I don't know if I was an abused kid, poor or there just weren't any good boots 50 years ago, but whichever the case, there's no use wearing substandard boots anymore because help has arrived. I love the canvas hiking boots we now have. They're comfortable, light weight and I can hike all day in them, but I live in Idaho and when winter hits, I need some real boots.
To survive elk hunting, I need a tough leather high top boot. I want one with not over 600 grams of Thinsulate. If they have much more then I'm going to get too hot while hiking around. If I'm sitting around, will I get cold feet? Sure but for sitting around, you need some heavy duty insulated boots.
Everyone is different, but with a good pair of boot socks, I'm OK in zero weather if I'm hiking hard. Also it is imperative that my boots are waterproof. If most people get wet, it doesn't take long to take the fight out of them. In a hard week of hunting you're likely to get rained on, snowed on and have to cross some small creeks. You're going to encounter water.
I also want boots with good traction. In a week of hard elk hunting I'll fall 6-8 times and two of those will be hard falls. It's rough country. This can be dangerous while carrying a gun but also just slipping down a mountain isn't a fun venture. Good traction minimizes the number of falls you'll experience.
This winter I've been testing the Irish Setter Black Bear boots. They are 10-inch boots, which is plenty high for me. In fact, I usually don't lace the top one or two eyelets so I don't feel as restricted when walking. The sides of the tongue are canvas, which is supposed to give, helping alleviate the ankle pressure that you feel when wearing high top leather boots. They also prevent the tongue from bunching up when I tie the boot up. Use a pair of gators and you'll be set to hunt in some semi-deep snow.
I had a guy fly up from Texas to go wolf hunting and we both wore Black Bear boots. It rained or snowed everyday on us and most days non-stop all day. The first day I wore a different boot and got wet. The rest of the hunt I wore my Black Bears and stayed dry despite the inclement weather.
It appears to be a boot that is plenty tough and will hold up to the rigors of a tough elk hunt. I plan on them lasting for many years to come.