Can Snakes Bite Through Rubber Boots? +3 Snakeproof Boots

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. Learn more.

by  Jon Wadsworth | Last Updated: 

If you know there are snakes around where you work, garden, or hunt, the safest option is to buy boots certified as snakeproof. 

A standard Muck or Wellington could and should stop all but the most frenzied bite, but there’s a big difference between could stop, should stop, and will stop, a snake bite.

I personally don’t like the idea of “should stop a snake bite,” so I’ve put together all the vital information about how to protect yourself. From dispelling myths about which boots are snakeproof to which rubber boots offer the best protection, I’ve got your back, or possibly feet.  

Can Snakes Bite Through Your Rubber Boots?

View this post on Instagram

It doesn’t matter which country you hail from; a good pair of Muck boots, or a favorite pair of Wellingtons, are perfect for stomping around in the great outdoors. Your feet need to be dry, warm, and safe; and not just safe from dropping something on your foot, sometimes there are worse things than stubbing your toe.

Spending a day hunting or working outside with wet feet, though, can make for a gloomy day, which is why many of us will slip on a pair of rubber boots. Your feet keep dry, but a pair of rubber bots doesn’t cover every base, you’ll need protection from more than just the weather.

From clearing the garden now summer is here to hiking through the woods or working in the fields, sturdy, waterproof boots are a must. And for most people, that’s as far as their concerns go. If you live or work in a climate that harbors snakes, have you taken into account the fact that you need protection from bites? It’s a rare thing for someone to be bitten, but then again, so is winning the lottery, and someone has to win.

View this post on Instagram

You’ll often need a good pair of rubber boots to keep the weather out and your feet healthy. But are rubber boots the best choice for areas where wildlife can be a problem?

Our readers in the United Kingdom can cheerfully clear the garden in a pair of rubber boots, safe in the knowledge that they’ll find nothing more than an irate hedgehog waiting in the undergrowth. But for many others, there’s something a little more alarming to worry about; snake bites. Harry the Hedgehog can’t break through your boot, but can a snake bite you through your muck boot?

Muck Boot Wetland Pro Snake
Buy Now at Amazon
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Boot Type Matters

View this post on Instagram

If the only protection between your leg and a snake bite is a thin piece of rubber, such as a pair of Wellington boots, there’s a high risk of a snake bite breaking through the rubber. Many Wellingtons are designed to be light, and are often only a few millimeters thick. To bring that home, a decent sized snake can have fangs of around ¾ of an inch.

Most snake bites are unexpected; you’ve got too close to the snake, which is why it’s tried to bite you, and a large snake can puncture your boot with alarming ease. 

View this post on Instagram

If you’re lucky, the fangs simply break through the rubber and don’t find skin. If you’re unlucky, and the boots are close fitting, then there’s a chance that the bite hits home, and then you’re in a world of pain. Wellington boots are designed to be waterproof, not snakeproof; any protection from snakes is purely coincidental.

If you’re usually wearing rubber work boots when outside, especially a thick pair designed for tougher work, these offer more protection than Wellingtons. The rubber is thicker, and the boots cover more of your leg. They’re still not classed as snakeproof but give you a better chance of walking away unscathed.  

Boot Height and Width Offers More Protection

Work boots are usually made of thicker material than Wellington boots and offer more protection. The major drawback to work boots is that many are only ankle high, which just won’t cover enough of your leg to be truly snake proof. A snake bite to a steel toe cap will likely be of no real danger, but it’s such a small area that you rely more on luck than common sense.

While a Wellington or Muck boot usually has enough space inside to leave a gap between your leg and the shaft of the boot, work boots are generally a much closer fit. A snake bite on a rubber boot could penetrate the rubber but not reach your leg, but on a work boot, if the snake’s fangs break through, it could very well lead to a nasty bite.

How long is the average snake fang?

With around 600 venomous snakes on the planet, the snake with the longest recorded fang is the Gaboon viper, with fangs of up to 2” in length. This snake is only found in rainforests and sub-Saharan Africa. For more common snakes such as the Rattlesnake or Copperhead, the average length is around 0.75” long

Around 7 – 8,000 people per year are bitten by a snake in the U.S, though only around five per year actually die due to being bitten. That’s not to say you should take being bitten lightly though; snake venom can cause serious health issues, damage flesh, and destroy nerves. An estimated 10-44% of people bitten by a rattlesnake have lasting injuries, and I don’t like those odds at all.If you are unlucky enough to get bitten by a snake, seek immediate help.  

question icon

What Makes a Boot Snake Proof?

View this post on Instagram

The key to making boots snake proof is the lining between the outer material and the inner lining of the boot itself. Depending on the company, you’ll find several different methods used to protect from bites. The Muck Boot Company, for example, prefers to use full rubber coverage for the entire boot to ensure their snakeproof boots do what they say. 

The Muck Boot Wetland Pro Snake is certified against snake strikes and is tested thoroughly to ensure a bite won’t break through the full rubber boot. Cordura is another material used as a barrier to snake bites and can be used between the outer rubber and the inner layer of breathable fabric. It’s light enough not to be annoying but strong enough to make it hard for fangs to break through.

Muck Boot Wetland Pro Snake
Buy Now at Amazon
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

The length of your boot will also have a massive bearing on whether you’ll be bitten; ankle boots might be comfortable and sturdy, but taking a bite to the calf won’t improve your day. A boot covering as high up your calf as possible will make it all the harder for a snake to find flesh. 

I recommend a boot with at least a 15” shaft; you’ll still be able to move freely, and short of a snake dropping out of a tree onto you, a good pair of snake proof boots will give you the peace of mind needed to walk with confidence. The Rocky Men’s Lynx Waterproof Snake Hunting Boot is an excellent example of a Cordura-lined boot that’s long enough to offer the protection you need.  

Rocky Men's Lynx Waterproof Snake Hunting Boot
Buy Now at Amazon
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

My Top Recommendation for Snake-Proof Rubber Boots

You can find snake proof boots at various specialist retailers, though my favorite is the Muck Boot Company’s Men’s Wetland Pro Snake. A completely waterproof boot that’s perfect for all weather conditions, the Wetland Pro has all the features of a traditional Muck boot with the addition of a full height snake strike-resistant rubber covering. 

Given that most snake bites are calf-high or lower, the height of the Wetland Pro is perfect; at 17.3” to the top of the shaft, your legs are given the ideal amount of coverage. They’re easy to get on and off; although I use a boot jack to remove mine due to their length, I usually run out of arm before I run out of boot. 

Available from a size five to a size 15, the Wetland Pro isn’t just your go-to snake boot; it’s a fantastic all-rounder that makes working outdoors much safer and more comfortable. I’m aware that some people find this boot a little tight on the calf, but if that’s the case, Muck boots can be stretched out to fit a wider calf; all in all, they are a great boot for keeping snakes at bay.

Muck Boot Wetland Pro Snake
Buy Now at Amazon
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

My Favorite Snake-Resistant Leather Boot

There are few better leather, snake-resistant leather boots on the market than the Twisted X 17-inch Viperguard Snake Boot, a beautiful boot that’s perfect for outdoor work. The Twisted X is possibly the most eco-friendly boot I’ve ever seen, made with recycled materials and environmentally friendly manufacturing techniques.

Twisted X Men's Viperguard Snake Boots
Buy Now at Amazon
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Not only that, but there’s a waterproof inner lining to keep your feet dry, and thanks to the use of  Viperguard material, you’re safe to walk where you wish. The rubber outsole is great for maintaining grip, and the toe cap offers the protection you need while working outside all day. 

A moisture-wicking removable footbed also keeps your feet dry, which is a big plus; many snake proof rubber boots can make your feet extremely hot. Whereas the leather Twisted X has the perfect features to keep your foot dry and allows your leg to breathe, thanks to the air-mesh-lined shaft

The full-grain leather of the Twisted X is thick enough to withstand a snake bite, especially with Viperguard material inserted. But it’s important to remember that snakes can bite through leather boots, especially larger snakes, which can have a much stronger jaw strength. Thin leather boots won’t offer the protection needed, so if you’re going for a leather boot, make sure it’s crafted from thick leather and is designed to be snakeproof.

How to Protect Your Feet From Snakes

View this post on Instagram

One of the simplest ways to protect your feet from snakes is to simply make a bit of noise while moving around. Snakes pick up vibrations from your footsteps, so it’s not a bad idea to stamp your feet every now and again. Snakes want nothing to do with us; if you’re bitten, it’s likely because you startled a snake; if they know you’re coming, they’ll try to 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 fabric between your leg and any potential biting incident. Trade a bit of heat for a bit more security. 

Boot Add Ons

If you’re wearing regular boots, even boots with a high shaft, an additional safety addon you may find helpful is a kiltie. This simple yet effective boot add-on acts as a second tongue on your boot and protects the most vulnerable part of your foot, the tongue area. A kiltie will add a second layer of thick leather that could stop a snake bite from getting through to your foot. 

Thick socks are your final layer of protection against snake bites; if a snake with a powerful bite has ambushed you, it’s possible the fangs can penetrate your jeans and through your  (non-snake-proof) boots. If there’s space between your boot and your leg, and the fangs don’t puncture the skin, thick socks will be your last line of defense to stop venom reaching your skin.  

Nicks Boots Kilties
Check Best Price
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Listen to the Experts

View this post on Instagram

Wiser heads than mine have spent years developing techniques for keeping safe around snakes, and most of the advice available is just common sense. The UC Davis Medical Center, based in Sacramento, California, has six tips for preventing snake bites that should keep you on the right path. 

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention also has a wealth of knowledge and covers not just how to prevent a snake bite but what to do if you’re unlucky enough to be bitten. I recommend a look here at what they have to say, particularly the part on what the signs of a snake bite are. Believe it or not, you can be bitten by a snake and not even see it coming.

Conclusion

Knowing what type of boot will offer the most significant protection from snake bites is essential.  Standard rubber boots and thin leather boots need something more; they need to be certified as snakeproof.

Overall, I can’t recommend the Men’s Wetland Pro Snake boot strongly enough; it pays to be safe when heading into a snake’s habitat. Being informed is half the battle, so I hope you’ve taken something of value to use when you next venture out.

Muck Boot Wetland Pro Snake
Buy Now at Amazon
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

FAQs

What snakes can bite through leather?

Mature snakes with a strong bite can easily bite through soft or thin leather; Rattlesnakes, Cobras, Pit Vipers, Copperheads, and Cottonhead snakes can all grow to a size that could cause you some serious concern. The bigger the snake, the stronger the jaw, and a big rattlesnake has a bite force of up to 150 PSI (per square inch).

Do waders protect against snake bites?

It’s not unusual to wear waders while out fishing or when working in particularly wet conditions, but wearing waders won’t protect against a snake bite. Waders are primarily designed to keep your feet and legs dry; a snake bite will easily penetrate the material. Snakes can swim well and will live near water, but don’t rely on rubber waders to keep you safe.

What materials can stop a snake bite?

Thick materials are often the best defense against bites; snake proof boots aside, thick denim, canvas, and thick rubber are your safest options. You’re even safer if there is a gap between the materials and your skin; a snake could penetrate a boot with its 0.75” fang, only to find there’s another inch between your boot and your leg. Distance is key to safety when it comes to snakes.