Walking for hours out in the field while upland hunting can be quite tiresome. If you want to stay focused and extend your hunting trip, you're going to need the Best Upland Hunting Boots you can find. 

If you've done a little research on upland hunting boots, you'll find that they are somewhat similar. Their construction is very minimalistic with a direct focus on comfort and weight. Of course, some boot brands have evolved - creating a separate type of boot engineered for those in cold weather conditions. 

To help you purchase a new pair of upland hunting boots, I've gathered the top ranked boots on the market today and classified each of these into their own best of category. Furthermore, one of these boots is my go-to option when quail hunting NC! Take a look at their most popular features below, and how they stack up against each other.

Lastly, be sure to review our "Things To Consider" and "FAQs" sections listed below for any additional information. Stay dry and comfortable this upcoming season!

Full Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links. If you follow an affiliate link and end up making a purchase, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Thorogood 1957 Series Flyway  L.L. Bean Technical Danner Sharptail Irish Setter Wingshooter
Brand Thorogood L.L. Bean Danner Irish Setter
Image Thorogood 1957 Series Flyway Upland Boot L.L. Bean Technical Upland Boot Danner Sharptail Upland Boot Irish Seter Wingshooter Upland Boot
Upper Leather Kangaroo Leather Leather / Nylon Leather
Boot Height 8" 8" 8" 9"
Weight (Per Pair) 2.6 lbs. 3 lbs. 3.2 lbs. 2 lbs.
Price Around $290 Around $200 Around $220 Around $250


Best Overall Upland Hunting Boot

Thorogood 1957 Series Flyway Upland Boot

If you're still searching for the Best Upland Hunting Boot out there, look no further! We have the perfect pick for you - take a look at the Thorogood 1957 Series Flyway Upland Boot. We chose the Thorogood 1957 boot as the best option because of it's longstanding reputation within the upland community and tough full-grain leather design.

Thorogood has been producing a variety of working and hunting boots since the 1890's and their new boot design combines vintage style and durability with new-age technology. Furthermore, all their boots are made in the USA!

The 1957 Series Flyway boot is the ultimate boot for anyone that spends hours in the field chasing down pheasants or quail. The company really stuck to their roots with this boot, while adding some very handy upgrades. 

The boot's tough Briar Pistop full-grain leather will deliver years of durable wear, while the X-Stream Waterproof membrane keeps your feet dry and blister-free. And don't forget about comfort! It's equipped with a removable Ultimate Shock Absorption™ footbed that will keep you on your feet for hours.

Lastly, it's important to note that the MAXWear 90° slip-resisting outsole and "cellular wedge" construction increases traction while minimizing weight - a perfect combination!

Also, if you decided to purchase a pair make sure you check out Thorogood's leather boot care guide as well.

What We Like

  • Durable/Comfortable Leather
  • Waterproof
  • Lightweight
  • Made in the USA

What We Dislike

  • Non-Insulated

For latest prices, and more information on the Thorogood 1957 Series Flyway boot click today!

Our Pick
Thorogood 1957 Series Flyway Upland Boot
Thorogood 1957 Series Flyway Boot
The Best Overall Upland Hunting Boot
This upland boot is tailor-made for upland hunters, and combines classic design and modern technology.

Best Cold Weather Upland Hunting Boot

L.L. Bean Technical Kangaroo Boot

Many individuals may not know this, but L.L. Bean has some of the most innovative upland gear available. If you have some time, take a look at their vests, shirts, and pants and you'll notice some very cool technology and designs. 

But anyways.. speaking specifically to upland boots. The L.L. Bean Technical Kangaroo Boot is the best cold weather upland hunting boot for today's hunter. as it's equipped with high-grade polyester insulation. As mentioned below, most upland boots don't come equipped with insulation so the choices are somewhat limited. 

Since it's the best cold weather boot on this list, we have to call out the available insulation. The boot is designed with 200 grams of PrimaLoft polyester insulation, which is a good balance of added warmth with minimal weight. 

To counter this additional weight, L.L. Bean outfitted the boot with kangaroo leather which is 60% stronger than traditional leather, but much lighter. Furthermore, the boots synthetic fabric creates a breathable layer wrapped around a waterproof Gore-Tex lining.

One thing that we're not to fond of is the BOA Lace System. Even though the lace system provide custom fitting, we're a bit wary of what happens if this breaks? How easy is it to replace? 

What We Like

  • Kangaroo Leather
  • Waterproof Gore-Tex Lining
  • 200g Insulation
  • Price

What We Dislike

  • BOA Lace System

For latest prices, and more information on the L.L. Bean Technical Kangaroo Boot shop today!

Our Pick
L.L. Bean Technical Kangaroo Boot
L.L. Bean Technical Kangaroo Boot
The Best Cold Weather Boot
This upland boot is a great combination of weight, durability, and innovation.

Best Waterproof Upland Hunting Boot

Danner Sharptail Boot

When it comes to Danner, and more specially the Sharptail Upland Boot, they bring quality and performance to their entire selection. For this reason, and because of some highly-rated characteristics, the Danner Sharptail Boot is the best waterproof upland hunting boot because it's equipped with a strong Gore-Tex liner.

As far as construction, the Sharptail is made of an upper with abrasion-resistant 900 Denier nylon and full-grain leather. However, that's not its most important quality.  This particular boot is 100% waterproof and breathable as the GORE-TEX liner prevents water from getting in, while allowing sweat and moisture to exit.

Finally, Danner's minimalistic outsole provides the needed traction without adding too much weight. And the Terra Force Platform brings about exceptional support and stability to the hunter. 

One additional personal note - This is the boot I use when quail hunting in North Carolina. I purchased the pair almost 3 years ago and they continue to provide an excellent level of waterproof protection. I also quite enjoy the durability of the leather up as I routinely hunt in thick briars. 

This is important - Danner backs their boots with a 365-day warranty!

What We Like

  • Leather/Nylon Upper
  • Waterproof Gore-Tex Liner
  • Terra Force Platform
  • Weight

What We Dislike

  • Non-Insulated

For latest prices, and more information on the Danner Sharptail Boot take a look! 

Danner Sharptail Upland Boot

Best Lightweight Upland Hunting Boot

Irish Setter Wingshooter Boot

Irish Setter might be on the most popular boot brands on this particular upland boot list, and their Irish Setter Wingshooter option is their most reviewed item on the internet today. 

The classic leather design of the boot is wrapped in an UltraDry™ waterproof membrane. This keeps you dry in wet conditions, while the moisture wicking nylon provides some relief from the leather upper. Furthermore, even though the boot is mostly leather it's very lightweight - coming in at only 2 lbs. per pair. 

One thing to note, this boot has a comfortable steel shank to give the under additional support and more foot stability. It's a great feature to have if you're walking across uneven terrain, or if you find yourself having to track a bird into wooded areas. 

What We Like

  • Lightweight Design
  • UltraDry Waterproof Construction
  • Durability

What We Dislike

    • Price

For latest prices, and more information on the Irish Setter Wingshooter Boot shop today!

Irish Seter Wingshooter Upland Boot

Things To Consider When Buying An Upland Hunting Boot


A majority of upland bird boots are designed to appeal to those "upland traditionalist." For this reason, their upper is largely composed of full-grain leather. However, you are seeing many boots nowadays that are constructed with a leather/synthetic fabric combination, more specifically Nylon or Cordura. 

A tough full-grain leather, or kangaroo leather, will guarantee durability and can increase in comfort over time as the boot molds to your feet. Additionally, if the leather is treated with some sort of waterproof or water-resistant material, you put yourself in a much better position to keep your feet dry.

On the other side of things, you have boots made with synthetic materials. Now, it's important to note that synthetic materials do not stretch over time and have some durability issues. However, you will notice that synthetic materials are more lightweight and offer an increased advantage of breathability - something that's present within many leather boots.  


When choosing an upland bird hunting boot, you want to make sure you're choosing a somewhat lightweight option. For this reason, we recommend choosing a boot at or below 3 lbs., unless you're hunting in cold weather conditions. 

Choosing a lightweight boot is tough because the lighter you go the more you give up. For instance, many waterproof liners add additional weight to the boots. Furthermore, the more insulation you need the heavier the boot is going to be - similar to the design of many Rocky Upland Boots.

Finally, it's important to note boot height. All the boots listed above have a height of 8" to 9". Going above this may provide some additional protection, but you're going to give up weight as a result. 


Unless you're hunting in extremely cold weather, having an insulated upland hunting boot isn't the top priority. Similar to western backcountry hunting, you're going to be moving for a large majority of the day, and as a result your feet are going to get hot and sweaty.

Choosing a well-insulated boot may negatively impact an upland hunter in two ways. One - added insulation only increases the weight of your boot, making it more difficult to walk long distances - especially if you're carrying a lot in your upland vest. Additionally, having too much insulation can make your feet sweat even more - leading to additional moisture and causing your feet to turn cold even quicker. 

Pro Tip: When breaking in new boots, add Vaseline to your feet to prevent blistering.


In a similar vein to the categories above, when it comes to choosing a sole you're going to want to stay somewhat minimalistic. Most upland hunters, outside of those chasing Chukar in rocky areas, are going to be hunting over pretty moderate terrain. 

If you choose a sole with added traction, it's really going to do more harm than good. Increasing the footprint of the your boot isn't really going to help as most standard upland boots do the job just fine. 

Upland Hunting Boot FAQs

What's The Best Upland Boot For The Money?

All of the boots summarized above range from $200 to $300. Now, this isn't incredible expensive, but it's still a good chunk of change. If you're looking for cheap options, we'd recommend Danner's Vital line of boots. They are extremely lightweight and very agile, and are under that $200 price target. 

Are Kangaroo Upland Boots Good?

While kangaroo boots are becoming more and more rare, they actually have quite a lot of benefits when compared to standard leather boots. To quickly summarize, kangaroo leather is more flexible, stronger, and more durable than goat or cow hide. Additionally, it's usually thinner which makes it lighter if you're looking for similar strength levels. 

Pro Tip: During the offseason, re-apply mink oil to prevent leather boots from drying out.

What Boots Do You Wear For Quail Hunting?

Similar to our recommendation above, the Thorogood 1957 Series Flyway boot has to be the top option for qual hunters everywhere. First, it's the official boot of the Quail Forever. Second, it's a very lightweight boot that will keep you comfortable and dry with its X-Stream Waterproof® membrane.

Best Waterproof Upland Hunting Boot