The best boots for sitting in a tree stand really has to be augmented by a multi-step process to ensure the warmth of your feet over a 6+ hour stint in the coldest of conditions.
Tree stand hunting in the dead of winter can be especially brutal. You’re up off the ground and exposed to the harshest of elements from all sides.
With little protection apart from a few layers of winter clothes you can very quickly find yourself chilled to the core.
The most vulnerable part of your body, you will quickly realize, is your feet.
Normal insulated hunting boots just won’t cut it when trying to keep out the cold. This is because once you’ve stopped moving the circulation at your extremities will not provide the required warmth.
The last thing you need is an extended stay in a treestand with feet frozen to the point of aching.
Fortunately, there is a proven method that will ensure your feet will remain warm and comfortable for the entire stay in your treestand. It’s quick to implement and won’t inhibit you at all.
The 4 Steps to Warm Feet in the Tree Stand
Wear A Good Quality Pair of Hunting Boots
High quality hunting boots are relatively easy to find. They are made to suit all types of conditions including cold weather and rough terrain.
The resounding advice when looking for boots for the tree stand is to choose the boots based on comfort and then add your own insulation later.
The thing about your hunting boots when hunting from a tree stand, as far as walking goes, at least, is that they really only need to be capable of getting you to your tree.
After that, their purpose will come down to providing your feet with protection from the elements.
Pro Tip: When buying your tree stand hunting boots make sure you have allowed plenty of room in the toe box. Go a size up if you have to. If your feet are tight enough to be touching the interior walls of your boots they will quickly get cold.
Here are 3 good quality cold weather hunting boots that you can rely on to form the basis for a comfortable day in the stand.
LaCrosse Alphaburly Pro 1600G Boots
This is a high quality hunting boot for cold and wet conditions. The waterproof scent-free rubber exterior and 1600G Thinsulate Ultra for insulation means that your feet will be well protected as you make your way to the tree stand.
The insulation also means that once you have settled down in your stand you can be sure that all measures taken to keep the feet warm. All this is enhanced by the insulating capabilities of the neoprene.
The boots are comfortable to wear, boast a unique tread pattern that maximizes traction and can be easily removed and put back on due to the Active Fit design.
The Alphaburly Pro 1600G boots are waterproof and made for snow conditions.
Find out more about the company and the products available by visiting the LaCrosse website.
Muck Arctic Pro Boots
Like the Alphaburly boots, these Muck Arctic Pro boots have a neoprene exterior to act as a fully waterproof barrier to the outside elements.
A full 8mm neoprene and fleece lining provides the warmth as well as a comfortable boot for extended walking.
The boots are 17.56 inches high and feature a stretch-fit Topline binding to keep snow and cold out.
The boots are comfort rated from -60 °F to 30 °F (-50 °C to -1 °C).
No matter whether you’re on the move or climbing into your tree stand in all types of cold weather conditions the Arctic Pro boots will perform strongly.
They will also prove easy to take off and put back on when you’re preparing yourself for the extended tree stand sit.
Find out more about the company and all of the products in its range by visiting the Muck Boot Company website.
Danner Pronghorn 8” GTX 1200G Hunting Shoe
The Danner Pronghorn boots are considered to be the best leather upper hunting boots on the market.
As well as the full-grain leather uppers the boot the Gore-Tex liners provide waterproofing as well as breathability.
Then you get the 1200G PrimaLoft insulation to provide the warmth retention capabilities. With a Vibram SPE midsole it will feel extremely comfortable underfoot when walking.
These boots have been the cornerstone of the Danner range for many years and make a great choice for tree stand hunters in full winter conditions.
Find out more about the company and all products in the range by visiting the Danner website.
Bring A Spare Pair of Thick Merino Socks
The expectation is that the socks you wear while trekking in from your camp to your treestand will become damp, either from sweat or from the trail.
This is all well and good while you’re on the move. But once you climb into your stand and stop moving, that dampness is going to quickly become uncomfortably cold. Left on your feet, those socks are going to contribute to a very cold day.
So, before you do anything else, remove the original socks and replace them with the spare pair from your pack.
Starting off with dry socks means you start off with dry feet.
Here are some suggestions for good quality thick merino wool socks.
Wigwam Minus 40C Silver Socks
These are thick socks with extra cushioning for comfort and support. They’re made from a 75% merino blend with added Olefin to provide durability.
The purpose of these socks is to keep the feet warm in very cold temperatures.
The socks are fully cushioned for greater comfort and have been treated with SmartSilver for its germ-killing properties.
Darn Tough Hunter Over The Calf Extra Cushion Socks
These are particularly good hunting socks for cold weather conditions.
They are made from 79% merino wool, 19% nylon, 2% Lycra spandex.
The combination of materials means they provide great warmth, breathability and durability. Importantly, they are also very comfortable so they will be extremely useful for the hard walks in to the tree stand.
Alvada Merino Wool Hiking Socks
The design of these winter thermal crew socks is primarily for hiking but will definitely do the job for the hunter.
They are made from 80% merino wool, 15% polyester, 4% nylon and 1% spandex.
Cushioning at the crucial contact points of the foot means these will be very comfortable shoes when on the move.
The merino wool content also means they will be particularly warm and will be very handy when sitting in the tree stand.
Slip a Hand Warmer Into Each Boot
Now, here’s the thing.
No matter how well insulated your boots might be, they’re not going to automatically warm your feet. Particularly if you are sitting still in a tree stand.
Think of it this way.
You might have the best, most completely insulated house that was ever insulated.
But on the coldest of winter’s days you’re not going to sit in your insulated home without the heating turned on and expect it to be warm.
What you’re going to do is turn on your air conditioner or light a roaring fire, warm the house up and let your insulation keep the house warm.
Effectively, when you stop walking and sit down in the tree stand you’re turning off the air conditioners inside your boots.
Circulation to the body’s extremities isn’t great and on a cold winter’s day, it’s going to need some help…and that’s where toe or hand warmers will come into their own.
A Choice of Two Hand Warmer Strategies
Before you put your boots back on after replacing the socks, take a couple of hand warmers and place one into the toebox of your boots.
There are two ways you might want to set up the hand warmers.
The first is to simply place each one on top of the toes inside your boots.
The second is to place a warmer on your foot outside one sock and then slip another sock over the top of that, capturing the warmer inside. In this case, you've double-socked and hand-warmered for even more warmth.
HotHands Hand Warmers
There are a lot of different brands available but why not buy a bulk pack of HotHands Hand Warmers.
They are very affordable, will last between 5 and 10 hours and they provide an impressive amount of heat over that extended period.
They are also a good size for slipping into the shoes on top of the feet.
Slip on A Pair of Insulated Boot Covers
The final step of protecting the feet from the cold and ensuring they will stay warm all day is to put on a pair of boot covers.
These are lightweight insulating covers that fit over the boots to retain heat and keep out the wind and cold.
They are specifically made for long stays in the tree stand and are the final part of a sure-fire strategy.
Here are two high quality and extremely effective insulated boot covers that will do the job very nicely.
Arctic Shield Boot Insulators
These boot insulators have a polyester outer shell and liner and will retain the heat of your feet when placed over the boots.
They are lightweight and roll up into a very small bundle so they won’t take up much room in your pack or even in your pocket if you’d prefer.
The boot insulators come in the following sizes:
SMALL: 6-7 Men's Shoe Size / 8-9 Women's Shoe Size
MEDIUM: 8-9 Men's Shoe Size / 10-11 Women's Shoe Size
LARGE: 10-11 Men's Shoe Size / 12-13 Women's Shoe Size
X-LARGE: 12-13 Men's Shoe Size / 14 Women's Shoe Size
2X-LARGE: 14-15 Men's Shoe Size / 15 Women's Shoe Size
Find out more about the company and the products available by visiting the Arctic Shield website.
Ice Breaker Boot Blankets
Another over-the-boot protective covering, the Boot Blankets work in much the same way as the Arctic Shields (above).
The have a 2-ply 300 gram (high loft) insulation sandwiched between a tough poly/cotton outer shell and a nylon water repellent inner shell.
Putting them on is made very easy due to the heavy duty nylon zip and the inclusion of a draw cord allows you to create a more snug fit.
The company warns that the boot sizes refer to a standard 10” high insulated boot and over-boots may require a size larger to fit.
The Boot Blankets come in the following sizes:
Small: 6-7 Men’s Shoe Size
Medium: 8-10 Men’s Shoe Size
Large: 11 – 13 Men’s Shoe Size
X Large: 14 – 15 Men’s Shoe Size
Find out more about the company and the products available by visiting the Ice Breaker website.
We started out looking for the warmest hunting boots for sitting in a tree stand but came to the realization that the boots are only first step in the process.
A good quality pair of insulated hunting boots, nice thick socks, a way to apply heat to the feet and protection from the outside elements are key.
If you are prepared to go the extra yard to keep your feet warm, you can enjoy the most bitter of days without having to worry about your feet.
Even the coldest of conditions will be combated successfully and all you have to worry about is being ready for when that buck makes its appearance.