CRUSHED REVIEW: Simms Rivershed Boots

*Crushed Reviews are serious reviews for those who seriously beat gear.  We don’t get paid by these companies and we don’t take free gear on a day or weekend trip and then review it.  We pay for it then we crush our gear… hard, beat it, use it and sometimes even abuse it before we write a review.  So you know this stuff is seriously tested.

We rate our crushed gear on a scale of 1-5. 
1 = absolutely sucks, 2 = ehhh they could have done better and we are disappointed, 3 = average (average isn’t good enough for us), 4 = Good, we actually like it, 5 = Excellent

Simms Rivershed Boot:  Reviewed by Otter. 

For company info on the boot click this link.
I wear wading boots out fast.  Usually a pair a season.  They start off the year looking great and by the end of the year my boots are usually falling apart at the seams.  I wore these for all of 2012, and I wore them hard.

I am usually not one to get on a big name company trip. So much has to do with marketing, dollars and trends and most of the stuff is made in the same places…far away overseas.   Which sucks.  These companies pay so little to have their products made over there (mostly China) and then after huge markups attach their name and charge bucket loads of hard earned cash for their products.  Hey, I am not blaming them.  Its about making money.  I get it. (Simms was once made in Montana.  Rumor has it that they are now getting gear made overseas.  Tough to tell and its hard to find out online.)

You won’t ever see me wearing enough Simms gear to choke a river full of fish.  I am not the kind of guy to walk into a Simms store and then walk out like I just stepped out of the pages of a catalog.  It’s just not me.  Fly-fishing is not supposed to be about out-gearing everyone.  Its about the art of catching fish using a fly rod.  So in my estimation the gear that is comfortable on you, can hold up to the treatment and gets the job done is the best gear, no matter how much or how little you paid for it.

I picked these boots up for a ridiculously low price. I still can’t figure out why they were nearly half off, but it seemed like a deal so i figured I would give them a try.  Here are my thoughts after a season of crushing these things in and out of the water.


Comfort:  These fit my foot perfectly.  They are not over-padded (which some pansies may prefer) but they have enough cushion that they feel great without adding bulk.

Weight: These have to fall in the mid-weight boot range and even on the lower end of that range.  For Simms this is a big deal.  I have cranked up a lot of miles on all kinds of different terrain   I have fished white water so high I had to plan casts between white water rafters and almost saw a kayaker drown doing some kind of fancy trick.  I don’t get why people buy the heavy boots.  For the most part up until now all of the Simms boots with any quality were much heavier.  The Rivershed weight is perfect.  Nice work Simms. 

Durability:  These things have been through a lot.  I climbed a lot of rocks with them, logged many miles on hard trails and even left them in the car for an extended period of time this summer ( a big no-no for any of your fishing gear).  The grey area above the rubber rand at the bottom of the boot is cracking a little.  I also bent two of the lace holders (no idea what to call those things) in the middle of a bolder avalanche that almost broke my leg.  Besides those two minor things these things have been holding it up beast mode style.  The stitching is still all holding together.  The base of the boots and protected toe area is awesome when wrestling around in the water and on the rocks.  Most importantly I will definitely get another year out of these and I am thinking they may even hold up for two more years.

Footing:  The StreamTread soles grip the bottom great.  I don’t think any rubber sole grips as good as felt.  But felt also screws up our streams especially when most people don’t bother to clean them after an outing.  I have nothing against felt and have worn them and cleaned them.  It is a pain.  I have also worn other rubber clingy soles as well.  In my opinion the Simms StreamTread soles grip as good or better than any of the others.  What I like most about these soles is: instead of having to buy cleats or chains that strap around the whole boot for your winter steelheading trip, you can simply screw in a set of cleats that Simms makes for these boot.  Innovative for sure.    

Looks:  Best looking boot out their period. I wore them to a board meeting one day because I forgot to pack regular shoes after an evening outing.  Its a causal jeans and button down kind of affair and some dude looked at me and said “Sweat Boots. Where did you get them?”  He was shocked when I told him they were my wading boots.  I guess he couldn’t tell that my pants were drenched.

Protection:  If this category means nothing to you then you need to stretch out of those soft flowing creeks and into some adventurous waters.  These boots provide great ankle support and the toe protection is incredible.  I have been in a few sticky situations on rocks this year and I have no doubt these boots helped.
Sizing:  Simms recommends going a size bigger.  I do too.  I wear a size 10 in almost every kind of shoe and could probably get away with a 9.5.  The Rivershed size 11 are a perfect fit for me.

Price:  $179 at Cabelas.  I picked them up on sale for almost half of that.  I will tell you now that having worn them for a year, I would easily have paid full price for them.  In fact when these eventually fall apart, I might even buy another pair.

Overall:  4.5  I can’t imagine wearing another pair of boots but I can’t give a perfect score because then the boots would be uncrushable, and I crushed them.  The great news is i will be crushing this same pair of boots through the winter and next season as well.  That is more than I have ever been able to say about a pair of wading boots.  That is unless Luke wrestles me to the ground rips one off and chucks it into the stream.  He gets pretty steamy when I am out fishing him.

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