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My Review of My Rocky Hunting Boots After Wearing Them for Two Years: They're Pretty Darn Good

David Smith

These Rocky all-weather hunting boots are a winner in my book. After two years of wear and tear, they've performed beautifully.

Like most outdoorsmen, I give my boots a pretty brutal workout throughout the year. I generally only have three or four pairs of specialized shoes or boots on hand, meaning that I wear my all-weather boots for multiple seasons and multiple purposes.

I have a pair of sub-freezing, cold weather boots I wear for mostly stationary ice fishing. Then there's a pair of soft-soled warm weather shoes for late spring and summer foraging. I've got a pair of Muck Boots for really sloppy conditions, and I also have a pair of boots that are heavier and that can withstand harsh weather conditions and fairly rough terrain.

This latter set are my Rocky S2V Jungle Hunter Waterproof 800g Insulated Outdoor Boot. I got them a couple years ago and have worn them in all kinds of weather, all kinds of terrain (from snow to mud to brushy fields), and even in town for everyday wear. I think I've given them a pretty fair testing.

While the Jungle Hunter model has been discontinued, there are plenty of similar Rocky hunting boots that no doubt perform with the same quality and reliability.

Soles

Rocky hunting boots feature exceptionally durable and traction-centric soles. The company doesn't appear to skimp in the sole department. Their new Sport Pro Timber Stalker and the Rocky Bearclaw FX Outdoor Boots, for example, feature rugged, multi-directional soles that will doubtless grab hold of most any surface you find yourself trekking over.

My Jungle Hunters have a Vibram outsole, which, according to their website, is known for "handling the most rugged conditions in the world." I don't know if I've trekked through the world's most rugged terrain, but I did hike through muddy fields, forests full of blowdowns and briars, rock-strewn trails, swamps, sandy dunes, ice covered lakes, and more. These boots offered admirable shock absorption, great traction, and plenty of ankle support on uncertain or shifting ground.

Rocky SV2
Rocky Boots

The thick rubber soles and deep lug spacing that Rocky incorporates into their boots are great for grabbing hold of slippery rocks, iced-over lakes or even slick sidewalks (I shoveled a lot of snow wearing these).

Even though I live in Wisconsin, I also had the opportunity to hike some mountain extremes in Colorado. They performed beautifully as cold weather hiking boots in that environment.

The sole is side-stitched to the upper material for a secure and durable attachment. After two years of tough Midwest usage, the soles of these work boots show very little wear, and all seams and stitching are as intact and secure as ever.

Upper

The S2Vs that I own have full-grain leather uppers. Other models incorporate leather and a lighter material, such as Rocky's Arctic Bearclaw Gore-Tex® Waterproof 1400g Insulated Outdoor boot that combines leather and durable nylon in a camo pattern.

You've got a lot of options with Rocky boot uppers, including all-leather; leather and lighter, more breathable materials; and even leather and tough rubber toe and heel guards, as in the Rocky Maxx Waterproof boot.

Each of these configurations will slightly alter the weight and other characteristics of a boot. You'll have to decide what qualities best suit your environment and style of hunting.

While I like the look of an all-brown leather boot, I also like a lighter-weight boot, which I think the incorporation of man-made materials would help facilitate. My boot top sports a cushioned pigskin leather collar, while the back of the boot has a handy finger loop to help you pull them on. I don't know what I'd do without this little feature. The finger loop makes pulling the boots on so convenient.

Insulation

One of the features I like best about my Rocky boots is the insulation. They have 800 grams of Thinsulate Ultra Insulation. This layer of insulation is great from early spring to late November. Even if I'm trekking in cold, sub-zero weather my feet stay pretty darn toasty, so long as I'm moving.

But if I'm sitting on a bucket on a frozen lake or in a treestand in cold conditions, my toes do get cold. Even though these boots aren't really meant for stationary sub-zero conditions, they handle the cold fairly well.

But you can find Rocky boots with varying levels of thermal insulation. The Rocky Grizzly, for example, comes in versions that sport either 1,000g of insulation or as little as 200g.

Recently I was sturgeon spearing on Lake Winnebago. The day started out at -1 degree and warmed up to the mid-teens as the day progressed. Sturgeon spearing requires lengthy periods of inactivity, as you're basically just sitting in an ice shanty, staring into a hole in the ice. My toes got a little cold, that's all, and I really appreciated the mobility of the S2V boots. And this was one area where the weight of the boot was preferable to my very heavy winter boots.

In warm weather I generally wear a cotton sock. In really cold weather I simply switch to a heavier merino wool sock or a wool/nylon blend, and my feet do just fine.

I wouldn't say these are the best boots for hot weather. I've worn them hiking on hot summer days and I have to be honest, they're just too hot and too heavy for rigorous warm weather use.

But I nevertheless often choose them over my Muck Boots even when trekking through wet terrain, because the fit is better. My feet don't move around inside of them like they seem to do in Muck Boots, and the waterproofing handles wet conditions admirably.

Waterproof

I've walked through water and muck that covers my entire foot and my feet have stayed mostly dry. That's about all you can ask from a pair of boots that advertises their waterproof qualities. Rocky says that these are waterproof hunting boots, and for the most part they are indeed waterproof boots. It really depends on how deep the water and how long you're feet are in it.

Normally I rub my boots with mink oil, but I neglected to do that right away with these. Early on I did walk through some nearly ankle deep water, and my feet stayed mostly dry. I had a little leakage at the top of the foot, so I wouldn't call them completely dry. But after I oiled them I had no more significant problems, unless I walked in water that went past the ankle.

Rocky SV2
David Smith

The combination of good construction and boot oil seems to have done the job. In wet conditions my feet stay dry and the drying time for the outside leather uppers is nil after I take them off. Once I applied oil and worked it into the boot, they've performed quite nicely in keeping water out.

One boot that Rocky manufactures and that captured my interest is their new Sport Pro Timber Stalker Waterproof Outdoor Boot. This boot carries the same amount of insulation as my Jungle Hunters but it's taller - 16 inches - and is what the company calls a "cross-over between a traditional hunting boot in form and fit, but a rubber boot in that it features full 16-inch waterproofing."

The Timber Stalker looks very promising and will likely be the next pair of boots I acquire. With this boot it looks like the company has combined a hunting boot with the height of a rubber boot. Hopefully it will have solved my boot fit issues and my concerns about hiking in very wet conditions. I'll let you know.

Rocky boots
Rocky Boots

Things I'd change

For the varied terrain and in some cases borderline extreme weather conditions we have in the Midwest, I'd have to say that the Rocky Jungle Hunter is one of the best boots I've worn thus far. It has just about everything I look for in an all-purpose lace-up boot. They offer a pretty good fit, are mostly waterproof, have a tough and very grip-able sole, they're warm, and are pretty comfortable. Plus they're attractive. I like the look of a brown leather boot.

While the fit is good, it's not perfect. There are moments when my heel slips ever so slightly. It's not a big enough deterrent to stop liking the boots.

Thus far I have yet to find the perfect boot for all terrain and weather conditions. I could nitpick, but thats what it would be, nitpicking. These have come close.

I would definitely recommend the Rocky S2V Jungle Hunter as an all-around, multi-season pair of hunting boots. Right now the company is running a close-out on these boots because they're discontinuing the line. You can get them from the Rocky website at a reduced price.

I think you'd be hard pressed to find a better pair of men's hunting boots at that price. I'm very pleased with their performance, durability, and comfort.

But I'd also highly recommend you peruse the many other boot models and variations that Rocky Boots offers. There are likely any number of hunting boots that would suit your individual needs. They have a ton of women's boots and always seem to have special offers going on.

If an affordable pair of high-quality boots have been on your wish list, these would be my suggestion.

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My Review of My Rocky Hunting Boots After Wearing Them for Two Years: They're Pretty Darn Good