The Best Rubber Hunting Boots for Keeping Dry in the Rain, Mud, and Muck
We’re always surprised more hunters don’t use rubber hunting boots. They offer some real advantages over traditional hunting boots, and while they’re not perfect for every situation and environment, they’re a lot more versatile than people imagine.
So, in the post below, we’ll take a deep dive into rubber hunting boots. We’ll talk about our picks for the best rubber hunting boots, why they may be a good option, and things you want to keep in mind when you're selecting a pair. We've looked at quite a few models (and you'd be surprised how many boots are out there!), and these are the ones we like the most. Let’s jump in, feet first:
The Best Rubber Boots for Hunting: Our Reviews
Here are our picks; we’ll get into the nitty-gritty details below:
- The LaCrosse Men’s Grange 18” Hunting Boot: an old-school, "classic"-style waterproof boot, good for shorter pre-hunt hikes;
- The Muck Wetland Rubber Premium Field Boots: a walkable, breathable, all-weather pick, and particularly good for warmer climates;
- The Muck Boots Arctic Ice Extreme Rubber Men's Winter Boot: our top pick for very cold-weather—great for hiking and hunting in the ice and snow;
- The Lacrosse Men's 4X Alpha Snake Boot: there aren't too many all-rubber snake boots out there, and these are good in a wide range of climes (including colder ones); and
- The Muck Boot Woody Max Rubber Insulated Men's Hunting Boot: our pick for best rubber hunting boot overall: fleece-lined for comfort, designed for a broad range of temperatures, and molded for easy walking.
In the following sections, we’ll provides specific details about the pros and cons of each boot. We’ll start with…
LaCrosse Men’s Grange 18” Hunting Boot
Summary: A great option for early- to mid-season hunting
The LaCrosse Men’s Grange 18” Hunting Boot are our "entry-level" pick, but they've got all the basics we look for in a rubber hunting boot:
- They're 100% rubber with a rubber sole, and most importantly, they're designed to be waterproof;
- They feature a molded foot designed for easy steppin'—older models used to have a flat foot, and they were very difficult to maneuver, so that curve in the toe can be very helpful;
- At 18 inches tall, they provide plenty of protection—in fact, that height makes the Grange stand out among its peers: there seem to be a lot of options that are 16 or 17 inches, even among the fancier high-end version, so that 18-inch height is really nice to see; and
- Most important is the rubber itself: it's scent-free, so it won't alert game to your presence (although you'll also need to take care of the scent on your skin and on your clothes, of course!).
These aren't the most insulated thing in the world, so if you're doing some cold-weather hunting / hiking, you may want to wear some thick thermal and/or wool socks, or opt for another set of boots. They've also got some yellow trim at the top, so you may want to cover that up, depending on the game you're hunting. Also, they're manufactured in green—it would be nice to see a camo option, and we don't know why all hunting boots aren't made in camo; it seems like the boot people think they'll have better luck selling green boots, than camo ones—but it's better than black or brown (or any other color).
LaCrosse has been making these since 1957—that's more than 60 years of boot-making—and we think they're a great, reliable option that's a good pick for early- to mid-season hunts.
The Muck Wetland Rubber Premium Field Boots
Summary: A great all-weather pick, including warmer climes
The Muck Wetland Rubber Premium Field Boots, are, in our opinion, a great all-weather pick. They have a cool-weather comfort rating from -20 F (-28 C) to 50 F (10 C), and that's about the range many hunters will experience during a season, but if you're in a state where you have warm-weather hunting seasons, they may also be a good pick—the boots themselves fold down, and they're designed to keep you cool in temperatures up to 70 F, as per the manufacturer's marketing materials. They're a little bulky when they're rolled down, but we can't really fault them for that—that material has to go somewhere.
So that's what we consider the main strength of the Muck Wetland, but we think they've also got a lot else going for them:
- They're rubber (and include neoprene), and designed to be 100% waterproof;
- They've got aggressive tread—on a lot of boots, most of the tread faces inward, instead of outward, and that translates to a LOT of mud getting stuck on the bottom of your feet. On the Muck Wetland, the tread is a little more sparse, and faces outward—designed to let muck and mud fall off of the bottom of your shoe, instead of getting stuck in the crevices; and
- They're made with Breathable Airmesh Lining. The lining is designed to wick moisture (usually sweat) from the inside of the boot to the outside, and that, in our humble opinion, is one of the most magical processes in all of outdoor equipment (and you can read about the magic of wicking here).
The mesh material isn't perfect—the part that breathes, to cool you down a bit—is fabric, and that means it can get chewed up if you plan on trekking through some thick brush that might have thorns or broken twigs or branches the fabric could get snagged on. It's not overly delicate, but it's possible that it could tear a little bit if you get caught on some extremely sharp.
We think these are another great all-around rubber hunting boot for many hunters, and a great option if you'll be hunting in southern states where the hunting season isn't always (so darn) cold.
The Muck Boots Arctic Ice Extreme Rubber Men's Winter Boot
Summary: Our pick for best cold weather, snow + ice boot, great for ice fishing and hiking over icy trails
We just talked about a boot that can double as a cold weather/warm weather option, so now let's talk about a cooooool weather option: the Muck Boots Arctic Ice Extreme Rubber Men's Winter Boot. The Muck Boots Arctic Ice are 100% waterproof and designed for very, very cold weather, ranging from -60 F (-50 C) to 30 F (-1 C), and that's getting pretty cold. If you're planning on hoofing around in -60 F weather, that's pretty impressive, and we should probably be reading your insights about boots, instead of the other way around.
The design on the Arctics are not what you'd usually see on a rubber hunting boot, and that's because they need a lot of features specifically for freezing weather and snow, including:
- Extra-thick neoprene. We mentioned neoprene in a previous review—it's a rubber used in a lot of protective clothing, because it can waterproof capability, while also remaining flexible, over a wide range of temperatures. That's why you see it so frequently in waterproof items (and even aquatic gear). The Arctic Ice boots feature 8mm of neoprene, which is on the thick side—it seems like 5mm of neoprene is something of an industry standard, so that extra 3mm can provide a lot of extra thickness and heat retention;
- The Vibram Arctic Grip. Vibram got a LOT of press a few years back, but they've actually been around since 1937, and even though they offer a wide range of outdoor equipment, they focus a lot of their efforts on designing footwear with grip capabilities. The Vibram Arctic Grip is designed to deliver grip on wet ice without the use of metal teeth or claws, and it can be a great thing when dealing with ice, snow, and slush; and finally
- This is one of the few boots that we've seen that natural taper upward at the top, so you don't have to fiddle around with a top-of-the-boot strap to ensure nothing jumps into your boot—that's a nice design feature, because if you're a little OCD, those straps can drive you nuts.
As for the design elements, there a few decisions on the Arctic Ice that make them unique:
- The fabric on this boot is a little higher than it is on other models, and we imagine that's by design, too—it provides a little more support at the ankle, and captures a little more heat than if they were set lower;
- They're fleece-lined for comfort, and that's a huuuuuge advance over older models, which focused on heat retention—and didn't really care about keeping you comfortable; and
- The point at the toe is tipped upward a little bit, making it easier to stride forward. That's a nice little detail, especially for a cold-weather boot.
These are not a great fit for when the temperature rises—not a "whatever-nature-throws-at-you" boot—they're specifically for cold weather, and they get our vote for best cold-weather rubber hunting boot.
The Lacrosse Men's 4X Alpha Snake Boot
Summary: Our pick for best rubber snake boot
Snake boots are a little bit different than regular hunting boots, but we wanted to include a pair in our reviews, and as most snake boots are a combination of leather and rubber, it can be a little difficult to find a pair that's 100% rubber, and rubber-only. That's why we like the Lacrosse Men's 4X Alpha Snake Boot: they're snake boots manufactured from 100% rubber, to feature a waterproof design, and most importantly, keep you from attaching your scent signature in the boots. It's kind of odd that more snake boots aren’t 100% rubber.
There's a lot to like here—the snake guard protection provides 360 degrees of protection; the boot has an adjustable strap, so you can tighten it as you see fit, to keep dirt / debris / twigs / whatever from falling in there and driving you nuts; and perhaps most importantly, they're designed with comfort in mind—they feature not one, not two, not three, but four layers of cushioning underneath the foot, and they're manufactured with longer hikes/treks in mind. If you like a spot-and-stalk style of hunting—or even if you just want to be comfortable on your hike to your tree stand—they can be a good option.
They're surprisingly versatile, too—they're designed for use down to -20 F, so they can function in colder weather, too, after the snakes have gone off to hibernate. Most snake boots are designed with only hot-weather hunting in mind, so it's nice to see a pair that you can use after the snakes have decided to take the winter off.
Our only complaint about these is that the shaft is a little bit shorter than on other rubber boots—many boots have a shaft that's 17 or 18 inches long, so these are a bit shorter. The opening, too, is a little tighter than other boots—at 16 inches around, it’s on the slender side, so BE CERTAIN to measure your calves if you think these might be a good option for you.
And... camo! Finally! As we've mentioned, we're not sure why all rubber hunting boots don't have a camo option, so we're thrilled to see that these have some camo print on them!
The Muck Boot Woody Max Rubber Insulated Men's Hunting Boot
Summary: comfortable, versatile, and designed for a wide range of weather—these get our vote for best rubber hunting boot overall
The Muck Boot Woody Max Rubber Insulated Men's Hunting Boot gets out vote for best all-around, not because it's got a single feature that's so incredibly mind-blowing, but because all of the features together add up to a boot we'd want to wear:
- It's designed to be 100% waterproof, which is Job #1 for a rubber hunting boot, and they're designed to be scent-free, which means they won't signal your presence to game;
- They have a comfort range of -40 F (-40 C) to 40 F (4 C), which is fairly broad—that's about what you'd see in a hunting season, in many parts of the country, and many parts of a hunting season;
- Fleece lining, for comfort—oh, if only all our hunting and camping gear had fleece lining!;
- They feature Stretch-Fit Toplines keeps things from falling into your boot, and if you've ever had brittles leaves, grasses, and bugs drop into your boots, you know that's a torment difficult to describe; and they also have;
- A rear pull loop to get 'em on and take 'em off easily; and finally
- A midsole is molded to contour the natural shape of the foot, and an outsole is designed to help you navigate through loose dirt and mud, but also to provide traction on ice and snow. The molded contour—can make these a great option for longer hunts, and they can provide some relief for the constant footstrikes involved on longer hunting hikes.
Our only complaint is that the shaft is 15 inches from arch, which makes it not as long as some other models we've looked at, but that's not the biggest deal in the world.
Perhaps most importantly, they're designed to last. Not all boots are designed with a focus on lifespan, and that, in our minds, is what sets these apart. These get our vote as the best rubber boot—they're designed to last, and they've all the features we'd look for when it comes to an all-weather, all-season hunt. Recommended.
That Wraps It Up for Rubber Hunting Boots
Alright! That's it from us. Thank you for reading, and may all your hunts be warm, dry, and successful!