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 Post subject: Wading boots
PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2021 5:04 pm • # 1 
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Anybody have preferences or recommendations on wading boots? Makes, models, bottom materials? For years I've wet waded in sneakers but it isn't ideal from a safety standpoint and I figure I should treat myself before I have to spend the money on an ER visit instead. Most of the bottoms of the waters I fish consist of large slippery rocks (boulders, really) and traction is at a premium. I do tend to do a lot of walking/scrambling along the bank in-between fishing spots.


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 Post subject: Re: Wading boots
PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2021 9:37 am • # 2 
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When I used to wade in rocky rivers before my knees went bad I used boots with metal cleats because they helped me to not slip, they grabbed the rocks. I highly recommend them.


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 Post subject: Re: Wading boots
PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2021 10:45 am • # 3 
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I know this isn't an answer to your question, but whatever you do, USE A WADING BELT! I say this because on my last trip, I went in too deep and...

I was using one, so it might have been worse.


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 Post subject: Re: Wading boots
PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2021 12:14 pm • # 4 
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strummer wrote:
I know this isn't an answer to your question, but whatever you do, USE A WADING BELT! I say this because on my last trip, I went in too deep and...

I was using one, so it might have been worse.


Glad you're still with us! I haven't worn waders much because previously I didn't own any, most of the places where I wade are inaccessable (snow) or unfishable (high and fast) until the water is warm enough to wet wade anyway. But I did get a pair handed down to me recently. Actually another reason I'm looking at buying wading boots is that none of my current shoes are oversized enough to wear comfortably over the stockingfoot waders.


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 Post subject: Re: Wading boots
PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2021 12:20 pm • # 5 
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Cliff Hilbert wrote:
When I used to wade in rocky rivers before my knees went bad I used boots with metal cleats because they helped me to not slip, they grabbed the rocks. I highly recommend them.


I was eyeing adding a set of aluminum cleats to whatever boots I bought.


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 Post subject: Re: Wading boots
PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2021 4:56 pm • # 6 
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I have tried several brands of wading boots over the past 32 years. I currently am very happy with a pair of Simms boots. I also have a pair of Chotas, that protect my feet well and afford good traction, but they are very heavy, and at 74 years of age, not pleasant for a long walk. The Simms are lightweight and as comfortable as a pair of hiking boots. I have tried both felt and rubber soles, but have found I prefer rubber with aluminum cleats. Felt soles grip well on most wet rocks unless covered in really slimy rock snot, but do not grip well at all on on steep banks. I have found aluminum cleats to grip better than steel or ceramic. Anybody who has ever paddled an aluminum canoe down a river and run over some rocks will know what I am talking about. Aluminum is soft enough to really grip. Simms boots are not cheap, but in my opinion they are better made than some of the other brands and will last longer. Maybe I'm just unlucky, but I have not had good results in longevity with Korkers or Patagonia boots.

Larry


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 Post subject: Re: Wading boots
PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2021 1:06 pm • # 7 
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Canoeman1947 wrote:
I have tried several brands of wading boots over the past 32 years. I currently am very happy with a pair of Simms boots. I also have a pair of Chotas, that protect my feet well and afford good traction, but they are very heavy, and at 74 years of age, not pleasant for a long walk. The Simms are lightweight and as comfortable as a pair of hiking boots. I have tried both felt and rubber soles, but have found I prefer rubber with aluminum cleats. Felt soles grip well on most wet rocks unless covered in really slimy rock snot, but do not grip well at all on on steep banks. I have found aluminum cleats to grip better than steel or ceramic. Anybody who has ever paddled an aluminum canoe down a river and run over some rocks will know what I am talking about. Aluminum is soft enough to really grip. Simms boots are not cheap, but in my opinion they are better made than some of the other brands and will last longer. Maybe I'm just unlucky, but I have not had good results in longevity with Korkers or Patagonia boots.

Larry


Larry, the reason I bought metal cleated boots was to fish the Lower Mountain Fork River in Beavers Bend State Park. Those rocks are slick and sharp and hell on old knees. :'( I also bought some cheap foam gardeners knee pads I bought at Home Depot to put under my waders so that I wouldn't mess my knees up any worse than they already were. Using the knee pads also saved my waders when I stumbled and fell on the sharp rocks there. Next time I would try the aluminum cleats that you suggested.


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 Post subject: Re: Wading boots
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2021 11:08 pm • # 8 
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You know Cliff, for some reason I never thought of wearing knee pads while wading. That sure would have saved my knees a lot of pain over the years. Some shin pads would be useful also. I certainly have the scars to show a good reason for pads.

Larry


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 Post subject: Re: Wading boots
PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2021 1:21 pm • # 9 
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After listening to all you old geezers I for one am planning on wearing a full set of medieval plate armor for wading from now on.

To update this thread, I did get a screaming deal on a set of rubber soled Orvis Pro boots so I bought them. I like them so far but I don't have any experience wading in them yet.


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 Post subject: Re: Wading boots
PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2021 1:36 pm • # 10 
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Old geezer you say! I would whup you with my walker if I could remember where I left the danged thing. :lol

Larry


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 Post subject: Re: Wading boots
PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2021 10:15 pm • # 11 
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The safest wading boots I have found are felt soles with tungsten studs. They grip on greasy bottom boulders as well as slippery limestone flats and muddy stream banks. On rain-wet metamorphic gneiss rock ledges in North Carolina though, they don't do so well.

Korkers are a good brand because you can buy different soles for the boots (felt, sticky rubber, etc). I have some old Korkers that are great for my favorite streams in the Smokies because they also serve as my hiking boots when fishing.


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 Post subject: Re: Wading boots
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2021 9:12 am • # 12 
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In my mind, a good wading staff is at least as important as boot sole type when conditions dictate. When your fly rod starts wind-milling and your CG exceeds safe limits, those three points of contact are priceless.
Harry


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 Post subject: Re: Wading boots
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2021 1:24 pm • # 13 
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[quote="lka"]After listening to all you old geezers I for one am planning on wearing a full set of medieval plate armor for wading from now on.

Take your WD40, and don't fall in..............


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 Post subject: Re: Wading boots
PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2021 6:13 pm • # 14 
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I like Korkers. I'm on my second pair, 1st pair were at the lower end of the cost range and they lasted me 3 years. Pair I use now were around $180 and are doing great after 2 years. I like the ease of changing out the soles. I have plain felt and studded felt, plain and studded rubber, and a pair with the aluminum bars. Wear the felts in summer, studded rubber this time of year because of ice. The ones with the bars are my least favorite.


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 Post subject: Re: Wading boots
PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2022 1:30 pm • # 15 
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Orvis Clearwaters with felt bottoms and cleats,nothing better. And not overly pricey. Had a pair of expensive Patagonias that fell apart within a year,never again. Cheers,Chet


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 Post subject: Re: Wading boots
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2022 3:35 pm • # 16 
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I have been wearing the BOA felt bottom boots the last4 years. The BOA system is awesome, my only complaint about felt is how they suck up the mud on the way back to the motorcycle when I’m leaving.


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 Post subject: Re: Wading boots
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2022 11:01 am • # 17 
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Funny I missed this earlier.

I like Simms stuff, but Korkers and plenty of others make good boots too. My thing is, if you're on rocks, you need studs. Felt is fine but has a bunch of drawbacks for me:
- I fish in winter, and wet felt soles in snow end up looking like white bowling balls on my feet.
- In summer, they slip like crazy on wet grass or mud banks.
- Up steelheading on the slate and such, felt gets pushed on the slick rocks.

Studs, however, hang up really nicely, and the rubber (in Simms speak, Vibram) soles don't hold water, can get a nice grip on mud and grass from the firmer rigid edge of the soles, and aren't really prone to dragging a lot of sand and gravel in to your truck. Only real issue with studs is they can and will cut your line if you stand on it on a rock; it'll pinch right off. You do that once.


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 Post subject: Re: Wading boots
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2022 10:48 am • # 18 
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And if you're using studded boots, don't walk onto a hardwood, laminate or vinyl floor.


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 Post subject: Re: Wading boots
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2022 9:16 am • # 19 
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Cliff Hilbert wrote:
And if you're using studded boots, don't walk onto a hardwood, laminate or vinyl floor.


You do THAT once too.


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 Post subject: Re: Wading boots
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2022 11:17 am • # 20 
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toothybugs wrote:
Cliff Hilbert wrote:
And if you're using studded boots, don't walk onto a hardwood, laminate or vinyl floor.


You do THAT once too.


Yep, I did it once when I was fishing in Mountain Home, Ark and walked into a fly shop there and didn't pay any attention to the floor, which was hardwood. The shop owner ran up to me, asked me to go outside, tell him what I wanted and he'd bring it to me. After that I always made sure to take off my boots and put on a cheap pair of shoes before I went into anyplace.


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