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Thread: Fishing Boots

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Kodak, TN
    Posts
    172

    Default Fishing Boots

    I need some ideas on a set of good, durable fishing boots. Iíve had Simms, Hodgman, LL Bean and Korkers. The LL Bean had the best durability overall with the AquaStealth soles, but I prefer felt. I liked the removable felt soles on the Korkers, but the boots came unstitched before the felt wore out!

    Your thoughts on the best boots for the money for wading mountain streams.

    Jim Parks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Knoxville
    Posts
    321

    Default

    One thing I have discovered about wading boots for the Smokies and probably most other bluelines is that the toe section gets the most abuse, at least for me. If stitching can be avoided in that area, the better. I am now on my third pair of boots. My first pair of Chotas only lasted about 1 year. They were much better than my Frog Togs which came apart about 3 months after using them. I replaced the Chotas with a pair of Korkers and again the toe stitching is coming apart. I can't speak for how the toe is affected by tailwater fishing such as the Clinch and Holston, but I think the Smokies type water especially where you are moving and hiking in puts more abuse on the boots.

    I have a pair of Simms G3's coming that were on closeout that I am going to try.

    One thing I forgot to add is that I fish about 50-75 days out of the year, maybe more.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Crossville, TN
    Posts
    2,431

    Default

    Chota STL Plus or Simms G3 or Headwaters felt for me.
    "Then He said to them, 'Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.'" Matthew 4:19

    Guided Fly Fishing with David Knapp
    The Trout Zone Blog
    contact: TroutZoneAnglers at gmail dot com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Great Smoky Mountains
    Posts
    873

    Default

    Gotta go with Chota STL Plus, I have multiple pairs; one I keep with cleats screwed in the felt and the other just felt alone The list of reasons why I prefer the STL are:
    1. Affordable compared to other brands
    2. I want great ankle support which the STL's deliver
    3. Durability-Chota STL's last for me, I get years out of these boots not days.
    4. Lightweight and fit my feet perfectly

    Choosing a boot is like picking a girlfriend; what works for me may not be for you, feet vary in width and arch and you have to find your own fit. I put Surefoot insoles in all my boots whether wading or hiking. Google on the net "Surefoot", I started using them years ago in ski patrol, about 40 dollars in ski shops or online but a lot cheaper than the orthopedic ones that go for hundred of dollars. I use the greens and just dry them out with the boots, they are built to last. SCROLL THRU LINK: http://www.surefoot.com/surefoot-insoles.php

    I think the reason most people have trouble with durability beyond possible manufacturer's weakness may be due to asking the boot to do two separate jobs, hiking in on trails, then wading in the water all day and hiking back out beats the crap out of wading boots. If I am not going to be near the car and walking in, I would recommend a very small backpack and hike in with a walking shoe of choice, and change out when entering and leaving the water. Most people hiking in any distance are already carrying water, lunch, rain jacket and all the assorted stuff that gets stuffed in a bag so adding the boots and an extra pair of socks (add a plastic garbage bag to put boots in and to keep pack dry); are probably not going to rock the boat that much. Add in avoiding blisters that walking out in wet boots can cause and less wear and tear on the wading boot may result in healthier feet and less spending on wading boots over time.
    "It starts with a raindrop, don't let it end with a teardrop!"

    "Nothing straightens out my mind like a twisting mountain stream!"

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Springboro, OH
    Posts
    324

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    Another vote for STL+

    Replace the included studs with Kold Kutter 3/8" #8 traction screws. They are sold for ice racing motorbikes and BITE. A bag of 250 will run you twenty bucks or so on the auction site.
    Yes Ducky, I don't follow LNT on rocks..

    I'll check out the link for the insoles, thanks BigSur.

    - Matt -

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Kodak, TN
    Posts
    172

    Default

    Yes, itís the toe section that came unstitched on me.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Kodak, TN
    Posts
    172

    Default

    I hike in using different boots. Always have.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    9

    Default

    I use converse high tops with felt soles glued on with contact cement. I get one size larger than my regular shoe size and wear with neoprene socks.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Norris, TN
    Posts
    2,184

    Default

    I would buy the Simms G3 boots (~$130-185/pair). I have gone through two-pair and I fish about 100 days a year on them. So far; I am getting about two-years out of them before the felt sole is completely worn down. Gone through several shoe laces; but, they are solid.

    Call or email Daniel at LRO and he can order the size if he does not have in stock. Very easy and fast turnaround.

    ďEvery human has four endowments- self awareness, conscience, independent will, & creative imagination.
    These give us the ultimate human freedom... The
    power
    to choose, to respond, to change



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Knoxville, Tennessee
    Posts
    1,569

    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by North river View Post
    I use converse high tops with felt soles glued on with contact cement. I get one size larger than my regular shoe size and wear with neoprene socks.
    That wins the old school award!

    Makes me think of this Tim O'Brien song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mssTuf4EMkc

    I may have to give this a try. Super-lightweight, full ankle support. The real old Orvis Lightweight models that my buddy Freddie likes were basically just this.

    I was always a fan of the STL plus, but now that they only make model with holes for spikes, I don't like them nearly as much. With the ring things for the studs you loose too much surface area. I'm a felt diehard in the park for sure.

    Big Sur talked about not walking in them, but I think that they last just fine even if you walk in. Just need to clean felt with a wire brush more often to clean out the fine dirt.
    Call me if you want to go fishing, boating, hiking, or if you want to buy a foamie
    www.foamiefriends.com

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