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Old 09-19-2009, 12:36 PM
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Default durability felt vs rubber?

I have seen lots of threads about the traction of felt vs rubber, but knowone metions long term duability.

I am in need of some new wade boots and am leaning (very far) twords felt (because of traction). I only fish local, so spreading anything is not the issue i am concered with. However I do hike around alot when fishing (we are talking miles), and am wondering how felt will hold up to this abuse. Would rubber a better option is this particular situation?

Thanx all
whiterabbit88
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Old 09-19-2009, 01:12 PM
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Default Re: durability felt vs rubber?

Rabbit,

I have only ever walked for miles in waders on a few occasions and wore felts on those campaigns. If you are talking about putting on some mileage along a creek whilst making your way farther from heavy access areas I would wear felt or cleated rubber. If we are talking about a trail hike through the woods and fields to reach a fishing destination I would put waders and wading boots in my Jansport day pack along with a contractors grade plastic trash bag for bringing out the wet stuff.

The only wading shoe I ever owned that actually felt trail worthy were a pair of the Orvis Henry's Fork boots with the exchangeable soles. These were good support but the threaded lugs that secured the soles wore out long before the rest of the boot. Currently I'm testing the Korkers' brand boot with the omnitrax sole system. I am not prepared to make an evaluation at this point. I can state that the soles are fairly easy to change from rubber to felt and etc.

Seldom do I walk more than a mile while fishing partly due to the lack of trails alongside or to and from the streams I fish. If there is an established trail they often are built by brown bears or moose. I would suggest that trying a pair of the Korkers boot may be an option for you. Yes, after long walks the soles can have a tendency to come loose but I have not had any problem where I actually had to stop and re-affix them to the boot. If you want the versatility of multiple sole surfaces there is a small trade off in that they are not as solid as one that is permanently fixed to the sole of the boot.

I hope this brief dissertation is helpful in answering your question.

Ard
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Old 09-19-2009, 01:51 PM
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Default Re: durability felt vs rubber?

I'm also looking to get a new pair of boots after the felt soles on my cheap basspro boots came off completely. I'm sure it's just the quality of the boot, but it's making me not want to go with felt again. But, in the freestone streams I fish regular rubber won't do either, so I'm looking at the new line of tacky rubber soles that vibram and others are making. Seems like the sole would hold up better in and out of the water and I think rubber soles have a better chance of not falling off the shoe because they are easier to attach to the upper than a felt sole. It looked like the soles on my last pair of boots were attached with elmer's glue. So I would check out some of the new style rubber. I'm looking at a pair from LL Bean.
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Old 09-19-2009, 06:12 PM
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Default Re: durability felt vs rubber?

I have both studded felt and aquastealth simms boots,and they both have advantages. The studded felt arent bad for walking/and hiking, but not in snow or mud. If you have alot of algea covered rock in the water there great. The aqua stealth are nicer for hiking with there tread, and work well in snow and winter months. There ok on slippery rocks in the river,but not as well as felt. You can get studs for aqua stealth which might work out well. But in my opinion if your planning on hiking/fishing all year round go with the aqua stealth.
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Old 09-19-2009, 09:21 PM
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Default Re: durability felt vs rubber?

Isn't there some science there as well? I thought one of the reasons for leaving felt behind was because it transported diseas to easily where a rubber surface was easily cleaned etc.? I'll have to dig that article up again....
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Old 09-19-2009, 10:09 PM
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Default Re: durability felt vs rubber?

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Originally Posted by Kerry Pitt View Post
Isn't there some science there as well? I thought one of the reasons for leaving felt behind was because it transported diseas to easily where a rubber surface was easily cleaned etc.? I'll have to dig that article up again....
Kerry,
You are correct about felt transporting harmful microorganisms from stream to stream. For 2010, all Simms boots will use StreamTread soles made by Vibram. By 2011, more of the major boot manufacturers will have gone that direction. It is illegal to use felt soles in New Zealand. By Jan. 1, 2011, it will be illegal to use felt in parts of Alaska (Hardyreels, please correct me if I am wrong).

Keep in mind, there are places elsewhere on boots that microorganisms can get trapped. Mesh and laces are perfect hiding places. Simms has a poster that some shops have hanging up that tells people to clean, inspect, and dry their boots before moving on to other bodies of water.

MP

edit: Here is the press release from Simms on vigilence of invasive species.

Last edited by MoscaPescador; 09-19-2009 at 10:10 PM. Reason: added something
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Old 09-20-2009, 07:03 AM
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Default Re: durability felt vs rubber?

After slipping and sliding and falling down on muddy & grassy banks on my last trip while wearing Orvis felt-soled boots, I bit the bullet and bought a pair of the Simms G4 Guide boots with the Vibram / Streamtread soles.

This rubber is anything but "sticky". It's actually quite hard. I haven't used the boots yet, but they sure are a big improvement over the Orvis boots in terms of comfort and ease of putting them on and taking them off, due to the full closed cell neoprene liner.

They are also designed to be easier to clean. I am looking forward to trying them in the field soon.
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Old 09-20-2009, 09:50 AM
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Default Re: durability felt vs rubber?

I am trying to talk thge wife into a new pair for christmas, Korkers, they come with inter-changable soles and you can buy severel diffrent types.I have talked with a few diffrent people taht use these boots and really like them.
Bear
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Old 09-20-2009, 10:35 AM
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Default Re: durability felt vs rubber?

Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeln View Post
After slipping and sliding and falling down on muddy & grassy banks on my last trip while wearing Orvis felt-soled boots, I bit the bullet and bought a pair of the Simms G4 Guide boots with the Vibram / Streamtread soles.

This rubber is anything but "sticky". It's actually quite hard. I haven't used the boots yet, but they sure are a big improvement over the Orvis boots in terms of comfort and ease of putting them on and taking them off, due to the full closed cell neoprene liner.

They are also designed to be easier to clean. I am looking forward to trying them in the field soon.
Grip will be increased tremendously with the addition of Simms Hardbite Studs. If you don't get the grip that you are looking for, you may want to consider adding them.

Simms has a new screw-in stud that fits in between the lugs of the boot. It is much larger than the Hard Bite Stud giving more surface area for grip. That stud system should start filtering into the shops this fall.

MP
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Old 09-20-2009, 11:08 AM
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Default Re: durability felt vs rubber?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MoscaPescador View Post
Simms has a new screw-in stud that fits in between the lugs of the boot. It is much larger than the Hard Bite Stud giving more surface area for grip. That stud system should start filtering into the shops this fall.

MP
If you mean the Simms Hardbite Star Cleat Studs, they're already available at some shops. I ordered a set yesterday. The only thing that bothers me about them is that I think the Philips head on the screws may get buggered up eventually, making it difficult to get a screwdriver tip in there.

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