There are so many walking boots, so many makes and models. So which do you choose? Well, there is one clear winner among Fieldsports Channel’s viewers, with nearly a quarter of the market. And we will come to that at the end of this piece.
Out of the 3,500 responses we had to our Fieldtester survey in March 2020, 445 boot owners gave us their answers. There are six clear winners: Meindl’s Dovre hunting boot and Dovre Extreme, the Härkila Pro Hunter and Härkila Mountain Hunter, the Dedito Moorland and Le Chameau Mouflon.
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We asked respondents to rate them for comfort, waterproofing, durability, value for money and, if they had to go away for mending, customer service. Leather hunting boots did well. Here are the ratings winners:
One trend is the supremacy of the Gore-Tex brand, called GTX in boot world. Invented in 1969 in Delaware, USA, by Wilbert L Gore and his son Robert, it’s been a 50-year success story. It allows waterproofing and breathability. Lots of boot manufacturers use GTX, including Ariat, Brasher, Ecco, HanWag, Lowa. Scarpa and Zamberlan. Most of you who have a GTX boot have either a Härkila hunting boot or a Meindl hunting boot. Here’s our film about the Gore-Tex facility in Germany:
When it comes to the manufacturer that dominates the hunting boot market among Fieldsports Channel viewers: maybe no surprises – it’s German company Meindl, which has a massive 22% of the market. Härkila, in second place, has 12%. Founded in 1683 by Petrus Meindl. The company produces the Desert Fox combat boots issued to soldiers in the British Army and Royal Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Army Pro issued to soldiers of the French Army. While you are tramping up a hill or over a moor in your Meindls, be aware that Felix Baumgartner also used Meindl boots in his 2013 jump from space.
How the market splits up:
Professional deer manager Jason Doyle bashes his boots to bits. He explains how to make sure a boot fits you, before you commit to buying it.
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