fishstu

Boot foot vs stocking foot waders for the salt ?

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My 20 year old Simms boot foot waders are done, many leaks have been fixed with aquaseal per the Simms method, but now large areas of the fabric gently seeps water.   What is the latest advice regarding boot foot vs stocking foot waders for the salt and sand.

My experience was that  stocking foot waders used to build up wedges of sand between the  stocking foot and the wading boot - then I had cheap waders and wading boots. Has that improved with the latest high end stocking foot waders?

I would like some recommendations and experiences for a new pair of waders for the salt, Simms, Patagonia and Orvis are the brands I know about. I am open to socking foot waders and spending a little more for waders that hold up longer.

I have been happy with simms, my waders are well made and kept together with out tears. 

Thanks

 

 

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Many threads on this, do a search. IMHO, boot foots for the beach, stocking foots for streams, the big problem these days are there are few quality boot foots made. If we agree Simms makes a decent  product which can be debated forever, they will set you back somewhere between $800 and $1G. Thats a lot of scratch.  

 

I recently bought a pair of Frogg Toggs boot foots, they look like they are ready to spring a leak in the box, I have 3 pair of non-leaking waders as we speak, 2 new and 1 a year old, all under $200 a pair. You could argue why buy 3 pair for $500-600 when you could buy one good pair. The reason is they ALL leak, just a matter of when. I don't want when to be 3AM on a 35 degree night in 48 degree water, this way, dry spares are a walk to the truck away.

 

The answer to your concern is its an effin' crapshoot, my last good pair of waders were Orvis Pro Guides, about 15 years ago, around $300, they lasted a good hard 5 years. I do have a pair of Red ball master series canvas waders in like new condition, a bit heavy but popular in the late 70's early 80's, a friends FIL passed and had them hanging up, he offered and I grabbed them.

 

Ben Lippen had a pair of them that had to be 20 years old, I think they finally gave up. 

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I agree w/ @Highlander1.  I am a fairly recent convert to the salt, so I had a good pair of stockingfoots that I was using for stream fishing.  To save the neoprene foot part from getting abraded by sand, I took the advice I read on-line and I use a pair of neoprene socks over them.  This helps not only keep the wader feet from getting worn thru, but also takes up more of the void space in the boot, so less sand can build up.  I still do get some sand in there over time, but not nearly as much as without wearing that extra layer.  If/when I need to buy new waders, I'll likely look for bootfoots first.

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I have worn stocking foot waders in the surf for many years, but they don't work with boots because of the sand buildup inside. Around here we wear neoprene dive booties (no zipper) instead of boots. They have a light, grippy sole and don't allow sand inside. They are made for diving, surfing and paddling. My current favorite is the Ocean Quest 5mm Titanium Dive Boots from Scuba.com. 

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You had a pair of Simms waders for 20 years?

 

That's a miracle all by itself!

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I like stocking foot for their ankle support, tripping around a stream, they help me walk better. However, ocean, as has been said, stocking foot you get sand in the shoes and it is uncomfortable. Also if you fish cold water, think late fall, winter steelhead fishing, I like boot foot. The boots create natural air space between your foot and the water. In stocking foot, the water compresses the sock and for me seems to reduce the flow of blood to me feet and the cold water is in direct contact with the neoprene and I get really cold,

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4 hours ago, ChuckieP said:

LL bean boot foot waders are decent for the price

When they use to replace for life for free it was worth the $400 layout. Problem was the warranty actually hurt them because it drew folks that actually used their waders. Before that they sold to mostly casual users, a few times a year for an hour type of fishing, the warranty for them was seldom used.

 

When the east coast surf folks found out about free replacements and manufacturers like Orvis ditched their once generous warranties, LL Bean became a player. Then, they found out the premium they were charging on a mediocre product wasn't covering the expense of the returns and exchanges. So, they had no choice except to stop the freebies.These days the warranty blows, the waders are fair at best, many known leakers in under a few months and they aren't cheap. 

 

Hard to believe that its that difficult to make a quality boot foot wader for a $300 bill, they can't even do it for $1G. Maybe they should go back to the Graylites and Red Ball Masters, heavy but durable.

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I made the mistake of using my boa laced wading boots in the surf.  The sand jammed the ratchet and made getting the boots off very difficult.  A week after I returned home the cable broke in the boa system from the sand abrasion.  I bought a pair of laced wading boots for the surf.  I agree boot foot waders might be better but here in NC I really only need waders in winter and I might get to the coast once then.  Back when I wore a wetsuit, neoprene booties were the choice.  Finding a pair to fit over my neoprene wader socks might be tough.  

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On 7/21/2022 at 4:11 PM, C. Regalis said:

You had a pair of Simms waders for 20 years?

 

That's a miracle all by itself!

Seriously. I can’t go a season without needing new waders.

 

my .02 is if you’re going to do a lot of walking go stocking foot. Regardless of sand build up.

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The LL Bean Double L waders don't seem so great--break down extremely fast. 

 

The LL Bean TEK waders have boots that I like seem to not be overly roomy. But you do need to put aquaseal on these waders almost right away. All the seams knee down and the area above the boot.

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Thanks for all of the reply's.

My Simms bootfoot may be older then 20 years and I think were a early breathable  bootfoot prototype - they have muck boots boots. 

After 10 years when I sent them in to Simms for the one free leak repair I got email asking where and if I bought them as bootfoots?

I bought them from the Fairfield, CT fly fishing store shop, which like many fly fishing stores is now longer. They are very well made and didn't leak at all for 10 years.

I will have to hunt around for a replacement Bootfoot - Simms seems to have only a lighter weight cheaper version or $800 version with a water proof zipper in the front which I dont want.  I will take a look at the Orvis selection and the other suggestions -  Another issue is that stores have so little waders in stock to try on. By now It should be possible to buy a really good breathable bootfoot wader that lasts at least 5 years for $500 or less.  

 

 

 

 

 

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In the early season a neoprene bootfoot wader is a great way to go, I don’t mind looking goofy as long as I’m warm. I usually transition to a more traditional pair of simms freestone stockingfoots as the weather gets better though.

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Breathable waders in bootfoots are easy on and off and eliminate the sand issue.As I look at pairs now the boots are heavy in themselves.Walking distances can be a real workout.I always used them for many years.Moving and living in Maine  for 5 years I went with stockingfoots and Korkers for the rivers and streams.The stockingfoots were Reddingtons and they took a beating from bushwhacking and climbing over rocks etc. Moving back to the sand I still used them for 3 more years and the Korkers.I finally wore out the fabric on the Reddingtons.I had purchased a pair of Simms Freestones in Maine but the Reddintons held up.Now the Freestones are 3 years in on the beaches and ponds.The Korkers are still going strong.But the mesh outer parts do pull in the sand when the surf is rolling.But not to where I have ever had to pull the boots off.To get the sand out of the inner lining of the Korkers I slit the mesh at the bottom on the sides at the sole.This helped remove sand build up.These Korkers are on their last year due to the flexing part of the toes is breaking up allowing in more sand.The gravel guards have worked fine in keeping the sand out pretty well overall.If you are walking distance alot stockingfoots make life easier[70+ yrs old].All gear is washed everytime I come off the water no matter what.Salt will do in a pair of breathables fairly quickly by leaving the salt[it's a rock] in the fabric.A friend who's a beach guide here has a pair of boots that he wears and gets no sand in them at all.I think they're Patagonias but I'll give him a call to find out for sure.I'll post it here.I'll be buying them for the beach.The Korkers with the detachable soles will be used just for the freshwater.

 

This will always be an on going debate........Buying $500+ waders????? Nope!

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