Like most serious deer hunters, I have spent the last twenty
years of my life wearing rubber boots for deer season. I have used them all,
from cheap bargain boots, to the mid-priced boots, and even the high end name
brands with the fancy designs.
When LaCrosse Footwear asked me to provide an honest review
on their new AeroHead boot I was happy to do it. But I told them I was
very picky about boots and I was going to be brutally honest in my feedback.
They had no problem with that, they wanted feedback from experienced bowhunters
and were happy to receive any constructive criticism.
I broke this review into the priorities for which I rate a
Rubber boots can be brutal on your feet and
ankles. Unlike leather boots - that can take the shape of your foot after the
wear-in period - rubber boots are pretty much locked in from the jump. I also
suffer from heel spurs from years of running and 90% of my previous rubber boot
purchases have issues at the heel. The other problem is that rubber boots may
fit and feel great in the store, but after walking a mile back and forth to
your stand you may not be liking them as much. So fit and comfort is my
number one priority.
Like all my boot purchases I ordered my AeroHeads one size
larger than my normal shoe. This is to give me some breathing room in heavier
than normal socks. The first thing I noticed was my foot and ankle fit felt
great in these boots. The second thing I noticed was a good amount of cushion
with each step. This was a delight, but I wasn’t sure how that would translate
to my long hikes back and forth to distant tree stands. My first real test
happened in September during the warm, early season hunts. I never developed
any sores or blisters including my normal heel spur locations. I wore the
lighter (3.5mm) pair of boots until late October and then I switched over to the
heavier, (7mm) cold weather model. Both models were remarkably comfortable.
Best I’ve ever tried - as a matter of fact - and that was a welcome relief for
someone who’s suffered with rubber hunting boots for a quarter of my life.
Comfort Rating - 5 out of 5
My deer property is located in one of the
coldest spots in the lower 48 states - New York’s Adirondack Region. Temps
reached -32 last year and we had 217” of snow last winter. To say warmth is a
consideration is an understatement. Warmth is imperative to my hunting success.
This past October was pleasantly mild and I rarely used anything more than LaCrosse’s
3.5mm AeroHead boot. Mid-November was a different story. It dropped to single
digits two weeks before thanksgiving and I experienced one brutally cold day in
the stand (-6).
Normally I would be wearing my Mickey Mouse military surplus extreme
cold weather boot for hunts like this. But the LaCrosse 7mm AeroHead boot performed exceptionally well
even though it’s not really designed for temperature extremes that low. I was
able to stick it out for six hours in that temp. While my toes did get cold,
and I would likely use boots specifically designed for subzero temps for future hunts, the fact that I
was able to tough it out did impress me. No other rubber boot I owned ever came
close. That day was the most extreme during our tests, the rest of my hunts averaged in the
high teens to high thirties and these boots rock in those temps. I found the AeroHeads to be very warm all the way down to 15 degrees - and that’s pretty darn impressive for a
Warmth Rating - 5 out of 5
This is my third most important priority and
not for the reasons you would think. Sure, a lightweight boot is easier on the
legs, but where I really crave lightweight anything is while flying. I travel a
lot for hunting and my boots always come with me. If I can shave off a couple
pounds that is a plus. These boots are very light, probably the lightest I own,
and they don’t sacrifice insulation over it. Weight is definitely a major
Weight Rating - 5 out of 5
It’s hard to define features when talking
about a hunting boot, but believe it or not they do exist. Let’s take a very
simple feature that I loved about the AeroHeads and that is the flared top that
cinches down to a custom fit. Like many serious deer hunters, we tuck our
hunting pants or insulated bibs into our boots. This is scent control 101, it
also keeps your pants dry and free from mud and stickers.
Most boots don’t
allow you to tuck in your pants since they either don’t flare, or they don’t
flare enough. These boots have a generous amount of room at the top. I don’t
consider camouflage a feature but if I did, these boots have that too in a
variety of patterns. Anyone who has ever worn a Neoprene upper boot knows that these can become badly worn out. The AeroHead has incorporated a "Brush Tuff" material on the neoprene which addresses this problem. That concern was also addressed by fusing an injected polyurethane (a material that is more flexible, durable and lighter weight than rubber) protective shell covering only the shin section on your leg. Those design features are brilliant, it
resists brush and stickers and provides more scent protection where you need it
most. While these may seem like small design features - they have a big effect on the longevity of the boot, at least where I hunt.
Features Rating - 5 out of 5
– this is why we wear rubber boots and
I think just about every rubber boot gets this right. My LaCrosse AeroHeads are
scent free and easily washable. I’ve always wondered if Neoprene holds scent
more than straight rubber, but since I’ve never seen a deer react negatively to
my trail crossing I’ll assume they do.
Scent Control Rating - 5 out of 5
Price is always subjective and some hunters believe any boot over $60 is expensive. The AeroHeads are
priced higher than these cheap boots, but far less than many other brands of rubber hunting
boots costing more than $200 a pair. This level of quality is never going to be found in a $60.00 boot and I don’t mind spending north of $100 for a quality boot that fits me perfectly - and
provides the functionality found in the AeroHeads. They list for $130 a pair.
Price Rating - 4 out of 5