I had the opportunity to spend some time in hunting camp with the crew of LaCrosse and Danner boots this season while hunting with Harry Pozniak at River Valley Farms in west Kentucky. Harry runs a top notch operation for hunting the big bluegrass bucks of Kentucky. It was the perfect setting to get a closer look at the great gear now available from LaCrosse and Danner
I shared camp with Shawn Hansen, Director of Sales for LaCrosse, and Jeremy Scotton, Eastern Regional Sales Manager for the company. These two guys annually hunt across the country in about every weather condition imaginable. I had the chance to pick their brain on the best boots for varying conditions as they roll through the changing seasons. Here’s a look at some of their top picks…
Warm Season Hunts
Warm weather hunts in dry conditions will typically find these guys in the Danner High Ground boot. “I am pretty much exclusively in the uninsulated Danner High Ground boots for spring turkey hunts and early season western hunts,” says Scotton. “These things are very comfortable and lightweight. They fit more like an athletic shoe than a boot.
Specs on the Danner High Ground:
100% waterproof and breathable GORE-TEX, 400 grams of Thinsulate Insulation, EVA midsole provides added cushioning, Lock and load lacing system, Danner Talon outsole provides extremely lightweight athletic performance, Nylon shank, 8″ height, 50 ounces.
Wet conditions typically call for a different option when you need to stay high and dry. “I go with my uninsulated Alphaburly Pro boots when hunting in wet and soggy conditions,” says Hansen. “This boot has our Alpha athletic fit which secures your foot and reduces slippage (blisters) plus it comes with a liner which is embossed with air channels to help facilitate air circulation. It’s a very comfortable boot.”
Specs on the LaCrosse Alphaburly Pro:
18” Height, 4.8 lbs per pair, Uninsulated, Realtree Xtra Green, Removable EVA Footbed, Fiberglass Shank.
Another great option for warm weather hunts is the new LaCrosse 4XAlpha. This boot has quite possibly one of the comfiest footbeds ever designed. It’s perfect for warm weather hunts where you’ll encounter water, but don’t want to be bogged down with a big, heavy, rubber boot. Once on stand, the boot can easily fold down for cooling comfort.
Specs on the LaCrosse 4XAlpha 3.5mm:
16” Height, 4.8 lbs per pair, 3.5mm Neoprene Insulation, Removable Polyurethane Footbed, Nylon Shank.
Both Hansen and Scotton agree that the LaCrosse AeroHead 3.5mm boot is hard to beat for whitetail
hunting. “I have been wearing it all fall here in Kansas with temps ranging from the upper 60’s to lows in the 20’s,” says Scotton. The boot is warm, durable, and virtually maintenance free with injected polyurethane instead of rubber construction. The boot is super-comfortable, featuring an athletic fit that lets you walk for miles, if you need to.
Specs on the LaCrosse AeroHead 3.5mm:
18” Height, 4 lbs per pair, 3.5mm Neoprene insulation, Removable EVA Footbed, Bi Fit Board Shank.
River Valley Farms outfitter, Harry Pozniak, says that he’s a big fan of the Danner Steadfast boot for every season. “I wear the Steadfast all year long,” says Pozniak. “They are a light boot with great traction. When things start to cool off and my feet get cold, I wear boot blankets over the top of them. I hate wearing big, heavy, blocky boots, so the Steadfast are the perfect option for me. With all the use and abuse I put boots through as an outfitter, I usually go through two pair of boots a year. But the Steadfast has held up well and continues to perform.
Specs on the Danner Steadfast:
Danner Comfort System (DCS) delivers best-in-class durability, support and comfort, Durable nubuck leather and 900 Denier nylon upper, Waterproof Danner Dry liner, Anatomical design and broader toe box for responsive fit, Patent-pending plush dual-density footbed for cushioning, underfoot venting for maximum airflow and Airthotic heel clip for support, Danner Steadfast outsole for solid traction over rugged terrain, Thermoplastic polyurethane shank, 8” height, 52 ounces, 400G insulation.
Cold feet in the late season is a deal break for many hunters. Boots that are not up for the task on cold
days will send you back to the truck in a hurry. The good news is, there is a solution to this age-old problem. The LaCrosse Alphaburly Pro with 1600 grams of Thinsulate is the boot of choice for late season hunting. It provides a great fit without being too bulky like your typical pac boots. “Whether you’re sitting in the deer blind in January, or on a frozen lake ice fishing, these boots will keep you warm, dry, and comfortable,” says Scotton.
Specs on the LaCrosse Alphaburly Pro 1600:
18” inch height, 5.5 lbs per pair, 1600G Thinsulate, EVA Footbed, Fiberglass Shank.
One tip the guys offer to help boost the insulating properties of your boots in the late season is to swap out the EVA foam insole that comes with the boots for a pair of 6mm wool/felt insoles. This seems to make a big difference in blocking the cold that radiates up from the ground, ice, or metal tree stand.
If you still haven’t filled your tags by the time the extreme cold temperatures hit, try the LaCrosse Ice King pac boot. The Ice King continues to be the go-to boot for extreme weather hunts and ice fishing fanatics.
Specs on the LaCrosse Ice King:
10” height, 6.6 lbs per pair, 400G Thinsulate Ultra Insulation, Steel Shank.
Wading for Bucks and Ducks
When things get ugly and you find yourself wading in for bucks or ducks, you’ll be covered well with
several great options from LaCrosse.
The Alpha Swampfox Drop Top is a great choice for early season hunts. It is a waterproof, breathable wader that you can wear as a regular chest wader or as a pant wader. Other features include a waist belt and side adjusters on the leg for a great fit. The boot is an Alpha constructed boot featuring 3.5 mm of neoprene plus 600g of Thinsulate for comfort and warmth.
For later season wading, switch to the SwampTuff Pro with 5mm neoprene fleece lined with armor welded seams. This wader also features the Alpha constructed boot with 3.5 mm of neoprene plus 1000g of Thinsulate. The combination of the neoprene plus the Thinsulate gives the boot a thermal rating close to a 1400g Thinsulate equivalent. The Swamp Tuff Pro is a super comfortable, great fitting wader.
No matter what critter you pursue or what the weather throws your way, LaCrosse and Danner boots will keep you in the hunt. Be sure to check out the LaCrosse and Danner websites for more on the exciting lineup of boots and waders for every season from these two great companies.
For more information on deer and turkey hunting in Kentucky, check out www.rivervalleyfarmsky.com.