Photo credit: Lindsey Mulcare

The Best Women’s Hunting Boots of 2020

From the best elk hunting boots to the warmest boots for the treestand, you’re bound to find something that’ll work in our list of the best hunting boots for women.

These boots are made for hunting, and that’s just what they’ll do. That is, once you determine which boot best fits your needs.

Over is the old way of thinking that women have fewer options than men when it comes to hunting gear. From high-end mountaineering-style boots to an insulated rubber boot with a hike-worthy Vibram sole, women have options well-suited to whatever kind of hunt they can dream up.

And not all boots break the bank, either. Check out my picks for 2020’s top boots, from budget to insulated and everything in between.

Best Hunting Boots

Best Overall Hunting Boot for Women: Lowa Renegade GTX

Lowa Renegade GTX

I’ve been wearing my Lowa Renegades for 5 years, and it’s almost impossible for me to trade out at this point. They’re truly a rugged, mountain-eating, feet-warming beast.

The stabilization is the best I’ve experienced in a boot, and even after tackling Montana gumbo, rocks, hills, and scree, they’re worn-in but not worn down and I’ve done nothing to help them. I can go for a fall cruiser hike in them, tackle a solo deer hunt in the rockier high country, or sit in cold temps for the elk closer, no problem. And I’ve done all of the above.

The price tag ($240) isn’t so hurtful that I’d complain about it, either. The only downside to this middie is that it’s not gonna cut it on a more intense mountain hunt as it lacks stiffness and the stability of taller boots. For an all-around boot, this is a major go-to. I. Love. This. Boot.

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Best Elk Hunting Boot for Women: Kenetrek Mountain Extreme

Kenetrek Mountain Extreme - Womens

This is not an everyday hiking boot, but what it’s built for, it accomplishes. This is a stiff boot designed for side-hilling steep country, seriously supporting ankles while descending, and providing an extreme exoskeleton of relief in tough conditions.

If you’re hunting elk, sheep, or mountain goats in high-alpine territory, the Mountain Extreme is a mid- to late-season boot designed to give you support and keep your feet dry and warm while doing it. This boot is certainly a specialist, and its $460 price tag speaks to that. But if you need the support, Kenetrek’s Mountain Extreme has it in spades.

Promising review: “The boots kept me on my feet when other ladies were struggling to stay upright on ice, slush, mud, and snow. Feet were warm and dry no matter the conditions. No problem with my saddle stirrups. I knew there had to be a reason my guides all had these boots and now I know why. Great investment.” — Amy Ray (see the whole review here)

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Best Budget Non-Insulated Boot: Vasque St Elias GTX

Vasque St. Elias FG GTX Waterproof Women's Hiking Boot

When the weather isn’t cold and I need a bit of waterproof protection for off-trail hiking and hunting, this out-of-the-box-comfy boot is what I’m grabbing. I’ve never had a hiking boot that needed zero break-in time until I brought the St. Elias home.

For backpackers or hunters, this boot is a win. At around $200, it’s a solid early-archery season boot that will hold up over a few seasons. It might not last 5-plus years like the Lowas, but it can certainly hold its own in off-trail terrain. And I love how light this boot is. Honestly, if there were an insulated version, I might make a late-season switch just to shed weight.

GearJunkie’s Mallory Paige likes these boots too. Read her full review here. 

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Best Budget Insulated Hunting Boot: Lacrosse Windrose (600g Insulation)

Lacrosse Windrose – Womens

Lacrosse’s new Windrose model is more burly than girly, and at around $150, it’s a generous boot for an affordable price. With multiple options from non-insulated to 1,000 g of insulation, it offers something for most hunters on the hoof. One of my best girlfriends has crushed multiple late-season Montana elk hunts in her 600g boots, and her feet stayed cozy and warm the entire time.

These boots have a generous toebox, and when I say “burly,” I mean it. This is not a streamlined boot by any means. But if you’re a cold-weather hunter who might hike one day and sit in a treestand the next, the insulated and rugged Windrose might be the boot for you.

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Best Boot for Foot Problems: HanWag Alta Bunion Boot

HanWag Alta Bunion Boot

HanWag has been making boots for 99 years, and it’s got fit for everyone on the brain. Women’s feet have a lot of variance, and if you have issues like bunions, it can be doubly difficult to find hiking boots. Thankfully, HanWag offers a few options for women with less-common types of feet, be it a bunion issue, injury, or just a wider foot in general.

The Altas is the most mountain-ready boot in its bunion lineup. The designers change the seams and width of the shoe to accommodate the altered foot shape, and they use soft leather lining with extra give to promote more comfort throughout the boot. If you have this issue, you’ll spend a bit more, but it’s worth a shot to take these boots on a walk.

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Best Women’s Upland Hunting Boot: Danner Sierra 8″ Boot

Danner Sierra 8" Womens

Danner’s Sierra Boot is a classy yet functional take on a classic upland-style boot. The 8-inch-tall upper prevents grass and gravel from sneaking in on long walks with your shotgun. And the burly sole and leather trim guarantee durability. It’s also just a nice-looking boot that can hold its own in a lot of places.

This is, however, a boot that will take some break-in time. Don’t kill your feet on the first day out in the Sierras. Once you’ve broken the boots in, they’re good to go for a long, long time.

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Best Rubber Boot: Xtratuf x Salmon Sisters Legacy 15″ Boot

xtratuf x salmon sisters

Also known as the “Alaska slipper,” Xtratuf is sometimes forgotten in the lower 48. But these mud-beating, comfortable, and durable boots can crush just about anything your day throws at them. I wear mine to the barn, on shorter hunts, in warm, rainy weather, and beyond. You can read my full review here.

Designed for fishermen, the no-slip sole is a life-saver in slick conditions and the triple-dipped shell is light, flexible, and corrosion-resistant. Reviews say pairs have lasted up to twenty years. And I believe them. My Xtratufs are only two years old and look as good as new after much abuse in the field. For under $150, they’re bound to be in your closet for a long, long time.

As a bonus, this is one of the best winter boots for sloppy weather around town or in the field!

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Best Treestand Hunting Boot: Muck Arctic Ice Tall

Muck Arctic Ice Tall – Womens

Rated down to -60 degrees Fahrenheit, Muck’s Arctic Ice line is designed to keep your lower extremities comfortable in the most extreme cold. An 8mm neoprene booty hugs your foot and calf to keep in the heat while the durable Vibram outsole provides awesome tread. I covered the brand’s Arctic Hunter version of this boot in a full review here, which is a similar boot but currently lacking in available sizing.

It’s important to note that should the boot be too snug, it won’t trap heat as effectively. Make sure you have a bit of room in the Arctic Ice, and a lighter sock can sometimes make for a warmer foot. This works across Muck boots and other rubber ones in the mix. Odd, but true.

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Best of the Rest: Women’s Hunting Boots

Crispi Skarven EVO GTX 

Crispi Skarven

Crispi took the top spot in our Best Men’s Hunting Boots article, and I’d be remiss to not include the brand here. The Skarven EVO GTX is an 800g insulated, GORE-TEX-lined beast of a boot. It’s not as stiff as the Mountain Extreme, but it could certainly tackle high-alpine, late-season hunts no problem.

The ABSS (ankle bone support system) gives added support to gals who tend to roll ankles, and a dual-density polyurethane sole combined with a Vibram outsole provides both comfort and traction. It’s a pricier boot at $380, but expect it to last a lot longer than a budget boot.

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Zamberlan Vioz GTX Backpacking Boot

Zamberlan Vioz GTX Backpacking Boot

This boot comes highly recommended by many women, and as a heavy-duty backpacker, it can certainly fill in for many — if not all — of your hunting needs. It’s an Italian-made boot, which means it’s heavy on the price tag at $350. But it just might be the last backpacking or hunting boot you own.

These boots have an exclusive Vibram outsole and they’re resole-able. The wide lugs prevent rocks from sticking in your sole, and they’re built on a forward rocker, allowing ease going uphill and stability going down.

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Choosing the Right Hunting Boot: Frequently Asked Questions

Choosing the right boots comes down to your style of hunting. If you’re waterfowl hunting from a marsh blind in the South, you’re probably not going to wear a pair of insulated Kenetrek boots. Upland hunting in rattlesnake country? Snake boots might be a necessary evil. Really, weather, terrain, and habitat challenges are your three dictators of which boot you’ll pull on.

Here are a few things that can help you find the best boot for your foot. And if you need more detailed info, check out our 20 tips on buying the perfect boot.

Know Your Size & Boot Fit

Remember those weird metal slide things that you’d step into for sizing? They’re still a helpful tool. Feet can change and grow as we get older, and getting precise measurements at your local REI or sporting goods store can help you choose the right pair. You might wear a 9 in one brand and a 10 in another, or need a narrow or wide size. Be open to trying something outside of your usual size.

If you plan on doing long days in your new boots, some foot swelling is probably in your future. Try on boots at the end of the day, as feet tend to be bigger then. (Weird, I know.) If a boot feels snug all around, a half size up is probably your better bet. And if they’re tight in the toebox on Day 1, you don’t want to experience Day 2.

Avoid Hot Spots & Get Your System Down Early

Don’t try on boots with socks you wouldn’t wear while hunting in them. If you’re looking for a boot to get you through a late-season elk hunt, then focus on insulation and waterproofing.

And if you’re looking for an early-season archery boot, put on your lightweight hiking socks and make sure they’re breathable. The biggest thing here is to try and avoid hot spots that can lead to blisters. You’ll want to nail down your system before heading into the woods.

Is the fit a bit off still? Another thing that can help correct fit is finding an insole you like. Superfeet is a favorite, and the brand has a plethora of insoles to choose from for various scenarios. Additionally, you can try multiple lacing systems to get the fit of your boot just so.

Where Are You Going?

Are you heading to move fast in steep, rocky, desert terrain? Think breathability, traction, and stiffer ankle support. Going on a late-fall hunt with a heavy pack in the Northwest? Think waterproofing, stability, and warmth. Not sure what types of terrain you’re getting into? An all-around boot with water resistance might be your best bet.

Above all, wherever you’re going, break in your boots before you go. Wear them around the house, to the store, and on some local short trails. Break-in time can vary from boot to boot. Read reviews. Know what your break-in goal is for your pair of hiking boots, and make sure the boots feel comfortable before hitting the hills. Your feet will thank you in the long term.

Nicole Qualtieri
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Based in Montana, Nicole Qualtieri is GearJunkie's Hunt + Fish Editor. When she's not writing or editing, she's likely hunting, fishing, or on the back of her little brown horse with a border collie named Butch Cassidy on heel in the mountains. Find her on Instagram at @nkqualtieri.

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