Elk hunting is quite a bit different from shooting whitetails, being a more mobile type of hunting than people generally utilize for deer. This means that you’ll have to invest in a pair of serious footwear in order to keep your feet from hurting as you hike for miles over rough terrain. If you’re looking for the best elk hunting boots around, we have you covered.
Best Elk Hunting Boots
**Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
There’s no real “best boot” for any type of hunter, it will depend on your own individual situation, the terrain you’re hunting in, and your own two feet. You can make an educated purchase, however, and greatly increase your chances of getting the perfect boot on the first try instead of spending a bunch of money on different types of boots while you’re getting ready.
The most important thing you’re looking for is a boot that you won’t mind wearing. We can’t stress enough that you need something that won’t blister your feet, and keep in mind this won’t be a leisurely stroll through the park in most cases.
Insoles are a good side investment, but a boot that fits properly and doesn’t chafe or blister your feet without them is something to look for. Depending on the weather, you may be wearing thick woolen socks as well, take that into account when you’re picking your size out.
You’ll also want to take into account the weight of the boot. Lighter boots will make things easier for longer hikes, but don’t sacrifice everything to just pick up the lightest boots possible. If that were ideal, you’d see more hunters wearing Teva’s while they’re out with their bows and rifles.
The amount of insulation you might need is where we start getting into what you’ll need for the hunt itself. If you’re hunting in the snow, you’ll obviously need more than if you’re going after your quarry later in the season as heavier snows force the animals downwards.
You’ll also want some degree of waterproofing on your boots no matter what. Elk terrain can vary quite a bit, and you’re probably not going to want a pair of rubber boots while you’re having to move for miles or carry heavy loads. Waterproofing isn’t just for crossing streams, snow can also present a moisture problem as you go on.
Support is another key factor. Higher boots will provide more stability and protect your ankles if you misstep, otherwise, your partner might be dragging you a few miles back to camp or your vehicle. Steel support shanks, while adding a little bit of weight, are ideal if you’re going to be on rocky terrain.
Outsoles and toe bumpers are also quite important, especially with rocks around. So keep an eye out for good ones.
The sole of your boots needs to be aggressive, but not too loud. Synthetic materials tend to be the best for this sort of thing, allowing for a combination of grip and padding which can help you stay quiet as long as you’re careful.
The tread is important as well, a good tread will make things a lot easier on you while you’re going through rough terrain. If you’ll be moving over a lot of rocks, then something aggressive will help catch things better, while a less aggressive pattern might be better for milder terrain and snow to help prevent “crunching” too loudly and maintain grip in moist conditions.
The material the upper portion of your boots is made out of can be quite important. While synthetic leathers might be cheaper, in the beginning, you’ll be replacing your boots more as the material will have a tendency to rip quite a bit easier. They will require less maintenance in a lot of cases, however.
Leather, on the other hand, is a time-tested material for boots for a reason. A good pair of leather shoes will last for years if you take good care of them, but it’s probably not wise to be polishing them right before you go on the hunt. Look into proper leather care if you buy a pair, and you’ll find they might just outlast you.
For non-specialized terrain, we can compile for you a list of what exactly you’re looking for pretty easily. You’ll need shoes that have the following:
As long as your shoes meet the above requirements, you’ll be good to go in most terrains. Go for heavier insulation if you plan on being in deep snow, more aggressive treads if you’re going to be on rocks in a drier area, and think about something higher if you’re planning on wading.
You’re in good hands, so let’s take a look at five of the best pairs of elk hunting footwear you’ll be able to find on the market.
Best Elk Hunting Boots
If you’re looking for a high-quality boot to keep you going in colder climes, then the 860 Model of Irish Setter’s Elk Trackers is a great fit.
For the average elk hunting conditions, where it’s cold and rough, these boots should keep you covered well but they can be a bit stiff and they’re not good for unseasonably warm weather.
While not perfect for those who like to hunt higher in the mountains, if you prefer to stalk your elk on the plains and through the foothills, these Pronghorns are a respectable option.
The Pronghorns are great boots if you’re in the right environment, but they’re probably not warm enough for the majority of elk hunts. If they suit what you have in mind, however, you might just find them to be a perfect fit.
The next step up from the 860 model, these boots have thicker insulation and are a bit tougher although overall the design remains mostly the same. They do have some additions as far as protection goes, making them suitable for rougher terrain.
These boots are great for those who plan on hunting in the roughest terrain in colder climates, but you may want to go with something a little bit lighter if you hunt in warmer weather.
Now we’re talking, if you like to track your quarry high in the mountains then you won’t be able to find anything better than the 882 Model of Elk Trackers.
If you’re going to be up in the mountains, you could do a lot worse than the Elk Tracker 882. Keep in mind that they’re definitely cold weather boots, however, and you may overheat in warmer temperatures.
The Tibet GTX is designed to be a comfortable boot for long hikes, and it provides a good amount of protection which makes them ideal hunting boots for someone after elk.
The Tibet GTX is best thought of as a luxury boot. If you get sore feet while on the trail with other boots, they might be the answer to your problems, but hunters without a large budget may want to look elsewhere.
For most hunters, we’d recommend the Elk Tracker 860 boots. They’re the best suited for a wide variety of terrains and temperatures and are sure to leave your feet happy at the end of the day. For those in truly rough terrain, however, the Elk Tracker 882 is probably a better option but they’re not something you’ll want to be wearing in warm weather.
I am Kevin who is a founder of deerhuntingfield.com; Here at Deer Hunting Field, we want to teach and educate. Hunting is a passion which has existed in mankind since almost the beginning, and with the advent of the internet, we can now share information, tips, and more with each other faster than ever before. This is a crucial part of our philosophy.