The Best Rubber Boots (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021
Keep your feet dry and protected with these high-quality rubber boots
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BY Lisa Conant / LAST UPDATED ON November 15, 2020
Rubber boots are the epitome of practical function. Ideal for messy environments, such as farms, gardens, orchards, hunting and fishing camps, nurseries, nature preserves, landscaping work, and much more, rubber boots have long been the go-to footwear to keep our feet dry in mucky and wet work and recreational environments.
More recently, however, rubber boots have begun to get more attention as not only practical but fashionable footwear options. Gone are the days when rubber boots were just one style and one color and used exclusively for outdoor work. Now offered in many different styles, sizes, and patterns, they come with many more choices than the rubber boots of decades ago, allowing you to make a personal fashion statement if that’s your thing.
Thanks to improvements in construction methods and materials, today’s rubber boots are more durable than in years past. Here, we have compiled a list of some of our favorite rubber boots that are currently available on the market. Hopefully, it will help you narrow down your options and find a pair that is ideal for your needs.
Constructed from molded rubber, this boot’s outsole is rugged, 100 percent waterproof, and provides excellent traction and stability in uneven, slippery, and wet terrain.
- Made with 5mm neoprene
- Comfortable and flexible
- Breathable AirMesh lining
- Limited style and color options
- Some concern about long-term durability of the upper
These boots are offered at one of the lowest prices on the market and are constructed from waterproof and durable injection-molded PVC, which will stand the test of time.
- Upper constructed from 30 percent recycled materials
- Rugged, cleated outsole
- No warming or moisture-absorbing liner
- Not ideal for colder temperatures
The soles of these boots are constructed from high quality, all-natural rubber that is waterproof and will provide years of reliable wear over all types of slippery and uneven terrain.
- Upper made from 7mm neoprene with a protective rubber overlay
- Guaranteed to keep out mud, rain, snow, and dirt
- Not ideal for warm weather or hot, humid climates
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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Rubber Boots
- Waterproof. One of the main benefits and reasons people purchase rubber boots is because they are completely waterproof and provide the ultimate protection for your feet in wet or flooded environments.
- Good traction. Rubber boots provide the most solid and reliable traction on slippery wet surfaces, minimizing your chances of a damaging or injurious slip or fall. This traction also provides good friction on surfaces to create leverage for pushing or pulling heavy objects without sliding.
- Grounding protection. Because rubber is a grounded material, rubber boots will help protect you from accidental electrocution should a live wire be secretly in contact with a wet or flooded surface. Rubber boots could save your life in a post-storm or natural disaster scenario where conditions might not be fully known.
- Calf protection. Most rubber boots come up to at least mid-calf or higher, preventing water from getting into the boot. This is ideal for flood situations in which you may find yourself wading through several or more inches of standing water or mud. They also provide important support and protection for ankle joints and feet from accidental impacts.
- Lightweight and flexible. Rubber boots have the advantage of being made from a light and flexible material that won’t unnecessarily weigh you down when you’re doing lots of walking. This will help stave off fatigue and blisters or contact sores caused by heavier, more rigid materials.
- Scent-free. Since rubber is impermeable to air, rubber boots are a great option for hunters, since they won’t allow the scent of your feet and calves to escape into the outdoor environment and inadvertently alert sensitive animals to your presence.
Check out our top waterproof work boot choices here.
Types of Rubber Boots
Rain Boots, or Wellingtons
The first rubber boots were constructed of vulcanized rubber and were made for the express purpose of allowing farmers and laborers to work outdoors in the rain and mud. They were made popular by the Duke of Wellington, who was an avid proponent of their practicality, and for that reason, they’re sometimes referred to as Wellingtons.
Hunting and Fishing Boots
These boots are a newer style and are usually constructed from a combination of neoprene and rubber. They will go up to mid- or full-calf and are scent-proof and designed to keep your feet not only dry but toasty warm in cold hunting temperatures. They will usually come in a camouflage print to help you stay hidden.
This style of rubber boots has been around since the 1920s when industrialization lead to workplace safety standards and compensation laws. These rubber boots are a natural choice because rubber is quite resistant to oils and chemicals, electrical current, and provides excellent traction on slippery cement factory floors. These boots will also have a reinforced steel toe to protect from falling debris or dropping of heavy objects.
This style of rubber boot is gaining in popularity and is now being offered in a wide variety of sizes and styles. You can wear them in the garden, on the farm, around town, out hiking, and any other place you feel like going. They’ve been recently glamorized by celebrities for their fashionable functionality.
Read more on our recommendations for the best muck boots here.
Founded in 1892, Caterpillar has long been leading the charge in the development and use of industrial equipment and supplies. It has pioneered the invention of large machines for mining and earthmoving, not to mention its innovative Solar Powered Turbine Technology. Caterpillar also makes clothing and gear for industrial workers, like its line of Steel Toe Work Boots.
The Original Muck Boot Company
Muck Boot Company has been specializing in and manufacturing rubber boots for over 20 years. It focuses on making durable rubber boots that can stand up to the muckiest messes and wettest conditions, like the Women’s Muck Originals Pull On Mid-Calf Boot and the Men’s Muckster II Ankle Boot, which are two of the company’s top-rated products.
In 2002, Crocs introduced the world to a very new and different type of footwear. Highly functional and durable, Crocs’ line of waterproof and weather-proof shoes and sandals is now a globally reaching product. It produces innovative styles like the Women’s Neria Pro II Graphic Clog for work and the Men’s Bogota Flip Flop for casual wear.
ArcticShield is a company that was founded by hunters for hunters, to enable them to stay out longer without succumbing to the rigors of harsh climates and cold temperatures. Some of its better-known products include the Realtree Edge Quiet Tech Jacket and the Blaze Orange Performance Fit Bib.
Rubber Boot Pricing
- Under $50: This price range will get you the basic rubber boot. Fully waterproof, but without any added features, such as insulation for colder weather, or different patterns or colors.
- $50-$100: There is a wide variety of rubber boots in this price range. You’ll start to see different technology as far as tread patterns, height of boots, colors, and some levels of insulation.
- $100 and up: This price range is for people who do a lot of serious work in their rubber boots. Boots in this range are usually constructed from top-of-the-line materials and will come with the highest levels of insulation, allowing you to work in almost any type of weather or mess.
High-Quality Materials and Construction
Not all rubber boots are created equally. Rubber boots are usually constructed using a process known as vulcanization, in which rubber is combined with other materials and is then molded into one singular unit that encompasses the entire boot, whatever style it may be. This singular construction, without the need for stitching or glue of any kind, is what makes rubber boots so completely waterproof and durable. Depending on the ratio of rubber to other compounds used in the construction of the boot, some boots will be more durable than others, so be sure to check before purchasing anything that you plan to wear often or extensively.
This is a key consideration for anyone who plans to spend large amounts of time in rubber boots. Because they are not a very cushioned or forgiving material, rubber boots will often be lined with additional support and heat-retaining, moisture-wicking materials that will allow you to stand comfortably for longer periods without enduring a lot of foot or lower backaches. Always try on your boots and wear them around the house or indoors for a while to be sure they’re comfortable before subjecting them to outdoor environments, after which, you won’t be able to return them.
Some rubber boots come with different safety features, which allow for different purposes. For example, you can get rubber boots with steel toe reinforcements and special chemical-resistant construction for industrial jobs. For hunters, you can often get rubber boots that come in a camouflage pattern and mask your scent so as not to alert wildlife. If you’re planning to use your rubber boots for something other than gardening or walking around a mucky barnyard, consider what safety features you might want before purchasing.
- Style. Depending on what you plan to use your rubber boots for, you may need something that covers and protects your full calf, mid-calf, or just your ankles. Ankle-length rubber boots provide more breathability, movement, and ease of taking them on and off, but less protection from water and muck that can slosh up and into the boot when you walk.
- Sizing/Fit. This sort of goes hand in hand with comfort, but rubber boots are notoriously hard to fit since they don’t “break in” like other shoes or boots do, so having a rubber boot that doesn’t fit properly can lead to continued blisters or pressure points that make them almost impossible to wear for any length of time. Be sure to also check your calf width, as some styles of rubber boots may pinch or be too tight in the calf area.
Learn all about our favorite snowmobiling boots here.
Best Rubber Boots Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- To promote longevity, rinse your boots off with fresh water after they’ve been exposed to harsh chemicals or oils. While many boots are designed to withstand exposure to these things, they will still last much longer if you don’t leave chemical residue on them time and again.
- Be sure to always read online user reviews to see what other consumers’ experiences have been with the boots you’re considering purchasing. Are the boots really as durable and rugged as they claim to be, or is there a history of disappointing defects and lack of quality in their construction? This can save you both money and frustration in the long run.
- If you happen to purchase a pair of rubber boots that is a little pinchy or too tight, you can try stretching the rubber by putting on a thick pair of socks and your boots. Then run a blow dryer set to medium or high heat over the boots while you’re wearing them. This can help to make the boots more flexible and stretch to better fit your foot.
Q: What are rubber boots used for?
Rubber boots are a great multi-use boot primarily designed to keep your feet dry and protected from wetness and muck. They can also be used to protect your feet from exposure to harsh chemicals and oils, and to provide grounding protection from accidental electrocution.
Q: What are the most comfortable rubber boots?
The most comfortable rubber boots are constructed from high-quality rubber or a rubber/synthetic compound that is flexible and forgiving. They will be lined with a comfortable and cushioned insole that is designed to absorb moisture and shock for hours of easy wear.
Q: How can I make my rubber boots fit better?
Wearing your tight-fitting rubber boots with a thick pair of socks while running a hot blow dryer over them can help to stretch the rubber to better conform to your feet if your boots are too tight. Wearing proper socks that are cushioned and moisture-wicking, or adding in an additional padded insole can help to make rubber boots that are slightly too large fit more comfortably.
Q: Which brand has the best rubber boots?
Several brands make high-quality rubber boots for different purposes. Our Review section outlines the best brands of rubber boots currently available based on different needs or purposes.
Knowing the high level of practicality and functionality of rubber boots and what to look for in a rugged and reliable choice, you should be ready to select a pair that’s ideal for you, whether it’s the Muck Boot Adult MuckMaster Hi-Cut Boot, the Tingley 31151 Economy SZ12 Kneed Boot, or any of the other great options on our list.