Gear Test: Best Hunting and Hiking Boots for 2014

Gear Test: Best Hunting and Hiking Boots for 2014


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

Recommended for You


Quick Tips: How to Spot and Stalk a Hog

Ian Nance - May 28, 2019

Try these tips to improve your wild boar hunting skill set.


Find and Fish Bluegill Beds Efficiently

Terry Madewell - May 22, 2019

You can catch bluegill faster with these strategies.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Simms' Solarflex Ultra Cool Armor Hoody

John Frazier of Simms Fishing Products helps OSG's Lynn Burkhead understand the new features of the new Simms' Solarflex Ultra Cool Armor sun protection hoody.

Costa and Captains for Clean Water

With the company's heavy involvement in initiatives like Kick the Plastic and Captains for Clean Water campaigns, Costa's Amanda Sabin tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead all about the sunglass maker's unwavering commitment to help the freshwater and saltwater environment.

Berkley's New Terminal Tackle

OSG's Lynn Burkhead and Chad LaChance, host of World Fishing Network's Fishful Thinker television show, talk about Berkley's new innovative terminal tackle being introduced at ICAST 2019.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories


12 Great Catfish Baits

Jeff Samsel

Dozens of different bait types are commonly used for catfish, including these great options.

Other Freshwater

5 Great Lures For Bluegills

Stephen D. Carpenteri - March 10, 2011

Who needs live bait when the big 'gills are so eager to strike these lures?


4 Tips When Jig Fishing For Bass

Chris Schneider - August 25, 2015

A 7 pound giant taken on a jig during the pre-spawn transistion in the Midwest. Although...

See More Stories

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.