What's Your Preference for Wading Boots

Brian Miller

Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout
WFF Supporter
I'm inclined to be thinking along the same lines as you about the laces. I've worn runners with the BOA laces and they never felt secure on my feet or given me the proper ankle support that I needed. For me ankle support is very important, I can go all day with good support otherwise I'd break down..
Customer support is another good sign of a quality product. Most everything I have is from Orvis and it's due to the great customer service I've got from them.
Now with the Korkers, they offer 2 options. One is a rubber sole and felt sole, the other is a rubber sole and studded sole. Which option did you go with..? I've never tried a studded sole thinking they'd make too much noise in the water plus being too slick for going over rocks..
I used to use studded Kling-On soles but discovered the previous generation aluminum bar cleats. They were hands down the best traction I've ever had. The new Triple Threat bar cleats are nice because the bars are replaceable but the rubber soles are thicker (heavier) and either the traction isn't quite as good or I'm getting shakier as I age.
When hiking in a long way I have been using the lightweight non-studded Kling-On soles and carry the lightweight felt soles to change into for wading. On my last trip my buddy convinced me to give the studded Kling-On soles another try for long hike-ins so that I might not have to change but I will probably carry the felts as a backup at least for a couple of trips.
 

cdnred

Active Member
I used to use studded Kling-On soles but discovered the previous generation aluminum bar cleats. They were hands down the best traction I've ever had. The new Triple Threat bar cleats are nice because the bars are replaceable but the rubber soles are thicker (heavier) and either the traction isn't quite as good or I'm getting shakier as I age.
When hiking in a long way I have been using the lightweight non-studded Kling-On soles and carry the lightweight felt soles to change into for wading. On my last trip my buddy convinced me to give the studded Kling-On soles another try for long hike-ins so that I might not have to change but I will probably carry the felts as a backup at least for a couple of trips.
The impression that I get is that they come with 2 sets of soles. The boots won't work by themselves, one set of soles must be used all the time. That's why there are 2 pairs of soles, the rubber one for hiking in and the other felt sole for wading. I checked out the price of the replacement soles and they're not especially cheap either but at least you don't have to buy the entire boot. Some people claim Korkers are terrible and others seem to love them. You had no issues using the studs in the water with making noise or being slippery on the rocks..?
 

Brian Miller

Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout
WFF Supporter
The impression that I get is that they come with 2 sets of soles...
You had no issues using the studs in the water with making noise or being slippery on the rocks..?
Yes Korkers come with 2 sets of soles. I think they can be purchased with non-studded Kling-On and felt soles or studded and non-studded Kling-On soles for a few bucks more.

I fish for trout with Tenkara rods 95%+ of the time in freshwater. That means I have to get within 19' with my 13' mid-sized water rod, and much closer with my shorter creek rods. I also dress in full camo (including a buff) except when wearing tan wader. I also wear knee - shin pad-guards to get low to better use boulders and riparian vegetation for cover. 80% of the time I use studded soles. I virtually always catch as many, and usually more fish than my friends I'm with that are using western gear who don't need or try to get as close as I do.

I read somewhere where experienced Japanese Tenkara anglers move just a few inches per step for stealth when approaching suspected lies. That can help with both stealth and traction. I haven't tried swapping soles to see if fishing improved with felt, but I may experiment
:)
.

Regarding traction I said before I am finding the new Triple Threat aluminum bar cleats a little more slippery on big submerged rocks than the older (discontinued) soles with non-replaceable bars. But I believe the new TT aluminum bars have very comparable traction to felt on big submerged rocks.

Also I never wade without a staff, that has a rubber tip cap and can be quickly deployed from a belt holster.
 

Shad

Active Member
Sorry it took me a while to get back. I have yet to have any issues with my Korkers felt soles faling apart, but they're thin, so I expect to need to replace them eventually. I've actually been really impressed by how tough to Korkers soles are, because they look like they would fall apart pretty quick, but they don't seem to very wimpy at all.

Overall, I like my Korkers a lot so far. They are the Devil's Canyon model, with boa laces (LOVE the boas). If they stand the test of time, they'll be my new favorite.
 

triploidjunkie

Active Member
I don't think I'm really sold on BOAS. I had a pair of runners that had BOAS when I was younger and I always felt they weren't giving me the support I needed, may be that's just me..
Don't buy boas, unless like mentioned, you carry a couple replacement kits. Boas were a horrible invention(wading, snowboarding, and hiking versions) for people who use their gear regularly. Weekend warriors love em.
 

Brian Miller

Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout
WFF Supporter
Don't buy boas, unless like mentioned, you carry a couple replacement kits.
One more thought here. I used the Devil's Canyon boots with Boa laced for 5 years until the rand separated from the upper. I fixed them with Aqua Seal SR and still have them. The Boa laces never failed and are as good as new.

But I found my foot slid around in the boot over a long day unless the laces were uncomfortably tight. Over 5 years that happened enough that two toenails were damaged and came off. I came up with a ritual where I would tighten the laces as tight as I possibly could, then tap my heel on the ground, tighten some more, and repeat until they couldn't be tightened further. But as i said, that was uncomfortably tight.

With lace-up boots, like I did with climbing boots, I can tighten the laces very tight to the top of the instep, then tie a double overhand knot to lock my foot into the boot's heel cup. Optionally I move to the next set of hooks and tie another double overhand knot to keep it tight all day. Finally I finish lacing up the ankle a bit looser for comfort and flexibility yet still get plenty of ankle support.
 

cdnred

Active Member
One more thought here. I used the Devil's Canyon boots with Boa laced for 5 years until the rand separated from the upper. I fixed them with Aqua Seal SR and still have them. The Boa laces never failed and are as good as new.

But I found my foot slid around in the boot over a long day unless the laces were uncomfortably tight. Over 5 years that happened enough that two toenails were damaged and came off. I came up with a ritual where I would tighten the laces as tight as I possibly could, then tap my heel on the ground, tighten some more, and repeat until they couldn't be tightened further. But as i said, that was uncomfortably tight.

With lace-up boots, like I did with climbing boots, I can tighten the laces very tight to the top of the instep, then tie a double overhand knot to lock my foot into the boot's heel cup. Optionally I move to the next set of hooks and tie another double overhand knot to keep it tight all day. Finally I finish lacing up the ankle a bit looser for comfort and flexibility yet still get plenty of ankle support.
Sorry to hear about your toenail issues, it's a hard lesson to have to learn. I agree with you on every point. I've got high insteps and when I was in my teens I'd put on a pair of hiking boots and half way thru the day my feet were always killing me. Later in life I learned a trick on how to lace your boots in a certain way to avoid putting pressure on the instep so I was good to go for the whole day. Lace-up boots allow for greater flexiblility on how to avoid issues like with high insteps and heel lockdown while still being able secure your foot properly. Now with BOAS, there's no way to do anything like that and that's why I'd rather avoid using them. With BOAS, they meant for speed lacing a boot and as you said your foot is merely floating around with your heel not locked down securely. The Devil's Canyon boots would be a great boot if it wasn't for the fact that they're only available with Boa laces, the Darkhorse version is the same coming with the BOAS also. I'm old school, that's why I'd choose the Terror Ridge version over them..
 
Last edited:

cdnred

Active Member
Don't buy boas, unless like mentioned, you carry a couple replacement kits. Boas were a horrible invention(wading, snowboarding, and hiking versions) for people who use their gear regularly. Weekend warriors love em.
I agree like @Brian Miller said, it ended up creating a lot issues for him.. Bad design unless you want something you can put on in a hurry..
 

Stonefish

Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater....Know Grizzler
I’ve had one pair of Korkers and that was enough for me.
A very early pair and kept losing the soles. Hopefully they are built better now then back then.

Never had any boa system boats but have fished with folks that have them. It seems to me their main complaint was not being able to ever get them to feel tight enough and I’ve heard that from several folks.
Good luck in your search.
SF
 

Brian Miller

Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout
WFF Supporter
Simms g3 all other brands suck
FWIW my very long time fishing buddy who bought Devil's Canyon boots a couple of years after I did and during a trip a week ago recommended the Kling-On studded soles to avoid having to change to the felt soles for wading, also told me his Simms G3s are too heavy, have poor traction, and are sitting unused. Different strokes... eh?
 

or_proto

New Member
For those wearing Simms rubber/stud combo and walking a bunch,
Are you losing studs?
I find I lose one fairly regularly from one or two specific holes. I think the screws have wiggled enough and the holes are now not stout enough to retain the replacement studs. Boots are just over a year old & not exactly used weekly.
Are there stud alternatives in a larger diameter or thread?
 

cdnred

Active Member
For those wearing Simms rubber/stud combo and walking a bunch,
Are you losing studs?
I find I lose one fairly regularly from one or two specific holes. I think the screws have wiggled enough and the holes are now not stout enough to retain the replacement studs. Boots are just over a year old & not exactly used weekly.
Are there stud alternatives in a larger diameter or thread?
You might want to try to wrap or dip something around the stud prior to threading them in. You could try a thin piece of paper but that must likely would disintegrate quickly or dip the threads prior into a rubber cement for a better grip. Just a thought, should be other ideas as well. Either that or take them back to where you bought them, ask them if others had the same problem and what they'd recommend you try..
 

Support WFF | Remove the Ads

Support WFF by upgrading your account. Site supporters benefits include no ads and access to some additional features, few now, more in the works. Info
Top