- The 1st Boot Question is always: Are they comfortable?
- Then, depending on where you plan to hunt: Will the boots keep me warm if it’s cold outdoors?
- Last, and very important: Are the boots durable, waterproof, and breathable?
By Jason Houser
There are a lot of things that can make or break a hunt.
Some hunters think of shot placement, the guide service proficiency, weather factors and more.
Many do not take into consideration the boots they are wearing on their hunting feet. The boots can mean everything.
For the past few months, I have been wearing the Hunter GTX® EVO Extreme from LOWA. These boots have been on my feet while Aoudad (Barbary sheep) hunting in Texas, chasing Coyotes in Missouri, Whitetail Deer in Illinois, and a lot of points in between. That’s a lot of footsteps to challenge my comfort.
Usually, I like to break my boots in before leaving the house on a hunt or outdoor excursion. Not doing so is only asking for sore feet and blisters. After trying these boots on for the first time, I felt comfortable enough to wear them hunting the next day going after my first bear ever.
These boots received a lot of use and abuse on a recent black bear hunt, deep in the wilderness of northern Wisconsin. These leather boots proved their weight in gold, as I have covered a lot of miles in them.
So, how do the folks at LOWA explain the Hunter GTX® EVO Extreme boot? “The Hunter GTX Evo Extreme is designed for hunters who are chasing big game in extremely rugged, above-tree-line terrain. With an extra-high shaft for superb ankle support and a high wall rubber rand for protection against abrasion, the EVO Extreme provides outstanding performance, warmth, and comfort in tough fall and winter conditions. It is compatible with strap-on crampons and snow spikes. They are durable, waterproof, and breathable.”
As a hunter, trapper, hiker, and ice fisherman that spends more time outdoors than indoors, I understand the need to be comfortable.
To me, being comfortable begins with your feet. Once my feet get cold, develop blisters or other sores, like most everyone else, I am done. I never experienced any of these problems from the first time I put them on.
Too many boots are built to last a season and be done. I can tell you that I feel comfortable that these EVO Extremes will be around for a few hunting seasons. They are constructed of the best leathers I have seen and the strong soles on the boots are made for tough terrain. And, just in case the soles wear out, LOWA can put new ones on. With minimal seams, there are fewer places for the leather to come apart than what you find on many brands of boots. Lacing up is a breeze with sturdy eyelets and the patented LOWA X-lacing holds the tongue firmly in place.
The hunt finally came to success with a beautiful black bear appeared out of the dense forest. It was a bear that I had watched many times on trail camera photos. The bear leaving the protection and cover of the forest proved to be a fatal mistake.
Lining up the crosshairs of the Sightmark crossbow scope, I settled for a 30-yard shot and squeezed the trigger of the Carbon Express. With a thud, the bear took a direct hit and died almost instantly.
A lot of things went into making this hunt a success. Scouting, quality bear habitat, and a lot of luck, usually are what hunters consider when it comes to being a successful hunter. But, first and foremost, you need to protect your feet or you will not be on them long enough to get a shot off.