For the past five years I have been on a long journey to find the perfect wading boot. Like most backcountry anglers, I desire a boot that I can hike five miles in and give me the traction required on some of the slippery streams I encounter. The first time I caught a glimpse of the new Simms Vapor Boot I got hopeful! It is a lightweight boot, which I believe will lend itself well to anglers who love to journey up rivers for long distances. Boots have always been about compromise, because until now there has not been a perfect boot for the conditions a backcountry angler faces on every trip. The VaporTread may just make compromise a thing of the past.
The Sole Problem
There is no shortage of great hiking boots on the market. You can find boots that can go into the water, but the main issue has to do with the sole. All, and I mean all, hiking boot soles are designed to be rugged and durable for the long haul. However, the rubber compounds that they use are inferior when it comes to traction on mossy rocks submerged in a riverbed. Between my wife and I, we have tried dozens of hiking boots with no success in finding the boot that would meet our needs. I most recently settled on a Simms shoe called the Rip Rap because the Simms StreamTread sole was clearly the best for wading. Unfortunately, the Rip Rap lacked support, as the upper was little more than a sandal.
StreadTread was good, but now Simms has taken in-stream traction to a new level. With the Simms VaporTread sole, the Vapor boot delivers trail-ready and wading-ready performance for the adventurous. With the great support you expect from a good hiking boot, you also get a sole that sticks. They are touted as the lightest wading boot SIMMS has ever made at 25.1 ounces per boot, and you’ll know this is true when you hold one.
To make this boot even better, which is hard to do, I added two things. First: the Simms Neoprene Wading Sock. This sock is by far the best sock for hiking up streams while you’re in the water most of the time. No other sock compares. The second: a custom insole for my Vapors. The number one rule while traveling in the backcountry is to take care of your feet, and for me, having good support on the bottom of my feet is priceless.
Your footwear matters; what will be on your feet next time you hit the backcountry stream?
Owner / President
Angler's Covey Inc.
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Women's Fly Tying class series: Class 3, Advanced tying techniques, Dry flies