A method for determining the critical tearing energy in rubber-like materials is proposed. In this method, the energy required for crack propagation in a rubber-like material is determined by the change of the recovered elastic energy. Hence, the dissipated energy due to different inelastic processes is deducted from the total strain energy applied to the system. Therefore, the classical method proposed by Rivlin and Thomas using the pure shear tear test is modified using the actual stored elastic energy. The elastically stored energy in a pure shear is determined experimentally using cyclic loading under quasi-static loading rate of 0.01 s-1 for different unloading rates, i.e. 0.01, 0.1 and 1.0 s-1. The experimental results show that the classical method overestimates the critical tearing energy by approximately 18% and the unloading rate is minimal which suggests that the dissipation depends only on the loading path.