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Updated by Bill Rider on Oct 31, 2019
Bill Rider Bill Rider
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Best hunting boots - rubber and waterproof boots for elk and deer hunting

Hey guys. Bill Rider here with Bootsgeek. A couple of readers wanted me to revisit my best hunting Zamberlan boots and it's perfect because I got these about a year ago and so I want to tell you how they've worked out for me. Now, these are the Zamberlan 980 GTXRR hunting boots and they were really well priced. I think I got them for about 380 on Amazon compared to some of the other high-end mountaineering boots, that's really reasonable and I got to say I'm happy with it. I'm super happy with it. You know I haven't hunted really hard and I've been on maybe six major hunts in the last year and a couple of the hunts were really wet. I was in Southeast Alaska getting rained and poured on for days and days and they really held up. So, I'm really happy about it. I was surprised about the shank. Now going up mountains, it felt great. It was almost like staying level.

I could just climb a steep mountain with ease because of that angle chink. I will say I was slightly annoyed with coming down the mountain because it was almost coming down on high heels and it did put a little extra pressure on my knees, I felt, when you kind of go clunk, a little bit extra angle I felt, but I just got some trekking poles so that's going to be mitigated. I'm going to take 30% of the pressure off with trekking poles. So, I still think it's worth even if the shank does that going downhills.

As far as comfort level, you know I was kind of tricked by some of those forums because these guys in Alaska forums said you don't even need to break him in. That was not true. I did a quick hunt and then a hike and then I went hunting with them and they tore my feet up pretty well.

But that was my fault cause I didn't bring tape or anything. Now they're broken in really well. I just got to make sure I put a bandaid behind each heel and I'm fine. I can hunt all weekend. I can do a three or four-day hunt and my feet will be comfortable the whole time. They're actually the most comfortable boots I've ever had, so they're just a joy to hunt in. I'm super excited about them still and they've held up. The waterproofing has held up. I use them with Sitka Gators and as long as I'm moving, I can go through water almost up to my knees and stay bone dry and they've kept me really dry on all these hunts. There was one time where I stopped moving in some deep water and a little bit of water trickled in.

I could feel it on one of my feet, but it wasn't that much. I still stayed pretty dry. It was just in one little area, so I just keep moving. The waterproofing held up. Now you do need to treat them kind of before and after season. And what I got is this ReviveX leather gel waterproofing and conditioner. This was supposed to be rated for the new buck leather on these. And what I do is I take a washcloth with a really damp, not really wet with a little bit of soap and just rub it down. I let that dry and I take a clean cloth and just apply a coat of this and put a little bit of extra around the toes and heels and stuff and you just let it dry overnight and then you want to do that twice to really get some good conditioning.

But like I said, six major hunts, I don't envision myself buying another pair of hunting boots for a very long time. This is going to last me for years and it's been really comfortable so I have no complaints and compared to the prices of the other mountaineering boots out there, I highly recommend Zamberlan hunting boots. So please check these out if you're interested in good quality hunting boots for a little bit less than what some of the high-end brands will be. So I really appreciate that, guys.

Let me know what other questions you have.


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