Boots for South Florida? Rubber or Lace Up?

alansb1982alansb1982 Posts: 75 Greenhorn

I have this pair of Field and Stream snake boots, but I just took them out this past weekend and they rubbed me raw in a ton of different spots on my foot.

I'd like something high and waterproof to keep me dry while wading, and offer some protection from snakes. I'm willing to sacrifice some protection for comfort. I see a lot of people swearing by muck boots (or other rubber boot iterations). But down here, I regularly sink up to mid-shin and have to yank my feet out. Should I be concerned about the boots not staying on? Sorry if that's a silly question; I've never owned a pair of slip-on rubber boots.

«1

Replies

  • PinmanPinman Posts: 1,304 Officer

    Wear sock liners to prevent blisters. I wear LaCrosse Mudlite Snakeproof and love them. Can walk miles in them. Ive worn the neoprene Muck Boots in the woods before and tore holes in them busting through brush.

  • alansb1982alansb1982 Posts: 75 Greenhorn

    @Pinman said:
    Wear sock liners to prevent blisters.

    It's not that; it's the plastic-like material they used to build up the snake protection. So those are lace-less boots that you have. When you sink in 6+ inches in the mud and have to yank out, what keeps your feet from getting pulled out of the boots? (I honestly feel special needs even having to ask this).

  • PinmanPinman Posts: 1,304 Officer

    Mine fit pretty tight so dont have to worry about slipping off. I have to use a boot jack to get them off. Yes they don't have laces as I didn't want to deal with lacing all the way up to my knee

  • gottheitch22gottheitch22 Posts: 4,127 Captain

    RUBBER BOOTS

    living life as i like
  • campertopcampertop Posts: 722 Officer

    Tennis Shoes or barefoot!!!

  • joekat46joekat46 North PortPosts: 1,882 Captain

    If I know I'll get in knee deep I'll wear a very light jungle boot. Not waterproof but drains quickly. My favorite Big Cypress footware.

  • flydownflydown Posts: 6,462 Admiral

    A good pair of rubber boots (LaCrosse, Muck, etc..) are hard to beat.

    DYING for me was the most HE could do. LIVING for HIM is the least I can do
  • flydownflydown Posts: 6,462 Admiral

    Lacrosse Grange is the best boot in my opinion. Last three season if you regularly tromp through blackberries. Half the cost of other rubber boots and weigh less too. Very comfortable.

    I always keep a pair of these in my quiver. Cheap, durable, comfortable and did I mention cheap?

    DYING for me was the most HE could do. LIVING for HIM is the least I can do
  • alansb1982alansb1982 Posts: 75 Greenhorn

    Yeah, trail runners are my jam if I'm just dealing with water. But the places I scouted this weekend were fairly off trail and I had to go through a bit of deep mud to get to them. If I'm pulling an overnight out there, I want semi-dry/clean feet.

    Those Grange boots look pretty good. They stay on in the muck? Is that what the buckle strap is for?

  • alansb1982alansb1982 Posts: 75 Greenhorn

    Oh, also, can you hike 3-4 miles (6-8 round trip) in them?

  • james 14james 14 Posts: 2,868 Moderator
    edited January 30 #13

    @Cyclist said:

    Lacrosse Grange is the best boot in my opinion. Last three season if you regularly tromp through blackberries. Half the cost of other rubber boots and weigh less too. Very comfortable.

    This right here.

    Yes, they stay on in the muck. Any decent fitting rubber boot isn't going to pull off of your foot. You really only have to worry about that with something like the cheap black ones from WalMart.

  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 1,549 Captain
    edited January 30 #14

    @Cyclist said:
    http://cspforestry.com/products/lacrosse-grange-hunting-boots-18.html?utm_medium=googleshopping&utm_source=bc&attributes=eyIyMTA2IjoiMTExODIifQ==&_vsrefdom=adwords&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI85mulquA2QIVw42zCh2_AwzuEAQYAiABEgKPV_D_BwE

    Lacrosse Grange is the best boot in my opinion. Last three season if you regularly tromp through blackberries. Half the cost of other rubber boots and weigh less too. Very comfortable.

    I'll add a +3 or +4. Best rubber boot on the market. Amazingly quiet and light to walk in.

    I have worn a couple of pairs out over the years by walking holes into the ankles. Seems to be a quirk as to how I walk, because I've also worn out my Lacross snake boots the same way. But no big deal. I'd say each pair has lasted me at least 6 seasons of heavy use.

    If you want snake protection (and I do advocate it if you find yourself in one of those areas that seem to have an abnormal about of snakes), I've come to like the Irish Setter Vaptreks. Very quiet and light for what they are. But I've only had them a year so I can't say how long they'll hold up. They're definitely the best lace-up boots I've ever owned so far.

  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Posts: 1,867 Captain

    I have a question:
    Who, here on the Board, has HONESTLY ever been bitten or struck at, or HONESTLY knows of anyone who HONESTLY was bitten or struck at by a dangerous snake, Rattler-Cottonmouth-Copperhead or otherwise?

  • alansb1982alansb1982 Posts: 75 Greenhorn

    Yeah, I've never had a problem with snakes. But I don't have health insurance, which is the main reason why I want at least some bite protection. On top of that, I'm going out solo, pretty far off trail, in areas with no cell reception.

  • PinmanPinman Posts: 1,304 Officer
    edited January 31 #17

    Ive walked over a couple coiled Rattlers. Luckily the days were too cool for any movement. My son had a rattler sounding off behind him as he sat Turkey hunting but boots wouldn't help that. Have had many encounters with Moccasins while duck hunting.

    I got used to wearing Snake boots when I Quail Hunted a lot. We walked into Palmettos kicking birds up and looking down where you step was not an option. Ever since then it was uncomfortable walking woods without them, kinda like getting used to wearing a seat belt or tree stand harness. I like the fact that I don't need to look where I'm stepping and can look ahead.

    Health insurance or not, all it takes is one bite to your leg to ruin your month.

  • shempshemp Posts: 493 Deckhand

    Not counting the many 'close' calls with venemous snakes, I can say I HONESTLY have been struck at by a cottonmouth. I was not wearing shoes and I was not in the woods, or hunting. I was walking through my garage otw to go fishing. He was under the workbench and based on the postmortem (hockey stick and machete) he had been shedding. Had it not been for the cloudy eyes, he probably would have got me. Also, there was a distinctive hiss that caused me to jump like TO high stepping into the endzone...probably helped me too

    Wear your snakeboots in the garage, or don't leave it open for a lengthy period of time on a cold/cool day 8-)

  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 1,549 Captain
    edited January 31 #19

    @woodsrunner said:
    I have a question:
    Who, here on the Board, has HONESTLY ever been bitten or struck at, or HONESTLY knows of anyone who HONESTLY was bitten or struck at by a dangerous snake, Rattler-Cottonmouth-Copperhead or otherwise?

    I was a teenager with my grandfather when he was hit by a pygmy rattler in Devil’s Hammock back before it was a WMA. It took a couple of hours to go from the woods to the hospital. He was passing out just before we got him to treatment.

    A moccasin struck at my 4 wheeler when I clipped him on accident.

    A timber rattler bit my dog in the front yard.

    I’ve been charged at my a moccasin twice with no bite, each time when the snake was in water.

    I have had many close encounters with venemous snakes on video with no strikes. Stepped on a moccasin barefoot on my porch. Had a timber rattler coil up between my legs. A coral snake in the blind with me and check out my open backpack. Stepped on another moccasin in the woods that I didn’t get in video.

    I do believe its true they don’t strike most of the time. However I’m convinced that the notion that they go out of their way to avoid man is a myth. They act as if they very much expect you to move out of their way instead of them moving out of yours. And sometimes they will go out of their way to come to you.

    I’d never presume on the good graces of a snake. We’d never blow off lightning as a danger, yet you are more likely to be bit by a venomous snake in Florida than you are to be struck by lightening. Not more likey to die by snakebite than die by lightning. But more likely to get bit by snake (and survive). There are actually several hundred venemous snake bites in Florida a year. Death hardly ever happens though so they don’t make the news.

  • alansb1982alansb1982 Posts: 75 Greenhorn

    @Florida Bullfrog said:
    Death hardly ever happens though so they don’t make the news.

    Yeah, the medical bills take care of that.

  • tbsportsmantbsportsman Posts: 345 Deckhand

    I've had good success with Lacrosse alpha snake boots. Walked through lots of sticky mud and never lost one. I think the new version is called the 4X.

  • spanglerspangler daBurgPosts: 614 Officer

    I was gonna get a pair of the muck snake boots. My gf got me a gift card to BP to buy myself a pair. Right after Christmas is NOT a good time to go boot shopping. No stock. BP told me they probably wouldn't get new stock until next season...

    How are the Grange's for hiking? Most of my spots are at least a mile by foot. I'm covering 3-6 miles a day scouting. I like that they're 18".

  • james 14james 14 Posts: 2,868 Moderator

    @spangler said:
    I was gonna get a pair of the muck snake boots. My gf got me a gift card to BP to buy myself a pair. Right after Christmas is NOT a good time to go boot shopping. No stock. BP told me they probably wouldn't get new stock until next season...

    How are the Grange's for hiking? Most of my spots are at least a mile by foot. I'm covering 3-6 miles a day scouting. I like that they're 18".

    I've put over 10 miles on a pair in a day. Most of my spots are over a mile as well. A decent pair of socks will keep you from having any issues. My standard shoe size is 9-9.5 and I buy them in 11 so I can wear thick socks. If my arch wasn't so high I might be able to get away with a 10.
    I will say that I have a hard time getting more than 2 seasons out of a pair. This is deer and turkey hunting...maybe 200-300 total miles walked.

  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Posts: 1,867 Captain

    Bullfrog,
    I'm betting that the Pigmy Rattler that bit your Grandfather most probably bit him on the finger or hand or possibly the ankle. No? Pigmy or Ground Rattlers have the same disposition as my first wife----don't mess with 'em!
    I've spent a very productive 45 years here in north Florida/South Georgia working in the woods in forest and wildlife management. Never had a problem with snakes, and never wore snake proof boots----only Russell Bird Shooters because these are light weight and comfortable beyond belief. None of the logging crews I associated with ever had a snake problem, either, that I know about. Killed a hellova lot of Rattlers and Cottonmouths, but never had a woods worker bitten!

    I have known two foresters like myself who were killed on the job in the woods, however: One was killed by a "perp" who was after his wallet for money to buy drugs, and the other stepped into a massive yelowjacket nest one hot July afternoon---died of hundreds of stings. Don't be careless with or around snakes, and statistically your chances of being bitten are extremely low!

  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 1,549 Captain
    edited February 1 #25

    Yes, he was bit on the thumb. But that's somewhat predictable because that's the only places all but the biggest pygmies can bite due to their small size. They're only about a foot long most of the time. If you put your hand on the ground by one, that's where its going to hit you.

    The snake doesn't know when you're messing with it and when you aren't. Proximity can be enough for the snake to determine you ought to be bit. If you look at Wikipedia's list of fatal snake bites in the US, there's about an even split between snake handlers (as in the religious kind) that die from bites, and most of the rest are accidental events where a person simply gets in proximity of the snake and gets bit just because a body part got to close to it, and often they didn't even see the snake until the bite.

    I agree that most of the time, a snake isn't going to bite you even when it can. But the one time is enough. You can also swim in open water with large sharks, go hiking around grizzly bears, let your dogs play around 12 foot gators, or let your children go walking by the registered sex offender's house every day, and most of the time nothing is going to happen. But it only takes once. I disregarded snakes most of my life, even after my grandfather got bit. Only in my 30s did I realize that I was ignorant of just how often venomous snakes are around in the woods and how often even experienced woodsmen overlook them. Now that I'm more aware of them than many, I have WAY more close encounters with them than most woodsmen do, which I believe my videos should provide some proof of. Which, all my close encounters also began when I learned my scent control regimes, so I can't say whether that has anything to do with it. Probably not, because even in the off season when I'm not minding my scent they still end up on top of me. Even in my yard.

    I think the lightning comparison is the best way to think about it. About 500 people get struck by lightning in the US every year, with lightning striking the ground in the US about 20 million times a year. About 7,000-8000 people in the US get bit by venomous snakes. Florida's proportions are higher than most states. I do not know how many total venomous snakes there are in the US, but I doubt its more than there are lightning strikes to the ground. You're way more likely to walk out in the woods and get bit by a snake than you are to be struck by lightning. And few consider lightning a joke when a thunderstorm blows up in the woods. I don't know why we'd downplay about the dangers of a snake, especially since the odds can be so greatly reduced by wearing something up to the knees they can't bite thru, and especially when we're having this conversation most often with people with little woods experience and who probably weren't snake trained since childhood like many born woodsmen are. It would be bad advice to tell a new hunter not to worry about lightning or widowmakers. So why wouldn't we warn them about snakes? Often its because someone may personally like snakes (which is fine, so do I), but sometimes that "like" motivates minimization of the danger to promote conservation. People do the same things with whatever their favorite dangerous animal is.

    To the uninitiated, snakes should be regarded as random, moving, biological, semi-invisible, landmines that move themselves around and can appear under your feet or side of your body (if you're sitting on the ground) at any time. You will not see them most of the time even when looking. To think otherwise is to 1) be arrogant about the abilities of your own human senses and 2) be EXTREMELY arrogant about dismissing snakes' abilities to camouflage themselves. Watch a big, fat, clumsy, moccasin sink into and disappear in some short grass as water's edge to understand exactly where the phrase "snake in the grass" gets its significance. Start with that presumption then as you have experience with them you can get more relaxed when you're putting yourself in high-likelihood-of-contact situations.

    Most of us here don't need snake advice. I'm thinking about the person who's just getting into woodsmanship and who might be a product of the last decade of Discovery/Animal Planet's whitewashing of the dangers of many animals. The animal doesn't give a flip about "live and let live." Its just there surviving. It has some knowledge that it iss venomous and its bite can ward you off. It has no internal morality that tells it that it shouldn't bite you unless it absolutely has to. So don't presume on its good graces. It doesn't have any. It regards you with the same coldness a space alien might.

    The way you don't get bit is to do the best to not put your body in the strike zone, and to minimize your exposure for what body parts are most likely to be struck by an unseen snake. I want the new woodsman to know that do you best to avoid, but understand that your best efforts won't see a snake that's there much or most of the time due to their camouflage abilities. So do what you can to minimize exposure to those unknown snakes. Wear appropriate protection on your feet and lower legs and be extra careful before you sit on the ground. And never let your guard down even after you checked an area out. An unseen snake can and will come to you. It won't avoid you just because you're a human and you're there. It expects you to move away from it, not visa versa.

  • omegafooomegafoo Posts: 3,125 Captain
    edited February 1 #26

    @woodsrunner said:
    I have known two foresters like myself who were killed on the job in the woods, however: One was killed by a "perp" who was after his wallet for money to buy drugs, and the other stepped into a massive yelowjacket nest one hot July afternoon---died of hundreds of stings. Don't be careless with or around snakes, and statistically your chances of being bitten are extremely low!

    While my Dad was in the business w/ Rayonier Timber (17 years) there were two that I can think of that died. Neither from a snake. One died fighting a wild fire (Dad's best friend) and the other from a heat stroke.

  • flydownflydown Posts: 6,462 Admiral

    Here's the thing. If you want to walk through the woods without looking at the ground in front of you, then buy snake boots and suffer the eventual leak. But if you're the person that looks for footfalls, then rubber boots are for you. I am the latter because of poor balance and conically sore feet, so uneven ground is something I try and avoid. And because of that, I look down more than I look forward when walking though the woods.

    DYING for me was the most HE could do. LIVING for HIM is the least I can do
  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 1,549 Captain

    I thought I had posted a long reply last night, but I don't see it today.

    The short of it is, as I see it, is that none of us regulars on the board likely need snake advice. But I'd also bet that most of us were snake trained from childhood. We ought not take for granted that everyone who's reading and ready to get out there and become woodsmen have the awareness of snakes drilled into them.

    Lightning strikes the ground about 20 million times a year in the US. Yet only about 500 people get struck by lightning a year in this country. And only about 100 people die a year in the US from having widowmakers fall on them (don't know how many get hit and survive). Yet we rightfully consider lightning and widowmakers when in the woods, especially when a storm is blowing up.

    Venomous snakes bite 7,000-8,000 people in the US a year. You're way more likely to be bit by a snake then be struck by lightning or get smashed by a limb combined. Yet how fast will you rightly get off the water or the stand with a bad thunderstorm blows up? If you're not going mark snakes as a major danger in the woods, you really ought not to be worrying about lightning.

    I also think its a mistake to presume that you'll see most snakes if you look for them. I believed that most of my life. Its only when you start finding them all around that you realize you've been ignorant of how often you've been close to one and didn't realize it. Their ability to hide from you is better than your ability to spot them. Watch a big fat moccasin disappear in short grass and you'll realize how one could be anywhere without you knowing.

  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 1,549 Captain
    edited February 2 #29

    @woodsrunner said:
    Bullfrog,
    I'm betting that the Pigmy Rattler that bit your Grandfather most probably bit him on the finger or hand or possibly the ankle. No?

    Those are the only places one can bite you due to their size, unless its a rare king sized one (I once saw a pygmy that was 3 feet long). Not a big deal if you never hunt on the ground. But if you sit on the ground as we've always done, you can put your hand right by one and not know it, especially when its coiled up into the size of a lemon and perfectly camouflaged.

    I used to wedge myself up in palmettos and lay prone as my favorite way to hunt. I never questioned what I saw and read on various pro-snake documentaries as to how snakes will just avoid you if you leave them be. I just presumed that a rattler nearby would ease away from me so long as I didn't bother it.

    Now granted, I've never been bit when I've otherwise should have, and only struck at twice. But it is utter, total, complete, BS that a snake will get out of your way or avoid you. I've had too many come to me and act like they've found me interesting to believe that anymore. And although it does not actually appear to be their nature to bite most of the time, I'd never tell anyone to ignore the danger of a biological spring-trap with venomous syringes that might spring on you if you make movement in its vicinity.

    Any sort of minimizing of or putting spin on an animal's danger for the sake of conservation has become a pet peeve of mine. Snakes, sharks, cougars, bears, whatever. I'm tired of people minimizing the dangers they pose because they find conservation the higher good. African wildlife especially comes to mind.

    Some stereotypes are true. Snakes are no exception. Calling the spade a spade doesn't mean one hates whatever the subject is that's being called out. I don't hate snakes. I actually don't fear them if you define fear as an emotional response to them. I actually feel very little emotion when I see one beyond the "oh crap move myself out of the strike zone" response when I find one close to me.

    I also suspect that experienced woodsmen become complacent around them simply because they don't see snakes that often and have a hard time believing that they overlook them most of the time.

  • Thunder43Thunder43 Posts: 42 Greenhorn

    @tbsportsman said:
    I've had good success with Lacrosse alpha snake boots. Walked through lots of sticky mud and never lost one. I think the new version is called the 4X.

    I ran the 4x4 last season and liked them a lot. Better than mucks. Put a good aftermarket insole in and roll. Confidence when walking allows me to focus on other things.

  • spfldbowhunterspfldbowhunter Posts: 892 Officer

    @Florida Bullfrog said:
    I thought I had posted a long reply last night, but I don't see it today.

    The short of it is, as I see it, is that none of us regulars on the board likely need snake advice. But I'd also bet that most of us were snake trained from childhood. We ought not take for granted that everyone who's reading and ready to get out there and become woodsmen have the awareness of snakes drilled into them.

    Lightning strikes the ground about 20 million times a year in the US. Yet only about 500 people get struck by lightning a year in this country. And only about 100 people die a year in the US from having widowmakers fall on them (don't know how many get hit and survive). Yet we rightfully consider lightning and widowmakers when in the woods, especially when a storm is blowing up.

    Venomous snakes bite 7,000-8,000 people in the US a year. You're way more likely to be bit by a snake then be struck by lightning or get smashed by a limb combined. Yet how fast will you rightly get off the water or the stand with a bad thunderstorm blows up? If you're not going mark snakes as a major danger in the woods, you really ought not to be worrying about lightning.

    I also think its a mistake to presume that you'll see most snakes if you look for them. I believed that most of my life. Its only when you start finding them all around that you realize you've been ignorant of how often you've been close to one and didn't realize it. Their ability to hide from you is better than your ability to spot them. Watch a big fat moccasin disappear in short grass and you'll realize how one could be anywhere without you knowing.

    I enjoyed reading the honest, practical information in this post.

    I would emphasize that being realistic is important and to avoid sensationalized outlooks of hunting. If you’re hiking in mud now, it won’t be the same come season because conditions change. I’ve hunted most WMAs in zone A and have never been without cell service (and I have Sprint lol) while 4 miles from the truck. There’s not too many places where walking further than that is possible or makes sense.

    BTW, my 7 year old who is “special needs” does just fine and doesn’t worry/complain about snakes, getting wet, muddy, or walking a few miles in turkey or deer season. You’l figure it out if you can stick with it.

    Eph. 3:20
«1
Sign In or Register to comment.