Wading Boots?? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Wading Boots??


sean
06-27-2003, 06:32 PM
OK I got the waders, now I need some new boots. The ones I have are about 3 years old and the felt is now slicker than the rocks. Took a dump in the sky the other day and figure it is time to get some new boots. Replacing the felt is no really an option and it is time for some good boots.

What do you all reccomend???

-sean

Just me
06-27-2003, 09:01 PM
Well if I had my choice I would get some with felt and studs. I have some but they are the cheaper priced one's as they are in my price range. They are the ones by Hodgman. I haven't taken a spill as of yet with them and they are holding up fine. But if I was to walk on Ice I would probably go skating as the studs stick out a little. Also good for rock climbing.

Jim

tonyd
06-28-2003, 02:11 AM
I am a BIG fan of the Simms Guide boots and would buy them over any other.I currently use their discontinued model though as I got several pairs at a rediculous blow out price(brand new at $39/pair) when they were "updated" recently and I have been VERY happy with them.I only wish I had bought a few more pairs for that price.They are extremely well made and unbelievably comfortable.The older models were full leather while the newer ones have been changed to cut down on the "shrink factor" I believe that leather often goes through when drying.Personally I would be very happy with either the new or old pair.

I like felt soles,but would get them with spikes if available.The Aquastealth soles are interesting and probably great for hiking in or fishing from a boat,but I've heard alot of mixed reviews on them from some reputable shops saying that they are only good for the less slippery rivers,which we don't have alot of here in BC.If I were getting Aquastealth soles I would DEFINATELY get them with spikes.

I've also heard alot of good things about Chota boots,especially regarding their comfort factor.Those would be worth looking at as well.

I have a pair of Hodgeman boots that I bought for my Dad around the same time as my Simms(I actually paid MORE for the Hodgemans than the Simms at the time).I have used my Simms 20 times as much as my Dad has used his Hodgemans and my Simms haven't shown any wear at all(other than slightly thinner felt) whereas the Hodgemans are now falling apart.I think that there is definately a difference in quality between them and it is worth spending the extra money for a pair that will last,like the Simms Guide.There are also the odd discontinued,all leather pair around every now and then on EBay or in some flyshops old inventory.You have to search the net a bit for them but you might find a pair for less than 1/2 the original retail.They are GREAT boots and if you can find them cheap,as I did,they are worth grabbing.I'm sure the new models are equally great,though more money.

Smolt
06-28-2003, 09:38 AM
IMHO you cannot go wrong with the Weinbrenner Ultimate Wading shoe, all models of which you can view at:
http://www.wadingshoes.com/

They are priced comparably to Simms, BUT you can call the factory store and might be able to get a pair at a substantial discount. The people there are extremely friendly and very helpful.

I had a pair of the "Original" model -- worn in both fresh and salt water -- that is still going strong. All that ever had to be replaced wear the shoelaces. I have a new pair of the "Propex" model which appear to be indestructible. Great fit and support, with plenty of room to let my toes wiggle, even with heavy socks and neoprene feet.

You most likely will never have to use their customer service department, but I understand that it is excellent. If you ever need resoling, the company will do it for a reasonable charge (also shown on the website).

I really like these shoes and this company.

In case you were wondering, I am just a happy customer with no relation to the company.

JDJones
06-28-2003, 10:03 AM
Hands down the best boot I've ever had. Got the (black) felt soles with cleates. Easy on and off, comfortable, wear like iron. Only thing I can think of is some die hard extream waders prefer a higher boot.

FlyMan
06-28-2003, 11:43 PM
I'll second the Chota STL's. Great boots with wonderful to use lace system.

Eddie
06-29-2003, 09:29 AM
I would recomend wearing them all. Go to as many shops as you can, with your waders and the socks you like to wear (bring a few different pairs to customise fit) and try them on. The best boots are the ones that are comfortable. They all fit differently. Even different models from the same company.

Greg Pavlov
06-29-2003, 11:41 AM
Originally posted by Eddie
I would recomend wearing them all. Go to as many shops as you can, with your waders and the socks you like to wear (bring a few different pairs to customise fit) and try them on. The best boots are the ones that are comfortable. They all fit differently. Even different models from the same company.
I agree in principle, but as someone else pointed out, there may
be a very big difference once the boots have been thoroughly
soaked. I have a pair that is fine when thoroughly wet but is a
pain (literally) until then, which means that a good hike before
getting to water is not fun. So I would pay attention to that
aspect of other peoples' anecdotes.

dewey
06-30-2003, 07:23 AM
they are expensive, but I sure like my Patagonia wading shoes. Light and comfortable in the water and out, with waders and without.

NrthFrk16
06-30-2003, 02:11 PM
IMHO...the Patagonia Beefy's are by far the most comfortable wading boot you will ever step into!!...especially if you have duck feet like myself (they are cut like a box).

My biggest complaint with the Patagonia boots is they are not nearly as well built as say the Simms Guide Boots. The Simms are very comfortable expecially if you have normal feet unlike myself and are absolutely bullet proof.

My Beefy's have already been back to Patagonia Customer Service Dept (after only 2 weeks of use)....they kindly replaced them but the replaced pair is looking like they are ready to implode yet I have only have 8 months or so on them. ...but because they are by far the most comfortable boots out there, I deal with that minor problem and thank God Patagonia has such a great warranty service program. One little note...I tend to put my fishing gear through Hell in back many times over in short periods of time (if it takes me 6 months for me to blow through a pair of waders...that pair will last the average fishermen 3 years)

I never ever had to send back a pair of Guide Boots for warranty service...you will have them for many years to come!!!

BigDave
06-30-2003, 02:45 PM
I have a pair of Sims Guide Boots with the aquastealth and studs. They are extremely well built but kinda heavy. Great traction but I would not do the a'stealth without the studs.

For regular work I have a pair of patagonia's and they sure are light and comfortable.

Mattb
06-30-2003, 03:07 PM
I have a pair of Bean's River Treads, and they're remarkably comfortable. This is my first season with them, so I can't say too much about durability, but they look like they'll wear well, and if not there's always the famous Bean's guarantee.

They come with aquastealth soles, studs are optional. Mine aren't studded, as I prefer Korkers if I'm venturing out onto the slick stuff.

fredaevans
06-30-2003, 04:15 PM
Originally posted by JDJones
Hands down the best boot I've ever had. Got the (black) felt soles with cleates. Easy on and off, comfortable, wear like iron. Only thing I can think of is some die hard extream waders prefer a higher boot.

Just got back from several days on the North Umpqua, most of the fishing was in the area of Susan Creek Campground. (Only way they could improve that place would be to provide room service!:smokin: )

Not sure what the 'rock bottom' was in this area but most are fairly large, well rounded and absolutly impervious to studded bottom boots (no moss, etc.). Actually 'dumped' twice just walking on the beach~!!

This may be the only place I've ever fished where a straight felt bottom boot may be the order (saftey wise) of the day.
fae

wrke
06-30-2003, 04:22 PM
Fred, You must have found the only place on the N Umpqua where felts would be preferable to studs. Even though I live in NY, I consider the NU my home steelhead stream. Personally, I won't fish it without studs.
bill

Jere Eshelman
06-30-2003, 04:27 PM
I use a pair of Danner boots with felt and ceramic studs that Orvis marketed about five years ago. Great comfort but I bought a size 13 for my size 11 foot. They lace up with good support, and the ceramic studs are wearing well after 5 yrs. I just got back from B.C. and didn't take a single swim. Another amazing
"feet."

flytyer
07-01-2003, 12:16 AM
Sean,

Eddie got it right, go to as many shops as you can in your area and try on the wading shoes with your waders on to get the best fit and the feel that you like. As he said, all of us like different things in boots. I like lightweight wading shoes that have decent ankle support; therefore, I only look for wading shoes that fit that description. And it is why I chose Hodgeman Wadelites (that are built on a walking shoe last) instead of Weinbrenner, Simms, or Chota.

Only you know what you like in footwear and as has been mentioned by others, if you don't take your waders with you and try to wading shoes by putting them over your waders, you will not get a proper fit. Also, you might consider placing a pair of cheap (like in Wal-Mart cheap) of wool or wool-blend tube socks over your waders to increase the life of the neoprene wader feet. The oversock keeps the neoprene from getting chewed up by sand and small gravel that invariably gets into your wading shoes, even with gaiters.

fredaevans
07-01-2003, 05:19 AM
Originally posted by wrke
Fred, You must have found the only place on the N Umpqua where felts would be preferable to studs. Even though I live in NY, I consider the NU my home steelhead stream. Personally, I won't fish it without studs.
bill

I usually don't bother with a wading staff (couple of local exceptions to that) but this past several days: "don't leave home without it." I don't recall ever feeling so 'un-sure footed' in years walking over those rocks. As noted above, actually crashed twice while walking on the bank out of the river.

And before I forget: to respond to several e mails: no numbers of summer runs in the NU as of yet. Lots of native trout (one at least 16'' long!) chompted on my fly. Water was in perfect condition from the top to the bottom of the river.

Also got my first introduction to the Blue Heron fly shope in Glide; cost me $50 to get back out the door .... and not a peep from Joan on that buy.
fae

wrke
07-01-2003, 05:30 AM
Fred,

The day I was introduced to the NU by a friend 30 yrs ago, I had felts on. He warned me that I should buy some Korkers studded sandals. I was a very confident (and cheap) young guy who said "aw, I can handle it". I barely got started wading into Kitchen, in the Camp water, when I went in. Tried it a second time, same thing. That morning, I went up to Steamboat and bought a pair. And have never worn just felts on the NU since. Even with studs that year, every time I waded into Kitchen, I fell in.

And a few years ago, it was the NU that encouraged me to buy a wading staff. I don't fish there anymore without it.

What a wonderful river!

Bill

fredaevans
07-01-2003, 07:43 AM
Total agreement that studded boots are the only way to fly, but could it be the 'type' of studs (actually case hardened sheetmetal looking things) on the Chota's that were the problem?

Just too hard, or large a cross section, to grip on these particular type rocks? Next time I'm going to bring my Streamcleats which have soft alum. bars on the bottom. The soft aluminum is very 'stickie' on similar smooth rock bottomed streams.

We shall see .... the excuse to go back immediatly? "Research, Joan, it's just research.:"devil:

wrke
07-01-2003, 07:48 AM
Fred
The aluminum of streamcleats are very effective and sticky on the NU. They're an excellent choice. I wore out a pair there. But (I'm still cheap) now I use the carbide studded Korker felt soles on my wading shoes. The streamcleats also leave telltale aluminum tracks on the rocks.
Bill

sean
07-01-2003, 12:37 PM
OK so after some careful consideration I decided on the Simms aquastealth with studs. We will see how they go. I usally only fish moderate flows at best and figured for really slippery rivers I am going to have to put on korkers anyway.

One thing I fogot to mention is I can be quite clumsy when I get into the fishing zone and I like heavy boots. The heavier the better I have found to help with footing. That is why I did not go with the patagonias and the simms actually seemed to fit better.

Will report on how they work out if I ever get a chance on the river now that I have a new house and a baby coming in three weeks....not very steelhead bum of me I know...


-sean

Jacob
07-16-2003, 09:37 AM
Chek out the Loop Outdoor shoes! they are fantastic!

fredaevans
07-16-2003, 11:00 AM
Originally posted by wrke
Fred
The aluminum of streamcleats are very effective and sticky on the NU. They're an excellent choice. I wore out a pair there. The streamcleats also leave telltale aluminum tracks on the rocks.
Bill

Spent another 5 days on the NU with Streamcleats over my Chota boots. Appears the case hardened 'studs' on the Chota's may just be too hard to be effective on the basalt rock river bottom. The Streamcleats (heavy as they may be!) kept me clued to the bottom. After only a few minutes of clamering around I even dispensed with the wading staff.

fae