You need the right footwear for stalking in the Highlands

The Highlands of Scotland are a wonderful place for hunting deer. The terrain is challenging and the deer are wiley and wild. But even in the warmest of summers the Highlands are wet.

On a recent trip to the very North West of the country I found out just how important warm dry feet really are. We were stalking hinds in late November and although the weather was unseasonably warm it was extremely wet. The whole of the hill was like a sponge with every step slogging into a layer of water.

Ariat boots in the highlands with the Blaser R8 Professional Success

Three of us ventured out onto the hill on day one in torrential rain but high cloud. We had a proper climb to start with ascending for five hours before reaching the 2000 feet mark at the top of the Ben. This was serious stuff, luckily I had the footwear for it.

Good gear always helps but a rest does too

The actual stalking here was on the very limits of what I was able to do both physically and mentally and given the tough conditions I was grateful I spent money in the right places.

Kit is such an important part of any fieldsport and I was using a Deerhunter Avanti smock that was breathable and kept me bone dry. The trousers were also Deerhunter Highland which performed perfectly over the two days on the hill and I have already mentioned the Ariat Defiant boots. This combo of quality clothing and footwear is not just good to keep you dry and cool but it is necessary. Once you are wet and cold it is impossible to get dry and warm on the hill and a danger of hypothermia could become a reality 

Good clothing and boots is a must when out on the hill. Nice and dry inside that lot

After day one on the hill and a successful stalk I was smug to say the least. I was the only one in our party with dry feet. Both my colleagues who had Harkila and Diotto boots on had soaking wet feet. It was testament to my kit that I stayed dry, we really put the stuff through a tough test and I am pleased to say it all came through well.

A successful hunt for red deer hinds

I spend a lot of time out in the field both in the highlands and lowlands and I think I have finally found a boot that will work in all conditions from the wet to mud and heat. I am mighty impressed with the Ariat Defiant boots. A must for any serious hunter.

The Ariat Defiant boots kept me dry over two hard days hunting

Now a bit about the boot

The boots are constructed from the finest waterproof leather and feature a GORE-TEX® membrane which is fully waterproof and breathable. They have 400g of Thinsulate™ ultra insulation which will keep your feet superbly warm without overheating. The Vibram® outsole offers superior traction in all terrain and the protective rubber rand prevents scuffs and scratches. The Catalyst Defiant also boast a cushioned PU midsole meaning you can wear them all day in complete comfort.


  • Mens premium leather shooting boots
  • Waterproof leather upper
  • Premium GORE-TEX® wateproof and breathable membrane
  • 400g Thinsulate® ultra wadding
  • Premium leather collar and tongue lining
  • Protective rubber rand
  • Cushioned PU midsole for all day comfort
  • Vibram® outsole for superior traction
  • Colbalt VX® footbed

    Ariat boots and Deerhunter trousers with red hind

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