Rubber boots can protect you from many things, but they only offer partial protection from snake bites.
A rubber boot can be helpful at protecting you from a lot of snakes that don’t have powerful fangs. And to be fair, that’s most of the snakes we’re likely to encounter in our day-to-day lives. (More on particular species later.)
For instance, if you are working in your garden, the chances of encountering a snake that can pierce through your rubber boot are almost non-existent.
That said, the answer is yes, snakes can bite through rubber boots. It usually depends on the thickness of the rubber and the snake, but if you’re encountering lightning-fast species like rattlesnakes, copperheads, cottonmouths, pit vipers, and cobras, you’ll want something branded as a “snake boot” or snakeproof boot.
The most venomous American snakes have jaws strong enough to pierce through some boots. Read on to learn how to avoid this.
What Are Snake Boots Made Of?
While some tactical or work boots may advertise that they’re puncture-resistant, they aren’t specifically tested and rated to protect you against the rapid, lethal bite of a snake’s fangs. If they can bite into a full-grown animal, they can certainly puncture the soft material of a lot of boots.
But snake-proof boots are made with special snake-proof material that is impervious to punctures. These materials usually include hardened leather, vulcanized rubber, and especially high-density nylon fabric, which is just about impossible to rip and tear into.
What Are Snake Boots Used For?
Snake boots (not to be confused with snakeskin boots), are commonly referred to as snake-proof boots. Manufacturers design them to protect your feet and legs from snake bites. In North America, venomous snakes are abundant in many environments you may find yourself trekking through, particularly in warmer states. Rattlesnakes, cottonmouths, copperheads, and pit vipers are all examples of snakes you need to buy boots to protect against.
Snake boots are a key piece of safety equipment in many situations. These shoes feature durable materials that help to protect your legs, such as high density nylon. They do this by acting as an impenetrable shielding around your feet, ankles, and lower leg. This ensures that even if a snake strikes your foot or calf, you’ll remain safe.
The Best Boots to Protect Against Snake Bites
Snake proof boots are the proper footwear for protection against snake bites. These boots, which are commonly called snake boots, are specially made with puncture-proof materials. The materials are too tough to puncture, even for the fangs of rattlesnakes.
Here is the list of best Snake boots on the market:
- Best Overall: Muck Boot Men’s Wellington Boots Outdoors Equipment
- Runner Up: LaCrosse 4x Alpha
- Good for Women: Chippewa 15″ Pull-On.
- Best Men’s Boot for Hunting: Danner San Angelo 17″
- Best for Turkey Hunting: Danner Sharp-tail 17″
A good pair of snake boots will keep you comfortable and protected from snake bites when on foot.
Let’s check the details for some of them:
Best Overall Snake Boot: Muck Boot Men’s Wellington Boots
- Excellent support
A snake proof build combined with excelleng grip and traction make for a boot you really can take anywhere outdoors.
These boots feature a rubber sole that provides excellent grip and traction, allowing you to walk confidently on any terrain. With a knee-high shaft and a boot opening of approximately 42 centimeters, these boots offer a snug fit that keeps your feet and lower legs well-protected.
One of the most impressive features of these boots is the 5mm CR Flex-Foam material that provides insulation and comfort. Combined with a warm fleece lining, these boots will keep your feet toasty even in the coldest weather. The 2mm Thermal foam under the footbed provides additional insulation and support for your feet, ensuring that you can wear these boots for extended periods without discomfort.
For added comfort and support, the Muck Boot Men’s Wellington Boots feature an EVA contoured molded midsole that conforms to your foot’s natural shape. This design provides excellent arch support, reducing foot fatigue and making these boots ideal for long hikes or working outdoors.
Runner Up: LaCrosse 4x Alpha
- 4 layers of cushioning
- Rubber gusset fits variety of calf sizes
- Suitable for cold weather
With four layers of cushioning and a rubber gusset for different calf sizes, this partly camouflaged hunting boot is for serious hunters who don't want to drop serious cash.
These boots feature LaCrosse’s Quad Core support platform and waterproof Alpha construction for superior protection and comfort. The Alpha 4x construction combines waterproof, neoprene uppers with handcrafted, rubber overlays and snag-resistant shin guards for maximum protection.
The contoured Ankle-Fit™ design ensures a secure fit that prevents heel slippage during the hunt. The Quad Core support platform provides 4 layers of cushioning comfort and support, making these boots ideal for long hunts over many miles.
The boots also feature removable polyurethane footbeds in case you need your own insole, adjustable back gussets for a comfortable fit around the calf, and 4xBurly outsoles for reliable traction in mud and loose terrain. These boots are even comfort rated to -20ÁF, making them suitable for cold-weather hunts.
Best Women’s Snake Boot: Chippewa 15″ Pull-On
Made with real leather and high-tenacity, air jet-textured, snake proof nylon, these boots are both beautiful and functional.
These boots are made from a combination of 80% Cordura and 20% leather, providing excellent durability and resistance to wear and tear.
One of the standout features of these boots is the Vibram sole, which provides exceptional traction and grip on a variety of terrains. Whether you’re walking through rugged terrain or working on uneven surfaces, these boots will keep you stable and secure.
The pull-on design of these boots features a fabric overlay at the shaft and elasticized goring at the entry for a comfortable and snug fit. Additionally, buckled straps at the vamp and shaft add an extra layer of adjustability and customization to the fit.
Overall, the Chippewa Women’s 15″ Pull On L23913 Snake Boot is a reliable and durable footwear option for anyone who needs protection from snakes while working or enjoying the outdoors.
Best Snake Boot for Hunting: Danner San Angelo 17″
This model is still as snake proof as all get out and surprisingly lightweight, but the leather-and-nylon combo is reminiscent of old canvas and leather boots.
The Danner San Angelo 17″ snake boot is a top-quality boot. The full-grain leather and durable water repellent (DWR) treated nylon panels in the upper ensure maximum abrasion resistance, while the leather lining adds comfort and a seamless mold to your foot. The 360° snake guard provides complete snake protection from the bottom of your foot to the top of the boot, ensuring your safety in snake country.
The legendary stitchdown construction offers increased stability underfoot, making it perfect for any terrain. The 397 last allows enough room for easy on and off while providing a secure and comfortable fit, making it ideal for pull-on boots.
Danner Sharp-tail 17″
With 900-denier nylon, these boots offer snake protection from the footbed to the top of the shaft, plus they're both waterproof and breathable thanks to Gore-Tex liners.
The Danner Sharp-tail 17″ boots are made to withstand tough terrain and offer complete snake protection. The upper is crafted from full-grain leather and 900-Denier nylon, providing exceptional durability.
(“Denier” is a unit of linear density of fiber; it technically measures the mass grams per 9,000 meters. If you had a thread of silk that’s 9,000 meters long, it would be considered 1 denier.)
The boots are 100% waterproof and breathable, thanks to the Gore-Tex liners that keep moisture out while allowing sweat and moisture to escape. The 360° Snake Guard technology provides snake protection from the footbed all the way to the top of the boot.
These Sharp-tails come with a removable OrthoLite Footbed, which consists of three layers of varying density, providing considerable cushioning and support. The footbed is made of open-cell polyurethane to ensure better heat dissipation and air circulation. The Danner Sharp-tail Outsole offers solid traction over rugged terrain, making these boots ideal for outdoor activities. The rear gusset ensures an adjustable fit with rugged hardware for long-lasting performance.
How Do Snake Boots Work?
Snake boots work by providing a reliable protective layer that cannot be punctured by snake fangs. Unlike regular rubber boots and other regular boots, snake boots are made with unique puncture-proof materials (hardened leather, vulcanized rubber, and high-density nylon fabric).
An impenetrable rubber material forms the snake-guard lining sandwiched between the boots’ outer fabric and inner lining.
Snake boots can come in combinations of leather, rubber, neoprene, and even polyurethane. The defining feature is the puncture-proof rubber material that makes them impenetrable by snake fangs.
The design of snake boots differs greatly, but they are always long enough to protect you from snakes that may strike higher above the ground.
Some also have other important features, such as slip-resistant outsoles. The most important thing is that they feel comfortable and offer maximum protection against snake bites.
Are Snake Boots Tested?
Yes, experts have tested the snake boots to ensure that they genuinely offer protection against snake bites. Most of the reliable manufacturers of snake boots test their prototypes in renowned reptile farms.
On their website, La Crosse explains how they test their snake boots.
It’s never worth taking risks when it comes to snake strikes, which is why La Crosse places a strong emphasis on testing and developing each pair of snake boots that they offer.
To ensure our work is up to the task, all of our snake boot models are sent to an unbiased, third-party facility where they’re subjected to a range of penetration tests. Each boot is filled with an inflated latex balloon that easily identifies any possible puncture from the exterior.
You can trust that when a brand says their boots are tested, they literally mean angry snakes have attacked it.
How To Protect Your Feet From Snakes
Besides wearing snakeproof boots, how can you mitigate the risk of stomping around snake country?
One of the simplest ways to protect your feet from snakes is to make some noise while moving around. Snakes pick up vibrations from your footsteps, so it’s often recommended to stomp your feet every now and again.
Snakes don’t want anything to do with us. If you are bitten, it’s likely that you provoked the snake; if they know you’re coming they will more likely get out of the way.
Wearing shorts on a hunting trip or while at work is a great way to cool down, but it isn’t the smartest move in an area with snakes. The less skin on show, the better; wearing jeans adds an extra layer of thick fabrics between your leg and any potential biting incident. Trade a bit of heat for a bit more security.
Which Snakes Can Bite True Leather Boots?
While leather may seem like a sturdy and reliable option, it’s important to note that some snakes can bite through it. In fact, mature snakes with a strong bite can easily penetrate soft or thin leather, putting you at risk for a potentially dangerous encounter.
Several types of snakes are capable of biting through leather, including rattlesnakes, cobras, pit vipers, copperheads, and cottonhead snakes. These species can all grow to a significant size and have strong jaws, making it easier for them to pierce through leather with their sharp fangs.
One of the factors that determine a snake’s ability to bite through leather is the strength of its jaw. Larger snakes typically have stronger jaws and a more forceful bite, with a big rattlesnake capable of a bite force of up to 150 PSI (per square inch). This makes them especially dangerous, as they can easily break through a layer of leather or other materials.
If you do not have a good pair of snake boots, wearing a basic pair of rubber boots to garden or work in the brush is better than wearing tennis shoes or sandals, but if you’re going out of your garden and into wild country, then the type of snake you might encounter is different. Rattlesnakes and vipers are extremely unlikely to be in your garden, but the untamed wilderness is home to different varieties of snakes.
It’s always best to keep a safe distance from them when possible, but while wearing rubber boots can provide you with some additional protection, I can’t recommend the Muck Boots’ Wellingtons strongly enough; it pays to be safe when heading into a snake’s habitat.
What material can stop a snake bite?
High density nylon is the material of choice. Snake chaps and snake boots usually feature nylon that's at least 900-denier, a unit of measurement for the density of nylon.
Are snake boots snake proof?
Snake boots are made with special snake-proof material that is impervious to punctures. These materials usually include hardened leather, vulcanized rubber, and high-density nylon fabric which is almost impossible to rip and tear into.
How effective are snake boots?
100 percent, so long as the snake doesn't bite above the line of the boot. This is why so many snake boots are knee high. These boots are tested in snake farms and truly offer an impenetrable shield around your feet, ankles, and lower leg.
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