Every once in a while, a piece of hunting gear comes along that remains in your kit – hunt after hunt, and year after year. My Kenetrek Mountain Boots are one of them, and they've been through seven years of hunting seasons. In that time they’ve seen well over 200 days of hunting and perhaps more than a thousand miles under their soles. They might look a bit weathered. But they won’t be calling it quits anytime soon.
Here at Caribou Gear, the hunting gear we choose to carry in our store are items that we personally use in the field. That goes for Kenetrek Boots. We’ve hunted in Kenetrek boots for years, and we trust them in the most demanding conditions.
Kenetrek delivers everything a hunter needs in a boot: quality materials, construction, durability, longevity, comfort and protection. Here’s a breakdown of those reasons – why we’ve chosen to use Kenetrek boots and why we recommend them to our customers:
A hunting boot that’s going to last for years must begin with quality materials. Kenetrek Mountain boots feature a 2.8mm thick full grain leather upper. They are built with bombproof hardware, a 360-degree rubber rand for added protection and a waterproof, breathable membrane.
We highly recommend hunting boots with full-grain leather uppers. When cared for, leather will last longer than synthetics and will continue to perform flawlessly year after year. Here in our dry climate in Colorado, it’s important to care for a leather boot. After each hunt, I wash the dirt and debris off my boots and use Kenetrek boot wax. If you live in a dry climate, you’ll notice that the leather (especially after a hot, dry hunt) can soak up a lot of wax. Take the time to wax your boots – especially before you put them away for long-term storage.
We appreciate the fact that Kenetrek boots are built with one-piece construction with no seams down the tongue. For the hunter, this provides excellent waterproofness and abrasion resistance. What’s more, Kenetrek boots are reinforced with double and even triple stitching in high-stress areas. And it might seem like a small thing, but the lacing hardware is made to swivel. This is important because it creates a more comfortable lacing system. But even more importantly, it actually makes the boots more durable. When the hardware is able to swivel, it reduces pulling and prevents the hardware from breaking.
If you want your hunting boots to go the distance, always look for a boot that has a full rubber rand, or reinforced rubber sole guard. This provides important protection when scrambling across scree fields, climbing though deadfall, or any of the variety of obstacles we face when hunting in rugged terrain. And again, full-grain leather uppers are also something we recommend.
Kenetrek Mountain Boots are also built with high quality outsoles for excellent traction and durability. But the durability of a boot extends beyond what’s on the outside. The 7mm nylon midsoles provide support under a heavy backpack – and they help keep the boot supportive and comfortable through years of abuse.
Durability goes hand-in-hand with longevity. As evidenced by my 7-year-old pair of boots that are still going strong, Kenetrek boots are built for the long haul. As mentioned above, it’s important to take care of a full-grain leather boot. Keep them clean and wax them regularly. In doing so, they will last and perform for many years – an investment that pays for itself over and over.
When those Mountain Boots are finally wearing thin on the sole, Kenetrek even offers a resole package to revive them. For a reasonable cost, they will totally replace the outsoles, make any minor repairs needed, and even include new performance insoles and laces. Revive those boots and keep them going.
As hunters, we get to explore some of the most rugged and beautiful places on earth. You’ll find yourself in places that are steep, rocky, thick, swampy, cold, snowy, windy or any combination. Your footwear is one of the most important things you’ll bring on any hunt. In tough conditions, solid footwear means staying in the field – which means a greater chance at success.
One of the things we appreciate about Kenetrek boots is their solid feel. This is in part thanks to the 7mm nylon midsole. On flat ground, they might feel stiff and even a bit awkward – especially if you’re not used to wearing tall mountain boots. But when you’re climbing up boulders or side-hilling a steep canyon wall, that stiffness provides a solid foundation for your feet and ankles.
Kenetrek Mountain boots also employ a waterproof, breathable membrane that will keep your feet dry and comfortable in any conditions. The Windtex membrane will block wind and moisture from the outside. And it’s breathability allows moisture from your feet to escape. Just make sure you’re using a high quality merino wool or merino-synthetic blend sock. Avoid cotton at all costs. Great boots won’t function as they should if you’re wearing a sub-par sock underneath.
When you find yourself on a multi-day hunt in rugged terrain, protecting your feet from rocks, deadfall, wind, rain, snow and other elements is essential. A foot issue can end a hunt in a hurry. Having a waterproof, windproof boot that you can trust is essential.
The first time you put on a pair of Kenetrek Mountain Boots, they may feel stiff – and they ought to; because after several days of hard hunting, you need a boot that can stand up to the challenge. After all, these aren’t meant to be your cozy house shoes. They are Mountain Boots. And that’s exactly where they shine.
Contact Us With Questions
You can check out our recommended Kenetrek products here – including boots, socks and Kenetrek Boot Wax. If you have questions or if you need help selecting the right items for your next hunt, please reach out.
By Ryan McSparran