Which Boots?

Colten Gehring of Bozeman, MT writes:

Hey Joel I've been watching your videos from the beginning and always liked the shows you’re on. My boots of 12years finally fell apart and I'm in the market for a new pair. In your opinion what would be the best boot to get? I don't have a permanent house so I'm on the ice all day, And I'd say 99% of the time I'm driving out to the spot. 

Tough question, but one I get a lot and wonder a good deal about myself.  I’ll be honest in saying I’m still searching for the perfect boot.  As all the rest of our gear gets specialized, and fits into certain niches depending on the ways we fish, I think of boots in much the same manner.  A boot that works great for nearly stationary anglers, may not work as well for someone that puts on some serious steps while out punching holes. 

I’ve worn nearly all of them at one point or another, and a key consideration is how much your feet sweat.  If your feet sweat very little, then the Mickey Mouse style paratrooper boots you can pick up at Army Surplus stores are great.  Sadly, mine do, and even straight neoprene tends to not work as well for me.

LaCrosse Ice Kings have been really great to me over the years, and are ultra-warm but unfortunately are a bit bulky.  Baffins are great too, but I put them in the same class of heavier/bulkier footwear.  To combat that problem, I’ve worn the lace up GoreTex versions with leather uppers over the years but have had leak-thru issues. 

I’m currently wearing the Muck Arctic Pros and still giving them a good run through in more situations before putting them up at the top of the heap.  I roll down the neoprene to allow a little bit more breathing room when possible, and they’ve worked great thus far. 

If you’re mostly stationary, I’d go with the Ice Kings or Baffins and enjoy the warmth!