I had always used old shoes or keen sandles for portaging. Last year I used keens on a 5 day trip and wound up with too much debris in the sandle, causing multiple blisters that seriously hampered the trip. I needed to make a change to a boot type footwear.
I wanted a boot that had support, good traction and drained. Simms has a good reputation and was available from Cabelas, so I chose them.
In short, I loved them. I should have switched to boots a long time ago. I know there are other makes and models and haven't tried those so I can't compare.
They had very good traction. My brother also had new boots and I had far superior traction. I consciously walked on steep rocks and had no problems at all, whether the rocks were wet or dry. In the same areas, my brother slipped repeatedly. For traction, they get an A+.
The drainage wasn't too bad but wasn't immediate either. Sometimes I would purposely allow the water to go to the heel and then squish my foot to squirt water (4 or 5 times did a good job).
The support and comfort was better than I thought was possible. I wore them twice hiking a couple miles and that was sufficient to break them in. I didn't mind wearing them for that role because they were comfortable enough. They may get hot if wet and sitting a long time in the canoe in mid-august but they were fine in June.
I wore merino wool socks under the boots. For a mid June trip that worked very well. The water was still cool and it was fine to have my feet cooled down. I like the idea of hippies or neoprene socks to keep my feet dry when it gets colder.
It is always nice to have dry footwear. They dried relatively quickly. Put in a tent vestibule they were dry in the morning. In a couple hours on a sunny rock they got "mostly" dry. If you wear a sock inside a boot and expect your feet to get wet drying fully isn't necessary.
They were not cheap. However, I use a cabelas card for business expenses and accumulate points each month so price was less important to me.
I have only used them for 6 days but there was no visible wear. Simms does have a good reputation for quality but I can't comment yet on durability.
Finally, they make a great whiskey holder when the ground is uneven.
I highly recommend them. They are surely the right choice for me
Nice review 3 ball.......thanks for taking the time. I have oft considered wading boots and have looked at Orvis and Simms. Orvis makes a pair which are meant to double as a hiking boot as well as a wading boot.
Wading boots........an option you don't hear much about very often.