Re: Which New Wading Boot?
I just made this journey, I'll relay my thoughts and choices-
I confined myself to the Simms products mainly. Back when I was guiding I purchased some Orvis boots on their pro-program, they lasted 6 months. Sure they replaced them but I had a bad taste from the experience- they were the top line boots as well.
Anyhoo- Here is what I demand in a boot- Mountaineering construction and support but soled for wading. I want them to be reasonably light weight and have carbide studs or the ability to have studs added.
From the Simms lineup I narrowed my search to two models- the G4 and the Rivershed. This is how I saw each-
Rivershed- great construction similar to a La Sportiva mountaineering boot with the protective shielding covering much of the boot and a generous toe box. Excellent ankle support and light enough for days of equal hiking to wading.
G4- much like the Rivershed the G4 is like a fine mountain boot with great support. The G4 has a noticeably wider sole than the Rivershed- more surface area to grip the streamed. The boot is also heavier, that wider sole comes with a price. The G4 has roller lacing- kinda cool but not needed.
In the end I chose the Riversheds because they were lighter and not as bulky. The G4's wider sole would be great if you needed maximum traction in a non-studed sole. For instance- if you were in a Mac boat and didn't want the studs in the boat. But the wider sole adds weight and impairs agility IMO and I need a boot that is capable of rock hopping and other high risk activities. Price wise they are nearly the same with only a forty dollar difference so I would have readily purchased either, I just needed the boot that fit my needs.
Hope this helps-