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Anyone have any suggestions for a good substitute for rubber boots? They're what I've always used for walking in tall wet grass, crossing small streams, or anytime the ground is too wet or muddy for regular hiking boots. But I am getting tired of the

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  • Anyone have any suggestions for a good substitute for rubber boots? They're what I've always used for walking in tall wet grass, crossing small streams, or anytime the ground is too wet or muddy for regular hiking boots. But I am getting tired of the

    Anyone have any suggestions for a good substitute for rubber boots? They're what I've always used for walking in tall wet grass, crossing small streams, or anytime the ground is too wet or muddy for regular hiking boots. But I am getting tired of them cracking/developing holes after only a year or two, which renders them useless. And since I wear size 15s, good rubber boots are not cheap. I have a couple of pairs of Gore-Tex lined leather hiking boots, but they're only about 10 inches high, which doesn't offer nearly as much protection from wet vegetation or mud as 18" rubber boots. I'd appreciate any ideas.

  • #2
    Gaiters over top of your hikers would help with wet vegetation, not so much with stream crossing.

    Having just discovered two days ago that my waders fell off the hanger in the steel cabinet they were hung in and were used as rodent nest material, I feel your pain.

    Might the answer be cheaper rubber boots?

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    • #3
      I have heard Muck boots have a good reputation.

      Comment


      • #4
        I will wear regular rubber rain boots with a pair of wool socks when it isn't too cold. When trout fishing in cold water I put insulation from a pair of hunting boots into my plain rubber waders and it works perfectly. The cracking is likely from the weather you hunt in, but storage could also be an issue. How do you store your boots? They need a cool/dry place out of the light. As jarlin stated, gaiters will work great if the water level always remains below your boot.

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        • #5
          I switched to neoprene the last time I replaced mine and will never go back to rubber again. They are easier to walk in, put on and take off and seem to hold up much better. I have a Redhead brand, but I'm sure there are plenty of good ones out there.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by jcarlin View Post
            Gaiters over top of your hikers would help with wet vegetation, not so much with stream crossing.

            Having just discovered two days ago that my waders fell off the hanger in the steel cabinet they were hung in and were used as rodent nest material, I feel your pain.

            Might the answer be cheaper rubber boots?
            Last month I found that my waders had fallen and formed a long crack where they were bent. Not much fun. Maybe we should invest in some better hangers.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by jcarlin View Post
              Gaiters over top of your hikers would help with wet vegetation, not so much with stream crossing.

              Having just discovered two days ago that my waders fell off the hanger in the steel cabinet they were hung in and were used as rodent nest material, I feel your pain.

              Might the answer be cheaper rubber boots?
              Yeah, gaiters are one thing I'm considering. Most of the streams in my area are pretty small, and in normal flow you can usually find a spot to cross where the water's ankle-deep or less pretty easily. So that's probably the least important consideration. I could just get cheaper rubbers, but they last an even more pitiful amount of time, so I'd probably end up paying about the same amount in the long run. I guess the picture I have in my head of what I want is something like regular leather hiking boots, only taller. I don't know if there's anything out there that fits that description. There's always cowboy boots I guess, but I'm not really a cowboy boot kind of guy. Lol

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              • #8
                Originally posted by jhjimbo View Post
                I have heard Muck boots have a good reputation.
                My brother uses Muck boots, and he likes them. Dang, they're expensive though...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by JM View Post
                  I will wear regular rubber rain boots with a pair of wool socks when it isn't too cold. When trout fishing in cold water I put insulation from a pair of hunting boots into my plain rubber waders and it works perfectly. The cracking is likely from the weather you hunt in, but storage could also be an issue. How do you store your boots? They need a cool/dry place out of the light. As jarlin stated, gaiters will work great if the water level always remains below your boot.
                  I store them in the basement, where it stays in the 50s or 60s most of the year. They're out of the direct light too, so I just can't believe it's how I'm storing them. I do use them a lot - fishing, hunting, hiking, and just working around the farm. But it still seems like high-quality boots should last more than a year. That's how old my current ones are, and they've developed a large crack where they flex at the ball of the foot. I'm liking the idea of gaiters. They wouldn't work for everything, but maybe they'd at least help reduce the amount of wear-and-tear I put on the rubbers. Do you know of any good gaiters?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 4everAutumn View Post
                    I switched to neoprene the last time I replaced mine and will never go back to rubber again. They are easier to walk in, put on and take off and seem to hold up much better. I have a Redhead brand, but I'm sure there are plenty of good ones out there.
                    My next-to-last pair were Irish Setters that were half neoprene (the uppers) and half rubber. They were garbage - in less than 6 months they cracked wide open along the seams between the rubber and neoprene. They were $200 boots too... But maybe all-neoprene boots would work better. I have heard good things about them; worth checking out anyway.

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                    • #11
                      I wear LL Bean Maine hunting shoes. They come in various heights and have a rubber foot and leather upper. I've got two pairs and wear them for hunting and fishing when it is wet. I sent my older pair back a few years ago and they replaced the rubber bottom for a small fee. Mine have lasted for years.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by DSMbirddog View Post
                        I wear LL Bean Maine hunting shoes. They come in various heights and have a rubber foot and leather upper. I've got two pairs and wear them for hunting and fishing when it is wet. I sent my older pair back a few years ago and they replaced the rubber bottom for a small fee. Mine have lasted for years.
                        Another added bonus with the Bean Boots is their lifetime guarantee. If you try them and aren't satisfied (or wear through them prematurely) you can return them for your money back with no questions asked. Not much risk involved

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by DSMbirddog View Post
                          I wear LL Bean Maine hunting shoes. They come in various heights and have a rubber foot and leather upper. I've got two pairs and wear them for hunting and fishing when it is wet. I sent my older pair back a few years ago and they replaced the rubber bottom for a small fee. Mine have lasted for years.
                          I like the sound of that. I'll check them out.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Most of these suggestions are pretty good, but all of them are pretty much boots with a rubber bottom and a different upper. Which does not really fix the situation. Although some of the recommendations are boots that aren't going to crack as easily as others.
                            My suggestion is to buy some nice waterproof snake boots. They are usually a lot taller than normal boots, and aren't typically rubber.
                            I have the Rocky Long Range Square Toe Snake Boot and I love them. I would try to find some slip on ones like these because lacing up an 18" boot gets old and a lot of the ones that you have to use the zipper get to be a hassle too.
                            I hope this helps.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Last year I bought Cabela's Accelerator boots and they worked very well, more like wearing regular boots. They have reinforced neoprene uppers, arch support in rubber shoe, ankle support along with excellent traction for climbing hilly areas. Come with Cabela's lifetime guarantee.

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