Schnees Pac Boot Review

Schnees Pac Boot Review: I like traditional boots- boots that I break-in, and boots that can rebuilt and worn for years or decades. In other words I’m Hell Bent For Leather.  Schnee’s of Bozeman Montana knows leather.


Schnees Pac Boot Review

1_Schnee's_GreenI say knee.  You say nay.  The true way to pronounce the name is Sh-nay-s.   I’m not sure that I’ll ever get the hang of that, but Schnee’s has been making born-in-the-USA pac boots for about 30 years.

Boots On The Ground

Pac boots by definition are soft-soled outer boots with an inner boot or bootie.  Schnee’s  pac boots  will always be compared to the L.L. Bean rubber bottom/leather top Maine Hunting shoes or Bean boots.   So what’s the difference?  I’ve owned both and both are good boots but I would describe Schnee’s as a beefed up version.  Schnee’s builds their old world values into each boot.  They’re made with a thick 6-1/2 ounce cut of full-grain oil tanned leather uppers that are vulcanized to the rubber bottoms.  They all come with tongue protectors, taslan laces, and sturdy brass lacing studs.

They Got Sole

Schnee’s pacs are offered in two sole options:  the standard tire-tread bottom or the more aggressive Advantage (ADV) bob sole.

I’ve used both and prefer the tire tread for hiking and treestand hunting in the ridges and mountains of Pennsylvania.   Some guys swear that tire tread-type soles are slippery.  I’ve not found that to be the case but the ADV tread definitely holds an advantage in  mud or conditions where loose rock exists.  I found that the air bob sole sometimes snagged on the metal platform of my Lone Wolf treestand and created noise.  Nine out of ten wives surveyed also prefer the tire tread simply because they track less mud into the house.  Schnee’s bottoms are made by vulcanizing layers of hand laid rubber- the same way tires are made- and they are extremely durable.  The bottoms are then triple stitched to the leather uppers.

Nine out of ten wives surveyed also prefer the tire tread simply because they track less mud into the house.


I extensively tested two pairs of Schnee’s pacs:  the 10″ uninsulated Guide boot as well as the insulated #10 Outfitter model.  The Guide is my go-to boot for spring turkey season, upland hunting, and kicking around at the cabin.  I slip on the Outfitter for sedentary hunting or anytime I know it will be 35° or below.

Guide Boot

Schnee's Guide bootThe Guide boot is lightweight and although it gets better with age, they can be worn in comfort Strait Out Of The Box.  My 10″ size 8’s come in at 3lb 7oz laces and all.  For awhile I was trading back and forth between my Guide boots and a pair of Filson Uplanders for bird hunting, but the past two seasons the 4lb 10oz. Filson’s have taken a back seat to the Guide boot.  Nothing against the Uplander, it’s a great boot, but there are two reasons why the Guide boot is winning my vote for covering miles in the cover:  they’re waterproof and they’re light.  Regarding the subject of water:  I once wore a pair of Guide’s while hunting woodcock in the swamps of Maryland and virtually waded in them for the better part of a day and my feet remained dry.  I also wear the Guide boot for early season bow hunting.  The rubber bottoms help to keep scent off the ground.

Outfitter Boot

Schnee's Outfitter BootI got the Outfitters to stay warm.  I’d grown tired of putting up with cold feet during deer season and ponied up for what I thought was the best investment I could make in a cold weather boot.   The Outfitters keep my feet warm.   However, due to the thick wool liner, the Outfitter requires a significant amount of break-in before it becomes a comfortable walking boot.  I had mine for a good two seasons before they started to feel at home on my size 8 feet.  Naturally, the Outfitter is a heavier boot.  My 10″ size 8 boots come in at 4lb 12 oz. on the postal scale.  From Schnee’s web site, here’s the skinny on the liners:

 Schnee removable combination liners are quilted layers of Cambrelle nylon that wicks perspiration and improves durability, 400 gram Thinsulate™ insulation for significant warmth without the bulk of a normal pac style boot, and finally 3mm of wool felt on the outside of the liner adds comfort and insulates even when damp with perspiration.Schnees s boot liner


These boots are completely rebuildable.  My first pair of Guide’s have been rebuilt twice now and just about ready for a third go around.  My Outfitters have been around for about 6 seasons now and aren’t even close to needing rebuilt.  What I liked best about Schnee’s rebuild service is that they actually seemed to look forward to accepting my boots back for another visit.  They even took a moment to call me and suggest some free improvements and returned the boots to me in an unreasonably fast turnaround time.

Getting Sappy

Montana Pitch Blend 52oz TubI got me a tub of Montana Pitch Blend and use it liberally on my pacs.  It’s what they use at the factory.  Each summer I wait for a stinking hot sunny day to treat my Schnee’s.   After washing the leather uppers with saddle soap and allowing them to dry, I apply as much Pitch Blend as I can and continue to reapply as each coat is absorbed.  I’ve found that this works way better than using a hairdryer or the warm oven method.  Using this procedure I’ve found that they only need to be treated once or twice a year.Waterproof Schees Boot


As I mentioned earlier, the 10″ Guide is my favorite all around boot but someday I’ve got to try the sexy 16 inchers.  Imagine the trouble I could get into in a pair of these bad boys!

SCC-205_16-inch--BrownClick here to visit Schnee’s website.

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