Hunting boot round-up
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- Last updated: 26/01/2017
The active airgun hunter needing to get within range of a shot in the field not only needs good field craft but sturdy yet lightweight boots with suitable soles to help them almost ‘glide’ towards his target. Footwear needs to be silent and flexible as we walk but robust and rugged enough of build to negotiate a wide variety of terrain. So here’s what I recommend!
Manufactured from full grain brown leather, the Fieldman boast ‘Vibram Trek Hunter’ rubber outsoles with a high rubber rand to give extra ‘all-round’ protection. The Hydroguard membrane used in the manufacture means they’re fully waterproof and breathable - behind a mesh inner is 200-gms of Thinsulate insulation. The company term the boots as having an Agion antimicrobial treatment making them odour resistant, and there’s added padding at the tongue and heel for comfort and support. They use the same design on the outsole as the Hunter Boot. This toe and heel section of the aggressive lugged sole is slightly raised making walking stealthily an easy task. A speed lace system is used with four lower pairs of captive ‘D’-rings that stop at the lower part of the ankle where your foot moves as you walk. An open metal hasp type fastener is set back so the boot can be drawn securely to the foot and then two more pairs ensure they boots can be drawn securely to your foot. Well designed boot and very comfortable to wear.
Many airgun hunters will take an interest in this one as at present it’s the only field boot available in Realtree apg camo. However, it’s not only cosmetics that make it so universally versatile. Surprisingly light in weight the tough all Cordura boot has an extended external front and high back reinforcement. A Gore-Tex lining takes care of waterproofing, coupled with a breathable mesh lining whilst 400-grm of Thinsulate provides insulation. The padded collar is forgiving and comfortable, with all seams being double stitched. Lacing is catered for by four pairs of captive, metal, anti-rust D- rings and three pairs of open clasps for speed lacing. When worn you appreciate the protection and comfort of the thick yet comfortable EVA midsole and when walking any distance the Terra suspension PU cushion footbed really shows its worth. The sole is classed by Rocky as ‘an aggressive all-terrain’ Lynx outsole. The light brown colour rubber rand merges well with the overall look and the cleat and lug design suits the designation Rocky assign to it. The stylish look and high quality build makes the Rocky Lynx a very impressive boot.
These attractive stalker-designated boots have the effective Mossy Oak Break Up Pattern on the outer and feel superb as soon as you slip into them. Manufactured with Nubuck leather and a Cordura 1000D upper, they use what is termed as a memory fit as they seem to hug all points of the foot they contact. In use they cope superbly over wet grassland and roughish terrain. The ‘Harkila PS’ sole system with dual density moulded and exposed EVA and rubber outsole combine to claim the right to be termed the ‘silent stalkers’ of Harkila’s range. They use a Gore-tex performance comfort lining so no sweaty feet. The shank and pronation control for stability works using cleverly positioned forefoot flex-zones to give extreme flexibility. Outer toe and heel reinforcement is clearly seen but in no way conflicting with the rest of the lightweight hi-tech design. Underneath the insole (footbed), are differing density foams, insulated padding and impact resistant gel-inserts are positioned at the area the foot flexes as you walk. Lacing is catered for by four pairs of anti-rust eyelets and a further three pairs of speed lace open clasps stopping just short of the wrap around comfort Suede look-a-like padded collar. During my time as a hunter, I’ve yet during long stalks leading to memorable shots ever experienced anything like them. Superb!
The Pyrenees Walking boots are built to keep feet dry and comfortable over long walks and relatively rough terrain. These practical, stylish mid height boots use the KEEN.DRY membrane. This is the all-important waterproof yet breathable barrier that seals out precipitation while allowing moisture to wick away so feet don’t feel clammy. KEEN use their own-design, carbon rubber outsole which utilise a mass of multi-directional lugs. The removable metatomical footbed is given an S3 heel support structure and tension stability ESS shank, a semi-rigid structure that seemingly positions your foot to roll as it should. Toe protection comes well up and over the front and rear giving excellent protection and grip. Three pairs of captive metal D-rings are positioned along either side of the forefoot giving way at your ankles natural ‘bend’ point to three pairs of speed lacing hooks affording a totally unhindered and high level of flexibility of movement. Keen has a new boot out that will eventually replace the Pyranees. Called the Durand it features many new methods of construction that will add to both user comfort and general ability. Space permits no more but Keen are sending pair to test for next month.
Manufactured from a hard wearing Cordura material with an AIR-TEX2 membrane for waterproofing and breathability a ‘Scentech’ odour blocker is also incorporated into the build. With the company’s own camo pattern adorning the outer the boots lace up with four pairs of metal eyelets then from approximately ankle height use three pairs of open metal hooks to speed lace all the way up to the top. They are re-enforced at the toe and heel, also they have ridges of reinforcement along either side at the midsection. The very top has two almost tubular shape sections of padding for wearer comfort and to further help prevent water ingress at this point. The cleats of the forgiving sole are of a very interesting design being quite sparse in places and in others there are thick deep lugs, circles. At the toe and rear are backward facing ridges. This combination allows for easy cleaning but more importantly a good grip on a variety of surfaces and terrain. If you’re looking for high spec’ lighter weight high leg stalking boot then these are hard ones to beat.
Manufactured from ‘split’ leather and synthetic materials a polyamide lining holds the generous internal ‘padding’ and a Gore-tex waterproof breathable membrane within the cleverly designed outer and inner structure. Exclusive to Aigle is the ‘X-Act’ concept - the term used for the ‘shoe architecture’ optimising foot support throughout for optimum wearer comfort yet being forgiving enough to flex for stealth and slow, positive movement. Lacing is catered for by four pairs of swivel loops three pairs of open speed hooks above. Further comfort is aided by the padded top section coming down lower at the rear. The toe and heel are reinforced for extra protection and the Vibram rubber outsole is hardwearing yet durable giving excellent grip with shock absorbing qualities. The wide cleat design is easy to clean and all in all these are a fine stalking boot with an impressive pedigree.