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The 6 Best Elk Hunting Boots for Rugged Wear and Comfort

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Elk hunting can be one of the most physically challenging forms of big game hunting out there, which means that elk hunters need a pair of good boots to deal with varying weather conditions over rough terrain and long distances. Because an elk seldom makes things easy for the hunter, making sure your footwear is high-quality can be the difference between success or failure. If you ask any avid big game hunter, especially those who fancy the high country that elk tend to inhabit, boots and socks are the single most important piece of gear you can buy. So, if you're going to spend your hard-earned money on anything, boots are the investment that will deliver the best return.

Some hunts call for thick insulated boots and a breathable lining. Other situations may call for a totally uninsulated boot with moisture-wicking abilities for those warm weather early season hunts. Things like arch support and a tough rubber outsole are vital year-round. If your feet are hurting, you're not going to have the motivation to push up that next ridge or follow that bull into that narrow, steep canyon.

We're going to present a number of different high quality hunting boots here to cover the variety of situations you might encounter this season. Most of these boots have been on the market for a while, tried and tested with a reputation established by hunters who expect and demand the best. These are some of the best elk hunting boots available for this year's hunting season.

1. The Best Boot for Cold Weather

Irish Setter VaprTrek 2.0 Insulated Waterproof Hunting Boots - Cabela's, $159.99 

The Irish Setter VaprTrek boots are made from a combination of nylon and full-grain leather. Two big selling points here are the fact these are both insulated and waterproof. This makes them ideal for cold weather hunts where there isn't a ton of snow on the ground. These boots also feature a taller back, making for excellent ankle support. They also feature removable memory foam footpads for comfort while hiking and ScentBan technology linings meant to fight odor. This won't just keep these boots fresh and clean-smelling, but it should also help with keeping you hidden from wary bulls.

2. The Boot With The Best Traction for Rockier Terrain

Cabela's Silent Stalk GORE-TEX Insulated Hunting Boots - Cabela's, $104.97

These Silent Stalk hunting boots are tall with full-grain leather uppers which will help provide durability and comfort. They should offer a good degree of breathability thanks to the Gore-Tex lining membranes, and are relatively lightweight. Note that some reviewers note this pair of boots run a little on the narrow side. Opinions also varied on how long to expect on a break-in period, but the rubber soles will provide excellent traction in rough, rocky terrain.

3. An Elk Hunting Boot Made for Wet Terrain

Redhead Expedition Ultra Bone-Dry Insulated Boots - Cabela's, $109.99

These Expedition hunting boots feature uppers made of a 900-denier fabric, so they're going to be tough. They also feature waterproof leather and "BONE-DRY" waterproof membranes. These boots are made for cold weather with 1,000-gram 3M Thinsulate insulation. It also features removable insoles to make those long hikes up and down the mountains after that bugling bull as comfortable as possible. This is a great option for wet weather or climates.

4. The Best Boots for Early Season Hunting

Danner Men's Pronghorn - Bass Pro Shops, $289.00

These Danner Pronghorn boots are tailored more for early season hunting when you need comfort and air circulation for tough hiking in warmer hunting conditions. These non-insulated boots have 1,000 denier nylon and leather uppers for strength and Gore-Tex lining for waterproofing. If you like this design, Danner also offers the Pronghorn in an insulated model for colder hunting conditions. These boots are available either with camo or without.

5. A Great Option for Later Season Hunting


Lacrosse Windrose Boots  - Lacrosse, $190.00

These boots by Lacrosse are waterproof and insulated, making them a great pick for hunting in the wetter climates of the late season. It will keep you dry and warm, and has an EVA midsole for superior shock absorption as well as an outsole with increased surface area for extra support on rocky terrain. The price is also pretty low for a leather boot of this quality, too.

6. A Worthy Splurge For High-Altitude Hunts

Kenetrek Mountain Extreme Waterproof Hunting Boots - Cabela's, $494.99

These waterproof Kenetrek Mountain Extreme boots are top of the line and some of the best on the market you can buy for any type of hunting. They feature a one-piece vamp construction with leather uppers for durability, water resistance and comfort. These boots feature unique outsoles with a K-shaped rubber tread patterns, and are built specifically for mountain hunting with double and triple stitching and nylon midsoles to help keep your feet from blisters. If you're looking for a serious pair of footwear to protect your feet on a long elk hunt at high altitude, these are it.

For more outdoor content from Travis Smola, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Instagram For original videos, check out his Geocaching and Outdoors with Travis YouTube channels