I’m not ashamed to say I’m a boot and shoe nut, always on the lookout for something that will feel comfortable, dry and help keep me warm in winter.
My first boots years ago were all-leather lace-ups, which worked but had little to no insulating qualities. Leather and a hard rubber sole combined with cotton socks (until I learned better and switched to wool) weren’t enjoyable on cold days, even in the Southeast when “cold” is akin to late spring swimming weather up north. Those got replaced by some insulated lace-ups, which were good (at the time) and served their purpose.
Then, rubber knee-high slip-on boots, the good ol’ Lacrosse Burly, which some hunters still love. They’re relatively lightweight, work well and don’t absorb scent like cloth boots.
Today, though, we’re blessed with tons of good technical fabric, insulation from moderately cold to teeth-chattering, and more comfort than ever. Although I still like my 8-inch Wolverine lace-ups when I’m going to be doing some stalking around rocky terrain — ankle support, y’know — usually the first thing I grab is my pair of Muck Woody Max slip-ons.
They’re easy to get on and off, even if I’ve walked a lot and have sweaty feet. They don’t get stiff in cold weather. I like the neoprene for the warmth and flexibility, while the reinforced toe and heel along with rubber coating on the lower part keeps things dry. When I’m done, they dry out pretty quickly and even faster with a Peet boot dryer (which I highly, highly recommend).
I’m trying out a couple of other pairs of boots right now and will have an update on those in the coming weeks. I don’t know yet if they’ll join the Mucks in my boot lineup — having several to rotate so they can dry out thoroughly is good, and also for travel having two pairs is good — so we’ll see.
Plus, you can be in style and wear ’em with this very cool and limited D&DH logo tee shirt all the cool hunters are wearing this season.
If you need a pair or have someone with a Christmas wish list, check ’em out here.
— Alan Clemons, Managing Editor