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Old 01-23-2012, 02:39 PM   #1
Haslebacher
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Default Felt vs rubber wading boots

Have never worn anything but felt and need a new pair. Rubber seems to be taking over the world. What has been your experience for traction, comfort, etc for comparison. Any suggestions for under a $100?

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Old 01-23-2012, 02:47 PM   #2
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Default Re: Felt vs rubber wading boots

Buy a pair of Korkers and you can have both. I used the rubber soles at first, but switched to felt and haven't gone back.
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Old 01-23-2012, 02:59 PM   #3
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Default Re: Felt vs rubber wading boots

I also have the Korkers and I prefer the rubber for most of the rivers I fish. But The felt is a must on some. I think I paid $110 last year.
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Old 01-23-2012, 03:11 PM   #4
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Default Re: Felt vs rubber wading boots

I have Korkers as well and really like the versitility of the change out soles......

I use the rubber lug sole for most in-boat days but really like the felt/spike soles for those bank days. If I'm hiking into a spot I wear my rubber lug soles and carry/change out to the felt/spikes when I get to the water.
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Old 01-23-2012, 04:08 PM   #5
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Default Re: Felt vs rubber wading boots

Just bought a pair of Korkers "Redside"

Love them !! as the others have said "switchable" in case felt is banned some day.
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Old 01-23-2012, 05:05 PM   #6
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Default Re: Felt vs rubber wading boots

Are you legal to use felt,may need to check .
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Old 01-23-2012, 05:34 PM   #7
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Default Re: Felt vs rubber wading boots

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Originally Posted by Wintu View Post
Are you legal to use felt,may need to check .
Don't remember seeing a question for this answer. Hmmm, I love that about this site. Being the competent guy that I am and having checked reg, i think I'm ok.

Others, thanks for the good advice, I will put it to use.
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Old 01-23-2012, 05:39 PM   #8
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Default Re: Felt vs rubber wading boots

Currently Alaska, Maryland and Vermont have banned felt soles on waders. You can expect the trend to continue I would think because of invasive species, they beleive are being transported via felt soles.
I bought my first rubber sole waders in years in November since I fish Alaska I would suggest you have some type of non-slip attachment on them as I have nearly fallen several times this winter.
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Old 01-23-2012, 05:49 PM   #9
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Default Re: Felt vs rubber wading boots

Rubber soled boots have been used for decades, long before the advent of felt.
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Old 01-23-2012, 05:55 PM   #10
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Default Re: Felt vs rubber wading boots

I bought a pair of Simms rubbersoles to wear while in my boat and I am amazed at the traction that they get on wet rocks. If I'm out walking the riverbanks, I still use my Simms guideboots with felt soles and studs though. I have heard Simms is going to start making felt soles again.
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Old 01-23-2012, 06:58 PM   #11
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Default Re: Felt vs rubber wading boots

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Originally Posted by 12pulls View Post
Rubber soled boots have been used for decades, long before the advent of felt.
Ummm felt has been in use for thousands and thousands of years. Long before they were making rubber soled shoes.

I still use felt, works well and isn't much of a worry (invasive species wise) as long as you properly clean them.

Last edited by ifishaton; 01-23-2012 at 07:00 PM.
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Old 01-23-2012, 07:15 PM   #12
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Default Re: Felt vs rubber wading boots

Simms discontinued felt for a few years, but brought it back in some models for 2012. I doubt they'd bring it back if there wasn't a demand for it.
I've used both and I'm a felt fan. I'll continue to use felt as long as it is available.
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Old 01-23-2012, 09:45 PM   #13
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Default Re: Felt vs rubber wading boots

Another Korker fan here. I take my felts with me but haven't needed them yet. The rubber is kind of nice when hiking in and I've been pleasently supprised at the traction in the water.
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Old 01-24-2012, 07:01 AM   #14
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Default Re: Felt vs rubber wading boots

I have a pair of Simms Freestones that are a few years old now, and they're 100% felt soles with smaller metal studs. They grip like crazy on the rock ( where 90% of my fishing is done ) I've got buddies that have rubber soles, and they work great too, but I feel like I could run wind sprints in mine !!
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Old 01-24-2012, 07:06 AM   #15
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Default Re: Felt vs rubber wading boots

Quote:
Originally Posted by Halle the Hound View Post
I bought a pair of Simms rubbersoles to wear while in my boat and I am amazed at the traction that they get on wet rocks. If I'm out walking the riverbanks, I still use my Simms guideboots with felt soles and studs though. I have heard Simms is going to start making felt soles again.
I am a bit surprised Simms has not designed a switchable sole yet ?
They certainly make super products.
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Old 01-24-2012, 08:03 AM   #16
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Default Re: Felt vs rubber wading boots

as said before - get korkers. That being said, I havent taken my metal cleated felt soles off since I put them on. They do not slip. Period.
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Old 01-24-2012, 08:08 AM   #17
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Default Re: Felt vs rubber wading boots

what I really don't understand and it boggles my mind is why anglers who fish from the bank and/or wade don't use spikes. I've took a handful of headers in my days with rubber or felt but ever since I switched to spikes 10 years ago I never taken a header the spikes grab and hold onto any thing you step on ice, mud, rock snot etc... can't count how many times in the past using felt or rubber did the deer on ice dance.
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Old 01-24-2012, 10:11 AM   #18
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Default Re: Felt vs rubber wading boots

I switched from felt soled Chota's to Simms boots with stream tread rubber soles. I also added the star bite cleats to grip our moss covered rocks and ledge rock of the North Umpqua. This setup works great for me. Never going back to the snow and mud stacking affect of felt. Rubber is also much lighter warmer when wet.
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Old 01-24-2012, 10:14 AM   #19
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Default Re: Felt vs rubber wading boots

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Originally Posted by spooledagain View Post
what I really don't understand and it boggles my mind is why anglers who fish from the bank and/or wade don't use spikes. I've took a handful of headers in my days with rubber or felt but ever since I switched to spikes 10 years ago I never taken a header the spikes grab and hold onto any thing you step on ice, mud, rock snot etc... can't count how many times in the past using felt or rubber did the deer on ice dance.
I've got a couple different pairs of spike/studs (on both rubber and felt soles) and while I agree they do have excellent traction overall on a wide variety of sandstone & basalt, mud, and logs, I'll give you 3 quick drawbacks:

1) as long as you're hiking/wading, great, but they're not welcome if you're riding in a boat in between stops, or stopping off at the store along the way without having to change.

2) they can be quite noisy; I can think of a few places where reaching my desired position to cast to a particular holding area requires sneaking out on a shallow bedrock shelf where the underwater 'crunching' sound is something I'd prefer to avoid.

3) they actually don't grab well on boulders that are really hard, round, and smooth (like polished granite) where they simply don't bite in, whereas something softer like rubber or felt provides a larger contact surface to stick to. Some rivers just don't have this type of geology, but others do.

So, there are a few cases where I'll choose something else besides my studded options.
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Old 12-14-2012, 02:44 PM   #20
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Default Re: Felt vs rubber wading boots

I've been a fan of the LLbean rivertread wading boots for a over a decade - been able to outperform anything else I or my buddies have tried.

If you act quick they have the last generation of studded (recommended!) or studless (I'm not recommending) for $38!!
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Old 12-29-2012, 08:38 AM   #21
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Default Re: Felt vs rubber wading boots

Looks like felt is still legal in WA and OR. Am I correct?
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Old 12-29-2012, 08:53 AM   #22
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Default Re: Felt vs rubber wading boots

My experience is in performing a lot of river restoration work. Had occasion to walk 5 miles of Rattlesnake Cr. (Off White River in Washington) in rubber soles one day and felt soles the next. This was more than 10 years ago. I have not worn rubber soled footwear in water since.

That being said, products have changed. I think I will try the later traction rubber/caulked soles on my Korkers (if they still fit the older boot) this coming season. I suspect the writing is on the wall for felt soles as noted above.

But then at my age, I don't know that I should be worrying about what is likely to occur in the next 15 or 20 years

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Old 12-29-2012, 10:05 AM   #23
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Default Re: Felt vs rubber wading boots

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Originally Posted by w-fly View Post
I've been a fan of the LLbean rivertread wading boots for a over a decade - been able to outperform anything else I or my buddies have tried.

If you act quick they have the last generation of studded (recommended!) or studless (I'm not recommending) for $38!!
I had some LL Bean boots about 10 years ago that I loved, with the metal studded, soft rubber soles. I can't think of the name of those boots (maybe "aqua stealth"?) but they were awesome in every way until the studs wore out. The rubber by itself, as you indicated in your recommendation, just doesn't get it done unless the rocks are very clean. The rubber also wore out pretty quick if you found yourself walking down a road to get in or out of the river.
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Old 12-29-2012, 06:45 PM   #24
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Default Re: Felt vs rubber wading boots

In alaskan waters rubber worked very well (glacial runoff). Same boots on Northwest coastal streams were very slippery... I will not use rubber soles (simms) around here...
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Old 12-29-2012, 07:54 PM   #25
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Default Re: Felt vs rubber wading boots

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Originally Posted by Radioactive View Post
In alaskan waters rubber worked very well (glacial runoff). Same boots on Northwest coastal streams were very slippery... I will not use rubber soles (simms) around here...
I have both studded felt boots for when I'm on the river I work and mostly fish on but I don't wear them anywhere else. I'm not allowed to for work (felt transports invasive critters). I bought some Simms with rubber soles and hated them until I installed their aluminum, star shaped cleats. They worked so well that I immediately preferred them over the studded felts (Chota). Only problem is they are very spendy (~$30) and wear out. They were a lot less effective after about 1 month of 2-3 full days per week on my feet in them.
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Old 12-29-2012, 08:51 PM   #26
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Default Re: Felt vs rubber wading boots

Coming back from Alaska 2 yrs ago by plane to Seattle/Portland I sat next to a woman working for Alaska fish & Wildlife. She was headed to Seattle to deal with the felt sole ban. She said the biggest reason is Alaska is a big melting pot of fishing people from all over the world and they wanted to prevent invasive species being brought into Alaska . She said many suppliers were trying to develop a "non absorbing" felt but it could take some time to develop. She said the ban wasn't popular with the Alaskans. If it prevents a much larger problem then I'm for it.
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Old 12-30-2012, 01:38 AM   #27
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Default Re: Felt vs rubber wading boots

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Originally Posted by BlueWhale View Post
Coming back from Alaska 2 yrs ago by plane to Seattle/Portland I sat next to a woman working for Alaska fish & Wildlife. She was headed to Seattle to deal with the felt sole ban. She said the biggest reason is Alaska is a big melting pot of fishing people from all over the world and they wanted to prevent invasive species being brought into Alaska . She said many suppliers were trying to develop a "non absorbing" felt but it could take some time to develop. She said the ban wasn't popular with the Alaskans. If it prevents a much larger problem then I'm for it.
ditto. sometimes solving a menial problem causes bigger ones. people wont ever fully grasp that... i wont...
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:02 AM   #28
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Default Re: Felt vs rubber wading boots

I use straight felt soles no studs I also have some rubber booties you slip on over the entire boot like putting on a pair of house slippers. The have a 3/8" tall zig zag pattern of aluminum cleats on the bottom of them. They work 10 times better on slippery rocks than the studed felt soles. The only place I can now find them are at specialty fly shops or on line. Best thing out there easy to put on and off they last me at least three years of heavy fishing just don't ware then in the parking lot.
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