Sep 23, 2014

Simms Vapor Wading Boot Review

The first time I put my hands on this wading boot I knew it was different than anything I've seen before from Simms. Sure it has the Simms' name on it, the familiar Simms Orange trimmings and the jumping trout logo but the boot was something way different. As soon as I handled it I understood the name Vapor

Simms Vapor Boots and Bass Bugs

While Simms has manufactured some of the best boots in the industry they are not known for being light. The Vapor is now the exception. As I looked them over closely visions came of rambling down shoreline trails and skipping boulders to reach that special bucket in my favorite run. Lightening the load is liberating. It's like the feeling you get when you drop your overstuffed daypack on the shoreline after a three mile hike. Ahhh! Now it's time to play.

But look and feel doesn't mean a thing until you test it. Will my dream be realized or forgotten?

My first opportunity to get these new boots wet came on a little warm water stream. Not the most demanding river to wade but it still has the ability to fully submerge you. It proved that on the first evening when I walked in with only some wet sandals on. I just made one wrong step and I quickly got a baptism. With warm water and no harm done I found myself laughing out loud as I crawled my way back up on a boulder. I could have waded the remaining trip in sandals like my fishing partner did but instead I chose to put some protection under me.
Alumibite Cleats

Over the last couple years I have become quite fond of rubber soled boots over felt. 

Wading boots are like boats in that there is no one perfect vessel for every situation. Some western rivers you need every once of traction you can achieve but I find that properly studded rubber soles have many advantages over felt. I often hike good distances, fish in freezing temperatures and might jump in and out of the truck often on my quest for fish. All of the above favors rubber sole boots. Gone are the days of packing felt full of mud, freezing into blocks of ice and leaving giant mud puddles on the floor of my truck.
Brr! Time to turn my thoughts back to the warm water trip
First off yes I studded them right out of the box.
While rubber soles have improved greatly in recent times I still don't believe we can ever be fully confident in the traction without some help. Just as the soles have improve so has the studs today. Simms Hardbite Studs are my immediate "go to" for general purpose use and most the time they are all I need. If your wading situations exceed these studs than go all out for the Alumibite Cleats. I have yet to find anything that sticks better than aluminum. The boots soles are specially configured to accept Alumibite cleats and/or Hardbite studs.

Simms Guards Socks
Since my first use involved wading without waders I purchase a pair of Simms Guard Socks. These proved to be awesome. They are anatomically correct 3.5mm neoprene complete with built in gravel guards and boot hook tab that lines up perfect with the D-ring that is permanently fixed to the wading boot. Everything fit like a glove. The first day I also wore the Simms Wet Wading Socks but the second day I just went barefoot inside the guard sock. Both methods worked great.

Last week I got out on a little coldwater trout stream. My first chance to try the Vapor boots out in a pair of Simms G3 Guide Waders. I found the same smile on my face. Like many streams to reach the good fishing it takes some trekking. The Simms Vapor boots were ready for the challenge.

Wrap it up! I'll take em!

This is my kind of boot for 90% of the fishing I do. Why 90%? Like I said earlier boots are like boats, there is no one perfect vessel that does everything great. If your wading is extreme, basalt rock, ankle breaking stuff (i.e. Oregon's Deschutes River) than the Simms G3 Guide or G4 BOA boots would be a better foot protection option. From wet wading warm water rivers or hiking miles of freestone streams, I couldn't be happier with what I experienced in the lightweight, comfortable and great traction of the Simms Vapor Boot.

My feet feel liberated!


Gorge Fly Shop Internet Sales Manager | Product Specialist

"Fly Fish the World with Us"

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