I’ll be honest — I’ve never cared too much about wading boots. Long ago, and for a number of years, I was loyal to the Simms Freestone Wading Boots. They were well-built, seemingly indestructible, and $79. While Simms was boasting about more comfortable and lighter weight boots, for me, the tech just never justified spending more.
While I won’t flinch at spending money on many categories of gear, I frankly find boots uncomfortable in general and thus often don’t see enough of a difference between boots that have a difference of $200 on the price tag to justify the nicer boots. The Simms Flyweight® Access Wading Boots are an exception.
I’ve been wearing the Simms Flyweight® Access Wading Boots this summer and couldn’t be more impressed. More than anything else, what is noticeable about these boots? The fact that they aren’t noticeable is what keeps getting my attention. Ever forget your wading boots and use sneakers instead and notice your old kicks are far more comfortable? For me, these boats bring a comparable level of comfort. Simply put, it just never feels like I am wearing wading boots when wearing these boots. This is most noticed at the times when wading boots are generally not the best footwear. For example, on gravely trails or when leaping from one boulder to another or when driving the truck, wading boots are often a hindrance. And while it might seem like a bold claim, I simply wasn’t bothered by these boots in those situations and in fact found them to be perfectly comfortable and functional both in and out of the water.
One major reason these boots are so great is the materials. From the non-absorbent mesh uppers to the comfortable and lightweight material that makes up the lacing area, Simms has apparently thoughtfully considered every way to make these boots lighter and more comfortable. But if the word “lightweight” invokes concerns about durability, I wouldn’t worry. From the sole to the abrasion resistant materials to the hard material that covers the toe, these boots are ready to take abuse. Simms also offers re-soling.
One other key reason these boots are so great is that they have a Vibram Idrogrip Flex outsole. It’s hard not to argue that Vibram makes the best soles. We expect a lot out of our wading boots, including having a good grip on rocks in underwater currents. In my book, nothing beats a Vibram sole, and the overall combination of comfort and performance that I’ve experienced with these boots is largely due to a variety of materials including the Vibram sole.
Finally, there have been numerous features on Simms products that I’ve rolled my eyes at thinking they are gimmicky before later loving those features. In the case of these boots, the pull-on loops on the back of the boots are surprisingly useful and make putting on the boots easier. Seriously.
Big praise for Simms for the Flyweight® Access Wading Boots. Outstanding boots for active anglers.
Disclosure: Simms is in a professional relationship with The Venturing Angler. Though potentially benefiting from this relationship, we do not post what we do not believe to be true. To read more, click here.