Best Elk Hunting Boots For Your Next Hunt
It’s that time of year again. The leaves are changing, the weather is cooling down, and hunters everywhere are gearing up for their next big hunt. If you’re looking for a new pair of boots to take with you on your elk hunt, you’re in luck! In this blog post, we will be discussing the best elk hunting boots of 2022. We’ll go over some of the most popular brands and models, and help you find the perfect pair for your next Hunt adventure!
The key to discovering the perfect pair of elk boots is to be open-minded, have a reasonable budget, and ask questions of top-tier boot makers. Having the appropriate boot on your feet when you reach the Rockies may make the difference between notching a tag and returning home empty-handed. At minimum, the appropriate boot will keep you warm, dry, comfy, and mobile throughout your expedition. Get yourself some of the best elk hunting boots available for your trip so that it’s more pleasurable and successful.
- Best Overall: Kenetrek Mountain Extreme 400 Elk Hunting Boot
- Best for High Country: Zamberlan Lynx GTX Elk Hunting Boot
- Best for Low-Country: Crispi Attiva Mid GTX Elk Hunting Boot
- Best for Cold Weather: Kenetrek Mountain 1000 Elk Hunting Boot
- Best Lightweight: Salomon Quest 4 Gore-Tex Elk Hunting Boot
- Best Budget: LaCrosse Lodestar Elk Hunting Boot
1. Kenetrek Mountain Extreme 400 Elk Hunting Boot: Best Overall
The Kenetrek Mountain Extreme 400 elk hunting boot would be my top pick if I could only choose one. It’s slightly insulated for cooler temperatures, yet 4.2 pounds makes it a versatile option overall.
If you apply Kenetrek boot care products once a year, the boots will continue to have their waterproof construction and last several seasons. The K-Talon outsole provides tremendous traction, and when the legs get tired and you start dragging your feet, that traction can be quite useful.
The boots will feel stiff at first, as any good mountain hiker should; nevertheless, there is no break-in period. Blisters and comfort are never an issue for me when I wear these boots with a high-quality pair of Kenetrek socks like the Ultimate Liner Lightweight Over-The-Calf-Socks.
- Windtex waterproof membrane
- 400-gram Thinsulate insulation
- Ruber sole guard
The Mountain Extreme is perfect for early-season adventures with 400-grams of Thinsulate insulation, and it will keep you warm in October and early November. The boots’ 10-inch height provides excellent ankle support and keeps debris and snow out. The upper is 2.8mm full-grain leather, making this an overall exceptional boot build.
- 10-inches tall
- Aggressive tread
2. Zamberlan Lynx GTX Elk Hunting Boot: Best for High Country
These boots have a tough sole that gives traction in any terrain, and the just-right tightness around the ankle provided by the BOA system is another aspect you’ll love. These boots are completely waterproof thanks to Gore-Tex combined with a Hydrobloc Treatment on Nubuck Leather, and Zamberlan’s Flex System allows the upper portion of the boot to bend forward without sacrificing lateral support—a necessary feature when side-hilling.
The addition of the rubber band around the toe regions extends boot longevity, and I appreciate the whole foot protection that this mid-high boot construction provides. You don’t see many boots that combine strength and weight in such a perfect manner, but Zamberlan has done it here. Send your worn-down soles back to Zamberlan and have new ones installed if you like walking in these boots as much as I do.
- Rubber toebox rand
- BOA lacing system
The Nubuck leather with Hydrobloc Treatment is bulletproof, and the Flex 4mm + PE insole is ultra-comfortable. It’s great for high-altitude elk hunts.
- Vibram 3D Camo outsole
- Zamberlan Flex System
3. Crispi Attiva Mid GTX Elk Hunting Boot: Best for Low-Country
If you haven’t put your feet in a pair of Crispi’s, now is the time. The Attiva Mid GTX is one of the finest efforts from this boot manufacturer. This boot was designed for the on-the-go archery hunter who wants to hunt quickly and lightly.
Leather/synthetic materials were used for the upper, making it extremely pleasant. I adore the detachable footbed as well. Even though these boots provide excellent circulation, you will sweat while bowhunting elk season, particularly when hunting at lower elevations.
Crispi’s Thermo Wire Technology provides excellent ankle support, and I have never had any issues with these boots. The sole is solid and grippy without being too aggressive, which is perfect for me. However, I am not a big fan of the speed lacing system. It hasn’t failed me yet, but as a control freak I prefer to be able to fully customize the tension on the laces myself.
- Water repellent
- Speed Lacing System
- Elastoflex EVA midsole
Boots that are both suede and made of breathable synthetic materials will keep your feet dry and comfortable while circulating air.
- Removable footbed
- .95 pounds
- Water repellent upper
- Speed Lacing System
4. Kenetrek Mountain 1000 Elk Hunting Boot– BEST FOR COLD WEATHER
Yes, these boots are costly, but I’ve trekked hundreds of miles across the Rockies in them and used them when riding horseback. Despite their thick sole and heavy insulation, the boots feel light on the feet and provide a nice sensation on the ground. The 7mm nylon midsoles offer great support while toting a heavy pack and the sole guard protects the lower leather from abrasion.
The K-Talon outsole is a little too aggressive for me, but I appreciate the traction it provides. When I’m tired and dragging my feet, the sole catches on the ground quite frequently. This is by far the greatest cold weather elk boot I’ve ever worn. For four years, I’ve had my pair, and if you use Kenetrek boot care products, they’ll last a long time.
- 10-inches tall
- 7mm nylon midsoles
- 1,000g Thinsulate
These boots are great. They’re light, insulate well, and have never given me a hot spot or blistered me. While these boots are designed for severe weather, I’ve worn them with a liner sock numerous times throughout the month of October and November, and I was completely fine.
- Durable leather uppers
- Windtex waterproof
- Sole is a tad too aggressive
5. Salomon Quest 4 Gore-Tex Elk Hunting Boot– BEST LIGHTWEIGHT
In recent years, this boot has quickly gained traction among elk hunters. It’s designed for tougher trails and off-the-grid adventures, but I love the soft, breathable textile lining that makes it comfortable to wear. Once your feet are inside, they feel well supported and you don’t have to worry about blisters or hotspots.
You can buy this boot at most sporting goods stores and head directly to the mountain without having to break it in first. The molded OrthoLite insole provides decent cushioning while still molding to your foot over time. The only downside is that I wish Salomon offered the same model with a slightly less aggressive tread pattern.”
- Eva foam for shock
- Gusseted tongue
- 4D advanced chassis
The Contragrip Mud is well suited for capturing loose dirt as well as shale rock. The full-grain Nubuck leather construction adds to the longevity of the boots. They’re GORE-TEX lined, and Salomon went above and beyond by coating them with a special treatment that prevents the fabric from absorbing water.
- Traditional lacing system
- OrthoLite sockliner
- Lack of cushion
- Ultra-aggressive sole
6. LaCrosse Lodestar Elk Hunting Boot – BEST BUDGET
When you think of LaCrosse, you probably imagine rubber boots for whitetails, but this western boot design is excellent and will save you money. The Lodestar boots are typically comfy as long as they are broken in, and I like the DuraFit Heel Cup that keeps the heel in place to prevent rubbing and lack of feel on the ground. For two years, I’ve worn these boots from the high country to the low country and they’ve shown their strength.
The Vibram Lodestar Outsole provides excellent grip and the Eva Midsole is extremely comfortable – even when you’re carrying a lot of weight. The boots are lightweight and uninsulated, but my only complaint is that they don’t provide enough support around the ankles. Overall, these 7-inch tall elk hunting boots offer great value for the price.
- DuraFit heel cup
- Hexguard toe
The majority of the boot is composed of rubber and synthetic, but there’s a lot of Nubuck leather to go along with it. The boots are lightweight, weighing in at just 2.9 pounds, and the Gore-Tex lining ensures moisture escapes.
- Break-in period
- Lack of ankle support
Every boot mentioned in this blog has been worn and tested for efficacy in the elk woods. Boots were put to the test in a variety of terrain and weather conditions, with each journey noted—both good and bad aspects—recorded. I spend a lot of time each fall in the elk woods. I’ve done hunting with both excellent boots and ones that weren’t worth looking at again. The criteria I used to make my decisions are listed below.
- Comfort: Are the boots comfortable enough to be worn all day in the elk woods?
- Durability: Are the boots sturdy enough to endure the rigorous terrain and conditions of elk hunting?
- Weight: How does the weight of the boots affect your style of hunting?
- Construction: What are the boots made of? Are they waterproof?
- Price: Is the cost of these boots justified?
Frequently Asked Questions
What Boots Do I Wear For Elk Hunting?
Because choosing a boot is entirely personal, I recommend forgetting about what other people wear. Instead, find the exact fit for you that matches your style of elk hunting. If I had to pick one pair, it would be anything made by Kenetrek.
Do Elk Boots Need To Be Waterproof?
Yes. Of course, there are a few areas in Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada where a waterproof boot isn’t necessary, but it doesn’t hurt. Rain showers occur almost every afternoon for mountain elk hunters, and I’ve never been on an elk trip where I didn’t cross numerous streams and rivers throughout the day. You can’t forget to mention that soggy early morning meadows along the mountainside. Your feet may get damp before you even start your day while walking through calf-high grass.
How Heavy Should Elk Hunting Boots Be?
For me, the lighter the better. However, most of my elk hunts are during archery season. The weather is seldom harsh, and I’m walking miles every day. Late-season elk hunters shouldn’t be concerned about weight, especially if they hunt areas where snow is required to drive herds out of the high country. These hunts are more sit-and-wait than stand-and-shoot because warmth is more important than lightness.
Your feet are the most important part of your hunting gear, so don’t be afraid to spend money on a good pair of boots. Nothing is worse than having wet, blistered feet when you’re trying to hunt elk. Find a boot that gives you a great fit and feel, and that you can have confidence in—spend the money and add it to your hunting collection.