|Bogs Copperhead Snake Boot|
Bogs Footwear is considered a leader in quality boots. For this reason, when they contacted me to do a review on a set, I jumped at the chance. Being from North Carolina, my hunting areas offer plenty of opportunities for human/snake encounters. Based on that, the Bogs Copperhead snake boots were the logical choice.
Since this is a rubber boot, I felt this would be a good boot to deer hunt in. Rubber boots do not carry scent preventing the chance to leave my human odor on the trail to the tree stand. With the snake boot quality, I was hoping this would also work well for turkey hunting in the spring as well.
According to Bogs, the Copperhead boot “offers a perfect fit that doesn't need breaking in.” So, I might as well take their word on it! I looked over the boots when they arrived at the house, but I did not even remove the cardboard liners from the inside. I wanted to hike in them from scratch.
I woke up around 4am, took a shower, and then began dressing for the hunt. Sliding my feet in the boot kind of reminded me of Iron Man. There is a long zipper in the back of the boot with a folded rubber liner. When my foot got past the snake lining, it ‘locked’ into place. I was quite surprised at the weight of the boot. Once zipped up, the boot seemed much lighter than just holding them in my hands. The real test would come in about 30 minutes.
I drove with the boots on and I could tell there was limited movement in the ankle area. This was expected, after all, it is a snake boot.
Once at the entrance to the field, I grabbed my pack and bow and commenced to hike. After only a hundred yards or so, I could feel some fatigue already on my right foot and ankle. My left ankle, however, was doing well. A little history; my left ankle was broken while in college while playing basketball. I made a steal on the opposition but as I headed in the other direction, my left ankle stepped on the side of his foot, rolling it completely over. From this injury, I have chronic pain and occasionally develop a limp. The support from the hard snake lining in the boot actually helped in this case. I rested a couple of minutes and thought about what was going on. I step differently with my left than I do my right, so I adjusted my walk. Problem solved! I proceeded to hike about a mile in to the stand with no leg, ankle or foot fatigue. They were actually quite comfortable for the hike after I adjusted my steps.
It was a chilly morning (low in the mid 30s) and the 5mm of combined Neo-Tech and Airmesh insulation provided plenty of warmth. I did not test them in water, but this is a rubber boot and that is what they are made for. I have no doubt they would handle the water well.
The construction of this boot is noticeable from the moment you open the box, through the process of pulling the boot on, and to point where the boot is worn. They are advertised as not having to be broken in, and in my case the advertising was dead on. The comfort exceeded my hiking boots and the rubber shell does not carry scent. The boot contains a 400 snakeguard for puncture protection and security when walking through snake infested waters or lands.
The Bogs Copperhead snake boot lists at $190.00. I spent half that on a nice pair of 9mm chest waders. I have snake chaps that I may have spent $40 on. The point I am making here is they are expensive and I am a little cheap in regards to clothing and shoes. But...yes, there is a but…THESE BOOTS MAY BE THE HIGHEST QUALITY PRODUCT I HAVE EVER REVIEWED. I am overly impressed. Bogs has made a believer out of me, and I can see myself paying this much for this same boot in the future if circumstances dictate it. They are worth it.
Bill Howard writes a weekly outdoors column for the Wilson Times and Yancey County News and the bowhunting blog site GiveEmTheShaft.com. He is a Hunter Education and International Bowhunter Education instructor, lifetime member of the North Carolina Bowhunters Association, Bowhunter Certification Referral Service Chairman, member and official measurer of Pope and Young, and a regular contributor to North Carolina Bowhunter Magazine.