No matter where your hunting excursions take you, it’s of the utmost importance to watch your step and have the right protective hunting and hiking gear. Even for an experienced outdoor buff, going through a bunch of undergrowth, downed logs, grassy plains, swampy valleys and other prime snake territories can be very unnerving; especially now that more and more snake bites are being reported. If you are looking for real reliable protection that will actually save your life when it matters, then you need a pair of high-quality snake proof boots.
Now, we need to make one thing clear. Some people think that snake proof means any type of steel toe hiking boot or the standard rubber hunting boots. However, only a true snake proof boot renders your feet and lower legs impervious to a myriad of snake bites. From cobras and bushmasters to longer, deadlier fangs that are engineered to deliver a fatal dose of poison, you don’t want to doubt the integrity of your snake proof boots when it comes to the real quality test. So if you are thinking of getting yourself a pair of this impervious footwear, here are some things to consider before settling for a snake proof boot.
Unlike nails on the ground and other piercing objects, snakes don’t just lie around motionless. They can climb, slither, pose and strike their way up your feet and on your shins. So as a rule of thumb, the longer your snake proof boots are, the more protected you are. The shortest length you can choose safely is mid-calf, but never go as low as the ankle height. Research shows that most snake strikes are actually between the ankle and knee, so knee high snake boots are the best. The most popular shaft sizes range between 16 to 18 inches in height for optimum protection.
Bite Proof Materials
When the shit hits the proverbial fan, you want to know that your boots can actually keep you safe from snake bites. And being the only thing between you and a couple hundred mls of pure poison, it helps to know your materials. Basically, there are only a few materials used in making snake proof boots. These preferred materials include leather, synthetic weaves, Kevlar, denim, Cordura nylon among others. Combinations of one or more of these materials are woven tightly in a snake proof boot to make it very difficult for even the strongest fangs to penetrate.
While ensuring that you have a tough and sturdy shoe exterior is paramount, so is your hiking comfort. There’s no question that your feet will be inside the boots for a long time, so it pays to get a great fit. Some snake proof boots are extremely stiff and rigid which, while it may be a winner in the protection area; it sacrifices a lot of your comfort. Imagine trying to track or run fast with a pair of rigid, knee high boots; it’ll be very painful and uncomfortable I’ll tell you that much. To avoid this, look for bite proof boots with flexible points for unrestricted motion.
When it comes to snake proof boots, you can’t afford to overlook even the tiniest aspect. The way your boot closes could have a massive effect on the overall comfort and protection. Let’s take zippers for example; while they are very common, quick and easy to use, they often get caught by twigs and thick bushes. Similarly, they tend to break down a lot and leave your feet wide open to attacks.
Slip on, snake proof boots, on the other hand, are a pretty good solution. In addition to being easy to put on, the lack if zippers and laces means that you never have to agonize about snags or time wastage. However, they also have their downfalls which involve a ton of pain and discomfort if chosen wrongly. Lace closures are more popular for providing a custom fit since they usually start from the feet all the way to the shaft. However, they can be very cumbersome, especially if you forgot to lace up after washing. It’s all about finding out what works for you best. But there are some brands that combine a few different closures with Velcro for a unique effect. Master your terrain and use it as a guide for your snake boot enclosure type.
The air circulation and breathability of snake proof boots is one of the most overlooked factors. However, its importance cannot be overstated. Knee high bite proof boots are notorious for making your feet sweaty, and compounding to foot odor. Make sure you ask for snake proof boots with breathable fabrics and moisture-wicking linings for a cool and fresh environment. However, don’t compromise your waterproof features for more breathability; you’re still in the goddamn jungle after all.
There you have it; all the info you need to get the most suitable snake proof boot. One more concern that I haven’t touched on is the budget. Typically, some snake proof boots can occasionally be found for the low price of about $100. However, the best, higher end models will require triple or quadruple that investment. Remember that snake bites are not like falling objects or burning surfaces, they will actually end your life. As such, it’s better to spend more money on a decent snake proof boot that will save your life when it matters most. Trust me, those couple hundred bucks you saved buying subpar boots won’t even matter when you have viper poison coursing through your veins. So choose your battles wisely.