There has been a lot of chatting in the fishing community about wading boots. Is felt okay? Is it outlawed in my state? What about the rest of the boot like the laces? Is Vibram just as good as felt? What about studs in my drift boat?
Well there is a lot of good solid information out there and there is a lot of well…not so solid information. So with that in mind I want to talk about wading boots and the 3 main choices you have when buying a new pair of boots. I am going to cover it all Felt, Vibram, and the new Aluminum Bar boots. We have some new gear to feature as well in this post so sit back and enjoy.
So the biggest rumor we hear in the shop about wading boots is Felt boots have been banned in Idaho and Montana. Felt is not banned in Idaho nor Montana. There are 3 states that have outlawed felt. Alaska, Vermont and Rhode Island.
Simms is now selling felt soled wading boots. After a few years of not selling felt on any Simms boot, the huge demand for felt convinced them to start manufacturing felt soled wading boots again. We now have the Simms Guide Boot and the Freestone boot in felt for sale here at the shop.
Another alternative to felt is a rubber soled boot. There are many options in this catagory. Simms has a large variety of vibram soled boots that are called Streamtread. Patagonia has the Rock Grip wading boot which is much softer rubber sole compared to the Simms Streamtread. Studs can be installed in most wading boots but seem to be almost mandatory in the rubber soled boots.
Studded boots tend to be fairly harsh on drift boats, and some people are looking for something that grabs a little bit more than studded wading boots. Patagonia has a boot called the Aluminum bar wading boot, and Aluminum Bar Crampons. I have personally had the opportunity to be in a pair of Aluminum Bar boots since October and they are fantastic! They are by far the best boot I have worn for gripping action while wading. You need to be careful wearing them around the boat. They don’t seem to have destructive ability of studs, but you hear things crunching around on the bottom of your feet.
I personally recommend the Aluminum Bar boots over anything else when fishing out of a boat. Anglers that do a lot of hiking to get to their fishing spots I would recommend a rubber soled boot. As far as felt goes they work in any and all fishing situations and felt is great. Just remember to clean them!
For questions and more info…come to the shop and we will be more than happy to help you!