Can a Copperhead Bite through Leather Work Boots?

If you are working on the farm or in a trench or going through a bunch of undergrowth, grassy plains or any other prime snake territories then I am sure you must be very well aware that these areas can be extremely dangerous. The areas are full of snakes which use sharp fangs to transfer their venom.

Can a Copperhead Bite through Leather Work Boots

The only thing that can save you from this is wearing proper gears which can keep fangs away from your skin. While there are proper snake boots to accomplish this task, can you make it in leather work boots?

NO, leather work boots cannot save you from the bite of a copperhead which has got long, retractable fangs upto 2 inches in length. Although the bite strength of these snakes isn’t much, their fangs are just long enough to penetrate any boot.

Most of the time it depends on the size of the snake, all leather boots can withstand the bites of small snakes. However, with a copperhead of 29 to 30 inches, the leather boots cannot stop them.

What material can save you from snakebite?

The main aim of the materials is to save the person from the sharp fangs of the snakes. While it is generally recommended to wear resistant clothes, very few people know what materials can actually save you from the venom of these snakes.

Apart from wearing loose-fitting trousers that extend well below the top of the boot and can be ballooned well, you can supplement the pants with anti-snake gaiters or chaps. These are usually constructed using tough nylon materials like Cordura or hard plastic.

Materials such as plastic, neoprene or combination of leather and rubber are generally considered best to save you from a snakebite. Apart from these, other synthetic materials protect the foot and a shin in a protective sheath or sleeve.

Are Cowboy boots designed to protect against snakebite?

Whenever somebody talks about cowboy boots, the first image that comes to our mind is of a cowboy in the middle of a rattlesnake country. So, does that mean that cowboy boots can save you from a snakebite?

Well, the cowboy boots are so designed with a tall shaft to keep the boot in place while you are wearing it. Although, this shaft is definitely beneficial in helping to protect a person from a snakebite.

But the story doesn’t end here. Most of the sankebites happen in the calf area and if a copperhead bites right on the shaft of your cowboy boots then your cowboy boots might not be able to save you. However, there could be few things that could play in your favour and you might get lucky.

In case you might be wearing thick jeans or if there is space on the side of the boot and your legs then the snake bite can be a waste. With snakes growing pretty large (upto eight feet), your cowboy boots cannot save you from the bite on the vamp, the top and side of the foot area.but the thick sole can protect the bottom of your feet.  

What features should boots have to save you from snake bite?

If you are ready to work in a snake territory then your boots should have following features:

1. Proper Coverage

We are habitual of many motionless, sharp objects lying on the ground like nails or other piercing instruments. But snakes don’t lie around stock-still.

They can easily climb, slither and make their way up for your feet to your shins. Therefore, it’s better to keep one thing in mind, the longer your boots, the more protected you are.

The shortest you can choose is a mid calf length but I would suggest you not to go as low as ankle height. Most snakes attack between the ankle and the knee therefore choose a boot with a shaft size ranging between 6 to 18 inches in height.

2. Closures

You can’t be ignorant when it comes to snake bites the way your boot closes can have a massive impact on saving you from the venom. For example, zippers are very common and are easy to use but if you work outdoors then these zippers often get caught by twigs and thick bushes, breaking down a lot and leaving your feet wide open making them vulnerable.

Slip ons can be a good option since they are not only easy to put on but also lack zippers and laces which means they can keep your feet closed inside the boot no matter wherever you go. You can choose the boots from different brands which combine a few different closures with Velcro for a unique effect.

3. Comfortable Fit

While you have to get a pair that is tough and sturdy from outside, make sure that the boots are comfortable from inside since your feet are going to remain in the boot for quite a long time.

Some snake boots might be extremely stiff and rigid which is a point in favour of protection but these can be a bit uncomfortable and might hinder your work progress. Therefore, look for bite proof boots with flexible points so that you can move your feet freely.

4. Proper Air Circulation

Breathability and proper circulation is one of the most overlooked factors when we talk about snake proof boots. Knee high boots can make your feet sweaty and full of odor.

Look for boots which have got breathable fabrics and moisture wicking properties. But don’t forget, they should be waterproof as well after all you are in rough terrains.

Recommended Boots to Save Yourself from Snake Bites

1. Thorogood Men’s Snake Boot 17″ Waterproof

Designed to be extra durable, the support provided by these Thorogood boots for your calves and feet is nearly unmatched. The boots are a great option if you are looking for utility and comfort without compromising with your safety.

One of the interesting features of these boots is the Z- Track rubber outsole which is slip resistant and has got an impressively robust construction that gives super traction on any surface. Moreover, the boots are 100% waterproof which means you really don’t have to worry about water getting into your boots.

The boots come with dual density removable footbeds which are quite comfortable. Not just this, they also give you flexibility so that you can walk more freely. Furthermore, the high quality leather upper and rubber outsoles in these boots make cleaning super easy.


      • Z-trac slip-resistant outsole made of rubber with gripping pad and rugged lug design
      • Cushioned midsole for shock absorption
      • SnakeGuard Extreme for protection from snake bites around 360 degrees
      • Removable dual-density insole/footbed
      • Scotchgard protection by 3M
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

2. Chippewa Men’s 17″ Pull On 23913 Snake Boot 

Offering you a perfect blend of a rugged outdoor snake boot and stylish hunting boot, these Chippewa boots are apart from most snake boots because of their unique design and style.

The boots come with an orthopedic insole which supports your feet and prevents them from getting tired even after long hours of work. The outsoles are easy to remove and replace.

The boots feature Vibram outer sole which are shock resistant, slip proof and offer great traction. Not just this, they also put bounce in your step which you can’t get with traditional rubber sole. Plus they give you an added layer of comfort and security.


      • Stylish espresso-brown leather boot
      • Vibram soles
      • Patented ViperCloth technology
      • Orthopedic removable insoles
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

3. Lacrosse Men’s Venom 18″ Waterproof Hunting Snake Boot

If you are looking for a snake boot which can survive the most dangerous situations then LaCrosse Venom boots are for you. These tall, tightly laced boots are ready to give you protection even in the harshest of conditions. The boots feature Realtree forest camo which is really great.

The laces in these boots save them from flopping around while inhibiting the entry of dirt, water and twigs. The boots are heavy duty and come with removable polyurethane footbeds which are easy to clean and these even keep your feet fresh.

The boots have got a side zipper for easy removal and pull up so that you are always ready for the task. The hardened rubber sole on the boots is incredibly durable so that you don’t have to worry about stepping on a bunch of hard rocks.


      • Made from full-grain leather and 1,000 Denier nylon
      • Hardened rubber sole
      • Side zipper
      • Removable polyurethane footbed
      • Supportive steel shank
      • Tight lace-up front
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Final Verdict

So, leather alone cannot save you from snake bites. You have to look for other options. The material of your boot should be such that the fangs do not bite through. The main factors which save you from the bite are thickness of the material and the elasticity.

The boots you choose will not only save you from a bite but also from dried grass, dust and dirt. So choose your boots accordingly and walk with confidence in the wild. Till then stay safe!

Stephen Luettgen
I have 12+ years of experience in construction, inspections, handy work, and currently working as a Construction Site Manager. In today’s day we spent a significant part of our time at workplace and a right work gear can have significant impact not only on your safety but also work quality.

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