I just wrecked my old cowboy boots hiking around all day in the rain looking for hogs. I hunt a lot of wet public land and walk through a lot of thorns. I canít sit still when I hunt (possibly why I usually come back empty handed) and cover a lot of mileage. I was thinking muck boots, but have heard they tear in thorny brush. Any good recommendations?
Guess I will weigh in, since I do a lot of walking while hunting fishing. The three pair of boots that serve me well for hunting, fishing, and work. I pheasant hunt, deer hunt, hog hunt, dove hunt, quail hunt, in all my boots, walk a number of creeks, and rivers while fishing, deal with cattle on four different properties, fix/build fences and water gaps, hike, and work on my place. Over the years, I have purchased, abused and worn out more pairs of boots than you can put in the bed of a pickup truck. So yes, I have some rather strong opinions on boots.
Cabelaís (made by Miendl in Germany) Perfect Hunter - well constructed, full leather, and durable. Easy on, easy off, tons of ankle support in adverse terrain. If I was going Elk or goat hunting, it what would be on my feet. They have several Types, depending on the terrain you will be using them on. I love wearing these boots when pheasant hunting, especially in the afternoon, when my feet are tired. In addition, My favorite hiking shoe is a Cabelaís brand German made Miendl, as well. I actually wore a pair out, took them back to Cabelaís and got a free replacement pair, pre-bass pro.
Muck woody Max- I donít like the cheaper versions of the Muck boots, as they lack armor coating to increase the durability. More importantly, the cheaper versions have a traction design that is not good on a variety of surfaces. I tried the cheap versions and kept busting my Azerbaijan, due to the lack of traction/grip ability of the tread. I put tons of miles in these boots, they are winter daily wear for me, comfortable all day long. I usually keep two pair, one insulated and one up insulated, so I can let them air dry naturally between wearing. You will have to replace them every few years, especially if you leave them in the garage, as I do.
Danner Pronghorn. If you want to put the miles on a pair of boots, this is a good choice. I usually keep insulated (400 gram is perfect in our area) and uninsulated. They are rugged boots and designed to help you cover ground. These boots tend to prefer some saddle soap occasionally, to maintain that supple leather feel.
Finally, just a word on my treatment of boots. They all stay in my garage, or on the porch, year round. They seldom get any polish or saddle soap, nor do I even clean them (I let the mud dry off them). If, I am putting in lots of miles, such as quail or Pheasants, I change my socks and boots at lunch time and I always wear wool socks, to prevent blisters and help my feet breathe. I allow the boot to dry naturally between wearing.
Redhead brand boots donít fit my feet, never have, so I quit trying. I have heard for years how good Readhead brand boots are; but they donít fit my feet, so I just gave up, tired of the blisters, turf toe, sprained ankles, and the like. I have purchased several different styles and options over the years, and just end up giving them away.
In summary, if I could only buy one pair of boots, it would be from one of the three choices above, depending on what my needs were. If you price these boots at the store, none of them are cheap. If you price them by how long they last or better yet, by the number of miles you get out of them, then they are very cheap. I tend to consider, how well they take care of my feet, as well. Nothing worse than getting sprained ankles, turf toe, stone bruises, blisters, and the like, from boot wear, no matter how many miles you cover. Bottom line, if a boot doesnít fit your feet, you will have problems with it. Hope my experience helps.