Elk hunting boots have to be able to work in a multitude of weather and terrain. Since you will be hiking through rugged mountains and rocky terrain, it’s important that your hunting boots support your feet and ankles.
Hunting elk isn’t easy when you don’t have the right footwear, and in this article, we’ll walk you through a list of some of the best elk hunting boots in 2023.
Top 7 Best Elk Hunting Boots
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Best Waterproof Boots
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Best Lightweight Boots
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Best for All-day Hunting Trips
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Best for Rocky Terrain
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1. Irish Setter Pinnacle – Best Overall
The Irish Setter boots are eleven inches tall, made from leather, and lined for water resistance. These boots will work for archery hunters when it’s dry and rifle hunters when it gets wet or snowy.
With a hard rubber sole made with a very aggressive tread pattern, mud and snow will not be an issue for traction on the trail.
It is worth noting that these boots aren’t insulated against the cold. However, they have odor-killing insoles covered in traction knobs to prevent your feet from slipping inside the boot.
The traction knobs also prevent blisters from forming.
- All leather boot
- Waterproof liner
- Boa Tightening feature
- Reinforced wear areas
- Odor-free insert
The Irish Setter Pinnacle is made of leather, lined with a moisture barrier, and reinforced with a synthetic material on the wear spots on the toe and edge of the foot.
They have amazing traction but are on the higher end of the pricing scale.
2. Rocky Men’s 8-Inch Retraction – Best Waterproof Boots
The Rocky’s Retraction well-insulated boots are a great fit for an elk hunting boot. They have an amazing tread pattern that easily sheds mud and snow with no problems.
These boots are made from leather and synthetic materials, so they will move with your body as you hike or work in them.
The insulation is made of Tinsulate, and the footbeds are made of memory foam. It is also worth noting that these boots are 100% waterproof.
A problem can arise with two different materials in the stitching or the “welding” of seams.
The different materials will dry, heat, and cool at different rates and can break the seals or pull the threads through the materials.
The Rocky’s Retraction elk hunting boots lace up like normal boots and use eyelets, so you should have very few problems as you hike through weeds and sticks and not have the laces coming loose.
- 800g Thinsulate
- Leather-wrapped wear areas, guarded by synthetic materials
- Memory foam insole for comfort
- Boots are constructed with two different materials
The Rocky Retraction boots are made for elk hunting. With their Thinsulate lining and memory foam footbed, these boots are designed to be high performers on any elk hunting trip.
3. Guide Gear Hunting Boots Uplander – Best Lightweight Boots
The Guide Gear Uplander hunting boot toes are wrapped with cow leather to ensure durability.
The tread on these boots is extremely high-quality, and their outsoles are made from rubber, making them easy to clean.
It is important to note that while these boots are lightweight and waterproof, they aren’t insulated, so you must buy well-insulated socks for colder temperatures.
- All leather construction
- Does not have camo material
- Not insulated
- The tread is not good for mud and snow
The Guide Gear Uplander elk hunting boot is designed and made like a factory worker boot, and they are as tough as a factory worker boot.
This boot will be your best bet using ATVs or horses when hunting, and they will keep you dry while hunting elk.
4. R RUNFUN Hunting Boot – Best for All-day Hunting Trips
These elk hunting boots from R RUNFUN are insulated with Thinsulate. They are waterproof, lightweight, and extremely breathable, making them ideal for all kinds of outdoor activities, especially hunting elk.
These boots are also specially designed to withstand harsh environments, thanks to their non-slip soles and reinforced rubber shell on the toes.
- Good tread design
- Good arch support
- Thin insulation
- All synthetic materials
If you want some good all-around hiking boots for trail hiking, the R RUNFUN boot will do the job.
The boots will keep snakes and insects away from you, and late summer high country cool evenings will be no bother at all.
5. Cungel Camo Hunting-Boot – Best for Rocky Terrain
The Cungel Hunting boot works well for elk hunters, hikers, and trekkers alike.
The soles of the Cungel elk hunting boots are rated very high for shock absorption, it is made of EVA rubber, so walking on hard-packed dirt or rocky terrain will be easier with this set of boots.
They are waterproof and water-resistant and come with a removable and washable insole. Their exteriors are made from nylon, making them lightweight and easily maneuverable when hunting elk.
- Shock-absorbing sole construction
- Tread design for rocky areas
- No reinforcement for wear
The Cungel elk hunting boot will be your best friend after a long day of walking on hard-packed dirt, and if you have a very rocky area to spend a lot of time in, this boot may be your best choice.
6. Bolderton Ridge
The Bolerton Ridge’s elk hunting boots are made from well-crafted leather, and their boot design laces tight to your feet so you don’t develop blisters on your feet.
These elk hunting boots have a mesh liner that will wick away moisture from your feet and keep them dry from the insides and outside.
They have OrthoLite Open-Cell Foam insoles that resist compression, thus helping make sure your feet are comfortable and dry all day.
They are also 100% waterproof and use Vibram technology that prevents you from slipping on icy surfaces.
The tread on the Bolerton Ridge elk hunting boots work wonderfully; the mud and snow will not stick around, and if you are hiking on dry ground, the tread is closed enough to not feel fatigued halfway through the day.
- Good tread pattern
- All leather build
- Leather reinforcement for wear areas
- Padded insoles for comfort
- Hook style eyelets
The Bolerton Ridge boots are made from an old-school style of an elk hunting boot, and they will serve you right for years. If it is cold where yo hunt, it will be up to you to provide insulation for your feet.
7. Rocky Men’s Rks0364 Grizzly Boot
The Rocky Rks0364 Grizzly boot is lined with 1000g of Thinsulate insulation.
The tread pattern of the Rocky Rks0364 Grizzly is fantastically designed. It will shed mud and snow and support your feet all day.
The boots are also fitted with a memory foam insole liner and great arch support engineered into the design as well.
The one and only downside I see for this boot is that its liners are not removable, so you will need to be able to dry them overnight so you can hunt the next day.
- Tread and sole design
- Heavy leather materials
- 1000g Thinsulate
- Two different materials
- Non-removable liners
The Rocky Rks3064 Grizzly elk hunting boots will keep you warm and dry for a standard late-season elk hunt.
Hiking in this boot will cause some extra fatigue due to the insulation being heavier than other boots, but the warmth and safety will be your trade-off.
Define the parameters that will aid you in choosing the best product:
If a boot designed for elk hunting is not designed with absolute ruggedness from the first stitch, it will fall apart.
The worst thing that can happen is they fall apart on the trail, and leave you in a very dangerous situation and far from help.
Reinforced wear areas.
Elk hunting is a tough business, and the terrain that elk hunting comes with is some of the toughest.
A good elk hunting boot must be made to fight against the obstacles you will face, so you can focus on the hunt and not your footwear.
Weather is one of the few things that can defeat a human elk hunter, if your choice of footwear is weak, the weather will win.
You must choose elk hunting boots that will not have an issue with the weather while you are shopping and preparing, not suppering because you bought the cheapest boots at the store.
If you can’t get a grip from the traction on our boots, you will get fatigued rapidly – or – you will get injured from a slip and fall.
You know the area you will hunt, so it’s important to think about the kind of traction will you need.
If your elk hunting boots are not comfortable, you will end the hunt early because it is just not worth it.
Make sure you purchase a pair of comfortable boots so that you don’t feel fatigued and irritable halfway through the hunt.
There is absolutely nothing worse than spending hard-earned money on products that are built poorly.
The one thing that is worse is having that item fail you when you need it the most.
Do not go broke buying elk hunting boots, but do not skimp on quality, or you will pay for it later, and it will cost more than money in the end.
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With something as important as your only being able to continue or extract yourself for the backcountry, your boots need to be the highest quality you can afford. Be prepared to spend around 90 to 200 dollars on high-quality elk hunting boots.
The number one thing to look for in the best elk hunting boots is a rugged design that includes materials that can stand up to the design. Elk hunting boots that are not up to the challenge will leave you badly, maybe even injured a very long way from help.
When considering elk hunting boots, you must first hunt the right ones. Do not settle for fashionable boots over rugged and dependable quality elk hunting boots.
Always plan for the extreme when moving a long way away from the road, and the safety of your vehicle.
The only thing between your feet and all of the ruggedness of the outdoors is that set of high-quality elk hunting boots.
The best that I can find that will not let an elk hunter down is the Irish Setter Pinnacle boots from Redwing.
This pair of boots fits every parameter necessary for high-quality elk hunting boots and sets a standard for other boot makers to follow.
Purchasing elk hunting boots is a serious part of the preparation, and quality must be at the top of the list for this critical part of the elk hunting kit.