I’ve had this boot about 5 months now and I’ve worn them at least a dozen times including:
– 5+ mile trek days
– hilly terrain
– boulder hopping
– 8+ hours on the water
I’m pleased to report that I love this boot and I haven’t had any of the ankle problems some other folks were talking about (NB: I layer a thicker warm sock atop a thin dress sock with these). In fact I found the ankle support to be helpful when hiking rugged terrain and fishing freestone (bowling ball rock size) streams. If I have a 1.5 trail hike into the river — no problem; I can hike in with these boots on, fish for 7 hours and then hike back out; they work that well for me.
In terms of durability — I’ve put these boots through quite a bit in the past 5 months and thus far no major signs of wear. I was thinking I’d only get a year out of them, but to date it’s looking like I’ll get more than that.
In terms of sizing I typically wear a size 11 in shoes; which fit me like a glove. That said I opt’d for the size 12 in these boots as I wanted to ensure I had enough room for my stocking foot waders and thicker socks. Although the size 12 is a tad to large for me with the waders on, when the boots are laced up there is no “wiggle room” in the boot so I don’t have any regrets about getting size 12.
One word of advice — install (electric drill) the wading screws (studs) as soon as you get the boots; don’t wait until you get on your favorite river and try to install them stream-side with a screw driver. These boots without studs on a freestone river is very much like walking on ice without skates. However, with the studs I’ve had sufficient grip to wade all river conditions I’ve encountered.
Haven’t worn it in the waters, but bought this for my kids. Sizeing seems correct. If anything, they are slight on the roomy side which is good. I bought the size 5 and it’s roomy enough for them to grow into. The studs that they come with are just regular hex screws. I also have some black boot hex screws that i bought on ebay which have more bite and will use those instead. The ones that come with these do seem like they will help but feel too smooth to me. The edges of the screws seem not sharp enough to bit into slippery logs that we often traverse. I guess the true test would be to try both types of screws in the field. But overall, boots are nice quality appears sturdy.
I recently purchased the Patagonia rock grip wading boots with studds. Couldn’t pass up the price. Tried them on with waders and they are made with extra room for socks and waders. I ordered my normal shoe size and plenty of room. However, I am a little concerned with the fit around the ankle. They are pretty stiff with not a lot of padding and you cannot tie them to tight without pain around the ankle. I hope they will break in over time. I will probably keep them as a comparable pair of Simms would be over $150.
Boot seemed like top-shelf quality, fantastic construction. My size 12 feet and stockingfeet waders fit in the size 12 boots perfectly. I can’t imagine why anyone would gripe about the soles – if you’re relying on your footwear to keep you from taking a drink or cracking your noggin on the rocks, you’re doing it wrong.
However, I was looking for a more minimalist, a multifunction trail/approach/wading hightop. These are not what I was looking for. When the description says “super supportive,” think: moon boots, stiff and heavy. I cannot imagine walking more than 100 yards in these boots.
But if you’re looking for bomber construction and Cadillac comfort (in the river), these are for you.
Just received earlier in this week typical quick shipping from STP… Spent sometime in a cold stream just to try them fairly good traction even without studs installed. Toe and side protection excellent from rocks etc. Fit with stocking foot waders was right on. I normally wear a 9 1/2 ordered a ten as recommended and they were spot on without feet being cramped. They should be fine for walking a distance to fishing spots etc. Cant speak for longevity until I have some time on the stream but I’m sure they will be fine. Just one note if you have one available use a power drill with a 5/16′ nut driver to install the studs (DON’T OVER TIGHTEN)