Trouts Journal

2022 Simms Guide BOA Boot Review

Scott Battista / Jan 1, 2022

The right boot selection can decide how comfortable, or uncomfortable, your days on the water will be for the season or longer. Since its introduction to wading boots, the Boa cable system has lost and gained popularity several times. I think it’s here to stay and I'm a huge fan after trying the new SIMMS Guide BOA Boots.

If you aren’t familiar with the BOA lacing system, to put it simply, the cables tighten evenly across the tongue of the boot with the rotation of a single knob. It's quick, easy, and equally or even more durable than your standard laces. The Guide BOAs have received a significant facelift from the Headwaters BOAs that came before them. The full synthetic TPU coated upper replaced traditional leather and has improved all-day comfort immensely. The TPU coated upper also plays into the overall durability as it doesn’t get brittle over time like some of your traditional boots due overtime. The high impact areas of the boots, the toe and heel areas, are reinforced with an extra layer of rubber to keep these boots kicking season after season.

Now, I'm not a felt sole guy by any means but there is a time and place for everything. I was certainly blown away by how comfortable the boots were on a hike into Cheesman Canyon as that is the last scenario you’d expect felt soles to excel. I can only imagine how well the Vibram would have handled the task. If you haven’t used felt soles in a river, the grip is second to none. I felt confident getting to each spot in the river with little to no slips. When not in the water the boots drained fine and the closed-cell neoprene lining was light and dried quickly as well. I will say, the felt sole on some grassier banks will have you reaching for studs but overall it was fun to get back to felt for the day and the immediate future.

The Guide BOAs will be in my rotation for seasons to come and my biggest reasoning comes into play this time of year. Cold hands. If you’ve been on the water in near-freezing temps, you know frozen laces and cold hands are the last thing you want to deal with at the end of the day. If that isn’t reason enough, the build of the boots offers comfort and stability with synthetic uppers and reinforced toe and heel areas. Durability is first and foremost in this new model but looks are clean and on par with Simms's simple aesthetics. I am very excited to have felt soles back in the lineup for days that require less moving around. If hiking and spot hopping are more your speed try the Guide Classic Boas with Vibram soles!

The new SIMMS Guide BOA Wading Boot will be available soon. Use our "Notify When In Stock" option to receive an email when the BOAs arrive in stock!

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