My other wading boots, the Simms Flats Sneakers, were having delamination issues with the soles. I took them to a local cobbler for repair but that didn’t work too well. I have since done my own repair but have not tested them yet.
I opted to get a pair of Free Salt boots for an upcoming trip we have planned. The construction on these boots is burly. My only complaint so far is the lack of a removable insole. The footbox is roomier than expected but I have a wide forefoot so they should work OK.
I opted to use the Simms Guide Guard wading socks with these boots.
These boots lace up securely and don’t seem to be too cumbersome or overly bulky. I wear a size 10 but purchased a size 11. They fit with a fingers width from the front of the boot, so walking downhill won’t be an issue. Looking forward to putting these on and wading a river!
UPDATE: The wife and I rented a canoe to fish a 10 mile stretch of the Ouachita River in Arkansas. We stopped often and wade fished the runs and riffles. I wore these boots for 9 hours straight and did not have any issues. They were comfortable (not as comfortable as my Flats Sneakers) and provided great ankle support while wading through sections of riffles. Even portaging a canoe around a low-water bridge, they did fine. Time will tell how they hold up in the long run, but I plan on using them as often as possible.