A while back a debate raged on email, social media and in chat rooms about the best wading boots. There was a wide variety of views expressed with Simms, Korkers, Patagonia and a couple of others being the front runners. I don’t recall that a conclusion was ever reached and the debate faded from the digital world by a kind of consensus that it was a case of horses for courses and it was left on the basis of what did it for you.
I have been through a few pairs of wading boots, veldt soled and rubber, cheap and expensive and yet I still can’t make up my mind what suits my kind of fishing in the rugged terrain of mountain streams. At present I have a pair of Patagonia Stickys and must say that to date they have done the job reasonably well, but even with the double stitching the uppers are starting to pull away. However, all the wading boots I have owned had their merits and demerits. Most have been okay fishing rivers and streams at lower altitudes. But, when it comes to hiking into the headwaters of our mountain streams, the overall strength of the boot comes into play and none that I have had to date have lived up to expectation and literally come apart at the seams in a season or two – expensive exercise! I have even tried getting seams double stitched at my local saddle maker before use. The soles stay intact but it is the uppers that can’t take the pace.
It brings me back to my pennies worth in the ‘boot debate’ for good old fashioned leather boots with stitched, and importantly, not glued soles. I originally used T3s and more recently Jim Greens. They have out lasted all the wading boots I have ever owned by 3 to 1 and, they are at least half the price of the better makes of wading boots.
My last pair of T3s hung on for nearly 7 years before the leather rotted. The stitching and soles were still intact. My latest pair of Jim Greens have had 4 years hard labour and are only now just showing the first signs of asking for retirement, again the leather. Their down side is that they are not quite as good in the water as specialised boots, but in my experience, not that different. They do take longer to dry and need some tender loving care after a trip. Cleaned, dried, snow seal applied (not dubbin) and then polished they will be good to go with your suit to your next friends wedding!
Just a thought about boots ……………………….
Now I rest my case.
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