I used a new pair of Cloudveil wading shoes a couple of weeks ago. It was the first time I used them and I was lucky to get back across the river without falling in as they did not have much traction on the stream bottom. Yesterday I used them again after screwing in 8 studs in each sole. That worked great until the studs started to pull out. Ending the day slipping around with 5 studs remaining in one shoe and two in the other. Can't see myself replacing the studs for each day of fishing so I have ordered a pair of LL Bean wading shoes with factory installed studs. Will report my experience with them.
Felt soles are being outlawed and I have been trying wading boots with the new "rubber" sole technology but have yet to find anything that comes close to felt in terms of secure traction. Has anyone had better luck ?
I've been very pleased with my Simms Rivershed boots gen 1. They have the older version soles and studs are built into the boot. When it comes time to replace them, I'll get ones that have removable studs. This way I can replace them if worn out, use them as needed and not have to go with different boots if I ever decided to take a guided driftboat trip.
Here's a pretty comprehensive review of some of the newer boots on the market.
Sorry to hear of failing gear, I use Korker boots with the interchangeable sole system. I have read good reports about the LL Bean Aqua Stealth soles. As for the Korker soles people complain that they come loose, although my soles come out of the little molding around the edge of the shoe they never come loose. I have two years on them and like them, I can have studs in the Kenai, plain rubber while in the boat and I have a pair of felts if if comes down to that. All on the same frame, and as I said mine have never came loose when considering the word (loose) by definition.
I have been using rubber & studs since I first found them for sale. Back East I fished year round and the way snow clings and built up on felts was unpleasant. I never liked the way felt stayed wet either. When ever you wanted to drive you had to put up with the soles draining in the truck. Traction wise; I wore studded felts ever since they came out, hard rubber is not as good but it is good. My first rubber & stud boot were Orvis brand. They were good but not as good as felt & studs.
Take your time walking creeks with rubber, get used to the difference and if you don't trust them completely carry a collapsible wading staff. The staff provides the confidence gap that exists between felt & rubber. Generally speaking once used to the boots it's business as usual.
Ard, you bring up a few great points that I failed to mention in my previous post. I gravitated to Aqua Stealth boots from felts and studded felts and found there was definately an adjustment period going to rubber. It took me a bit, but I got comfortable and gained confidence with rubber. Come to think of it, at the time I had a torn medial meniscus and was using a wading staff, I am sure that helped me adjust. It's been a couple of years for me on these boots and the differences between felt and rubber are negligable at this point. The adjustment period was brief.
Also, I am fishing year round and love that the snow buildup is no more. LOVE that Boots retain less water, lighter, dry faster. Lots of positives from my perspective. I know there's still a lot of guys that prefer felts but I'm done with them. To each their own.
Which LL Bean boots did you pick up banker? Let us know what you end up with and your thoughts on them.
Location: White City (tad north of Medford) Oar-E-Gone
Re: Wading shoe report and question..........
Can't say I've even seen a fellow fly flicker with rubber bottom boots here on the Rogue. Come to think of it, I don't recall even seeing them for sale here-bouts.
From what I have seen (Internet) the one 'given' is the cleats on the bottoms of these things are all tiny. (True?) No experience here, but the 'tiny knobs' I've seen would appear to ware down rather quickly.
Does someone make an 'aggressive' bottomed rubber boot? A 'V' shaped wedge or lugs such as you'd find on a good work boot would seem to be a better choice.