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Updated Mar 17, 2023 2:47 PM
While there are many types of boots that are designed to protect your feet, few boots can potentially save your life like a pair of snake boots. As their name suggests, these boots are designed to protect the wearer from potentially deadly snakebites by shielding the area most susceptible—the feet and lower legs—to venomous fangs.
Snake boots differ from other boots in their material and coverage. These boots have tall shafts that extend up to 17 inches from the ankle to just below the knee. They are made from materials that are difficult to puncture, such as leather, kevlar, and heavy denier nylon. Since snakes are often a hazard in swampy conditions, snake boots are also waterproof, keeping your feet both protected and dry.
If your hunting, fishing, or other recreational activities take you into areas densely populated with snakes, then continue reading to learn about our picks for the best snake boots.
How We Made Our Picks
While protection is perhaps the most important quality of a good set of snake boots, they also need to be comfortable while keeping your feet dry. With that in mind, I used the following criteria while creating my list of the top boots:
- Protection: A snake boot must be able to resist puncture from the fangs of venomous snakes. With that in mind, I chose a boot designed specifically to resist snake bites, made from tough materials, such as leather and cordura nylon.
- Comfort: A snake boot isn’t much good unless it’s comfortable enough to wear in rugged and sloppy conditions. I selected boots with cushioned insoles and midsoles that keep feet comfortable as well as protected.
- Waterproof: Since many snakes live in swampy areas, a good snake boot should be prepared to take you there with a waterproof outer and lining that keeps your feet dry in up to ankle deep water.
Best Snake Boots: Reviews and Recommendations
Best Overall: Ariat Men’s Conquest Snake Boot
Why It Made The Cut: With full-grain-leather construction and cushioned soles, these boots are the most durable and comfortable snake boots we could find.
- Sizes: 8-14
- Material: Genuine full-grain leather and rubber
- Shaft Height: 14.75 inches
- Full-grain-leather construction
- Cushioned midsole and insole
- Welted seams
Ariat is well known for its line of cowboy-inspired work boots and riding boots, so it makes sense that the company would also make one of the best pairs of snake boots. Like Ariat’s other boots, its men’s Conquest boot features top of the line construction, with full grain genuine leather, a square toe and welted seams that connect the outsole to the upper.
The boots provide ample protection from snakebites, with a shaft that measures nearly 15 inches tall. They’re also suitable for wet conditions, thanks to Ariat’s Waterproof PRO construction, which consists of waterproof full-grain leather and a lingin that’s impervious to water but allows moisture from sweat to escape.
The boots are also comfortable thanks to Ariat’s ATS technology, which uses a high-density foam midsole that absorbs shock and provides cushioning while also supporting the foot at the arches. The outsole consists of Ariat’s heavy Duratread, which provides good traction on muddy or rocky terrain.
Ariat’s boots are among the more expensive snake boots on the market; however they also use some of the highest-quality materials and construction methods, which means they’ll likely last a lot longer than cheap boots.
Best for the Money: Rocky Men’s 16 Inch Snake Hunting Boot
Why It Made The Cut: This set of snake boots offer ample coverage and thickness to ward off snakebites at a budget price.
- Sizes: 8-13
- Material: Genuine full grain leather and rubber
- Shaft Height: 16 inches
- Waterproof construction
- Affordably priced
- High density foam midsole for cushioning
- Not as durable as higher end boots
These snake boots from outdoor footwear specialists Rocky check all the boxes in what this type of specialty boot should offer while remaining at a price that’s more affordable than other boots.
Rather than a leather upper, these boots are made from thick cordura material that’s designed to withstand puncture attacks. The 16-inch column extends from the arch to just below the knee, which is plenty of coverage to protect from snake bites. There’s also an interior waterproof membrane that will keep your feet dry while walking through swampy conditions or even ankle deep water. A camouflage pattern on the uppers makes them ideal for hunters.
The Rocky snake boots are also comfortable to wear for long days in the field, thanks to high-density foam in the footbed that provides much-needed cushioning and rebound for long periods of walking and standing. A deep tread on the outsole provides ample traction while walking around in wet and slippery conditions, while a side zipper makes it easier to get the boots off and on compared to other pull on boots.
Most Comfortable: Thorogood Waterproof Snake Boots
Why It Made The Cut: Thorogood’s use of extra padding under the heel and ball on the foot make them the most comfortable snake boot we reviewed.
- Sizes: 8-14
- Material: Genuine full grain leather and cordura
- Wasterpoof: Yes
- High-quality materials
- Comfortable midsole and footbed
- Deep lug sole for traction
Few boot makers can match the quality of the boots that Thorogood produces, and their snake boots are no exception. These come equipped with a durable outer that consists of 50 percent leather and 50 percent cordura, creating an impenetrable barrier for max protection from snakes. Thorogood’s boots also offer more coverage than most, thanks to a shaft that stretches nearly 18 inches from the arch.
A 3M Scotchgard waterproofing treatment ensures your feet will stay dry if you venture into wet and muddy conditions, and the boots also feature a moisture-wicking layer that allows water vapor from sweat to pass through the upper.
Thorogood’s boots are also more comfortable than most, thanks to a dual-density foam construction at the heel and ball of the foot that absorbs impact while providing rebound to reduce leg fatigue. The outsole uses Thorogood’s Z-traction technology, which consists of a deep lug style tread that sheds dirt and debris while you walk while providing excellent traction in messy terrain.
A side zipper makes it easier to put the boot on and take it off than standard pull-on boots. Hunters will appreciate Thoorgood’s digitally enhanced camouflage pattern, which is designed to be more effective at concealing the wearer than standard camouflage.
Best Lace Up: Rocky Men’s Lynx Waterproof Snake Hunting Boot
Why It Made The Cut: Rocky combines a lace-up design that allows for a custom fit with great comfort features, including a rubber footbed and foam midsole.
- Sizes: 8-13
- Material: Cordura with rubber sole
- Height: 16 inches
- Lace up design allows for snug fit
- Thick high density foam midsole
- Deep lug sole for traction
- Shorter column than other snake boots
This set of lace up boots provides excellent protection from snakebites along with the customized fit that only laces can offer. The boots consist of tough cordura fabric, which is strong enough to ward off sharp fangs while also holding up to rugged conditions. In addition to the laces that create a fit that conforms around the foot and ankle, they also feature a side zipper that makes them easy to get on and off quickly.
The footbed uses Rocky’s Terra suspension footbed, which consists of a thick layer of rubber with polymer in the heel and forefoot that provides cushioning while walking and standing. Below the footbed is a high-density foam footbed that absorbs shock while creating rebound to reduce leg fatigue for longer expeditions. A waterproof liner makes the lLynx suitable for use in wet conditions.
Although not the tallest snake boots, the 15-inch column provides good protection from bites up to the knee. A deep knobby tread on the outsole allows the wearer to get good traction in muddy and slippery conditions.
Best Women’s: Women’s Lacrosse Alpha Agility Snake Boot
Why It Made The Cut: Features that include a snake-guard layer and cushioning insole and outsole make these boots ideal for women.
- Sizes: 6-9
- Material: Cordura with rubber sole
- Height: 15 inches
- Waterproof rubber construction
- Special snake guard layer for max protection
- Agility outsole for comfort
- Shaft not as tall as other options on this list
- Narrower range of available sizes
LaCrosse manages to combine the protection that’s necessary for a snake boot with qualities of an athletic shoe to make these women’s boots comfortable to wear over long periods.
The boots come equipped with a snake guard—a densely-woven fabric between the liner and exterior that is impervious to sharp teeth. In case you’re wondering how well this design works, LaCrosse says it has gone through a rigorous testing process, which involves inflating a balloon inside the boot then subjecting it to simulated snake strikes to ensure the material can’t be penetrated.
The rubber outer also makes them completely impervious to water, making them ideal for hoofing it through buddy conditions or even ankle deep water. There’s also a liner that wicks moisture away, keeping feet dry from the inside out as well.
LaCrosse boots are also comfortable thanks to its use of Active Fit, which keeps the heel in place and includes an adjustable gusset for a custom fit. LaCrosse also equips the boots with its Alpha Agility midsole, which provides rebound and shock absorption for comfort. When it’s time to take them off, a kick-off heel plate allows you to remove them handsfree, a useful feature if the boots happen to be muddy.
Things to Consider When Buying the Best Snake Boots
Given the positioning of most snakes on the ground, it should come as little surprise that most snakebites occur below the knee. To provide good protection from snakes, the boot should have a shaft that measures at least 15 inches high and extends just below the knee. Tall snake boots might have shafts that are as tall as 17 inches.
Of course a snake boot is only as good as its ability to prevent a snake’s fangs from piercing the boot, reaching your leg below. Leather boots are durable, fairly lightweight, resist water when properly treated, and are very difficult to puncture. Heavily-woven nylon material called cordura is a breathable fabric that’s waterproof that also resists tears and punctures. Some snake boots consist of thick rubber that can ward off fangs while allowing the wearer to wade into ankle deep water while keeping their feet dry.
Walking through water presents a particular snake-bite hazard, as it’s often difficult to see snakes that may be lurking just below the water’s surface. Many snakes also reside in swampy conditions. For that reason, many snake boots are waterproof, allowing you to keep your feet dry while walking through mud and ankle deep water while protecting your calves and feet from bites.
Pull-on vs. Lace-up
Snake boots come in pull-on and lace-up varieties, both of which have their pros and cons. While both types of boots are waterproof, a pull-on boot can better resist water by eliminating any potential gaps in the tongue that can allow water to get inside the boot. Pull-on boots also eliminate the chances that a gap might open up around the tongue, leaving part of the leg unprotected. A lace-up snake boot, in comparison, allows the wearer to get a better fit that hugs around the contours of the foot and leg.
The best snake-proof boots should do more than simply protect your feet from snakebites; they should also be comfortable to wear. Comfortable boots have thick midsoles that use high polyurethane foam to absorb the impact of walking and standing along with cushioned insoles that mold to the feet.
Q: Do I really need snake boots?
That depends on where you live. If you camp, hunt, or hike in parts of the world where venomous snakes are common, it’s probably a good idea to have a set of snake boots. While snakes are not aggressive and would rather avoid humans than bite them, snakebites can occur if you happen to surprise a snake that you may not see, such as in brushy areas or in water.
Q: Can snakes bite through leather boots?
While leather isn’t impervious to all snakebites, most snake boots made from thick leather are usually tough enough to prevent snakes from penetrating the material and reaching your foot or leg.
Q: What are the differences between snake gaiters and snake boots?
Snake boots are boots with shafts that are tall enough to extend just below the knee. Snake boots are made from thick rubber, leather, or cordura material that’s puncture resistant, preventing snakes from biting through it. Gaiters fit around your ankle and extend from just below the knee over an existing pair of boots. As with snake boots, they are made from material that’s heavy enough to prevent a snake from biting through it.
Q: How long will snake boots last?
How long snake boot lasts depends on the quality of the boot and how well you take care of it. A good set of genuine leather boots that you clean and treat regularly can last for many years.
Q: Are snake boots waterproof?
Since snake boots are footwear commonly worn in wet and swampy areas, most pairs you’ll find are designed to be completely waterproof.
Q: Are the insoles of snake boots removable?
Whether or not an insole is removable depends on the type of snake boot. Some of the boots you’ll find have removable insoles, allowing you to clean them periodically or replace them as they become worn and compressed.
Q: What boots can snakes not bite through?
A good set of snake boots is made from bite-proof material, which includes thick leather, Cordura nylon, kevlar, and some synthetic weaves of fabric. Many boots will use a combination of these materials to provide maximum protection.
Q: Are snake boots effective?
A set of snake boots can be the difference between receiving a painful, and potentially lethal, venomous bite and receiving no bite at all. Given that most snake bits occur between the knee and foot, a good set of snake boots can be very effective at protecting the wearer.
If you’re hiking, fishing, hunting, or otherwise traveling through an area that’s known for having a population of venomous snakes, then a good set of snake boots is important. With their full-grain-leather construction, cushioned midsole and insole, and tall 18-inch shaft, the Ariat Conquest boots are one of the best options. Those looking for a more affordable option without compromising protection should consider the Rocky Snake Hunting Boot, which uses cordura nylon that offers great snakebite protection at a price that’s more affordable than genuine leather.
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