Best wading boots for long hikes?

Thread starter #1
My old felt-soled wading boots bit the dust last Saturday. They were worthless for anything over a short hike anyway and dropping off a steep slope with them on was an adventure to say the least. What rubber-bottomed wading shoes have you had the best luck with? I need them to be comfortable enough to hike several miles in yet "sticky" enough to keep me from breaking my neck while wading. I'd love to own a pair of Simms G-3 Guide boots if money were no object but as always it is. Looking at the Redington Skagits as I found them on sale for around $95 with free shipping and they have good reviews but I'm open to suggestions.
 

sasmojoe

Senior Member
I recently bought some Korkers,, the rubber soles are slick as snot in the water but the felt work great. Wear rubber soles for hiking and then change to felt.
 

flyrod444

Senior Member
I recently bought some Korkers,, the rubber soles are slick as snot in the water but the felt work great. Wear rubber soles for hiking and then change to felt.
This will work great for you. I feel that devil's canyon korkers are one of the most comfortable on the market. I have rubber sole with studs I wear during ginseng season just in case I get distracted from fishing some days. While not as good as felt in the stream they aren't bad and work wonderful going up and down the mountains in search of ginseng.
 
Thread starter #4
I went ahead and ordered a pair of Simms Freestone boots. I looked at the Korkers but I just felt like the removable sole would be a weak point. I'm probably wrong though they're real popular.
 
I have a pair of Cabela's hiker/waders that have given me several years of good service hiking and fishing for probably hundreds or thousands of miles. I have hiked five or six miles in with them on several times and then back out. Unfortunately, they're about slap wore out and I don't think they make that same model any more. Steel studs are your friends, as are neoprene wading socks.
 
My Simms intruders are fantastic for backcountry fishing. They have a neoprene liner and I wear a warm wool sock. I have the felt bottoms. The Simms flyweight would be
my choice if they came in felt. The flyweights are about 7 oz lighter.

The liner in the intruder makes it difficult to wear wading pants with booties attached so you have to size up. The Patagonia ul waders have a smaller bootie and they fit better. The new Simms flyweight don't have the bootie.
 
After my Chota boots wore out last year, I wanted a lightweight, rubber sole, hiking style boot.

I guess I got lucky when I was looking because they don't appear in stock now, but I got some Simms Vaportreads. I paired them with some of the Simms hardbite star cleats and I've been impressed so far. They offer good support and are still a pound lighter than my old ones

More and more of the streams I fish are starting to ban felt soles so I figured it was time to get with the program.
 
After my Chota boots wore out last year, I wanted a lightweight, rubber sole, hiking style boot.

I guess I got lucky when I was looking because they don't appear in stock now, but I got some Simms Vaportreads. I paired them with some of the Simms hardbite star cleats and I've been impressed so far. They offer good support and are still a pound lighter than my old ones

More and more of the streams I fish are starting to ban felt soles so I figured it was time to get with the program.
How do the rubber soles compare to the felt on slick rocks? I'm in the market for some new ones myself, and I've been looking at the rubber soles, but I don't know if I'll be spending half my time laying on my back in the creek.
 
How do the rubber soles compare to the felt on slick rocks? I'm in the market for some new ones myself, and I've been looking at the rubber soles, but I don't know if I'll be spending half my time laying on my back in the creek.
Nothing compares to felt with studs. Nothing. But good sharp-edged studs do pretty good. I've fished a couple local DH waters with these boots and I haven't fallen yet.

The problem I had was most of the western rivers that I get to go fish once in a while have almost all prohibited felt soles.
 
Nothing compares to felt with studs. Nothing. But good sharp-edged studs do pretty good. I've fished a couple local DH waters with these boots and I haven't fallen yet.

The problem I had was most of the western rivers that I get to go fish once in a while have almost all prohibited felt soles.
Curious, what is the reason for prohibiting felt? Only thing I can imagine is transfer of pollutants.
 
Curious, what is the reason for prohibiting felt? Only thing I can imagine is transfer of pollutants.
They say that felt is more conducive to inadvertently transporting invasive species like the parasite that causes whirling disease in trout. I know for a while, those that used felt soles were encouraged to spray them down with a bleach solution to kill potential parasites.

Felt soles are prohibited in all of Yellowstone, a place that I dearly love to fish.

I have seen though, that some places have reversed the ban on felt soles. I guess they realized that invasives can be carried on just about any gear we wear.
 
I tried the rubber soles in the Park and quickly switched back to my felt bottoms. I didn't fall but definitely didn't slip as much with felt. They were vibram soles without metal cleats.
 
i have these by orvis and really like them. i do put studs in them. but if i am going to hike for awhile i wear lightweight hiking shoes or boots and then change stream side. i have a backpack for that that integrates with my vest.

https://www.orvis.com/p/clearwater-wading-boot-rubber/2fbn

patrick
My issue is that I am absolutely not going to carry two pairs of boots around to go fishing. If I can't hike a few miles in with them on, I don't want them.
 
Thread starter #17
Yeah this was my dilemma with my old felt-soled boots which came from Cabelas too. Either I slipped and slid on steep slopes or I had to carry my wading boots and put them on stream-side, which meant fishing with a day-pack on all day. Not fun and a little dangerous. I definitely slip more when wading with a pack on, even if it only weighed 12 lbs or so. Ive found that if youre going to tote a pack, youre going to carry stuff you dont strictly need. Stuff that adds up in weight. Well, the new sticky rubber has to be better than the old hiking boots or tennis shoes I waded in for many years, doesnt it? Someone tell me yes please.
 

jigman29

Senior Member
I live in the mountains and walk a few miles on a lot of my trout fishing trips. I bought some korkers a few years ago and they are by far the most comfortably ones I have ever owned. I tried rubber soles both with and without studs and you couldn't run fast enough to give me a pair, I absolutely hate them. Felt is the best out there in my opinion. I have been reading a lot on the svelt soles you can get for the Korkers, they supposedly grip like felt but are allowed everywhere. I may pull the trigger on a set soon.
 
Simms specifically makes boots for long hikes in.

The Intruder is a good boot but they also just came out with the new Flyweight that looks more like a hiking boot than anything.

If your pockets are deep, Danner just did a collaboration with Patagonia to make a reparable wading boot. It looks awesome and will probably last a long time!
 

jigman29

Senior Member
Simms specifically makes boots for long hikes in.

The Intruder is a good boot but they also just came out with the new Flyweight that looks more like a hiking boot than anything.

If your pockets are deep, Danner just did a collaboration with Patagonia to make a reparable wading boot. It looks awesome and will probably last a long time!
I saw those a while back. I bet that boot is a beast and will last forever! I imagine the price will be unreal high though
 
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