Producing quality shoes and boots since 1892, the makers of Thorogood shoes and boots are renowned for their commitment to quality craftsmanship and to producing outstanding work and outdoor boots. This is one of the oldest and longest lasting shoe companies in the industry, so you know you are getting a snake boot that is built to last. The Thorogood 17" Waterproof Snake Boot is made for slogging through rough country where snakes can be lurking anywhere. It's all about comfort, utility, and safety.
They're extremely durable. Their support for your feet and calves is nearly unmatched. They're also on the more affordable side of quality snake boots that are available today. A good hunter or outdoorsman knows that choosing the wrong snake boot can lead to a lot of pain and potentially do permanent damage to your body. The Thorogood Snake Boot is perfect if you want utility and comfort without sacrificing on snake bite protection.
Fast Facts About This Offering
- Z-Trac slip-resistant outsole made of rubber with gripping pad and rugged lug design
- Cushioned midsole to absorb shocks on the trail
- SnakeGuard Extreme to provide 360 degree snake bite protection
- Removable dual-density insole/footbed
- Scotchgard protection by 3M
- Side zipper for getting them on and off quickly
Performance and Use
Everyone knows that Thorogood makes durable, versatile boots. The Thorogood Snake Boot is made explicitly for working in tough, rugged, and snake prone outdoor environments. The Thorogood SnakeGuard Extreme material is specially designed to guarantee these boots will keep you safe from any venomous snakes hiding in the underbrush.
No hunting, hiking, or snake boot is complete without some serious traction capabilities to get you over, through and around whatever obstacles you encounter. With Thorogood you get the "Z-Trac" slip-resistant rubber outsole. This has a gripping pad and rugged lugs to make sure you have solid traction on any surface. Our experience is really good with the traction on these, especially in rocky and arid terrain. The multi-directional lug design isn't quite as good on soft undergrowth or slick leaves that you might find in forested areas. (If you're looking for the best traction on a snake boot for wet and heavy vegetation you might take a look at our Danner San Angelo review.)
While the soles of these boots are polyurethane and rubber, the boot upper is a combination of 100% leather and Cordura nylon. These are high-quality materials that will last a long time, and be easy to maintain and clean. There is also a side-zipper to make taking the Thorogood boots on and off a lot easier.
Of course, with all side zipper design boots you've got a trade-off going on. The side zipper allows you to get in and out of the boots more easily and more quickly than a pull-on or lace-up boot. If you're not wearing your snake boots because you can't get them on in a reasonable amount of time, then they aren't going to protect you. However, there are two real downside to any side-zip boot:
- The zipper can break. This is by far the most common customer complaint on the Thorogood (and on more or less every other side-zip boot as well). With Thorogood you get a 365-day warranty, so it's easy enough to replace, and even after that period is over, a zipper isn't too hard to fix or replace. Still, it's a pain if the zipper breaks down on you.
- Compromised waterproofing. Zipper let in water. No matter how heavy duty or reinforced they are, our experience tells us that if you're standing in water that goes above the start of the zip, you're feet are going to get at least a little bit wet. This is true of the Thorogood as well. It's definitely a solid waterproof option, but if you're in a swamp, we'd recommend at least taking a quick look at our review of the LaCrosse 4x Alpha. That one has solid rubber construction and is a pull-on and will do a better job in seriously wet conditions. That said, the Thorogood will be totally fine at keeping your feet dry in rain, puddles, etc. Deep water, not so much.
Comfort and Cushioning
Let's face it; Thorogood is known for making high quality boots. The thing that will really determine their usefulness though is how comfortable they are going to be after a full day wearing them in tough conditions. If you're legs and back are aching from wearing a boot, it doesn't matter how high-quality the materials or how great the snake protection is. Comfort is an area in which the Thorogood Snake Boot really excels. They've put a lot of design energy into making these as comfortable as possible without sacrificing safety and durability.
The worst thing in the world is being out all day hunting or hiking while wearing boots that are unsupportive or uncomfortable. With simple yet comfortable design decisions, Thorogood has made sure this doesn't happen. They have an EVA/polyurethane cushioned midsole that really helps with shock absorption, so if you are on hard, rocky ground these are a really nice choice. They also come equipped with a removable insole/footbed to maximize comfort. You can also put in your own insole if you prefer something like SuperFeet.
Value and Cost
The pricing on the Thorogood Snake Boots is right in line with other manufacturers of their quality (such as LaCrosse and Irish Setter). Given Thorogood's reputation and the craftsmanship of these boots, this is to be expected. You can find cheaper snake boots out there, but who wants to gamble with a rattlesnake's fangs making it through one of the cheaper options?
If you keep these clean and well-maintained then they should last several years easily. They also come with Thorogood's warranty so if there are problems you can count on outstanding customer service and support.
Thorogood 17-inch Waterproof Snake Boot: The Pros
- Maximum traction. The Z-Trac rubber outsole is slip-resistant and has robust construction to maximize your traction on any surface.
- Side Zipper. Side-zipper design makes these boots easy to get on and off.
- Removable footbed. The dual density removable footbed is comfortable on its own, but also gives you flexibility to put in your own footbed or insole if you have something you prefer more.
- Easy to care for. The highquality leather upper and rubber outsoles make cleaning and caring for these boots a breeze.
Thorogood 17-inch Waterproof Snake Boot: The Cons
- No Laces. These only have the side zipper without any back gusset or laces to tighten them up. If you have large calves this could work, but they can be a little loose around your calves and below your knees otherwise.
- Waterproof Issues. A number of people have reported issues with the waterproofing on these boots. They are advertised as 100% waterproof, so if any problem comes up you should be able to get Thorogood to fix it. Still, better not to have to deal with the problem at all.
Conclusion and Final Thoughts
These are a solid mid-level choice for those looking for a reliable and comfortable snake boot. The shock absorbing features, make the Thorogood Snake Boots are specially designed for traversing hard and rocky terrain.
The Thorogood Snake Boots are all about combining utility, comfort and safety into an afforable package. They're incredibly durable, and their comfort is hard to argue with. A proper outdoorsman knows that wearing a low-quality boot for long hours outdoors is a recipe for causing long term foot and leg pain. You'll never have to worry about that with the Thorogood Snake Boots.
The Thorogood Snake Boot was one of our top choices in our Comprehensive Guide to Snake Boots.
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