Jump to content
Jim Wright

Wader Boots

Recommended Posts

Hey! I'm in need of wader boots. I trust and value your opinions.

Which do you all like? I have been using the LL Bean emerger style, of which I'm not sure is available any longer. I have large feet (sized 14). I've been interested in the Simms or Orvis with the Boa system.

All opinions will be appreciated!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wear studded LL Bean Gray Ghosts with the BOA closure. I highly recommend studded boots for their traction wading rocky streambeds. They are also easy to clean. The boots have excellent fit and ankle support. I have a spare pair that are non-studded with just the Vibram sole (backup, never worn so far). Can't beat LL Bean lifetime guarantee. I used it once for an exchange, no questions asked.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love the boa system. No more struggling to get boots on or off. AND no more retying the laces every 5 minutes.

Gregg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has anyone had any trouble with the BOA system breaking? I see they sell replacement cables; just wondering how reliable they after use. I'm not a big fan of tying and untying laces either, especially after a long day on the water.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I unfortunately have not had good luck with Simms boots (I like their waders though!). I've had both the Guide 3 and Headwaters. I've had the sole delaminate from the upper on both. It's not like I wade 250 days a year and I'm pretty good about trying to maintain my stuff. Customer service was good with Guides, I didn't bother doing anything about the Headwaters. This is going back a couple/few years so maybe their process/glue has improved. I do have a pair of RiverTek without the Boa system that I haven't broken out yet. We'll see what happens with those... No experience with Orvis.

 

I purchased a pair of Patagonia boots a few years ago on closeout prior to a model change and they are still kicking. I'll probablty look to Patagonia first when I need more boots.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just spoke to a salesperson at Orvis about the BOA. He has never had an issue with them nor has he seen a pair come back to the store for replacement. I worry about the mechanism breaking or seizing up with ice. Not sure if that's a reasonable concern but I like the concept of no laces. Been researching Simms and Orvis models online.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just spoke to a salesperson at Orvis about the BOA. He has never had an issue with them nor has he seen a pair come back to the store for replacement. I worry about the mechanism breaking or seizing up with ice. Not sure if that's a reasonable concern but I like the concept of no laces. Been researching Simms and Orvis models online.

 

I did read somewhere that BT had a Boa wire break. Not sure if it was his blog or the INSA. He's probably outside the bell curve of normal wear and tear along with Norm and a few others though...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't had any issues with BOA closure at all, and won't go back to laces on wading boots, even if I switch from L.L.Bean to another brand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know I had to duct tape Bart's boot this summer due to a busted BOA. I've beat the hell out of a pair of Simms for the last three years and they've just about had it. I'm happy with how they performed.

 

Jim, with such a big size, I'd keep an eye on the "bargain barn" section at Cabela's. It seems they usually have really big or really small stuff on clearance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm with you Eric, can't beat LL Bean's service warranty. I wish they'd produce their stuff here. But then again a $150 boot would be $450!

Looking at other forums for reviews the Simms boots are hot or cold. Peeps love them or hate them.

Thanks fellas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I own a Chota studded boot.It has a quick lace system that eliminates tying and is the only boot I've ever owned that slides on/off effortlessly even when dry.The sole is both glued and stitched to the upper to prevent separation that did occur with the original Chotas which weren't stitched.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The ratchet on the top of the line Simms is the on the ankle, which I thought was odd. There were complaints about discomfort on the ankle but I also thought the location was in a spot that could get damaged easily.

 

I try to buy Made in USA whenever I can. At this point in my life I feel I can afford to support these products. Hopefully there is more movement towards this in the fishing industry. It appears Orvis is slowly transitioning back to making their products here but it's a rough market to compete in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Off-topic a bit here, but last night I was researching some steelheading sites looking for advice on how to make lug sole neoprenes have more traction for winter wading. I never knew they made river crampons to affix to any wading boot. I haven't looked too far into it yet, but I checked out the ones made by Patagonia ... which was linked to from the steelheading site / article. Problem is, the set is $199!!! Holy crap ... expensive!

 

http://www.patagonia.com/product/ultralight-river-crampons/79196.html

 

They kinda remind me of the old roller skates I had as a kid, minus the wheels.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cabelas sell 5mm feltsoled bootfoot neos that provide much better instream traction than rubber soles. Mine work fine as long as i don't have to walk thru snow much since snow clings to the felt like steel to a magnet.Were they available the best choice for winter would be studded rubber soles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From my perspective:

 

I've purchased cheapies, middle of the road, and some of the priciest boots available and the price doesn't seem to correlate with longevity, if I get 2 complete years when I'm active, I've done pretty well.

 

Also, I will forever use felt soles, even if I have to make them myself. I've yet to find a high tech rubber sole with adequate adhesion on snot covered rocks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As long as we are talking boots. I have a question too. What are the sticky rubber soles like? I love the felt soles in the streams I fish until I need to skirt a deep hole that has a muddy shoreline. Then I long for my lug sole boots, as the felt soles are more slippery than snot on a doorknob. I was looking at a pair of Hodgeman's in the Cabela's catalog.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Ron about the studs. They really do make a difference but I also have a pair of rubber soled boots for when I'll be using a boat also.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Ron about the studs. They really do make a difference but I also have a pair of rubber soled boots for when I'll be using a boat also.

Or line the boat with indoor/outdoor carpeting in order to retain the benefit of studs if you plan to get out for some wading.On slippery streams studless rubber boots are worse than useless.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wore sticky soled boots most of a season several years ago. I fell every time I went out in them. they work fine until they don't. I would use them with studs., but honestly, if you are using studs, then why not just use and old pair of tennies with studs? I was thinking last night about using snow shoe bindings to affix aluminum barstock to my lug soled boots. timothy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Or line the boat with indoor/outdoor carpeting in order to retain the benefit of studs if you plan to get out for some wading.On slippery streams studless rubber boots are worse than useless.

I never have a problem with my stickies around here (Fox, K3, Dupe), but felt is the way to go if you are on a freestone type water. I had several stream dances on my recent trip to NC; felt for sure when i return.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rob/John

 

STUDS!!

Thanks Ron, we've both heard that before :D . That being said, yes studs may be the way to go.Thanks Steve, I was also wondering if the stickies are any better in mud than felt soles are? Also with studs, do you skrew them right into the felt?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also with studs, do you skrew them right into the felt?

 

John, I think you have to have the specific boots designed with felt soles but that also have the little specific points (made out of rubber or plastic) in which to screw the studs in, most felt soles of course don't have those and I would think that they would just tear out of the soft felt over a very short period of time otherwise.

 

Edit: Looking more into this, I think you could screw Orvis studs into at least the heel but not sure of the rest of the boot depending on the thickness of the sole.

 

post-485-0-01626600-1481239976_thumb.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Studded boots are the way to go for me. I had never considered felt as it seems to be high maintenance. Have seen the strap on stud system. LL Bean has a kit. Interestingly it secures with a BOA system! Looks clunky. $89 t'boot. Its amazing how many times fishing outfitters have tried to re invent the wheel, isn't it!? for my money can't beat screwing some studs into the soles of your boots. B)

I wouldn't recommend wading in old sneakers, too much debris on the river bed to tear thru an old wore out sole. Making for a ruined outing

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×