Best Elk Hunting Boots 2023

It’s that time again. Your old trusty hunting boots just won’t cut it for another season, so it’s time to look for a shiny new pair.

A successful hunt requires experience, the right weapon, and patience. But what you wear on your feet also plays a critical role in the comfort (and success!) of your hunting trip.

You’ll need high-performance footwear if you’re gearing up for elk hunting season. The best boots will also have great weatherproofing, durability, and support. Luckily I’ve made your decision-making process easier with this list of the best elk-hunting boots on the market.

5 Best Elk Hunting Boots At A Glance

  • Best Overall Elk Hunting Boot: Crispi Guide GTX
  • Best Hunting Boot on a Budget: LaCrosse Windrose
  • Best Hunting Boot for Cold Weather: Kenetrek Mountain Extreme 400
  • Best Waterproof Boot: Irish Setter Elk Tracker
  • Most Versatile Boot for Elk Hunting: Danner Pronghorn

What Type of Hunting Boot Do You Need?

Choosing the right hunting gear for your next adventure takes a lot of planning and consideration with every purchase. Hunting boots are no different. You need a pair that protects your feet and gives you all the support you need.

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You’ll find several different types of hunting boots on the market, each intended for specific scenarios. The most common types are Upland, High Country, and Multi-Purpose boots.

High-country hunting boots

Hunters targeting large game such as elk, deer, and sheep in rough and rugged terrain need additional footwear support.

Sprained ankles from shoddy boots can prematurely end the hunt in rough terrain. On a hunt of this caliber, you might climb all day just to get close to the bulls and rams you spotted the day before. This style of boot is designed for the most demanding high-elevation hunts.

High-country boots are designed to provide extreme durability, grip, and support on those grueling pack hunts. Some are specifically designed for certain parts of the hunting season.

Upland hunting boots

These are hunting boots intended for flat, grassy terrain that’s often hilly. They’re designed for lightweight walking comfort with a lighter lug design and soil-shedding sole. If you’re taking the majority of your hunts upland, this might be the style for you.

Since most upland hunting is done on moderate terrain, this boot style provides just enough traction and ankle support. But it’s definitely not suitable for rough terrain.

Multi-purpose hunting boots

This is the broadest category of hunting boots. All options available will depend on your own specific needs and wants.

These types of boots are better suited for various terrains and conditions. If your preference is hunting in varied terrain, this is an excellent category to choose from. You can find great upland, big game hunting, or mountain boots.

Multi-purpose hunting boots are designed to be versatile, long-lasting, and supportive for walking on various surfaces. They also come with different insulation levels, so you can find a fit that matches your needs.

These boots will have more support than upland boots. However, they’re not great for certain kinds of terrains. For the elk hunter, it’s best to go with high-country boots.

Best Overall Elk Hunting Boot – Crispi Guide GTX

Crispi Guide Waterproof Hunting Boots in brown

What I love about it:

There are many great hunting boots, but the Crispi Guide GTX is my choice for the best. These boots are a combination of Italian craftsmanship and supreme comfort. They include an air-mesh footbed, ABSS ankle support, and have a 3-flex rating.


  • Material: Nubuck Leather
  • Height: 10″
  • Weight: 4.2 lbs per pair
  • Insulation: Uninsulated or 200g
  • Lining: Gore-Tex Waterproof
  • Footbed: Removable Air Mesh


  • Optional insulation
  • Quality construction and craftsmanship
  • Supergrip Vibram sole
  • Excellent breathability, anti-perspiration, and anti-odor
  • Available in men’s and women’s sizes


  • Expensive – but you get what you pay for when shopping for the best!

Full Review:

Looking at the Crispi Guide GTX, it’s easy to see why it’s our top pick for the best elk hunting boots. Available in an insulated or non-insulated (200g) model, the Guide GTX is a longstanding favorite in the hunting community.

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With all the same features as its popular sibling, the Nevada GTX, this boot kicks it up a notch with an extra 2″ of ankle support. You won’t have to worry about busted-up ankles during those long, heavy treks. You also get enhanced stability and shock absorption thanks to the Crispi crossbow frame.

The Guide GTX includes water-repellent Nubuk leather and Gore-Tex comfort lining. Combined with the boot’s construction and finish, the lining makes them waterproof even after 1000+ miles. Crispi boots often feel snug, so if you like to wear thick socks for cushion or insulation, consider going up half a size.

Coming in at a premium price of around $400, these boots will ensure you get the value of every last dollar. Flexible, lightweight, and comfortable – there’s no better boot for elk hunters to step into.

Best Hunting Boot on a Budget – LaCrosse Windrose

LaCrosse Windrose in brown

What I love about it:

Hunting is expensive, but the LaCrosse Windrose provides budget-conscious hunters with great bang for the buck. Available in both men’s and women’s sizes, these hiking-style elk hunting boots are tough enough to handle wet and rocky terrain.


  • Material: Leather
  • Height: 8″
  • Weight: 3.3 lbs per pair
  • Insulation: Uninsulated or 600g and 1000g
  • Lining: Waterproof
  • Footbed: Polyurethane


  • Affordable
  • Available in men’s and women’s sizes
  • Good weatherproofing


  • They are not as durable as other boots on this list
  • Quite heavy
  • Women’s boot lacks 1000g insulation option

Full Review:

LaCrosse brings a lot to the table with these budget-friendly hunting boots. It’s made with all the suitable materials for trekking through the field on a hunt.

These boots give an athletic shoe-like comfort thanks to the thick EVA midsole and cushioning polyurethane footbed. The rubber DuraFit heel cup and durable nubuck leather upper are designed to lock your foot into place for maximum stability and support.

This Windrose boot has 600g or 1000g Thinsulate Ultra Insulation – perfect for brutal late-season hunts. The boots have an aggressive tread with “multi-directional non-loading lugs” for a solid grip on uneven terrain.

Not only are these boots comfortable and breathable, but they also look great! Hunters can choose from the classic brown, Mossy Oak Breakup, or Realtree Edge design.

However, no boot is perfect. The main concerns of the Windrose are that they’re quite heavy and lack extreme durability. Women’s versions also lack a 1000g insulation option.

Best Hunting Boot For Cold Weather – Kenetrek Mountain Extreme 400

Kenetrek Mountain Extreme 400G Boots in brown

What I love about it:

Cold weather and wet terrain generally go hand and hand. This is exactly why the Kenetrek Mountain Extreme 400 made it on this list: it tackles both problems successfully. With a waterproof, breathable Windtex membrane and 400g of insulation, every pair compliments any elk-hunting venture, especially those late-season ventures.


  • Material: Full-Grain Leather
  • Height: 10″
  • Weight: 4.2 lbs per pair
  • Insulation: Thinsulate insulation (400g)
  • Lining: Windtex Waterproof Membrane
  • Footbed: Nylon


  • Comes in various narrow, medium, and wide sizes – including men’s and women’s sizes
  • Excellent traction with a K-Talon sole
  • Solid 400g insulation
  • Waterproof membrane


  • Expensive
  • This is a stiff boot and will take some time to break in

Full Review:

There’s nothing more taxing than high-altitude elk hunts, and no boot tougher and more comfortable than these. If you’re hunting elk in high alpine territory, the Kenetrek Mountain Extreme 400 is the perfect boot. It’s designed to give you the support, warmth, and dryness you need on a hunt.

Abrasion and water seeping in are not a problem with these boots, thanks to the Windtex waterproof membrane and the reinforced rubber sole guard. Speaking of abrasion resistance and waterproofing, the leather upper is 8mm thick with double and triple stitching. This means these boots can withstand any abuse from extreme hunting.

While they are pretty heavy and come at a high price, the ankle support, bulletproof materials, and insulation are well worth it.

One excellent feature is that this boot comes in a variety (and I mean a variety) of narrow, medium, and wide sizes. So you’re sure to find the perfect fit.

This is the ideal boot for epic hunts in the wildest terrains. If you’re scaling mountains repeatedly in frigid conditions, the Mountain Extreme 400 may be the best boots for you!

Best Waterproof Boot – Irish Setter Elk Tracker 860

Irish Setter Elk Tracker 860 in brown

What I love about it:

Water always seems to find a way into boots, even those rated “waterproof.” From the seams to the tongue to the ankle, some boots just don’t get the job done. The Irish Setter Elk Tracker 860 addresses all these issues.


  • Material: Full-Grain Leather
  • Height: 12″
  • Weight: 4.25 lbs per pair
  • Insulation: 1000g Thinsulate insulation
  • Lining: Moisture Wicking Nylon
  • Footbed: Removable Comfort Cork EVA with Memory Foam


  • Waterproof and moisture-wicking performance
  • Scentban technology keeps you odor-free
  • 12-inch height gives excellent ankle support


  • This is a stiff boot, so it will take time to break in.

Full Review:

If you haven’t heard about Irish Setter, do you even hunt elk? The Elk Tracker lineup has amassed the respect of countless elk hunters, especially those that take their hunting trips to rugged terrains.

This 12-inch boot can handle all the muck, snow, and otherwise shoddy conditions you can throw at it. The rubber sole and Goodyear welt stop water from entering the bottom. Simultaneously, the Gore-Tex lining and full-grain waterproof leather upper prevent water from getting inside the shaft and interior.

In addition to keeping your feet dry, this boot also keeps your feet warm with 1000g Thinsulate insulation that’s thin, lightweight, and durable. You also get optimal ankle support with a high-traction rubber sole and a built-in steel shank.

If you’re looking for a classic rugged design that doesn’t compromise on comfort, weatherproofing, and durability – then you’re making an intelligent choice with the Irish Setter Elk Tracker 860!

Most Versatile Boot for Elk Hunting – Danner Pronghorn 400

Danner Pronghorn 400 in all-leather brown

What I love about it:

You can’t go wrong with a pair of Danner Pronghorns. Built on Danner’s Terra Force Next platform, Pronghorn boots deliver the all-day comfort and stability that make the day’s hunt easier on your feet. At only around $200, you’re getting an incredibly versatile hunting boot.


  • Material: Full-Grain Leather
  • Height: 8″
  • Weight: 3.3 lbs per pair
  • Insulation: 400G Primaloft
  • Lining: Waterproof
  • Footbed: Polyurethane


  • Reasonable price for the versatility of the boots


  • No women’s sizes

Full Review:

One thing Pronghorns have going for them is excellent stability, ankle support, and durability. This all-leather style is sleek, not too heavy, and sports many modern upgrades from the Pronghorn line.

Designed for stability in rugged terrain, Danner’s Terra Force Next platform offers plenty of comfort and support. Meanwhile, the Vibram midsole and outsole are grippy without sacrificing flexibility and arch support.

To keep feet warm in cold weather conditions, the boots come available in optional PrimaLoft insulation (400, 800, and 1200g). And for waterproofing that lasts, the boots have a breathable Gore-Tex liner.

One thing Danner boots are known for is their longevity. These hunting boots will not disappoint you when years pass, and they’re still spry. The cherry on top of this versatile boot is the lack of a break-in period. Many hunters have praised them for their out-of-the-box comfort.

One disappointing feature is that Danner has yet to make a women’s Pronghorn, even though the boot is notably successful.

Considerations When Buying Elk Hunting Boots

Like most outdoor gear, picking the best boot is all about matching it to the terrain and weather you might face on your hunting trips. Look at the quality of materials and how the boot is put together, and you’ll soon find the perfect elk hunting boot.

Here’s how to choose the best boots for you:

Right boot for the season & terrain

Before you consider the style, fit, weight, or make of a hunting boot, you should consider the type of terrain and seasonal conditions you’re hunting in.

For example, hunting during the early season through November or December may require more than one pair to accommodate the temperature and weather changes as the season continues.

Of course, the terrain will vary from state to state. But it’s essential to keep in mind what kind of terrain you will face when you go out on a hunt. For elk hunting, you’ll need a pair of boots with some backbone to them. A high-country boot that offers extreme durability, grip, and support is the way to go – always!

Now, if you’re mostly hunting in flat country, ankle support and grip may not be a major deal. A pair of flexible, lightweight boots will do just the trick.

Best boot fit & comfort

Some boots are comfortable right out of the box. Others, such as those made from high-quality leather, may require a break-in period before they become truly comfortable to wear.

When purchasing a new pair of boots, you need to choose a pair you can wear anywhere all day. That can mean covering up to 20 miles a day during the middle of the rut. The key is to try on shoes and see where they give you the most pressure. The last thing any hunter wants are hotspots and blisters on a hunt.

Remember that feet can swell as you walk throughout the day, which can cause discomfort if the shoe is not the right fit. For example, if you wear a size 10 in a casual shoe, you may want to consider a 10 ½ in a hunting boot.

Other factors will determine the comfort of your boots, including:

  • Lacing
  • Ankle support
  • Sole and midsole support
  • Lining and padding
  • Temperature regulation 

Insulation & weatherproofing

Nothing ruins a hunt faster than wet and frozen toes. You’ll want to choose a pair of boots constructed to keep water out and keep your feet dry and those with Thinsulate insulation.

You’re bound to face snow and rain while hunting in cold weather. Thus, you’ll need waterproof boots with moisture-wicking performance. Even if you’re not hunting in the winter season, you can’t go wrong with waterproof boots.

Rubber boots are considered the best waterproof boots, but there are great waterproof leather boots on the market.

When it comes to insulation, choose a level based on the temperature range of the area you’ll be hunting in. Insulated boots typically range from 0-2000g. Boots with 800g of insulation are sufficient for hunting in cold conditions, such as during the late season. But you can always go up if you’d like that extra layer of warmth and comfort.


Seasoned elk hunters know that terrain can change dramatically during a day’s hike. From traversing shale slopes to navigating deadfall, hunters can encounter various obstacles. A few examples are cacti, wet grass, briars and thistles, yucca, streams and creeks, sand and mud, and gravel and dust.

To navigate this, it all comes down to choosing a boot that’s ready for anything.

Consider boots with a good 8+” height for ankle support if you step into a hole or startle a rattler. For instance, Irish Setter Elk Tracker boots come in heights of 10- and 12-inches, making them great boots for this kind of job.

Don’t forget about the soles. Quality soles provide good traction, foot comfort, and shock absorption. Lug shape and tread pattern are also key when selecting a boot. For the elk hunter, a deeper, more aggressive tread pattern is best for rough terrain.

Your budget

When it comes to hunting boots, you generally get what you pay for. Compared to a rubber and traditional hiking boot, a hunting boot naturally runs a bit on the high side.

However, that doesn’t mean you need to go with the most expensive boot on the market to get a good deal. Many budget-friendly options offer incredible performance for multiple hunts, such as the LaCrosse Windrose.

Consider the features you’ll need and how often you will wear them. If you hunt regularly, you’ll want a good quality pair that may come with a higher price tag. The same goes for hunting only once or twice a season – a budget boot will do the trick.

How I Chose The Best Elk Hunting Boots

Being an experienced hunter myself, I understand the quality a pair of hunting boots needs to meet. I’ve trialed both great and blisteringly bad boots, so I made sure to review only the best hunting boots.

When it came to reviewing each one, there were multiple factors I considered. Such as:

  • Durability: Are the boots durable and sturdy enough to handle the high caliber of elk hunting? How will they perform on challenging terrain and harsh weather conditions?
  • Weatherproofing & insulation: Do the boots come in different levels of Thinsulate insulation? Can the material withstand a beating and keep water and rocks out?
  • Comfort: Do the boots have padding and a cushioned footbed for sole and midsole support? Can they provide optimal ankle support for a long hunt?
  • Price: Are the boots worth the price? Is there another option that matches the quality of a more expensive boot for a little less?

Who Are Elk Hunting Boots For?

Elk hunting boots are for anyone who hunts (naturally) or enjoys spending time outdoors. These boots come in various options based on your needs, hunting area, and preferences. Just about anyone can use a pair of durable boots!

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between hiking boots and hunting boots?

Whereas hunting boots are heavier and designed for dealing with various conditions, hiking boots are for putting on more miles. Hunting boots typically come up higher on your leg, while most hiking boots have lower collars.

How much should an elk hunting boot cost?

Elk hunting boots typically cost around $200-$600. You get what you pay for. Rather than trying to work with a specific price in mind, emphasize comfort, materials, and overall fit.

How long do hunting boots last?

You can make your hunting boots last up to 10 years or more with good care and maintenance. This also depends on where and how frequently you hunt.

What is the best design for hunting boots?

The design of the boots will depend on the function the boots are intended to fulfill. If you’re pursuing elk into the mountains in fall and winter, you’ll want boots that are both waterproof and well-insulated. On the other hand, wading through creeks or the muddy forest will call for 100% waterproof boots that come up pretty high.

Last Tip on Elk Hunting Boots

While I’ve found that there isn’t one boot that rules them all, the Crispi Guide GTX comes pretty close. You get every bang for your buck with these elk hunting boots; quality craftsmanship, optional insulation, excellent waterproofing, and solid support – to name a few.

The LaCrosse Windrose almost matches the Crispi Guide GTX’s performance for a more budget-friendly option. These offer athletic shoe-like comfort and provide optional insulation, an aggressive tread for grip, and solid weatherproofing.

No matter which boots you choose for your next elk hunt, you’re sure to find the best hunter’s boots with this guide!

If you’re a hunter that wants to get dirty as you head out, check out my review of the best rubber hunting boots.

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Picture of Jack Simons

Jack Simons

Jack is a retired policeman who loves spending his free time around weapons and hunting across the state of Colorado with friends. His goal is to help newcomers find their way into the world of guns & hunting as well as review all the current best products and accessories for bow and rifle hunting.

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