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When my last pair of wading boots gave up the ghost after 8 years I started looking for a new pair. I knew that the next pair of boots I bought had to provide one thing that a felt bottom without studs can’t. That is security and footing on land. Specifically I was sick of busting my ass and knees getting in and out of the creeks.

I spent several months looking around and trying to decide what to get. The latest thing is in wading boots is stealth rubber soles. The intent of them seems to be to reduce the amount of contamination that get moved from one stream to another in the felt of traditional boots. Makes sense to me…

I ended up with a pair of Patagonia Riverwalkers with stealth rubber soles. I had high hope for these boots after I read the reviews in some of the flyfishing magazines. I picked them up for the rediculous sum of $160 at the local outdoor shop. It seems that Patagonia controls the price of these boots fairly closely since I could find them for no less online or in other shops. At twice the price of my last pair they have better walk on water.

Review: They don’t walk on water. They only kept me from slipping on the moss covered rocks in the creeks and streams of Watauga County, NC marginally well. The have one weakness that became apparent in the first 5 minute I was in the stream. They just can’t grip algae and most in the water like felt. Don’t get me wrong. They do OK and after a bit of time wearing them you get to where you really check your new footing before moving the other stable foot. I’d rate the grip in the water at about 75% of that of felt and 50% of that of felt with studs. They do out shine the old school lug soles though. I’ve got to decide now if I keep them and add studs or trade them in on a pair of felt soles. Just one more thing; scrambling on creek banks and in walking in wet grass is something that you don’t have to worry about with these boots. That stick like glue.

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