Best Survival Boots For When the Going Get’s Tough


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Protecting your feet is one of the first things you need to make sure of when you are preparing to go out on a hike, an overnight backpacking trip or going on any outdoors adventure. Having the appropriate footwear is perhaps one of the most important yet often overlooked parts of any survivalist’s gear.

What are Survival Boots?

Survival boots are just another name for hiking boots that can be used for a number of different purposes. That being said, there is a big difference between a survival or hiking shoe and sneakers, or trail running shoes.

Survival Boots Vs Shoes

Trail runners and sneakers are footwear that can be used for casual day hiking, touring, or walking on trails though rarely are they good for off-road trails as they will lack ankle support, are usually not waterproof or hard toed and will likely not be made with durable material.

However, I don’t support wearing trail shoes and sneakers for hiking as they will not give you the traction and support you need. If you do decide to wear one, make sure they have thick soles and are made of strong material.

Why You Need Pair of Survival Boots

Having the right pair of boots is important cause you never may know what circumstances you may find yourself in when you are out in the wild. Boots are one of those pieces of equipment that are difficult to get right, but when you do you know a good fit when you feel it. Having a boot that is comfortable in variable terrain and enables you to move fast during any time of emergency will set a boot above the others.

You don’t want some clunky ice-climbing shoe if you’re gonna be bouncing around on a forest trail or bugging out of some sketchy situation. Out of all your gear having quality boots matter. You can possibly get by with getting a cheap map, water bottle or rain poncho but not boots.

There was even a study that saw a correlation between the types of shoes a person was wearing and how safe they were when they were going outdoors.

In that case have curated some of the best survival boots in the market, covering a number of different types including the best boots for survival, hunting, and winter.

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Best Survival Boot List

  1. Best Overall Boot – Danner Vicious Work Boots
  2. Best Work Shoe – Georgia Logger
  3. Best For Hunting – Rocky Snake Proof Boot
  4. Best Hiking Boots Salomon Quest 4d 3 GORE-TEX Boots
  5. Best Hiking Boots For Women – AhnuSugarPine Hiking Boot
  6. Best Summer Survival Boots for Women – Danner Adrika Hiker
  7. Best Tactical Boots Garmont – T8 Bifida Tactical Military Boot
  8. Best For Winter Boot – Baffin Wolf Snow Boot
  9. Best For Rough Trails – Timberland Men’s Whitledge Ankle Boots
  10. Best Women’s Boots for Winter Pajar Women’s Galaxia Snow Boot

Best Survival Boots Money Can Buy

Good survival boots are known for their good length, light-weight and ergonomic design. This all-purpose hiking boot is 100% waterproof, breathable, and constructed with full-grain leather that keeps your feet warm and insulated. Designed to an approx. 7.5 inches shaft height, constructed in a lightweight form, a TPU shank, an EVA midsole, a firm rubber sole makes it the great choice for hiking as well as getting where you need to go, wherever that is.


1. Danner Vicious Work Boots

Best Overall Boot

Price: $$$$

Dimensions: Shaft 8.5″ x Heel 1.5″ x Platform 0.75″

Material: 100% Leather

Features: Vibram sole, GORE-TEX, PU footbed

Pros: Durable, Lightweight, Comfortable, Great value for price

Cons: Expensive

Danner Men’s Work Boots features are not as long as 7.5 inches shaft height, constructed in a lightweight form that gives you more agility though are still quite sturdy. Designed with an ergonomic fit that consists of 100% leather material, this boot gives your toes space and your heel a nice balance. 

It has a TPU shank, an EVA midsole, a firm rubber sole, waterproof fitting, breathable GORE-TEX, and a trail guard support that offers durability with a comfortable fit and an ability to keep your feet dry in water, mud and even cement.

Why we like it? This is a versatile boot that works well in many different types of terrain. As it is not a stiff / hard-toed / super long boot it has a little more give and flexibility.


2. Georgia Logger

Best Work Shoe

Price: $$$

Dimensions: 8″ height Weightis 6.1 pds forsize 10

Material: 100% Leather w Rubber sole

Features: Waterproof, steel toe, Abrasion-resistant rubber outsole

Pros: Waterproof, 1-year warranty, ultra insulation, 9.5” shaft height, great value for the price, protection against electric hazards

Cons: Heavy, Expensive

We specifically choose the Georgia Logger work shoe because of its insulating ability and resistance to wear and tear, friction, metal punches and chemical spills. It is another amazing survival boot that is built with a 9.5-inch shaft height, Gore-tex waterproof, and built with insulation material to keep your feet warm.

In overall, Georgia Logger work shoe is constructed to offer the wearer protection against fire hazards. As an enhancement, it is constructed with a removable polyurethane orthotic padding, that keeps your feet warm and safe when it is in use.

Georgia Logger Boot is best known for its insulation. Georgia has high standards that come with a year warranty. It is designed with a Tacoma sole produced by Vibran. 

Its soles are highly resistant to wear and tear, friction, metal penetration, chemicals, and oil. It is supported with a GORE-TEX waterproof and a removable polyurethane orthotic padding, all to keep your feet warm and safe.

Why we like it? Two words, Gore-tex & Leather. Two words you don’t often see together, which means you get the best of both worlds. Outside leather, inside Gore-tex padding. Sold!


3. Rocky Snake Proof Boot

Best For Hunting

Price: $$$

Dimensions: Shaft measures approximately Knee-High” from arch

Material: Full-Grain Leather And Durable Nylon

Features: Prolight BioMech sole, 16″ Snakeproof protection

Pros: Lightweight, Knee-high shaft, Snake proof, Ankle/Calf fitting, Perfect seam line, Waterproof

Cons: No insulation, No steel toe cap

This boot is designed with a 16 inch knee-high height, which has the advantage of not only great ankle support but will protect your legs from insects and any creepy crawlies that may be out there.

It is made with a full-grain leather material, reinforced with Nylon to offer maximum durability. 

It has a pure Polyurethane and rubber sole that gives the boot a good feel that is evenly balanced and is thick enough to protect your feet from any snake bites. The boot has camouflage design and a waterproof covering and will protect your feet in the most precarious of environments.

Why we like it? These are some serious boots and we like boots that will take care of you in serious conditions. Swamp rats? No problems!


4. Salomon Quest 4d 3 GORE-TEX Boots

Best Hiking Boots

Price: $$$$$

Dimensions: Shaft 6.5″ 

Material: 100% Synthetic, Rubber sole

Features: UA ClutchFit ankle support system, Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) toe cap, welded polyurethane (PU) film

Pros: Waterproof, Stability and secure grip, Durable(full grain leather), Great hiking choice, Relaxed foot design

Cons: Heavy(140g)

Hiking boots are built to be soft, easy to wear, and comfortable. This boot does well in in continual use across long distances, as it is made for comfort. 

Designed with a light cushion feet technology, and a 4d chassis that gives your feet a bit more space while still feeling snug. Enhanced with an Eva foam for shock absorption and energy cell sole, with an ortholite liner that makes the boot breathable. Because it is breathable we question the 100% waterproof ability. If you are going on a hike and it rains no problem but if you are walking through streams you may just get wet.

Why we like it? Solomon gear is amazing. It’s just one of those brands that knows how to make outdoor gear. So with that said you can see we are biased.


5. AhnuSugarPine Hiking Boot

Best Hiking Boots For Women

Price: $$$

Weight: 1 lb. 8.8 oz.  

Material: 100% Leather, Rubber sole, Numentum Insole

Features: Waterproof-leather overlays, Closed mesh and suede upper, Aegis construction, Custom Vibram Outsole

Pros: 5.75 inch shaft, Waterproof, Numentum technology, Lightweight and very comfortable

Cons: Sizes may differ

Anku Sugarpine is specifically built to meet the hiking needs of every woman. Designed as a lightweight shoe with a TPU heel clip and a Rubber Toecap, it offers durability blended with comfortability. 

This survival boot is built with Numentum Technology that allows the feet to proper balance during long walks. As additional features, the shoe is supported with a dual-density Eva and a padded tongue.

Why we like it? Well we cant say that we have tried these boots specifically, as they are women boots, but just about every reviewer said they were super comfy. So we are going to take 10+ people’s word for it!


6. Danner Adrika Hiker

Best Summer Survival Boots for Women

Price: $$$

Dimensions: Shaft 4.75″ from arch

Material: 100% Suede and nylon upper, Rubber sole

Features: Waterproof, Danner Dry waterproof protection, Cushioning open-cell OrthoLite footbed, Danner Plyolite EVA for support

Pros: Waterproof, Frictional resistance, Breathable, Durable, Comfortable

Cons: Non-leather, Short shaft length

This Suede boot has two lace fittings, a great color combination, with a triple-layer development of an ortholite footbed that is removable. Danner Adrika is a rich blend of quality & style. Designed with full-grain nubuck, 100% suede, lightweight nylon, and a modern technology sole laced with a polite midsole and a lug outsole that forms a double sole that gives strong traction and offers an excellent road grip. 

It has a double stitch on top of its suede material which makes it super durable. Because it is not a full grain leather it does not require much breaking in so you don’t have to worry about buying it weeks before you set out.

Why we like it? Again as this isn’t a man’s boot we can’t say we tried this one. Though if we were a woman we would say they are super stylish, which means you can wear them in the forest and city, which is nice to have an all-rounder.


7. T8 Bifida Tactical Military Boot

Best Tactical Boots Garmont

Price: $$$

Dimensions: 23 oz. per boot 

Material: Nylon and suede leather

Features: PU Breathable Footbed, and the EVA insole, Slip resistance

Pros: Breathable, Durable, Cheap, Comfortable

Cons: No Gore-Tex Support, Not Waterproof, No Steel toe cap

This tactical boot is built to a lightweight design of 1.4kg, and overall construction supports ventilation making your feet super breathable. Its lightweight design makes it a more comfortable tactical boot to walk or run for long distances. As a military-grade boot it has a high-stress test and is durable even when used with a heavy load

It has a rubber outsole with a mid-size tread that is slip-resistant. They are designed with webbing nylon & metallic eyelets. There is a PU Breathable Footbed with a EVA insole that makes it quick-drying even though it may not be waterproof.

Why we like it? These boots definitely have the Military feel to them. And being of a military mind you would think they would have to make something that is lightweight and comfy. Well, you would be right as that’s exactly what they did.


8. Baffin Wolf Snow Boot

Best For Winter Boot

Price: $$$

Dimensions: Shaft 11″ from arch 

Material: 900 denier nylon, Synthetic sole

Features: Good for up to-40ºF, Locking snow collar

Pros: 11 inch shaft height, Warm, Waterproof, Keeps moisture out

Cons: Not a great choice for hot weather

Bafin has been making boots from the last twenty-five years. This winter boot is made of 900 denier nylon and an 11-inch shaft height keeping your feet warm all the way down to -40°F. Its insulation fitting is supported with a multi inner foam liner and a locking snow cellar to keep your feet locked out from moisture. 

The boot uses learning molding technology together with the fitting foam that creates a high-performance hybrid boot. Its synthetic sole makes Baffin Wolf a good choice for warmth, durability, and safety while taking walks in the freezing cold of winter. 

Why we like it? So this is a cold winter boot. And ONLY for freezing cold. Outside of a few brands, we are not sure there are that many boots that can withstand -40 temperatures. If you don’t know, let me tell ya, that is cold.


9. Timberland Men’s Whitledge Ankle Boots

Best For Rough Trails

Price: $$

Dimensions: Shaft 4.75″ from arch

Material: 100% Leather, Rubber sole

Features: Full-grain waterproof leather uppers, rustproof speed lace hardware film

Pros: Waterproof, Full-grain leather, Comfortable, Great value for the price

Cons: No shank

Timberland Men’s Whitledge Ankle Boots tops off as one of Amazon’s Top Bestseller Survival boots. The boot is 100% leather and has a waterproof full-grain oiled classy texture. Its lace holes are built with a rust-resistant material while its seam line is perfect to finish. 

Enhanced with an EVA midsole and footbed, a laced-up vamp, solid outsole with lugs that pull through different directions. The boots come with a recycled rubber sole with a silver-rated leather that will last you many seasons. Timberland is a great brand that leaves many customers raving reviews about this boot.

Why we like it? Again we are a sucker for brands. And Timberlands just make quality boots. That’s just what they do. They are good-looking, waterproof and super cosy, need we say more?


10. Pajar Women’s Galaxia Snow Boot

Best Women’s Boots for Winter

Price: $

Dimensions: Shaft 10″ from arch, Heel 2.25″ 

Material: Textile and Synthetic, Rubber sole

Features: Pajar-Tex waterproof protection, warm in temperatures down to -4F (-25C)

Pros: Comfy, Waterproof, Withstand any extreme weather, Great value for the price

Cons: Some reported zipper issues

PAJAR has been making boots for over 50 years and has patented insulating mid-sole called Iso-Lana that is air bubbles that are used in between layers of aluminum, felt and wool that give extra protection from the bitter cold. This feminine boot is built with a shaft height of 10 inches, with a removable sole and 100% nylon with a woolen lining, making it a cosy fit.

These boots are ideal for winter and cold conditions able to withstand -25 degrees Celsius. Although the boot is indicated to be waterproof you can apply a sealant for extra protection. Its seam line is tape-sealed with an adhesive fitting that resists water from leaking through.

Why we like it? Looks sleek for a winter boot for those ladies with fashion on their mind so you can look good even in the depth of a blizzard. 😉


What Should I Consider When Buying Survival Boots?

Material

The type of material used for survival boots goes a long way to determine its durability. It can also determine how comfortable it is, how well it will protect your feet against varying elements, as well as it’s fitting. For example, full-grain leather or heavy gore-tex boots will need some breaking in for it to fit properly, whereas nylon boots usually can be worn straight away.

Some boots are made of synthetic material. Although this might be a cheaper option for manufacturers, it is less durable in comparison to leather. It will be easy to notice as pure leather boots are usually far heavier, whereas synthetic materials will be lighter.

Ankle Protection

One of the main reasons to get a pair of boots is to protect your feet and give you proper support. Ankle support is quiet necessary especially if you are going to be covering long distances, going over uneven ground, or are carrying much weight. Ankle support helps so that you wont roll or sprain your ankle due to a small slip.

It also give you some support over long distances so that your ankles don’t bear all the weight of your body plus bag. Just try wearing a pair of shoes while carrying a 30-pound pack for 6 hours and you will see what I mean. You can almost guarantee that your feet will swell. And we don’t want that.

Comfort

When looking for a pair of boots, keep in mind that comfort is more important than, say, the manufacturer or durability. It’s as easy as that: if you don’t have comfy boots, your feet are going to get sore and you won’t want to wear them and you will not get your money’s worth.

Even though a pair of boots is made by a good brand and are expensive doesn’t mean that they are going to fit right. Always go for comfort your feet will thank you

Waterproof

Most survival boots are GORE-TEX which makes boots waterproof which comes in handy especially during wet weather conditions or winter periods. This ensures that you don’t get cold wet feet when hiking or crossing creeks or wading through puddles.

GORE-TEX has been one of the most popular waterproof membranes. Since 1969, GORE-TEX has been serving as a breathable membrane for shoes, with water repellent ability and windbreaks. GORE-TEX is not the only waterproof membrane in the market but it has become a trademark and standard of waterproof material .

Its general acceptance has been as a result of its 100% waterproof survey that continually proves to keep your feet high and dry. Although GORE-TEX waterproof boots are great if you are going to be hiking in the desert you might want to think twice. A fair warning. You will be hot!

Different Kinds of Boots

There are numerous reasons why people purchase a survival boot. Whether it’s for hunting, hiking, used for work & safety, as casual wear in urban areas, as military boots, or in winter or summer. What you need the boot for will go a long way to determine what type of boot you will be needing.

Boots used for winter will want to be waterproof maybe with a woolen or fleece lining, which will be quite different than for summer. Another point of differentiating between the types of boots is the sole structure for road traction will usually be different for different types of boots depending upon what they are made for.

It’s good to note a boots, sole strength, length, whether it gives ankle protection, whether its a heavy-duty boot that comes with a  toe cap, or if its made as a light breathable canvas boot.

Gender Preference

Most survival shoes are designed with specifications of gender. For optimal comfortability, you should pick a shoe that fits your gender (obviously ;)). This will help in increasing the durability of your shoe as you won’t need to force your feet to conform to something that it was not meant for.


FAQ – Questions About Survival Footwear

How should my boots fit?

A good measurement to see if the boots fit right is to put a finger down the back end of the boot and see if you can squeeze 1-2 fingers near your heel. Your toes should have enough wiggle room at the front but should also be touching the front end.

How much do boots cost?

The price of boots will change depending on the brand, quality and type of boots. But most boots will be between the 100-400USD price range.

Should boots feel tight?

They shouldn’t feel tight exactly, though they should feel snug. If they are too loose that means that your feet will slide around inside which will lead to blisters and bruised toes.

Do I need to weatherproof my boots?

Whether or not you need to waterproof your boots will depend on what you are going to use the boots for and the type of boots that you purchased. If you are going to be using them for almost any outdoor activity we always suggest to treat them with a waterproof treatment. Even if they are Gor Tex. You don’t have much to lose.

Looking for more boots? Check out out our Best Bushcraft Boots List

What Type of Boots Do You Need?

If you are looking for a good pair of survival boots, one that can be used in a number of different environments then pick a boot that will give you the best protection and comfortability that will ensure that no matter where you end up your feet will be able to take you where you need to go.

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Bram Johnson
Hi, My Name is Bram, the Editor of Survival Artist. Here you will find all things Wilderness, Survival, & Primitive Living. I grew up in the backcountry and got hooked on the simple chop wood carry water lifestyle. If you know anything about me then you know you can find me either running up mountain trails or sipping coffee over a book of philosophy.