Yellow snake
A good pair of snake boots could save your life when you’re hunting in rattlesnake country. Zdeněk Macháček/Unsplash

While rattlesnakes, copperheads, cottonmouths, and other venomous snakes haven’t changed much over millennia, the boots that guard against bites by these reptiles have evolved significantly during the past few years. Manufacturers now offer affordable, effective snake boots for outdoorspeople who have very specific needs besides the main one—to prevent the fangs of a venomous snake from penetrating your foot or leg. Here are some surprising facts about modern snake boots:

You don’t need to sacrifice warmth.

Stay warm down to -20 with the Lacrosse 4X Alpha Snake Boot. Lacrosse

Some snake boots do more than put a fang-resistant layer between your lower leg and a snake—they also are manufactured with neoprene, a flexible synthetic rubber material that provides excellent insulation. That’s why fishing waders and dry suits designed for use in cold waters are made of neoprene. Such snake boots can serve double-duty for anyone who needs a pair of warm, waterproof boots for hunting, hiking, or traversing cold, wet woods and fields.

You don’t need to sacrifice comfort.

The lightweight Leather Snake Boots from Guide Wear have speed laces, allowing you to adjust fit and hike long distances easily. Gear Guide

While snake boots are necessarily tall, modern manufacturing methods have allowed makers to produce lightweight, comfortable snake boots with speed laces so that you can easily adjust the fit all the way up to the knee (as well as put the boots on quickly). Such boots are ideal if you’re going to be doing a lot of hiking in snake country.

You don’t need to sacrifice style.

Look good in snake country and out of it with Danner’s Sharptail Snake Boots. Danner

Not all snake boots are thick, clunky, and sport a camouflage pattern. Some manufacturers make surprisingly attractive, smart-looking snake boots in a western style, which would fit right in walking around town or even on a dance floor. If you’re planning on going right from snake country to a honky-tonk, these are the boots for you…though they won’t guard you against any dangers of the non-venomous variety in that other wild place.