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Thread: wading boots

  1. #1
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    wading boots

    It's been a few years, but I had boot blowout yesterday, so time to shop. What do I need to know about the latest and greatest? Looks like the manufacturers push to get felt outlawed everywhere has kind of lost steam. Amiright? Looks like that is still a pretty short list of states, and none that I plan to hit any time soon, so can I just replace my korkers with another pair of the same? What else should I be thinking about?

    I'm looking for the best combination of durability and cheap I suppose.

  2. #2
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    Simms Freestones. Your choice of soles, as long as your choice is rubber. Cleats optional.

    Disregard all other responses.

  3. #3
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    +1 for Freestones

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Mike View Post

    I'm looking for the best combination of durability and cheap I suppose.
    +2 for Freestones but I use felt soles. Rubber gets very low scores for durability, especially if you often wade on abrasive rocks like limestone or rhyolite. The rhyolite bedrock in my local river smoothed rubber soles like it was heavy grit sandpaper and the performance (stability) declines quickly as edges of the lugs get worn away. Cleats extend the life of rubber but add price. If you are just using them to wade on that greasy, smooth pebble and cobble typical of the Caney Fork, rubber is ok and you don't need cleats. Rubber will work better on those slimy mud banks that the generators scour out on the Caney and, for walking, it is noticeably lighter than wet felt, I'll give it that.
    Last edited by neckdeep; 07-21-2015 at 08:42 AM.
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  5. #5
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    Man you are right about the Caney. That must be the easiest river to wade in the US! I sometimes just wear sandals there, esp if I'm floating and fishing. However, my boots see a lot outside of the Caney. I do quite a bit of smallmouth stream fishing around here, and those little creeks frequently have some really slick bottoms due to the accumulation of sediment. Also, I travel and fish a decent amount. FWIW, slickest thing I've ever waded--Abrams Creek in the Smokies. In the winter, you might as well just fish in a wetsuit.

  6. #6
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    Mar 2013
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    Simms vapors are great boots. I've guided in cabelas guide boa's and the Korker kgb's. The kgb's were comfy but came apart quick the cabelas guide boots just crumbled. Go with the Simms vapors best boots out there

  7. #7
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    wading boots

    I like my Chota Caney Forks. Can't comment on anything else since I've had them for 6 or 7 years

  8. #8
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    ^^ just fished abrams creek above the waterfall last weekend! it was quite a departure from my CO home waters, but those native brookies are fun as hell to catch! i fished it in simms freestones, rubber soles with studs. felt like walking on ice wearing roller skates. fell in twice. they're a bit heavy and clunky, but provide a really stable foundation and great grip everywhere else i've fished.

  9. #9
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    Patagonias with the traction bars. Best boots I've owned, more comfortable and way more traction than the Simms Guide boots they replaced.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ienjoydrinkingbeer View Post
    ^^ just fished abrams creek above the waterfall last weekend! it was quite a departure from my CO home waters, but those native brookies are fun as hell to catch! i fished it in simms freestones, rubber soles with studs. felt like walking on ice wearing roller skates. fell in twice. they're a bit heavy and clunky, but provide a really stable foundation and great grip everywhere else i've fished.
    fun stream. Unless something has changed dramatically in the 3-4 years since I've been there, those were rainbows rather than brook trout, however.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by dfinn View Post
    Patagonias with the traction bars. Best boots I've owned, more comfortable and way more traction than the Simms Guide boots they replaced.
    I second this. Rock Grip boot its on Backcountry right now for a good price.

  12. #12
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    ^^ You are correct. Mis-remembered. Found the brookies in Lynn Camp Prong above the waterfall. Fished Abrams the day before. The park is a really cool place to fish. I was pleasantly surprised by the solitude.

  13. #13
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    +1 for Simms Guide boots. Mine are ? years old and still holding up fine.
    "Zee damn fat skis are ruining zee piste !" -Oscar Schevlin

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  14. #14
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    Yeah another vote on the simms, but my old lady works for them so it's pretty much all I wear. I have had my boots for like 8yrs and the only thing is the soles are pretty worn down which should be expected. Never really had much issues with the rubber soles traction wise on Montana rivers

  15. #15
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    If you get the Simms streamtread (vibram), I highly recommend fitting them with a set of the Simms star cleats. If for no other reason than to keep the Vibram from wearing down. Mine seemed to wear quickly and I'm pretty sure that the rubber is harder (slicker) as it wears down towards the sole.

  16. #16
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    yep, if you walk a mile, you get away from about 99.99% of the smokies' visitors. At many spots in the surrounding National Forest, you don't have to go that far.

  17. #17
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    I gotta put a vote in on the Korker K5 Bomber, assuming you need any sort of ankle support. These things are tanks--steel heading in Oregon or trout fishing in bouldery rivers in Idaho were made waaaaay easier when I gave these as shot. The amount of support and the height of them reminded me of going from a trail running shoe to an all out hiking boot. The interchangeable soles sounds hokey and suspect but I have really appreciated having felt in the summer and rubber in the winter--and they actually don't break or fail.

    For reference, I've owned Patagonia, Simms and Reddington in the past. The Korkers are by far superior so far (four months). I know it's not the sexiest brand out there but I don't really give a shit--I wear Crocs.
    "All God does is watch us and kill us when we get boring. We must never, ever be boring."

  18. #18
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    Bumped this because my old boots are starting to come apart. What's the current consensus? Mostly fish the Upper Roaring Fork so lots of bushwhacking, rock hopping, etc.. Always used felt because it seemed to work and most of my fishing outside the valley is of the warmwater variety so never traveled with them. Rubber? rock bars? opinions? I'd love something that won't kill me on the bushwhack into some spots, but would deal with that to avoid slipping in the river and getting washed down to Glenwood.
    "They don't think it be like it is, but it do."

  19. #19
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    I'm a fan of my Korkers. Being able to have a single boot and change out the soles has been nice. I've got my felt for one river, studded rubber for all around use, and straight rubber for floating/long hike ins/wet wading. Haven't lost a sole yet in the several years I've owned them.

  20. #20
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    G3 Guide Rubbers are comfortable and extremely stable. Simms made these feel bomb proof. Ive been told the boa boots are the cats ass. Cant justify shelling out more money to skip laces.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joey Joe Joe Junior Shabadoo View Post
    Bumped this because my old boots are starting to come apart. What's the current consensus? Mostly fish the Upper Roaring Fork so lots of bushwhacking, rock hopping, etc.. Always used felt because it seemed to work and most of my fishing outside the valley is of the warmwater variety so never traveled with them. Rubber? rock bars? opinions? I'd love something that won't kill me on the bushwhack into some spots, but would deal with that to avoid slipping in the river and getting washed down to Glenwood.
    Back in 2015 when I started this thread, I ended up going with the Korkers, and just ordered new felts for them a couple of weeks ago. I agree the flexibility on changing out the soles is nice, although I just go with the felts 95% of the time.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by spankthepow View Post
    wet wading.
    I'm struggling to figure out how one sole could be better than another just because your feet are wet instead of dry. Please elaborate.

  23. #23
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    In these threads I know we all end up recommending whatever we have that hasn't seriously pissed us off, but has anyone had any issues with Patagonia boots? I've got some of the sticky-soled ones that I think are great unless it's a seriously greasy stream, then I've got some felts that I use. But I get the kind deal on them, so there's that.

    I imagine that you won't get too fuct with Simms, Korkers or Patagucci as long as you get a sole - sticky, felt, or aluminum bars - that suits your streams. Go with the best deal then, I guess.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Underoos View Post
    I'm struggling to figure out how one sole could be better than another just because your feet are wet instead of dry. Please elaborate.
    I usually don't go above my shins wet wading, so don't need studs/felt typically. Nothing about my feet being wet, just not standing in the middle of a river when I'd like some grip

  25. #25
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    Have Korkers now with no issues. My Patagonia boot lace hooks ripped out prematurely so I took the warranty gift card and moved on.

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