What are the Best Rubber Hunting Boots – The Hunter’s Guide 2021 (Updated)
Anyone who has spent days, for example, stalking buck in a swamp understands the importance of rubber hunting boots. They are one of the most overlooked aspects when people prepare for their first hunting trip, but trust me, don't skimp on them.
The best rubber hunting boots do a better job than anything to make your feet dry and cool while you're laying low in swamps, marshes, or creeks. They're totally watertight and scent-free, which could make the difference between a successful hunt and one where you go back to your car shivering.
The choices on the market could be a little overwhelming, so here are some suggestions if you plan to buy your first pair of rubbing hunting boots
Quick Comparison: Best Rubber Hunting Boots
# 1 -Bogs Men's Classic High Camo Winter Snow Boot- (Insulated Rubber Hunting Boots)
These knee-high winter boots are great for late season hunting. They’re made entirely of high-quality rubber and have quite a bit of insulation to keep your feet warm while you’re on your hunting trip.
- Neoprene Upper- With a neoprene upper, your whole calf will be able to stay warm during your trip.
- Hybrid Sole- The sole of these boots is somewhere between a traditional sole and a knobby one, so they won’t pick up a bunch of mud but will still keep your footing sure over rough terrain.
- Internal Shank- The internal shank offers a significant additional support to keep your ankles safe
- Amazingly Comfortable- These boots obviously have the user’s comfort in mind, and are great for those trips where you’ll be wearing them for extended periods of time.
- Inaccurate Temperature Rating- While the company claims these boots are good for down to -40°F, the experiences of many have proven this not to be true. They’re suitable for anything above 0°F though
- Shiny- These boots have a bit of extra shine to them, which can give you away if you’re not careful. It wears off with time, but the glossy material isn’t perfect right out of the box.
These are a great boots for cold weather hunting in most temperatures, and if you’re not a big fan of woolen socks you might find that you don’t even need them as long as you aren’t below 0°F in most cases.
For the hunter who’s going to be in rough terrain during the cold months, these boots are a godsend. They’re not really suitable for wading, but they’re sure to keep your feet warm and dry as long as you don’t go plunging into streams.
- Coated Neoprene Upper- The entire upper of these boots is made of neoprene, which will keep you warm on those cold mornings in the woods or bog and keeps them quite waterproof while still being breathable.
- Moisture Wicking Lining- If you wear these in warmer weather, the liner will help to move sweat away from your feet and keep them comfortably dry from inside out.
- Tradition Treads- The treads here are of the more traditional boot type, which will help you to distribute weight more evenly in the snow.
- Troublesome Seams- The seams on these boots are prone to falling apart, and it can be a bit of a gamble as to when they give out.
- Tight in the Calves- If you have particularly big calves, you’ll probably want to look elsewhere since they can be a bit tight in that area.
Overall, these are a solid winter hunting boots. However,if you’re out frequently, you may want to look elsewhere due to the problematic nature of the connection between the lower and the sole.
The Alphaburly Pro is one of the most trusted hunting boots ever developed, and for good reason. They’re simply some of the best around, regardless of what type of hunting you’re looking at doing.
- Extremely Rugged Design- These might be one of the last pairs of cold weather boots you’ll ever have to buy. The entire shoe is engineered for rough and tumble applications
- Leather/Neoprene Upper- Combining the best of comfort, warmth, and durability these boots use high-quality materials to deliver high-quality results. The leather comes pre-waterproofed as well
- Lugged Outsole- The boots don’t only protect the soles of your feet and your toes like most, but also offer great protection for your entire foot with a unique sole design made of tough rubber.
- Price-They may be some of the best, but LaCrosse knows it and charges accordingly –these boots are definitely on the high side price-wise
- Tight Around the Ankles- If you have particularly large ankles, you may need to order a size bigger than you normally would since these boots are designed to fit quite snugly.
These boots are almost in their own class when it comes to durability and utility, but the price reflects it. If you have the money, however, they’re some of the best around.
MuckBoots have been around for a long time, and they still make some of the best hunting boots around. These ones are knee-high and sure to keep your feet dry no matter what the weather conditions are.
- 100% Waterproof- The whole boot is impermeable to water, and virtually guaranteed to keep your foot dry no matter what task you might be using them for
- Lightweight- Thanks to the rubber and nylon construction, this footwear will allow you to keep moving all day without weighing you down.
- Unique Rim- The rim of these boots sticks out a bit from the sole, while it may look a bit awkward it will easily allow you to get them off without getting your hands muddy at the end of the day.
- Single Color- While camouflage isn’t necessarily needed while hunting, it can make your boots stand out a bit more –the prey might notice that.
- Not Suited for Big Feet- Unfortunately, due to the flexible nature of the boot, if you have to squeeze your foot in they’ll likely hit a bunch of pressure points.
Overall, these are a solid winter hunting boots. If you’re out frequently, you may want to look elsewhere due to the problematic nature of the connection between the lower part and the sole.
If you’re after waterfowl, these are the boots for you, particularly if you don’t wantto bother with waders in your favorite spot. They’re 100% waterproof and a worthy addition to MuckBoots line-up of outdoor footwear.
- Self-Cleaning Soles- The unique design of the soles means that most mud will fall off of them without you having to do any additional work.
- Extremely Durable- Not just for hunting, some people have worked in these shoes for years and are still on their original pair
- Works in a Wide Range of Temperatures- These boots will work from fall into the warmer months in most climates. Those who own them can attest that they’re not too hot to wear even into the low 80’s.
- Not for Frigid Temperatures- These boots really aren’t for you if you’re going to be hunting in temperature ranges under 20°F or so.
- Tread Lacks Grip- The unique treads aren’t exactly suited well for scrambling over wet rocks or walking on ice without taking a ton of extra care.
Despite their drawbacks,these are the perfect mid-season boots for waterfowl. They’re not the best winter boots, but in most areas, they’re perfect for the rest of the year.
How The Choose Rubber Hunting Boots
Choosing the right pair of rubber hunting boots ultimately comes down to your wants and needs.
The features required depend a lot on where you hunt. Spend your time in upland rattlesnake country? Your best friend will be rubber boots that can withstand snake bites. But if you're going after wild animals on a marsh blind, waterproofing should be your first concern.
Here is a short primer of important factors you should pay close attention to while picking out rubber hunting boots. And curiously enough, many of them are closely tied together.
Most manufacturers use vulcanized rubber for their best rubber hunting boots. The vulcanizing process applies a lot of sulphur and heat to the rubber, linking the polymer molecules together via sulfur “bridges.” The result of this chemical process is springy rubber that is more durable and harder.
Finding the perfect fit should always have the top priority. There's nothing more frustrating than hunting in boots that are too large or too small.
The best way to test the fit is to bring the socks you intend to use on your planned trip. Try them with your actual hunting socks on because your casual socks could lead to a wrong judgment. You're going to hunt with wool socks and liner socks, which have a day-and-night difference compared to your everyday ones.
You should do this late in the day when your feet are swollen the most. The rubber hunting boots you try on should fit snug around your ankles and instep and have some room for your toes to wiggle.
Too small boots could cut off circulation and pinch your feet. On the other hand, they could feel your feet sliding inside the boots when they're too wide. Walk around a bit with the boots on. Try walking up and down the stairs or other inclined surfaces.
Rubber boots are usually snugger than footwear of other types, so consider the ones at least half a size bigger than what you usually wear.
If no available size can offer a perfect fit, get the pair that is slightly larger than your feet and wear thick socks as a workaround. That should be comfortable enough.
Wet socks are hunters' enemy number one in those situations and are a common reason hunters end their hunting trips early. And hunting involves some degree of moisture most of the time, even if you don't plan to harvest swamp bucks.
Regardless of the game and terrain, you're going to be exposed to moisture. It could be a misty early morning when you start your hunt and walk through grass heavily laden with dew.
Your unprotected boots could quickly soak in enough water and send you back to your cabin with wet feet.
As you already pick rubber boots, I can safely assume that you need a pair of hunting boots that can help your feet survive in wet conditions.
Luckily, quality rubber boots can help you focus on your hunt by keeping your feet comfortable and dry the whole day while hunting waterfowl, for instance. This material alone will suffice for the purpose without using Gore-Tex - the most popular waterproofing solution for hiking or rain boots.
It's usually overlooked by many people. But unless you want deers to easily notice you far away, make sure your boots don't absorb your scent.
Rubber boots usually do a good job at this, at least much better than nylon and leather models. The best hunting boots shouldn’t send any smells through the air, ensuring you can stay undetected while approaching the games.
It'd be simpler for all of us if we could just buy a single pair of hunting boots and use them for the whole year. But the differences in weather throughout the hunting season don't allow that.
For the cold days, you should swap in insulated boots to keep your feet warm. But wearing them in the early season is just unnecessary and can make your trips miserable.
Plan your purchase according to the time of the year you're going to hunt. Don't be cheap and keep using one pair for different weathers - it's not worth it.
Insulation of a pair of boots plays the biggest role in whether you have proper warmth.
The first consideration comes down to, again, which kind of hunting you plan to do. Your intended activity determines the degree of warmth, and therefore insulation, you need to maintain proper comfort.
When there is minimal physical activity, such as sitting on a treestand on a freezing day or in a duck blind, more insulation is required.
But if you plan to stalk elk, walk up pheasants, or plan a trip for deer hunting or duck hunting, your body will witness a great level of blood circulation due to your feet moving constantly. You will generate a lot of heat yourself without relying on much insulation from your hunting boots.
Overall, the rule of thumb is opting for insulated boots if you mostly sit at one place and going for high insulation if your game requires you to move a lot.
Keep in mind that each person has a different internal thermostat. Understanding the tendency of your own body (whether you have cold or hot feet, for example) is extremely important.
You could check out the insulation level incorporated into a pair of hunting boots by looking at its insulation-rating factor. This measurement is listed in grams, indicating the grams of insulation per square meter of the boots' fabric. The most heavily insulated rubber boots usually have a rating of 2000 grams.
The Thinsulate technology from 3M is one of the most popular insulation choices among premium hunting boots. It can maintain a good level of warmth without making your boots heavy and bulky.
While all regular shoes and boots can be anywhere between stiff and soft-soled, rubber hunting boots are either stiff or mid-stiff.
Manufacturers control this stiffness by using a shank - a piece of hard material inserted into the midsole of the boots. The shank is located between the footbed and the outer sole, controlling how much the boot can flex.
A soft shank is more suited for running shoes, for example, which people use to run around without a huge weight on their back. But it's useless on hunting, where the situation is completely different.
Stiff-shanked hunting boots allow us to walk through uneven terrains during long-haul hunts. A soft midsole makes your feet fatigue quicker as they can flex more.
There are many hunts beginning to use softer midsole boots, but stiff models are still the best default choice for you.
A shovel guard, basically a rubber strip attached to the bottom arch, could provide more protection while climbing and digging.
Heel kickers are another popular extra for hunting boots. Made of hard rubber, they extend behind the heel and could help you get the boots on and off easily. Side gussets and side-entry zippers are other features that could make removal easier.
Construction and industrial boots are the most common use of steel toes. But they're a good choice too if you don't want to drop heavy firewood on your feet.
In areas where snakes tend to live, it's safer to use snake boots. It can give you peace of mind when you tromp around snake country after your hunt.
Lined with dense non-woven and another layer of rubber, these hunting boots can protect you from fangs and other sharp objects.
Snake boots are not popular in the midwest, but they're a must for hunters in many southern states like Florida and Texas.
Tips On Using Rubber Hunting Boots
Avoid storing them at a hot place
When not in use, you should properly store your rubber boots in a dry, cool location, so the rubber and bonding don't suffer deterioration due to heat.
Use quality socks
Don't forget about your hunting socks. A good pair with great moisture-absorbing ability can help your feet stay dry and allow their skin to breathe by wicking away moisture.
Break in your new boots first
Allow for some break-in time, which means you should not take a new pair with you in a weeklong hunt immediately. Stiff rubber boots getting thrown into harsh conditions too soon only spells trouble, even for the best rubber hunting boots.
The boots' construction determines their required break-in time. Models with more support typically need a longer period. After the break-in time, your boots will become more flexible and comfortable.
When you're in the market to find the best rubber hunting boots, pay attention to your needs first. What terrain will you be hunting on? What do you need more, insulation or small weight on the feet?
This isn't a small purchase, so choose wisely with the help of our rubber hunting boots review above. Huntings boots usually don't have as much attention as other equipment like your rifle or knife, but they can make or break your hunt if you have a low-quality pair in extreme weather.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is rubber a good choice for hunting boots?
Rubber is an amazing material for hunting boots. It's totally watertight and can prevent wild animals from detecting you through smells. Rubber boots can also absorb a great deal of shock and reduce the impacts applied to your ankles and feet.
Can I hunt in the snow with rubber boots?
Totally. As rubber boots are waterproof, they can make your feet comfortable even if the snow starts to melt around you.
Remember that insulation with rubber is already the go-choice for hunting boots made of other materials during the winter. So there is no doubt that a pair of rubber hunting boots can thrive during this extreme weather as well.
How can I know my rubber boots are completely waterproof?
Hunting boots made of 100% rubber are waterproof - the property they inherit from the material itself. You can also feel it from the inside. Waterproof footwear is usually more cushioned and has a thick lining.
Which are the most durable rubber hunting boots?
If you want my opinion, vulcanized rubber should be your choice on rough terrain. You can find this material on premium series of hunting boots, thanks to the durability it has after an extensive chemical treatment process.
Should I just purchase a cheap pair instead?
The choice is up to you, but if I must save, you can only get what you pay for. Top-class hunting boots are going to cost you a lot of money, but there are still affordable pairs that provide decent value as well. Avoid dirty cheap boots, however, as they will bring more trouble for you during your hunt.
How can I select good hunting boots? What are the best rubber hunting boots?
Good boots for hunting should have a comfortable fit in which you don't slip while walking. Beyond this standard, they could improve other aspects of the boots, such as a wider range of available insulation or enhanced traction with improved rubber outsoles.
Manufacturers go further with their top-class product lines and focus on technical sides like performance and construction.
A premium pair of hunting boots could come with neoprene lining for increased warmth, EVA midsoles, or wool felt insoles for more insulation during the winter. Many of them are also equipped with technologies commonly found in running shoes to provide more support and cushion.