There are a lot of questions floating around about snake boots, also often referred to as snake proof boots. Snake boots are quality boots that are designed with the specific purpose of protecting you from venomous snake bites. Most designs not only cover your feet, but also go up the leg to the knee, since the lower leg is where the most venomous snake bites occur.
In the United States this means that snake bite boots will protect against coral snakes, rattlesnakes, copperheads, and water moccasins. While bites from these snakes can be deadly, in the actual U.S. the average number of recorded deaths due to venom is around a measly eight per year. In other countries the number is far higher, but even in the U.S. having the boots stop one snake strike will save you enough in medical bills to pay for themselves many times over.
Snakes represent a statistically minor threat, but many outdoor enthusiasts harbor a nagging fear of the limbless creatures. The best way to avoid bites is by watching where you place your hands and feet, but snakeproof boots can provide additional safety and peace of mind. When selecting a pair of snakeproof boots, consider the amount of coverage provided, the materials used in their construction and the way they feel on your feet, before making a selection.
Most non-provoked snakebites occur on the lower leg, so standard snakeproof boots – which usually extend about 16 inches above the foot -- offer sufficient protection. However, large pit vipers can strike higher than this, meaning that your knees are within their reach, and vulnerable. If you desire more protection than that afforded by the standard boot, consider purchasing snake chaps, which provide hip-to-ankle protection, instead of boots.
Snakeproof boots use a variety of materials to make them resistant to fangs, including proprietary synthetic weaves, Cordura nylon, denim, leather and Kevlar. Aside from the protective layer, snakeproof boots may feature any number of additional materials, including suede, rubber, leather and Gore-Tex. If you intend to use the boots in marshy, wet areas, select a rubber-bottomed pair with waterproof uppers. Because you only need snakeproof boots during warm weather, avoid heavily insulated models, which may cause your legs and feet to sweat heavily. Choose boots made from breathable materials to keep your feet cool and comfortable.
Fit and Feel
One of the most important considerations involving snakeproof boots is the way they fit your feet. You may have to hike several miles in unforgiving terrain while wearing the boots – if they do not fit well, blisters and aching feet are sure to result. This will cause you to take off the boots – exposing your legs and feet – or head back to your truck, tired, frustrated and in pain. Try on any snake boots you are considering, and wear the same type of socks and pants that you will wear in the field while doing so, so you can accurately gauge their comfort.
Laces, Velcro or Zippers
Manufacturers make snakeproof shoes in a variety of styles; some cinch closed via Velcro straps, zippers or laces, while others slip on and off. Laces and Velcro straps provide the most comfortable and customizable fit, but slip-on varieties – which lack flapping laces or bouncing zippers that may snag sticks and debris – are less likely to become entangled with anything as you hike. If you must have the flexibility offered by laces, you can wrap a camouflage bandanna around the laces to keep them contained.
Published by shahid Maqsood