Wading Boots Suggestions?

I have always just wet waded in whatever old shoes/boots I had around, some worked better than others. I just got my first pair of waders for use when the water is too cold for wet wading and am looking for my first pair of wading boots. I am looking for a rubber sole type as I spend a lot of time out of the water as well as in and often need to hike into areas. I don't need fancy, just well made and functional, that being said I know that you get what you pay for however everyone has different levels of affordability and for me at the moment that puts me in the $150 range. The boots that are on my list at the moment are the Simms Freestone, Orvis Access, Korkers Buckskin, or the Redington Forge boots. I have done some research but it's all highly subjective, Simms seem to have a good rep for lasting a long time which doesn't seem to be true of korkers, and the Orvis Access have a Vibram sole which I know from experience will be very durable, however that does no good if the stitching fails or the mid-sole separates from the boot before your Vibram sole even begins to ware. Perhaps I'm overthinking it all and I should just pick a pair however I don't have much experience and don't want to make a big mistake right off the bat. As is stands right now the Simms and Orvis boots are at the top of my list, Simms for their longevity claims and Orvis for the Vibram sole, which would you choose any why please?
 
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Hendodesign

Active Member
I'd go and try em on and see which ones feel best. Both are rubber soles that you will probably be using cleats if you are fishing anywhere in the pacific northwest. I will say that the Simms Alumabite and carbide cleats are expensive but they do work well. But you're looking at $60 every time you swap those bad boys out, and the alumibite are not known for lasting super long if you're a big dude like me. The orvis uses more standard style cleats and you can use the Kold Kutters if you want cheaper cleats that you can replace for way less $$$.
 

Stonefish

Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater....Know Grizzler
Bring your waders and the thickest socks you’ll wear when fishing when trying on boots.

I have Simms Freestone boots with vibram soles and studs.
Have been good durability wise but are heavy.
I think Herman Munster was involved in the design of them.
SF
 
I'd go and try em on and see which ones feel best. Both are rubber soles that you will probably be using cleats if you are fishing anywhere in the pacific northwest. I will say that the Simms Alumabite and carbide cleats are expensive but they do work well. But you're looking at $60 every time you swap those bad boys out, and the alumibite are not known for lasting super long if you're a big dude like me. The orvis uses more standard style cleats and you can use the Kold Kutters if you want cheaper cleats that you can replace for way less $$$.

My friend loves anything that goes fast and has tons of Kold Kutters so my plan is to start with those at least, if I was going to try aluminum I'd just make my own on the lathe similar to the Rock Treads. Thanks for the pointers :)
 
Bring your waders and the thickest socks you’ll wear when fishing when trying on boots.

I have Simms Freestone boots with vibram soles and studs.
Have been good durability wise but are heavy.
I think Herman Munster was involved in the design of them.
SF

How long ago did you purchase them? I emailed Simms yesterday and they said they are not a Vibram sole, must be the ones you have are the previous generation?

I'd go and try em on and see which ones feel best. Both are rubber soles that you will probably be using cleats if you are fishing anywhere in the pacific northwest. I will say that the Simms Alumabite and carbide cleats are expensive but they do work well. But you're looking at $60 every time you swap those bad boys out, and the alumibite are not known for lasting super long if you're a big dude like me. The orvis uses more standard style cleats and you can use the Kold Kutters if you want cheaper cleats that you can replace for way less $$$.

Sadly where I'm located trying anything out in shop means driving for at least 1 hour for a limited selection at inflated prices. I also have $50 credit with an online vendor that has been pleasant to order from so far and have a reasonable return/exchange policy, without that my budget for boots is closer to $100 lol. I just have too many other expenses at the moment for the best and want to be on the water in the next 2-3 weeks.
 

Old406Kid

Active Member
A few years ago I bought some Korkers Greenbacks as back up boots. I found them for under 100$ with both the rubber and felt soles. After the fact, I ordered the aluminum barred sole.
These have now become my favorite boots. I wear the aluminum soles on rivers and the rubber soles when I'm float tubing lakes. The felt soles are now mostly collecting dust as I prefer the others for the uses mentioned.
A few days ago I wore a different pair of studded felt boots while walking and wading an area with alot of flat fractured rock. I slipped and slid to the point that they were actually scary at times, especially on bigger flat slabs that sloped towards the river.

The boots are holding up great and I'm now a firm believer of the rubber and aluminum bar combo.
 

Clarkman

Huge Fly Guy
WFF Supporter
Totally agree with taking your waders in to help get the proper fit. I started with the Access (I think they're discontinued now) and burned through laces. I ended up with the Pros and haven't looked back. Kold kutters are money, just have to replace every so often.
 
Totally agree with taking your waders in to help get the proper fit. I started with the Access (I think they're discontinued now) and burned through laces. I ended up with the Pros and haven't looked back. Kold kutters are money, just have to replace every so often.

I see that laces is a big problem with many makes, is there any reason why someone can't use 550 or even 425 paracord? It's 100% nylon and highly durable. I too think they are discontinued which would explain why they are on sale :p
 

Stonefish

Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater....Know Grizzler
How long ago did you purchase them? I emailed Simms yesterday and they said they are not a Vibram sole, must be the ones you have are the previous generation?



Sadly where I'm located trying anything out in shop means driving for at least 1 hour for a limited selection at inflated prices. I also have $50 credit with an online vendor that has been pleasant to order from so far and have a reasonable return/exchange policy, without that my budget for boots is closer to $100 lol. I just have too many other expenses at the moment for the best and want to be on the water in the next 2-3 weeks.

Sorry, my bad.
I thought they were Vibrams but they aren’t.
That must explain whay they are so slippery and I had to add studs... with more to be added in the future.

Prior to the Freestones I had some Simms Headwaters. Super light but not very durable on oysters and barnacles. I liked that they were a lower cut as well and didn’t come up as higher on my ankles.
I’ll likely try the new Fly Weight boots for my next pair.
SF
 

sroffe

Active Member
I have a pair a Simm Freestone boots too, and they were slipperier than snot, and they had the Vibram sole. I added the carbide cleats to them. They lock in place on what ever surface you're standing on. I about choked when I bought the carbide cleats, but, I reasoned that they're cheaper than a emergency room visit.

Just a note, Boots with cleats are not necessarily boat friendly. I have a pair of felt bottom boots to be kind to the men and women who let me ride in their boats.
 
Sorry, my bad.
I thought they were Vibrams but they aren’t.
That must explain whay they are so slippery and I had to add studs... with more to be added in the future.

Prior to the Freestones I had some Simms Headwaters. Super light but not very durable on oysters and barnacles. I liked that they were a lower cut as well and didn’t come up as higher on my ankles.
I’ll likely try the new Fly Weight boots for my next pair.
SF

Thanks for letting me know, I think most rubber soles are going to suck in the water without cleats regardless of the manufacturer. I actually prefer a higher fitting boot, an 8" lightweight combat boot is my favorite every day shoe.
 

_WW_

Geriatric Skagit Swinger
WFF Supporter
I don't have a suggestion because you already have your mind made up. But I do know this, just about any boot designed for wading will be better than what ever you have in your closet. You could glue carpet onto the bottom of your klodhoppers...
 

Old Man

A very Old Man
WFF Supporter
Make sure your new boots come up over your ankles. You need good support for them. I got some Korkers that end just about a inch over my ankles. Not very much support there. But I bought them when I was younger and dumber.
 

Clarkman

Huge Fly Guy
WFF Supporter
I see that laces is a big problem with many makes, is there any reason why someone can't use 550 or even 425 paracord? It's 100% nylon and highly durable. I too think they are discontinued which would explain why they are on sale :p

I ended up using Kevlar boot laces. Same problem. A couple of the holes were just too sharp. No problem with the Pros. Better rubber too.

Bottom line though, youve gotta get something that fits your feet
 

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