Leather Sole Cowboy Boots vs Rubber

There has been a lot of controversy about cowboy boots over the years, mostly about the difference between traditional cowboy boots and cowboy boots.

It can be said that these controversies are often about: pointed toe vs square toe, riding heel vs walking heel, western work boots vs traditional cowboy boots

We all have analyzed and discussed the above topics.

Today, we will solve a new problem: Leather Sole Cowboy Boots vs Rubber.

Together we find the answer!

Leather Sole Cowboy Boots vs Rubber

Leather soles and rubber soles both have advantages and disadvantages. Depending on the purpose, you can choose the type of soles made from rubber or leather.


Regarding history, leather soles had appeared before rubber soles was created.

Back in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, farmers in the wild west of America needed sturdy, comfortable, and safe boots to work on large farms. That is the reason that cowboy boots are born.

Cowboy boots are required to be safe and comfortable. They also need to be affordable.

Cowhide was the primary material for traditional cowboy boots because it was abundant, sturdy, and cheapest material at that time. And the base of the cowboy boots was also made from leather.

Cowboy boots with rubber soles have only been around for a few decades, that’s when square toe cowboy boots come out. At the same time, western work boots are popular and dominate the market.

Historically, it can be said that leather soles have a much longer history than rubber soles.

Leather sole cowboy boots


In terms of durability, rubber soles are much better than leather soles.

A pair of cowboy boots can last up to 10 years. But when it comes to their soles, it’s a different story.

If you use cowboy boots a lot, and your cowboy boots have leather soles, then you should resole them every 2 years.

The signs for resoling your leather sole are when a half sole appears holes in it, and nails start to emerge.

But if your cowboy boots have rubber soles, you can resole cowboy boots every 4 or 5 years. The durability of rubber soles are twice that of leather soles.

In the rainy or snowy season, cowboy boots with leather soles will deteriorate quickly because of exposure to water.

However, people using rubber soled cowboy boots find it quite difficult to resole the rubber soles.

If you need to resole the rubber soles, you’ll need a good cobbler!

Rubber sole cowboy boots


Cowboy boots with leather soles and cowboy boots with rubber soles both have great comfort.

Leather soles made from natural materials allow your feet to breathe.

Besides, the leather sole can absorb moisture quite well so your feet can be comfortable for long.

The rubber soles don’t have this feature. They don’t absorb moisture as well as leather soles. So if you are a sweaty person, you should consider when using rubber soles.

However, the leather soles are not as flexible as the rubber soles.

The rubber soles are thicker, durable and elastic. So the rubber soles make your feet flexible and comfortable for working.

If you regularly wear cowboy boots to work on construction sites or farms, cowboy boots with rubber soles will suit you better.

Cowboy boots with leather soles often need a break-in time to get the grip. You should rub the leather sole on the road surface a few times to create its grip.

You should wear in leather soled cowboy boots to achieve absolute comfort. Whereas, rubber soles don’t need a break-in period, they are often comfortable right out of the box.

But if cowboy boots with rubber soles need to be broken in, the break-in time will be longer.


In general, cowboy boots with leather or rubber soles are comfortable or not depending on the purpose you are using them for.

If you enjoy line dancing, then leather soles are the best. The leather soles allow you to slide smoothly on the dance floor, perform kicking, and spin easily. So you can create great perfect line dancing moves with these soles.

To sit neatly on the saddle, the leather soles will help you easily slip your feet into the stirrup (the nook of the heel will keep cowboy boots firmly in the stirrup).

In case you like to wear riding motorcycle cowboy boots, the good grip of the rubber soles would help a lot. You don’t want your feet to slip off the pegs while riding a 800lb motorcycle.

For working in construction sites or farms, rubble soles can keep your body balanced and stable better than leather soles. Besides, rubber soles are also less affected by water (sudden rains), so they are more durable than leather soles.


You will very often see rubber soles on western work boots, these are the boots that ensure high safety and comfort because they often have rubber soles.

Rubber soles can be said to be more resistant than leather soles. They are resistant to water, snow, external power well and can protect you from the fangs of small snakes.


Cowboy boots with leather soles look much better than cowboy boots with rubber soles.

The leather outsole surface usually has the signature and the logo of the brand. This is quite a special thing and like a gift for you.

Meanwhile, this gift is less common in the rubber sole.

If you like cowboy boots for their beauty as well as their traditional values, leather soles are a good choice.

But if you need cowboy boots mainly because of their function, then rubber soles seem to be the better choice.

Besides, when walking on a smooth floor surface, leather soles will make click-cluck sounds. We call them gorgeous sounds, they make you look like a real cowboy who is full of confidence, arrogance and swagger.


Today, cowboy boots are produced in two ways: handmade and machine

Handmade cowboy boots are much more expensive than machine-produced cowboy boots for a variety of reasons. Handmade cowboy boots often have leather soles.

Meanwhile, machine-made cowboy boots usually get rubber soles.

That explains why leather soled cowboy boots are more expensive than rubber soled cowboy boots.

Comparison Chart

Leather sole Rubber sole
History Appeared in the late 18th century Appeared a few decades ago
Durability Need resole every 2 or 3 years Need resole every 4 or 5 years
Comfort Good moisture absorption, making the feet easy to breathe Well balanced, stable and flexible
Safety Not too prominent High safety
Style Beautiful and unique, bringing interesting sounds Not too prominent
Cost Quite expensive Affordable

Final thoughts

To sum up, choosing leather soles or rubber soles all depends on your purpose.

If you want to buy cowboy boots because of their beauty to use for gatherings or parties then leather soled cowboy boots are a right choice.

But if you need to choose cowboy boots for outdoors, farms, construction works or you are frequently exposed to wet conditions or rainy season, then rubber soles are for you.

Leather soles often appear on traditional, handmade cowboy boots such as classic western boots, riding boots.

Today most cowboy boots are made from machines, and most of them have rubber soles such as western work boots, stockman and roper boots.

After all, the choice is yours!

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