearms and knives without overburdening yourself. This offers you a great tactical advantage you can’t get any other way.
From a technical standpoint, two features make cowboy boots unsuitable for hunting:
- Lack of traction
- Flexibility results in a lack of ankle support
When choosing hunting boots, look into waterproof leather shoes for cold and wet areas and non-waterproof synthetic footwear for warm and dry places.
Getting boots with a ridged sole is essential irrespective of where you’re hunting because that’s what makes sure you stay on your feet during your adventure. Making sure your shoes are lightweight is another such feature. It’s crucial all year round.