Many people have heard of the brands we’ll cover today, but anybody I ask doesn’t know the name Dungarees. Dungarees have 18 brands under their name that all have very similar ideals and products. Dungarees were created to provide active workwear for people who live a more rugged and active life. One of the most incredible characteristics of our country is the fact that we have one of the most versatile and unique climates in the world. From the Everglades in south Florida to the high elevations of the Rocky Mountains, we have some of the most beautiful and difficult lands to live in. Dungarees have established itself as the company that can provide the best gear for any of the unique and beautiful environments you’ll have to work through.
Dungarees have more boots than I could ever list in a blog, but I’d like to focus on the boots that matter most this time of year, hunting boots! April 10 is only 4 days away and I feel like a kid on the Tuesday before Christmas. Unfortunately, I have a major problem with my obnoxious paddle feet. My feet are almost considered flat feet and I have to wear a 4EE to be really comfortable. I can’t wear normal-sized shoes for something like a hike or hunt because my feet will bust out of the sides of the boot or I’ll have microfractures throughout my forefoot. If any of you are like me, you’re left with very few options on the market to choose from, with even fewer great options. Dungarees is responsible for probably 70% of my outdoor clothing and gear. I’ve included the top 4 boots that are available in wide (D) and Extra Wide (EE) for those o you with paddle feet, like mine. Enjoy!
1. Danner 41531 Vital Snake Boots
Everyone who has ever hiked or hunted has heard of Danner boots at some point in their lives. The majority of everyone I know wears Danner to hike in the Rockies and Cascades because of their durability. My only problem with Danner boots is they rarely provide opportunities for people with wide feet. I’ve written to many shoe companies about this issue and they tell me it’s about the demand. The fact is that there are not enough people calling for wide shoes, so these companies don’t spend money on shoes that won’t sell. Before I digress further into the discrimination of people with wide feet, the Danner Vital Snake Boots offer a solid remedy to this polarizing issue (I get it’s only polarizing to me).
I have owned the Vital Snake Boots for only 1 year, but they are holding up great in the Appalachians with the heavy rain and sometimes unbearable humidity. These boots are made for those of us that deal with heavy woodlands in low elevations that are inhabited by venomous snakes. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve almost stepped on a sunning Copperhead or Timber Rattler in the Jefferson National Forest in Virginia. I have shorter legs, but these boots come up to just under my knee and provide snake protection for 360 degrees all the way up to my knee. For those of us that hunt in these woods these boots provide a great peace of mind that is hard to put a price tag on. These boots are fully waterproof and glide off rocks, branches, trees, and metal surfaces. So far, I believe these boots are worth the high price tag and would gladly buy another pair.
2. Danner 47613 Recurve Boots
The Danner Recurve Boots are some of my favorites because they offer incredible heel support and handle shock from landing on rocks exceptionally well. The Recurve boots are listed as hiking boots, but a lot of hunting outside of tree stands and blinds is about hiking places. These boots are not insulated and shouldn’t be worn to hunt in high elevations in the fall and early Spring, but they’re great for the rest of the country. I have pair of these boots that I use to hike in the summer and they do great with the Vibram® Recurve outsole with Megagrip technology. I have had to climb down steep trails that were water-logged and slick as snot, with no loss in traction. I do think they run narrow, so I’d suggest ordering an EE over a regular wide. They are truly waterproof, but the shorter length will give you problems if you have to cross deeper water. On the other hand, these boots breath really well for waterproof boots.
3. LaCrosse 513361 Windrose
The LaCross Windrose is one of the most underrated boots I’ve ever worn in my life. LaCrosse is known in many outdoor communities as a durable, expensive, and reliable boot. However, it never really gets the attention of Danner or Solomon, for whatever reason. The Windrose is insulated boots that are both 100% waterproof and abrasion-resistant. 600g Thinsulate™ Ultra Insulation will help keep your feet warm in temps around freezing. I would only recommend these boots for hunters that are not going to be moving a lot. For example, these boots will do great in a tree stand or ground blind. They’ll keep you warm enough to withstand the sharp cold wind of the mountains, but that cuts both ways if you’re moving a lot. The last thing you want is your feet to get sweaty in cold environments.
4. Danner 47131 Element
My very first pair of Danner’s were the insulated and waterproof 8″ Element boots. The reason I chose these boots were simply that it was the only pair of boots I could wear for both hunting and hiking that had an extra-wide boot. The insulation is the perfect level for me to be able to hunt and hike in colder temperatures without my feet being soaked in sweat. It’s also always just as important to wear the right kind of socks and change out your socks periodically. A 400g Thinsulate™ Ultra Insulation gives you the ability to stay warm and dry in temps just above freezing. This is perfect for any hunter that doesn’t deal with extreme cold or high elevations while hunting or hiking. These boots are called Element because they’re designed to be incredibly versatile with applications in many different environments and elements, such as rain, wind, sun, and snow.
There are obviously hundreds of boots online that people can choose from to find a solid hunting/hiking boot. However, there are just not that many options for people with wide paddle feet, like myself. Hopefully, if you relate to this conundrum and are in need of wide boots to accommodate your feet, these boots are all in wide and/or extra wide. Make sure you read the labels because you don’t want to mix up an insulated boot for an uninsulated boot and hurt yourself in the process. Know your area well and what type of environment you’re expected to hunt in. I tried to include a boot I’ve worn in each environment around the country to either hike or hunt in. With turkey season less than a week away, now is the time to get your boots. Good luck and happy hunting!