How to pick rubber boots for hunting
Any experienced hunter knows that rubber boots work better than models made from any other materials when dry feet are your top priority. But newcomers may find this choice overwhelming due to the sheer number of available offerings on the market. Read on to learn more about how to get the right pair of rubber boots for your hunting trips.
Things to consider when buying rubber boots for hunting
All high-quality rubber boots from reputable shoemakers use vulcanized rubber as their main material. Vulcanizing is an industrial treatment process during which the rubber is subject to high temperature and has sulfur added into it. At the end of this chemical process, sulfur atoms form atomic bridges between polymer molecules of the rubber, making them more durable and springy at the same time.
If you plan to go waterfowl hunting in a blind, be extremely careful about the moisture exposure of your rubber boots.
Generally, some degree of moisture is always involved in hunting, regardless of the terrain, weather, and what animal you’re going after. And in wet and humid weather (the situations most hunters with rubber boots find themselves in), inadequately waterproofed boots can pose serious problems. Dew-laden grass or swamps on a cold day can quickly soak through your boots and freeze you with wet feet.
Luckily, for most quality rubber boots, the rubber itself already does a good job of preventing water from leaking into the inside. Gore-Tex is another technology that is often hailed as the gold standard for waterproofing in footwear. This breathable, waterproof membrane is widely used to surround the feet and make sure the boots have the best waterproof protection.
Hunting boots must have the ability to stand up to repeated use and abuse, particularly when you spend many hours in water. If your rubber boots don’t have robust construction, they can break down easily after a few hunting trips. Focus on durable rubber boots from top brands if you plan to have them with you for many hunting seasons.
Comfort and fit are obviously essential considerations for any kind of footwear. Don’t torture your feet with a pair of boots that is too large or too small. And the best way to find out whether you’ll have a perfect fit with a particular size is to try them on.
Remember to wear the socks you plan to use when hunting. Regular socks often don’t have the same fit and can lead to a misguided decision. Similarly, if you need to add a liner to your hunting boots, wear them while trying on the boots, or at least go up one or two sizes so both your socks and liners can fit comfortably in use.
The best time to do this is late in the day. This is when your feet are swollen the most, and if you can fit a pair of boots during this time, you can use them anytime in the day.
Make sure that your rubber boots fit snug around your ankles and instep but allow you to move your toes within them. Too small boots can pinch your feet and cut off circulation, while walking in too wide boots will be too difficult. Try walking around up and down an incline to see if you have enough comfort.
Usually, rubber boots are lighter than models made of other materials. It’s a good thing for hunting trips, where you have to move around a lot.
Heavy boots can make you stuck in the mud. Trust us – no one wants to struggle with their feet when the game is right in front of them. Lighter boots also mean you can carry out a longer trip away from your car.
It usually goes overlooked, but scent-free rubber boots that don’t carry a smell or odor through the air can help hide you from the game. As many best rubber hunting boots reviews and buying guides have pointed out, most rubber models do a good job at this, so most of the time, you don’t have to worry much about it.
This is not the case with other materials like leather, which can send a heavy smell across the distance and get you detected by animals.
Good insulation is a critical factor when you need to keep your feet warm all the time. The level of insulation you need doesn’t just depend on the weather but also the level of activity involved in your hunting.
Situations like sitting on a treestand or in a duck blind for a very long time require higher insulation from your boots as the physical activity here is minimal. On the other hand, your body will have increased circulation due to constant movements when you’re going after elk or pheasants. In these activities, insulation is not the most important factor.
Bear in mind that each person has a different internal thermostat. You may need more insulation than your friend while you’re hunting together. Knowing the tendency of your body is key to getting the right insulation for your boots.
Most hunting boots have stiff or at least mid-stiff midsoles, which are controlled by a shank inserted into the boots. A softer midsole is more suitable when you need to walk quietly in the woods. Meanwhile, you will have better support on rough terrain with a stiffer midsole.
Frequently asked questions
How to take care of new rubber boots
You should provide your boots with some time so they can break in properly.
Where should i keep my rubber boots?
You should store your boots in a cool and dry location, so the rubber doesn’t deteriorate over time due to the heat.
When you want to quickly take down a deer with one shot, consider the lung, high shoulder, heart, and head of the deer. These shot placements can guarantee the most humane and cleanest kills.
There is not an ideal pair of hunting boots for every hunt and every season. But quality rubber boots can provide great help in many situations when you need great warmth and water resistance and don’t want animals to notice you.