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Vibram sole wading boot

Joined:
2006/10/2 17:58
From Greene County
Posts: 12
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I was hoping to get feedback from anyone out there on the Vibram sole wading boots. I know the ecological advantages, what about safe wading? I am probably going to get them, just would like to know best brands and what I'm in for. Thanks in advance for info.

Posted on: 2013/11/22 19:16


Re: Vibram sole wading boot

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2010/6/19 16:43
From Clinton County, Pa.
Posts: 1783
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Simm's "Guide" boot. IMO the best wading shoe on the market.

Posted on: 2013/11/22 19:34
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Re: Vibram sole wading boot

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2012/5/7 14:55
From Cambria County
Posts: 186
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After my Korkers finally crapped out on me, i picked up a pair of Simms boots on sale at Cabelas with a Vibram sole. I had the same worry about wading. I've used felt bottoms for as long as I can remember and this was a big switch for me. The Simms studs were crazy expensive for them, so I studded them with 1/2 inch Kold Kutter racing studs. I actually think the studs are way better than my felt ever was. I don't think I'd go back now. If you do any winter fishing in the snow, they perform 10x better than felt. No more ice buildup on the soles. If you buy a pair that are unstudded, I'd recommend the Kold Kutter studs for them. You can pick up a 200 pack on eBay for about $20. That's enough to stud your boots for a lifetime.

Posted on: 2013/11/22 19:37


Re: Vibram sole wading boot

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2011/5/26 10:12
From Dauphin PA
Posts: 2765
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Second vote for Sims guide boot. I've had studded felt for several years and got a pair with the rubber sole only because the felt pair looks to be near the end of their lifespan.

First couple trips gave me the impression that the rrubber soles are completely worthless and feel that way currently. I've done some checking and will try the star cleats, hard bite screws and / or the aluma-bite cleats. Got to find something that will work because they suck "as is".

FWIW, be prepared to drop another $30-50 for studs / cleats. You'll also want to be ready to lose 20% if you do a longer hike in & out. Worst idea the industry ever came up with. Just spent all week trying to find a shop with some leftovers in studded felt....no luck.

Posted on: 2013/11/22 20:05
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Re: Vibram sole wading boot

Joined:
2008/8/24 20:26
From Mount Joy, PA
Posts: 2182
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Quote:

FWIW, be prepared to drop another $30-50 for studs / cleats.


....or buy the 3/8" Kold Kutter screws

http://koldkutter.com/catalog/index.php?cPath=21_22

Posted on: 2013/11/22 20:29


Re: Vibram sole wading boot

Joined:
2012/1/13 15:28
From Ferguson Twp.
Posts: 2410
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Quote:

WildTigerTrout wrote:
Simm's "Guide" boot. IMO the best wading shoe on the market.

Yep, Mine are very comfortable on long hikes in. No trouble wading, I've got grippers shaped like stars. Sorry can't remember the name of them.

Posted on: 2013/11/22 21:18
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Re: Vibram sole wading boot

Joined:
2012/3/14 6:23
From Lancaster
Posts: 936
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I am also very happy with my Simms "Guide" boots. I have the vibram soles and put in the cleats (probably about 7 or 8 per boot). The cleats are starting to get pretty worn but I actually like them better that way. When they are brand new and you try to walk on any rocks ... be careful! It's kind of like "surf's up" when those things are totally new on the rocks. Overall Simms makes a great boot and I am pretty sure they are made in the USA at least they were back when I bought mine.

Posted on: 2013/11/22 21:36


Re: Vibram sole wading boot

Joined:
2013/7/30 17:16
From Fairborn, OH
Posts: 297
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Unstudded, I feel that felt has better grip, but stud up a set of Vibram-soled boots and you're just as well off. I use the Simms Guide Boot with the rubber bottoms. The grip is never completely perfect. Find enough snotty, green rocks and you will find a way to lose your footing. In the end, I don't think you'll be disappointed. My lone complaint with the Simm's boot is that they opted for a metal speed lacer mid-upper and depending on your waders, it could wear a hole in the neoprene gravel guards over time. Also, I highly suggest going a full size, if not 2 sizes bigger than your street shoe depending on how thick you layer your socks. They are not compensated for wader sizing and will match your street shoe sizing closely. Since they are leather, they will shrink a bit when they dry and seem to open back up a bit when they soak for a bit.

Posted on: 2013/11/22 21:37


Re: Vibram sole wading boot

Joined:
2011/5/26 10:12
From Dauphin PA
Posts: 2765
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+1 to six gun post. I wear 9 1/2 shoe but my boots are a 12. Extra socks make them comfy in the cold or long walks. They shrink a good bit when drying out. The boot itself is nothing short of awesome. Dkile had a post about this a year ago

http://www.paflyfish.com/smartsection ... boots-product-review.html





Posted on: 2013/11/22 21:58
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Re: Vibram sole wading boot

Joined:
2006/11/2 8:50
Posts: 6028
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Quote:

wgmiller wrote:
Quote:

FWIW, be prepared to drop another $30-50 for studs / cleats.


....or buy the 3/8" Kold Kutter screws

http://koldkutter.com/catalog/index.php?cPath=21_22


Has anyone done a comparison between these studs and the more expensive ones like Simms and Orvis?

Also, how do you decide whether 3/8 inch or 1/2 inch are the best for your shoes?

If 1/2 inch looks a little too close, i.e. that they might end up coming through the sole, is there much disadvantage to using 3/8 inch studs? Are they much more likely to pull out?

Posted on: 2013/11/22 22:26


Re: Vibram sole wading boot

Joined:
2009/7/29 10:25
Posts: 1807
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I use simms riversheds vibram because I typically hike in to fish, and felt is not good for hiking. I put a lot of screws in them and as mentioned above you have to be very careful about skating on smooth rocks and bedrock

Posted on: 2013/11/23 6:21


Re: Vibram sole wading boot

Joined:
2010/9/1 13:55
From State College PA
Posts: 486
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I'm at the end of the life of my second pair of vibram soled simms (rivershed boots). My two cents and observations after 5 years are as follows
When changing from felt the difference in grip was a small contributor to the need to adjust. It had more to do with the difference in feeling the substrate under my feet. The contact between your foot and bottom changes (soft to hard).
I've never lost a stud using the hardbite studs (40 in two pairs of boots so far). In fact, I once tried to remove one from the old boots and it was more difficult than I anticipated. However, I believe losing a screw on the star cleats are more likely. The hardbite studs have serrations under the head that dig into the rubber, preventing them from moving (don’t screw them in too tight and strip). With the cleats, the screw sets on the metal. The screws can turn more freely. I don’t feel I’ve needed the cleats, so I don’t use them.
I would avoid the aluminum cleats. George at TCO SC told me that the aluminum ones were designed for special types of substrates. Rocks that carbide can’t cut into like rough granite etc. The idea was that since the metal can’t dig into these rocks, the rocks can dig into the soft aluminum. He specifically recommended NOT using them on rounded, smooth surfaces. They will be slippery. If the rocks can’t dig into the aluminum, it’s sort of like writing with a hard pencil. Aluminum will wear smooth. This makes sense to me.
Riversheds: one size up from street shoe size is a must if you want to wear heavy socks (and we all do).
I bought my third pair of riversheds recently. I almost got the guide boot, but didn’t want to make a change since I was happy. I considered changing because I heard good things about the guide. I would appreciate it if anyone who owned both would offer an opinion on the two. pros and cons

Posted on: 2013/11/23 10:01


Re: Vibram sole wading boot

Joined:
2010/9/1 13:55
From State College PA
Posts: 486
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Oh, one tip many may already know. be it riversheds (shrink less and a bit softer when dry) or leather-like boots (such as the guide) ALWAYS soak your boots if they are dry before walking in them. This will extend the life of your neoprene booties. Fill them with water for a minute before you leave for your trip and by the time you arrive they will be soft enough.

Posted on: 2013/11/23 10:07


Re: Vibram sole wading boot

Joined:
2013/7/30 17:16
From Fairborn, OH
Posts: 297
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I actually not only soak my boots, I also bought a cheap set of neoprene socks to wear over the wader booties. That way, the cheap (~$15) socks take the beating and not the pricey waders.

Posted on: 2013/11/23 19:03


Re: Vibram sole wading boot

Joined:
2007/6/19 21:49
From Lancaster County
Posts: 1495
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I had a pair of Korkers first generation boots with whatever the marketing humbo-jumbo name was they had at the time for their rubber soles. They had studs on them as well and they stuck perfectly, in that I could trust myself safely walking in streams.

Everything I have owned since then has been rubber soled and they all have been sore disappointments to me. I have a pair of Orvis boots with their Eco-Trax rubber and studs built in. Over half the studs have ripped out; one ripped out on the first time I used them. This pair of boots at least lets me wade with a little confidence. I tried the Kold Kutter route on the Dan Bailey boots I had last year and while they added some nice grip, they were ALWAYS pulling out and I'd often find by the end of a day fishing that more than half of them were gone. They also seemed to wear down quickly. I have two other rubber soled boots that I have acquired but I'm still searching for the right stud to use in them. There is another brand of motorcycle stud (Grip Studs) that someone is also marketing as fishing boot studs (with the requisite markup) that may work, as they have a slightly longer shank and a better screw pattern. And if they worked, I'd be willing to pay what they are asking. But I'm not willing to shell out all the money for them, only to find out that they rip out just as quickly as the Kold Kutter screws, or wear down just as quickly. Maybe I just walk too many miles and my expectations for the life of the boot soles is too high, but I would like to find something that lasts more than a day!

I have slipped and fallen more times in the past two years (since the good gripped Korkers went to the fishing hole in the sky) than I have all the rest of the years I fished, combined.

Posted on: 2013/11/23 20:53



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