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How do you replace the felt period? Do you need to buy new boots when they wear out or can you get by with re-felting them? Does anyone know of a business that provides this service? I know that felt works real well on the north coast streams, the sandy, and the deschutes. If you want to fish the tidewater or any muddy waters like hospital hole (trask) or ship creek (anchorage, alaska), i would suggest rubber soles or possibly felt with cleats. the cleats work well in the winter if you do any ice fishing.
 

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Artwo,
I would recommend getting the studs in them. I have used both and used to own both. Now I just use the ones with the studs. Better grip on rocks. I use mine in my driftboat, sled and offshore in a dory.
Have numerous pairs. When the felt wears out, even with the studs they both can be replaced. My first pair of wading shoes has to be at least 20 years old. Just be careful when you go in someones elses boat. Take along a pair of oversize sneekers to wear in the boat.
 

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Ever been in an aluminum drift boat when it brushes a rock? Instant stop. Same thing with cleats. The cleats will cut thru algae, slime, and all the other slippery things that grow on submerged rocks and branches. Depending upon the style, they may give a little extra traction on mud and wet grass, too; whereas my experience with plain felts and slick sloping surfaces brings ski jumping to mind.

It's nice being able to move in the river without worrying about slipping and fracturing a rod or leg.

The downside of cleats is that they may mar some surfaces, so don't wear them across the dining room floor or in a friend's new boat.

A compromise is regular felts and something like Korkers, sort of a studded sandal that can go over wading shoes.

To replace regular felts, tear off the old ones, file/grind down to a solid base, and use Barge brand cement to put the new ones on. Barge is a little difficult to find, but does the job. Frfequently you can find replacement felts and Barge in a kit form at sporting goods stores.
 

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I agree studs are great if you don't have buddies who hate them in their boat. I have a glass boat and studs are welcome in my boat. I have never had a pair of wading boots last longer than a studed felt sole so replacing them has never been an issue for me. However I have a friend who takes really good care of his stuff. He buys the studded felts and has a local shoe repair guy replace them for him.
 

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I'd agree that the studs are the way to go for wading (probably not for use in boats). If I might make a shameless plug, go to the Danner outlet and buy a pair of studded river grippers. Your knees will give out way before these boots do.
 

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how about the wading shoes with soles that change? ive seen the ad for them in STS, seems like a great idea..does anyone own a pair?
 

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The cleats are no good in a boat,at least my drift boat with diamond plate flooring.If your on the bank go for it,if your gonna be in and out of a boat then no way.Good luck,
STRIKE ZONE
 

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I recently purchased a pair of wading boots for my dad that are felt and have removable studs. The studs are basically hex head screws. I have never owned a pair of these myself, but you want the advantages of both, this system seems to fit the bill. Also, check with shoe/boot repair shops. I know there was a shop in Corvallis that would replace felt on wading boots.

Steelie28
 

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I have a pair of the Korker's with interchangable bottoms and I love them so far. Best of all worlds in one boot. The Danners are pretty awesome too.

~steelymann~
 

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Jeff,

If I were you, I'd check out the Chota wading boots. It's what i'm using now and really like them. They have removable studs, so you can do either or.

Mike
 

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I use felt soles and have a set of korkers for when i am wadeing on slimey rocks ect. The thing you have to watch is if you are used to felt only and then you go too cleets or korkers you have to learn to pick up your feet and step over things you can not SLIDE your feet over rocks ect. with cleets or korkers if you do you will probably fall down and GET WET. Just my $.02 worth.
DAB
 

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Looks like you've got more feedback than you can probably digest, but I can't resist adding more. My advice is to buy two pair of boots; a cheap felt only boot for wearing in boats, and a well made boot with studs for on the river. I've had two pair of the Patagonia beefy wading boots (w/studs)and they're worth the price. Great boot.
Chris
 

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Artwo,

Fishing without studded boots is crazy. If you have an aluminum boat get a (second) pair without. If you have a glass boat you are in good shape. Buy Simms, they are $120 maybe more. I have worn out every other boot in less than a year. My Simms are on there 3rd year (they need to be replaced). I bought the danners prior to the Simms and they didnt last through winter. Danner has a long way to go in making wading boots. I have a buddy who bought the Patagonia and he loves them.
 

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I'm looking at getting some new wading boots and found a pair that I really like, they have felt soles but also have some small metal cleats.

What are the advantages/disadvantages of cleats ?

One thing I thought about was how do you replace the felt when it wears out, the metal cleats protrude through little hooles in the felt.

I've never had wading boots before so I really dont know what to look for, I've always just slipped my way along. Looking at purchasing breathable waders and boots soon, the old neoprenes are just to hot. Any advise would be much appreciated.

JK

[ 07-29-2003, 12:44 PM: Message edited by: Artwo ]
 

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Thanks for all of the advise guys. I was worried about the cleats tearing up the floors in my DB from past posts I've read. I will start looking for a pair of boots that have the removable cleats and check out some of the brand names you all have suggested.

Thanks again,
JK
 

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go with the felt and studs. There are usually wading conditions, like on clay where studs could save your life. Always good to be prepared for any river condition.
GBS
 
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