Black Gold Sights - Pure Gold
Elk boots
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
T Mac 19-May-19
txhunter58 19-May-19
txhunter58 19-May-19
PeteO 19-May-19
COHOYTHUNTER 19-May-19
Bloodtrail 19-May-19
jingalls 19-May-19
WapitiBob 19-May-19
T Mac 19-May-19
jingalls 19-May-19
BIGERN 19-May-19
IdyllwildArcher 19-May-19
T Mac 19-May-19
Jaquomo 19-May-19
del_binari 19-May-19
ESP 19-May-19
jordanathome 19-May-19
WapitiBob 19-May-19
T Mac 19-May-19
badguybuster 19-May-19
ohiohunter 19-May-19
Jaquomo 19-May-19
T Mac 19-May-19
rsem 19-May-19
ohiohunter 19-May-19
oldgoat 20-May-19
BULELK1 20-May-19
pav 20-May-19
Mule Power 20-May-19
GregE 20-May-19
LINK 20-May-19
ground hunter 24-May-19
ground hunter 24-May-19
FrontierMule 24-May-19
Aces11 24-May-19
T Mac 27-Jun-19
WapitiBob 01-Jul-19
Grey Ghost 01-Jul-19
COHOYTHUNTER 01-Jul-19
Grey Ghost 01-Jul-19
backcountrymuzzy 01-Jul-19
txhunter58 01-Jul-19
IdyllwildArcher 01-Jul-19
Grey Ghost 01-Jul-19
Franklin 01-Jul-19
Whocares 01-Jul-19
Solo 01-Jul-19
ohiohunter 01-Jul-19
txhunter58 01-Jul-19
Franklin 02-Jul-19
ohiohunter 02-Jul-19
Grey Ghost 02-Jul-19
TrapperKayak 02-Jul-19
kota-man 02-Jul-19
BULELK1 03-Jul-19
Grey Ghost 03-Jul-19
Scrappy 03-Jul-19
LINK 03-Jul-19
Jackaroo 03-Jul-19
trophyhill 04-Jul-19
'Ike' (Phone) 05-Jul-19
From: T Mac
19-May-19
I am heading out on my first of hopefully many elk trips this September. I am looking for a little guidance on boots with rubber soles.

From: txhunter58
19-May-19
Not sure what you mean "boots with rubber soles". You definitely DON'T want to use rubber boots like they use in whitetail TV shows. They try to stay "scentless" while walking 20 yards to their stand, but that is not an option is most elk hunts. You will be hiking miles in steep terrain. Snug fitting boots for steep country is what you need.

Everyone has their idea of "best boot" and it depends on lots of factors including costs. If you go cheap and get blisters you will be sorry. I use Meindl Denali and Danner boots. I take both uninsulated and insulated boots. 90% of the time I use the uninsulated boots for September hunts. If I had to pick a single pair of boots, they would have 200 grms of insulation. You will likely have rain when you are there and probably have to walk across some creeks, so gore tex (waterproof but breathable) is probably good to have as well.

ALSO: socks are as important as boots. You can't go wrong using merino wool socks, both on warm and cold hunts

From: txhunter58
19-May-19
Not sure what you mean "boots with rubber soles". You definitely DON'T want to use rubber boots like they use in whitetail TV shows. They try to stay "scentless" while walking 20 yards to their stand, but that is not an option is most elk hunts. You will be hiking miles in steep terrain. Snug fitting boots for steep country is what you need.

Everyone has their idea of "best boot" and it depends on lots of factors including costs. If you go cheap and get blisters you will be sorry. I use Meindl Denali and Danner boots. I take both uninsulated and insulated boots. 90% of the time I use the uninsulated boots for September hunts. If I had to pick a single pair of boots, they would have 200 grms of insulation. You will likely have rain when you are there and probably have to walk across some creeks, so gore tex (waterproof but breathable) is probably good to have as well.

ALSO: socks are as important as boots. You can't go wrong using merino wool socks, both on warm and cold hunts

From: PeteO
19-May-19
I bought lowa tibets for my first elk hunt and I was the only one in camp with dry feet. I liked them a lot, not cheap but worth the cost. I agree with the sock too. I use smart wool liners and wool socks.

From: COHOYTHUNTER
19-May-19
In my opinion... for elk hunting, boots and optics are the two places you don't skimp and get the best you can afford. From the boot perspective, take care of your feet in the mountains. With that said, lots of good options, but ultimately comes down to fit and feel to you. everyone's feet are different. My top picks of brands/models are Crispi (Nevada insulated or Colorado), Solomon (quest 4D Gxt), Lowa (Tibet), Kenetrek (mountain extreme), Asolo and Mendil. For socks, I don't wear liner socks, I did years ago, but now I just wear the Darn Tough mid weight socks.

From: Bloodtrail
19-May-19
I look for light weight boots with Gortex. I buy a new pair every year....break them in over the summer and get the newer ones for my next hunts. Most come with a one year warranty and you can return them for any reason if needed. My favorites were the Under Armour Browtines uninsulated. They aren’t made any longer uninsulated. :(

From: jingalls
19-May-19
I use Meindl due to extra wide foot. Been using the non insulated for five seasons. Many good choices!

From: WapitiBob
19-May-19
There is no "one style fits all". Thousands of people Elk hunt in thousands of styles of boots or hikers. You might get along fine with what you currently have.

Terrain, conditions, your feet, and time will determine what you end up with. Personally, I no longer use an insulated boot; simply no need for it in September or October if I'm moving. If you're hunting semi flat, pine or pinon forest country, a lite hiker is probably fine. If hunting steep or rocky/scab rock type terrain, a stiffer sole will keep your feet from contorting with every step.

Stiff sole boots don't give, so your feet need to fit them well for any type of uphill/downhill hiking. Soft boots/hikers will conform to your foot without much effort. Thin leather boots like a Danner pronghorn will turn to rubber when wet, thick and stiff like a Hanwag Alaska won't but, they better fit; heel lift will give you a blister in a few hours. Also, if going with new boots, 3/4" Gorilla tape or Leuko tape down the back of your heel will ward off blisters if you get some lift. Put it on before you feel any heat.

I use Hanwag Alaska for rougher terrain and Oboz Bridger mids for everything else. Partner uses the Hanwag and Salomon X Ultra mid. I wore tennis shoes last year for a day and they worked fine, except were actually noisier than my Hanwags.

From: T Mac
19-May-19
Thank you for the feedback. I understand I don’t want rubber boots just looking for a softer sole. It sounds like not much has changed as far as best boot companies......thanks again

From: jingalls
19-May-19
T Mac, listen to Wapiti! Tons of experience!!!

From: BIGERN
19-May-19

BIGERN's embedded Photo
BIGERN's embedded Photo
All good advise. If you find a pair that works for YOU stick with them. I just picked up my fresh set today and have been using these for a few years. I use a cushioning insole with them too.

19-May-19
Whatever boot you choose, don’t make the mistake of only wearing them for a dozen or so miles before your hunt. You need to wear them on dozens of individual days and walk like 100 miles or more in them, preferably more. It’s not just the boot but that needs to break it, your foot has to become used to the boot.

I wear my boots to work for 1/2 the day every day for a month before the hunt and hike in them evenings and weekends. You’ll get less seasons out of your boots this way, but youll save yourself blisters and you’ll be able to go farther/faster if your feet dont hurt.

From: T Mac
19-May-19
Great advice idyll and wapitibob I will look into the Oboz Bridger but understand I may not find the best boot for all types of terrain or the first time around

From: Jaquomo
19-May-19
I have dozens of different mountain boots. For September elk hunting in CO I wear Salomon GTX Mid about 90% of the time. The other 10% is when it snows, and then I wear a higher boot with Goretex, and gaiters. Everyone's foot is different.

From: del_binari
19-May-19
Go to a good backpacking store like REI and try on several pairs, fit and function are key. Until you find the boot that fits your style of hunting and feet, you may plan to spend more from a good outfitter like REI so you can get the boot that is right for you.

I personally like and use Scarpa Kinesis Pro, and prefer them to the Lowa Tibets. My brother likes flexible boots where I like a stiff sole. A lot of personal preference plays into the boots that work for you.

From: ESP
19-May-19
I am a Vasque guy. I would recommend going to rei. I wear 13 four e wide.

From: jordanathome
19-May-19
The dudes on this forum hunt barefoot.......with atlatl's.......otherwise it ain't fair chase.

From: WapitiBob
19-May-19
Nothing special about the Oboz, they just fit better than the Salomon I was initially looking at. They're similar to a Renegade but a twitch slightly stiffer sole. A littler stiffer than the Salomon X Ultra too.

Rei is the place for boots/hikers; 12 month no question warranty and I've used it a bunch.

From: T Mac
19-May-19
REI is where I will start. Thanks!

From: badguybuster
19-May-19
I like my Irish Setters. They breath well and are warm

From: ohiohunter
19-May-19
Most Sept elk hunters typically aren’t looking for warm boots, if anything the exact opposite, but I’m loving the insight of what to stay away from.

From: Jaquomo
19-May-19
REI is having their early summer sale right now for members. 20% off one full price and one outlet item.

From: T Mac
19-May-19
Yes I see that Jaq I will be heading to store near me this week.

From: rsem
19-May-19
Actually it varies person to person. The boots what suits me well, you may find that horrible. It depends on many things like right fit, stability, size, insulation, waterproof, breathe-ability & many more! I personally like Lowa Tibet. Consider what other experienced hunter says. Thanks!

From: ohiohunter
19-May-19
I’ll say this a 1000x over. The heavier I am the stiffer the boot i like. I also like solid side integrity of full leather (little to no stitching) for side hilling. Reason I’ve knocked my metatarsals out side hilling without a weighted pack. Basically rolled over my pinky toe metatarsal to the point of limping.

From: oldgoat
20-May-19
Probably the most important part of your gear! Ones that fit! Now without telling where you are going exactly, do you at least know what kind of terrain you are expecting? You don't need really anything special truck camping in the Flat Tops here in Colorado, but do a backpack hunt in a higher steeper area and you'll want some stiffer boots.

From: BULELK1
20-May-19
What ever Brand you decide on, for sure break them in before ya come out to the Rockies to hunt.

Wear them as much as ya can even if it's just running around doing errands as they will be so much easier on your feet when ya start hunting on the mountain.

Good luck, Robb

From: pav
20-May-19
I take both the Lowa Tibets and Lowa Renegades along. Wear the lighter weight Renegades 90% of the time while elk hunting.

From: Mule Power
20-May-19

Mule Power's Link
I would read this thread.

From: GregE
20-May-19
I've worn many brands over the years- all have sizing issues as I have heel spurs that force my foot forward. 12 are too short, 13 too sloppy

Tried Crispi 12.5 last year- first time in decades I didn't lose toe nails from bruising

G

From: LINK
20-May-19
I’ve worn Danner, Wolverine and keen to hunt elk. All of them were steel toe versions and they all did just fine. No hot spots or wet feet. These are the boots I wear nearly every day and I believe that’s the trick. Wear what your feet are used to or in other words get your feet used to your boots before you go.

24-May-19
I always believed that good boots and socks, were worth more, than the bow and arrows, so pick accordingly....... I could go with a cheaper bow, but not a cheaper boot

24-May-19
I always believed that good boots and socks, were worth more, than the bow and arrows, so pick accordingly....... I could go with a cheaper bow, but not a cheaper boot

From: FrontierMule
24-May-19
Always tried to "get by" with less expensive boots. I finally bit the bullet and got Lowa Tibets. That was around 10 years ago. I will never go back to cheap boots. Foot comfort is worth a lot in my book. My Tibets usually last 3-4 years and then the waterproofing starts to wear down. Still worth the investment. And as others have said a good pair of socks and even some good insoles (superfeet) make it a great system. I wear mine (un-insulated) year round and have had no problems.

From: Aces11
24-May-19
I am trying the Zamberlan 980 Outfitter boot. I have heard lots of good things.

From: T Mac
27-Jun-19
Just to bring it full circle I went with the Salomon 4D 3 GTX boots. They fit me better then the Lowa or Oboz. Thanks again guys for your direction!

01-Jul-19
The best boot will vary a lot by individual preferences, but I've been using Lowa Hunters for years and they have been great boots. Got them resoled at the factory once for a reasonable price and they replaced everything except the leather upper. I'm testing out Crispi Thor and La Sportiva Trangos right now to see if a shorter, much lighter, synthetic boot can provide enough support for a heavy pack hunt. In the past this hasn't worked great for me, but so far so good.

From: WapitiBob
01-Jul-19
Have fun on the Hunt Tmac.

From: Grey Ghost
01-Jul-19
What are some of you HOT weather elk hunters using? My feet usually get soaked from sweat rather than from anything else. It seems anything with Gortex makes it worse. Has anyone tried the Kenetrek Desert Guide boot? It has no waterproof liner for breathability, which sounds appealing to me for my early season hunts.

Matt

From: COHOYTHUNTER
01-Jul-19
Grey ghost.. I have the same issue.. my fix was going from a full leather upper to a synthetic. I am currently using Crispi Colorado's... If temps drop or in the later seasons, I use Crsipi Nevadas 200grm

From: Grey Ghost
01-Jul-19
COHOYTHUNTER,

I've been wearing North Face low-top synthetics, with Gortex, for the last 2 seasons. I actually enjoy the "tennis shoe-like" feel of them for moving quietly, or for stalking. But the Gortex still makes my feet sweat, and the ankles of my socks get filthy from the low-tops.

When I was younger, I hunted in high-top baseball shoes, without the cleats, and never had any sweaty feet problems. I may go back to something like that.

Matt

01-Jul-19
Zamberlan outfitter uninsulated have worked great for me for the past 3 years. My feet sweat alot too, but I would rather take my boots off and let my feet air out a couple times a day vs going non-waterproof and accidentally getting them soaked. In CO at least I would have to be very careful with non-waterproof boots, the morning dew on the grass is a boot soaker

From: txhunter58
01-Jul-19
Yep. Goretex has its drawbacks, but you can also take extra socks and change 1-2x per day. When I use Moreno wool socks they don’t seem to get soaked from the inside as much

01-Jul-19
Foot sweat folks, check out Lowa Inoxx - otcWill turned me on to them. Great for hot weather. Keep in mind they're not very stiff. I usually bring a few boots on an elk hunt and will pack meat with a different boot than the boots I hunt in.

Also, look at a product called Drysol. It's a prescription antiperspirant. I bet you can order variations of it over the counter or from outside the country - dunno if they'd be as good as the real deal. Unfortunately, it won't last 18 hours of hunting. If you could get 1 reapplication done during the day it'll make a huge difference.

From: Grey Ghost
01-Jul-19
Definitely a fan of the Smartwool light weight hiker socks. They may get soaked with sweat, but at least they don't stink...at least not for the first couple of days. ;-)

Of all the boots I've owned (yes, including Lowas), so far I've put the most miles on a pair of uninsulated Danner Pronghorns. I like a flexible soled boot. The stiffer packing style boots just don't work for me.

Matt

From: Franklin
01-Jul-19
Years ago Danner introduced a boot called the Jackal....it was perfect for those high muley/ elk hunts. The boot never caught on but the first version was the best.

Idyll....careful with those out of country meds. I used something called Dexadrupin for sweat and I had wood for 4 hours....not conducive on a back country elk hunt.

From: Whocares
01-Jul-19
Definitely wear uninsulated boots for early season. Wear a thin poly type liner sock under a wool hiker sock. Smart wool, Darn Tuff,etc. greatly reduces chance of blister and wicks the sweat to the wool to a large degree. Always wear a thin liner. I wear the liner with hiker wool socks all summer. Goes without saying no cotton.

From: Solo
01-Jul-19

Solo's embedded Photo
Solo's embedded Photo
I wear, what used to be called, a 'sneaker boot'. These are an unlined Gore-Tex boot that I bought 3-pair of in a single purchase back in 1997 from the Cabelas brothers. Been tough for me to find anything quite like them anymore.

No noisy, clumsy lug soles for me during the summer elk rut. These puppies resemble a sweet, stealthy, Indian moccasin with fairly durable soles. Soles so soft I could tell when I stepped on a pea. Look just like the sole in above pic, but not really....

I'm just glad I was inspired to buy 3-pair way back when they were available. Currently on my last pair, but it ain't over yet.

From: ohiohunter
01-Jul-19
Hey Franklin... I bet you were the only one on that trip with a pole less tent

From: txhunter58
01-Jul-19
Yep. Goretex has its drawbacks, but you can also take extra socks and change 1-2x per day. When I use Moreno wool socks they don’t seem to get soaked from the inside as much

From: Franklin
02-Jul-19
Ohio....the only "sweating" going on was from my buddies....lol

From: ohiohunter
02-Jul-19
HAHAHA

From: Grey Ghost
02-Jul-19
Ike,

Those Lowa Inoxx boots look like they may be the perfect boot for my needs. I'm going to order a pair and see how well they fit my foot. I have a wide foot with a narrow heel, and a high arch. So, I'm not the easiest guy to fit.

Thanks for the information.

Matt

From: TrapperKayak
02-Jul-19
Schnee's boots are the best all around imo. Franklin, you mean it wasn't justadrupin? Whatja hafta do, cant your bow? How awkward...

From: kota-man
02-Jul-19
GG...I have your foot shape and the INOX were a little narrow for my liking.

From: BULELK1
03-Jul-19

BULELK1's embedded Photo
BULELK1's embedded Photo
I have 3 boots that I rotate wearing, different soles ect. Size 12 on each pair.

Granted I am in a Truck Trlr camp or in a Cabin so taking 3 pairs isn't a big issue like it would be on a remote Back`Pack hunt.

Good luck, Robb

From: Grey Ghost
03-Jul-19
"GG...I have your foot shape and the INOX were a little narrow for my liking."

Well, darn, that's not good news, but I appreciate the information. I guess my search continues.....

Matt

From: Scrappy
03-Jul-19
Grey Ghost I have your same foot shape as well and the crispi Nevada's are built just for our feet. I read others say the other crispi boots are built for our feet as well but the Nevada's are the only ones I've tried.

From: LINK
03-Jul-19
Like idyll said, the boot doesn’t matter as much as getting your feet used to them. I’ve wore Danner, Wolverine, Keen all in steel toe and never had as much as a hotspot. I wear my boots all day 6 days a week so climbing a mountain in boots is no big deal for my feet. Plenty of guys that have gotten blisters in their $300 boots. Pick a boot that fits and wear the heck out of it for the next two months.

From: Jackaroo
03-Jul-19
GG, I have the kenetrek desert guide boots and love them. They are side hilling and steep country monsters. They are a true hiking boot however and you will not be stalking in them. I carry tennis shoes in my day pack for stalking. My feet are wide with a high instep, narrow heel and collapsed arches. I replaced the insole for more cushion and they are the most comfortable boot I have ever owned. First boot I can hike all day with zero foot fatigue. They did take the full 30 miles to break them in as recommended and I questioned them at first. IMHO they seemed a 1/2 size large but were perfect when broken in. Watch the you tube videos on boot lacing strategies.

From: trophyhill
04-Jul-19
I would not wear a soft soled boot in the mountains. Been there, done that, and my feet hated me for it. Nothing worse than hurting feet in the elkwoods. Now you're thinking about pain instead of the task at hand.....I mean foot. Not to mention once that 80-100# load of meat transfers to your feet, you'll wish you weren't wearing soft soled boots. Then again, I have high arches that don't like being flattened out from heavy weight.

05-Jul-19
Not like I chase Elk every year, but my early season boots are Merrell’s followed up by Kenetrek Hardscrabbles...

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