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Waterproof hunting boots
What is the best quality waterproof hiking and hunting boot for chasing whitetails and elk? I have used Danner and the older Cabelas/Meindl, both with goretex, and after a couple short years both leaked. Looking for something lightweight that will hold up and get me across shallow creeks without wet feet.
I still really like Meindl’s. Goretex will wear out. I always use Obenauf’s heavy duty leather preservative to treat the leather. Helps with water proofness and keeps the leather from cracking.
Crispi are very nice. Good for narrow feet. Small toe box. Zamberlain are excellent too. Nice big toe box on those.
I have 10 yr old Meindl insulated I really like. Just purchased Crispi Nevadas that I haven't hunted in yet. Very comfortable around town breaking in.
Depends on terrain. Where you're chasing whitetail could be night and day difference from where you're chasing elk.
I've been looking also, and keen with their keen dry seems to be worth looking at. Go on you tube and search keen Pittsburg , a fellow bowhunter does a review and swears by them.
HDE - Terrain consists of deep ravines and valleys, more agricultural land and mud rather than rocks.
Also, I have wide feet. Looking for a couple different pairs, 1 pair light non-insulated hikers and 1 pair of insulated 8" or 10" boots.
LB - I have worn Keen hikers for quite a few years, but something has changed. The last two pairs I have ordered have been tight at the front of the shoe and do not seem to be loosening up after breaking in.
i have had good luck with meindl and nothing fits my feet better. now that cabela's no longer offers them, the last pair i purchased from hoffman boots in kellogg, idaho. there is also meindlusa.com for those that may be interested.
you mentioned lightweight and admittedly, meindl is not the best option. crispi and zamberlain make lighter-weight boots. i tried a pair of zamberlain and was surprised at how light they were.
as far as waterproof, as suggested above it is important to apply a waterproof material. i do mine once a year in late summer. i leave them on the deck in the sun to let them get nice and warm, and then apply the paste and let it soak in.
another thing that helps me keep dry is wearing gaiters particularly if crossing a stream or walking through a lot of wet grass.
There is no waterproof layer that will hold up more than a couple years. I’ve never heard of it. And when I think about it it makes sense.
Picture than thin membrane flexing back and forth. If you go walk like 10 miles that’s approx 20,000 steps. So 10,000 per foot. So that’s one single day. In one single day that membrane flexes back and forth 10,000 - 20,000 times depending on how far you walk. Now add years worth of time. It’s amazing it lasts through a single hunt never mind years
I wear Crispi Idaho GTX... Best boot (for me) that I have owned for fit right out of the box. I use them only in September elk hunting and without fail by year 2 they will leak to some degree.. Crispi has always been really good to me on warranty but I have since realized that this gortex does breakdown and now I just clean and treat and unfortunately buy new ones every third year.. My brother wears Kennetrek and the issues are the same for whatever that's worth.
I should add that the leak issues only show up when the rain has everything soaked.. For creek crossings etc. like you mentioned some proper care and the boots will perform well.
Good old Sno-Seal has always given my boots an extra year or two before they leak. I'll re-treat my boots as soon as I see the water soaking into the leather instead of beading off of it. Sometimes that means treating them 2-3 times over the course of a hunting season depending on conditions and terrain.
Aside from starting with a gore-tex or similarly lined, full-leather boot that has as few seams possible in the toe box or lower tongue region... Wax the puddin' out of your boots, really working it into seams, stitching, and near eyelets. I think that step is critical. Repeat as necessary throughout the season as GG said.
I really like my HanWag Tatra Top gtx's. A few years and many hundred miles in, and they still keep water at bay. Although I don't tend to submerge my feet and or intentionally stay submerged to find out if they're truly waterproof; after a quick walk through a stream, bog area, or after a long rainy day... all good. The HanWag trappers look bombproof for an insulated boot.
Biggest thing is find what boot make/model agrees with your feet. So if you can't try before you buy, better work with retailers that have a pain free return/exchange policy.