Published Aug 30, 2022 11:33 AM
I’d argue that turkey hunting boots are as crucial to your success as a shotgun and lethal load of TSS. Take one of my hunting trips. The canyon was long and winding, and the late-spring heat was baking us like an oven. It sucked. My hunting companion and I were in great physical shape, but 13 miles is a long way to go. We’d gotten on the birds at daybreak five miles in, but roosted wasn’t roasted, and we’d gone walkabout. The problem was my buddy’s feet—they were broken. The terrain was harsh and rugged, and he had blisters on both heels, nearly every toe, and a cactus pine had shot through the mesh lining into his ankle. He was done.
I had a similar experience in Florida, but this time, I was the one who took the boot shortcut. Deep in the swamp, my 7-inch tall leather boots didn’t work. The mud was deep and sunk over the top of the boots and oozed into my socks. It was miserable. Do yourself a favor and get a pair of the best turkey hunting boots that match the terrain you’re hunting in and your hunting style.
Why It Made the Cut: You can’t beat the comfort and no-blister promise a pair of Kenetrek boots guarantees.
- 7 inches tall
- 3.2 pounds
- 5mm nylon midsoles
- Windtex waterproof liner
- Breathable and flexible
- Grapon outsole
- Extreme comfort
Many turkey hunters roam vast public tracts of land in search of turkey nirvana, while others walk logging roads on private dirt manicured for turkeys. Regardless, it helps if you have a waterproof, comfortable boot that will hunt as hard as you. Kenetrek’s Corrie 3.2 Hiker is the bee’s knees of turkey hunting boots.
While many may think a hiking/mountain boot shouldn’t be a “Best” winner when it comes to turkey kicks, these are boots you have to try to believe how good they are. I cheer the 7-inch tall leather/synthetic uppers with ankle support K straps and comfort padding, and the combination of traction and comfort the marriage of the 5mm nylon midsoles, and lightweight Grapon outsoles provide. A reinforced rubber toe and heel guards boost boot longevity.
Plus, these boots are lightweight. Whether you’re roaming the West, Midwest, South, North, or East in search of a longbeard, you can bank on putting in some miles if you want to find regular success, and these boots will take you as far as your turkey heart desires.
Best Snake Boots
Why It Made the Cut: These boots will stop the fangs of a poisonous serpent, and they aren’t heavy, clunky, or ultra hot.
- 17 inches tall
- 66 ounces
- 100 percent waterproof barrier
- 360-degree snake guard
- Lug-style outsole
- Tight around calf
- Slanted top-end design
Danner’s Vital Snake Boot is the answer if you’re hunting snake country. Almost every snake boot performs as advertised regarding stopping fangs, but lesser models are too stiff, uncomfortable, and hot for springtime turkey hunts. I’ve worn other snake boots, and at day’s end, all I got was sweaty feet covered in blisters. Danner paid special attention when they crafted these snake boots, and at 17 inches tall, they provide plenty of foot and lower-leg protection, and the Open Cell Polyurethane Footbed is an excellent shock absorber.
The boot hikes well, and though the upper is full-grain leather, these 360-degree Snake Guard boots aren’t as rigid as other models I’ve tested over the years. The comfortable Plyolite midsole gives them a lightweight feel and, when combined with the multi-direction lugs on the outsole, results in an excellent turkey boot that won’t break your feet down.
Why It Made the Cut: The Grange is a straightforward non-insulated do-all-winner that provides comfort, support, and season after season of no-fail use.
- 18 inches tall
- 4.5 pounds
- Nylon fabric liner
- Ankle fit technology
- Adjustable top strap
- 100 percent waterproof
- Killer camo
- Not a hiker
- Swampy when hot
If I’m turkey hunting in wet weather or in an area where creek, stream, and river crossings are regular, this is the boot that covers my feet. LaCrosse has mastered making a 100 percent waterproof rubber boot comfortable. The Grange is storied in turkey lore, and for a good reason: piles of turkey hunters worldwide put their trust in this boot. First introduced in 1957, this 18-inch tall boot has stood the test. I love mine.
While these aren’t the best option for putting on loads of miles, they provide an appreciated element of comfort via the fabric liner, fiberglass shank, and footbed. The adjustable top strap ensures an excellent around-the-calf fit, and ankle fit technology ensures a secure and comfortable feel around your ankles even when negotiating rough terrain. You can hunt all day in these boots, and the non-slip traction outsole provides a fair amount of ground-gripping.
Want more options? Check out our in-depth review of the best rubber hunting boots.
Why It Made the Cut: These boots are comfortable, built like a tank, and weigh 2.4 pounds.
- 8 inches tall
- 1.2 pounds per boot
- Reduce foot sweat
- Water-repellent but not waterproof
New for 2022, these ultra-light boots let you cover terrain in maximum comfort, and at 8-inches tall, they provide remarkable ankle support. When I’m roaming national forests, walk-in access, and other public land areas for turkeys, I want to feel like I can fly across the terrain, and these non-insulated boots give me that feeling.
They are a feather on the feet, and the combination of Nubuk leather and high-resistant breathable PUtek spider fabric means solid durability. The Crispi air mesh footbed is removable, which helps with boot drying, and the triple-stitched, polyurethane-coated leather rand prevents lower boot abrasions and tears. The curmudgeon amongst us may say a pair of lightweight hikers don’t belong in a feature story about turkey boots, but I’m afraid I have to disagree.
Why It Made the Cut: The 15-inch tall muck-style boot is unisex and provides a full-fit feel that hugs the calf and ankle without putting unnecessary pressure on the feet.
- 15 inches tall
- 100 percent waterproof
- Nylon lining
- TempSens technology
- Grippable outer sole
- 5mm neoprene upper
- Pull-on style
I like a boot that serves multiple purposes, and Irish Setter’s 15-inch MudTrek heed the do-all call. There aren’t a ton of bells and whistles with this new make from Irish Setter. The boots pull on and off easily with the stretchable upper and heel kick. The 5mm neoprene uppers gather water rather than shed it, which adds some weight, but the vulcanized rubber running halfway up the boots allows them to handle deep mud like a dream.
Another win is the TempSens technology. This boot innovation reacts to your body temperature and sweat level to keep your feet from feeling like they’re floating in a buggy Florida marsh. Use them for turkeys, and then when fall arrives, put them to work as a whitetail boot.
Why It Made the Cut: If you’re looking for a back-40 type of rubber boot that will keep your feet dry and somewhat comfortable, these boots will do.
- 15.4 inches tall
- 2 pounds
- 100 percent waterproof
- 5mm CR flex-foam neoprene
- Air mesh lining
- Can cause blisters
I’m not much of a budget lover when it comes to boots. No matter what you’re hunting, you’ll spend lots of time walking and all of your time in your boots. This is why I spare no expense regarding what I put on my feet. However, if I was to go the budget route, the 5mm CR Flex-Foam neoprene liner of this pair ensures 100 percent waterproof protection, and the air mesh liner helps keep your feet dry even on scorching hot spring days. These boots are nothing fancy, and they aren’t the most comfortable boots I’ve ever slipped my feet into, but they get the job done and they also double as an excellent work-in-the-mud boot. .
Caution: Traction isn’t the best—I’ve had my feet go out from under me more than once—and shock absorption is sub-par.
Things To Consider Before Buying Turkey Boots
I know this sounds elementary, and it is, but I’m as guilty as anyone. I see a pair of boots I want—boots I’ve read good things about—and order them online. This has cost me several times. You never know how a boot will fit and feel if you don’t try it on and wear it around the showroom floor first. It’s also important to read the literature on the box the boots come in or the tags hanging off of one of them. I’ve purchased rubber boots with 1,200 grams of insulation for spring hunting. Many boot manufacturers make multiple styles of the same boot, some insulated and some non-insulated. Read before you buy.
If you’ve read many of my F&S “Best Of” articles, you know what’s coming. Not to beat a dead horse, but if you don’t match the style of boot to the environment you’re hunting, you’re doing yourself a terrible disservice. Do your research if you’re traveling to hunt and don’t know much about the area. With all the information on the web today, there’s simply no excuse for showing up to hunt a new longbeard area and having boots that aren’t suited to the terrain.
Q: What boots do you wear for turkey hunting?
You can wear any boot for turkey hunting. I’ve hunted in my gym shoes a few times, and while it wasn’t ultra pleasant, they served their purpose. The best question to ask yourself when you’re thinking about what turkey boot to wear is: What type of environment will I be hunting? Match your boots to your environment, and you’ll be good to go. For instance, don’t hunt boggy, swampy ground in a pair of hikers; don’t head West after mountain Merriams and slap a couple of clunky rubber boots on your feet.
Q: Should I wear snake boots turkey hunting?
Springtime temperatures warm the earth, and reptiles get active. If you’re hunting in a location with venomous snakes, I highly recommend wearing snake boots. Nothing will give you the pucker factor like a five-foot Diamondback rising out of the Texas grass while walking around in a pair of boots with 6-inch uppers.
Q: What color should you wear while turkey hunting?
Turkeys have remarkable eyesight. If they could smell, they would be one of the most complicated animals to kill. While having camo boots isn’t necessary, it doesn’t hurt—just make sure to match your camo to the terrain.
Q: Can turkeys see camo?
I’m convinced that turkeys are skilled at picking up any movement and bright objects that stand out. Trust your camo and try to keep yourself in the shadows. I recommend covering your face with a head net or face paint and your hands with gloves. Your cheeks, nose, and hands shine, and birds will pick up on minor details.
The biggest thing to remember when it comes to boots for turkey hunting—or any hunting, for that matter—is don’t cut corners. You can go to Walmart and buy a $60 pair of boots and think you saved yourself some coin. However, those boots will break down, give you blisters, let water in, and you’ll need another $60 pair by season’s end. Get boots that will last and help you be the best hunter you can be (we reviewed the best hunting boots on the market if you’re looking for an all-purpose pair).
If you know you’re a run-and-gun fanatic and like to cover miles of country in search of a hard-gobbling Tom, get a pair of lightweight hikers that ensure comfort while providing good ankle support and traction. If you hunt the timber and creek and river crossings are common, go with a tall rubber boot. Match your boot style to your environment, and you’ll be a happier and more successful turkey hunter.
During my turkey hunting tenure, I’ve hunted across the country, accomplished the wild turkey Grand Slam, and have been fortunate enough to hunt with some of the world’s best turkey hunters. All have different opinions about what turkey boot is the best, but all agree that shying away from a pair of boots because they have a bit of sticker shock is bad. When it comes to boots, you get what you pay for, and all the kicks mentioned in this feature are solid go-to options.