If your work or hobbies take you into snake territory, a good pair of snake boots can literally be lifesavers for your feet and legs. The trusted brands Danner and Chippewa both make high-quality snake boots designed to prevent venomous bites.
But how do you choose between these two industry leaders? This thorough Danner vs Chippewa snake boot comparison will highlight the key differences to help you pick the best pair for your needs.
Snake Boot Basics
Before diving into specific models, let’s review what snake boots are and what to look for:
What are Snake Boots?
Snake boots are tall leather boots usually 16-18 inches high. They use thick leather and rugged construction to create puncture-resistant snake bite protection for your feet and legs.
Key Snake Boot Features:
- Puncture resistant – Multiple leather layers prevent fangs from penetrating
- Moisture wicking – Perspiration control linings keep feet dry
- Comfortable – Shock absorbing insoles and flexible materials
- Stable footing – Lugged soles for traction in rough terrain
- Easy on/off – Side zippers, rear pulls, or lace-up fronts
- Lightweight – Durable leathers but not overly heavy
- Versatile – Designed for hiking, hunting, farming, or lab work
Quality snake boots strike a balance between bite proofing, comfort, support, and flexibility. Now let’s see how Danner and Chippewa stack up.
Danner Snake Boots
Danner USMC RAT
Founded in 1932, Danner manufactures premium leather boots used by hikers, hunters, and workers worldwide. They popularized the iconic hiking boot style.
Here are Danner’s main snake boot offerings:
|Leather/1000 Denier nylon, Athletic fit, Rear gusset entry, Rubber Rugged outsole
|Full-grain leather, Unlined, Speed lace front, Rubber outsole
|Danner Jackal II
|Full-grain leather, Rear zipper, Rubber outsole
|Full-grain leather/cordura®, Rear pull loops, Rubber outsole
Prices range from $250-$375 USD
Pros of Danner Snake Boots:
- Athletic fit – Contoured for flexible movement
- Lightweight – 30-40% lighter than competitors
- Breathable – Moisture wicking and circulation
- Shock absorption – Cushioned insole supports all-day wear
- Traction – Multi-directional outsole grips terrain
- Easy break-in – Requires minimal break-in period
Cons of Danner Snake Boots:
- Price – Among the most expensive snake boots
- Limited styles – Mostly traditional leather boots
- Run large – May need to size down
Danner’s reputation for quality and comfort makes them a leading choice for snake protection you can wear all day long.
Chippewa Snake Boots
Chippewa Mens Snake Boots
Chippewa got its start in 1901 crafting logger boots. They offer both original and modern snake boot models.
Here are Chippewa’s key snake boot options:
|Briar Apache leather, Lace-up, Vibram® outsole
|Chippewa Pull On
|Briar Apache leather, Side zipper, Riding heel, Vibram® outsole
|Briar Apache leather, Lace-up, Leather outsole
|Chippewa Savanna Force
|Suede leather Briar Apache, Side zipper, Vibram® outsole
Prices range from $150-$320 USD
Pros of Chippewa Snake Boots:
- Traditional styles – Classic leatherwork and craftsmanship
- Durable materials – Tough heat- and chemical-resistant leathers
- Snug fit – Contours closely to the legs
- Sure footing – Aggressive lugged outsoles in various compounds
- Made in USA – Manufactured domestically
Cons of Chippewa Snake Boots:
- Break-in period – Can be very stiff at first
- Narrow fit – May not accommodate wider feet
- Heavy – Old fashioned all-leather models weigh more
Chippewa snake boots offer that authentic rugged character some buyers value in American made boots.
Now that we’ve reviewed both brands’ lineup, how do they compare head-to-head on important criteria?
Comfort and Fit
Proper snake boot fit is crucial for comfort and safety. Ill-fitting boots quickly cause pain and compromise protection.
Both Danner and Chippewa craft boots using anatomical foot shapes for better comfort. However, Danner pulls ahead when it comes to cutting edge comfort technologies:
- Contoured cushioning – Danner insoles mold to the foot’s form. Chippewa uses basic flat insoles.
- Athletic fit – Danner patterns are more ergonomic with extra toe room. Chippewa fits narrow.
- Flexible break-in – Danner leathers soften easier. Chippewa has long break-in periods.
- All-day wear – Danner’s pads and moisture wicking linings reduce fatigue. Chippewa boots are heavier.
If discomfort could discourage you from wearing your boots regularly, Danner is the more comfortable and forgiving choice. Chippewa runs narrow and requires dedication to break in.
Snake country means hot, humid conditions in many regions. Boots that can handle sweaty feet and summer rains are a must.
Both brands use tanning processes to weatherproof their leathers:
- Oil-tanned – Chippewa leathers have oils to repel moisture.
- Gore-Tex® liners – Some Danners feature waterproof, breathable Gore-Tex® membranes.
Ventilation and sweat management are where they differ:
- Unlined options – Chippewa unlined models allow maximum air circulation.
- Moisture wicking – Danner linings actively draw moisture away from feet.
If you’ll be hiking for hours through heavy rains, Danner’s technical liners help keep feet drier. Chippewa’s unlined boots better handle sweltering heat and direct sun exposure.
Traction and Stability
Spotting snakes and other hazards on the ground requires steady footing. Chippewa has an edge when it comes to grip:
- Vibram® soles – Chippewa uses durable Vibram® rubber compounds for traction.
- Deep lugs – Chippewa outsoles have thick multidirectional lugs to bite terrain.
- Riding heels – Chippewa’s classic heel shape provides stability in stirrups.
- Versatile sole – Danner soles perform well but lack Chippewa’s specialization.
Those working on horseback, hiking slick riverbanks, or climbing rocky bluffs should strongly consider Chippewa’s traction advantages. Their deep lug soles cling to almost any surface.
The essential function of any snake boot is keeping fangs away from your flesh. Both brands use layered leather construction:
- Thick leather – Chippewa uses their tough 9-10 oz. oil-tanned Briar Pitstop leather.
- Double layer – Danner boots have two layers of leather overlapped for extra protection.
- Snake Guard lining – Some Danners add a third protective abrasion resistant layer.
- Higher coverage – Chippewa’s unlined models conform tightly to the leg with no gaps.
Overall, both meet industry standards for puncture protection. Chippewa likely has a slight edge for their snug fit and beefy leathers. But both deter all fang strikes when worn correctly.
Ease of Use
Little conveniences help make snake boots more pleasant for regular use:
- Rear zippers – Danner and Chippewa both offer rear zip models for easy on and off.
- Pull loops – Danner’s pull loops make tugging boots on simpler. Most Chippewas lack loops.
- Low profile heels – Danner’s flattened outsoles make hiking less tiring. Chippewa has pronounced heels.
- Shock absorption – Danner insoles soften pavement impacts if walking long distances. Chippewa lacks cushioning.
For those who dread shucking traditional lace-up boots, Danner’s modern zippered designs hold a slight ease of use advantage.
Quality and Durability
Both companies are recognized for producing well-made boots that hold up over years of use:
- Goodyear welt – Most models use Goodyear welt construction for durability and re-soling.
- Hand assembled – Skilled workers meticulously hand cut and assemble materials.
- Premium leathers – Tough, treated leathers resist abrasions, chemicals, and hazards.
- Made in USA – Chippewa’s domestic manufacturing upholds quality standards. Some Danners are imported.
- Warranties – Both offer guarantees against defects. Danner offers recrafting services.
Snake boot materials and construction techniques set them apart from cheaper foreign made boots in long term wear and lifespan. Thought Chippewa stands out for domestic manufacturing.
Expect to invest in a quality pair of snake boots. Here’s how pricing shakes out:
Chippewa’s models span a wider range from budget to premium prices. Their classic styles retail for less overall.
Danner’s technical hiking snake boots cost more across the board. But they incorporate more expensive comfort technologies and modern materials.
Both represent good value at their respective price points relative to competitors. Shop your budget, needs, and preferences.
Summary: Danner vs Chippewa Snake Boots
|Excellent fit and cushioning
|Break-in required, narrow fit
|Gore-Tex® and wicking liners
|Unlined for ventilation
|Versatile all-round soles
|Specialized deep lug soles
|Multi-layer leather with overlapped seams
|Thick leather, snug fit
|Rear zippers, pull loops, athletic profile
|Mostly traditional lace-up style
|Premium leathers and imported construction
|Top domestic manufacturing
In the end, choosing between Danner and Chippewa snake boots comes down to your personal needs and preferences:
- If you prioritize athletic performance, ventilation, and next-gen comfort, Danner is the best choice.
- If you want time tested traditional construction, made in America quality, and customized traction, go with Chippewa.
For the ultimate in comfort and convenience, Danner snake boots lead the way. Chippewa provides that authentic handcrafted character. Fortunately, you can rely on both brands for uncompromising snake bite protection in the field.
Before purchasing, try on different models in person for best fit. Break them in fully at home before venturing out into snake territory. Take care of quality snake boots and they’ll serve you well for seasons to come.
Don’t take chances in snake country – get properly fitted snake boots you enjoy wearing from these trusted manufacturers. Keep your steps confident and your ankles safe from strikes wherever your journeys take you. The right snake boots quickly become indispensable companions.