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Old 01-30-2007, 07:41 PM
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Flats boots

Hi all
I need a new pair of flats boots mine are pretty ugly.
I plan on doing a LOT of walking on an up coming trip.
I'm not too up on what is out there, any suggestions?
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Old 01-30-2007, 07:48 PM
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BobBergquist BobBergquist is offline
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Simms. Light and comfy. Mine last about 100 days. Avoid Orvis at all cost, we had several guys with bad foot problems after a week in them last season.
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Old 01-30-2007, 09:26 PM
virginfly virginfly is offline
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Two summers ago I picked up a pair of Keen river sandals in Montana for river rafting and wet wading. I have been using them ever since in my home waters of the Virgin Islands while wading the flats. They are still in good shape! I have literally abused them in the rough marls on our south shore while wading for permit. When, that is if, I wear them out I will definitly purchase another pair. Plus...I can wear them all the time, even travel in them, so I don't have to pack them. With the travel problems nowadays that's a big plus while island hopping!
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Old 01-30-2007, 09:36 PM
mugsy mugsy is offline
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I agree with Bob, go with the Simms. Unbelievably comfortable, no problems what-so-ever. I'm too much of a wuss to wear sandals on the flats.
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Old 01-30-2007, 11:03 PM
wrke wrke is offline
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Try the Simms first, before buying. They were very uncomfortable on me. I got a much better fit with the Patagonia Marlwalker IIs. Much more comfortable. And they look to be as rugged as the Simms. Also, although I haven't had a pair on, the new ones from Bite Primal Flats Wading boots look incredible. But, at all costs, try before buying. You'll spend a lot of time in them.
Bill
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Old 01-30-2007, 11:40 PM
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I own the simms, patagonia and bite shoes. Here's what I have experienced...

The Simms are sturdy and well designed for people with narrow feet. I would not recommend them for people with wide feet. Also they must be purchased a couple of sizes over - at least 1.5 over your normal shoe size if you are going to wear socks to protect your skin from chafing in marl dust. try before you buy for size but otherwise a very good shoe.

The patagonias are very comfortable for people with wide feet and IMHO the best of the bunch. Some cracking around the radius of the ball of the foot may occur but this is mostly cosmetic and can be repaired. I haven't bothered to fix mine as it's cosmetic. The first day before these relief cracks occur might be a little uncomfortable right there while there is still rigidity. Everything else is amazing and I've walked several miles in them without any discomfort.

I haven't given the bites a fair road test yet. Several members have them and swear by them in northern beach situations where the granularity of the sand is much larger than the tropics sand and marl. However they do have some velcro which is not used in the other two and it's performance may be compromised by the typical sludge-like consistency of the tropical marl.

If you have a wider foot go with the Patagonia. Narrower foot go consider the Simmsas well. I will defer to others on the bite primals for bonefishing. Mine will be used on striper beaches in the future.
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Old 01-31-2007, 12:50 AM
mugsy mugsy is offline
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Juro,

Did the "I've walked several miles in them without any discomfort" have anything to do with "adventures with a bass boat in the carribean"?
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Old 01-31-2007, 01:56 AM
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Hi Joe
I have used Orvis, Simms and Patagonia.
The Orvis I have had have been the old style neopreen booties with a zip up side.
They are Ok on flat sand and do not let any sand in . On Hard coral they are useless as they have no ankle support and can get ripped up by sharp coral. They also have a very flat foot bed and after a long day on the flats you can get back ache. I threw mine away after a one weeks trip.
Having said that I also have a pair of Orvis Christmas Island booties that are great to carry along when fishing from a skiff. They can be easily slipped on for a short walk on the flats. For a longer stint they would be uncomfortable.

The Simms boots are very well made, give good ankle support and are very rugged. They are good in all situations. They have one drawback in as much as they fill up with sand when fishing on softer sandy bottoms or on the edges of beaches where there are small waves.

Patagonia Marlwalkers are my favourites as they are very well made like the Simms but do not let in as much sand.

One thing that is very important when wearing flats boots is Socks. If you do not wear decent socks then the sand in the boots can cause serious blisters on your feet.
You can just wear a pair of thick hicking socks but they may wear out.
I use Simms wading socks which I think are great. Some friends of mine swear by 1000 mile socks.

Another tip: When you eventually buy some boots, they will feel stiff and uncomfortable when you put them on in the dry. Do not make the mistake of trying to wear them in, on land. It doesn't work and you will get blisters. Wet boots are totaly different to dry boots.

I am being long winded here as I have almost ruined a couple of trips by wearing poor footwear which as caused blisters. Blisters on your feet in the salt do not heal and seem to get continuously worse.

Pete
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Old 01-31-2007, 06:03 AM
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Thanks everyone
As usual the experiance on this site is as good as gold to me!
I have a pretty narrow foot so I guess I'll start with the Simm's.
I also see Cabelas has a wading shoe that seems to be a knock off of either the Simm's or Marlwalker does anyone have any experiance with them?
Looks like I'll have something to do this weekend!
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Old 01-31-2007, 08:38 AM
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The simms and the patagonia are both excellent boots. As Petevicar said, sand in the boots can be a problem. As for socks, I use a neoprene surfing sock inside my flats boots. It's fairly thin neoprene, and has a velcro strap across the top so you can close it up tp prevent sand from infiltrating your boot. Works very well and eliminates most of the sand--you will still get some, but I have not had blister in two years when wearing these. Also very comfortable to wear. It is made by H2Odessy. (got it from a surf shop in San Diego)
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Old 01-31-2007, 08:40 AM
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Pete, the sand in the shoes can be iliminated by using light neoprene socks with a bit of duck tape, or as Terry does, a pair of Cabelas neoprene socks that have a built in gator. I had a tough time a few years ago with sand packing in while fishing the sandy, wavy, lagoon edges on Bikini, to the point I lost my big toe nails!

I also agree the old soft "booty"style that Chota and Orvis produce are the worst, heavy, no support and get shreded on coral and rock.

Last year I was forced to use sandals on a trip as on other guy had forgot all his footwear save a pair of leather shoes! My feet were trashed for weeks...never again.
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Old 01-31-2007, 09:37 AM
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Hey Bob
wil you be around on Acklins in March?
If so I would be very pleased to meet you.

Pete
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Old 01-31-2007, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mugsy
Juro,

Did the "I've walked several miles in them without any discomfort" have anything to do with "adventures with a bass boat in the carribean"?
I was nominated for a "McGiver" award after that incident.

On the socks...

I use the expensive reinforced thorlo hiking socks instead. They are durable, formed to the foot and allow the water to squish out unlike neoprenes.

I tried neoprenes and it was like wearing bags on my feet because the water doesn't come out of them where the fabric breathes and allows the water in the shoe to circulate and exit the holes in the boot.
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Old 01-31-2007, 10:52 AM
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I have purchased a pair of the Bite Primal flats boots for my upcoming trip.
Obviously I have not had the chance to wear them on the flats yet, but they seem to be very well made and are very comfortable, (I wear them every time I take the dogs for a walk just to get used to them) also they seem to be made for a bit wider foot than some. Under jeans or the like they just look like regular boots, a little ugly maybe but you could for sure travel in them if need be.
A week of fishing will tell the whole story I am sure, though I am still unsure what to wear with them, Neoprene boots or just socks?
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Old 01-31-2007, 11:39 AM
wrke wrke is offline
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I use lightweight sock liners and lightweight neoprene socks. On the outside of the boot I use neoprene gaitors with pants tucked in. No sand in shoes.
Bill
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