Walking boots and stalking boots are very similar things, but if you are a keen hunter or stalker, there are a few features in stalking boots that might make investing in a pair designed for the purpose a good idea. This blog will cover the key features of the boots, their differences and which may suit you best.
Key features of Stalking boots
Stalking boots are the ultimate boot for wear in the countryside whilst covering large distances and wearing the boots for up to 12 hours a day. Stalking boots need to withstand tough and challenging terrain and are generally made with more durable fabrics, which is why so many are made from full-grain leather.
They are more durable to ensure that your feet and ankles are protected when you are walking through brambles, gorse and heather. Generally, stalking boots are taller than walking boots, with heights of up to 12 inches. This may seem very tall, but the gorse is very prickly!
A common feature in stalking boots is a generously sized rubber rand that seals the leather upper to the sole. Another key feature of stalking boots is construction from silent fabrics, with no rustling or squeaking. This ensures the target doesn’t hear you coming by helping keep your movements silent!
To incorporate all the features mentioned above, most stalking boots have a full leather upper alongside a Vibram sole and Gore-Tex lining. A great example of a boot which encases all three of these top features is the Meindl Dovre Boot, this is by many considered the ultimate boot for hunting or stalking and is durable, practical, and comfortable.
The Le Chameau Lite High boots are another one of the most popular and technical stalking boots. They are made using sustainable full-grain leather and a waterproof and breathable outer with LCX 5-layer technology. The base of the boot has 360-degree rubber rand for increased protection whilst in the field and an Ultra lightweight MICHELIN OC sole. The lace locking feature ensures that your boots will remain comfortable and supportive throughout the whole day.
In contrast, walking boots are generally a shorter shape, and can often be just just ankle height. Walking boots have all the great support and comfort of the stalking boot, with the exception of the height, and in some cases, leather outer.
Differences between stalking boots & hunting boots
Stalking boots and hunting boots are essentially the same thing. Stalking and hunting boots are the perfect boots to wear whilst in harsh terrain, boots like the Pro Hunter Ridge 2.0 GTX are perfect for these purposes.
Do I need stalking or walking boots?
To make this decision, you need to consider a few factors;
- What are you going to be using your boots for? Walking/hiking, or stalking on potentially rough and unpredictable ground?
- Will you be using them all year round, or just for a few months in the year?
- Where will you be wearing your boots? Will you be on roads, hills, or boggy ground?
- What level of support do you need?
- Are you going to be walking on slippery terrain? Do you need a good grip?
For use on roads or hills, where the ground is pretty level and not too slippery, we suggest that a pair of walking boots. Boots like the Hoggs Of Fife Cairn Pro Waterproof Hiking Shoes are versatile, breathable, lightweight, and waterproof supportive hiking shoes.
For wear on rough, unpredictable, and boggy ground, where you need the utmost support and grip, we recommend stalking boots for you, the high-quality Harkila Reidmar Mid 2.0 GTX Boots are the perfect way to encase all the valuable features you need to keep you safe whilst you’re in the field.
These boots are water resistant, lightweight, have a leather upper, and have a very smart and easy-to-use feature, the disc lacing system is a hugely popular factor with these boots and is a fast and efficient way to tighten your laces.
The nature of walking and stalking boots is that they are both extremely versatile and comfortable to wear, if you are going to use one pair for both walking and stalking, there are lots of boots which can be used for both, such as the Hoggs Of fife Unisex Munro Classic Hiking Boots. These don’t have the height of technical stalking boots, however, they are versatile and have excellent grip.
In conclusion, Stalking boots are typically taller, have better grip, are more robust with have a tough outer (mostly leather) to cope with rough terrain. Whereas walking boots are shorter, often have a fabric outer and are more like a trainer shoe.
When purchasing a pair of boots, it is important to consider fit and sizing. We recommend looking online to find boots from quality brands with the features you need, you can shop our full range of walking boots and stalking boots on the Philip Morris & Son website. Then, if possible, pop into the store to try them on and take a little walk in the shop to ensure they don’t rub!
Your boots should feel comfortable and supportive straight away, for the perfect fit, ensure you take a thick pair of socks with you, which you are likely to wear with them, this will accurately show you if they fit properly.
For more information on finding the perfect fit in your walking boots, take a look at our blog,Walking Boots: The Ultimate Style Guide.