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Thread: How high should elk hunting boots be for good ankle support?

  1. #1

    How high should elk hunting boots be for good ankle support?

    I am in the process of buying new boots for DIY elk hunting in CO. REI has a lot of boots that have great reviews, although I was supprised a lot of them are "low rise" boots. I like the idea of lighter boots, but also want to have ample support for the occasional packing out of an elk. Just wondering what others that hunt this way think of low rise boots? (particularly Zamberlan Vioz Gt or Asolo Powermatic)

    APA Suphan XP/Alien-X Grim Reaper, HHA, and QAD


  2. #2
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    My elk hunting boots for early season are uninsulated hiking boots. I wear Meindl Perfekt Hikers, and they work well until we get some snow.

  3. #3
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    For archery, muzzleloading, and early rifle season I use a pair of low top Merrrell hiking shoes. I have never felt like I needed more support.

    I should say that if the weather is good I am wearing these shoes. Obviously if there is snow I am wearing something a bit more conducive to the weather.
    Last edited by drkangel11683; February 19th, 2010 at 09:30 PM. Reason: Additional info

  4. #4
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    I love my Danner Pronghorns, had them for 6 years now and they still look and work great. They are light and my feet have never been wet when wearing them!
    Hoyt Maxxis 35

  5. #5
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    I like the 6" Merrell and/or Quest boots with the Gore-tex liner to keep your feet dry. Very little break in needed.

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  6. #6
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    I go for a minimum 8" top, 10" is better

    It's easy to sprain an ankle in the backcountry and that can be a big problem. I also like to be able to cross a small stream without having the water go over the top of my boots. If all depends on what kind of country you're hunting in If it's steep and rocky, wear solid boots with good ankle support. Light hikers are suitable for a front country day hunt but I wouldn't count on them for much more than that. If you go with lower cut hiking boots, I'd go with the heavy duty ones - suited for heavy backpacking and climbing.
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  7. #7
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    Just depends on your ankles.
    I have rolled my ankles every year since I was a kid, anything less than a 9" boot doesn't work for me. I have found a 10" boot is usually the best for me. I have the Meindl's now and they are great. I had danners before and they worked, but they were weak on the ankle support.
    To enter the woods in pursuit of a wild animal, brings my soul alive, It renews the energy within and brings a peace to my life.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwmican View Post
    I love my Danner Pronghorns, had them for 6 years now and they still look and work great. They are light and my feet have never been wet when wearing them!
    i recently bought a pair of the Pronghorns with 2gr thinsulate and worn them in the snow and not had wet feet either. i like the light weight and very comfy as well. i also have a pair of irish setters by redwing that i wore deer hunting in january and really like these boots as well. i figured just like i have a back up bow i should have a pair of back up boots

  9. #9
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    I've done it for nearly 30 years and did a lot of it in low top tennis shoes. Gortex ones ever since they came out. I like the light weight. I have also used hiking boots and when we get some snow i then switch to an 8" LL Bean gortex boot

  10. #10
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    Put me in for low top hiking

    I like a lightweight low top hiking boot . Steve.

  11. #11

    Danner Pronghorns

    I have had 2 pairs of these and they both lasted a year maybe 2....I am going to go a different rout. I am questioning the Meindl Alaska hunters. After all I do have weak ankles. Still looking for more input....the terrain I hunt is fairly steep and rugged.
    APA Suphan XP/Alien-X Grim Reaper, HHA, and QAD

  12. #12
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    i may sound kinda wierd, but i hate hunting in boots. i leave a pair of sturdy hikers in the truck for packing an elk out. my current pair is the burliest leather boot that Vasque makes- i forget the name, but they've held up for at least 200 miles so no complaints from me.
    i like to hunt in running shoes. they're waaaay quieter- not only on trail, but they also don't crunch twigs & dry grass nearly as bad. the sounds that we make as we strike heel first then roll to our toes is not a natural sound in the wild! sneakers are also much easier to take off/put on for stalks/sprints, and much cooler than any boot. my feet sweat too much to spend 16 hard hours in an insulated boot in september when it's 65 degrees.
    vibram (and others) soles are great for hauling loads & covering miles, but they thump too hard on the ground for me. i can usually tell if another hunter is wearing vibram by the sound of his footsteps.
    heck, i'm starting to look for a good sturdy pair of moccasins to try this year.....

    oh, wait- i just thought of one set of boots that i like to hunt in- i like my alpha burly's for snowy days

  13. #13
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    best pair of boots i ever owned were danner elk hunters. not vibram sole, thats big because vibram soles suck. oooh lots of comment there but feel free to walk moss covered logs and the wet forest of the oregon coast. the danner elk hunters were great, i could walk up and down the face of a rock no problem, best traction ever. 8 inch no insulation. that being said i hunted this year in eastern oregon. 3 pairs of boots along for the ride, never took my ankle high cross traning shoes off. everyone and every enviornment is diffrent. slick wet ground, stay away from vibram

  14. #14
    6"-8" will work, but I find 10" is superb for the type of country we hunt. The more the support the better especially so when carrying your pack loaded with meat on sidehills & very uneven surfaces, this is where your boots earn their keep. Anything is fine for casual stuff!

    ElkNut1
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  15. #15
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    Ideally you would have a separate pair of boots for packing out vs. the actual hunt. Having an 80# load on your back calls for a different amount of support AND a different amount of sole flexibility.

  16. #16
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    I use a Meindl Canada boot from Cabelas. It lists the boot at 11". The support is great on uneven slopes which makes up most of my day elk hunting. Traction is a huge issue for me having bad knees and this boot handles all of it. I think taller is better.
    Passion for the outdoors is what drives me, but respect for it and all that live there is what makes it live on.

  17. #17
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    I really like the Merrell Moab XCR Gore-Tex Mid Hikers. They weight 2.0 lbs, are waterproof, dry fast and are comfortable.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by williams111 View Post
    I have had 2 pairs of these and they both lasted a year maybe 2....I am going to go a different rout. I am questioning the Meindl Alaska hunters. After all I do have weak ankles. Still looking for more input....the terrain I hunt is fairly steep and rugged.
    Yep, IMO the Pronghorns have no business even being in elk country. You could roll an ankle in camp with those. As much as I would love to hunt in tennis shoes or very lightweight low cut hiking boots, after 25 years of basketball.......that would be a disaster waiting to happen for me. In 30 years of elk hunting I have rolled an ankle once, and that was three years ago in my brand new Pronghorns. I would agree that taller is definitely better. You can certainly try low cut boots or even tennis shoes, but if you need support I'd go 7-8" minimum, and 10"+ is even better. I bought a pair of Lowa Tibet Pro GTX's last year that are around 7-8", and they're great boots........but if I had to do it again, I'd go with the 10" Meindl Alaska Hunter or Kenetrek Mountain Extreme.
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  19. #19

    ttt

    Ya, basketball is my problem too....I would like to try on a pair of the Kenetrek's but I dont have any local dealers. I will try on the Meindl's next time I make it to Cabelas. Thanks for the input!
    APA Suphan XP/Alien-X Grim Reaper, HHA, and QAD

  20. #20

    ttt

    ttt
    APA Suphan XP/Alien-X Grim Reaper, HHA, and QAD

  21. #21
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    I wear Merrill Reflex light weight hikers. Waterproof. Real good traction. I really don't need as much ankle support as some.
    A man has got to know his limitations.

  22. #22
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    Excellent question!
    This is a bit stereotypical....but it's amazing what you can determine just by looking at a mans boots!
    By mine you can tell my feet know a good pair when they feel them...and my head knows I don't have to spend $200 to get them


    The smart/serious elk hunter should stick with at least an 8" boot,with a fairly aggressive self clearing tread and a low to medium height heel.
    You'll really appreciate the taller boot after a long week in the brush and rocks!


    There are tons of boots out there and only your feet will know which pair is right for them.

    I catch alot of flak for this...But I'm fond of some of the US surplus out there.Bates and Altima(among others) makes a good goretex lined boot that you can find new for less the 50 bucks on ebay!
    They are a good,fairly light boot that provides good support and will work in all but the worst/wettest conditions.

    !BZHR4!QBGk~$(KGrHgoOKiQEjlLmEZt(BKlEft4no!~~_12.jpg

    bates.jpg

    Some guys can't stand them.....usually ex-servicemen.I wear boots everday of my life so my feet know when they're comfortable!


    As a matter of fact they're working in the yard right now!!!!...
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    Hey dumby....tired of your arrows falling out of your quiver? Save yourself 200 bucks.....turn it over!

    Maybe I do spend too much time in the brush....looking out.It's time better spent then at the truck....looking out!

  23. #23
    The height of a boot plays no role in protecting you from spraining your ankle. It's the sole that does it. Aside from a boot that locks your foot and ankle joint in place (i.e. ski boots) you won't get that kind of support from the height of a boot. The height of the boot merely protects you from debris damage and also increases the height of water resistance. Go to a sports store and look at the basketball shoes, they've all gone to a mid top or low, with the back cut down. The support to protect from sprained ankles comes from the sole. The more the outer part of the sole is exagerated, the better. It keeps the foot from rolling outward. If you're looking for this kind of protection from a hunter/hiker, go buy a lace up ankle brace and wear that with the boot that you like the best.

    FWIW, I agree on the Danner Pronghorns, vastly overrated. Go with a real mountain boot, not a leather tennis shoe.
    '12 Elite Answer 60#

  24. #24

    ttt

    thanks......anyone else?
    APA Suphan XP/Alien-X Grim Reaper, HHA, and QAD

  25. #25
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    Most of the guys I see come out without all leather boots get leg weary fast from all the side hill work. Also cordura stretches so they can't keep their boots tight, not fun either. What ever fits your foot best, is high quality and doesn't cause blisters because if your feet or legs go down elk hunting your hunt is over.
    Passion for the outdoors is what drives me, but respect for it and all that live there is what makes it live on.

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