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Breaking in Upland Hunting Boots

Pheasant hunting opens in Minnesota and South Dakota on October 15th, and I can hardly wait! I’ve been going through my gear for weeks and everything is looking good. One of my key pieces of gear is boots. A long day in the field can be a long, miserable day in the field with the wrong pair of boots.

I recently purchased a new pair of upland boots from Cabela’s, the new Cabela’s 400 Gram Ultralight Hunter Boots by Meindl. Right now the boots are brand new in the box, and I have made the mistake of not breaking in a boot before a hunt – once.

Breaking in new hunting boots is key to comfort and a long day in the field. There are several things I do PRIOR to the season to make sure my feet and boots won’t let me down:

  • Initially wear them for short periods of time around the house and office (key, it is very difficult to return used dirty boots)
  • Wear them with my hunting socks
  • They may be a little stiff at first, if this does not subside you may need to get a different size
  • Gradually increase the duration of time and distance you wear your boots on dog walks and during yard work
  • As soon as I notice a small pain I, take the boots off for a bit and take it slow as small problems can quickly lead to larger ones.

The key here is to TAKE YOUR TIME when you break in your new boots and they should give you years of service.

These are just a few tips. Do any of you shooters have tips on what works for you when breaking in boots?

The Pheasant Fest blog is written by Brad Heidel, Pheasants Forever’s Director of Corporate and Special Event Sales. Look for Brad’s column, “The Gun Shop,” in the Pheasants Forever Journal.

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5 Responses to “Breaking in Upland Hunting Boots”

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  3. Ed Turowski says:

    To me one of the most critical things I do with a new pair of boots is training the tongue. Taking the time to correctly position each fold of the tongue the very first time you lace up your new boots will pay dividends for as long as you own them. If you choose not pay attention to each fold, they will seek out their own uncomfortable position which can be extremely aggravating and uncomfortable from that day forward.

  4. Brandon says:

    thanks for the tips! I pretty much do what you do, for the first month or so before hunting season starts I gradually wear them more and more until they do not hurt at all. Ed Turowski makes a great point about tongue placement. You do not want break your boots in and let the tongue naturally place in an awkward (or worse-painful) position. Thanks for the great blog and the helpful posts, it is appreciated!


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