Hunting Boot Help

I know it’s the ‘offseason’ in terms of bird hunting.  Given the retail cycle, now is the time to get what you need for the next season, as it gives you time to break it in.  Since my first bird hunt earlier this year, I’ve focused on building a hunting wardrobe, most of which I’ve procured in the offseason.  Quite frankly, I’m really happy with what I’ve found, and especially the deals I’ve found.  Another post for later on…

One thing I need to add is a good pair of upland boots.  I currently hunt in the Dubarry Kildare boots, and really like them.  They’ve been great so far, but with an upcoming trip to South Dakota, I’d like to get a pair that will work for 3 days of 8+ miles of walking (no rubber boots and nothing too fancy).  The Dubarrys are great, but since they are slip on, they get a little loose after a half day hunt.

For this next pair, there are a few specifics I’m looking for: First, I’d like to get a pair that laces up.  Second, they need to be weather-proof.  Third, I’d like them to have a more traditional look; not ‘English Countryside’, but also not ‘SEAL Team Six’.  Lastly, they need to provide support and comfort for day-long walks in all sorts of terrain, from the Dakotas to South Georgia plantations.  From a price perspective, I don’t want to break the bank, but if I hear that a higher priced boot will be a better value proposition, I’m all ears.

This is where I’d like your help.  Here are five upland boots that I’ve zero’ed in on…I’d love to hear your thoughts, as well as your recommendations.

From Top Left:

1. Irish Setter Wingshooter Boots:  I really like these.  They are a Red Wing company, so the quality shouldn’t be an issue.  I like that they are all leather, and that they have a good looking toe box.  They’d look good in the lodge, as well as in the field.  The price point seems to give them a good value proposition.
2. Danner Pronghorn Boots:  These Pronghorns get rave reviews on all the forums, but I hear the sizing is tricky.  These look to be extremely sturdy, and will really hold up to the elements, which may be too much for non-South Dakota hunts.  Danner has a good reputation, and the price point is good.
3. Orvis Kangaroo Featherweight Upland Boots:  The good thing about Kangaroo leather is that it should break in in roughly fifteen minutes.  I know for a fact that Orvis’ standards are extremely high.  This tells me that these boots – although a little more expensive than most – would be a good long term investment.
4. Chippewa 8″ Upland Boots:  I have a couple buddies that hunt in Chippewas, and swear by them.  I like these boots, but I’m concerned that the non-leather upper would break down.  I’d also prefer hooks for the laces and not holes, especially for an 8-9″ boot.
5. Russell Moccasin X Covey Rise Upland Boots:  These are the most expensive, but they are extremely sharp.  They are hand made by Russell; the process takes about sixteen weeks.  I love the look, and they are the same design that Russell has been producing forever.  Given that these wouldn’t be ready until ~September, I don’t know if I’d have time to break them in.

There you have it.  My rundown.  I’d like to make this purchase in the next month, so let me know what you think.



  1. SWB
    05/24/2017 / 8:00 AM

    I can’t offer much help on how they preform hunting but danner boots are the best I’ve ever worn. I work in agriculture and wear my danner boots (the 8″ quarry wedge sole) 6-7 days a week. I’ve never had a wet sock, never slipped and never had any foot pain (with the addition of a good pair of insoles). They use real gore-text and made in the USA. They were a little pricey but like most things, you get what you pay for. 

  2. JCM
    05/24/2017 / 9:19 AM

    Danner.  I’ve spent close to 20 years in EMS and the majority of that rotating between 3 pair of Danner Acadia.  One is pushing 15 years, newest is 4.  They can be recrafted for a small fee.  

  3. 05/24/2017 / 9:31 AM

    I’ve tried a few on your list, but the list lacks my favorite pair.  LL Bean makes a kangaroo leather boot that I’ve found to be durable and lightweight.  They make it in wide sizes, insulated or not, and goretex.  Best of all, you get the LL Bean warranty.  They already replaced one pair of mine that didn’t fit quite right, no questions asked.  Now I own them in a wide size, and couldn’t be happier.

    • RCB
      05/24/2017 / 2:42 PM


  4. Sasquatch
    05/24/2017 / 10:21 AM

    I wear a pair of 8in classic moc Redwings. Great all year boot with a classic American upland/deer hunting look. Very tough and reliable. If you need extra warmth just a good pair wool socks but they also cool enough to do summer chores. I keep them oiled and waxed….and I have never had a day of cold wet feet even hunting in January in Kansas. Once broken in they fit like a glove and able to walk many miles a day hunting with no problems.

  5. JLP
    05/24/2017 / 11:44 AM

    I’d talk to the folks down at Kevin’s in Thomasville – they won’t steer you wrong. 

  6. BRYAN
    05/24/2017 / 2:24 PM


  7. Broc
    05/24/2017 / 5:22 PM

    You can’t go wrong with the Danner Pronghorn. My brother, father and myself have each owned about three pairs and have put a lot of miles on each pair bird hunting. I would recommend going with an uninsulated pair, the insulated pair can get a bit ‘clunky’.

    Another boot you might want to look at is the LL Bean Kangaroo Upland boot. I found a great price and picked up a pair last year. They’re durable, comfortable and with the moc toe, looks good in the lodge.

    Good luck and if you ever find yourself on the east side of Nebraska and want to hunt some pheasant/quail/duck be sure to message me. 

  8. Jared
    05/24/2017 / 5:50 PM

    Setter is the best boot for the money, hands down.mine are about 12 years old and have served me very well from 75 degrees in S Ga and to teens and snow in SoDak. Get GoreTex model, definitely. 

    The only boot I think worth spending a lot more money on is Russell. 

  9. Nem
    05/25/2017 / 8:23 AM

    I like Russell’s South 40 Bird Shooter or the traditional Bird Shooter.  Filson makes a great boot too, not sure how they got left of your list.

  10. Perry
    05/25/2017 / 9:40 AM

    Have a pair of the 6″ Chippewas, and have had them for going on 10+ years. Those non-leather uppers are tough as nails and show no sign of breakdown. I liked them so much when I got them that I bought a 2nd pair, that so far have not come out of the box as the original pair have held up so well. Cannot speak to the others, but these are great boots.

  11. 05/28/2017 / 12:28 PM

    If you go with the Danners, start breaking them in now. Danners take a while to break in.

  12. Seve
    05/30/2017 / 5:43 PM

    I have always used the LL Bean Maine Hunting Shoe in 12″ height. They are the best and most comfortable hunting boots you will buy. With wool socks they are warm enough for -20* below and hip high snow here in Minnesota, and nimble enough for the field/woods with bare ground as well. They are handmade in the US and cost less than $150, I think. If you order, make sure you order directly from LL Bean and request a pair with lace hooks (vs. holes)…that’ll save you a lot of time lacing up. They’ll do it for a $2 fee or something like that. Plus, they are guaranteed for life. I know you are down south and just getting into hunting, you are probably not going to be hunting in snow or ice hardly ever, and if you’re out primarily on farm raised quail it’ll be more than enough shoe for your needs. Hope this helps. P.S. – Also, you should get a proper pair of upland briar pants…LL Bean sells the best pair on the market (make sure you get the gortex model).

    • Nem
      05/31/2017 / 10:11 AM

      Filson brush pants are tough as nails, worth the money.  But, since I’m sure RCS is eager to graduate from Suzuki Samurai-pulled hunt buggies to hunting on horseback, you’ll want to get a pair of Filson tin cloth chaps.  Wear over jeans or whatever trousers you want and they will be much more comfortable in the saddle.  And get yourself some Gokey snake boots.

      • Seve
        06/02/2017 / 2:09 PM

        Chaps are for dorks… 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Close Me
Looking for Something?
Post Categories: