Bird Hunting Boots - What do you all Like and Why

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Bird Hunting Boots - What do you all Like and Why

Postby AverageGuy » Tue Oct 25, 2016 10:01 am

So I need to get a pair of medium insulated boots for bird hunting this fall/winter. Thinking 400 grams of thinsulate is what I am after. I have been wearing Danner Pronghorns since they came out and have 3 uninsulated pairs currently. They are light, comfortable and break in easily are the positives. They are not at all waterproof despite claims otherwise and they don't wear real well.

I have been eyeing Kennetreks. I have a pair with 1000 gram thinsulate I bought when I went Cat hunting in 22 below zero. They are excellent but heavy. I am concerned their 400 gram version of the same boot will be heavier than I like to wear when walking all day. I really like light weight boots and shotguns.

So thought I would ask the brain trust what you all like to wear and why. Looking for an 8 to 10 inch boot, waterproof, lightweight as possible, medium insulation and available in B or C width. Appreciate your input. Hoping to avoid buying something expensive I am not satisfied with.
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Re: Bird Hunting Boots - What do you all Like and Why

Postby orhunter » Tue Oct 25, 2016 10:23 am

I've had Kenetrek's for years. The ideal boot for rough country. Waterproof, durable, light, warm without insulation. I've heard good things about the Pronghorns but Danner's don't work for a majority of folks. I'll never buy them again. Had to take an entire elk season off one year because my right ankle hurt so much I couldn't walk. There are several better choices.

The thing about Kenetrek's is, they don't break in or break down, both terms mean the same thing. They remain rigid and supportive their entire life.
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Re: Bird Hunting Boots - What do you all Like and Why

Postby jlw034 » Tue Oct 25, 2016 1:15 pm

Three years ago I went with Danner (I forget the model). After one year the left boot started leaking. Then I went with Irish Setter. One year later they both started leaking. Beginning to wonder if there is a ~$150 boot that can go more than a year.

Now I wear muck boots if I know it's gonna be wet. Poor support, but dry feet are important to me.
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Re: Bird Hunting Boots - What do you all Like and Why

Postby Misskiwi67 » Tue Oct 25, 2016 1:18 pm

I have Schnees. When the left boot started to leak after one season they re-soled them at no charge.
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Re: Bird Hunting Boots - What do you all Like and Why

Postby AverageGuy » Tue Oct 25, 2016 5:43 pm

I might well end up with another pair of Kennetreks. I agree they are stiff and stay stiff which can save ankle for sure. But my 1000 gram insulated pair are a LOAD compared to my Pronghorns. I have actually been elk hunting (and everything else) in Pronghorns since they were invented. Love em but key to that is I am archery hunting in September and it is mostly dry and cool mornings/evening, hot midday temps.

I have 3 pair of Muck Boots. One pair I wear daily working the dogs in the morning dew, another for chores in the mud, and a 3rd camo pair I keep clean and only wear when deer hunting. You are right they don't compete for arch support with a good fitting leather boot but can't beat em for waterproof and ease of keeping scent free.

Still interested in any other experience with other brands if anyone wants to speak up. Thanks for the input/responses.
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Re: Bird Hunting Boots - What do you all Like and Why

Postby jfwhit » Tue Oct 25, 2016 8:49 pm

https://www.crispius.com/hunter-htg-gtx ... nting-boot

These are awesome. I wore them all season last year. They took a beating and still look great. I especially like the ABSS ankle support system. I thought it might be gimmicky, but don't think I could do without now. I am always rolling my ankles. Now I don't have to worry about it while upland hunting. They felt great right out of the box. They are what the reviews say they are.

Seriously give these a solid consideration. Or another style that fits you better.
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Re: Bird Hunting Boots - What do you all Like and Why

Postby Gauge » Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:57 am

Kenetrek Hardscrabble, non-insulated. As long as you are moving insulation is not needed and I trek through a fair amount of snow late season. Buy some good wool socks. Years ago I was in the same boat, every boot seemed to fail after a year or two, moved to Kenetrek's and never looked back. The hardscrabble is a good firm boot but not to heavy, I've put 15 plus miles in a day in these boots and my feet felt great.
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Re: Bird Hunting Boots - What do you all Like and Why

Postby Dakotazeb » Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:59 am

I tried a pair of Kenetrek boots a few years back for upland hunting. They were just way too stiff for me. Great boots though. Probably the best built boots I've ever seen.
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Re: Bird Hunting Boots - What do you all Like and Why

Postby jlw034 » Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:18 am

Kenetrek = $450!!!

Ouch...but for good boots it might be worth it
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Re: Bird Hunting Boots - What do you all Like and Why

Postby AverageGuy » Wed Oct 26, 2016 12:14 pm

Well what would seem to be simple is not.

Best fit for me is a B or C width which eliminates the Crispius line (The 10 inch Idaho GTX was looking good til I learned they only make D and larger widths).

On the Kenetrek Hardscrabble the height is only 7 inches which is lower than I like/need to avoid rolling an ankle. Still evaluating that but wary of the lower height.

So far the choice seems to be a heavily built mountain boot of excellent quality but overkill sole/weight and rigidity for prairie bird hunts, or many mainstream models/brands at half the price that will leak water in a season or less. If those are the only choices I will buy the Kenetreks. I have a pair and they are worth the money when they are the right tool for the job. Not sure they are in this case, however.

Still shopping and soliciting input.
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Re: Bird Hunting Boots - What do you all Like and Why

Postby orhunter » Wed Oct 26, 2016 12:24 pm

"Good boots, might be worth it?" If you hunt Chukars and Huns in the west or do wilderness big game hunting, they're worth it. If a person is buying boots every 2/3/4 years of another brand, you're throwing money away.

Yes, overkill for prairie hunts but I got 'em so I wear 'em. Hardscrabble are too short.
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Re: Bird Hunting Boots - What do you all Like and Why

Postby AverageGuy » Wed Oct 26, 2016 12:26 pm

Dakotazeb wrote:I tried a pair of Kenetrek boots a few years back for upland hunting. They were just way too stiff for me. Great boots though. Probably the best built boots I've ever seen.


So you are a prairie bird hunter, What are you wearing in the snow and ice if I might ask please?
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Re: Bird Hunting Boots - What do you all Like and Why

Postby ryanr » Wed Oct 26, 2016 12:56 pm

I don't believe there is just one great boot, there are several. I had (still have actually) a pair of Meindl Perfekt Hunters. Great boot, I loved them- sturdy, well-built and with great ankle support, excellent mountain boot. Now I have a pair of Danner Grouse boots that I absolutely love wearing as well- I love the fit, they're very well made. The stitch-down process is a great concept and their air-bob sole is awesome at shedding mud and snow. With each pair I was able to walk and hunt all day.

I will say this, I believe a good boot that will ultimately fit you the best has a breaking in period. Meindls tend to be rather stiff at first but break in really well to provide enough support on steel hillsides while still being comfortable as well. The Danner Grouse boot is built on a last that has a narrower toe box and midfoot and well-defined heel "cup." I broke them in by taking them on a few hikes, through streams and all. The result was the boot "molded" around my foot. Same with my Meindl boots.

Really, good boots tend to come with some initial sticker shock but when you consider that you likely won't need to buy new ones for a number of years, the price is actually quite reasonable.
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Re: Bird Hunting Boots - What do you all Like and Why

Postby Gauge » Wed Oct 26, 2016 3:26 pm

personal preference on height, I don't have ankle issues so the scrabbles work great for me, and I have found the stiffness is perfect for me on uneven ground and once broken in they fit like a glove. Won't lie though they took some getting use to, felt like a ski boot the first few times out. The price certainly drops the jaw a little but after having to replace $150+ boots every year or so I bit the bullet.
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Re: Bird Hunting Boots - What do you all Like and Why

Postby AverageGuy » Thu Oct 27, 2016 6:12 am

Ryan, I looked at the Danner Grouse Boots. I wondered how long you have had the Danner Grouse boots and if they are still waterproof? Also wondered how stiff the sole is? Thanks for the response.
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