When hunting, the choice of hunting boots plays an important role in determining your performance, comfort, and overall hunting experience in the woods. Among the options available, two options are the popular choices for hunting: leather hunting boots and rubber hunting boots.

Each material has its advantages and considerations making choosing between leather and rubber hunting boots an important one.

In this article, we will look at the features of rubber and leather boots, looking at their advantages against the demands of different hunting conditions and individual needs. Read along as we commence the journey of answering the question: Rubber vs Leather Hunting Boots- Which One is Best for You?

What Kinds Of Boots Do Hunters Wear?

Hunters understand the importance of dependable footwear when walking through different terrains and encountering different weather conditions. The most popular choices among hunters are leather and rubber hunting boots.

Rubber Hunting Boots

Rubber hunting boots are made to offer waterproof protection and insulation. They are made from a vulcanized rubber material that ensures durability and resistance to damage. They mainly feature a neoprene lining for comfort and added insulation.


  • Waterproof: Rubber boots perform well in wet environments protecting your feet from moisture when navigating swamps, marshes, or rainy conditions.
  • Scent control: Rubber boots are great in preventing scent dispersion which prevents hunters from being detected by prey.
  • Easy to clean: You can easily wipe dirt and mud from the rubber boots giving them low maintenance efforts.


  • Limited breathability: Rubber boots are less breathable than leather boots. They are uncomfortable in warm conditions due to sweaty feet.
  • Lack of ankle support: Some rubber boots may lack ample ankle support which can cause discomfort in uneven terrain.

Hunting Scenes And Terrains For Rubber Hunting Boots:

Rubber hunting boots are suitable footwear in swampy and wet areas like waterfowl hunting. And they are also good for hunting activities like early-season deer hunting, swamp hunting and turkey hunting.

Rubber boots have an advantage in scent control compared to some other materials. Rubber is less likely to retain odors, allowing you to minimize your scent footprint while hunting.

Their scent control and waterproof features make them suitable where moisture protection and stealth are important.

Leather Hunting Boots

Hunting boots made from leather are crafted from different types of leather offering flexibility, durability, and breathability. Common types of leather include nubuck, suede, and full-grain leather.


  • Ankle support: Most leather hunting boots are created with ample ankle support enhancing balance and stability on rough terrain.
  • Breathability: As compared to rubber hunting boots, leather boots offer better breathability making them adaptable to different environmental conditions.
  • Durability: Leather is resistant to scratches making the boots last longer.


  • Maintenance: Leather shoes need regular maintenance to maintain their water resistance and suppleness.
  • Water resistance: Despite some leather boots coming with the waterproofed feature they may not be as waterproof as compared to rubber boots. This makes them less suitable for wet environments.

Hunting Scenes And Terrains For Leather Hunting Boots:

Leather hunting boots are suitable for various hunting conditions like dry and moderately wet conditions. They are the best leather hunting boots for upland bird hunting, big game hunting, and hiking in rough terrains where durability and breathability are important.

Rubber vs Leather Hunting Boots Comparison

When selecting the correct hunting boots two options come to mind: rubber and leather. Each material has its advantages and disadvantages and offers different preferences to hunters.

In this section, we will do a comparison between rubber and leather hunting boots across various crucial features.


Rubber boots are popular for their durability. They are resistant to general wear and tear. This makes them a great choice for navigating challenging terrains. They also have reinforced soles that offer protection against sharp objects.

Leather boots are also durable. High-quality full-grain leather is known for its toughness and resistance to wear and tear. However, they may need extra maintenance to make them more durable including regular conditioning and cleaning.


In terms of durability, rubber shoes carry the day, especially in wet and harsh conditions.

Mobility and weight

Rubber hunting boots are heavier than leather hunting boots. This extra weight offers protection and sturdiness, however, it may interfere with movement during long treks.

Leather hunting boots are lighter than rubber hunting boots so they are easier to trek on. They are suitable for hunters who trek quietly and quickly through different terrains.


Leather boots are a great choice for hunters who prefer agility and mobility.

Moisture and waterproofing

Rubber is waterproof, making rubber hunting boots great for muddy and wet environments. They are easy to maintain and clean offering protection from moisture.

Despite leather boots being able to be treated to be water resistant they may not be 100% waterproof as rubber boots. In wet conditions, moisture may seep through leading to wet feet.


For hunters in wet environments, rubber hunting boots have more waterproof capabilities as compared to leather hunting boots.

Foot Support

Rubber hunting boots offer support for the ankle and foot offering stability on rough terrain. The design features a snug fit on the ankles preventing debris from entering the hunting boots. And rubber hunting boots usually have a high shaft design to cover the whole of your calf.

Leather boots offer reinforced ankle support. The level of support, however, depends on the specific style and design of the boot. Normally, leather hunting boots


Both leather and rubber hunting boots offer good support for the foot but the particular fit and design of the boot are important factors.

Material Scent

Rubber boots are scent-free and they can trap odor of your feet. This makes them a good choice for hunters who can focus on stealth and then enable hunters to come near game animals without being noticed. Rubber boots are often preferred by whitetail hunters for their scent control properties.

Leather boots that are sprayed with waterproofing products can have a faint smell. However, the smell is less noticeable as compared to the natural rubber scent. But leather has the potential to absorb and retain odors, especially if not properly cared for and cleaned.


For hunters who do not want scented boots. rubber boots are a preferred option.


Rubber boots are popular due to their comfort thanks to their insulated and cushioned interior. They are easily slipped on and off making them preferred for quick outdoor activities.

Leather boots that feature ergonomic designs and quality padding offer great comfort. However, they have a longer break-in period to adjust to the foot’s shape.


Comfort depends on the hunter’s preference. Both leather and rubber boots can be comfortable if selected based on personal requirements and fit.

The choice between leather or rubber hunting boots depends on the specific requirements of the hunter. Rubber boots are the best in wet environments and leather boots are good for mobility and comfort.

leather hunting boots

How to Choose the Right Hunting Boots?

Hunting is a rewarding and challenging experience that needs proper gear and one of the most important factors is selecting the right pair of hunting boots.

In this section, we will look at the factors that hunters should look for when choosing between leather and rubber hunting boots. And determine which one may be the best option for specific hunting environments.

Here are some important factors to look out for:

Water Resistance

Leather boots are breathable and comfortable. They may, however, not be water-resistant. Some leather hunting boots may be treated to make them water-resistant adding to their protection and comfort. Rubber boots on the other hand are great at keeping the feet dry in wet conditions due to their waterproof feature.


Leather hunting boots are breathable and allow air to circulate keeping the foot cool and dry during warm weather. However, rubber hunting boots may lack this feature making the feet wet due to sweat.


Leather boots are popular because of their durability, especially full-grain leather and nubuck. They are tough for withstanding rough terrain and abrasions. Rubber boots on the other hand might be comfortable and durable but they are great for trekking through marshy vegetation and rough terrain.


Leather boots are heavier as compared to rubber hunting boots making them not a great choice for mobility during longer treks. However, there are lighter leather boots to address this concern. Rubber hunting boots are lighter giving hunters agility and comfort during longer treks.


Leather boots offer some insulation although not warmer than rubber hunting boots in cold weather. There are insulated versions of leather boots that are designed for milder or cold weather. Rubber boots on the other hand come with insulation offering warmth to the feet during the coldest weather. This makes them a good choice for hunting in the winter.

Read more: Non-Insulated Boots vs. Insulated Boots Comprehensive Guide

Best Hunting Boots Recommendations

These are some of the leather hunting boots that we have picked for you:

Danner Pronghorn 8” GTX


The Danner Pronghorn is popular due to its durability and waterproof features thanks to the Gore-Tex lining. It offers great breathability and keeps your feet cool and dry in wet environments. It has a rugged full-grain leather material that offers support and ensures longevity.


  • Great waterproofing capabilities.
  • Strong construction.
  • Very comfortable.
  • Suitable for rough terrains.


  • It is heavier as compared to other lighter leather hunting boots.

Irish Setter 2870 Vaprtrek Hunting Boots


This boot is constructed from leather and synthetic materials. This makes it flexible and lightweight. It has an ultra-dry technology that guarantees waterproofing. The sole’s RPM technology reduces weight while also improving durability.


  • Great waterproofing.
  • Great for long treks.
  • Odor control technology.


  • Not as durable as other leather options.

Kenetrek Mountain Extreme 400 Insulated Boot


These hunting boots are specifically made for extreme conditions. They have Thinsulate insulation of around 400g for warmth. They feature a water-resistant leather upper and excellent traction on the outsole. The boots are highly stable due to their stiffness and offer support in rough terrains.


  • Insulated for warmth in cold weather.
  • Ample ankle support.
  • Durable full-grain leather.
  • Great for rocky and steep terrain.


  • It is very stiff and hence has a longer break-in period.

The following are some of the popular brands of rubber hunting boots that you can choose from:

Kalkal Insulated Camo Hunting Boots


KalKal rubber hunting boots provide extra toughness, anti-slip and 100% waterproof features, along with shock absorption and heat retention properties. They are the best for winter hunting because they have built-in neoprene lining that can withstand temperatures ranging from -30°C to 5°C.


  • 100% waterproof
  • Adaptable use in various climates
  • Slip resistance
  • Shock absorption
  • Arch support


  • May be a lit tight for thick socks

Muck Boot Woody Arctic Winter Hunting boot


These are the one of the popular rubber hunting boots specifically created for hunting in cold conditions. They have a fleece lining and CR Flex-Foam insulation on the inside for maximum warmth. It also features a Vibram Arctic Grip outsole for excellent traction on icy grounds.


  • Comfortable fit
  • Exceptional insulation
  • Great for hunting during winter.
  • Great traction on icy surfaces.


  • May be heavy for some users.

Lacrosse Alphaburly Pro1600g


These boots are made from a blend of neoprene and rubber; are waterproof and very flexible. They have an embossed liner to increase air circulation. The adjustable neoprene gusset gives room for different calf sizes.


  • Great insulation.
  • Adjustable fit.
  • Made from durable material.
  • Waterproof great for wet environments.


  • They can be heavy for some users.

Bogs Classic High Boots.


These boots are fully waterproof and come with a neoprene shaft and rubber upper. These hunting boots feature a 7mm Neo-Tech insulation for optimum warmth. They also have a Max-Wick lining to prevent moisture from entering the boots.


  • Easy to slip on and off
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable for long treks.
  • Performs well in wet and muddy conditions.


  • The traction is not as aggressive as other hunting boot models.


In summary, making a selection between rubber vs leather hunting boots solely depends on your personal preferences and the hunting environment.

If you often find yourself in muddy and wet areas rubber hunting boots might be the best option due to their waterproofing. If you are looking for comfort, durability, and breathability in diverse environments, leather boots could be a better option.

Consider the climate, your hunting duration, and terrain to make an informed choice when buying hunting boots.

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