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 Post subject: Wading Boots
PostPosted: July 20th, 2019, 4:21 pm 
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FFIMer

Joined: August 7th, 2004, 12:00 am
Posts: 90
Location: Plymouth, ME
In March I purchased a pair of Orvis Pro Wading boots. A new product for 2019 that were developed in partnership with Michelin. Some kind of special composite sole material to which I added the tungsten studs. Very grippy and stable. Standing and walking in the river was a pleasure. But walking TO the river was a different story. Pure, unadulterated torture. The high sides come up past my ankle bone and bite hard on the sides of my legs. After my last trip back to the truck I was limping even after changing into my street shoes. So back they go and Orvis didn't give a me a bit of trouble. Full refund etc. Because clearly Orvis didn't field test the things, I've decided to switch to another brand and have picked Simms since I've had great luck with their waders.

But now the question. Felt with studs or rubber (or whatever the heck it is) with studs. For good or ill, I'm walking further to fish and need something that will work well both in the water and on dry land. I used to fish with felt but changed when the kerfluffel hit and now can't remember what felt felt like.

Anybody have an opinion?


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 Post subject: Re: Wading Boots
PostPosted: July 20th, 2019, 4:52 pm 
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FFIM Addict

Joined: December 2nd, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 3674
Location: T3R11
The kerfuffle is over so Felt with studs. Much more secure than rubber/studs IMO and experience. BTW should you truly be undecided then go with Korkers and you can get both.

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 Post subject: Re: Wading Boots
PostPosted: July 20th, 2019, 5:28 pm 
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FFIMer

Joined: August 7th, 2004, 12:00 am
Posts: 90
Location: Plymouth, ME
Thanks for the reply. Korkers... tempting but it seems like a leap of faith. I'm a little gun shy after the Orvis fail.


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 Post subject: Re: Wading Boots
PostPosted: July 20th, 2019, 6:11 pm 
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FFIM-aholic

Joined: February 14th, 2007, 1:00 am
Posts: 1528
Location: New Hampshire
Agree. Nothing competed with felt.

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"Fishermen...spending their lives in the fields and woods...are often in a more favorable mood for observing her, in the intervals of their pursuits, than philosophers or poets even, who approach her with expectation." - Thoreau


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 Post subject: Re: Wading Boots
PostPosted: July 20th, 2019, 6:34 pm 
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FFIM Addict

Joined: December 2nd, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 4237
Location: Ellsworth
TGIF wrote:
Agree. Nothing competed with felt.



On rocks.....Absolutely go with studdded felt.

However, where I was this morning on a muddy Spring Creek, felt......even studded felt......is like wearing leather soled shoes on an ice skating rink. Studded rubber is the ticket here.

On most Maine streams ( e.g. Rapid, East Outlet, West Branch) studded felt is the way to go.

On mud, however, it really isn’t...ditto for fishing out of a drift boat.

Al’s suggestion is a really good one. I’m a dedicated Simms guy, but my last two wading boot purchases have been Korkers. I believe I have five different soles for them, and use them all in the appropriate circumstances.

You said you walk a lot getting to the stream. Felts won’t last you any time at all in that circumstance.

Get the Korkers ( but for chrissakes stay away from those boa abominations), and get studded felt, studded rubber, and regular felt and you’ll be covered for 99+% of your wading.

My opinion only, others, I’m quite certain, will disagree. As a disclaimer......I have no affiliation with Korkers......just a very satisfied customer that fishes a lot.

Dave M

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 Post subject: Re: Wading Boots
PostPosted: July 20th, 2019, 10:21 pm 
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FFIMer

Joined: August 7th, 2004, 12:00 am
Posts: 90
Location: Plymouth, ME
Dave M wrote:
TGIF wrote:
Agree. Nothing competed with felt.


Get the Korkers ( but for chrissakes stay away from those boa abominations), and get studded felt, studded rubber, and regular felt and you’ll be covered for 99+% of your wading.

My opinion only, others, I’m quite certain, will disagree. As a disclaimer......I have no affiliation with Korkers......just a very satisfied customer that fishes a lot.

Dave M


Well. That's a worthy recommendation. And I had a pair of boots with the BOA thing.—regretted it almost immediately. I'll look again at Korkers. Thanks

Tim


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 Post subject: Re: Wading Boots
PostPosted: July 20th, 2019, 10:32 pm 
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Joined: December 5th, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 5408
Location: Manchester, ME
Dave's comments about felts and mud are right on. Felts will also take a beating on long dry walks. Don't expect them to last long if you hike in on rocky trails.

But the biggest problem with felt is if you use them when air temps are below freezing. Once wet, the soles will freeze, and you will literally have slippery ice underfoot in contact with slippery snow or ice on the ground. Very dangerous.

Also, felt remains illegal in some places. Definitely in Yellowstone. Not sure if other places still have the felt ban.

I've had great luck with the rubber soles and metal studs. Unstudded rubber soles are not good.


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 Post subject: Re: Wading Boots
PostPosted: July 21st, 2019, 1:19 am 
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FFIMer

Joined: March 24th, 2010, 9:49 pm
Posts: 546
I've got Korkers. After several years the felts have worn down and just the other day I switched to studded rubber soles which I bought when I purchased the boots. . I had them on yesterday and they work fine. A little bit of a pain to switch soles but its better then having them flop off when you dont want them to.


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 Post subject: Re: Wading Boots
PostPosted: July 21st, 2019, 7:01 am 
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FFIMer

Joined: August 7th, 2004, 12:00 am
Posts: 90
Location: Plymouth, ME
This discussion is bringing back memories of felt in the mud—not snow so much since I can't remember a time I waded when the temps were below freezing (I feel like a slacker now). So for me, felt was always nice and secure in the river standing on rocks but gives up a little for the hike.

Also, I've never stood anywhere closer than about 100 yards from a drift boat, and it doesn't seem likely at this point that I ever will.

So, having used (and returned for other reasons) boots with rubber and studs and felt secure wading, and will likely benefit from the rubber's hiking advantage, I've decided to go with the rubber and studs on the Simms G3 guide shoes.

This has been really helpful in clarifying my decision. Appreciate your input.

Tim


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 Post subject: Re: Wading Boots
PostPosted: July 21st, 2019, 7:23 am 
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FFIM-aholic

Joined: August 28th, 2002, 12:00 am
Posts: 1417
Location: Wells, ME
Korkers - 100%. I've had a few pairs and beat them pretty good. I've been happy with the studded rubber - just can't dance as fast as I used to (that may be more age related than boot related!). I've got the studded and unstudded rubber. For the reasons mentioned about cold/mud - I don't have felt. No studs on certain rivers (Andro around Gilead) and boats, studs everywhere else.

FWIW - on the Boas - I have them on my telemark ski boots (going on 5 winters), and winter cycling shoes (going on 3 seasons). I'm not exactly "kind" to them and there's a fair amount of miles on both - I've never had one issue. My son got me a deal on a pair Korker Dark Horse (nice having a son work at Outdoor Gear Exchange!). The support is fantastic (although it did take me a couple days to break them in and get comfortable), traction is solid, and the Boas have been flawless, as I would expect at this point. The ratchet is up under your gravel guard so no grit gets in there. Been happy so far.


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 Post subject: Re: Wading Boots
PostPosted: July 21st, 2019, 8:36 am 
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FFIM Addict

Joined: September 28th, 2003, 12:00 am
Posts: 2726
The first generation Bean rubber soles ruined rubber soles for me. May as well had grease on the soles. Ground off the numbs and attached felts. Tried the Simms as everyone said they were way to go. Still have them and back problems. Felt and aluminum sheet metal screws that I've used for close to 40 years. Use my felts in winter would rather slip on dry land than go swimming in 34* water, but have never really had other than snow build-up a problem. Once moisture is wicked out snow build-up is limited. The #10 pan-head sheet metal screws were getting hard to find in hardware stores. After many emails found a manufacturer/distributer that would sell to me in bulk. Bought 1000 which "may" last me a lifetime. As for spring creek mud, maybe someday.

Ron

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 Post subject: Re: Wading Boots
PostPosted: July 21st, 2019, 10:08 am 
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FFIMer

Joined: August 7th, 2004, 12:00 am
Posts: 90
Location: Plymouth, ME
Yeah Bean ruined me for the BOA thing. The reason I went with the expensive Orvis boots which I'm returning, is because of the Bean boots I had just prior to them. I would ratchet the thing within an inch of blocking circulation to my foot and within about 20 minutes of standing in the water, they needed tightening. Twenty minutes after that, tighten again. I prefer the set it and forget it of traditional laces.

I believe the sole materials have been improved to the point where the trade-offs of either felt or rubber have equalized. In any case, I'll just be happy to be able to walk for a mile and not feel like I need a medivac helicopter.

p.s. Those #10 pan-heads might be worth some money. And have you looked at the prices of the special studs they sell for the vibram soles? They've got some cajones to ask that kind of money for fancy metal screws.


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 Post subject: Re: Wading Boots
PostPosted: July 21st, 2019, 10:57 am 
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FFIM-aholic

Joined: October 15th, 2003, 12:00 am
Posts: 1415
Location: Bangor
I have the simms G4 BOAs with the alumabite cleats. I have replaced both boas laces after 1 year, but I also fished these boots in excess of 150 days in the past two seasons. The alumabites are fantastic, but wear out and are drift boat friendly. I bought my girlfriend some korkers and she really likes them. About to get her the triple threat soles for the EO.


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 Post subject: Re: Wading Boots
PostPosted: July 21st, 2019, 3:14 pm 
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FFIMer

Joined: July 23rd, 2012, 12:11 pm
Posts: 189
Location: New Hampshire
I have had 2 pair of Korkers with the BOA. I am a fan of both the boots with the interchangeable soles and the boa closure. Yes, the boas do tend to loosen up over time, but it only takes 30 sec to tighten so it is a non-issue for me. I have had 2 problems with the boots, both fixed without cost by Korker. On my first pair, the stud at the rear of one boots which attaches the sole broke. Korker replaced the pair without any question. On the second (current) pair, one of the boa ratchet gears became difficult to release. I contacted Korker and they gave me link to BOA who sent me new mechanism without charge.

When walking into a remote pond I may use the rubber soles and then change out to felts when I get to the water. As it only takes a minute or two to make the change that is another reason I am a Korker fan as they are the only boot that allows one to do that.

That being said, nothing and I do mean nothing beats felt and/or felt with studs for safe wading


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 Post subject: Re: Wading Boots
PostPosted: July 21st, 2019, 4:55 pm 
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FFIMer

Joined: July 21st, 2011, 9:30 pm
Posts: 893
Location: Brunswick
Another vote for Korkers... I have had the Buckskins for 4 years, and this will definitely be the last season with them... I'm in the 40-50 times a year so I think 4 full seasons is pretty good. Hands down the most comfortable boots(not just wading boots, but all boots) that I have ever worn. Having interchangeable soles is not much of a selling point for me, but it is nice to take off the studs when I have to walk half a mile along the pavement to get to that striper spot.

Peter

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