There are many considerations to take into account when big men shop for hunting boots. The type of terrain the hunter intends to be walking can help determine which type of outsoles will be the most useful. It is also important that the boot be made of sound construction in order to handle the additional foot and body mass of large men.
There are several chief ways that the sole can be attached to the rest of the hunting boot. Goodyear Welt construction makes for the most expensive, but toughest boots that can stand up to the extra stress that big men put on their footwear. In this style of boots the welt- a leather or rubber ribbon- is stitched to the boot upper, insole and lining. The outsole is also stitched to the bottom of the welt. In cement construction, leather is wrapped around a foot cast and glued to the insole. These boots are cheaper, but can come apart quicker. A sturdy-sized hunter may consider the extra investment in Goodyear Welt if he is going to be using the boots frequently.
Hunting boots for big men are generally made out of leather, fabric or rubber. Leather is the most traditional material and can come for a variety of animals. The thicker the leather of a boot is, the better its quality. Although boots made from fabric tend to not last as long -- especially for active big men -- they are cheaper, lighter, and can be patterned into camouflage easier. Rubber boots are naturally water resistant, but they also have a tendency to trap moisture, such as perspiration.
Types of Outsoles
Outsoles -- the bottom of the boot -- come in different styles according to the terrain the boot is meant to be used on. Vibram lugs have projections that dig into the ground. They are especially useful on rocky surfaces, but can also get mud packed in the sole easier. Air bobs outsoles have rounded knobs with hollow cores that flex under weight. They are useful as an all-purpose sole. Shallow tread is meant to be worn on flat, slippery surfaces. A big man, especially if he is slightly unsteady on his feet, should consider where he will be wearing the boots and choose the appropriate type of outsoles. As they say, the bigger they are, the harder they fall.
The Interior of the Boot
Big men can decide on the amount of insulation they want in their boots. The thicker the insulation the more heat it traps. Those that tend to do a lot of walking or that live in warmer clients may opt for thinner insulated boots, or hunting boots without it. The quality and feel of the lining used can make a difference in how comfortable the boot is. Some boots also include insoles that naturally prevent the growth of bacteria and fungus.
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