Footwear for the Field: Balancing Function and Style

11 Sep 2018

Footwear for the Field: Balancing Function and Style

Your shotgun or rifle may be the most obvious piece of shooting equipment, but you will have little success in the field if you disregard your choice of footwear. If you are unable to position yourself with stable footing, or you are suffering from discomfort due to your footwear choice, the quality of your day and your shooting ability will be compromised. As with all shooting-wear, the priority should be functionality and practicality, followed closely by a style that reflects field etiquette. View all men's footwear View all ladies footwear

Considerations When Purchasing Footwear for Hunting Activities

An ‘all-round’ style of footwear is seldom appropriate in the field. For hunting sports, a solid boot with ankle support that can be comfortably walked in over distance is very important. If hunting in dry areas, such as during the winter period in some parts Southern Africa, a breathable light boot will be needed to ensure the foot remains comfortable as the temperature rises during midday. Light boots should also be considered for their quietness through dry vegetation as heavy boots can cause shuffling noise that may alert the ever-sensitive game.

… Or For Stalking

For activities such as deer stalking in Europe, a boot that can withstand the mud and rain is essential as stalks can often take place over rugged and uneven terrain. Opt for a heavier boot, with a Gortex lining and rubber sole. For hunting or stalking activities, bear in mind that you will be walking large distances, then on sitting in a hide for an hour or longer waiting for the game. In this case, ensuring your feet will be well-cushioned as well as dry and warm in cold or wet weather is vital. A frost-bitten toe is less than ideal!    

When Out Bird Shooting

For bird shooting activities, certain emphasis must be placed on the overall etiquette of the Gun, so footwear that is sensible, smart and clean is favourable. A leather boot with ankle laces will provide support, whilst keeping mud, rain and wind away. Leather can be easily cleaned and cared for so that your boots will look suitably presentable at your next shoot. For wet weather, wellington boots in a dull colour are also suitable.    

Don’t Forget Your Socks!

Your choice of socks can significantly enhance the comfort and performance of your footwear. A synthetic or woollen sock that will help keep moisture off the skin as they are breathable. For short walking distances and long waits in the hide, doubling up on socks will provide additional insulation in colder climates. For bird shooting, it is worth remembering your long shooting socks as well as garters to accompany your breeks and tweed. While your choice of tweeds should aim to blend in with the surrounding landscape, your shooting socks can be a great way to add colour and your own touch to your shooting look!   Purdey hand knitted socks  

Caring for your Footwear

If you have invested in the perfect pair of boots then some attention should be paid to its care so that it is ready for the next weekend or season. For the inside of the boot, replacing the liners, (or adding moulded insoles) can be a quick solution that provides extra comfort. The outside of the boot will benefit from a brush to remove dirt and an oil with leather cream. Other boots can be waterproofed with a care spray or cream - such the excellent range offered by Nikwax - and the soles protected and sealed with a rubber maintenance spray. View the range of care products for Purdey footwear Carry your footwear in a boot-bag and remember to pack an extra pair of house shoes for when you arrive back from a muddy stalk and need to make your way to the fire!