As bowhunters, so much of what we do involves our feet and backs. Whether we’re hiking in to a treestand, chasing down a monster buck or shed tracking in the off-season, it’s essential that we protect ourselves with rugged boots and lightweight, durable packs. Not only is it a matter of utility, it’s also a matter of comfort.
Fortunately, there were a lot of new boots and packs on display at the 2013 ATA Show in Louisville, Ky. For off-season horn hunters, Irish Setter introduced the new Shed Tracker boots, which are lightweight enough to do some serious hiking, but sturdy enough to take a beating. LaCrosse also introduced its new AeroHead boot, which is great for a wet day in the field or a long sit in the treestand.
Check out the rest of the great new boots and packs on our list, with exclusive coverage from the 2013 ATA Show.
Fieldline Ultimate Field Haul Duffel
Fieldline, which sports some of the most complete hunting packs on the market, has added to its line with the Ultimate Field Haul Duffel. Whether your plan is to use it in the woods, the airport or simply for everyday use, the spacious dimensions of 15x30 inches will ensure you can fit everything you need.
The duffel is also built to last, as it's made with heavy-duty 600 denier construction. Available in Mossy Oak Break-Up Infinity or Realtree AP camo, the bag also comes with a shoulder strap as well as a ‘rip-grip’ handle for easy transportation.
GamePlan Full Rut
Let’s face it—nearly all bowhunters could use a new pack! For 2013 though, GamePlan Gear has given you a reason to finally pull the trigger on a new Full Rut Backpack and Rattling System. We all know whitetails often respond well to a set of antlers clashing together, but what we forget is that they also head in the opposite direction if antlers are doing the same thing while walking to your spot.
The “Wing System” in this pack will prevent that, securing rattling antlers of any size to take away one worry of your morning. Available in Mossy Oak Break-Up Infinity and Realtree AP camo.
Irish Setter Shed Tracker
The new Shed Tracker boot from Irish Setter should become an instant favorite due to the fact that it can be worn for many different activities. These lightweight boots were designed for hunters who put in lots of hours in the woods preparing for the archery season.
Breathable mesh uppers allow air to circulate around the foot to reduce heat build-up, and the toothy Quest rubber outsole provides superior traction on rocky and uneven terrain. Available in a 5-inch model and a 6-inch model.
Price: $109 (5-inch), $129 (6-inch)
Irish Setter Treeline Boots
If you’re looking for a boot that will get you through rough, mountainous terrain, look no further than the new Treeline hunting boots from Irish Setter. Dark brown in color, these all-leather uppers will provide the stability and protection you need from rocks, logs and any other debris you may stumble upon. Available in a 7-inch version and a 10-inch version.
Price: $199 (7-inch), $229 (10-inch)
Kenetrek Safari Boots
Whether you’re headed for South Africa or staying in the American Southwest, the new Safari boots from Kenetrek are perfect for your next hunt. Specifically designed for support and comfort in warmer climates, the Safari is an ideal boot for warm, early-fall hunting in the West.
This non-insulated boot is constructed with thick, 2.5 mm, premium full-grain leather uppers that are lined with Cambrelle to increase durability, enhance breathability and reduce the amount of perspiration. Walking long distances? Not a problem any longer. Boots weigh in at 2.9 pounds per pair.
Be on the lookout for the Aerohead hunting boot from LaCrosse Footwear when the spring of 2013 rolls around. With the innovative AeroForm technology in its corner, the Aerohead is expected to be a boot that compares to nothing that has preceded it.
In addition to AeroForm, boot enthusiasts will find LaCrosse’s Ankle Fit technology that ensures a secure fit on your foot, a shank at the arch of the foot for ultimate support while climbing in and out of treestands, and an adjustable back gusset for a personalized fit. Available in both Mossy Oak and Realtree patterns, and in sizes 5-15 for men.
Price: $129 (3.5mm styles), $139 (7 mm styles)
Muck Woody Sport Cool
The Original Muck Boot Company is taking a stand against sweaty feet with its new Cool Series Collection with XpressCool Technology. It will be incorporated into the Woody Sport Cool boot that will be available in the spring of 2013.
The boot is an all-terrain hunting boot that provides support, comfort and protection, whether you’re in the woods, in a swampy area or having to trek through a stream or wet grass. Mossy Oak Camouflage provides full concealment. Available up to size 15 for men and size 13 for women.
Rocky Kids Boots
If there’s one thing about kids, it’s that they often want to be just like their dad. Now, when it comes to the boots they wear in the woods, that can be exactly the case. Some popular models of Rocky boots are now being offered in kids’ sizes—like the Hunter, BlizzardStalker and Long Range. You’ll be sure to find the pair for the type of hunting you prefer and the area of the country you call home.
Price: $59 (Kid’s Hunter), $89 (Kid’s BlizzardStalker), $84 (Kid’s Long Range)
Timber Hawk Rut Buster
When you’re going after the trophy of your choice, you need to make sure you have a pack on your back that can carry all of your essentials. For that, count on the new Rut Buster from Timber Hawk.
With 1,700 cubic inches of storage, you can rest assured that there is plenty of room for everything. The main compartment features a divider sleeve to install the included hydration reservoir. You will also have two other compartments for storage—the first for smaller items such as your knife, calls and flashlight, and the other that has several mesh pockets so you can arrange it as you prefer. Available in Realtree AP.
Wolverine Boots has solved the problem of having a durable, extremely lightweight boot for warm-weather hunts. With the new Grouse, a Zero Mass design available in Mossy Oak Break-Up Infinity, you will have maximum comfort and durability in a boot that is completely waterproof at the same time.
The boot will feature an NXT odor-control sock liner that breaks down sweat and prevents odor before it even starts. Available in a 5- or 7-inch version and in a variety of men’s sizes.
Price: $120 (5-inch), $130 (7-inch)