I agree with a couple of the posts on this forum. First of all, I don't know what type of hiking you do, but over here in the Northwest, most of my hiking is done off trail, so real boots are the only way to go. Even if I walk on trail I still prefer real boots. Nothing gets inside of them and of course they provide a certain level of snake protection.
That being said, I have purchased a pair of the Turtle Skin Snake Armor gaiters and am very happy with them. I do a lot of wet wading (fishing without waders) so I wear my wading boots with shorts, leaving my calves exposed. I had a rattlesnake bite my sole of my boot last year while in mid stride. Why he did not bite my the leg that was on the ground I do not know, I was very lucky. But that is what brought me to by snake gaiters.
I started out buying a cheaper pair for about $60. These were just too hot to wear in the summertime. So I bit the bullet which I should have done in the first place and bought the turtleskin snake gaiters. What a difference it was. They are a fabric and not made out of hard plastics so they are lite, comfortable, and at times unnoticeable. I do notice them when I am bushwhacking as they protect me lower legs from thorns and other things that use to tear my legs up.
Anyway, here is a link to the site where I learned about them and other snake proof gear: href="SnakeGaiters.html">www.snakeproofgear.com