Here in Wisconsin the hunting season goes from the end of September through early January. The temperatures during hunting season ranges from 80 degrees to negative degree temperatures. One type of hunting boot will not be sufficient to last through the whole season. (This information is especially important for me because my feet get cold and sore a long time before any of the rest of me gets cold or sore.)
For the last few years it seems that deer hunters wearing knee high rubber boots was the best new idea in footwear. All but one of the deer hunters I regularly talk to has thrown away his rubber hunting boots, because of how badly they always fit and because of how little warmth they provide.
The reason rubber boots were a trend is because of the idea that they reduce the smell coming from our feet while out in the woods. This is a good idea and reducing your smell is undoubtedly a good idea.
Even if leather boots are not as scent proof I will continue to wear them because of the warmth and comfort that they provide.
You should be careful not to wear your hunting boots when you are not hunting. When you wear hunting clothing outside of hunting situations all that can happen will be the clothing’s collection of new smells. In particular, you should avoid wearing your hunting boots while pumping gas, because nothing will add smells to your clothing like gas.
Ideally you will wear your everyday shoes to your hunting property and then switch to your hunting boots once you leave your car to hunt.
A light pair of hiking boots is all that you need in the hunting footwear department during warm days. Light hiking boots are comfortable to walk around in and to climb trees in. Any pair of hiking boots should be fine when it is warm. And any pair of socks is fine. Go to a hunting store or any shoe store and buy whatever brown hiking boots that you like. My current pair are from Columbia. They are fine, but I would be open to replacing them with some other brand boots.
When it gets a bit colder add a heavy pair of wool socks to your light hiking boots and normal socks.
When it gets colder still you will want heavy thick insulated boots. It won’t matter too much what brand or style they are. But get heavy boots that go nearly up to your knee. Make sure that you try them on with your thick wool socks before you buy them. These won’t be very easy to walk in but if you hunt from a tree stand you won’t be walking much in them, and they will need to be thicker for sitting still than they would need to be for walking. My current heavy boots are a Cabela’s brand and they are fine. Find whatever boot that looks like it will keep your feet warm.
The toe warmers that stick to your socks are excellent for hunting in the extreme cold. If you put them on the outside of your thickest socks they will give you a few hours of heat and your boots will stay a bit warmer for a few hours even after they stop being hot.
Keeping comfortable is a very important aspect if deer hunting from a stand. If you are not comfortable, or comfortably warm, then you will fidget in your stand which will spook deer, or you will not stay in your tree as long. Buy whatever quality boots that you can to stay warm and comfortable.