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Ard 07-24-2013 12:38 PM

One Year Results of the Wading Stud Shootout;
The verdict is in and I must say that I am surprised.

Spring 2012:

With a new pair of Simms Rivershed wading boots I applied 2 different type of cleats to the boots. On one boot I inserted the Simms HardBite 'Star Cleats'. On the other I used grip stud brand cleats.

July 2013:

After a little over 1 year of use I decided it was time to tune up the boots. What I found was this.


All cleats were still on the sole of the boot and showed little wear. However all were a bit loose and so I retightened them and added a few more for an even better grip.

Grip Stud Brand:

Apparently 4 of the studs were lost! What is even more disturbing is that when the studs pulled / scuffed out, they leave a somewhat gaping hole where they had been inserted. This makes reinserting replacements into the same location a bit dicey.

I fairness 'if' you were to lose one of the Simms Star Cleats, there would no doubt be a stripped out hole where the retaining screw had been as well. The point of these results is that 'None' of the Simms cleats were lost.

Another point noticed is that the Grip Studs have a higher profile when inserted and initially this seemed to provide a superior grip while wading. The higher profile is possibly the culprit in the eventual loss of the studs. The remaining studs did appear to be in good shape considering wear.

Without bias I must say at this point that the Simms product has proven to be more resilient and as noted, they are showing little sign of wear.

Bottom Line:

The Simms product development team seems to have hit a home run with the HardBite Cleat. It will however be in your best interest to inspect your boots for loosening of your studs or cleats periodically.

Had I done a spring 2013 or fall 2012 inspection I may have found the loose Grip Studs and been able to avoid their loss.

You can view / read the original review here > ;

jaybo41 07-24-2013 12:49 PM

Re: One Year Results of the Wading Stud Shootout;
Thanks for the follow up Ard, the results are interesting to say the least. I've had the Star Bites in my Riversheds for 2 seasons and have not lost any of them. They are a little worn but they grab enough to keep them in. Like you, I've only had to tighten them.

They are spendy but what drew me to them was how they integrate into the sole and fit between the star shaped rubber tread. I've worn studded boots in the past and while they do provide a good tread, they've either been worn significantly or have been pushed into the sole of the boot. I'll take 2+ years of safer wading at that price.

Ard 07-24-2013 01:14 PM

Re: One Year Results of the Wading Stud Shootout;
Hi Jason,

I agree with you regarding cost being worth the grip. Although Alaska just went to a 'No Felt Sole' rule last year I've been wearing Vibram soles for a long time. They have so many attributes but the fact that they don't carry mud & water the way felt does is enough for me. In snow conditions we all know what happens with felt soled boots.............

Safety wise I've been aware since my first pair of Orvis Hennery's Fork Vibram sole boots that you muse exercise due caution with rubber soles. However I have yet to take a slip in mid stream using cleated rubber.

I'm about to leave to go hike up another creek for trout. Maybe I can get the ones that always get away.


winstonwt 07-27-2013 09:05 PM

Re: One Year Results of the Wading Stud Shootout;
Have them on my freestone and rivershed boots for about 2-3 years,the cleats are the way to go.Try the rest now buy the best SIMMS!!!.

jcw355 07-28-2013 05:17 AM

Re: One Year Results of the Wading Stud Shootout;
For me, I initially liked them, but felt like they didnt last that long. I guess it must have been all the rocks I walk on. The ice screws have good bite but wear out pretty quick as well. For the money, the ice screws are getting me farther.

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