Rubber vs. Lace-Up Hunting Boots

Are you an experienced hunter looking for the best option in hunting boots? Between rubber and lace-up styles there are a lot of factors to consider. Comfort, durability, affordability, and features should all be taken into account when deciding which type is right for you.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the differences between these two types of hunting boots to help you make the most informed decision possible!

Rubber vs. Lace-Up Hunting Boots


The biggest factor that sets rubber and lace-up hunting boots apart is the material they are made from. Rubber hunting boots are typically made of waterproof rubber or neoprene. This makes them great for keeping your feet dry in wet conditions, such as hunting in swamps, marshes, or rainy weather.

Lace-up boots can be made from a variety of materials, such as leather, synthetic fabrics, and combinations of both. The choice of material affects the waterproofing capabilities of these boots – for example, leather is not necessarily waterproof on its own but can have a treated coating added to it that provides water protection.


Regardless of material, rubber boots are inherently waterproof. This makes them a great choice for hunting in wet environments.

Lace-up boots can vary in terms of their waterproofing capabilities depending on the brand and model. Some feature breathable waterproof membranes (e.g., Gore-Tex) to keep your feet dry, while others might require additional treatments or coatings to provide the same level of protection.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Cleaning and maintaining your hunting boots is an essential part of extending their lifespan. Rubber boots can generally be wiped down with a damp cloth and some mild soap, after which they should be allowed to air dry.

Leather lace-up boots require more detailed cleaning and maintenance, such as brushing off dirt and mud after each wear, using leather conditioner regularly, and waterproofing the leather with a wax or conditioning treatment.

Comfort & Durability

Comfort and durability are also important factors to consider when choosing the right hunting boot. Rubber boots may not offer as much breathability as lace-up boots, which can make your feet feel sweaty and uncomfortable in warmer conditions. They also tend to be less flexible than their lace-up counterparts.

Lace-up boots often provide more breathability and comfort for long hunts or walks while still offering the adjustable fit that comes with laces. In addition, leather and other materials used in lace-up boots can provide more durability than rubber and may last longer in certain environments.


Another factor to consider when choosing between rubber and lace-up hunting boots is their weight. Rubber boots tend to be heavier than lace-up boots, which can make a difference if you need to cover long distances on foot. On the other hand, lightweight lace-up boots designed for hiking or more active hunting styles might provide a better fit for those who want to stay light on their feet.


Finally, the traction provided by different types of boots should be taken into account. Rubber boots usually have good traction, especially in muddy or slippery conditions. The outsoles are designed to provide stability on wet surfaces.

Lace-up boots come in various sole designs, so the traction can vary. Some lace-up boots are equipped with aggressive treads for better grip on rough terrain. It’s important to take note of the specific traction characteristics as you compare different boots.


When it comes to cost, rubber boots are often more affordable when compared to high-end lace-up hunting boots. However, if you need a boot that offers additional features and comfort, investing in a higher-quality lace-up style may be the better option for you.

Choosing Between Rubber and Lace-Up Hunting Boots

When choosing between rubber and lace-up hunting boots, it’s important to consider how you’ll use them. If you hunt in wet or muddy environments, such as wetlands, swamps, or areas with heavy rain and snowfall, then rubber boots are a great option. They offer good waterproofing and long-lasting durability.

Hunting environment and terrain

On the other hand, if you hunt on rocky or hilly terrain, then lace-up hunting boots might be a better choice. The traction and flexibility they provide can make it easier to traverse difficult terrain.

Weather conditions

You should also take into consideration the weather conditions that you will typically encounter while hunting. If you often find yourself in cold and snowy conditions, then rubber boots can provide the extra insulation and waterproof protection you need. In contrast, leather lace-up boots can be a good choice for hunts in hot and dry environments.

Personal preferences and hunting style

Finally, it’s important to think about your own personal preference and hunting style. If you prefer silent movement with minimal equipment, then rubber boots might be the lighter and more comfortable choice. In contrast, if you need a boot that provides more support and comfort during long treks on foot, then a lace-up style could be the better option.

Maintenance and Care

Regardless of the type of hunting boot you choose, taking care of them is important for extending their lifespan. Rubber boots should be wiped down with a damp cloth and stored in a cool, dry place to prevent mold and odor buildup.

Leather lace-up boots need to be brushed off after each hunt and treated with leather conditioner or waterproofing wax regularly to keep them in good condition. Additionally, all hunting boots should be regularly inspected for signs of damage so that any necessary repairs can be done promptly.

Ultimately, the best boot for your needs will depend on your specific hunting environment and style. It’s important to research different types of boots and consider all factors before making a purchase. With proper maintenance and care, your hunting boots can provide years of reliable protection and performance.


Do rubber boots provide warmth for hunting?

Yes, rubber boots are great at keeping your feet warm in cold and wet conditions. They tend to be more insulated than lace-up boots, making them a good choice for hunting in cold environments.

What is the best way to care for leather lace-up hunting boots?

The best way to care for leather lace-up hunting boots is to brush off dirt and mud after each use, apply leather conditioner regularly, and waterproof the leather with wax or conditioning treatment. It’s also important to inspect your boots regularly for signs of damage and make necessary repairs promptly.

Do rubber boots provide good traction on rocky terrain?

Rubber boots usually have good traction, but they are not designed for rocky terrain. If you need a boot that provides better grip and flexibility on rough terrain, then a lace-up style might be a better option.

Are rubber boots more affordable than lace-up hunting boots?

Yes, in general, rubber boots tend to be more affordable when compared to high-end lace-up hunting boots. However, if you need a boot that offers additional features and comfort, then investing in a higher-quality lace-up style might be the better option.

Are lace-up hunting boots suitable for wet environments?

Yes, although some types of leather can become damaged when exposed to water over long periods, most lace-up hunting boots are designed to be waterproof and provide good protection in wet environments. However, rubber boots tend to be more durable and better at keeping your feet dry in wet conditions.

What is the average lifespan of rubber hunting boots?

With proper care and maintenance, rubber hunting boots can last for several years. They are usually more durable than lace-up styles, making them a good option if you need an all-weather boot that will stand up to long-term use in the field.

Are rubber hunting boots supposed to be tight or loose-fitting?

Rubber hunting boots should fit snugly, but not so tight that they restrict your movement. If the boot is too loose, it can cause blisters or chafing. It’s best to try on a few different sizes and styles to find the right fit for you.

Should you go up a size in rubber boots?

No, you should not go up a size in rubber boots. Rubber boots tend to stretch slightly as they conform to your foot shape over time, so it’s best to get one that fits snugly right away. If it’s too loose when you buy it, then it may become uncomfortably large after a few uses.


Photo of author
Leo Massy
Leo Massy, the hunting boots expert, seasoned hunter, and owner of the Hunting Boots Store located at 1460 West Franklin Street, Dothan, Alabama. With a deep love for the outdoors and a wealth of knowledge in hunting boots, Leo is the go-to resource for hunters of all levels.
Leave a Comment