The great outdoors is home to all manner of creatures great and small.
Nature has gifted us with a variety of species to admire, hunt and catalogue… Within our treks, we may stumble across a critter that has a penchant for biting. Bites can vary in intensity, from a nagging itch from a microscopic gnat, to a wound that houses poisonous venom. It is the latter which is of course far greater concern and one of the most notorious animals in the wild is the snake.
|Table of Contents|
|Why Snake Boots?||What To Look For When Buying Snake Boots?|
|The Best Snake Boots||Mike’s Top Choice|
While not all snakes are venomous, a “dry bite” (where no poison is secreted) will still impact your day in a nasty way. Snakes are not very easy to spot in the undergrowth and as such they can pop out of quite literally anywhere and give you a nasty surprise. Therefore, isn’t it better to be protected against this unknown rather than chance it? A worst case scenario is that you can be bitten and without proper treatment, find yourself deceased in less than an hour.
While this is extremely rare, that is the grim reality and danger present. This however can be easily mitigated by ensuring you have the correct equipment and that is what we will be examining today. Snake boots are ever increasing in popularity and it’s easy to see why. Offering peace of mind and protection against the hazards presented by snakes, they are a viable deterrent and complete the aesthetic hunter look.
You might be wondering what sets snake proof boots apart from a regular hiking boot…. You might also question whether you really need them. We’ll get on to that shortly, but firstly let’s quickly take a look at what makes a snake proof boot stand out.
The main and obvious separation is that the material is tailored for the sole purpose of protecting you. Manufacturers generally lean towards combining a mixture of textures to offer significant protection. This therefore reinforces the boot, making it very difficult for the snake fangs to penetrate and bite you.
Another difference from a regular boot is in its coverage. Extending all the way to the knee so they can provide the correct shelter from a surprise attack, this is a vital ingredient that the best snake boots employ.
To put it simply, you need boots anyway, so why not just ensure they’re snake proof?
When it comes down to it and a snake strikes out at your lower leg, do you really want a boot that “should be good enough” or one that will make sure you’re not wheeled off to the emergency room?
Looping back to the previous question of why would you need them, let me address this now.
You see, in the United States of America there are a mere 3 states that are snake free. That’s right, 3. Therefore, 47 states are home to some of the most deadly vipers found in the entire planet.
This actually extends to other continents as well, Antarctica is the only continent that is 100 per cent free from snakes. This makes investing in snake boots all the more worthwhile, as you really cannot be sure what you’ll find as you go on your expedition.
Finally it is a well known fact that most snake bites occur in the lower leg region so it makes absolute sense to wear snake boots to counteract this threat.
So what should we be looking for when purchasing a snake proof boot? Of course there are a multitude of different facets to appreciate before leaping into a purchase. Therefore let’s analyze exactly what we need to look at before being presented with Mike’s selection of top products.
Snake boots need to have adequate coverage. Snakes will appear without warning, usually from the ground and be concealed by the terrain. Therefore, it will be easy to accidentally step on one or anger it and find yourself struck in retaliation. Their aim usually targets the lower leg or ankle region. It is important then to select an appropriate boot that has a high shaft, extending way beyond the ankle. The boots will ideally be anywhere from 16 to 18 inches high, giving cover for the entire lower leg. There are some boots that extend beyond this, but most of the products we’ll be looking at today fit somewhere in the region described.
Snake Bite Proof Materials
Whatever the make of snake boots, be it Lacrosse snake boots or Rocky snake boots, there will normally be a mixture of materials used to construct the finished article. The most commonplace materials are as follows;
- Synthetic weaves
- Cordura nylon
The priority of having these materials woven together to make the boot is that it makes it difficult for the snake fangs to penetrate.
Obviously, this ensures your leg is as protected as possible from a nasty bite.
Synthetic material such as nylon will be woven extremely tightly, thus creating a fabric that is dense and stiff. The overall effect is that you get a nice sturdy boot. Additional materials are included to act as a shell or barrier which further make the boot impregnable and keep you safe.
Manufacturers such as Chippewa Snake Boots and Danner snake boots will use specific materials in select locations on the foot to improve comfort levels and protection. The overall advice is to make sure the fabric is tough and impenetrable.
As we’ve established, the makeup of the snake boot has to be comprised of material that is sturdy and offering maximum protection. Also factored in is comfort. It is very likely that you’ll be wearing the boot for extended periods of time and as such, being comfortable in the boot becomes highly important. The boots will ideally feel like a natural fit, after an expected “bedding in” period. A good piece of advice is to have the boots be so comfortable that you don’t want to remove them.
Snake boots can be extremely rigid without much give at all. This provides unparalleled protection, however compromises on comfort. Other boots will instead lean towards giving a great feel by employing flexible points throughout the boot. In addition, they will likely be contoured to provide a snug fit.
A combination of functionality and comfort is the sweet spot for the best snake boots, which is what we considered when compiling the list of products below. It’s always worth having a field test of the boots first. Perhaps wear them in by equipping them in the house or backyard, before heading out on a trek.
Comfort and performance can be hugely effected by the way the boot closes. This may sound strange, but when you think about it, it does make sense.
It is likely that you will purchase a snake proof boot and it might be slightly too large and need adjusting. Therefore, having some straps to tighten the fitment is perfect.
A common type of closure is a zipper, which provides a quick and simple solution that isn’t too fiddly or awkward when out and about. The downside is that the zippers can get caught on all kinds of nature like bushes and twigs protruding out from the undergrowth. This also makes them quite prone to breaking. Finally, they don’t provide a picture perfect fitment, so beware of these drawbacks when purchasing.
An easy alternative to zips is a slip-on boot. Easy and quick to put on, the lack of zippers means that you won’t get caught up on random foliage as you explore. The bad news is that they can often be quite uncomfortable due to not fitting correctly, so be careful with this option.
Lace closures allow for as close to a custom fit as possible. The laces will usually extend all the way up the shaft of the boot which is ideal for getting as tight a fit as you deem necessary. Of course the downside is that laces on snake boots can be tiresome and time consuming to tie up and undo.
Most suppliers will elect for a combination of any of the above sources for their closure solution. Velcro is another option that is employed in conjunction with say a zipper or slip on boot. It should be considered where your excursion is taking place, as the environment will play a part in your decision.
Oftentimes disregarded altogether is air circulation.
It’s important to have this as a consideration as snake boots are notorious for making your feet sweat. Not only is this uncomfortable, but you won’t be the most popular person in the room if you turn up with stinky feet! Most boots these days weave breathable fabrics into the boot to keep the feet as cool as possible. Linings are also used to draw the sweat away and allow it to evaporate.
A breathable fabric that is waterproof is something to aim for. There are many variations of technology to achieve this and different suppliers opt for different solutions. The ideal boot will be breathable and allow maximum comfort to keep you hygienic and able to endure a long journey.
Where it is Made
The final piece of advice is to consider where the product is manufactured.
Being made in the USA isn’t entirely necessary, however there is a peace of mind associated with this and an affinity with the company can be built should there be any feedback, good or bad.
With the pieces firmly in place we can begin to look at the selection of products on offer, spreading across various brands such as Chippewa Snake Boots and Lacrosse Snake Boots.
To comprise our list, we will be analyzing the products in great detail by finding out what makes them unique. A list of specifications will be paired with our good and bad points and then we’ll be taking a look at snake boots reviews across multiple platforms to get a really rounded picture of the product. Without delay, let’s jump in and take a look at the first item:
The Best Snake Boots 2017
The opening item, from LaCrosse is the men’s specific Venom Scent APG HD Snake Boot.
Their mantra is to provide boots that simply won’t let you down and with experience dating back to their founding at 1897, it’s fair to say they have the pedigree to back this claim up. Toughness, durability and comfort are the cornerstones of lacrosse snake boots and with a vast range of products to cater to multiple activities and genders, it’s no wonder they’re held in such high regard.
Back to the matter at hand and the boot on offer, this leather and fabric snake proof boot comes equipped with a wide array of accessories and performance focused essentials to give you the best item possible.
An 18 inch boot that is waterproof and durable, it claims to keep your feet bone dry all day long. “Hyper-Dri” lining is another asset this boot employs to wick away moisture when the temperature is cranked up, both internally and externally.
The design employs a flexible material that also has a scent free interior. Quite the roll call of specifications! Let’s break them down further by taking a look in detail at what this has to offer;
- Leather and Fabric
- Rubber sole
- Shaft measures approximately 18″ from arch
- Heel measures approximately 2″
- Platform measures approximately 1.00″
- 360º Snake Guard provides flexible snake bite protection
- Dry-Core lines the boot creating a waterproof, scent-free barrier
- Side-zip for easy on/off
A list as long as your arm, let’s take a look at the good and the bad with our pros and cons.
A high scoring product on Amazon.com that yields multiple positive reviews and it’s no surprise really. The extensive specifications really make this product.
The core elements in place, let’s take a look at some of the snake boots reviews before rounding up the information into a concise conclusion.
A very strong early contender for Mike’s Top Choice, the veritable swiss army knife of snake boots offers many pleasing and functional aspects that sky rocket this into a favorable viewing.
The negative aspects are relatively minor and can be overlooked by taking into account the overwhelming positives. Will lacrosse snake boots make our final pick? Let’s keep going to find out.
Chippewa Snake Boots come in an assortment of styles and design and this offering, made in the USA, blends modern functionality with traditional styling.
Established in 1901, the mantra was to provide top quality boots that are both rugged and suitable for all purposes. With a long lineage of delivering quality products, there is a certain standard that they hold themselves to. This ensures quality products are delivered to the consumer, without compromise.
Blending multiple attributes such as styling, comfort and performance, these snake boots look to appeal to both hunters and the casual rambler. Durability is also prioritized, which is great to see as the last thing you want is for the boot to fall apart after a few short uses. Stylized as “brown expresso”, this aesthetic certainly allows the boot to stand out from the crowd. Let’s investigate how the specifics look.
- Leather and fabric
- Made in USA
- Vibram sole
- Quality Brown Oro Russet Leather Foot And Collar
- Vipercloth shaft prevents fang penetration
- Adjustable straps for comfort fit
With the facts in place let us now take a look at what we discovered to be the pros and cons about these Chippewa snake boots
Overall we can see the pros far outweigh the cons. This is reflected with a good score on Amazon. Most reviews are indeed positive as well, with many users praising the comfort of the snake boots.
To conclude, the Chippewa Men’s 17″ Pull On 23913 Snake Boot is a finely crafted item that has many features and benefits for the user.
Constructed out of great material that many users found to be comfortable, it certainly ticks the key boxes when looking for the best snake boots.
The real downside that was a reoccurring theme throughout user reviews was the fact that the boots would come in larger than expected. This has implications across a couple of points. Firstly, if the boots do not fit properly they could rub and cause discomfort and even discourage the user from wearing them. Secondly, if they do not fit accordingly, a returns process needs to be followed which causes further aggravation for the end user.
We can therefore judge these Chippewa snake boots to be a good entry in our list, but perhaps not the best. Let’s press on and see what is next in store.
Next up is this offering from Danner.
Get used to that name, as Danner snake boots will be appearing frequently in our list.
Founded in 1932 by Charles Danner, superior craftsmanship was the key ideology behind his brand. This dedication has continued to the present day. Catering to all manner of niches including hiking, hunting, work and lifestyle boots, their widespread appeal is apparent to see.
The boot we’re concentrating on is the newest addition to the Sharptail series and comes with a dark leather overtone, which really helps sell the hunting aesthetic. Quality and performance are the key considerations behind this design. Lightweight comfort is focussed on as well, enabling a truly well rounded snake proof boot. A further feature is that this is also a waterproof product, which comes with a breathable lining, again, highlighting the emphasis on comfort and practicality.
Finally, the boot offers 360 degree protection from snake bites, which is vital when you consider a snake can strike from any angle and won’t simply focus on where you have the protection! To further understand the product let us get into the specifications of the Danner snake boot.
- Rubber sole
- Shaft measures approximately 16″ from arch
- Boot opening measures approximately 19″ around
- Waterproof, full-grain leather upper with lightweight 900 denier nylon
- Snake-proof protection
- GORE-TEX waterproof, breathable lining
- Rear gusset with rugged hardware offers adjustable fit and long-lasting performance
- Cushioning Ortholite footbed
A great list of specifics that give a good impression of what we can expect from the product. So let us now move on and examine the good and bad points of our snake boot.
Another well thought out and impressionable Danner snake boot that ranks highly on Amazon.com.
There are very few bad points to pick up with this snake boot.
The contentious notes are that perhaps the quality is not up to par as previous iterations; however it still seems to score highly amongst the community as a whole. The positives are resounding and clear to see, comfort being the runaway positive. This could end up being our choice when all is said and done, but for now we’ll continue on and see what the next offering has in store.
Another submittal from Danner, this boot immediately differentiates itself with its rugged and tough look.
Specifically designed for men, the all leather snake proof boot comes with 360 degree protection from snake bites, as we’ve come to expect from Danner snake boots.
Following on, this all-encompassing leather feature has been implemented with wear and tear in mind. The idea being that the material will help to protect it. The design itself is based upon the manufacturers “Terra Force” technology and the result is a more streamlined and lightweight profile.
As with the previous issue, the same waterproof liner is employed to keep your feet nice and dry as you traverse through all sorts of conditions on your trek. Quality of the product is of course the focal point, Danner are renowned for ensuring this is the primary concern for their products so we are sure to be in for a strong contender for Mike’s Choice.
The specifications list below will give us an idea as to what we’re looking at, so let’s proceed.
- Rubber sole
- Shaft measures approximately 15.5″ from arch
- Heel measures approximately 1.25″
- Platform measures approximately 0.5 “
With the facts established, it’s time to see the positives and negatives surrounding the product as we have deduced.
We can see then that this high quality product contains multiple positive attributes that are pleasing to see. Comfort, quality and durability are the key factors for any snake boot, in particular Danner snake boots. The product is however let down by the leaking issues and zip malfunctioning that while not occurring with every purchase, are certainly common enough to be of note. It is this which ultimately lets the product down in our eyes, especially when the price is more than its rivals and indeed its contemporaries from the same supplier.
A shame to say, but this product will not be making it as Mike’s Top Choice.
Time to move on and examine what the next boot can offer.
The final offering from Danner, sees a lightweight snake proof boot that has a hunting purpose behind its construction.
Equipped with a “Danner Phantom” outsole that provides stealth performance that allows you to sneak up on prey. As a snake boot, it comes complete with the 360 degree protection we’re used to by now from a highly reputable company such as Danner. Packed with additions such as being waterproof, nylon upper material that is resistant to tears and breathability, this puts it in good company as a top snake boot. The attention to detail is clear so let’s see what the specifics have to offer.
- Rubber sole
- Waterproof snake boot featuring breathable GORE-TEX extended comfort lining
- Nylon upper and shank
- Lace-up closure
A strong list, but how does it fare in our good vs bad breakdown?
The real cause for concern is the issue with ankle pain associated with the boot. As we have established previously, comfort should be a high priority and usually is. The multiple complaints highlighted this issue which is why we felt it necessary to feed this back and unfortunately, this knocks it out of the running for Top Choice, despite some great qualities that do compensate for this.
After spending a lot of time with Danner snake boots, let’s now turn our attention to rocky snake boots by examining the below product.
Their repertoire extends to include work and military footwear, amongst other subverts.
New fabrics and technologies are constantly being researched and developed to ensure the customer gets the best possible product. So this all ties in to our snake boot that we’re looking at, as the company give us a comfortable and waterproof boot that has it’s upper constructed with cordura fabric. This is covered with a camo aesthetic, giving a real hunter vibe about the boot. The heel and toe are offered abrasion protection, providing that much needed durability.
How do the in depth specifications look?
Let’s find out.
- Synthetic sole
- Shaft measures approximately 15″ from arch
- Heel measures approximately 1.5″
- Lace-up hunting boot featuring D-ring hardware and cushioned foot bed
- Reinforced toe and heel cap
An impressive list that sets it in good stead, let’s examine further with our pros and cons.
While another solid offering, these snake proof boots are not able to compete with the similarly priced lacrosse snake boots. The technical aspects are for the most part on point and this is certainly a worthy product. The negatives are again down to the choice of zippers, which we have seen before. To conclude therefore, we can move on from this boot and get to our final selection and see if this can reign supreme as our top Choice.
The last but not least product we have to view; the Irish Setter VaprTrek Hunting Boot.
A heritage that dates back over 50 years, the company has hunting as its core passion. Adapting with the times, their boots have become lightweight, durable and comfortable; ticking numerous boxes that make up the foundation of the best snake boots.
The VaprTrek boots in particular are 40% lighter than other boots in their itinerary, making this an attractive proposition. This is due mainly to the synthetic material called RPM, which was introduced in 2013 to their range. Also coming equipped with breathable water proof material that has a scent balm lining, it’s a boot packed with all you need to stay fresh and dry in your expeditions.
The design itself is bursting with a hunter inspired aesthetic that really gives the product a big boost. But let’s investigate further with a look at the specifications;
- Leather and synthetic
- Rubber sole
- 17-inch hunting boot with full grain waterproof leather and lightweight RPM technology
- UltraDry Waterproofing system
- SnakeGuard construction to impede fangs, thorns and other elements from penetrating boot upper
- ScentBan technology to kill odor causing bacteria
- ArmaTec abrasion resistant protective covering
A very complete list which sets it up to be a great snake proof boot. How did it stand up to our pros and cons though?
The design and feel of this boot is great and many snake boot reviews across the web attest to that. But this is not a product without flaw. The negatives, as noted in our “cons” segment, revolve around the seam being prone to tearing and issues about leaking.
What we have here is a great product that is unfortunately besieged with flaws that are just too much to ignore. It could have been in prime position to make it as Mike’s Top Choice but this snake proof boot has just missed out on that spot to a worthy winner…
You’ve read the reviews, you’ve seen the prices and you’ve compared the specifications. But the real deciding factor is going to be the Mike’s Top Choice.
There have been many great snake boots explored within this journey and multiple contenders for our coveted first pick, but there can be only one winner.
Ladies and gentlemen, this honor is bestowed upon the terrific LaCrosse Men’s Venom Scent APG HD Snake Boot. An item that is bursting with positives from the very get go, the Lacrosse snake boots contain a heap of accessories and attributes that really made it stand out. Combined that with how well priced this is and there’s really no other choice. If you’re looking for a snake boot that can do everything you ask, including being waterproof and durable, whilst maintaining comfort and functionality, then look no further. A product backed with a strong history of performing well from a trustworthy company, this will truly be the snake proof boot to give you peace of mind as well as doing an incredible job of protecting you.