You can have the best weapons. You can have the best Hunting Footwear clothing. But if you have poor footwear, then the entire hunt will end before it even begins.
In our country, the primary hunting footwear used to be rubber or canvas boots. Simply because there was nothing else available. Everyone wore boots; the choice was not abundant. The same applied to winter hunting footwear – boots and felt boots.
Now, the situation has changed dramatically. The market for equipment has introduced a lot of new, modern hunting gear, including footwear. So, let’s discuss and get acquainted with it.
Boots from www.huntingshopfavia.com
Modern boots are much lighter and more comfortable than the old black rubber boots. Excellent boots are made by the French. The main material used is natural rubber. These boots fit snugly on your feet, allowing you to wander through fields for a long time. I had a pair from the French company “Aigle.” I introduced them to a friend who is a great dog enthusiast. Now he goes bird hunting with his dog and enjoys his purchase. These boots are many years old, but there are no complaints about them. They’re of good quality.
Regarding rubber boots, our local manufacturer is quite good. Nice rubber boots are made in St. Petersburg. They are comfortable, lightweight, and, importantly, affordable. They can endure many seasons. I only wear them for spring hunting. Some European companies produce classic leather boots, but they haven’t quite caught on in Russia.
Let’s delve into these shoes in more detail. This element of equipment is relatively new in our country and is just beginning to gain its followers. The shoes are comfortable, lightweight, and practical. With good footwear, you can walk long distances without risking injury to your feet. Typically, these shoes are used for mountain hunting, but they are also quite suitable for the forest.
Let me share an example from my experience. My friend Andrei and I are approaching the hunting ground. We need to walk about two kilometers on a forest road from the car. Dusk is falling, and the forest is gradually getting dark. We try not to make noise while walking, but Andrei’s boots make a loud sound on the compacted ground. After a while, he asks me, “What are you wearing?” – “I can’t hear you,” I say to Andrei. “Then show me your shoes.” So, when I effortlessly cross a small ditch, his interest in my shoes became purely practical – whose production they are and how much they cost. Now Andrei wears the same shoes as me.
Modern hunting boots are around 30 centimeters in height and are made of soft leather. Additionally, the simpler the design, the better. Every seam adds rigidity to the construction, which isn’t always comfortable. The high leg protection guards your ankles, but if it’s too rigid, comfort might be compromised, and your feet will tire more quickly.
The lining of the footwear is made of membrane fabric (primarily GORE-TEX). We all know that a membrane prevents moisture from entering the shoe while allowing moisture to escape. This means that even after hours of marching on uneven terrain, your feet will stay dry. Crossing small rivers and ditches is not a problem either. I once crossed 25 fords in a single day. My feet were damp but not soaked. The key is that water doesn’t overflow the top of the boot. If you use waterproof gaiters or simply fold down the upper part of your pants over the boots and tie them tightly with a lace, you can conquer even deeper water crossings.
The sole of almost all boots is made of Vibram rubber. This type of rubber was specifically designed for mountain conditions many years ago. The “Vibram” rubber sole performs well on rocks, and the unique pattern of the sole allows you to feel confident on muddy surfaces.
In the mountains, boots are indispensable. You might wonder: “But what about the locals? They wear rubber boots and seem fine?” I’ll answer this way: “First, you don’t live in the mountains, and your gait is very different from that developed by the locals. Secondly, they often simply don’t have other options. Historically, that’s the case. But now, many of those living in the mountains and engaged in hunting are buying quality footwear.
Now, let’s talk about what goes between your feet and the boots or shoes. As you probably suspect, we’re talking about socks. Footwear for your feet is a very convenient part of your equipment, especially for those who wear boots for an extended period. They dry easily. And now, with a variety of different fabrics available, socks can be made from materials like fleece. Soft and warm.
You can also wear socks inside your boots while considering some nuances. For example, wool socks are excellent for insulation. However, socks can bunch up and cause discomfort.
The modern industry offers a wide range of outdoor socks. Their design hasn’t changed much. They primarily have reinforced areas in areas of maximum contact: around the toes, the sole, the heel, and the arch of the foot. The height varies from standard (just above the ankle bone) to above the knee.
The main materials are wool and synthetic fibers. Synthetic fibers are necessary to strengthen the wool and the structure. For cold seasons, wool dominates in the socks. Socks contain more synthetic fibers for warmer weather. A good trekking sock, thanks to the materials used, insulates perfectly and removes moisture from the foot. I’ve recently started wearing two pairs of socks. The first is a thin liner sock. A thicker sock goes on top. Very comfortable.
So, having good footwear and appropriate socks is essential for a successful and comfortable hunting experience in various terrains.
But there’s one point I need to warn you about. Never wear cotton socks as the first layer. Cotton doesn’t wick away moisture; it absorbs it. And then, it gets trapped in the folds, which can lead to irritation. Cotton socks are suitable only for summer, with light footwear.
At the end of the article, I’d like to discuss a bit about how to dry your hunting footwear. It’s best to let them air dry in a windy area. Loosen them completely and remember to remove the insoles. You can also dry them near an open fire, but with caution and following safety measures. You can determine a safe distance easily by feeling the warmth but not excessive heat. Be sure to periodically check and rotate the footwear to dry them evenly. You can try drying water-filled boots by placing warm stones heated by the fire inside them. The temperature of the stones can also be determined manually.
And finally, but not less important, the boots should be worn. If you’ve purchased boots, put them on and walk around. Let them look back at you as you stroll with those tall “hunting boots.” They are protection for your feet and deserve to be used.