If you’re going out hunting in the United States, you might’ve asked yourself, “Are snake boots necessary?” Hunters aren’t indestructible, despite what many may think.

While the senses of a hunter must be keen to effectively hunt, using them as a defense to avoid snakes does not guarantee safety. Snakes are often unnoticeable and can strike suddenly.

Snake attacks occur when people encroach upon a snake’s territory, whether aware of it or not. Even the most venomous species, like rattlesnakes, are generally not aggressive and try to avoid humans. According to the FDA, 8,000 people are bitten by venomous snakes in the US each year, resulting in an average of 12.5 deaths.

Venomous snakes are common in the US, and attacks frequently occur before the snakes hibernate as cold weather hits. While certain species live in specific geographic regions, there are venomous snakes across the entire country.

Snake boots refer to specially made footwear, used most often in hiking and hunting, built to protect from snakebites. We’ll explain the effective differences between snake boots and boots made of leather and rubber.

Why Hunters Don’t Always Wear Snake Boots

Some hunters may not be able to justify getting snake boots because of the compromises in certain qualities, like water resistance, breathability, and comfort. These factors weigh more heavily in areas of the US where venomous snakes are more common, like Oregon, Montana, Wyoming, and Texas.

Rubber boots offer more water resistance than snake boots, which matters most in the wetlands that cottonmouths and water moccasins often call home. Snake gaiters are a better combination of water resistance and protection.

Snake boots are often more expensive than leather or rubber boots as well. This increased cost for the quality can be off-putting to thrifty hunters.

Snake boots are, by design, tall and thick to offer protection. Unfortunately, this has the consequence of making them hotter and prone to making your feet sweat.

Uncomfortable temperature is a lot less noticeable with leather and rubber boots. Overall, snake boots are less comfortable to hike in.

Leather boots offer better traction when hiking, offering more support if you find yourself on loose terrain.

Snake boots are heavier than leather or rubber alternatives, so hunters have to decide if exhaustion is a worry that overtakes snake bites for their area and their planned hunt.

Will Rubber Boots Stop Snake Bites?

Snakes can bite through rubber boots. Depending on factors like the location of the bite, the materials used in that particular boot, and the type of snake, you might not be protected at all.

Will Leather Boots Stop Snake Bites?

Leather boots are not enough to guarantee protection from a snake bite. Snakes can bite through leather boots but can also be stopped if you’re lucky. Tougher leather material can offer decent protection, but it can also wear down.

Are Snake Boots Effective — What Makes Them Snake Proof?

The production processes that go into creating snake boots involve combination layers of many different materials. While snakes can bite through rubber and leather boots, snake boots use more than just rubber and leather, incorporating plastic polymers like polyurethane and silicone to practically guarantee protection from bites.

Rigorous tests simulating snake bites on the boots ensure fangs cannot penetrate through. There are also live tests to see if snakes can bite through boots before they go to market. While different snakes have different fang lengths and are in different positions inside their mouths, snake boots are designed to protect from any bite.

One test is to have a balloon inside the boot while undergoing snake bites. The crushing force of a snake bite is minimal compared to the pounds per square inch of a fang. If the balloon is punctured, it’s clear that more iteration is needed.

With prolonged use and potential breakages from accidents, snake boots can lose effectiveness. The durable and specially engineered footwear is designed to protect people from snake bites.

Are Snake Boots Worth It?

The value of snake boots and snake gaiters will depend a great deal on your hunting environment. There is a diverse range of snake boots available to you, meant to cater to your own needs. The levels of risk you face on the hunt are based on your environment, the season, and the animals you can expect.

Snake boots are undoubtedly worth purchasing if you are a hunter and you know you’re heading into snake-infested territory at a time of year when they’re active.

Of course, there are other alternatives to consider such as snake gaiters or snake chaps. Both provide a level of protection although, arguably, they are not quite as reliable as the boots.

Hunters may overestimate their ability to naturally avoid snakes. If you think that the drawbacks of snake boots outweigh the benefits, you may be interested in wearing snake gaiters instead, which are made for more watery environments.

Because snakes can bite through rubber and leather boots much easier than snake books, there’s no safer option for protecting your feet while on the hunt.

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