Flats Wading Boots [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Flats Wading Boots

02-02-2012, 12:57 PM
Hey fellas,
Is there a big difference between the flats booties ( like the orvis Christmas Isalnd boots) vs. an actual boot like the Simms flats sneaker? I'm trying to determine if it is worth the upgrade.

02-02-2012, 01:18 PM
The booties are OK if you're on sandy flats but if you're in an area with a lot of marl ypu'll wish you had the sneaker types. Personally after many trips I've chosen the sneakers.


02-02-2012, 02:31 PM
I've used Orvis flats boots, and like them. There is a removeable neoprene bootie that goes into the lace up boot, and there is a built-in gravel guard on the bootie. I wear women's ankle high nylon socks (thin and tight weave), and a medium weight synthetic sock inside the neoprene insert. Also use an additional gravel guard over the boot. The boot sole is fairly rugged, and there is a hard toe cap.
Sometimes it is hard to extricate your foot from the marl, so a securely attached boot is a plus.
I have worn the boots on the airplane flights from home to the Bahamas, to guard against loss of a very essential piece of equipment. So far that precaution has not mattered.

02-02-2012, 05:24 PM
The rugged sneakers or boots are way to go. Ankle protection isa must if you fish anywhere around coral or sharp rocks. The neoprene booties are fine if just on sandy bottoms. Gmflyfish sounds like he has a good system of keeping sand out. It is tricky to do but very important to prevent blisters. I wear thin neoprene socks that Velcro shut at the top plus some type of gravel guard helps too.

02-19-2012, 01:43 AM
Personally I much prefer flats booties to the sneaker types. I go across a lot of marl and I've never had a problem with the booties. Yes, they're not as stable as a sneaker-type that has a rigid sole with flat/hard edges rather than the rounded edges of a booty. If you have weak ankles, then you might want to seriously consider the sneaker-type.

There's a great thread on this topic here:

Everyone I know that uses the sneakers constantly complains about sand getting in them. I use the Chota flats booties (the only flats footwear available in my 15 wide size!), which I've had for almost 10 years now, and I've never gotten more than a few dozen grains of sand in them in an entire day of wading. I wear two pairs of socks in them:

1. First, a pair of very thin dress socks that go higher than the top of the booties to prevent the booties chaffing my legs, and
2. Secondly over those a pair of ankle high thick athletic socks to provide cushioning and to have 2 layers so I don't get blisters.

I've tried the thin neoprene socks but I find the 2 pairs I wear as outlined above are far more comfortable and stop all blisters.

I also always wear long nylon tropical pants for a few reasons:
1. You don't need to put sunscreen on your legs (ever!),
2. They protect your legs from bugs, and
3. They make it very hard for sand to get into your boots.

Personally I'll be sticking with flats booties instead of going to sneakers for as long as I can find the booties in my size!