Orvis PRO Wading Boot Review: Finally, a wading shoe that doesn’t suck!

Orvis PRO Wading Boots, where have you been? I’ve worn many different brands of wading boots over the years and disliked most of them. (Some I even hated — we’ll get to that shortly.) Even my all-time favorite boot, made by LLBean — I forget the model name and they are long since discontinued — had a tragic flaw: the rubber sole of the boot would come unglued after a season or two. I eventually got tired of returning them.

I only ask three things of boots: support, grip, and don’t be too heavy on my feet. My last two sets of boots have been the Simms G3 Guide Boots with Vibram Soles. Don’t ask me why I suffered through two pairs of those horrid creations. Yep, I hated them. They were very supportive, albeit a little heavy. But the traction — what a catastrophe. Without studs and star cleats, they were treacherous. With the added steel, they were only moderately dangerous. Good riddance, because my new Orvis PRO Wading Boots are everything the Simms are not.

Wow…slip the Orvis PRO Wading Boots on and walk around and they’re not only supportive, but light on the feet. So far, so good. But the real test is, if you’ll pardon the expression, where the rubber meets the road. Orvis claims their Michelin Outdoor extreme outsole offers “a resounding 43% improvement in wet rubber traction over the competition.” Still, I’m a skeptic, and I love me some carbide steel bite, so I ordered the Orvis Posigrip Studs along with the boots.

I’ve put these boots through some mission-critical paces: small streams, which involve wading and hiking on dry land; ocean wading, jetty rock-hopping, and saltwater marsh slogging; and, what I consider the ultimate test, wading in the Housatonic and the Farmington Rivers, both of which have their own unique (and potentially dastardly) rocky bottom structure.

The verdict? Sold! Traction, support, comfort. Highly recommended.

In the interest of fairness, I am not affiliated with Orvis, and I paid for the Orvis PRO Wading Boots with my own coin. Well done, Orvis.


11 comments on “Orvis PRO Wading Boot Review: Finally, a wading shoe that doesn’t suck!

  1. Michael Silfen says:

    Steve I read you bought the studs did you attach them? Am I to assume correctly that you wore the boots with the studs when you did your evaluation.

    I have the new Patagonia Danner boots. They sent them to me for free after I returned two pairs of Patagonia boots that fell apart! With the traction bars they weigh a freakin’ ton.

    • easte34 says:

      I like them, too. I tried them on the Little J in the gorge area and quickly realized that I should have put some studs on beforehand. Needless to say, they are on now. It might spook more fish than I care but I try to be a stealthy and cautious wader regardless. I would rather live to fish another day!

    • Steve Culton says:

      Yes, all testing was done with studs.

  2. Jefferson Kolle says:

    Hello, Steve. Ever tried Korkers wading boots? After 5 years, I’m on my second pair with the stainless-steel wind-up lacing system. BOA, I think it’s called. I probably fish 50-70 days/year. Bullet proof, in my opinion. . Never lost a sole. Never broke the stainless laces.

  3. Gary Lussier says:

    Steve,I’m on the lookout for new boots so great timing and great recommendation.  One question – has your testing been with or without the cleats?  I haven’t found a rubber soul yet with any reliable traction and don’t like cleats for spooking fish, so I’ve been sticking with felt for the last few years. Gary

  4. William A Giokas says:

    I just got the Simms fly weight boots and they are low cut which allows sand to enter the boot. I have solved the problem by adding and extra gravel guard . I shouldn’t have had to do that.

  5. […] About a year ago I purchased a pair of Orvis PRO Wadding Boots. I liked them. A lot. So much, that I wrote this glowing review. […]

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