I know it’s the ‘offseason’ in terms of bird hunting. Given the retail cycle, now is the time to get what you need for the next season, as it gives you time to break it in. Since my first bird hunt earlier this year, I’ve focused on building a hunting wardrobe, most of which I’ve procured in the offseason. Quite frankly, I’m really happy with what I’ve found, and especially the deals I’ve found. Another post for later on…
One thing I need to add is a good pair of upland boots. I currently hunt in the Dubarry Kildare boots, and really like them. They’ve been great so far, but with an upcoming trip to South Dakota, I’d like to get a pair that will work for 3 days of 8+ miles of walking (no rubber boots and nothing too fancy). The Dubarrys are great, but since they are slip on, they get a little loose after a half day hunt.
For this next pair, there are a few specifics I’m looking for: First, I’d like to get a pair that laces up. Second, they need to be weather-proof. Third, I’d like them to have a more traditional look; not ‘English Countryside’, but also not ‘SEAL Team Six’. Lastly, they need to provide support and comfort for day-long walks in all sorts of terrain, from the Dakotas to South Georgia plantations. From a price perspective, I don’t want to break the bank, but if I hear that a higher priced boot will be a better value proposition, I’m all ears.
This is where I’d like your help. Here are five upland boots that I’ve zero’ed in on…I’d love to hear your thoughts, as well as your recommendations.
From Top Left:
1. Irish Setter Wingshooter Boots: I really like these. They are a Red Wing company, so the quality shouldn’t be an issue. I like that they are all leather, and that they have a good looking toe box. They’d look good in the lodge, as well as in the field. The price point seems to give them a good value proposition.
2. Danner Pronghorn Boots: These Pronghorns get rave reviews on all the forums, but I hear the sizing is tricky. These look to be extremely sturdy, and will really hold up to the elements, which may be too much for non-South Dakota hunts. Danner has a good reputation, and the price point is good.
3. Orvis Kangaroo Featherweight Upland Boots: The good thing about Kangaroo leather is that it should break in in roughly fifteen minutes. I know for a fact that Orvis’ standards are extremely high. This tells me that these boots – although a little more expensive than most – would be a good long term investment.
4. Chippewa 8″ Upland Boots: I have a couple buddies that hunt in Chippewas, and swear by them. I like these boots, but I’m concerned that the non-leather upper would break down. I’d also prefer hooks for the laces and not holes, especially for an 8-9″ boot.
5. Russell Moccasin X Covey Rise Upland Boots: These are the most expensive, but they are extremely sharp. They are hand made by Russell; the process takes about sixteen weeks. I love the look, and they are the same design that Russell has been producing forever. Given that these wouldn’t be ready until ~September, I don’t know if I’d have time to break them in.
There you have it. My rundown. I’d like to make this purchase in the next month, so let me know what you think.