Hunting Boots for Women
by Mia Anstine
An improper fitting boot can ruin a hunt, so it’s important to find a good one. Feet are made of all shapes and sizes, so everyone’s favorite hunting boot is different.
So what do you look for in a boot? I put that question out on social media sites and “Fit” was the number one answer. After that I read, “durability, comfort, waterproof, ankle support, weight and tread”. All are key features in finding your ideal boot. Depending on how, when or where you hunt, you may add others to your list.
One thing boot companies seem unaware of is many women don’t like pink. I’ll look past that in my thoughts and give you an assessment of fit, function and other technicalities.
Irish Setter VaprTrek non-insulated (Love)
At SHOT Show I spotted this lightweight hunting boot from Irish Setter. They shipped me a pair to try and they’ve been great.
The outsole is technically designed for uneven, rugged terrain. That, combined with the bi-directional lug pattern on the sole means hiking the Rocky Mountains will be a lot easier.
These hunting boots incorporate UltraDry™ waterproofing; yet they’re breathable, so my feet stay dry and don’t sweat. The 8” shaft with a memory foam collar equals support plus comfort. This insole is streamlined and comfortable. They’re a bit narrow which means my foot doesn’t slip or slide, but I won’t be wearing them with thick socks.
VaprTrek Style #2862 is currently available (in sizes 5-11) in Realtree Xtra® camouflage, MSRP $149.99
Danner St. Helen’s mid non-insulated
Danner sent this boot waterproof boot in response to my begging for a re-launch of the Danner 6” Expedition GTX (My old favorite which is discontinued). Although the St. Helen boot is lightweight, it’s not a hunting boot.
The shaft is 4.5”. I have big ankles and the mid-height shaft rubbed blisters. If you have slim ankles, you may have better luck. The insole is an open cell, moisture wicking and antimicrobial design. It provides adequate support for everyday walking.
This is a great trail hiker, but doesn’t seem ideal for rugged terrain. Traction is important and this boot needs more. If you’re looking for a general-purpose hiker, it may be for you.
Danner 4″ St. Helen’s Mid are only available (in sizes 5-11) at select retailers in brown/orange or jade/orange, MSRP $130.00
SHE Outdoor Expedition Insulated (Love)
Bass Pro sent me the SHE Outdoor Expedition to demo. These 100% waterproof, 1000 gram Thinsulate™ boots weigh in at a mere 3.3 pounds. The 8” shaft provides excellent ankle support and the no-slip traction is outstanding. They also have removable insoles and moisture-wicking lining. That’s a plus for a sweaty-footed person like me.
These boots are so comfortable; I would describe them as wearing a moccasin. That’s amazing for an insulated boot.
SHE Outdoor Expedition boots are currently available (in sizes 5-11) in brown/Mossy Oak Break up, MSRP $99.99
Girls with Guns Huntress Insulated (Love)
My daughter, Lea, is a shoe snob when it comes to hiking. She doesn’t like heavy boots. She generally doesn’t like anything around her ankles, so she’s often seen hunting in tennis shoes. We all need something more for elk hunting so we’re always looking for something to wear when tennis shoes aren’t appropriate. This year we bought her a winter hiker.
She hunted all elk season, through snow and rain, in the Girls with Guns Huntress insulated (400 Grams of 3M™ Thinsulate™) boots. They have great traction; good arch support and are super light. I was pleasantly surprised because we’ve spent a lot of money on quality boots for her. Most remain brand-new, in her closet or handed off to friends, after one wear.
Lea likes these GwG boots because they’re lightweight and have good traction. They required no break-in time. She has a narrow foot but says they feel like they would fit just about anyone because the laces allow you to tighten or loosen them. (Note – We did have to buy a full size larger on this boot.)
Huntress 6” Insulated boots are currently available (in sizes 5-11) in Mossy Oak Break up, MSRP $99.00
Lacrosse Alphalight Snake Boot
Lacrosse sent these boots for an all women’s hunt in the marshes of Louisiana. I’ll tell you right off this is not a women’s boot, but since the company sent it to us women, I figured I better share my experience.
These waterproof boots were comfortable for standing in a duck blind; I don’t think I will ever wear them beyond that. I’m a shorty and at 18” the shaft of this boot is about an inch too tall for my little legs. There was little flex so it was difficult for me to bend my legs to walk. There’s no way I could sit in a stand all day with them digging into the back of my leg.
The taller women on the hunt boasted that the insoles were comfortable. They were able to walk through soft spots in the marsh because they’re 100% waterproof.
I have other unisex boots, so I know they can make it work. I recommend Lacrosse either make these a tad shorter or design a swale in top of the shaft so it doesn’t cut into the back of a shorter persons legs.
Alpha Mudlight Snake boots are currently available (in men’s sizes 6-15) in Realtree APG® camouflage, MSRP $160.00
Mia Anstine is an outfitter, guide, hunter, mentor, firearms and archery instructor. Among other publications, she is a staff writer for Beretta USA, Women’s Outdoor News and guest at North American Hunter. As a public speaker she teaches and inspires others to get involved in outdoor activities. She takes pride in guiding ladies and children for their first hunts. She’s hunted elk, mule deer, black bear, turkey, game birds, waterfowl, predators, varmints, hogs, carp and has more on her bucket list. To learn more about Mia, visit her website at www.MiaAnstine.com.