I’ve gone the cheap and easy route and used running shoes, chacos and even gone barefoot and I’ve always ended up regretting it. While there are a few soft, sandy flats in the Bahamas where it’s possible to wade the saltwater flats for bonefish barefoot, invevitably anglers will run into obstacles that require a good durable, protective wading boot that provides traction, comfort and support. Cuts and abrasions on your feet or ankles will quickly end any wading session in a harsh, saltwater fly fishing environment. Here the best options for saltwater wading boots from Simms:
Simms Flats Sneakers
This is the model I currently use and they have performed extremely well on the flats of Belize and the beaches of Baja. They’re light, tough and I can stay on my feet all day. These high-top wading shoes offer better support than booties, more sand and gravel protection than most wading boots, and they’re light in weight and in color, both of which keep you running cooler when fishing in hot weather. Simms uses Schoeller Dynatec stretch softshell material in the side panels of this saltwater-specific shoe for durability, and a puncture plate in the sole prevents unwanted intrusion by sharp coral or rocks. For $120 you get a great pair of saltwater wading boots that frankly should be priced higher.
· High-top design for added support and protection
· Fully synthetic
· Schoeller Dynatec side panels
· Padded tongue and collar
· Non-marking sole
· Puncture plate sole reinforcement
· Sized for use with wading socks
Simms Ocean Trek Boots
The Ocean Trek from Simms is a beefier, sturdier model of boot that is rarely seen in most saltwater wading boots. The OceanTek Boot from Simms takes saltwater wading boots to the next level of durability and performance. Waterproof synthetic leather is wrapped in a full rubber rand for superior abrasion resistance to rocks, sand and muddy bottoms. A non-marking Vibram rubber sole offers traction and accepts Simms HardBite studs and cleats. Nylon speed lacing creates a snug fit, while a neoprene liner offers comfort and cushioning. The boots are pre-sized to be worn with neoprene booties or waders. Built to meet the demands of fly fishing in harsh saltwater, the Simms OceanTek Boots keep anglers on their feet in slippery, rocky environments. The $199.95 investment is worth it for a durable pair of boot that will last.
· Vibram sole for traction holds Simms HardBite studs
· Nylon speed lacing for custom fit
· Neoprene lined boot is sized to be worn with wading socks or waders
· Waterproof synthetic leather and full rubber rand for abrasion resistance
· Made for tough saltwater fly fishing conditions
Simms Zipit Bootie 2
The Zipit Booties are ideal when for anglers who are conscious about packing lightweight gear or when wading sessions may be a just short jaunt from the flats boat. Simple, durable, and lightweight, the Simms Zipit Bootie 2 will protect your feet on long stalks across the flats. With a YKK corrosion-resistant locking zipper, the boots slide on and off easily for quick transitions from boat to water. Perforated neoprene uppers drain quickly and are backed up with vulcanized rubber overlays for durability while wet wet wading through rock, sand, and coral. The puncture-proof Bi-Fit lasting board and EVA sockliner create a comfortable, supportive fit while the grippy rubber soles provide reliable traction. Lighter and more packable than standard wading boots, the Simms Zipit Bootie 2 is ideal for traveling to exotic saltwater fly fishing destinations and for $ 79.95 they won’t break the bank.
· Lightweight, packable convenience
· Molded rubber sole for traction
· EVA sockliner and Bi-Fit lasting board for comfort
· Perforated neoprene upper drains quickly
· Rubber overlays for durability
· YKK corrosion-resistant zipper for easy on-off changes
With these three options from Simms, anglers can a wading boot that will handle any saltwater fly fishing scenario. From chilly surf pounding a rocky striper cove to permit tailing among coral heads or redfish sliding across a sandy Laguna Madre flat, these wading boots will keep your feet protected and comfortable.
Brody Henderson, Guide and Content Writer