Rubber Soles: More Support Equals More Traction

An interesting take on the possible advantages and disadvantages of rubber treads comes from Roger Phillips, who notes that, in his opinion, a slight reduction in traction is offset by durability and convenience. Testing the new Simms boots, he makes an interesting observation about boot stiffness improving traction as well. “My unscientific gauge of traction is the Streamtread rubber soles, which were designed and manufactured by Vibram, provided about 80 percent of the traction of felt. But with the rigid sidewalls on the boots and the excellent ankle support, I was closer to 90 percent of the overall traction I would have had with my felt-soled boots.” In the Idaho Statesman.

This entry was posted in Conservation, Gear. Bookmark the permalink.
  • Tad

    Plus, rubber soles are much better for preventint the spread of invasive algaes and plants since they are easier to clean and sanitize.

  • Jay Melzer

    I recently tried my new rubber soled Chotas on some rivers and have come to the conclusion that although they are the most comfortable boots I have ever worn they are not as grippy on cobbles and slimy bottoms. They are wonderful for walking and wading spring creeks and small clean freestone streams. I did not find support to be a problem just the feeling that I was skating on some stream bottoms. I was left wishing for felts and will purchase a pair of the same boots with felts in the future. And no I did not try studs but would like to hear from someone who has.

  • ed pysa

    I have new pair of vibram soled Freestone boots and agree they are dangerous on some bottoms and definitely on rock wih slime. I will probably studd them and hope noise on stony bottoms doesn’t scare fish

  • phlyphisher

    As a local guide, I have tried Simms guide boots with felt, with studs, and with Vibram soles. Unfortunately, the Vibram soles have the least traction of them all. I can’t use the studs unless I’m just wading. For guiding here in the Bitterroot we use rafts, so studs are out. Hopefully, someone will come out with a sole that works and doesn’t spread contamination.

  • Jay Melzer

    I need to amend my previous comments regarding my first experience with rubber soled wading shoes. The shoes I was wearing were Cloudveils with Vibram soles and not Chotas as I mistakenly stated. I still like many aspects of the boots but will pack a wading staff for future trips. My apology to Chota for the confusion, perhaps someone has tried other rubber soled boots and could comment as to the grip they provide.

  • Here at Korkers we believe in the ability to adapt to your environment. Korkers unique OmniTrax™ Interchangeable Sole System aids in the prevention of the spread of invasive species while enhancing angler safety and performance. Only Korkers high performance wading boots empower anglers to choose the right traction sole, from felt to sticky rubber, to support them in any fishing condition presented. By changing the soles without changing their boots, anglers can approach, and fish without compromising the river itself.