All the latest equipment won't go far if you're sidelined by bad weather ... or some bad footwear. Check out the latest boots and waterproof gear from this year's Shooting, Hunting and Outdoors Trade Show, better known as the SHOT Show, in Las Vegas. For links to the entire 2017 Military Times New Gear Guide, click here.
BOGS BOZEMAN TALL WINTER BOOTS
What: I tested these waterproof boots all winter in conditions ranging from mild to wild, including running trap lines to ice fishing. At 14 inches, they're not the full calf-length boots some associate with outdoors work or hunting, but with adequate leg cover they're more than up to the task. The 14-inch design certainly facilitates getting them on and off. Bogs' built-in "handles" plus a sturdy rubber ledge above the heel grips stairs, your other foot, or whatever you use as leverage to ease ingress and egress.
The boots are rated to minus-72 degrees (we didn't get temps that low) and have 7-milimiter Neo-Tech waterproof insulation. They're made from a durable, hand last rubber with a four-way stretch inner bootie and have a dual-density EVA, Ortholite and DuraFresh footbed.
Note: Each boot weighs just 2 pounds, extremely light for a heavy winter boot.
ROCKY CLAW BOOTS
What: "Aggressive" appropriately describes Rocky's "Claw" series tread design. Outsoles have a triple-density construction with deep lugs designed to preserve traction in any terrain. Hunting boots include 8- and 10-inch versions with full-grain leather or 900-denier high-abrasion textile uppers, and Rocky's new VP waterproof protection. Insulation options include 400, 800 or 1200 grams of 3M Thinsulate. They'll be available in Realtree Xtra and Venator camo patterns, plus non-camo options in brown leather.
Note: Rocky is also releasing two rubber boots this fall with the Claw traction design. These waterproof boots have integrated thermoplastic polyurethane, or TPU, stabilizers, removable polyurethane footbeds with memory foam and a nylon shank for arch support and torsional stiffness. One style is available without insulation; the second offers 1,200 grams of Thinsulate.
MSRP: $179.99-$209.99 for Claw series; $149.99-$159.99 for rubber boots with Claw traction.
ROCKY STRATUM WATERPROOF SET
What: Due out this fall, this new jacket and pants set is lightweight, waterproof and bears Rocky's Venator camo pattern. They're made from Rocky's SilentHunter suede fabric and feature taped and sealed seams throughout.
Note: The gear also includes Rocky's "ScentIQ Atomic" which helps control human scent at the microbial level.
MSRP: $139.99 for the jacket, $129.99 for the pants