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Published Jul 18, 2022 3:50 PM

Turkey hunting boots are versatile. They’ll keep your feet dry as you walk through a dew-soaked field, they’ll keep your feet warm while you wait for that old gobbler to fly down, and they’ll blend into the woods when he finally struts into range. But depending on where and when you hunt, some styles of boot are better suited than others. If snow isn’t out of the question for your season opener, you’ll need an insulated, waterproof boot to keep you from heading back to the truck early. Where I spend most of my time hunting in the deep South, I’d be crazy not to wear a snake boot. But in other regions, a lightweight, low-profile boot works brilliantly, especially if you’re covering a lot of ground. And if you hunt all over the place, you know that one boot might not cut it for the different turkey habitats you’ll encounter. I’ve put a ton of miles on a lot of different boots since I started chasing gobblers. Through the years I’ve learned that the best turkey hunting boots should last you several seasons and keep your feet dry and warm whether you’re calling gobblers through the snow, mountains, or swamps.

Best Overall: LaCrosse Alpha Agility Snake Boots

LaCrosse

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Why It Made the Cut

These lightweight, breathable rubber boots won’t slow you down when it’s time to run and gun, and they’ll keep your feet dry from sweat or wet conditions. Throw in the Snake Guard, and the Alpha Agility checks all the boxes for a solid pair of turkey hunting boots.

Key Features

  • Weight: 4.9 pounds per pair
  • Uninsulated
  • Waterproof
  • Snake Guard
  • Adjustable gusset

Pros

  • Feels lighter than actual weight
  • Breathable
  • Snug, athletic fit

Cons

  • Not ideal for frigid early seasons

Product Description

Rubber boots can be heavy, loud, and better tailored for muddy days spent in your garden than hunting. But the LaCrosse Alpha Agility Snake Boots are an excellent option for hunters who want the security of a rubber boot but don’t mind cutting the distance on a gobbler that’s half a mile away. So, if you’re considering switching to lightweight boot, but you’re hesitant to give up the versatility that rubber boots provide, the Alpha Agility should catch your eye.

Even though these boots weigh just under five pounds (4.9 pounds), the Agility outsole makes them feel lighter than their actual weight. Compared to my Alphaburly Pros, the Alpha Agility boots feel noticeably lighter even though they’re only about five ounces lighter. While the traction on the outsoles isn’t as grippy as they Alphaburly Pros, they don’t give up much.

The Best Turkey Hunting Boots of 2022
Adjust the gusset on the Alpha Agility boots to make their snug fit even closer. Adam Moore

The snug, athletic fit makes them feel like a streamlined boot, which I’ve appreciated on longer treks. And the adjustable gusset allows you to fit them close, so there’s not excessive flapping or space between the boot and your leg. Even though my Alpha Agility boots fit true to size, their snug fit—even after breaking them in—makes them difficult to remove, especially after you sweat through your socks. But this minor quibble hardly detracts from this boots overall quality. For the majority of turkey terrain and seasons you’ll encounter, the Alpha Agility boots excel at nearly all of them.  

Best Snake Boot: Dryshod ViperStops

Dryshod

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Why It Made the Cut

The Dryshod ViperStops penetration-resistant uppers provide excellent snake protection, yet they’re plenty breathable for the warmest days of turkey season.

Key Features

  • Weight: 6.5 pounds
  • 100 percent waterproof
  • Hydrokote water repellent
  • 5mm Desoprene insulated boot
  • Back-pull tabs
  • WIXIT Cool-Clad airmesh

Pros

  • Extra-tall upper
  • Great traction
  • Sheds water
  • Excellent moisture wicking

Cons

  • A tad heavy

Product Descripton

I tested these during turkey season this year, and the 5mm Desoprene insulation will keep your feet relatively warm during the early part of turkey season when cool mornings still linger, but they didn’t run too hot when spring actually showed up. Though I wasn’t lucky enough to have a snake strike these, the thick uppers on the ViperStops are more than convincing.

While they’re a little on the heavy side, these boots fit true to size, and the traction on the out soles works great. I crossed a couple of steep creek banks after a week of showers, and these boots have some of the best traction out there. While a lot of rubber boots feel stiff out of the box, the ViperStops required a minimal break-in period, and I didn’t have any irritation or discomfort the first time I wore them on an all-day turkey hunt. Where I hunt in the deep South, I encounter snakes on a weekly basis during turkey season. With the ViperStops, I don’t worry about them even when I’m walking in swamps or wetlands before first light.

The Dryshod Viperstops are Outdoor Life's pick for best snake boot.
The Viperstop’s high upper and penetration resistant rubber are perfect for snake conditions. Adam Moore

While the snake protection is top notch, you pay for it with weight. At over six pounds, these boots feel heavy. And if you’re slogging through especially boggy conditions, you’ll feel every bit of their weight. But if you want the extra confidence in snake protection, these boots might be worth every pound.

Best Budget: Muck Edgewater

Muck Boot Company

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Why It Made the Cut

If you’re on a budget and just need something to keep your feet dry, these classic rubber boots check those boxes.

Key Features

  • Weight: Two pounds
  • 5mm neoprene
  • Stretch-fit upper
  • 100% waterproof

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Widely available

Cons

  • Upper soaks rather than sheds water
  • No adjustable gusset

Product Description

More often than not, you get what you pay for. When it comes to the Muck Edgewaters, you get a little more. This no frills, classic rubber boot has almost everything you need for turkey season. They’re easy to slip on and off, but that’s also one of their drawbacks. There’s no adjustable gusset, which means the upper tends to shift and make noise while you walk. And if you’re hunting in particularly boggy conditions, there’s a good chance you can come out of this boot.

The traction on the Edgewaters doesn’t compare to other boots in this review, and I’ve landed on my back more than a few times crossing creeks in them. I’ve worn these boots while working, deer hunting, and everything in between, and they’re more than capable of getting the job done. I’ve never had a problem with their waterproofing capabilities, except the upper tends to soak water, rather than shed it. This not only makes them a bit heavier but gives them a ripe smell after they dry (especially if you do this all season long). There’s nothing fancy about the Edgewaters, but if money’s tight and you need to keep your feet dry, I wouldn’t hesitate to roll with these.

Best for Early Season: LaCrosse Alphaburly Pro

LaCrosse

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Why It Made the Cut

The Alphaburly Pros come in a variety of camo patterns and insulation options, and they’re plenty warm for early season turkey hunting, especially if snow isn’t out of the question.

Key Features

  • Weight: 5.2 pounds
  • Adjustable neoprene gusset
  • 18-inch upper
  • Mild, cold, and arctic insulation options
  • Scent-free rubber

Pros

  • Durable
  • True to size
  • Warm
  • Tons of camo patterns

Cons

  • Might get too warm
  • Camo pattern fades quickly

Product Description

Depending on where you hunt, your opening day of turkey season might include a fresh layer of snow instead of a lush green-up. If that’s the case, it might be time to break out your best rubber hunting boots a little early. The Alphaburly Pros are excellent for deer hunting, and those same features make them great for cold, early season turkey hunts.

The Best Turkey Hunting Boots of 2022
The Alphaburly Pros kept my feet plenty warm during a cold opening morning in Indiana.

With insulation options that range from mild to arctic, the Alphaburly Pros are plenty warm for those lingering winter conditions. I wear mine during the early part of turkey season, where temps sometimes hang at or just below freezing, and they keep my feet plenty warm. They have the 800 grams of insulation, so they’re perfect for deer season and the first part of turkey. And if you get the right insulation, you can have yourself an awesome do-it-all rubber boot.

The Best Turkey Hunting Boots of 2022
The Alphaburly Pros can handle whatever conditions you throw at them. Joseph Hosey

Even if you plan to run and gun, the Alphaburly Pros won’t weigh you down too much. I’ve put a lot of miles on mine, especially on all day turkey hunts, and these wear a lot lighter than their listed 5.2 pounds. These are some of the most durable boots I’ve hunted in, but the camo pattern on mine started fading just a couple months after I started hunting in them. Still, if you want some of the best turkey hunting boots that you can keep running during deer season, these are hard to beat.

Best for Run and Gun: Merrell Moab 3 Mid Waterproof

Merrell

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Why It Made the Cut

At just over two pounds, these lightweight hiking boots won’t slow you down when it’s time to cut the distance on a gobbler, and they’re wicked comfortable.

Key Features

  • Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • 100% recycled laces and webbing
  • Vibram TC5+ outsole
  • 5mm lug
  • Medium or wide sizing options
  • Waterproof

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Super comfortable
  • Breathable
  • Versatile

Cons

  • Runs big
  • Not great for super wet conditions

Product Description

Merrell’s Moab 3 Mid Waterproof is perfect for hunters who prefer a low-profile boot instead of typical rubber hunting boots. When I first tried these on, I was blown away at how comfortable and light they felt. These aren’t just some of the most comfortable turkey hunting boots, they’re some of the most comfortable footwear I’ve ever tried. And at just over two pounds, they wear like a cloud.

I’ve put a lot of miles on these during my summer whitetail scouting, and even on the most scorching days they have great breathability. I noticed I started to have a hot spot on my Achilles tendon, which occurred after a humid 3-mile hike. Even though Merrell rates these as “waterproof,” a tiny asterisk with “to an extent” would more accurately apply. So, if you have any major creek crossings that are ankle deep or higher, it might be best to leave these at home. But these drawbacks come with the territory and should be expected. For days when I know I’ll log several miles or in less snake-friendly habitat, you can bet I’ll be wearing my Moabs.

Best Lace-Up: Danner Vital

Danner

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Why It Made the Cut

The Danner Vitals combine light weight with the security and sturdiness of a lace-up hunting boot.

Key Features

  • Weight: 2.9 pounds
  • Waterproof
  • Insulation: Uninsulated to 1200g
  • Metal lace hooks

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Solid traction
  • Different camo, height, and insulation options

Cons

  • Not waterproof

Product Description

I got these boots because I originally wanted a versatile hunting option for different game. And they’ve excelled at that. They’re also some of the most comfortable boots I own, especially for turkey hunting. These are lightweight enough that you forget about them on all day hunts, but they provide plenty of ankle support. And the wide toe box is nice when it’s time to run and gun, because they allow your toes to somewhat splay. The Vitals even come in a 17-inch Snake Guard option that runs just over four pounds.

Even though these boots are rated “waterproof,” they definitely aren’t. The first time I walked through high grass after a heavy dew, my feet were wet. And you can forget crossing a creek in them. Even with plenty of mesh, these aren’t the most breathable, and I find myself sweating through my hunting socks more often than not. But for less than $200 that’s to be expected. And most lace-ups, except for premium priced options, have these same waterproofing faults. Still, if you want a solid lace-up that doesn’t break the bank and excels at pretty much anything else, the vitals are a great option.

Best Sustainable: Your Old Shoes

The Best Turkey Hunting Boots of 2022
Adam Moore

Why It Made the Cut

Sometimes the best boot for the job isn’t a boot. And your old shoes can give you an edge when it comes to stealth in the turkey woods.

Key Features

  • No break-in period
  • Your shoes
  • Repurposed

Pros

  • Already fits
  • Budget friendly
  • Super quiet
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Not a boot
  • Probably not waterproof

Product Description

One morning during turkey season I hit snooze one too many times. In a hurry, I slipped on my shoes, which don’t require lacing up, and decided I would throw my boots in the truck and put them on once I arrived at my spot. However, in my rush, I forgot to load my boots in the truck and had no choice but to roll with my shoes. While they lacked any sort of water or snake proofing, I noticed they were extremely quiet, and I could be virtually silent in them walking through the woods. I also felt twenty pounds lighter without my heavy-duty rubber boots and seriously considered making a permanent switch. Even after the dew soaked through them, I hunted the rest of that season in those shoes. Sure, there are plenty of obvious drawbacks with this option, but if you want to feel like a ninja maneuvering through the shadows of the turkey woods, or you’re a minimalist at heart, give your old shoes a shot. Oh, and pack an extra pair of socks in your turkey vest.

FAQs

Q: What color boots are best for turkey hunting?

When it comes to turkey hunting, boots with camo patterns or earth tone colors are best. I’ve hunted with a ton of different turkey hunting boots in both flat earth tones and camo patterns, and I doubt the turkeys noticed a difference. As long as you don’t have bright solid-colored boots, most anything will work.

Q: Can turkeys smell hunters?

Thankfully, turkeys cannot smell hunters like other wild game. If they could smell like deer, turkeys would be a lot harder to kill. They have relatively small olfactory lobes, which means their sense of smell pales in comparison to their vision and hearing, which is why you’ve probably never spooked a turkey because of your scent.

Q: How should my turkey hunting boots fit?

Like any other boot or shoe, you turkey hunting boots should fit just right, which means they should allow adequate toe room in the front without having so much room that your foot slides around in them. If your turkey hunting boots are too big or too small, this can cause unwanted friction and lead to blisters.

Q: What boots protect you from snake bites?

Typically, tall rubber boots with snake guards can protect you from snake bites. Most rubber boots have a sturdy upper that snakes would have a hard time penetrating. However, boots like the Dryshod Viperstops or LaCrosse Alpha Agility Snake boots have a reinforced upper and snake guard at the base of the foot that are designed specifically to prevent snake bites. Most manufacturers list this information on their products’ pages, so be sure that your boots are rated for snakes if you hunt areas where they’re prevalent.

The Best Turkey Hunting Boots of 2022
Consider where you hunt turkeys most to determine the best boots for your situation. Joseph Hosey

Things to Consider When Buying Turkey Hunting Boots

Insulation

This isn’t a huge concern, since spring temps don’t typically require heavily insulated boots. But if your season opener comes with cold temps, it’s definitely worth investing in a pair of boots that will keep your feet dry and warm. Most manufacturers offer boots with different insulation levels. Numbers like 200g, 800g, 1200g, etc. all refer to the thickness of insulation in a boot. The higher the number, the thicker the insulation. Boots with higher levels like 1200g or 1600g typically function best for frigid, stationary hunts, whereas boots with 200g or 400g ratings or non-insulated options are better suited for spring conditions.

Terrain

Terrain plays a major factor in determining the best turkey hunting boots for your specific situation. Rubber boots make the most sense for a variety of hunting conditions, especially in the eastern and southern portions of the country. Sometimes a lightweight boot, like the Merrell Moabs are better suited for steep terrain or times when you plan to cover several miles. Rubber boots work fine in these conditions, but after a day of logging five, 10 miles, a lighter boot makes a big difference.

Budget

Sometimes budget is a hard, impassable line in the sand. I get it. But sacrificing price usually equates to sacrificing quality, especially when it comes to footwear. There are budget options like Muck’s Edgewater that are more than capable for turkey hunting. However, a lot of other cheap options are just that. I’ve hunted in boots that I thought were solid, cheaper options, and they were for a short time. But after that, it was obvious I got what I paid for. And I ended up spending more money in the long run. Don’t expect to buy a cheap turkey hunting boot and get the same durability, waterproofing, or quality that you will in a quality boot. There are plenty of options in the $150-$200 range that will last you years, as long as you take care of them.

Final Thoughts

The best turkey hunting boots for you depend largely on where and how you hunt. If you have the means, opting for a couple different pairs is a great idea, especially if you travel to hunt different regions. But there’s something to be said about simplicity, and a pair of rubber boots like the Muck Edgewaters or even your old shoes will get the job done in most situations.