April 9, 2011

I Need Some Boots. Any Suggestions?

Last weekend I went out fishing and did a little wandering in areas less traveled.  It included quite a bit of wading over rocky terrain, and I happened to bash up my ankles quite nicely.  Actually, I twisted my left ankle pretty good in the process...but since I played basketball almost everyday for about 15 years, I've heard that "POP" a ridiculous amount of times and the ankles are now typically numb to such trauma.  (I shutter to think about how bad the arthritis will be in a decade or two from now).

I've traditionally used hip waders with the rubber boot feet built in...like these.  A lot of the places I fish are easy wading with mud or pebble/gravel bottoms.  But as I've expanded my horizons, I'm finding these are easy on the wallet, but no so easy on the ankles.

So I'm curious;  any recommendation on a good pair of wading boots?  I think I know which waders I want to get, but there are so many different boot options, I'd love to get a few good opinions.  With that, I guess I should also be considering rubber bottom boots...not because I necessarily believe felt is a major cause of the spread of invasives...but because I don't want a future state legislation to make my wading boots obsolete.  Would welcome any suggestions in the comments section below.

Stop the Presses....late addition to post!
Ironically...or maybe concidentally...(I'm never sure)...this post was written and set to auto-post tomorrow (today) when I happened to notice a new post pop up in my blogroll by Owl Jones...and no, I don't want Asparagus or Raspberry flavored boots; so don't go there. However banana might be an option.  Little scary our minds were somewhat on the same wavelength tonight.  May need to recalibrate that antenna.


  1. if you want to go expensive go patagonia or simms. both make quality boots for ridiculous prices. However, based on the quality of products coming from redington, I might consider looking into some of their boots.

  2. Hi,
    I also use the hip waders with boot built in.. I recently went out fishing with my brother and he had a new pair of cargo pant waders with a super nice hiking like boot built in..from Cabela's. Cabela's Millennium Hunting Wader Jeans. The pants are light weight but nice and durable. I was pretty impressed when he could wade deeper than I could. Plus his feet didn't hurt like mine did by the end of the day. It worked out nice because he was able to retrieve some snags for me...hehe. The down side is that they cost 200 something dollars..Ouch..If you can afford them they would be worth every penny no doubt..I was thinking of getting some Vibram 5 finger shoes...

    pic of waders:


  3. I've used Hodgman hip boots for years. Fishing mostly small streams, I some times only where hiking boots, fishing mostly from the banks.
    LL Bean has good quality, at a reasonable price.

  4. Mike, you have to think cost vs time, a simple equation of how much will I spend on waders and boots over 3-5 years. Take in to consideration, the warrenty and down time for repair. Yea you can get a pair of boots for 300 bucks and waders for 700 and there you sit thinking you have a lifetime of gear for a grand... How many pairs of waders and boots can you buy for that?.. your looking at three pair of sonic pros and four pair of 100 dollar boots. With the ability to upgrade when the latest cool guy stuff comes out.
    Dont worry about the felt and grab up some 45 dollar hodgman boots with the rubber toe and rubber heel, felt in the middle.. youll wear them out by the time they out law them on your water.. I am on my second pair of these boots and the first pair lasted two years. They are comfy and dude, I walk a lot! here is an address..


    And dude!.. check out cabelas new convertable waders..

    That gets you set up for more than two years for 2 bills!

    Im about SAVING money and TAKING fish...

  5. I sorta agree with Biggerfish, I do not believe in buying expensive waders or top end boots. Waders never seem to last me more than three years. My experience with boots was also such, and the cheapo were not the least bit comfortable! I recently purchased the Korker Redstone boots ($110) and on my first few trips with them I think the comfort is worth the extra $$!

  6. Those would be lug soles, worse thing to use on rocks. Like walking on ice.

    Cabelas mid range stocking foot breathable waders, $150 give or take a few. Their guide wear boots, about $100, aren't bad.

    Simms are the best, at about $150 a bit more pricey. Korkers I haven't tried yet, but they look pretty good.

    They all have different names for the soles. Sticky rubber sums it up. Around where I fish felt is worthless. Shores are mud, felt doesn't work on mud.

  7. I'm not a big fan of hippers. One to many miscalculations on exactly how deep that hole was in front of me. I've transitioned to wading pants as they are awesome for boat use also, if that's in your plans (which it should be!). I've tried every boot sole out there and have been lucky enough to test them, one on each foot. If you want really exceptional rubber soled boots, you have to go with Simms but also have to get star cleats. The low profile cleat gives you both car bite and rubber contact. The combination equals keeping you stapled to the streamed. If you're inclined to stay to the economy side of the scale, I'd suggest Dan Bailey. Their rubber is great, better than Simms, but the fit and finish isn't as good plus they don't have anything as good as the star cleat.

  8. Loving all the suggestions so far! Price is a consideration but not the defining factor...so please, keep them coming! My favorite comment does have to come from Bigerrfish though..."Im about SAVING money and TAKING fish..." Love it!

  9. We have the Korkers Cross Current. They don't make the style anymore, but you can still find them online and they are cheap (but not made cheap) and UBER comfortable. I wore them this summer while doing research in RMNP. We were walking over 10 miles a day, and my feet felt great. The best thing about them, they have interchangeable soles. The soles the boots come with are felt and rubber. We use the studded rubber soles and love them.

    Here's a link to Cabela's; boots priced at 59, but found a few sites with them listed for 49.99!


  10. my last pair of simms freestones were awesome and cheap, still have'em as spares. Red Truck Flyfishing is a good site to get quality gear on sale... Good Luck!

  11. *right now at red truck there are a pair of Simms freestones for 20% off at 103 bucks... with the new vibram streamtread.. like I said my freestones were (and are) bombproof I froze and unfroze those things so many times and they are still going.. finally had to replace the laces last fall

  12. Sorry to say this but hip boots look to me like ladies sexy-time stockings... I think they look absolutely absurd and most of the time they lead to wet junk... That being said I just picked up some "low cost" waders and boots and so far they have been pretty good.

    Waders: http://www.cabelas.com/product/Cabelas-River-Guide-Waders-150-Regular/722574.uts

    Wading boots: http://www.cabelas.com/product/Frogg-Toggs174-Anura-Wading-Boots-ndash-Rubber-Soles/722600.uts

    They were $79 each and before I get blasted for buying something cheap, if these fall apart or somehow break they are cheap enough that I can buy another pair and still come in at less $$$ than a mid range Simms offering.

    On a side note the Frogg Toggs boots are extremely comfortable. Walked more than a few miles opening day and loved them more than my hiking boots.

  13. I use the cheapest boots I could find at Dick's. With those prices compared to what you could spend, I might dare to call them disposable.

  14. Hey Mike. Lots of good suggestions above. I have a pair of Cabela's Guidewear Pro Vibram® Wading Boots that work great. $100.00, not too expensive and they don't come with felt soles. They do the job for me.


  15. I have to replace mine this year (got LLBean boots) I will get me some Krokers Chrome. Don't think there is anything better out there right now. Love the BOA lacing system and the option to change the ENTIRE sole.

  16. Safety is one of the most over-looked aspects of river fishing. William Joseph Waders has taken this into account and the WST Waders are the best! Aside from the safety aspect, they are comfortable, warm, and breathable. The rock guards are a huge plus. I guide, so I put them to the test and they are definitely the best pair of waders I have ever owned!

  17. Mike I see you checked out my 2011 fishing accessories guide. Did you see anything that interested you?

  18. I have had Cabela's River Guide waders for 6 years. They did develop some holes where they were put together, but easily fixed with some wader repair cement from the fly shop. I have Chota Boots. The current ones are felt, which I bleach after fishing each time. I would go with their boots again, they next ones will have the "stickly rubber" soles. I have ankle troubles too, and they are really comfortable and offer lots of support. I also have a pair of Orvis boot foot waders, which I wear in the winter, they are a lot warmer than stocking foot waders with boots, but offer no ankle support at all. Just my 2 cents,

  19. I'm with Stephanie and Dustin- Korkers. Love the aircraft cable cinch that replaces laces. Hope you find something that works for you.

    Jason T

  20. Thanks for all the suggestions. Lots to think about...now to do some shopping.

  21. I currently have hodgeman waders and crappy Cabelas boots (only reason I went with the boots was because that's all they had in a size 15W). I'm about to upgrade to a pair of Korkers chrome, and most likely a pair of Caddis waders. These things are sick. The zipper makes it easy if you've drank too much beer while out fishing.

  22. I have been quite pleased with my Korkers. I got a deal on the Mudder Duckers a couple of years ago at BPS.