Rubber vs Leather Hunting Boots! How Are They Different?

When it comes to hunting, the first thing you want is a comfortable pair of hunting shoes. Usually, there is an ongoing debate between rubber vs leather hunting boots, but in reality, it really depends on your preferences and what type of boots your terrain would suit the most.

If you are having a hard time figuring out which boots would match your preference, keep reading. We have listed out all major features you need to have in your hunting boots and how are they layered in both rubber and leather hunting boots.

Rubber vs Leather Hunting Boots: Feature-by-Feature Difference

In general, hunting boots are of two types. First comes the field boots, which are made of leather, nylon, or mesh, and secondly, the rubber boots. Both the boots have some unique qualities qualifying them as hunting boots.

But if you are looking for good features in a hunting boot, they should have a proper balance between insulation and durability.

Let us dig more into the difference of rubber and leather hunting boots. Learning about their features would give you a better understanding of which one of these suits your preferences the most.

Scent Control

Firstly, comes scent control. Animals out in the wild have a great sense of smell. So, you would definitely want your boots to be scent-free. Rubber boots are usually scent-free.

Although they give out a weird smell of rubber it makes sure that you are scent-free. Rubber boots are impermeable to air. So, they keep all scents well-controlled.

Coming back to leather boots, they tend to hold the scents much more than the rubber boots. So, you might have to wash it regularly and not wear it to places other than hunting if you want it to control the scents.

Boot Insulation

Another way to test your hunting shoes is their breathability. You would definitely want to wear something with great insulation while hunting. It really depends on the weather sometimes though.

The rubber boots usually have less insulation power than leather boots. Leather boots would keep your feet warm in cold weather and cool in hot weather. But as rubber boots are airtight, they might feel a little uncomfortable in unfavorable weather.

Traction and Grip

Your hunting boots must have good traction soles and gripping capability in case you have slippery areas or mushy areas inside your hunting terrain.

Leather boots serve the best in case you are looking for a pair of boots to support you with grip on slippery areas or hilly areas with many ridges. Leather boots have good traction soles both inside and outside of them.

It wouldn’t be right if you say rubber boots don’t have the gripping ability at all. It does a good job, but you might find it not worth it in hilly areas, it would work best in swamp areas the most. Otherwise, leather boots are your go-to buddies.

Boot Height and Ankle Support

Hunting boots should have a good height to keep your feet away from muds or damps or even thorns and pebbles sometimes. Great ankle support adds in to make sure you don’t sprain your ankle by stepping suddenly into the sloppy or uneven ground.

In the case of boot height, both rubber boots and leather boots have the perfect height a hunter demands. It also depends on the models of the leather boots to judge the heights as they come in different heights with different models.

In the case of ankle supports, rubber boots usually don’t have concrete ankle support inside of them. Rubber boots provide less ankle support compared to leather boots. If you are hunting in any hilly area or highlands, the grounds would definitely be uneven and filled with ridges. So, you would definitely want great ankle support for you.


Your hunting boots should be waterproof in order to prevent your feet from getting wet and damp. This might cause you skin problems as well. You need waterproof boots, especially in swamp areas.

Rubber boots are more dependable to be waterproof than leather boots. Leather boots may get damp, and your feet might get wet.

This happens because leather boots are breathable. It works well on drylands. But in swamp areas, you would definitely prefer more waterproof rubber boots.

Which Boot Is Better?

It really depends on which terrain you are hunting and your activities around it to choose the perfect pair of hunting boots. There are different kinds of rubber boots and leather boots available for hunting. So, you need to figure out which one would suit your preferences for hunting as a hunting boot.

Firstly comes the type of terrain you are hunting in. If you are going for highlands, hilly or mountainous areas for hunting, where there are uneven tracks and so many ridges, leather boots would definitely be a better option for you than rubber boots.

Because they have more grip and traction abilities than the rubber boots, they also provide great ankle support for which you won’t hurt yourself most likely.

Again, in wetlands or swampy areas where you are likely to get wet easily, you should take rubber boots. They are more waterproof, and they also are scent-free. Leather boots are most likely to get damp around these areas and won’t work as efficiently as rubber boots.

Again, the leather boots have a range of models that rubber boots don’t have. If you are concerned about your looks, you should go through the different models available and choose one from them.

In the end, it is your choices and preferences according to which you would choose the boots and find which one is a better fit for you.


The rubber vs leather hunting boots debate would go on for years. But through judging them feature by feature, you can choose the better option for you. So, find out your preferences and match them with the features we told you about.

We are OutdoorLoops , a group of outdoor enthusiasts who love the thrill of the hunt. We believe in preserving our natural resources and we enjoy spending time outdoors with family and friends. We are passionate about the outdoors and the experience of hunting. Our goal is to provide an enjoyable and educational hunting experience for our guests.

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