Beat The Heat On Your Feet

A lot of ink has flowed by writers about hunting footwear. And rightfully so. After all, keeping feet warm and dry while hunting is a priority.

If both warmth and dryness needs aren't addressed, not only will the hunt be miserable, but that misery will likely lead to failure. But not all hunting is done in cold, wet weather. And most of us don't go to the range when the temperature falls, the wind starts howling and rain is coming in sideways.

It's sunny days and warm weather that lures us out of our caves for a little trigger time at the range or for a mid-summer varmint hunt. But what do you wear on your feet when the temperature rises and the humidity climbs? Isn't comfortable footwear important then, too?

Last year I took a cue from a friend who's a firearms instructor and is on a shooting range most of the summer, no matter how hot it gets. One hot day I asked him about the 6-inch ankle boots habitually on his feet.

"They're 5.11 Taclite Coyote boots," he said.

"Aren't they too hot?" I asked.

He shook his head emphatically. "I wear them even on the hottest days, when the range floor is baking. They're the best balance between support and keeping my feet cool and comfortable I've ever found."

That settled it for me. I found a pair to fit my big, clumsy feet and have used them about a year. And darned if he wasn't right: In hot and dry weather, these are the most comfortable ankle boots I've ever worn.

In the boots’ specifications, 5.11 states they’re made of a breathable air mesh and 1200D Cordura fabric. They have an antimicrobial lining to keep things smelling good, and an Ortholite sole for comfort. I'm not sure what all that high-tech material is, but I do know it works. And it's lightweight, too, so my feet aren't nearly as tired as when I lace on much heavier footwear.

And speaking of laces, the ones that come with the Taclite boots are kind of curly. Apparently it's a deliberate feature that keeps the laces from working their way loose. That works, too, as I've never had the laces come undone or even loosen after 12- hour days and many miles on my feet.

Note, however, that these boots aren't waterproof, nor are they intended to be. These are boots for hot and dry weather, intended to provide a good balance of support and coolness. In my opinion, they excel in that capacity and I recommend them without reservation. If you need ankle boot support in hot weather, the 5.11 Taclite Coyote boot is definitely worth a look.

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