Re: durability felt vs rubber?
I had the studded Simms Guide boots (leather) for just under 10 years. (5-10 Sticky sole)
I just got the Simms Rivershed with the Vibram soles last Christmas.
I haven't had any problems, and yes the soles seem hard but on rocks they seem to grip as you put weight on them. I finally hit some real snot rocks on the middle Provo a couple weeks ago. The only thing that would keep one from slipping on them is adding the studs. Felt wouldn't have been any better then the rubber.
I've fished this river and the snot rocks with felt and rubber for a long time and I like the rubber soles from Simms. Felt boots weigh more once you're in water, are a real ***** when you walk on snow and wear out at the heels. I haven't had any of those problems with the Vibram soles or the 5-10 soles. I really like the light weight of the Rivershed and they do have a big toe box. Joni bought me the carbide studs, but I have yet to put them on.
Life is not like a bowl of cherries. It's more like a jar of ghost peppers. What you eat today might burn your ass tomorrow...