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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking for a better pair of wading boots. I have a pair of 2 year (?) old Simms Freestones, I think.

I really don't like them. They feel like alpine ski boots. They are so stiff, inflexible, and heavy.

I like a boot that has some protecting along the sides of the soles to shield the foot against bruising when your foot gets turned a little side ways or cramped between two rocks. And admittedly the Simms do that fine. But you (or at least I) can't hardly bend them and you're foot can't conform to the river bottom. If you ever got your foot seriously trapped between to rocks you'd play hell getting free.

I'm not fond of the snap on sole that Korkers are marketing and I do like a felt and aluminum bottom.

So are there any other wading boots out there that are not like having a plaster cast on your lower leg, which will protect the foot somewhat and yet move with the foot's natural range of motion? With felt bottoms?

I'd appreciate any advice and or thoughts...
 

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My brothers love the Patagonia's, very good comfort level! I can't wear them because they don't make a 16, just glad that Simms brought back the felt freestones in 15-16.
 

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I can't wear them because they don't make a 16
Size 16 !!! :eek::eek::eek:
WOW , I don't get the opportunity to say "WOW" very often . I take a size UK 13 street shoe and use the Korkers size 15 as a wading boot .
Too bad you have ruled out the Korkers . I had a pair of the Guide boots and then purchased the Metalheads and I must say they are the most comfortable wading boots I have ever worn !! They offer sole and ankle support with good protection on the side of the foot that you are looking for . Very flexible and they don't feel like I'm wearing the box either .

Good luck in your search :)


Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Size 16 !!! :eek::eek::eek:
WOW , I don't get the opportunity to say "WOW" very often . I take a size UK 13 street shoe and use the Korkers size 15 as a wading boot .
Too bad you have ruled out the Korkers . I had a pair of the Guide boots and then purchased the Metalheads and I must say they are the most comfortable wading boots I have ever worn !! They offer sole and ankle support with good protection on the side of the foot that you are looking for . Very flexible and they don't feel like I'm wearing the box either .

Good luck in your search :)


Mike
Thanks for your response.

I'm a size 7 so I need a size nine but I think if you were a 13 or a 16 the Freestones might be a lot more flexible for you.

As far as the Korkers are concerned, I haven't ruled them out entirely but the snap-on sole is BS as far as I'm concerned. Wasn't it Korker who introduced tie-on wading sandals with carbide studs back in the day? It's hell when you're fishing slick ledges on the NU and go to take a step and find that one sandal is come off and is nowhere in sight and you're 15 feet from shore, all of it algae covered bedrock. And no back up sandals for the rest of the weekend. DAMHIKT.

Just one more inherently, inescapably, unreliable piece of equipment to worry about.

fyshhead, I'll look into the patagonias...thanks. Was there a particular model that your brothers favoured? Who carries them? and does sizing run true? (another complaint about the Freestones--I think the sizing is a bit off on the small side.)
 

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Merry Christmas!

And the cobbler's kids go barefoot.........


DWFII, I've worn out a pair of korkers, several sets of their soles, and am now on new Korker metalheads. They are more comfortable than my old Simms boots (3 pr). Only once, on the final trip with my old Korkers, did I have a sole come off. Life is full of compromises, and all of us hold our own opinions; mine is that you'd do well with Korkers.
I've almost always worn the felt with studs. If I were a bootmaker, I'd use some Barge cement and glue on that sole if I was concerned.

On the sandal issue, one of my buddies has worn them for years. He's on his third set due to losses. He finally rigged up a "runaway strap" like the skiers used to wear. No more losses for him.
 

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Wader Boots

Check into the AQUAZ boot foot waders. Don't know if they will do the trick for you but they are very comfortable and in the $300.00 range. They also offer custom made waders.
I like mine and wrap seperate support around my ankles.
Good luck and Merry Christmas to all.

Jim

P.s. DWII Thanks for your service. How many jumps did you make??
 

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DWFII , for the past 2 years The Metalheads have served me through some very tricky wading . I don't use any other soles accept for the large spikes . The soles I use are flat rubber with massive cleats that dig into moss covered stones . They too are the "snap in" style and not once have they ever loosened or made me feel unsure of the integrity of the connection . There has been many upgrades and changes to Korkers sole swapping system . Even with the old pair of Guide boots , I had no issues .
Cheers !!


Mike
 

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Patagonia

I'll second the Patagonias. By far the lightest, most comfortable wading boots I've ever worn. Easy to get on and off, and very durable. Mine are felts, with the Kutter ice studs added. I wear a size 11 street shoe, and have found going up 2 sizes (in both Patagonia and Simms) works best for me, along with thick merino wool socks.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I thank you guys for the input...I hope it keeps coming. I'm gonna look again at the Korkers...and the Patagonias, for sure.

The one other caveat that I didn't mention because I didn't think it applied was that I hate those carbide studs.

I used aluminum cleat--"U"-channel pop riveted onto felt bottom Tingley's--for a long time (after the loss of the wading sandal) and that was the best gripping set-up, bar none, that I've ever had. Any bottom--zero slip. Tried to put the Tingleys on the Freestones and the Tingleys ripped (they were 20+ years old)

When I bought the Freestones I has some carbide studs mounted and they were near-as-nevermind rollerskates on ledges...not going that direction again.

Again...thanks for the responses.
 

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Simms Guide Boots are the most comfortable boots I have owned. A little stiff at first but they age better than Patagonias.
 

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chota stl!

best, most comfortable boot i've ever had. Chota STL. comes with felt sole and screw in studs, quick and easy elastic laces. can be worn loose in winter to help keep feet warm. are excellent for long hikes in. they are durable, supportive and they never ever hurt my feet. They cost between $120-$150 and are worth every penny.
 

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Love my patagonaia's with the aluminum bars. I have the first generation, and will be replacing the bars, worn after two seasons, over the winter. If I ever wear theses out, I'll be getting the newer version.

Light, but very supportive, and good grip.
 

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I really don't like them. They feel like alpine ski boots. They are so stiff, inflexible, and heavy.
Never could understand that design trope...hate it. One of our forum members here had a few pair of (discontinued) Simms Aquastealth boots...bloody well awesome...great comfort...
Cause I hate wet wading in January ya know...
 

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If it helps, I wore the G3 boot last season and my feet were very happy. I won't tell you they are super flexible or that they felt like an athletic shoe but they were good. During the season I have the waders & boots on between 16 and 20 hours every day so feeling good matters. I would recommend trying on every boot you can and making the choice based on how your feet feel. When you have the right fit you'll be able to sleep in them if you must.

Ard
 

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I'm surprised no one has mentioned the Simms Rivershed. They are, in my opinion, the best boots on the market. I've had multiple pairs and they have all lasted twice as long as any other boot I've tried. The soles wear out far before the boot does. As for comfort, they feel as comfortable as any work boot I've used. No issues there.
 

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The issue with Riversheds is the simple fact that they are available only with the rubber sole. Originally the boots were available with felt soles, and those boots by far were the best available in the market IMHO. The rubber soles are soft so they grip certain types of rock better, but that means they wear out very quickly. If simms made the sole as thick as a regular work boot sole like a real vibram sole and not this fake fishing scam bs then these boots would be the cats meow as it is, they still are good but fall into the typical fishing gear bs scam dept., ie same deal with vastly over priced breathable garments that vastly under perform. I'm not sure why as anglers we accept and are willing to pay several hundred dollars for crap. Its one thing when you get guide pricing on gear but even so...

One of these days I will get an old pair of rivershed re-soled with real vibram workboot soles. The type where the lug is 1/2" thick and not 1/8" like on the standard issue fishing boot. I will then mill a 1/2" wide slot into the sole to accept aluminum bars.. I just have to find the $75 to get the boots re-soled..hopefully the fellow that used to do my work boots is still around..
 

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Korkers Devils Canyon with studded felt!!! I've had simms guide boots with felt that I added studs too and the headwaters with star cleats. I've also had Korkers metalheads with studded felt. Now I have the Korkers Devils Canyon and they are the most comfortable by far. I bought 1 size up and they fit great. The omnitrax soles delaminate over time, but there in lies the beauty of the system cuz you can just throw on a brand new set and voila a new pair of boots. There is no perfect wading boot, because there are so many conditions that are encountered on any given day on any given river. The Korkers do allow you to at least change the soles to match a condition without having a garage full of boots.

Kristian
 

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Be careful with korkers, there boots run small! A 15 fits like a 13 , so if you are a 14-15 you have no chance with a 15.
 

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That was my experience with other models as well, but the Devils Canyon doesn't seem to run as big. I wear an 11 street shoe and was advised to only go up 1 size (I thought it would be a mistake). It fits perfect even with 2 pairs of heavy wool socks and my G4Z neoprene booties. With my metalheads I definitely went up 2 sizes.
 
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