HAPPY FEET WILL KEEP YOU HUNTING LONGER. So don't lug hefty "all-season" boots into the warm early-season deer woods. Instead, keep your feet cool with lightweight, breathable models. Here are six great choices in three popular and useful styles:
1 Columbia Tigertooth ($80; 503-985-4000; columbia.com)
The look of the new Tigertooth says running shoe, but a seriously sticky tread and airy suede-and-mesh construction make this a low-cut, non-waterproof option ideal for scouting or hunting in hot, dry conditions.
2 Montrail Stratos XCR ($130; 206-621-9303; montrail.com)
To keep your feet cool and dry, the waterproof Stratos has generous vents and interior mesh. Its midrise profile provides good ankle support over rough terrain.
3 Browning 10-inch Kangaroo Featherweight ($249; 800-438-7026; browningfootwear.com)
Thin but strong kangaroo-leather uppers and sharkskin toe protectors make these boots both attractive and tough. A Gore-Tex lining repels water, and removable Dryz inserts move foot moisture into a gel within the insole.
4 Irish Setter Aero Tracker ($149; 888-738-8370; irishsetterboots.com)
Designed especially for active hunting in warm weather, the Tracker's eight nylon-screened "airmesh" panels vent heat without sacrificing waterproofing. A 10-inch leather upper and toothy treads combine support and traction with tennis-shoe comfort.
5 Cabela's Dura-Trax ($80; 800-237-4444; cabelas.com)
Rubber-coated neoprene uppers make the Dura-Trax lighter (2¾ pounds each) than traditional models. Aggressive lugs bite hard on slippery turf but shed mud quickly, and a snug ankle-lock fit tames boot-sucking bogs.
6 Muck Boot Co. Muckmaster ($90; 877-438-6825; muckbootcompany.com)
Lighter still at just over 2 pounds each, the Muckmaster employs the same grippy sole as the company's popular Woody Max field boot but has a 17-inch waterproof upper made of ultralight CR foam. Rubber extends halfway up the boot, and an elastic cuff provides a calf-hugging fit.