How To Keep Your Feet Warm While Hunting – Top 10 Tips And Tricks

Written By John VanDerLaan 

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We know that hunting can be a cold and wet experience, but that doesn't mean your feet have to suffer! By following the tips and tricks in this article, you'll be able to keep your feet warm and dry while hunting, no matter the weather conditions. From socks to boots to insoles, there's something for everyone to help keep their feet warm and dry. So what are we waiting for? Let’s dive in.

1. Sweat Is The Enemy Of Warm Feet

When it comes to keeping your feet warm in the winter, it may require more than one strategy. If you are like most people, your feet tend to get sweaty and smelly when it's cold outside. When your feet sweat without proper socks and boots, they become wet, and when they become wet, they get cold.

Wearing socks or boots all day long can also lead to serious foot health problems.

Foot with damage from the cold

One of the main dangers of sweat-related bacteria is athlete's foot, which is caused by Micrococcus luteus. This bacterium thrives in moist environments and can cause intense itching that often precedes pus discharge from lesions on the skin. If left untreated, athlete's foot can spread throughout the body and even lead to damage to other organs such as your heart or lungs. To avoid these risks, make sure to keep your feet dry at all times, especially if you're going outdoors for prolonged periods of time. 

2. Choosing Socks To Keep Your Feet Warm While Hunting

It is important to choose hunting socks designed for the task at hand. Make sure to pick a sock brand that you trust, do your homework, and find a pair that will provide you with the best protection against cold weather. If you’re likely to step into water or mud and your boots are not 100% waterproof, you may want to consider rubber boots.  Also make sure to bundle up and wear appropriate clothing for the weather! The body’s warmth affects the heat of your feet because of blood circulation. A good pair of insulated hunting bibs will help to keep your feet warm by keeping your body warm.

Socks are commonly thought of as a single layer of textile, but socks can actually be layers of many different substances. The basic concept is that if you put on two layers of socks, you can shed one if needed. The human body has natural defenses against the cold. It is vital to retain the heat from the body. Therefore, warm clothing and layers are the best protection in the winter months.

RELATED: Best Hunting Rain Gear

Wool Socks

Wool Socks to keep feet warm while hunting

Wool is a natural fiber that traps air and moisture, which helps to keep you warm. Additionally, it has a high thermal mass and can retain heat for an extended period of time. This makes wool suitable for wintertime activities like skiing, snowboarding, hunting, and arctic climates where many layers are necessary to stay warm.

Wool also provides insulation from the cold outside world, keeping you comfortable regardless of the weather conditions. And if you're looking to be environmentally friendly, wool is one of the most sustainable fabrics out there because it ecologically recycles when worn or processed.

Wool socks are thicker and warmer than cotton socks, but they also keep your feet warm (and other body parts) better because wool is naturally water repellent. Wool socks breathe better, too — so the moisture from your sweat doesn't build up as quickly as it can in synthetic fibers that trap moisture and make you feel colder by day's end.

RELATED: Best Base Layer For Hunting

Cotton Socks

Cotton Socks

Cotton is the enemy of hunters everywhere.

Cotton socks have been responsible for more cold feet over the years than anyone wants to admit.

Cotton socks absorb moisture and hold that moisture against your feet.

Wet feet equals cold feet.

Do yourself a favor and leave your cotton socks in the drawer when you go hunting.

Heated Socks 

Heated Socks to keep feet warm while hunting

Don't take heated socks for granted because they can be beneficial. The electric socks can also be referred to as portable electric heaters or thermal socks and come in different models, sizes and brands. Electric socks have been used by soldiers of the British Royal Air Force (RAF) since the 1930s during World War II, when it was discovered that hand warmers could keep their feet warm even though they were on the move often while fighting enemy forces at high altitudes.

Heated socks may be the answer to your prayers! Not only do they keep your feet warm, but they are also a handy way to avoid numb, frozen toes and other foot problems. Ensuring they fit in your boot and that the heating elements are in comfortable places will help you decide which pair is best for you.

One inconvenience is the need for additional batteries or recharge. Also, some heated socks come with a remote, and this is very desirable as after walking two miles, your feet may be producing enough heat on their own. All electrical products may fail, so having a plan B can keep your toes warm. An extra pair of socks in your tactical bag is never a bad idea.

Sock Liners

Wearing socks can be a pain in the butt. They always seem to slide down your leg, and the constant friction can result in blisters on your foot. Luckily, you can do a few things to make socks work better for you. For starters, make sure to get socks that have a snug fit but are not too short. Short socks will pinch toes and cause you to be uncomfortable if not rubbed raw. 

If you purchase sock liners, you are adding a layer of protection. Sock liners are thin polyester or lightweight wool, and they serve as your first layer. They wick moisture well, and hikers and backpackers love them. They can also be helpful if you are prone to having cold feet frequently. People with diabetes also find these very helpful in daily life. Finally, sock liners are a great way to keep your feet warm and dry all winter - whether indoors or outdoors. 

Keeping your feet dry is essential to keep you warm in the cold outdoors. As any experienced hunter will tell you, using two pairs of socks helps keep feet dry and maintains good blood circulation. But sometimes, that can be too much bulk. Sock liners cut down on that bulk without losing any heat and mobility. 

The best combination for hunting in cold weather is a sock liner to wick moisture away from your feet followed by a wool sock to insulate your feet from the cold.

3. Choosing Boots To Keep Your Feet Warm While Hunting

Rubber Hunting Boots

The most critical factor in choosing the best boots for hunting in the cold is its insulation properties. Insulation serves to effectively protect your core body temperature from low temperatures during cold weather hunts.

When hunting in cold weather, it’s essential to keep your feet warm and dry. Look for boots made of materials like leather, wool, or even the best rubber hunting boots which will help trap warmth inside the boot. Additionally, make sure to test out a pair before you buy them to make sure they fit correctly and provide the desired level of comfort and warmth. 

Rubber boots are a good winter solution for hunters. They keep the feet warm and dry without leaving them sweating inside boots. The rubber sole is thick, so it does not allow your feet to sweat as much, keeping you more comfortable even in cold conditions when wearing rubber boots. The rubber tread is known for its gripping ability in rough terrain.

Check out our top picks for the warmest hunting boots for cold weather.

4. Use Heated Insoles To Keep Your Feet Warm While Hunting

Heated Insoles to keep feet warm while hunting

While hunting in cold weather can be a tricky experience. It’s nothing to worry about if you have the right gear. Heated insoles are a great way to keep your feet warm while hunting, and they are also portable, so you can take them with you wherever you go. Not to mention, they work to reduce fatigue and prevent injuries. So, go out this hunting season armed with the best gear for the cold weather and warmer feet! 

To keep your feet warm during hunting, go for insoles that are specially designed to help maintain blood circulation by warming up the arches of your foot. Insoles can also protect against frostbite or cold injuries caused when your toes are exposed to extreme temperatures. These can be battery or rechargeable and may come with a remote. Always test them before your hunt.

5. Use Insulated Boot Covers To Keep Your Feet Warm While Hunting In A Tree Stand 

ArcticShield Men's Boot Insulator

Arctic Shield Boot Covers

Stay warm and safe this winter with ArcticShield Men's Boot Insulators! These boot insulators contain a heat retention thermal material that captures and returns up to 90% of your body heat back to you. This means you'll stay warm and comfortable in the coldest weather without the hassle of extra clothing or bulky insulation. Plus, with windproof and water-resistant properties, you can stay warm when the temperature plummets and the wind is howling


  • Packable
  • Lightweight


  • Run small
  • Can be noisy

ArcticShield Men's Boot Insulator offers insulation inside the blind or when sitting or standing in a tree stand.

Keep in mind that you have to transport these in a backpack and then put them on when you get to your destination, so they can work with a climbing tree stand as well. 

They are perfect for those get comfortable, don’t fall asleep, waiting hours. 87% of reviewers rate these four or more stars. Some reviewers report that these insulators allowed them to put off buying a new pair of boots till next year.

RELATED: Best Barometric Pressure For Deer Hunting

6. Add A Rubber Matt Or Piece Of Carpet To The Floor Of Your Tree Stand

Rubber mat on a treestand

Adding carpet or rubber to your tree stand will reduce pressure on your feet and knees. When you stand on a carpet or rubber in your tree stand to stay warm, you effectively use the carpet’s surface area or rubber as a barrier to the cold and a trap to hold heat. 

This is because carpets and rubbers have a high surface-to-volume ratio, which means they can store a lot of heat. This explains why rooms with carpets stay warmer than those with wood or tile. This trapped warmth reduces your need for energy expenditure (through shivering) to maintain thermal equilibrium. 

This works perfectly for ladder stands and will help keep your kid's feet warm if you are hunting in a 2-man ladder stand.

7. Keep Your Toes Moving

There are many benefits to keeping your toes moving to stay warm, including reducing inflammation and improving blood circulation. By regularly moving your feet, you maintain heat throughout the body by increasing energy expenditure. Additionally, increased foot movement can help improve balance and coordination.

It is no secret that staying warm during cold weather can be challenging. One way to help combat the cold is to keep your toes movin'. Drilling these tiny digits into the ground will cause blood flow and heat exchange, which in turn will keep you warmer. Additionally, keeping your feet elevated can also help circulate blood and prevent frostbite. This may be an option in some larger blinds and stands. 

8. Eat Right

Hunter eating

When you are hunting in cold weather, it is essential to make sure that you're eating the right foods to stay warm. Foods containing many calories and fat will help keep you warm, while leaner proteins and complex carbs will give your body the energy it needs for sustained activity.

Some examples of food items that are high in calories and fat include fatty meats (bacon, ham), eggs, nuts, cheese, soups, or stews with lots of meat or beans. But don’t overeat. While these foods can provide essential nutrients such as protein and calcium (which help build strong bones), they'll also put extra weight on your stomach, leading to sluggishness during an intense hunt.

In contrast, healthy alternatives like dried fruits (raisins or apricots) and trail mix made from nuts and seeds instead of processed snacks like candy bars or cakes can be a great choice if you want something sweet but not too indulgent.

9. Stay Hydrated

Although staying hydrated is vital for general health, it's especially crucial when hunting in cold weather. When you're dehydrated, your body produces more heat to attempt to maintain its temperature. This can lead to dizziness, fatigue, reduced performance, and even injury.

Additionally, being hypothermic (too low of a temperature) can impair your judgment and reduce movement speed. The body’s thirst diminishes in cold weather because our blood vessels constrict. This slows circulation throughout the body.

On a typical day without exertion, a body needs two liters of water which increases when hunting. Three liters a day is recommended. So make sure you drink plenty of water before leaving for the hunt as well as throughout the day while out there in the field. I know it will add weight to the ruck bag, but it will get lighter the more you drink. Dehydration is an enemy.

10. Keep Your Head Warm

Two Hunters Wearing Hats

My grandfather used to say "Put a wool hat on and it will keep the heat from going up the chimney!"

Hunting during the winter can be a dangerous activity, and your head is one of the most exposed parts of your body. Why? This is because when it gets cold outside, blood circulation decreases which makes it much more difficult for heat to circulate through your body. This can lead to hypothermia or frostbite on sensitive areas like the head and ears. There are various blood flow circulation problems that can cause cold feet. Having blood flow to the hands and feet is essential as you need your hands to operate a gun or hunt safely. Cold feet will slow down response when shooting or moving in any way.

To protect yourself from this potentially deadly situation, make sure to keep your head warm by wearing a hat or scarf. Wool and fleece are excellent materials to look for in a hat because of their heat retention properties. Bundling up as well as bringing along gloves and boots are also necessary. Hunters love beanies, face masks, toboggans, and the classic rabbit fur hat. The Ushanka or shapka ushanka comes to us from Russia, but it is still wildly popular and dubbed the trapper hat.

Final Thoughts

Keeping your feet warm and comfortable is just one of the steps for staying warm while hunting, but it is an important step.

RELATED: What Is The Hunter's Most Important Item Of Clothing?

No one wants cold feet during hunting season, but it can happen. Make sure to take steps to keep your feet warm and dry during hunting by following these tips. Sweat is the enemy of warm feet, so make sure to wear socks that wick moisture away from the skin and thermally insulating boots. Headgear should not be an option but standard gear. If you're in a tree stand, be sure to use the best hunting pants and use layers to maintain your body temperature while you wait for game.

Happy hunting!

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John VanDerLaan

John VanDerLaan is the managing editor here at He oversees a team of editors, writers and pro staff that are subject matter experts in hunting and hunting gear. John's expertise includes thoroughly testing all types of hunting gear, as well as hunting all over the U.S. and Canada. While his hunting expertise includes game birds, small game and large game, his favorite game animal is the whitetail deer and he loves to share the knowledge that he has gained over 40 years of chasing the wily whitetail with both archery gear and firearms. John is an active member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America.

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