Best wading boots for hiking trails along rivers

Discussion in 'Camping, Hiking, Cooking' started by Jim Wallace, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

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    What are the better wading boots for hiking/wading several miles per day? I can still get away with my old felt-soled "ultra-lights" for fishing from a driftboat, but they aren't any good for hiking along the river very far. I've got 'em all shoe-gooed together where they've been ripping apart at the seams.
    I'm looking for hiking-friendly wading boots. Thanks!
     
  2. Darryl Pahl

    Darryl Pahl Active Member

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    I use my Simms guide boots as my standard hiking boots, even when not fishing. I've hiked up to 10 miles in them on some moderate to difficult trails in both summer and winter.
     
  3. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

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    Thanks. I've been drooling over those.
    I was wondering if the Simms Rivershed is as good a choice. It retails for only $20 less their Guide lug-sole boot. I figure that if I'm already spending that much moolah, then coughing up $20 more for a better product won't hurt that much.
    As comfortable and inexpensive as my now worn out Cabela's Ultralights were, they certainly did not hold up to much extended use. The originally perceived "savings" ended up becoming a "false economy."
     
  4. Phil Fravel

    Phil Fravel Friendly

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    The Rivershed is my favorite boot. Durable, warm and long lasting. That said they are a heavy boot. You might prefer something a bit lighter for hiking
     
  5. Kenneth Yong

    Kenneth Yong Member

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    Korkers.

    One of the rivers I fish regularly is walk-in only access, plus the fact that the banks are steep and in late winter, when the season opens, almost always snow-covered or icy. I hike in with the hiking outsole, then change to felt at the water's edge to confront the really slippery river bottom.

    The same pair of boots has worked well for me for more than 5 seasons, but were heavy, so last year i bought a heavily-discounted pair of the Orvis Ultralight boots with the Korkers sole system -- this model has been discontinued, but I think you will still find them for sale on Ebay. Much lighter, and hopefully as durable.

    Happy Holidays,
    Kenneth
     
  6. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

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    Thanks for the recommendations. Does anyone here have experience with the lighter weight Simms Headwaters? They are supposed to be Simms' lightest wading boot.

    I have read some comments that the felt soles actually wear better and last longer than the Vibram. I would have guessed otherwise. But since I sometimes fish alone, I want the best traction for the river bed, so I'm probably going to stick with felt.

    I never did like hiking in the snow with felt soles, though. The snow buildup on them was ridiculous. So I quit hiking and wade-fishing in the snow.
     
  7. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

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    I stopped off at Waters West in P.A. yesterday afternoon, and tried on some boots. Another angler there with whom I was swapping fish tales recommended the Simms Headwaters for back country fishing, and Dave told me that he also likes those for back country fishing. I got my waders and tried some on. They felt light, and the fit turned out to be very good. I bought 'em, with felt soles. I almost never hike in the snow anymore, anyway.

    The Simms Guide looked like one helluva good boot, but was also a bit heavier and more expensive than the Headwaters. Thanks again to all who replied.
     
  8. Bradley Miller

    Bradley Miller Dances with fish

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    Stopped in at PSFC yesterday to buy hooks and hackle. Also bought Headwaters boots.
    Can't wait to use them; looking forward to 2013 fishing in a big way.
    I think I want some Simms sandals.....I like boots for beach hiking but.....if I end up swimming AND kayaking (a strong probability) I'd rather be wearing sandals than boots.
     
  9. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

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    I picked up some Camaro Kayak booties for really cheap on closeout, in one size larger than my regular size, and they fit over my wader socks. They have reasonably stiff and grippy rubber soles. Although they don't have as good ankle support, I like these better than my wading boots for when I'm fishing from my yak. They're less clunky, and they grip the poly hull better than do the felt soles of my wading boots. This makes it less dicey when standing to paddle or cast.

    I had been using some O'Neill surf booties, but their soles were pretty soft, and not as good for walking on the beach cobble or river bank.
     
  10. Bradley Miller

    Bradley Miller Dances with fish

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    Good to know; thanks.
    I'll probably get some Keens from REI or the Simms....I've had really good luck with this type of footwear for versatility, comfort, ease of use. I also get alot of smack talk about 'old man with sandals and sox' but this is always from someone under thirty, who doesn't fish, who doesn't stand in salt water, who doesn't spend the day working/fishing/ driving.
    I ignore them. :)
     
  11. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

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    I looked at my new yak boots today, and they say "Camaro Raft Boot". They were less than $20 on a deal I noticed on the Clymb last month. I was stoked to see that there were some available in the size I wanted that would fit over my wader's neoprene socks. Usually, the sizes still available on closeouts aren't right for me.
    My other favorite yak boots are some cheap ones that I got for half price on closeout for less than $30, too, but they don't fit over my wader's socks.
    These kayak and raft boots are OK for stepping out of the yak and doing a little wade fishing, but they don't have the ankle support for any actual hiking, and I always pay close attention to my footing and where I'm stepping next, so I don't roll my ankle.

    (You don't want to ever pay full retail for this stuff, if you can wait. New outdoor gear usually comes on the market way too highly priced. I look for closeout sales at the "end of the season").
     

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