Outdoor essentials: Boots

Whether you’re on a long hunting foray or in the country for a spot of practice, your footwear has to be up to the job – sodden feet and mud up to your knees will put a dampener on any shooting trip. We’re never safe from mud here in Britain – particularly at present – so there’s no excuse for being under-prepared. For some, this means sticking with cheap wellies or walking boots from the hardware store – but hunters used to adverse weather often look to spend a little bit extra in a bid for maximum comfort and endurance. After all, there’s no chance of bagging any quarry if you’re constantly worrying about developing frostbite or trench foot.

If you’re after some affordable, hunting grade wellies, the Seeland Allround boots offer durability and some great features. The Vulcanised rubber sole provides solid grip, while side zips and a 4mm neoprene lining201 will keep you snug in cold conditions Seeland is a Scandinavian company, so their products excel in our milder climate, and their Erase XT camo pattern is a nice touch for those who like to go ‘head to toe’.

Many hunters, however, prefer walking boots – and Jack Pyke’s Hunters will certainly withstand everything the hunting field can throw at you, with thick Vibram Trek rubber soles, a leather construction and a high ankle to keep the dirt out of your socks. There’s an anti-microbial treatment to keep your feet smelling fresh – and most importantly, off your quarry’s radar.

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Moving slightly up the price spectrum, and Danner’s Jackal II GTX boots look classy and, claim their distributors, are as comfortable as tennis shoes. They feature full-grain leather and Mossy Oak camouflage, with ankle supports and cushioned insoles 203– so you won’t have to worry about blisters. For the price of a good springer, you could pick up the Harkila Pro Hunter GTX boots. Expensive, yes – but we doubt you’d be disappointed. Discomfort isn’t in Harkila’s dictionary, and the combination of Vibram sole and Harkila insole ensures a deeply cushioned fit around your foot. Some versions even include Kevlar lining, so their durability is clearly of the highest quality. After all, why wear out cheaper boots when you could buy the Harkilas and have them for life?

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