A good safari boot is the one thing that is a must when it comes to safari wear and bushwalks. Sure, you can dress up in khaki, leather, leopard print, and dark green, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter all that much about what you wear on safari if you don’t have the safari shoe. However, protecting your feet in the bush is important.
If your safari has plans to do bush walks in search of the “Big Five” and other safari animals, picking up a good pair of boots before your trip is necessary. A good pair of safari boots is not just comfort; they are safe for being in the bush.
The Best Safari Boots
Blundstone Chelsea Boots
Price: $229 | Weight: 2 lbs 5 oz. | Material: Leather Waterproof: Yes
- Iconic Style
- Easy Slip-On
- Thick Rubber Soles
- Steel Shank Insoles
- Super Durable Heat Resistant Sole
- Not Technical
Blundstones are our go-to travel boots and make excellent safari boots. This boot is stylish, functional, and practical for any travel adventure. While it’s not a “technical” boot, it impressively handles moderate hikes and terrain. Style is a strong suit here, with a wide range of leather finishes to match your taste.
The boots feature premium leather uppers. While the V-cut design reduces stitching exposure, and elastic side panels increase breathability for a cool and comfortable experience. The slip-on fit and pull tabs make putting on and taking off easy.
The polyurethane midsole and thermoplastic urethane outsoles are rock solid and show minor wear despite heavy use. Yet they remain comfortable thanks to excellent EVA foam footbeds. If not enough, a steel shank ensures the correct step flex-point and assists with torsional stability.
As they use premium leather, they require some upkeep with leather treatment to ensure longevity and water resistance. The Blundstone Chelsea Boot is a solid go-to for any stylish and practical safari adventure. We love these boots!
Shop For Classic Blundstones BL550
Danner Mountain 600
Price: $210 | Weight: 2 lbs 5 oz | Material: Suede Leather | Waterproof: Yes
- Leather Upper
- Excellent Soles
- Narrow Footbeds
- Lacks Ventilation
The Danner Mountain 600 blends the latest boot tech with classic style for a reliable safari boot. Crafted from waterproof suede leather, the Mountain 600 features Danner Dry waterproof protection to keep your feet dry and comfortable no matter the conditions. TPU heel frames provide additional support and stability, while OrthoLite® footbeds offer cushioning and comfort.
The Vibram® SPE midsoles offer maximum rebound, comfort, and support, making them perfect for a full day of trail adventures or exploring the city in the evening. The Vibram Fuga outsoles feature self-adaptive lugs and a Megagrip compound, providing exceptional traction on wet and dry surfaces.
While the rugged construction of the Mountain 600 makes it incredibly durable, it also means that there is a longer break-in period. Danner recommends wearing the boots around the house to ensure they are comfortable and adequately broken in before heading out on your safari adventure.
It’s worth noting that Danner recommends sizing down half a size from what you typically wear, so keep that in mind when ordering. Overall, the Danner Mountain 600 Boot perfectly balances performance and aesthetics, making it an excellent addition to any safari packing list.
Shop For Danner Mountain 600 Boots
Red Wing Iron Ranger
Price: $349 | Weight: N/A| Material: Leather | Waterproof: Yes
- Gorgeous Boot
- High Quality
- Classic Style
- Excellent Longevity
- Break-In Period
Red Wing is a heritage brand that still hand-makes its boots in the U.S. We love its workwear legacy with functional and stylish boots designed with quality materials and solid craftsmanship. The Iron Rangers are gorgeous leather boots that have been around for nearly a century. They offer outstanding protection in rugged terrain with their high ankle design and tough leather.
The boot can trace its iconic design to ironworkers in the 1930s. Now it’s beloved for its excellent reliability, durability, and style. One of the most distinctive features of the boot is its thick leather used in construction. Its shape molds to the foot over time, and this includes the soles. Leather insoles and cork midsole ensure that each pair of boots will eventually mold to your feet for a customized fit.
They’re an excellent pair of boots but come at a high price. It’s also worth noting that they need the lightweight technical features of more modern leather hiking boots. However, these timeless boots will undoubtedly outlast any modern synthetic boot design.
Shop For Red Wing Iron Ranger
Merrell Moab 3
Price: $145 | Weight: 2 lbs 4 oz. | Material: Suede leather/Mesh | Waterproof: Yes
- Very Comfortable
- Technical Use
- Versatile Boot
- Reliable Fit
- No Break-In Period
- Not Stylish
- Jack of All Trades
If you’re in the market for hiking boots, the Merrell Moab 3 Boots are a popular choice. They’re made of leather, textile, and synthetic materials and are comfortable straight out of the box. Plus, with Merrell’s expertise in hiking boots, you can rest assured that your feet will be in good hands for long-distance walks.
One of the standout features of these boots is their soles, which have a unique design that provides excellent grip in muddy or wet conditions. That makes them a great choice for anyone planning to trek through the jungle to see gorillas or climb Mount Kilimanjaro. And while they may not be the most stylish option, they’re practical and offer great value.
Merrell updated the Moab 3 with partially recycled fabrics, more supportive insoles, cushioned midsoles, and grippier Vibram® outsoles. The boots also come with protective rubber toe caps, waterproof membranes to keep your feet dry, and breathable mesh linings to keep you comfortable. The Moabs have faithfully served many hikers; the latest version is still tremendous.
I have owned several pairs of Moabs and can attest to their quality over the years. However, one thing to remember is that these boots are less specialized. While they are comfortable immediately, the soles are soft, making them less ideal for avid hikers. However, for everyone else, Merrell Moabs are a solid choice for comfortable safari boots that won’t disappoint.
Shop For Merrell Moab 3
Dr. Marten’s 1460 Original Boots
Price: $180 | Weight: 2 lbs. 12 oz. | Material: Leather | Waterproof: No
- Classic Style
- Solid Grip and Sole
- Versatile For Fashion
- Not Technical
- Hot in Warm Climates
Dr. Martens 1460 Original Boot is a timeless classic that has been a fashion staple for decades. With their classic combat boot look, solid design, and comfort, these boots are perfect for a bush walk. Additionally, with a large selection of styles and colors available, you can choose the pair that best suits your mood and personal style.
The lace-up eight-eyelet boot with fabric laces and tonal eyelets provides a secure fit. We love the classic Doc style, which includes grooved edges, yellow welt stitching, and a scripted heel loop.
While they are too heavy and lack the technical features for an extended hike, they are great boots that remain comfortable throughout the day. It’s a classic boot that will never go out of style and has faithfully served many.
Shop For Dr. Marten’s 1460 Original Boots
Lowa Renegade GTX
Price: $245 | Weight: 2 lbs. 2 oz. | Material: Nubuck Leather | Waterproof: Yes
- Solid Support
- Stiff Sole
- Nice Leather Style and Look
- Longevity Issues Report
The Lowa Renegade makes an excellent choice for a safari boot. It’s lightweight and features a classic design style. An impressive hiking boot, it feels stable underfoot and can handle rugged mountain terrain. We love the versatility of proper hiking boots as they’re helpful more outside the African bush.
While lightweight, they feel like sturdy backpacking boots underfoot, thanks to their external frame. The leather upper features thinner leather to shorten the break-in period and save weight. We also notice it cuts back on insulation and allows the boots to remain cooler in hot temperatures.
The downside to all the weight-saving measures is a sacrifice in durability. Despite the price, these boots likely won’t last a lifetime. We still love the boots as safari boots because their performance is exceptional, and you can find the perfect fit as they are available in narrow, regular, and wide widths.
Shop For Lowa Renegade Boots
Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II
Price: $99 | Weight: 2 lbs | Material: PU-Coated leather | Waterproof: No
- Decent Grip
- Hiking Boot
- Attractive Color Options
- Cheap PU Leather
- Longevity / Durability
- Mixed Style
The Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II is a tremendous value and affordable safari boot option. It uses a combination of PU leather and synthetic materials to make a breathable and slightly waterproof boot. They’re also lightweight and flexible for a comfortable long walk and hike experience.
The bootie construction and mesh tongue provide breathability, while the lace-up closure allows for a secure fit. The boots also have advanced technology, including a lightweight midsole for long lasting comfort, superior cushioning, and an advanced traction rubber sole for slip-free movement on rough ground.
The boots look decent but they won’t be winning any style awards. We appreciate that they come in various color combinations that provide versatility. Of course, at the price point, they lack a little in terms of durability, longevity, and performance for more demanding users.
Regardless, the Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II offers a fantastic combination of practicality, affordability, and comfort, making them a decent choice for anyone seeking a reliable safari boot. Although, if it were our money, we’d spend a bit more to get the Moab 3 boots.
Shop For Columbia Newton Ridge II Boot
Salomon Quest 4 GTX
Price: $230 | Weight: 2 lbs. 13 oz. | Material: Nubuck Leather/ Textile | Waterproof: Yes
- Stiff Sole
- Excellent Hiking Boot
- GoreTex Liner
- Tough Toe Box
- Solid Looking Boot
- Break-In Period
- A lot Of Boot For Most Safari Goers
The Salomon Quest 4 is a fantastic choice for a technical safari boot with plenty of features to make them stand out. Backed up by waterproof, breathable GORE-TEX protection, these boots are perfect for rugged terrain and long distances, ensuring that your feet stay dry and comfortable. Drawing on Salomon trail-running expertise, these hiking boots are light and agile, perfect for keeping you nimble on uneven terrain.
The SensiFit™ cradles your feet from the midsole to the lacing system, providing a secure and snug fit all around your feet, ensuring they stay in place. Active Support “mobile wings” accompany the movement of your feet, adapting to their shape and volume and providing a comfortable fit. An intelligent boot chassis articulates with the foot for optimal stability and balance on any terrain. They feel very secure in the mountains or on rough hikes.
Contagrip® MA outsoles grab the terrain, even when wet or slippery, giving you more control, especially on descents. These durable outsoles can handle various surfaces, balancing the geometry and rubber compound to deliver confidence on wet, dry, complex, or loose surfaces. All of this is excellent on the trail, but it may be overkill on a safari. A casual boot is a better choice for most safari-goers.
Shop For Salomon Quest 4 GTX
Hoka Anacapa Mid GTX
Price: $185 | Weight: 1 lbs. 12 oz. | Material: Nubuck Leather/ GORE-TEX | Waterproof: Yes
- Excellent Comfort
- Wonderful Feature Set
- Modern Style
- Modern Style
- Not As Durable As Classic Leather Boot
The Hoka Anacapa Mid GTX boots are some of the most comfortable safari boots on this list. Hoka is famous for its super comfortable running shoes and brings many of those elements over to these boots. They feature a design with generous cushioning and a rockered outsole for phenomenal boot comfort.
The modern-looking boot certainly is not your standard safari boot, but we love the style of the Dune color with more modern safari pants like joggers. A lot of features in the boots are meant to minimize foot discomforts such as a wide toe-box and tongue gusset to minimize pressure points. These features along with a secure lacing fit ensure you avoid blisters with no break-in period.
In addition to their comfortable fit, the boots are lightweight, striking an outstanding balance between weight vs. on-trail performance. The Vibram Megagrip compound used in the rubber outsole provides excellent traction, making them ideal for hiking in rugged terrain, including river crossings and loose, steep dirt. It’s a hiking boot that feels ready to tackle hikes anywhere around the world.
Shop For Hoka Anacapa Mid GTX
Vivobarefoot Tracker Forest ESC
Price: $220 | Weight: N/A | Material: Wildhide Leather | Waterproof: Yes
- Natural Footbed
- No Footbed
- Wide Toe Bed
There’s a strong argument that many of the foot and joint issues that plague modern-day humans are from overdesigned shoes. Shoes cause our feet to move unnaturally and restrict natural muscle movements. The result is weak feet. Vivobarefoot crafts natural shoes designed with minimal support and allow the feet to move naturally. It’s like walking barefoot.
The Vivobarefoot Tracker Esc boots are naturally water-resistant. The non-slip sole and exceptional arch grip for gripping and sticking to surfaces are the most interesting. Inside the boot is an air mesh lining that allows for proper airflow. They are broad, thin, and flexible to promote the foot’s natural movement.
They’re fantastic for a safari as they are lightweight (official weight not disclosed) and can fold! Yup, it’s an ankle-high boot that folds into itself and will take up minimal room in your safari bag.
Because there is no footbed in these shoes, they are not for everyone. We’re also uncertain about the coverage from the rugged Michelin sole that is not as widely tested as a brand like Vibram. Also, the wide toe bed for the natural movement of the toes looks a little funny style-wise. As safari boots, they definitely require an open mind, but we’ve fallen in love with these boots while testing.
Shop Vivobarefoot Tracker Esc
The Best Safari Boots Table
|Blundstone BL585||Iconic Style, Comfort, Durability, Easy Slip-On, Steel Shank Insoles||Not Technical||$229|
(Women | Men)
|Danner Mountain 600||Style, Leather Upper, Comfort, Vibram Soles, Lightweight, Weatherproof||Narrow Footbeds, Lacks Ventilation||$210|
(Women | Men)
|Red Wing Iron Ranger||Gorgeous Boot, High Quality, Durability, Excellent Longevity||Expensive, Heavy||$349 (Women | Men)|
|Merrell Moab 3||Very Comfortable, Technical Use, Versatile Boot, Reliable Fit, Value||Not Stylish, Jack of All Trades||$145|
(Women | Men)
|Dr. Marten’s 1460 Original Boots||Classic Style, Reliable, Comfortable||Not Technical, Hot||$180|
|Lowa Renegade GTX||Lightweight, Comfortable, Solid Support, Nice Leather Style and Look||Longevitiy Issues Report||$245|
(Women | Men)
|Newton Ridge Plus II||Value, Comfortable, Decent Grip, Hiking Boot||Cheap PU Leather, Longevity, Mixed Style||$99|
(Women | Men)
|Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX||Durability, Stiff Sole, Excellent Hiking Boot, GoreTex Liner, Style||Break-In Period, Heavy||$230|
(Women | Men)
|Hoka Anacapa Mid GTX||Excellent Comfort, Wonderful Feature Set, Modern Style, Value||Modern Style||$185 (Women | Men)|
|Vivobarefoot Tracker Forest ESC||Durability, Comfortable, Quality, Lightweight||Short Break-In Period, Technical Hiking Boot||$210|
Safari Boot Tips
Keep Your Boots Dry
This is the age-old boot tip, but keep your boots dry and change your socks often. Most people won’t face these challenges on safari. However, keeping dry feet while chimp or gorilla trekking in Uganda, the DRC, and Rwanda will certainly prove to be a challenge. A great pair of socks is always your first line of defense in protecting your feet. Check these out for a good pair.
Leather Care for Safari Boots
If you’re going with some of the more expensive boots on this list like the Red Wings or Chippewas, I suggest taking care of the leather. With boots like these, they can literally last a lifetime if maintained. The soles can be replaced when they eventually wear.
However, the leather must be protected against the elements this is why I use a leather sealant and conditioner. Like Obenaufs, which you can buy it here.
Get the Right Size
It’s a good idea to know the proper sizing of your foot. Measure the length, width, and arch length at home or head into a local store to make sure you have the right sized boot.
Once you get your boots you can double-check the size of your insole by removing it from the shoe and comparing to your foot — you should have a thumb’s width between your longest toes and the end of the insole.
Tips For Traveling Africa
Plan A Safari
Traditionally if you wanted to book a safari you’d have to go to a travel agent and have them book your safari for you. They made suggestions for camps and lodges then presented you with a large bill. Most of the industry still operates in this fashion.
However, Timbuktu is a new platform that allows you to select the lodges you’d like and see the pricing per day that way you can select the best itinerary for yourself. They will then contact the lodges and help you through booking your safari. With experts on staff, they can also provide suggestions and arrange the little details much like a travel agent.
Our Favorite Lodges in Africa
We’ve spent over a year on safari and tried out dozens of lodges and have visited nearly every park in Africa. While it’s impossible to say we’ve visited every lodge we’ve seen a fair amount. Check out our list of favorite lodges in Africa. Have you visited any yourself?
2 thoughts on “The 10 Best Safari Boots For Bush Walks & Adventure”
Does the color of the boot matter when going on bush walks? Generally I’ve read that tsetse flies are attracted to black and blue, but I wanted to see if this impacts footwear too.
Yes, tsetse flies are attracted to blue. I’d probably try to avoid the color, but doubt your safari boot color would matter too much. Also, keep in mind that many regions for safari do not have tsetse flies so it may not matter.