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Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Pair of Shooting Boots

Posted by Bethan Bithell on Aug 08, 2023

Are you ready to take your shooting game to the next level? Well, it's time to gear up and invest in a pair of top-notch shooting boots! But before you head out to the store or start clicking away online, there are a few tips you need to keep in mind. These tips will ensure that you find the perfect pair of shooting boots that will keep your feet comfortable and help improve your performance. So, let's dive right in!

Shooting boots are a key piece of shooting and hunting equipment to consider, in particular, for reasons of comfort and safety! Wearing the wrong type, style, size or perhaps an ill-fitting boot, can have a drastic impact upon your safety and on comfort.

When choosing your new pair of shooting boots there are FIVE tips to remember:

Tip 1: Hot verses Cold Feet

First things first, let's talk about the battle between hot and cold feet. When you're out on the field, the last thing you want is to be distracted by uncomfortable feet. Pay attention to the materials used in the construction of the boots. Look for breathable materials that will keep your feet cool during those intense shooting sessions. Leather hunting boots and shooting boots offer several benefits, including durability, support, and protection from the elements. However, one of the key advantages of leather hunting boots is their breathability.

Grisport Gamekeeper Boots

Breathability is crucial when it comes to hunting and shooting footwear. During long hours spent in the field, shooters can easily work up a sweat, especially in warmer weather or during strenuous activities. Leather shooting boots are designed to allow air to circulate around the feet, preventing excessive sweating and helping to keep the feet dry and comfortable. This is particularly important as wet feet can lead to discomfort, blisters, and even foot infections. Check out the  Grisport Gamekeeper Boots

The breathability of leather boots is due to the nature of the material itself. Leather is a natural material that has tiny pores that allow air to flow through. These pores help to regulate the temperature inside the boots, preventing overheating and allowing moisture to evaporate. Additionally, leather is known for its ability to wick away moisture, further enhancing its breathability.

On the other hand, if you often find yourself in cold weather conditions, opt for shooting boots with insulation such as the  Gateway1 Estate Beater Boot to keep your feet warm and cosy.

When trying on a new pair of shooting boots, make sure your feet are actually hot. It is recommended that you go for a 20 minute walk before you try the boots on. This is because as your feet get hot, they will swell and spread out. Trying the boots on when your feet are cold will not give you the right idea of whether they are wide enough or comfortable.

Shooting SOcks

Tip 2: Socks

Now, let's talk about shooting socks! Yes, socks play a crucial role in ensuring utmost comfort while wearing shooting boots. It's important to choose the right pair of shooting socks for men and women to complement your boots. Look for moisture-wicking socks that will keep your feet dry and prevent blisters. Additionally, consider the thickness of the socks, as it can affect the fit of the boots. The HJ Langton Shooting Socks are made from the finest Merino socks, so they offer warmth without the bulk.

Make sure to wear the same type of socks when trying on different pairs of boots to get an accurate feel for how they will fit during actual shooting activities.

Choosing and wearing the right socks is just as important as choosing the correct boots, but many of us simply overlook this fact. It’s also worth remembering that socks provide an important protective layer between the foot and the boot, to give the necessary padding and support.

Tip 3: Criss-cross or double back lacing

Next up is the lacing style. When it comes to shooting boots, there are two popular lacing techniques - criss-cross and double back lacing. Criss-cross lacing provides a more secure fit and prevents the boots from slipping during intense movements. On the other hand, double back lacing offers a tighter fit around the ankle, providing extra stability. Choose a lacing style that suits your preferences and offers the support you need while shooting.

When trying on a new pair of shooting boots, they are usually laced up using the ‘shoe shop’ lacing system. It is recommended that you spend time lacing the boots up yourself, using the lacing method you are comfortable with and used to.

Interestingly, different lacing methods will give you different tension on your ankle and you may find that the padded tongue of the boot does not give you the protection you need. The most common method of lacing is known as the criss-cross lacing.

Check out our video on different lacing techniques that help with preventing blisters and reducing aching feet.

Tip 4: The importance of trying before buying

One crucial tip that many shooters overlook is the importance of trying before buying. Don't be tempted to simply order a pair of shooting boots online without trying them on first. Every foot is unique, and what may work for someone else may not work for you. Visit a store that specialises in  shooting equipment and try on different brands and models. Walk around, make some shooting movements, and see how they feel on your feet. This hands-on experience will help you find the perfect fit that feels like a glove.

We always recommend that you give yourself plenty of time to try on different styles, sizes and brands. We find that brands can differ with regard to both comfort and fit. For example, the Grisport Crusader boot is a quality boot made to Italian specifications, whereas a Hoggs of Fife shooting boots although also of high quality, is likely to offer a different size guide. 

It is also vital that you walk around in the boots at home or in store at the ‘trying on’ stage and, if possible, up and down steps or stairs. Walking up and down steps gives you a great indication of whether the boots are too big or too small. If your feet move about in the boot, or your heel lifts from inside the boot, then the boot is too big. If the boot pinches your foot or your toes touch the front of the boot when walking up and down stairs, then they are too small. Boots that are too big or too small can result in painful blisters over time.

Related Article: Best Hunting Boots for Comfort

Tip 5: Fit like a glove

Last but not least, remember that fit is everything when it comes to shooting boots. A well-fitting pair of boots will provide optimal support and stability, allowing you to perform at your best. Look for boots that have adjustable features such as laces or straps, so you can customise the fit according to your foot shape and size. Don't settle for anything less than perfection when it comes to finding your ideal shooting boots.

Falling into the trap where you say to yourself ‘Oh, they will ‘give’ a little bit after a while‘ is not recommended! If, when you try the boots on, they feel a bit tight or restrictive, you may need to try a different size or style and even try an alternative brand. There are so many different brands available including Gateway1 and Grisport.

Whilst it is true that the leather on shooting boots may actually ‘give’ and become flexible over time, it is still best to get the right fit right from the start. Do spend time trying on different brands, styles and sizes, to find the right boots that will give you the best support and the perfect fit.

Shooting Boot Accessories

Once you are happy with the fit of your hunting boots, and have perhaps reached a purchasing decision, it may be worth checking out the necessary accessories to go with your new footwear. These may include spare laces, a bottle of waterproof treatment or even, perhaps, some replacement in-soles. Do ask the shop assistant for advice if you are not sure of what accessories you need and please remember that different branded boots may need specific waterproof treatments, in order to keep them in ‘tip-top’ order! Incidentally, laces are available in different lengths due to the ‘height’ of hunting boots so, again, it may be useful to seek advice whilst still in the shop, if you are considering buying a spare pair at the same time as you buy your new boots!

For further guidance on our footwear accessories, please contact a member of our helpful sales team on 01978 437029. We look forward to hearing from you!

So there you have it - the top 5 tips to consider when buying a pair of shooting boots. Keep these tips in mind, and you'll be well on your way to finding a pair that will keep your feet comfortable, enhance your performance, and take your shooting game to new heights! Happy shooting!

Click here to view our full range of  shooting boots!

Last Modified: 8th August 2023