Patagonia’s recent announcement of their new Forra Wading Boots has brought about a buzz among fly anglers. A bit of a departure from other recent boot designs, the Forra Wading Boots are lightweight and have an athletic look and feel. Almost appearing to look like hiking boots, the Patagonia Forra Wading Boots serve the needs of active anglers.
We’ve had these boots for some time and have been impressed with the design, comfort, and apparent durability (only time will tell).
Made in Italy by Fitwell, these new Patagonia boots were made in collaboration between anglers and expert boot builders. Add in the Vibram® Mars sole, and these boots bring together the best of the best to make a solid boot.
At first look, several aspects of these boots immediately stood out. First, they are very lightweight (Patagonia states they are 1,162 g (41 oz) — size unknown). Even the much heavier Patagonia Foot Tractor Boots are fairly lightweight on the upper section of the boots, and in a similar way, the Forras have minimal material on the upper section and around the laces. Some might argue that less cushion and padding on the boots means less comfort, but if an angler is wearing neoprene under the the boots, then extra cushion material has questionable value. Additionally, more material often makes for longer drying. It can be argued that more padding means more durability, but Patagonia contends that their “Abrasion-resistant Cordura® nylon mesh upper” delivers “quick-drying, durable, lightweight support.” Even just feeling the Cordura® nylon mesh with your hand, you can tell it’s going to take a lot to wear these boots down.
The lower sections of the boot are built the toughest terrain. At the toe, heel, and the area around the foot in between, a harder reinforced material is ready for climbing around cliffs and boulders and the other terrain that can do a number on boots. Add in the aggressive tread on the Vibram sole, and the Forras seem to have more characteristics of hiking boots than snowboarding boots (which is at times what wading boots can feel like).
The Patagonia Forra Wading Boots feel great to wear. When on the water, I don’t want my boots to be a hindrance or something that changes the way I walk, step in the water, et cetera. I also like to get off the beaten path, and these boots perfectly suit my needs as an active angler.
Overall, these boots are lightweight, tough, and comfortable to wear. There is great tread for moving around both in the water and on the trail. As for sizing, these boots may need to be sized up for some. I wear size 9 shoes and have size 10 Forra Wading Boots, and that works for me. If I worse a 9.5, I’d consider an 11 in the boots.
The Patagonia Forra Wading Boots come in Forge Grey and sizes 5 through 14.
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