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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Dual purpose wading/hiking boots #12589086
01/22/18 12:22 AM
01/22/18 12:22 AM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 13
Texas
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NicRyan Offline OP
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Texas
Hi All,

We are taking a backcountry fly-fishing trip in Montana this summer and I'm doing some research on hiking and wading boots. I would really like a boot (or shoe) that serves both purposes. I'd really like to save the weight (and cost) of bringing multiple pairs of shoes as we will already be carrying a decent amount of weight on our backs. I've Google-searched fairly extensively and can't seem to find what I'm looking for. Does anyone have anything they can recommend?

Thanks!

Nic

Re: Dual purpose wading/hiking boots [Re: NicRyan] #12589098
01/22/18 12:26 AM
01/22/18 12:26 AM
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 4,020
Fort Worth
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Smurfs Online content
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Fort Worth
I would recommend Korker devil canyons. They are wadding boots, but the lightest out there and I have hiked along ways in them.


Grandpa:
"Goats are for Muslim barbeque.
Is there some ethnic or religious that eats Llama?"
Re: Dual purpose wading/hiking boots [Re: NicRyan] #12589157
01/22/18 12:47 AM
01/22/18 12:47 AM
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Glitchmo Offline
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I have a pair of Simms Riprap sandals that I used extensively in the Sierras last summer for exactly that purpose. I really like them -- obivously they're not as good as wading boots for wading, but I found them very comfortable. Wear with some neoprene socks. I think something like that is the best solution for wet/dry shoes.

The Simms vaportread boots are, well, a boot. But they're supposed to be designed for what you're describing. I've liked them so far, but I only use them with waders, so not hiking too far (<1 mile).

Re: Dual purpose wading/hiking boots [Re: NicRyan] #12589627
01/22/18 03:51 AM
01/22/18 03:51 AM
Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 492
Knee deep in the Guadalupe.
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1960texan Offline
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Knee deep in the Guadalupe.
I have a pair of Merrell Moab Ventilators that I have been wearing the heck out of for a year now. Comfortable right out of the gate, with good traction in the water. The Vibram soles aren't as good as felt, but close enough. When these finally wear out I'll be getting another pair.


Re: Dual purpose wading/hiking boots [Re: NicRyan] #12589630
01/22/18 03:55 AM
01/22/18 03:55 AM
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Posts: 57
Oklahoma
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Canoeman1947 Offline
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I recently bought a pair of Soft Science wading shoes and used them for the first time today. They are made of what appears to be a heavy grade of nylon canvas, with a design like high top basketball shoes. They are extremely light, hardly any more than a pair of running shoes. Have a thick and removable very comfortable insole. I didn't have an opportunity to wear them on algae covered rocks, but I had very good traction in the stream. We only walked about 3.5 miles, but they were extremely comfortable on my feet. I thought my Simms Vapor Treads were comfortable, but these Soft Science boots were even more so, and your feet can breathe while hiking. I'll probably never wear my old Chota boots again, they were like wearing concrete overshoes. These boots will also dry very quickly.

Larry

Re: Dual purpose wading/hiking boots [Re: NicRyan] #12589715
01/22/18 05:15 AM
01/22/18 05:15 AM
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MassAction Online content
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You have a really interesting dilemma because backpacking means you need to cut weight whenever possible and wading boots are ridiculously heavy. I think the limiting factor will be weather you plan on using waders or not.

If you are wet wading, I would buy some neoprene socks and a cheap pair of water shoes. This will help keep your feet fairly warm in the cold water, give you some protection, and keep things light and fast drying. Plus they will be nice to have to kick around camp in the evenings when you want to get out of your boots.

If you have waders, I would opt for wading boots and deal with the weight, wading boots need to be sized for the waders you wear and that will mean they will be too big and wide to wear without the large neoprene booties on stocking foot waders. I have the Simms Vaportreads mentioned earlier and really like them, they're lighter than many other options out there, have good traction outside the water, and dry pretty quickly. I hiked upwards of five miles in mine during a day and had no issues.

The one option I would not recommend is wading in your hiking boots. There is absolutely nothing worse than having to pull on wet boots and walk a few miles with a loaded pack. I would wade barefoot before ever risking getting my main hikers in the water on a backpacking trip.

Re: Dual purpose wading/hiking boots [Re: NicRyan] #12590061
01/22/18 03:48 PM
01/22/18 03:48 PM
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Arlington, TX
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BoPro Offline
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If you plan on hiking a good distance with a full pack, I would recommend wearing a solid pair of backpacking boots vs wader boots. For fishing, a pair of knee high seal skins waterproof socks, and old keens served me well when I was backpacking NM last year.


Re: Dual purpose wading/hiking boots [Re: NicRyan] #12590070
01/22/18 03:53 PM
01/22/18 03:53 PM
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Posts: 397
Austin, TX
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preast Offline
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I haven't found the ideal solution for all backcountry scenarios, but I've pretty much ditched the wading boots. I have the RipRap shoe with a neoprene sock and it's the best thing so far. I have issues with cold feet but the neoprene sock is surprisingly OK for me. I have had some issues with slippage and general support though but not to the point where I'd got back to wading boots. I don't hike more than a half mile in them either--I use a hiking boot for that. Agree with MA that hiking out any kind of distance with anything wet is a bad thing. If I want to wear waders, I can get away with it with the RipRap since I mostly wear it with the sock already. My waders are a very light and packable waist high so not much overhead there, and only when it's sleeting/freezing but a very real possibility.

I'm probably going to try a stream cleat here pretty soon with the RipRaps. One thing I will never do again is pack in/out the wading boots in my pack. Too bulky and heavy, and I have some really light Korkers. That said, this is all for the meadowy type of scenario. If I'm going a canyon or deeper wading, the wading boots are a lot safer. The Vapor treads look smaller than most boots and I'll probably try those on my next boots. I just don't like hiking in wet wading boots. Those Merrells look interesting--don't remember seeing those a couple years ago when I was doing this same thing.

Re: Dual purpose wading/hiking boots [Re: NicRyan] #12591066
01/23/18 01:18 AM
01/23/18 01:18 AM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 13
Texas
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NicRyan Offline OP
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Thanks for all of the feedback guys...a bunch of great advice in here. As of now, I'm planning on leaving the waders at home. The neoprene socks + wading shoes might be the direction I need to go....that way I could go ahead and use a legitimate hiking boot for the trails.

Thanks for all of the advice!

Re: Dual purpose wading/hiking boots [Re: NicRyan] #12591862
01/23/18 03:41 PM
01/23/18 03:41 PM
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San Marcos, Tx
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Texjbq Offline
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Not sure about something to hike and wade in, but prior to fly fishing being my primary hobby, I hiked and backpacked a lot. I've owned several hiking boot brands over the years. The current pair I have are Keens and I will never own another brand. I absolutely love them. Whatever direction you go, give Keen a look. They make good stuff.

Re: Dual purpose wading/hiking boots [Re: NicRyan] #12602330
01/30/18 06:41 PM
01/30/18 06:41 PM
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ZachW Offline
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Originally Posted By: NicRyan
Thanks for all of the feedback guys...a bunch of great advice in here. As of now, I'm planning on leaving the waders at home. The neoprene socks + wading shoes might be the direction I need to go....that way I could go ahead and use a legitimate hiking boot for the trails.

Thanks for all of the advice!


I think this is the best plan. You want to focus on the best hiking boots you can find for your feet, as I assume you'll be putting more miles/hours on the trail than the river. Keens or RipRaps are a good idea. I love my Chacos, but hate them in water as I'm constantly stubbing my toes. Maybe check into getting some screw-in metal studs, too.

Re: Dual purpose wading/hiking boots [Re: BoPro] #12615478
02/07/18 06:42 PM
02/07/18 06:42 PM
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winchester44 Offline
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Originally Posted By: BoPro
If you plan on hiking a good distance with a full pack, I would recommend wearing a solid pair of backpacking boots vs wader boots. For fishing, a pair of knee high seal skins waterproof socks, and old keens served me well when I was backpacking NM last year.


Agree 100%

Have done it the other way around (Simms Rivertrek boots and a lightweight pair of trail shoes. Very dumb idea with a full pack)

Salomon, Keen, Asolo and Vasque all make great backpacking boots. Merrell seems to be more of mixed bag these days.

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