April 12, 2023
In the early days of my spring turkey hunting career, the early morning gear assembly centered around making sure I had my shotgun, a box of shotshells and the right call. Or more accurately—since I'm a confirmed gear junkie—the right calls, since my vest was likely to contain several on any given morning. Yeah, I'm a marketer's dream, which might explain why my vest was so heavy and my back ached so much after a day spent running and gunning in the North Texas woods.
But after a close encounter with a big old Texas rattlesnake one April morning, wearing the proper boots became a matter of pressing concern. As the years have gone by and I've encountered cold conditions, wet days and just wanting a little more comfort, my garage shelves now contain several turkey-hunting boot options. If you're looking for the perfect boot for spring turkeys this year, here are several options to consider:
Danner Sharptail Snake Boot
Upland bird hunters might recognize the Danner Sharptail lineup as a great option for hiking across the New England grouse woods, sharptail country in Montana, or South Dakota cornfields for autumn roosters. But the veteran footwear manufacturer also has a winning snake-proof boot that will work for turkey hunters in the spring. With a full-grain leather and 900 Denier nylon upper, this boot is tough on the outside, and with 360-degree Snake Guard protection, you don't have to worry about rattlers in Texas, water moccasins in Florida, or copperheads in the Carolinas.
Snake protection and rugged durability are only a couple of this 17-inch boot's features. Add in a removable OrthoLite Footbed, the famed Danner Sharptail Outsole and TERRA FORCE platform, a side zipper and lace-up front, and a 100-percent waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex membrane, and this boot is as comfortable on the inside as it is heavy duty on the outside. And with other Sharptail boot options available, the entire lineup is great to consider for hunting spring turkeys and fall upland birds. danner.com | $330
Irish Setter MudTrek Boot
No matter how wet and slippery the hunting conditions are in the spring turkey woods, the Irish Setter MudTrek boot will keep you climbing muddy hillsides, walking through shallow creek bottoms, and having dry socks and feet on a dew-soaked morning. Checking in as a 17-inch pull-on rubber hunting boot, this model features vulcanized rubber for waterproof construction, as well as a rubber mudder outsole that provides stability and traction in rough-and-tumble terrain thanks to an aggressive lug pattern. With unisex sizing that will work for men, women and youth, this boot also has a Mossy Oak Country DNA camo upper along with ScentBan scent control. And with easy-on-easy-off leg and ankle openings, this stylish and comfortable boot can work in the turkey woods, back at the cabin, or in a late October treestand as the whitetail rut approaches. irishsetterboots.com | $199
LaCrosse AeroHead Sport Boot
If you hunt in the swampy low country of South Carolina, need to cross a rain swollen creek in Tennessee, or have to negotiate some muddy terrain in Western Merriam's country, a rubber boot might be a preferred option for spring hunts. The AeroHead Sport from LaCrosse is a game-changer in that department, turning to a shell made from extremely durable, lightweight and insulating polyurethane, the same material used to insulate refrigerators and freezers. That helps to keep hunters light on their feet in this 16-inch boot that checks in with a weight of just five pounds.
Hunters don't have to worry about their socks getting wet either from pesky holes and boot punctures, since the AeroHead Sport features lightweight neoprene uppers and uses Brush Tuff material on the outside to stand up to unforgiving brush and briers. That results in another winner from LaCrosse, an abrasion-resistant boot (there's also a shin guard for extra protection without adding bulk) that is lightweight, comfortable, durable and waterproof. It's the complete package in a hunting boot when wet conditions exist. lacrossefootwear.com | $240
LaCrosse NWTF Grange Boot
Dubbed the official boot of turkey season, LaCrosse has taken its famous Grange rubber boot and added Mossy Oak camouflage and a partnership with the National Wild Turkey Federation to keep the spring woods filled with gobbles for many years to come. Using 100-percent waterproof rubber construction, this 18-inch boot has a nylon fabric lining to aid getting into and out of the boot, as well as a fiberglass shank, EVA footbed, adjustable top strap and Lacrosse’s revolutionary ankle fit.
With the NWTF logo adorning the outside, these stylish boots also support conservation since LaCrosse gives a portion of each sale back to the NWTF to support wild-turkey conservation efforts. That's a win-win in the turkey woods. lacrossefootwear.com | $120
Merrell Moab 2 Timber Waterproof Boot
Not every turkey hunter needs or wants a rubber boot, or something tall and snake-proof. For those who like to hunt run-and-gun style by hiking through prickly pear flats in Texas, the rolling terrain of the Rocky Mountains, or the pine and oak forests back east, the Merrell Moab 2 Timber Waterproof boot is a great choice for turkey hunting.
With Merrell's ComfortBase footbed and midsole technology for superior shock absorption and cushion on rugged terrain, this eight-inch boot feels like a top-end hiking boot. Add in a full-grain waterproof leather upper, a waterproof membrane inside that keeps H2O at bay and still allows the foot to breathe, and this is a comfortable and dry boot all day long.
And with Merrell's Air Cushion in the heel to absorb shock and add stability, not to mention a slip and oil resistant durable rubber outsole, and this boot is comfortable and steady no matter how rugged the terrain you're hiking through while trying to strike up a gobbling bird on a fine spring day. merrell.com | $175
Rocky Sport Pro Pull-On Rubber Snake Boot
Rocky is one of America's leading footwear manufacturers for hunters and the Rocky Sport Pro Rubber Snake Boot is another winner from this longtime Ohio bootmaker. With 100-percent waterproof protection, vulcanized rubber construction, rubber outsole, and steel shank and removable footbed, this boot is tough in the woods where rainfall or other water encounters are a definite possibility.
And if there's a chance you might see a venomous snake, this boot has you covered there, too, thanks to 16 inches worth of snake-proof protection.
Add in Rocky's Briar & Thorn Guard, and you can walk through briars, brush, and cactus flats without any worries. And to top it all off, the boot comes in the stylish Realtree Edge camo pattern, so you'll look good back at camp in the skinning shed, at the dinner table telling hunting stories, or around the campfire while celebrating another hard-won gobbler. rockyboots.com | $187
Thorogood American Heritage Crazyhorse Boot
On some rare April mornings down South and across the East, it can be quite chilly and damp as frost coats the ground. Further north in New England, across the Great Lakes states, and out into Merriam's country in the Rocky Mountains, freezing temps and even late-season snow can be the culprit, causing cold toes and damp feet. If you might need a warm-and-dry boot for such conditions, keep the eight-inch waterproof and insulated Thorogood American Heritage Crazyhorse boot in mind when it becomes available later this year. With Crazyhorse full-grain leather and 400 grams of waterproof insulation, your feet will stay protected, warm and dry even if April snow showers threaten May wildflowers.
Add in a composite shank, slip-resistant Vibram 1275 Olympia rubber outsole, Goodyear storm welt construction and removable Ultimate Shock Absorption inserts, this boot provides rugged protection, lots of traction, and keeps a hunter's feet cushioned on the move. And with American-made construction, this boot scheduled to appear this year will be a winner for hunters in many types of terrain and hunting seasons. thorogoodusa.com
Twisted X Snake Boot
The Twisted X boot lineup is popular for many, featuring stylish construction and lots of features that hunters like in and out of the woods. This 17-inch snake boot in Mossy Oak Bottomland camo features a full-grain leather upper, leather pull-on tabs, waterproof lining, Viperguard technology snake protection, nylon/glass fiber shank, superior CellStretch cushioning in the forefoot and heel areas, compression-molded EVA midsole that actually has molasses integrated into it, and an oil- and slip-resistant molded rubber outsole. The boot also is environmentally friendly, coming with a 17-inch shaft made with an EcoTWX fabric blend that is made from an average of 13 recycled plastic bottles per pair of Twisted X boots. twistedx.com | $289.95