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Gear & Accessories

Gear Test: Best Hunting and Hiking Boots for 2014

by Game & Fish Online Staff   |  June 27th, 2014 2

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Summer is one of our favorite times at Game & Fish because it means we can once again take off into the wild for our next warm weather adventure. Whether we’re hiking the forgotten trails of the Idaho backcountry in search of black bear or casting a line for some burly largemouth bass in the Midwest, summer is the perfect opportunity to experience the outdoors all over again.

No matter which excursion you have planned, the right footwear can make all the difference. To help you find the best boot for your next adventure, we grabbed five of the best boots on the market and put them to the test: the Adidas Terrex Fast X Mid GTX, Danner Gila, Keen Verdi II Mid WP, Under Armour Speed Freek Chaos, Lowa Ranger II GTX and Irish Setter Havoc. To help bring consistency to the test, we all wore Icebreaker merino wool socks.

We assigned each pair of boots to a wear tester and asked them to rate the boots based on four different categories: overall comfort, stability, traction and mobility. Our testers put no less than 35 miles on each pair of boots, on every terrain from sidewalks and office floors to straight vertical terrain and rocky, aggressive trails.

For each category, our testers ranked the boot on a scale of 1 to 10 and explained their reasoning. We then consulted as a group to compile the final scores.

We began our gear test with a break-in period and gave feedback about how difficult or easy the boots were to make our own. We counted the miles and noted the point at which initial break-in issues—general stiffness, walking discomfort, and so on—disappeared.

We also evaluated what we thought was the best use for each boot, giving you some idea of which activities the boots are best suited for based on the particular design elements employed. Every boot we tested would make an excellent addition to any sportsman’s collection, but some are better suited for certain tasks than others. Our goal was to help you find the right hiking boot for your needs.

Whether you’re preparing for a backcountry hunt, getting ready for deer season, planning a weekend hike or you just need a versatile, all-purpose boot, we’ve got the right footwear for you. Check out the best hunting and hiking boots of 2014 and get your summer plans off to a rocking good start.

Photos by Michael Anschuetz

  • lakebarkleybungalow.com

    Do you offer advertising in your magazine for weekly property rentals. We have a cabin that we would love to advertise in the hunting/fishing magazines.

  • cindy curel

    Lowa Men’s Tibet GTX Trekking Boot is the best hiking boots in the market . These particular 100% Nubuck hiking boots are built sturdy and comfortable with an anatomically contoured tongue and Vibram sole that allows you to carry a heavy load of 50 lbs. or more, this in turn, is a nice benefit when hauling pack loads of equipment into the wilderness. They are constructed with seamless, Gortex lining to keep your feet cushioned and dry, while the perforated interior lining keeps them moisture free and cool during those long, hard treks. In addition, the Flexfit design provides natural ankle flex and heel fit for easy movement. The Lowa Men’s Tibet GTX Trekking boot is ideal for hiking and mountaineering, or packing in your hunting gear for the long weekend. When Mother Nature throws a curve ball, it’s important to be prepared for the elements, and assured that your feet will take you where you need them to with ease. You can get more great and reviews about them on http://www.bootzoom.com/best-hunting-boots-reviews/

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