Every outdoorsman knows the importance of their boots, and every outdoorsman knows when they've found the perfect hunting or work boot. They all know that to measure up, for a boot to be worthy to last in rugged terrain and tough conditions, it should have great traction, be durable, be comfortable, and most importantly protect you against hazards. Hopefully it can have all of these elements in a nice style as well.
Every outdoorsman should know that choosing the wrong boot can result in a lot of pain and discomfort. Irish Setter is one of the most popular and trusted brands in the hunting boot market today. They are well known for offering high-quality, durable boots that last a long time. Because of the trusted brand and high-quality materials used in their construction, many hunters, hikers, and outdoors enthusiasts choose the Irish Setter Vaprtrek 17" Snake Boot for their trips into snake country.
Fast Facts About This Offering
- Irish Setter's UltraDry waterproofing technology
- Lightweight RPM sole for great traction
- ScentBan technology to keep the boots fresh over time
- ArmaTec abrasion-resistant studs
- Realtree Xtra Green Camo
- Outsole is more like an athletic shoe for great maneuverability
Performance and Use
As the name indicates, the most outstanding feature of these boots is their ability to keep up with you on long treks. The outsole of the boot is based on Irish Setter's "RPM" technology, which is a composite material that significantly reduces the weight of the boot, provides comfort for your feet, and has extra durability to stand up over time.If you've done serious trekking in the woods in other snake boots, you'll be amazed at how lightweight the Vaprtrek's are, and what a big difference that weight makes to your legs and back by the end of the day.
The upper of this boot is made of full-grain leather that is guaranteed to be 100% waterproof. Built in to the leather upper is Irish Setter's SnakeGuard which features a solid (non-woven) material that is combined with the leather upper to stop snake fangs, as well as thorns and anything else that harm your legs. The high quality materials also make these boots durable and easy to clean. Most of the time we were able to clean them up by just wiping them down in a couple of minutes with a wet towel. For caked on mud and dirt and more serious cleaning any standard boot brush should do the trick.
If you're the kind of hunter that's always out on long treks, then you'll really appreciate how lightweight the Vaprtrek snake boots are. We see a lot of marketing hype here at ShoeGuide, but the RPM technology in the outsoles really delivers on the lightweight promises. They are designed to be about 50% lighter than standard outsoles without sacrificing functionality. This makes a huge difference on long treks.
Irish Setter is known for making boots that last, and their snake boots are no exception. These boots also have the advantage of strong arch support, making them a good choice for those with flat feet or plantar fasciitis. One big drawback to these relative to some of the LaCrosse models is that they do not have a side zipper or easy pull on feature. Honestly, these things can be a bit of work to get on and off.
Cushioning and Comfort
Irish Setter's Vaprtrek Snake Boot is made of full-grain leather and a very lightweight synethic outsole. Further it has a cushioned tounge (called "Cushin" by Irish Setter) that helps relieve pressure on your shin that can be a problem with a lot of stiff snake boots out there. This definitely improves the comfort level of the boot, especially if you have larger calves and have trouble with other brands biting into your legs in the past.
The Vaprtrek boots were really designed for very active hunters. We've already discussed the lightweight outsoles that allow for much longer hikes, but these also feature a sole that is much closer to an athletic shoe than any other snake boot we've seen. This allows you to move quickly over rough terrain instead of stomping on everything in site. It almost feels like you could run a cross country race in these thing. (Almost, but not really. Seriously, get some cross country shoes if you're planning on running, and don't run races in snake filled terrain.)
Value and Cost
Irish Setter is world famous for making high-quality, durable materials that last a long time. So it probably isn't a surprise, that the Irish Setter Vaprtrek is not the cheapest option available. It's comparable (though a bit more, usually) than the comparable LaCrosse Venom Snake Boot. Of course, it is still a mid-priced snake boot and doesn't come anywhere close to the cost of some options out there, like the Danner boots. So, while you can find cheaper options, it's hard to deny the quality and comfort of Irish Setter, so we'd say it's a really good value for money, particularly if you're going on long hikes in these boots.
These boots, if properly cared for, will last you a very long time. The traction on the soles will wear down over time, but that's the weakest spot. The uppers are very high-quality and durabe and we can't see them wearing out any time soon.
Irish Setter Vaprtrek 17" Snake Boot: The Pros
- Quality Materials. Made from full-grain leather with a high-tech non-woven Snake Guard to provide ultimate protection. There's no point in getting a snake boot if you aren't 100% confident that it will protect you from snake bites. This high-quality upper not only does that, but will also last you for years to come.
- UltraDry Technology. Irish Setter's UltraDry technology is guaranteed to be completely waterproof. In addition, it should be more breathable than most boots, allowing your sweat to evaporate to help keep your feet cooler. Nothing is worse than being outdoors in hot weather in snake boots that start cooking your feet.
- Realtree Xtra Camouflage. This is definitely a popular feature amongst hunters. This camo has real depth and lifelike images for great camouflage in close quarters.
- Tactical Style Fit. These 17" boots lace all the way up, and provide a snug fit. That combined with the lightweight and athletic sole allow maximum flexibility when you're in rough terrain. These are definitely made for moving, not for sitting in a blind or truck.
- Mens and Womens models. A lot of company's only have men's sizing for their snake boots. Irish setter has a full range of women's snake boots available as well.
Irish Setter Vaprtrek 17" Snake Boot: The Cons
- Hard to get on and off. There's no side-zipper, there's no easy-pull handles, there's really nothing to help you get these boots on and off except a little loop at the back. If you're going on an all day excursion, it's not such a big deal, but make sure you don't find you left a pebble in them after you've finally gotten them on.
- Traction might wear down. The biggest complaint people have had about these boots is that the traction on them wears down too quickly. Irish Setter stands behind their products though, and seems to be addressing this issue.
Conclusion and Final Thoughts
If you're the sort of outdoorsman that is out all day on long treks, and you're looking for a shoe that won't slow you down or leave you with sore legs, then the Irish Setter Vaprtrek Snake Boot might be the boot for you.
These boots are tough and nimble. Built from high-quality leather and synthetic materials, they'll keep you comfortable, dry, and protected from snake bites for a very long time.
The biggest feature to highlight is how lightweight they are. If you're planning on logging serious miles there is not a better choice for safety and comfort.
The Irish Setter Vaprtrek Snake Boot was one of our top choices in our Comprehensive Guide to Snake Boots.