View Full Version : Hiking and wading boots

08-07-2006, 12:57 PM
I like fishing in my wading boots but I do not like hiking in them. I am sure I am not the only one that is like this.
My Question: When you have to go hiking to get to where you want to go what do you do with you hiking boots or do you just hike in your wading boots?

08-07-2006, 01:38 PM
99% of the time I just wear my wading boots. if it is a really hard hike over some togher terrain, then i'll wear hiking boots and pack my wading boots. Then when it's time to start fishing, i'll stash my hiking boots in a pack and hide them off of the trail somewhere. As long as you can find them when you come back it works pretty well. Don't forget to put a new pair of fresh, dry socks in your boots for the hike out ;)

08-07-2006, 02:40 PM
Have you seen "Korkers" boots. They have changable soles and come with a felt sole for wading along with a rubber lug sole for hiking. I am not sure if LRO sells tham, they may have the Orvis version of the same type of boot if they don't sell Korkers.


08-07-2006, 03:13 PM
I have a pair of Korkers that convert from hiking soles to/from felt/studded soles. If hiking less than 3 miles, you should be okay. If you're hiking more than 3 miles, hot spots tend to flare up causing some painful blisters, etc. Korker's hiking sole doesn't stand up to hiking boots/shoes if hiking > 3 miles. If < 3 miles, Korker's work nice as a all-in-one, plus no extra boots to lug around or hide.

08-07-2006, 03:31 PM
I do the same as Russ except I also carry extra laces, small flashlight, various back up supplies,dry socks, snack, water purifier in my day pack. I also run it up a tree off the trail. Mice, etc will make a mess of things even if you don't carry food in it due to odors. I have extremely "BAD" feet and wearing wading shoes, more than necessary, is not an option. I carry in gear- waders, shoes, etc anytime I walk in more than 30 minutes.
Randy Sale

08-07-2006, 03:40 PM
I appreciate the input. Do you think some one that would hike up there would be mean enough to hide my shoes or steal them?
I was thinking of tying them together and hanging from a tree.

Rog 1
08-07-2006, 04:09 PM
Another option which I have used successfully for the last 6-7 years is a pair of the LLBean wader shoes with the Stealth rubber soles....these work well in most of the streams up there and do well hiking in.....I believe that LLB even has a wading shoe that is built on a hiking boot base with these soles on them....in over 40 years of fishing the Tn side of the park I have only had one incident when anything I had left along the trail was bothered...I usually take in a plastic garbage bag to encase anything before I hide it since you never know when it will rain.

08-07-2006, 04:21 PM
I appreciate the input. Do you think some one that would hike up there would be mean enough to hide my shoes or steal them?
I was thinking of tying them together and hanging from a tree.

I wouldn't take my chances just hanging them from a tree in clear sight from the trail. I wouldn't put it past some dishonest person to try to steal them, especially if they are nice and happen to be my, er i mean, his size. ;) I'd walk a hundred feet off the trail and hang them up. Plus i'd make sure they were in a bag or something in case it rains on them.

Gerry Romer
08-08-2006, 12:39 AM
A little late getting this in, but I hope it's not too late. I had the same dilemma. I've been wanting to go for Brookies and all of Byron's suggestions and everything here on LRO's message boards said the same thing - you've got to go up high. A couple months ago I had tried hiking up Thunderhead in my hiking boots and then wading in them. Too dangerous! I nearly broke a few things. (I told Daniel I'd give him a full report, and I probably will in person, but for now you can chalk this up as another endorsement for Korkers.) Daniel at LRO was kind enough to order a pair of Korkers for me a few weeks ago. I had read online somewhere that they ran small so I had him order a pair of size 11 Wetlands because I normally wear a size 10 shoe/boot. The online info was wrong so I took them back to Daniel who gladly handled a return and re-order of the Korkers in size 10. *The 10's were a perfect fit and I couldn't wait to try them out! I finally had a chance this weekend, but I cheated. I did exactly what Byron suggested in today's "Report". Instead of hiking up the Lynn Camp Prong, I drove up to the switchback just below Newfound Gap and came back about a quarter mile and started in on Walker Camp Prong.

The boots performed as advertised! Admittedly, I didn't do a whole lot of hiking in them, but swapping out the soles was a breeze and the felt soles worked as well as anything I've tried. Because of the unique design, the entire sole is not felt and during the initial break-in phase they have an unusual feel -- kind of like they want to roll out to the side on you. But once you've broken in the felt, they're very comfortable and the roll goes away.

My son and I worked a kind of reverse leapfrog pattern coming back down the mountain. We'd drive down a quarter mile or so, pull off and park, go in and fish a five to six hundred yard stretch of water then hike back out and back to the car, drive down another quarter mile or so and repeat the process. After about the third rotation, I noticed another unadvertised benefit of the Korkers boots. You know how felt sole wading boots pick up all kinds of dirt and grit and crap? And if you don't take them off, when you get in the car you drag all that stuff onto the floor mats and then they drip all over the floorboards and mats and everything. With the Korkers, you swap out the soles, throw the felt soles - and the mess- *in the trunk, and the car stays fairly clean!

I would definitely recommend at least looking into the Korkers boots. They make two models and I bought the Wetlands, which is the less expensive of the two. Are they the world's greatest hiking boots? No. Am I a serious hiker/backpacker/climber? No, and hiking is not what I bought them for. Do they serve my needs in the park? Definitely. They're lightweight, provide good ankle support and are very "breatheable". *Am I a world-class fly-fisherman? No. Do the Korkers serve my needs for wading and climbing the odd stretch of boulders? Definitely.

One last thought. I would also recommend adding a pair of neoprene wading boots to your plans. I picked up a pair of Chota wading boots at LRO and they were an absolutely perfect complement to the Korkers boots. For my purposes, the Chota design was the more comfortable of the ones I tried. Also, it seemed to me that they ran small so I ended up with a size 11 Chota wading boot inside a Korkers size 10 Wetlands boot. All in all, the combination made for a very comfortable and extremely productive day of fishing the higher elevations. And THAT report goes into another post in a different thread.

Korkers Boots?? *Highly, highly recommended!

Gerry Romer

08-13-2006, 12:26 PM
I carry my waders/boots in if I am hiking more than 2 or 3 miles but have a pair of Chota STL WW 300 boots that I just recently resoled that hike very much. I have hiked as 10 miles in these boots on occasion with great results. The only negative is that they can be slick on steep slopes and are not like hiking boots on rough terrain.

08-13-2006, 10:02 PM
If Im fishing backcountry mountains I wear my Simms/Keen wading sandals. I pack em in if its anymore than a mile then just slip my hiking boots into my pack and carry it around. Its a little difficult to do but you dont have to worry about backtrackin to get you pack.