Rubber or Leather Boots, which is the best choice for hunters?
When it comes to gear selection the most important decision after a good gun, rifle or bow, it's about boots.
Footwear is not important, but critical to keep you safe and achieve good results on your hunt; after all if it's impossible for you to stand properly because of mud or cold, you will hardly be able to aim and shot accurately.
So keeping your feet and legs dry and protected results mandatory, not only because of comfort but also due to safety reasons because many times you will be covering long distances on rough, sometimes slippery terrain where a good boot may make the difference.
One century ago there were not too many options and probably most of hunters didn't face a hard time choosing the best boot for hunting, but nowadays there's plenty of models and materials which make selection pretty much harder.
Particularly materials are at the center of discussion. A long time ago boot was synonymous of leather but after the introduction of rubber boots things have changed a little bit, and the debate continues...
Those who prefer rubber boots sustain that they are lighter and protects feet and legs better from wet; in addition rubber boots are easier to clean and store making them a conveniente garment piece.
On the other hand, retractors from rubber boots state this type of footwear does not provide enough insulation, fits less comfortable and, the most important, rubber smell might reveal your presence.
Even when there's not scientific evidence supporting the last statement, certainly rubber odor is characteristic and it would not be a surprise if animals begin to identify it as a menace, especially on high pressure areas; after all rubber scent is not found on nature being that enough to alert animals about an "unusual situation".
At the same time, leather boots enthusiasts propose that despite of being heavier, leather provides more protection and support to feet and ankles; in addition insulated leather boots helps to keep feet warmer than rubber while thick, robust soils provide great adherence on resistance, even on the roughest terrains.
However the aforementioned takes its pice: Impaired waterproof.
Even when leather may protect hunters' feet from some wet and even a low deep water pond, the truth is that its performance is lower than rubber on heavy wet conditions on when you need to keep your feet on water for long.
Nevertheless that's not the case for most of hunters, so rubber might be the best choice for those hunting under very wet conditions while leather would be better under other circumstances.
Another option might be to have two pairs of boots. A regular leather pair for low wet conditions and a backup rubber boots pair if things turn too wet. Obviously that's not the most convenient choice, but it might be considered, especially for long standing hunts where you will be out for several days.
At the end the decisions is on each hunter. Those who feel comfortable and succeed on hunting using rubber boots probably will continue using this material while hunters who feel better will never change to rubber.
It's just a matter of try and decide which is the best for you!