: wading boots
03-08-2001, 07:01 PM
I was looking through the Cabela's flyfishing catalog and noticed a new pair of neoprene wading boots by Teva.
The model name is "Voyager", an over the ankle boot with velcro straps around the top and mid-foot. The sole looks like a hard molded rubber they call "spider rubber". I was wondering if anyone might have seen these boots anywhere(fishing shows, shops, etc.)and could give me any feedback. They look like they might just be the ticket over breathables for beach excursions. Thanks in advance, Ken K
I really like the combination of lightweight booties with a sturdy sole, worn over stocking foot waders. There are a few things to think about for beach wading though...
The biggest thing to worry about is sand getting inside the boot. The scuba boots I use are gussetted so that there is no actual opening anywhere. Even the zipper is lined with neoprene such that when unzipped, there is no opening. The sand gets into the teeth of the zipper too, and non-zippered boots are too tight - so I just buy the gussetted scuba boots and never bother with the zippers. I wear good wrap-around gaitors that seal off the tops of the boots and the system is sand-proof for the most part.
Note: Bootfoot waders do not have this problem... but have problems of their own. You can't change boots for different applications, like a free-stone stream, or a boat deck on a rainy day, or cleated boots, or scuba boots, etc. Most good boot foot waders come with a Frankenstein boot, which doesn't work out when you are hiking long distances on the sand. I wish someone would come out with a "beachfoot wader", I'd buy it. For now I take the trouble to get the feel I want to run on sand after blitzing fish.
If the tops are too low, gaitors won't seal them up correctly. Something to think about too.
Price: some scuba dive shops clear out their rental boots after each season, I've bought some of my best boots for $20 or less.
Heat: Unfortunately, some wader Co's make their stocking feet out of heavy neoprene, and good scuba boots are neo too - thus you could end up with several MM of black neoprene on your feet on a hot summer day. Less than ideal... but the days when this is an issue are the days when wet wading is a good option. Despite it's pitfalls, I have yet to see a pair of bootfoots that feel better than the right scuba booties.
Sole: Make sure you look for wading shoes with a solid sole, one that you caould walk on barnacle encrusted rocks with. For scuba boots, some brands make them with 'boat soles' and reinforced heels and toes.
For other boots like the ones you mention, I suppose the only warning is the one about sand penetration and ability to close off completely.
03-08-2001, 10:49 PM
Ken...I think that "abrasion" is a major concern. After looking around I bought a pair of Patagonia Marlwalkers from Forum member Eddie ($75) and they seem to be a good choice. I got them a size larger than normal so I could wear a thin scree guard/neopreme sock which cushions and protects the vulnerable wader foot. I'm not familiar with the Voyager...but whatever you get, beware the long hike with sand inside the shoe...wear will be rapid and leaks will be your reward. Cheers
I found them on the Cabela's site (above). They are the high toppers, definitely gaitor material. The only caveat may apply (based solely on this image) is the possible difficulty of putting them over stocking foots if thick, ex: Simms Guide 5mm neoprene feet, etc.
That reminds me, why can't anyone come up with a nice cool thin stocking foot material that is fit well to the foot?
03-09-2001, 09:25 AM
Thin, comfortable, breathable, stretch Gore-Tex bootie...check out LL Bean's Gore-Tex GQS Waders. I like this bootie ALOT. (800)347-4552
03-10-2001, 05:39 AM
The breathables I'm using now are the LLBean gore-tex bombers, last years model(mine)which still had the stretch panel gore tex foot. They are as close to form fitting as I've seen so far. When fishing sweetwater I wear neo. wading socks and Chota spiked boots. Good fit, but can't wait to try scuba/flats type bootie for the beach. Thanks for the input guys. Ken K
One last point on this topic - when wading tropical sands / mud with sting ray potential, one should consider the tops of the boot for resistance to puncture. Sting rays curl backwards and sting the top of the foot if you accidentally step on one. Better yet, keep the sole close to the bottom in turbid water to increase the likelihood of hitting the ray from the side instead of the top. I've never stepped 'on' one, but have had a lot of close calls.
I was clamming with my two son's a few years ago, when one of them was attacked by a Wolf fish down on one of the flats in Quonny. The only thing that saved him from a severe bite was the rake he was using. He held up the rake, and the wolf fish had it's teeth on the rake, talk about Jaws!
03-18-2001, 08:44 PM
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03-19-2001, 02:51 PM
I wear Patagonia's Marlwalkers with their SST+ waders. I like the boots although I do notice some (not much) sand intrusion in the shoe. I wear them with the SST+ waders. I don't mind the neoprene booties. In fact I traded up from the SST waders because my feet were always freezing (and I made sure to wear what I considered more than ample socks).
You pay for Patagonia stuff, but the cool thing is that you only have to pay for it once.