There has been much controversy about cowboy boots and their soles. Discussions centered around the durability, elegance, comfort and other great attributes of cowboy boots with leather and rubber soles.

Both leather and rubber soles have their advantages and limitations. Depending on your needs, you can choose between rubber and leather soles.

leather is often hard material It doesn’t provide any cushioning or comfort, but when mixed with cork it may result in a very soft and flexible footbed.

But people often Flexible and comfortable rubber sole The rubber naturally absorbs stress from the moment you put them on, so you can walk without feeling the hardness of the pavement.

The rubber is also weather resistant, making it perfect for everyday use, whether walking or commuting in all weather conditions.

Let’s take a look at the history of leather and rubber soles.


Leather-soled cowboy boots were manufactured in the late 18th century. Most importantly, leather boots were first manufactured long before rubber boots. At that time, cheap cowhide was abundant.

In addition, leather boots are known as equestrian boots because they were originally handcrafted for horse and cattle riders.

Rubber soles, on the other hand, have been on the market for only a few decades. This is the year the square-toe cowboy his boots first hit the market. However, soles have grown in popularity and now dominate the market. In summary, leather soles are older than rubber soles.

Now let’s look at the parameters with which we can come to a conclusion.

1.) Leather vs Rubber Sole – Durability

Rubber soles last longer than leather solesCowboy boots can last up to 10 years. But when it comes to the soles of their feet, it’s a different story.

If your cowboy boots are heavily used and have leather soles, they should be resoleed every two years. If part of the sole comes off, has holes, or has protruding nails, it’s a sign that the leather sole needs to be replaced.

However, if your cowboy boots have rubber soles, you won’t have to worry about resoles for at least 4-5 years. Rubber soles are twice as durable as leather soles.

2.) Leather vs Rubber Sole – Safety

Rubber-soled cowboy boots are fairly common, but they are safer and more comfortable because they use rubber soles.

Rubber soles are more abrasion resistant than leather soles. It is resistant to water, snow, external forces, and can protect itself from the fangs of small snakes.

With fewer people riding horses these days, cowboy boots with anti-slip rubber soles are more popular than leather soles because of their superior balance and stability.

3.) Leather vs Rubber Sole – Features

Rubber-soled cowboy boots offer comfort and superior safety as they are resistant to water, external forces and snow. The sole can also protect your feet from the fangs of small snakes. These are qualities that cannot be obtained with leather soles that are not resistant to water and other materials mentioned.

The leather sole allows you to comfortably put your foot in the stirrup while sitting correctly in the saddle.

If you want to ride your bike and wear cowboy boots, the high traction of the rubber sole will help.

Rubble soles are better than leather soles for keeping the body balanced and stable while working on construction sites or farms. Excellent.

4.) Leather vs Rubber Sole – Traction

Unfortunately, leather soles, while fashionable, are unsuitable for everyday wear. Leather outsoles are naturally smooth and can be damaged when wet.

Rubber sole is less slippery than leather soleIt’s supple and offers dependable traction in both warm and cold temperatures.

High grade rubber may have traction when exposed to oil or water. So, if you don’t want to slip or fall, a natural rubber outsole is the best non-slip alternative to a shoe.

5.) Leather vs Rubber Sole – Comfort

Boots with leather soles made from natural materials derived from animals such as cows and crocodiles. Your feet will feel comfortable even after wearing them for a long time.

However, cowhide is hard and difficult to mold, so it lacks flexibility. For maximum comfort, leather boots should be worn regularly for several weeks to break in.

Boots with rubber soles are more flexible and ready to put on. However, since rubber cannot breathe, it does not absorb moisture from your feet. Therefore, it is not comfortable to wear for a long time.

6.) Leather vs Rubber Sole – Design

The style of cowboy boots is determined by personal taste.experts recommend boots leather sole looks much better than those with rubber soles. The sole leather outsole features the brand’s crest and signature, making the cowboy’s boot stand out.

If you want cowboy boots with the charm of a traditional cowboy boot design, leather soles are the way to go. However, if you want cowboy boots that are both functional and comfortable, rubber soles are the preferred choice.

7.) Leather vs Rubber Sole – Cost

Leather-soled cowboy boots are often more expensive than rubber-soled boots Because boots require more experience and craftsmanship. Also, leather is more expensive than rubber.

However, while leather boots are resold countless times, rubber soles wear out and reach the end of their lives.

Let’s take a quick look at this comparison chart.

parameter leather sole rubber sole
durability Good, it will last 2-3 years before needing a resole. Excellent, lasts at least 5-6 years.
safety Very safe but can be slippery depending on the terrain. Very safe and sturdy.
function Horseback riding, short walks. Biking, walking or hiking in rough terrain.
traction all right Excellent
comfortable It is more comfortable, absorbs sweat well and is breathable. They are balanced, adaptable and stable.
design The design is beautiful and unique, and makes a magical sound when you walk on its smooth surface. They’re not really fashionable, but they do resemble workers’ boots.
price It’s handmade, so it’s pretty expensive. Affordable.

Frequently Asked Questions-

Can I wear it all year round?

Cowboy boots are popular all year round in spring, summer, autumn, winter and rainy days. Rubber-soled cowboy boots are also great for wet weather, as they have waterproof, grippy grooves in the sole and are less susceptible to water damage than leather soles.

However, leather soles are more breathable. As a result, your feet will feel more comfortable during warmer months such as summer.

Yes, water is leather’s worst enemy. Therefore, it is not recommended to wear leather soles in wet conditions such as winter or rainy weather.

Applicability on all types of terrain.

For many people, terrain is also a big consideration when deciding between rubber and leather soles.

In all honesty, rubber soles can be used on more terrain than leather soles.

As mentioned earlier, rubber-soled cowboy boots offer better traction. It is more durable, stronger and more stress absorbing than leather. Therefore, cowboy boots with rubber soles are perfect for all-day walking on different terrains.

See also 11 best materials for cowboy boots

our verdict

Well, the decision between leather and rubber soles depends entirely on how and where you want to use it. That’s why you should study the details of both soles to understand where they are more helpful.

However, when considering cost and features, the rubber sole seems to win out as it offers the ultimate protection against hazardous work environments and is also non-slip.

Also, if you need cowboy boots for outside work such as construction work or farming, you should think twice. Rubber-soled boots are ideal when working in wet weather or in areas exposed to water during the wet season.

They look the same, but the fundamental difference between the two soles is based on what they give.



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