After my hunting license, my gun and ammunition, the most important piece of gear in my arsenal is footwear. A good pair of boots, be they hiking, snow or knee, is practically essential to my success in the field. I'm not alone in this opinion. Take a look at the next outdoors catalog that arrives in your mailbox. Chances are, that big section in the middle will be devoted to boots, boots and more boots. Imelda Marcos would be impressed.
I started hunting right around the time the scent management craze hit the industry. If you weren't wearing some sort of carbon-infused fiber to "eliminate" your natural and unavoidable stink, you were wasting your time. Tennis shoes were right out.
After shelling out for a rifle, camo clothing, fanny back and all sorts of "essential" deer hunting equipment, I didn't have the funds for a pair of state-of-the-art hunting boots. I went with what I thought was the next best thing; some uninsulated rubber knee boots off the bargain rack and a pair of thick socks.
I'm sure some folks can sit in a tree stand for hours on end in such an outfit and never get cold toes, but I quickly found out after one miserable deer season that I cannot.
The next year, I received a pair of Lacrosse Lite 7.0 Alphas under the Christmas tree and I never looked back. For hunting the flat and temperate Coastal Plain of North Carolina, the neoprene/foam hunting boot was the way to go, except...
I'm hard on boots. Had I just stuck to tree stand hunting in my new boots, I'm sure I would have been satisfied with their superior warmth and comfort to the nameless, Spartan rubber jobs I had upgraded from. I couldn't leave well enough alone. I wore them rabbit hunting. I stalked wild turkeys in them. I donned them when I chased wild hogs in the Florida orange groves. In less than 12 months, the Alphas were falling apart.
Perhaps my expectations were too high for that pair of $80 knee boots, but I was disappointed. I kept wearing the Alphas despite the tears and the worn soles for the better part of 5 years. There always seemed to be something more pressing, sexier, to add to the arsenal than shelling out the big bucks for a better pair of boots.
My friends, I'm here to tell you that if you are like I was - trudging through life with inferior knee boots - you need to consider making a change.
Earlier this year, through my affiliation with the Outdoor Blogger Network, I was selected to receive and review a pair of Woody EX Pro knee boots from The Original Muck Boot Company.
I take this responsibility seriously. I can't give an accurate review of a pair of hunting boots by simply slipping them on and walking around the block a few times. I decided to wait to do this write-up until I had a real chance to put them through their paces during the toughest, prolonged test I could think of; the spring wild turkey season in the Appalachian foothills.
First, the specs:
Woody EX Pro
Stealth Professional Hunting Boot