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  1. #1

    Default Felt or Rubber Sole Boots .. An Open Can of Worms

    Okay, being rather new to all this and still trying to sort out a lot of questions and or How To's

    I'm sure I'm going to get a pair of waders soon and I think I'm sure I will go with the stocking feet type, etc etc etc.

    Soooo, Boots and the "issues" relating to FELT or RUBBER sole then throw in cleats ...

    Some states are thinking of or have banned FELT due to "Rock Snot" ( new one on me ) .. fine, how do you find out which states have done so ?
    Google seems to think I'm talking of a sinus problem ...

    Rubber sole .. well, okay ... unless I'm heading into SWIFT water ( which I doubt ) cleats are not really all that important to me .. I think

    Wading staff ... might be a good idea for me .. Center of Gravity has shifted due to good food over the past 60+ years .. add Jack Daniels too !

    All thoughts and suggestions welcome.

    Tight lines to all ... pass the Jack at the end of the day ....

    Gordon in NC
    If you are going to try cross-country skiing ... start with a small country.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Pinedale, WY
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    Default Re: Felt or Rubber Sole Boots .. An Open Can of Worms

    Gordon: "how do you find out which states have done so ?"
    Good question, other than going on-line and looking at a particular state's fishing regulations, I don't know. I do know that Alaska has banned felt.

    "Rubber sole .. well, okay ... unless I'm heading into SWIFT water........" swift water or water with large boulders with algae, you should be just fine with the new rubber soles. I had a pair of Simms felt boots for over twenty years. This past year I bought a pair of Simms G4 boots (kind of spendy) with the rubber soles. I'm not sure exactly what the reason is but with the new boots I can wade much more comfortably. In the past as I was moving around in the water I always felt off balance, and thought it was due to my age, now I feel much better. I really like they new rubber soles.

    "Wading staff ... might be a good idea for me ......" I don't use a wadding staff unless I plan to wade in swift water, but it sure comes in handy in those situations where I'm wading in the swift stuff.
    Hope that helps!

    Larry

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    5,392

    Default Re: Felt or Rubber Sole Boots .. An Open Can of Worms

    Hi Gordon,

    Wadding shoes are a long term investment. The future for felt is not very good and sooner or later it will be banned in most states with flowing rivers. It has happened in Alaska and I expect other western states to follow soon. I have a pair of wadding shoes that have been used for twenty years. Wadding shoes are not cheap and I would not buy felt today at any price. Get a good pair of rubber and you won't be sorry.

    I have been using a wadding staff for many years. It stays on my wader belt and is part of my everyday gear. As you age it is not just swift water that a staff comes in handy. Wadding with bifocals has always been hard for me. I seem to be stumbling over something for no apparent reason. A staff will let you fish rivers much later in life.

    Frank

  4. #4

    Default Re: Felt or Rubber Sole Boots .. An Open Can of Worms

    Quote Originally Posted by gordon in nc View Post
    Okay, being rather new to all this and still trying to sort out a lot of questions and or How To's

    I'm sure I'm going to get a pair of waders soon and I think I'm sure I will go with the stocking feet type, etc etc etc.

    Soooo, Boots and the "issues" relating to FELT or RUBBER sole then throw in cleats ...

    Some states are thinking of or have banned FELT due to "Rock Snot" ( new one on me ) .. fine, how do you find out which states have done so ?
    Google seems to think I'm talking of a sinus problem ...

    Rubber sole .. well, okay ... unless I'm heading into SWIFT water ( which I doubt ) cleats are not really all that important to me .. I think

    Wading staff ... might be a good idea for me .. Center of Gravity has shifted due to good food over the past 60+ years .. add Jack Daniels too !

    All thoughts and suggestions welcome.

    Tight lines to all ... pass the Jack at the end of the day ....

    Gordon in NC
    Snot Rock= didymo (Didymosphenia geminata) is another invasive species. Quite different from "snot rocks" (didymo is snot rock, moss covered rocks are snot rock"s")
    If you're looking to get boots, get some good ones. I have the Simms Rivershed with removable cleats for snot rocks.. I like the rubber better, but some will never give up their felt until it's necessary.
    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...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Default Re: Felt or Rubber Sole Boots .. An Open Can of Worms

    I also have the Rivershed boots. They perform very well on all types of surfaces in the water. However, I think they outperform felt by a long shot on the bank and on the trail to the river. They do not freeze up in the winter once they get wet, and they do not wear out as fast if you fish in spots which might require a short walk to the river or lake. As for states that currently ban them or might ban them in the future, I think this is a mute point. The industry is headed toward rubber soles whether anyone likes it or not. Every major manufacturer now sells rubber soles as on their top of the line boots.

  6. Default Re: Felt or Rubber Sole Boots .. An Open Can of Worms

    Quote Originally Posted by gjcordray View Post
    I also have the Rivershed boots. They perform very well on all types of surfaces in the water. However, I think they outperform felt by a long shot on the bank and on the trail to the river. They do not freeze up in the winter once they get wet, and they do not wear out as fast if you fish in spots which might require a short walk to the river or lake. As for states that currently ban them or might ban them in the future, I think this is a mute point. The industry is headed toward rubber soles whether anyone likes it or not. Every major manufacturer now sells rubber soles as on their top of the line boots.
    Do you use the studs in the Riversheds or just the rubber bottom ?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Berks, PA
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    Default Re: Felt or Rubber Sole Boots .. An Open Can of Worms

    I needed to get a quick pair of wading shoes this Spring, I bought a pair of felt bottoms ($19 clearance at W@lmart) and they worked fine...until this past weekend when I was up fishing the Erie tribs. Those streams are shale bottomed, with some sections that were one sheet of shale for the creek bottom for 50 to 100 yards. Walking on that was like walking on a slip n slide, and I almost took a drink more than once. My buddy who had rubber bottoms was fine (actually, I think I was the only idiot with felt on the entire stream. I didn't get the memo.) In fact, there were several times that he had to wait for me to catch up.

    Point is, I can't think of a single instance where felt would out perform rubber soles. Spend that extra money and get the rubber. Consider it an investment in your safety. I would recommend something with a Vibram's rubber sole. I have that on other shoes and boots and the traction is the bee's knees.
    Anthony Laurence
    www.anthonylaurence.net
    Web Developement and Design
    FlyFishinado - My Fly Fishing Blog

  8. #8

    Default Re: Felt or Rubber Sole Boots .. An Open Can of Worms

    Have you tried rubber soles on heavy didymo?

    ---------- Post added at 07:46 AM ---------- Previous post was at 07:35 AM ----------

    I was thinking again: Instead of banning felt, why not require the name of one single river (in permanent ink) be written on your felt shoes. Those shoes are for one river only and the proof is written on the boot. Just a thought. In reality there are so many ways to bring in invasive species that banning a single source will make zero difference in the long run. My conspiracy theory alarm goes off when I read stuff like this.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Felt or Rubber Sole Boots .. An Open Can of Worms

    Here in NC you'll be fine with just plain felt soles for all the streams. I tend to lose traction with rubber soles and studs. Felts are the way to go.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Felt or Rubber Sole Boots .. An Open Can of Worms

    Gordon,

    I have to concur with Frank and others on this issue. I have used felt for a long time but in the mid 90s bought a pair of Orvis Henry's Fork boots with cleated rubber and they were the stuff! Since then I still have an old pair of felts but don't use them. The rubber works great and in the future rubber will be the norm. As for the staff, I've had one since the late 90s and find that when venturing into really nasty water the staff is the single most important item I am carrying. Being swept off your feet after a fit of slipping and sliding is not an age specific problem and getting cold and wet or worse yet drowning is no fun regardless of age. You can find some pretty affordable folding staffs these days and you may as well have one. You will not want it dangling beside you all the time and the belt holster will take care of that for you. When you need it the staff will be worth its weight in gold even at todays price of gold.

    Ard

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

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