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Danner Vital Snake Boot Review – Solid Choice for Trekking

The Danner Vital Snake Boot is a top choice for men’s snake bit protection. As a hunter or outdoorsman, you can be on your in feet in hunting boots or snake boots for long hours. If you are working or hiking all day, it is crucial that your boots perform well. They should be comfortable, supporting your feet with every step you take through rocky or overgrown terrain. The also need to be safe, protecting you from any snakes that might lurking underfoot.

Danner Mens Vital snake proof boots details of side and rear of leather and camo hunting boot

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Additionally, they should be durable and have adequate traction to prevent damage to the boot and to prevent slips and falls that could be serious if you are in an isolated outdoor environment. You’ve probably also had to deal with thorns, brush, and falling rocks as well. In short, there are many things that can go wrong in an unforgiving natural environment, and your boots should be able to support you during these treks. While the materials on your boots should provide maximum safety against snake bites, they should also be durable and long-lasting so you are getting the most bang for your buck.

Danner Vital Snake Boots are a good pair of work or hunting boots for those looking for high-quality and comfort.

Fast Facts About​ the Danner Vital Snake Boot

  • Upper is a combination of full-grain leather and 900 Denier Nylon.
  • GORE-TEX lining is water proof and breathable.
  • Fully laced for the best fit while keeping it easy to get the boot on and off.
  • 17" full 360 Degree snake guard to ensure full protection from snake bites.
  • Athletic fit to keep up with you on the trail.
  • Wide toe box makes these boots more comfortable for those with wide feet.

Performance and Use

Danner Vital Snake Boots are useful snake boots that hunters and hikers will appreciate. The lock and load quick lacing system makes getting into and out of these boots easy and fast, and provides a really tight athletic fit, ideal for scrambling on rocks or moving quickly through thick underbrush or high grasses. These snake boots feature 900 Denier Nylon (as opposed to the 500 Denier you find on some models) and full-grain leather.

The Traction Outsole

The specially-designed Vital Outsole is Danner’s fourth generation hiking boot outsole and is designed to be rugged and provide excellent traction in almost any terrain. These outsoles feature on the entire Vital line of Danner hiking and hunting boots. It provides better grip than some other choices, and is part of the slick design of the Danner Vital boots. It also boasts Danner’s “Terra Force” platform for lightweight stability. Finally, Danner has designed the Vital Snake Boot to have a wide toe box and a fit closer to an athletic shoe to maximize your agility while keeping you safe from snake bites.

Waterproofing and the Upper

Although Danner did give the Vital a GORE-TEX lining that is supposed to provide 100% waterproofing and breathability, there are a few complaints that the waterproofing is less than perfect. One of the big changes Danner made from the old Pronghorn line of boots was to remove the side zipper and replace it with a new “lock and load” quick lacing system. This solved two problems with the old side-zip style, but made the boots a bit slower to get in and out of even with the “quick” lacing.

The problems this solved were break downs in the zipper and subpar waterproofing from water getting into the boot through the zipper. We think the trade off was well worth it! The lacing system is a bit slower than a zipper, of course, but is still pretty fast. They have big metal hooks that you put the laces around that run up the entire length of the boot, this is faster than traditional lacing, and lets you tighten them down quickly. Since the side zipper was by far the most common spot the old style would show wear and tear and have defects, getting rid of it was a good move in our opinion.

Cushioning and Comfort

With rugged outsoles, these shoes are a solid choice for long treks in almost any terrain. We’d avoid really cold climates in these since they are uninsulated. Although the outsoles are thick and durable, they are not very flexible. Even with the long break-in period we expect from snake boots, the soles on the Vital’s remained stiff and inflexible. This can lead to some major foot pain during the first couple of months that you’re using these.

The upside to these boots is that the construction of the sole and upper is extremely durable and robust without feeling bulky. It is hard to move quickly if you feel like you are wearing cement blocks instead of snake boots, and with Danner we definitely did not feel like we had huge blocks of cement on our feet.

The quick lacing system made getting these boots on and off pretty easy and effective, and also allowed us to adjust the fit to the tightness desired. As we said above, Danner ditched the side-zipper for these and it was a good decision overall.

Value and Cost

Danner boots are generally well-made, if pricey, hunting and hiking boots. It’s important to note that the support and snake proof features of the boot could save you a ton of money in the long run. However, we’re not sure the value is quite there with Danner. They were the most expensive snake boots on our comprehensive list of the best snake boots.

Danner Vital Snake Boots: The Pros

  • Easy to Get On and Off. With some snake boots, we feel like half our day is spent getting the things on, and the other half is spent getting them off. Having a quick lacing system that let us get our feet into the boot really helps out. The fact that they then have a quick lace system allows you tighten them up more like a tactical-style boot. This was ideal for making sure our boots stayed with us in tough conditions.
  • Breathe Well. They also definitely let heat and water out. We didn't soak through our socks like we would with a lot of hiking or hunting boots. Since they are uninsulated, they are also a good choice for hot weather. That said, they are not great in cold conditions.
  • Rugged Construction and Outsole. Never felt like the outsole's traction or durability would let us down. These are made from solid materials and have a rugged construction that can take a beating in the outdoors.

Danner Vital Snake Boots: The Cons

  • Questionable Waterproofing. We're used to boots that claim to be 100% waterproof still letting in some water. That just seems to be the way things go. However, the GORE-TEX lining on the Vital seems to provide little protection. We're not sure if that is a manufacturing issue with the boots, or something about the GORE-TEX lining, but the problem is there and from customer reviews, it appears plenty of others experienced it as well.
  • Cost. The Danner Vital is one of the most expensive snake boot options we looked at.

Conclusion and Final Thoughts

Danner Vital's are a pricey option, and have some waterproofing issues. Until those get resolved, they really are not our top choice. The waterproofing and overlong break-in period are not for us.

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