Gear Review: Simms Guide Boot
They were as comfortable on my last day in them as they were on my first.
What We Say:
When I got my Simms Guide Boots in January 2009, it was the first pair of Simms wading boots that I had purchased in about 5 years. Previously, I had been a long time fan of the Patagonia Riverwalker Wading Boot; but with the debut of the new Vibram Streamtread Sole, I had to give the Simms Boots another go. I chose the Guide Boot mostly for it's look, and secondly because it seemed to have the narrowest last (and I have very narrow feet). The first day I fished in the boots was a day long trip into Cheesman Canyon. On this particular day, I chose to hike in from the top of the canyon, which required a good amount of uphill hiking both going in and going out. I will be honest that after my first day in the boots, I came away with 2 remarks on the boots. First, they were very comfortable, and provided me with a lot more ankle support than the Patagonia boots I had been wearing previously. My second impression was that these boots were HEAVY, particularly when they were wet.
Two years and countless days later, my initial reaction to the boots still holds true. They were as comfortable on my last day in them as they were on my first. The weight issue didn't last long, as the more time I spent in them, the less I noticed the weight. And what they added in weight, they certainly made up for it in terms of the stability and sturdiness of the boot. From a durability standpoint, I would have to rate these boots very high. The only issue I saw is by having suede leather on the boot, the constant soaking and drying of the boot definitely took its toll.
The last thing I want to touch upon is the Vibram Streamtread sole. There has been a lot of speculation recently on the benefits/performance of rubber soled wading boots vs. felt soled boots. Being a fly shop owner, I have had the opportunity to try a variety different boots and sole types, and I will say that I have found the Simms Vibram Streamtread sole to be THE BEST wading boot sole I have ever tried. They provide WAY more stability and traction out of the water (something that felt soled boots have always lacked), and I will say that they provide better traction in the water than felt. The Vibram Streamtread sole is designed in a way that the tread acts like a bunch of small rubber cleats, which because of the softness easily grab onto any subtle nuance of a submerged rock.
All in all, a great pair of boots that withstood the test of 2 years and countless days on the water
Last Minute Thoughts:
If you have a wider foot, look at the Simms Rivershed Boot, as it has a wider last than the Guide Boot.
What They Say:
Our most durable leather boot, featuring outstanding traction, protection and stability in the StreamTread sole.
- Water-repellent full grain Nubuck leather construction for durability
- CleanStream™ design utilizes Schoeller®-dynatec high abrasion-resistant mesh panels with NanoSphere® treatment for easy cleaning
- ToughTek® material surrounds ankles for greater support
- Mesh tongue & full neoprene lining
- Dual-density molded EVA wedge and TPU molded plate for tortional support
- Molded TPU external heel clip protects ankles and provides support
- Full-coverage molded rubber toe cap for durability and protection
- High quality, non-corrosive brass hardware and contoured NATO speed lacing system with high quality nylon laces
- Features CleanStream™ technology along with our new StreamTread™ traction sole with Vibram® Idrogrip™ 360 traction lug sole. StreamTread™ sole
The Simms Guide Boot is no longer available, but Simms still makes great boots. Check them out here.