When I visit Fly Anglers Online, one of the most common questions is regarding boots, specifically rubber soled boots. In light of Missouri's recent law to ban felt boots, I felt it was time to give my boots an updated review after wearing them into their 4th season now.
First off, I think the important thing to note... I have been wearing these boots for four years now. The same pair!! The main piece of notable wear? The SIMMS reflective letters on the back of the boot, on the pull strap have come off. These boots have seen everything over the past 4 years. Admittedly, I got into wade fishing 4 years, ago, so I cannot compare them in terms of grip to felt. If I could, the main thing I'd like to have on them, is BOA laces. Sometimes, it seems I can never get a boot tight enough!
I wear a size 13 shoe, so finding waders that can fit my large feet can be difficult. I got the Rivershed boots in a size 13, and they comfortably fit me. They might be a half size to small if I'm wearing liner socks, wool socks, and my waders. Most of the time, I'm just wearing a liner sock in my waders though. I only throw the wool socks on for those cold days.
The one thing I can say for certain. These boots definitely have better traction on snow and mud when compared to a felt boot. But they aren't perfect. I have fallen once, stepping onto what turned out to be very slippery mud, and the next thing I know I was on my back. I don't use the studs in my boots. I have never felt the need to. On the rocks, they handle just perfect. I have fished in some tailwaters, and waters in the park fed by hotsprings that get plenty of goop growing on them. Each and every step has always been comfortable. The boots have a solid sole which make them great for traversing over rocks and such. In fact, I have sometimes spent 8 to 10 hours wade fishing, and at the end of the day, my feet feel great. My shoulder on the other hand... well it can be worn out with that much casting!
The boots have always cleaned up nicely. Usually when I return home from a trip, I take the hose to them and clean off the mud and dirt that stuck to them.
For the price, a $170 pair of boots that have lasted four seasons... these have been worth every penny. I give them 5 out of 5 fish!