Hunting boots are the perfect example of the personality of many hunters. We are rough, braves and we like heavy, resistant and tough materials, we want protection from the elements and from the beasts…but we want to be silents, fasts and climb mountains as sheeps and goats. Not easy tasks with a pair of boots of 2.5 lbs.
Typicals in the mountain running scene are the low profile lightweight hiking boots, they are lights, flexible and provide some protection from the hard terrain and the elements using membranes as goretex. We all know of the characteristics of the membranes but in this style of shoes the limitations of goretex, simpatex and similars are obvious. The flexibility of the materials works against the membrane, broken and wearing it very fast. For one mountain runner this is not a problem because the exercise will keep their foots warm, really, the runners don´t want membranes in their shoes.
So if you are thinking in one hunt of several days with rain of snow be careful with this. They can work for daily or non winter hunts and personally, i love to hunt with my lights low profile shoes. I am not alone, Randy Ulmer, a well know hunter, use them in their hunts.
One actual philosophy in the running world is the barefooting. They say that less padding is better to run. No idea about this, but the barefooting shoes are nice to bowhunt in warm weather beacuse they are lights, very lights, flexible and close to hunt “barefoot”, you will be very quiet using these minimalists shoes. Take a look to the New Balance minimus.
Pics from Highballblog
Everybody knows about the Vibram Five Fingers.
Both style of shoes, Minimus and Five Fingers weight around 7-8 oz !!!
African hunters know very well about the advantages of the light boots, they are using during decades leather boots as this. They are not low profile, but very close. The leather adds protections to thorns.
Low profile sports shoes are not for everybody and not for every place, but if you have warm weather and not trickles, thorns or similars you need to try them. If you want to add more protection to your feet, use a short gaiter, plenty of models, from leather to nylon and similars.
Many people thinks that you need heavy boots to protect your ankles and probably is true for them, but i am not sure about this. Take a look to the Kobe Bryant shoes in the next match, yes, they are low profile.