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> > Newbie Help with wading boot purchase (Felt or Rubber)

NatchomammaOctober 24th, 2017, 6:33 am

Posts: 1
I am purchasing my first part of Wading boots. I have been looking at Simms Headwater Pro or the G3 Guide. I am trying to decide which will work better for me, felt or rubber soles?

I live in Texas and will fish the Guadalupe river. From what I understand it is Limestone and can be slick. One day I would like to travel and fish (CO,AR,UT) but the felt banned States are not on my list.

I'd like to only purchase 1 pair of boots that will last a long time.
I have considered the Korker Buckskin boots with interchangeable soles, but not sure of quality, warrantee, etc...


RleePOctober 24th, 2017, 9:09 am
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398
Whether you decide to get rubber or felt consider either getting them already studded or able to accept removable studs that you screw in with a socket or box end wrench. Getting studs will not only make your choice more broadly useful on the water (ie: felt is great on rocks, but sucks for bare ground traction like when climbing a stream bank, etc. studded felt significantly increases bare ground traction). Most of the higher end wading shoes (Simms, Orvis Patagonia, etc.) come with stud receptacles already in the sole in both rubber and felt versions. The Korkers Buckskins are another option (I wear them). The interchangeable sole system is pretty reliable and durable. The Korkers soles themselves, however, at least in my experience, are not that durable. I go through two sets of Korkers studded felts a season and they aren't cheap (about $40/set). Then again, I hike a lot when I fish, as in I cover a lot of water and this no doubt decrease the life span of the soles.

I know absolutely nothing about the Guadalupe River other than that there is a good chance it is wet...:)
IasgairOctober 24th, 2017, 4:52 pm

Posts: 148
I agree with Rleep's advice. He pretty much covered it all.
Jmd123October 25th, 2017, 3:03 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2611
Felt soles are terrible on slick clay, unless you have studs. Rubber with some bite is much better. Clay bottoms can be waaay slippery and send you ass over teakettle into the stream. I had felt for many years and they're great on rocks & etc. but without studs they don't grab on clay at all.

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
MartinlfOctober 25th, 2017, 8:12 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3233
I have a pair of Simms Freestones and a pair of Simms Riversheds, both with the rubber soles. I like the Freestones just as much as the Riversheds, and think they are more durable (fewer seams) though I see the newer Freestones have a black rubber cap that my old Freestones did not have. I've had my local shoe repair guy resew the seams on the Riversheds twice. The Freestones not a time. Last year I bought some Chotas, and I really like the quicklace system, and have found the felt plus studs to be especially sticky on slick rocks. I have star cleats and hardbite studs in the Riversheds, and they are pretty good too. Lee's right, be sure you can put studs in if you want maximum traction. And I'd agree completely with Jonathon that if you have many clay/mud banks to climb, rubber cleated soles beat felt by a mile. If you want to go Simms, look at the Freestones. They are the least expensive, but I've had very good service from mine--better than the more expensive Riversheds.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
WbranchOctober 30th, 2017, 6:06 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2733
I had four pairs of Simms Freestones. I recently sold an almost new pair size 13 that had the Vibram soles. I needed them for a trip to Alaska. Felt is not permitted in Alaska. As Louis mentioned the Freestones are one of the lesser priced Simms foot wear but do a great job. AS I got older my feet got longer so I had to keep getting a size larger.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.

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