change from wading boots with felt, rubber or studded soles. These types of soles have certain
disadvantages that the Foot Tractor boot overcomes with a completely new approach. Felt soled wading boots lack traction outside of the water and during winter fly fishing sessions, snow adheres to the felt like glue. Studded boots grab certain rock surfaces well but can slip like ice skates while negotiating round, smooth rocks. Rubber soles work great for hiking and winter fly fishing but sometimes on slick, snotty rocks they fall short on traction. These days transporting unwanted invasive hitchhikers in felt soles is also a concern which Patagonia’s Foot Tractor negates.
New Traction Design
Awarded the Best New Wading Boot by Fly Fisherman Magazine, The Foot Tractor
was built to provide, comfort, traction and durability with new design features not previously used in other wading boots. The most striking feature anglers will immediately notice is the wedged aluminum bars on the sole of the boot. These traction bars which screw into the sole are soft enough to grab rocky surfaces with a sure grip but hard enough to cut through sand, snow, mud and algae. The bars provide a large surface area for traction like felt but don’t wear out like the less durable felt soles. Unlike hard studs, which have only a few small gripping points, which can cause weight distribution problems and slippage on smooth rocks, the bars have the ability keep anglers stable with the wedged traction bars. It’s a well thought out innovation and compromise that works great in a wide variety of fly fishing environment.
- Lightweight support is enhanced with Clarino synthetic leather uppers which hold up in wet fly fishing environments
- Venergy monofilament mesh panels drain water quickly and reduce the overall weight of the boot.
- Large toe boxes and heel cups guard against rock impacts
- Texon trilaminate rands provide abrasion resistance and added durability
- The sticky rubber sole also gives added traction on rocky surfaceDesigned for lightweight comfort and support
We put the Patagonia Foot Tractor Wading Boot up against rubber, felt and studded soles recently on a float trip down the lower Colorado River where getting out to wade was the key to catching fish that
were a little sluggish. Ice and snow lined the banks and the Foot Tractor was stable while walking. Some deep wading was necessary for the proper drift and we stayed anchored in the water. Slippage was nonexistent. When exiting the river to get in the boat, the boots drained very quickly. Overall, after getting past the initial different feel of the soles, we felt like the Foot Tractor might be the best choice for anglers looking for the best traction features on different surfaces. A great bonus of the Foot Tractors for float fishermen is the fact that you can wear them in raft or even a drift boat unlike studded boots.
For more information on the Patagonia Foot Tractor or any of our wading boots
, stop by Vail Valley
Anglers in Edwards, Colorado or check out vailvalleyanglers.com
Brody Henderson, Guide and Content Writer