Can Copperheads Bite Through Leather Boots?

Copperheads are the lesser of all evils, i.e. common venomous snakes of North America. The reason is their relatively docile nature and weaker attacking intensity. However, there’s no denying that their fangs can still cause mean pain. People opt for leather boots – due to their durability and sturdiness – for outings to shield their feet from the strikes of a copperhead and its other venomous cousins.

You let your guard down by just donning leather boots without knowing whether they can withstand the assault of a copperhead or not. Can Copperheads bite through leather boots or not depends mainly on the size of the snake and the nature of your leather footwear.

Answers regarding these factors are crucial for your safety and enjoyable trip.

We have dedicated this article to common queries related to copperhead charges. Head down to learn what your leather boots should have to keep these needle-sharp fangs from puncturing your flesh.

Can Copperheads Bite Through Leather Boots?

It is a known fact that good quality leather boots, e.g. cowboy leather boots, can keep you safe from fang strikes. But, you cannot rely on them solely when the opponent is an adult or aggressive poisonous snake. For instance, you should have a backup plan in case of an encounter with a grownup Copperhead because your leather boots may prove a weak barrier to it.

Yes, Copperheads have a comparatively weaker striking power than vicious pit vipers, but they make up for the lack of strength with fangs. An adult Copperhead, say 29” – 30” in length, may have up to 2-inch long fangs that it can grow and pull back when need be. Dear Lord!

If you are up against such a monstrous snake, putting all your faith in your leather boots will lead you to ER. You need additional layers of protective clothing to prevent them from reaching your flesh.

What Materials Protect from Copperheads?

In 2017, the National Snakebite Registry did a survey and recorded 2035 attacks of Copperhead snakes. So yeah, don’t take them lightly just because they are said to be docile and weaker than aggressive rattlers and cottonmouths.

You need to be attentive and ultra-careful regarding the material and layers you are donning.

Snakes cannot breach through Cordura, canvas, synthetic, tough nylon and heavy-duty denim. Therefore, articles made of these materials are your best bet against attacking snakes.

Below is a list of features leather boots must have for keeping you safe from copperheads and other venomous snakes.

  1. Snake Guard

All companies that manufacture anti-snake boots include snake guard technology in one form or another in their protective footwear to resist fangs. It makes leather boots ultra-sturdy and rugged to prevent needle-sharp fangs from breaching and injecting venom into your system. Buy leather boots which feature this protective technology.

  1. Coverage

Generally, snakes can strike anywhere between your ankle and knee; therefore, how much coverage your boots offer matters. I advise you to choose a pair that covers up to your mid-calves, if not more. However, you can go a little overboard and pick knee-high boots for maximum coverage. An ideal decision is a product ranging between 14” to 18” in length to avoid getting struck by adult snakes.

  1. Breathability

Heavy material and too many layers can make your feet feel like baking. Not to mention, excessive sweating can cause an awful stench. Your anti-snake boots must have a breathable inner membrane for proper air circulation to wick moisture and avoid odour.

They should also have waterproofing quality so that you can confidently walk through swamps, ponds and muddy terrains.

  1. Fit

Buy the sturdiest pair of snakeproof boots you can find, but be careful in the selection of size and fitting. They must offer a snug fit yet be soft enough to avoid chafing and bruising your skin. The boots should have flexible weak points, soft linings and contoured footbeds to keep your feet comfortable for hours and not obstruct your gait.

What Layers Should You Wear Around Copperheads for Protection?

Alongside snake boots, you must adorn additional layers of garments to acquire 100% protection from bites. The choices include:

  1. Long Pants

Getting donned in sturdy and loose-fitting denim or canvas pants can make it extremely difficult for sharp fangs to pierce your leg. These fabrics are pretty tough. Therefore, aggressive strikes by snakes cannot injure your skin.

  1. Snake Gaiters, Chaps or Leggings

A little overkill is a thousand times better than fangs breaking into your skin and injecting venom. Therefore, add an extra layer of snake gaiters, anti-snake leggings or chaps to your attire when visiting a snake-infested region. These specially-designed gears use materials that not even long and forceful fangs can get through. So, wear any of those to shield your lower limbs from the onslaught of venomous North American snakes, including copperheads and rattlers.


People often rely on their leather boots in copperhead-infested territories. Yet, they end up getting bitten anyway. The reason is that the large fangs of adult copperheads can easily break into traditional leather footwear. Your boots must have the coveted anti-snake technology and other crucial features to give you the desired protection. Also, it doesn’t harm to don additional layers of clothing to get guaranteed safety from all sorts of vicious snake attacks.


About the author

Clinton Newman

Clinton Newman is a herpetologist and part-time blogger who loves to study snakes and their behavior. He is always called by neighbors to help them catch or get rid of snakes in their houses. . He's a passionate traveler and does a lot of Hiking and Hunting Adventures. His favorite places are Forests, Deserts, and Mountains. Now, he's guiding other Hikers to hike safely through this blog by reviewing the top best picks gears for safety and also guiding on Snakes and ways to deal with them.