Which wading boots?

bankwheel

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Patagonia Danner boot are the ultimate, I’m on season two and do a lot of fishing, no signs of wear as yet and super comfy, also the one pull lacing system is almost as quick as the Boa system. I was finding Simms boots too stiff so moved them on The Danner boots also have a wider sole than Simms so feel a bit more secure in the water.
 

Karl-K

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Simms for me every time, and agree with others the Boa system is so much quicker and easier. Also as I found out recently Boa stand by their product and issue free replacement wires should they fail👍
 

scoops

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So then, I've just ordered the Freestone felts, after a discussion with a Guide from the shop I buy my tackle from. He uses the GUIDE G3's but he is guiding and told me that the Freestones are almost as durable for the money. He's wearing his for 100 days a year.....luck bugger.
He told me to avoid the BOA system from the perspective that the BOA spares are currently difficult to get with all the COVID nonsense. Whilst the system is very good, if it breaks your day is over, unless you have a set of spares. The same would apply with the Freestones, but laces are easier to get a hold of.
I had mine part when fishing just as quick as changing laces if have steady hands and follow the instructions, bought a spare lace when bought my boot (be very unlucky if two go at same time)

Then contacted BOA using the link below and they sent out 2 replacement wires free of charge within 5 days that was in April this year, just take a photo and supply them with the boots detail

 

pfeul

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Aye, i always carry spare boa wires in my pocket and can swap them out on the bank within 5 mins or so.
Think hes right about the boots too, most seem to use the same soles and footbed etc so the rest is mainly materials used for the uppers.


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I do the same. As long as the boa system will be available on wading boots, i don't see any reason to go back to laces.
Boa is so handy
I don't use felt anymore. Traveling in many places to go fishing, I use vibram + stud such as to prevent from spreading some foreign microorganim into the river.
 
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Rrrr

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I do the same. As long as the boa system will be available on wading boots, i don't see any reason to go back to laces.
Boa is so handy
I don't use felt anymore. Traveling in many places to go fishing, I use vibram + stud such as to prevent from spreading some foreign microorganim into the river.
I like the vibram soles as i cover quite a few miles over hills and farm land to get to some spots on the river. Also when spinning i spend as much time on the bank as i do the river so felt is too slippy.
I wear my felt soles on the main tyne as its smooth slippy rocks and bad wading.

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DrPatrickT

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What are the Simms sizes like - are they big for the UK size or small? I know that's sounds a daft question - but I've got some snowbee's that feel small for a size 13 and should have got some 14s (not sure they make them) but got some Strata's that feel massive for a size 13 (Don't buy Strata's this is my second pair that have dropped to bits).....
 

Rrrr

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What are the Simms sizes like - are they big for the UK size or small? I know that's sounds a daft question - but I've got some snowbee's that feel small for a size 13 and should have got some 14s (not sure they make them) but got some Strata's that feel massive for a size 13 (Don't buy Strata's this is my second pair that have dropped to bits).....
1 size up works for me in simms and leaves room for thick socks in winter. Also when i had the greys strata boots years ago 1 size up was ok aswel (not sure if that helps or confuses things )

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Cascade

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I've been pleased with the Vision Koski boots I bought at the start of the season. Easy to slip on and off and good ankle support.
I got them with Gummi rubber soles....to be honest they were useless on algae covered gravel, it was like walking on marbles and I slipped over twice. I bought some Vision wader studs for about £25 and they have solved the problem.
I've used Simms wading boots for years, generally got about 5 years out of them before the soles detach from the uppers.
 

Geordieboy

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What are the Simms sizes like - are they big for the UK size or small? I know that's sounds a daft question - but I've got some snowbee's that feel small for a size 13 and should have got some 14s (not sure they make them) but got some Strata's that feel massive for a size 13 (Don't buy Strata's this is my second pair that have dropped to bits).....
I am a size 9.5 in a shoe. So its awkward to get good fits. I bought a 10 in the simms, and with a stockingfoot in it, it is a good if snug fit. Not tight, but I would suggest if you are a 13, then a 14 would be the size to go for. Ask a good shop like Norris's and they will give you honest advice.
 

budge

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I've been pleased with the Vision Koski boots I bought at the start of the season. Easy to slip on and off and good ankle support.
I got them with Gummi rubber soles....to be honest they were useless on algae covered gravel, it was like walking on marbles and I slipped over twice. I bought some Vision wader studs for about £25 and they have solved the problem.
I've used Simms wading boots for years, generally got about 5 years out of them before the soles detach from the uppers.
Hope they do better than my felt soled versions bought them before the start of this season and they have just about had it now. Both soles have come away and they have split at the sides on the reinforced toe section. Stitching has come undone also. Think I will be buying a pair of rubber soled work boots for next season.

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Cascade

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Hope they do better than my felt soled versions bought them before the start of this season and they have just about had it now. Both soles have come away and they have split at the sides on the reinforced toe section. Stitching has come undone also. Think I will be buying a pair of rubber soled work boots for next season.

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Hmm, I also had a split in the grey toe section. Foxons were happy to swap them for another pair, but it does sound like a design fault.
 

budge

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Hmm, I also had a split in the grey toe section. Foxons were happy to swap them for another pair, but it does sound like a design fault.
Seems to be the same with every pair of boots I've bought everyone keeps saying to buy Simms boots but I'm reluctant to spend that kind of money if they are going to do the same. I haven't managed a full season from a pair of boots so far. They do get a fair bit of stick with 40+ visits per season and a mile or two walking plus wading each trip. I'm thinking I might be as well to buy cheap as chips and just buy a new pair when they give up the ghost.

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The Flying Scotsman

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Seems to be the same with every pair of boots I've bought everyone keeps saying to buy Simms boots but I'm reluctant to spend that kind of money if they are going to do the same. I haven't managed a full season from a pair of boots so far. They do get a fair bit of stick with 40+ visits per season and a mile or two walking plus wading each trip. I'm thinking I might be as well to buy cheap as chips and just buy a new pair when they give up the ghost.

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I’ve had 2 full seasons so far out of my Simms flyweights.
The felt soles are solid and do a power of walking in them.
I could see them lasting many more years.
The only thing I can see going wrong with them down the line is the fabric lace loops might wear.
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chriswjx

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Seems to be the same with every pair of boots I've bought everyone keeps saying to buy Simms boots but I'm reluctant to spend that kind of money if they are going to do the same. I haven't managed a full season from a pair of boots so far. They do get a fair bit of stick with 40+ visits per season and a mile or two walking plus wading each trip. I'm thinking I might be as well to buy cheap as chips and just buy a new pair when they give up the ghost.

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Explanation I got from Diver Dave about the vision koskis. (And in general the entry level wading boots)

Marketing goes to design and has the great idea that "people love our waders, and let's make a wading boot we can parcel in with those existing waders for £300". Thing is, the waders already have a fair amount of money into them, and their margin's not large for it. So the accompanying boots, whilst retailing separately for a bit more (usually around £100), were designed to basically cost £60 to fit in with the combo. Then because not as much goes into them, they design these boots for the "occasional angler" which apparently is someone who maybe fishes once a fortnight on the nice manicured banks of the Tay, for example.

Whether or not you believe that explanation, its up to you. However, I would say the vast majority of reports where the boots fail in under a year do seem to trend towards people like yourself, fishing more than just maybe a dozen or two times a year. Though I have seen folk have issues after a day of fishing - seem to remember one entry level boot used water soluble glue for their soles?

If you can find your size, I well recommend the Hodgman Vions. Bought mine on clearance from GAC, who are now practically sold out, and I've been out at least 20 days this year with them and still look brand new (slight roughing of the sole mechanism, but not affected functionally). Bit on the heavy side because of the sole system, but not had much bother with them.
 

Rrrr

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Thats my headwaters with a season and a half on them and no issues at all. I can put up to 8 miles in when fishing remote bits of river so they get some use. Ive had to replace a boa cable in each boot but its a 5 min job.
My old riverteks looked in alot worse shape after the same sort of time scale. Only thing i can think of is the material used in the uppers.


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chriswjx

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Thats my headwaters with a season and a half on them and no issues at all. I can put up to 8 miles in when fishing remote bits of river so they get some use. Ive had to replace a boa cable in each boot but its a 5 min job.
My old riverteks looked in alot worse shape after the same sort of time scale. Only thing i can think of is the material used in the uppers.


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I do wish I'd went and got one of the BOA Hodgman boots... GAC have them for £60 now, but I'm a size 8, and they've only got 6 or 7... Might still go in at some point with my waders and see... But doubt it'll fit 😢
 

Rrrr

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I do wish I'd went and got one of the BOA Hodgman boots...
They do have their downsides with the cables breaking once in a while but i just keep a spare in my waders pocket and can have it swapped in 5 mins on the bank. The main benefit that i find is adjusting my boots on the go. As they get wet and loosen abit you can give them a quick twist through the gravel gaurd to nip them up. With laces it always took me a couple of attempts at tying to get them how i wanted them when fishing.

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chriswjx

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They do have their downsides with the cables breaking once in a while but i just keep a spare in my waders pocket and can have it swapped in 5 mins on the bank. The main benefit that i find is adjusting my boots on the go. As they get wet and loosen abit you can give them a quick twist through the gravel gaurd to nip them up. With laces it always took me a couple of attempts at tying to get them how i wanted them when fishing.

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Yeah, I've taken to giving the laces a bit of a soak before I tie em up just to help bed it down a bit
 

Handel

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Seems to be the same with every pair of boots I've bought everyone keeps saying to buy Simms boots but I'm reluctant to spend that kind of money if they are going to do the same. I haven't managed a full season from a pair of boots so far. They do get a fair bit of stick with 40+ visits per season and a mile or two walking plus wading each trip. I'm thinking I might be as well to buy cheap as chips and just buy a new pair when they give up the ghost.

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I wore Simms boots for years along with a load of other Simms stuff. Then over a period I had nothing but trouble with the other Simms stuff and found their customer service not up to much. So I gave up on Simms and as part of that tried other makes of boot. They were all poor, Orvis, Patagonia, Vision, Airflo.........the lot. So now I still don't buy other Simms stuff but I buy Simms boots, and the two pairs I have are going strong after several years of abuse. Why two? Depends where I am fishing, some places call for felts with studs others for vibram soles. And don't buy Simms studs, they are rubbish.
 

Rennie

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Manufacturers can make Wading Boots to just about any price point they wish, from the £60 quoted ( even cheaper truth be told! ) right up to the £500 + for Pat O' Gonia's foot tractor.
If you think the bargain boot will perform to the std's of the most expensive, I'm afraid you need to sit and take stock.
I will agree there's good un's and bad un's in everything, it's possible to get a rogue item at any price point from what is usually an excellent product.
Now in my eye's, good wading boots are up there with a good rod/line combo..They keep you up right in the river, they provide grip where there isn't any!, they protect your toes, feet and ankles and I expect some longevity and robustness and comfort at the very least.
I currently run two pairs of Simms Headwaters!- one lace's with vibram and studded soles, the other Boa with felt and studed soles.. At close to £200 per pair, gods teeth more expensive than the £60 items, but hold on!, a lot less than two Pairs of G3's or G4's!. My oldest Headwaters are over 3 yrs old, just fitted a new pair of laces, they apart from mud look new!, they're still on the original studs and cleat's I bought with them. My second pair look like new, there's some wear on the felt.
They are solid robust boots, I could play football with boulders in them, they protect my feet.No they're not like slippers on my feet, they're not lightweight, but they do the job they are designed to do and not merely releive me of ownership of valuable beer tokens in the name of being a bargain! ( that's where the £60 specials come in if I want that! , imagine the £60 specials at full price!, I would be wracked off! )
My 1st wading boots were Orvis, great boots several years of excellent service. Next few pairs I swallowed the value for money items, a pair of Hardy boots, smack on 2 years they simply came apart, next Scierra, 18 months in, both soles came off the same day!. Greys, looked nice, bugger all foot protection, only any good for nice gravelly shingly wades, just over a year they lasted, stitching rotted away!. Guideline felt soled items, awful, no protection or comfort at all, shocking last used to shape the boot.Less than a year, the soles came off, fitted new ones and the boot simply disintegrated!.
I went back to the quality boot in a Simms Rivershed. Excellent product, wore the vibram soles completely flat, re- studded and re- laced them, still in the garage 5 years + of solid service but past their best now.
So as far as I'm concerned I've two excellent reliable products that do what I want them to do, day in day out and I haven't paid top dollar for them. they're lasting very well, are robust, fit superbly and let me simply get on with the job in hand of trying to catch non existent Salmon.
Value for money?, a bargain?, saved a few bob?, well in the face of Foot Tractors, G3's or G4's, I've saved a tidy sum, still do the job as they should. But they'll piss all over the £60 specials every single time and I won't be looking to constantly repair them or replace them every year or so when they fall apart!, and importantly, I'm not expecting them to fail on me in the river, mid trip
Any degradation of a quality boot comes over time and can be monitored and managed, and not find me hobbling back to the car on one foot and a wasted day!.
One other small point in the measure of a boot.I'm awkward with shoes, I have wide ,fat feet with high arches. Simms boots fit me very very comfortably indeed, one size up on shoe size and thats allowing for a quality Sea Boot sock in the mix too.The cheaper stuff is never comfortable, always tight most of the time it's a struggle to get my feet into them too. And after wearing neoprene lined boots!, I won't go back to unlined items again!.
Pedro.
 

scoops

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Was getting fed up with buying cheapish boots bought a pair of expensive Orvis one and they only lasted a season before soles started flapping at the back
Think was 4 years ago now got a pair of Simms G4 BOA in one of Norris rare sales and they have been worth the money, still look in good condition, had to change the wires a few times but get them for free from BOA, hope that’s not kiss of death with them, will be looking at Simms again when need replacement ones
 

The Flying Scotsman

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I’ve found that boots and jacket you better off digging deep and spending the money on Simms. It will work out cheaper in the long run.
Waders however it doesn’t matter how much you splash out on them they will leak after a season or 2.
Buy a cheap pair of airflos seal the seams with aquasure before you use them and you will get at least a few seasons out them for £80.
I was actually back in my 4 year old airflos end of this season as my icons started leaking again.
Still bone dry in the old airflos
 

Rrrr

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I’ve found that boots and jacket you better off digging deep and spending the money on Simms. It will work out cheaper in the long run.
Waders however it doesn’t matter how much you splash out on them they will leak after a season or 2.
Buy a cheap pair of airflos seal the seams with aquasure before you use them and you will get at least a few seasons out them for £80.
I was actually back in my 4 year old airflos end of this season as my icons started leaking again.
Still bone dry in the old airflos
I think the same goes for non fishing boots/wellies and jackets. You may get the odd bargain here and there but in the main. If you want comfort, performance and something that lasts you get what you pay for.

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scoops

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I’ve found that boots and jacket you better off digging deep and spending the money on Simms. It will work out cheaper in the long run.
Waders however it doesn’t matter how much you splash out on them they will leak after a season or 2.
Buy a cheap pair of airflos seal the seams with aquasure before you use them and you will get at least a few seasons out them for £80.
I was actually back in my 4 year old airflos end of this season as my icons started leaking again.
Still bone dry in the old airflos
I went for Redington sonic seam jacket 9 years ago (new zip fitted) and sonic seam waders 7 years still keeping me dry, do the Nicwax treatment each season
Bought some new Wychwood and Hodgman waders in sales for when get wet feet
Will keep an eye on wading boot sales this winter if any Simms pop up
 
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