Posted on July 24 2008
Ever since I saw an extensive review in Practical Sailor that proved that bare human feet are as effective as any boat shoe sole in preventing slippage, I’ve wondered why someone hasn’t taken the bit when it comes to replacing felt with something more eco-friendly. (I wouldn’t want to wade Montana’s Boulder River in bare feet anytime soon.)
Apparently Simms has been working hard behind the scenes to develop a hard-rubber wader sole that performs as well as felt but addresses the problem of aquatic hitchhikers being carried from stream to stream. They’ve partnered with Vibram to produce the first and only fishing-specific Vibram sole. In field testing, Simms’ new sole has shown to have all the performance attributes of felt, only the soles have the environmental benefits (they don’t soak and hold water and they dry quickly) of rubber. The new soles will come out in late 2008, as part of their new 2009 line.