Last year Yellowstone Park banned felt because the felt holds water, silt, and slime. All of these things can transport unwanted aquatic invasive species and is hard to clean. Rubber soles are allowed and are much easier to clean. When fishing different places it is best to clean all the mud and any debris off your boots and waders. A one to ten solution of bleach will kill any unwanted microorganisms. You can put it in a spray bottle and then it is easy to apply to boots after they are cleaned. Yellowstone was concerned of people not getting their boots clean enough and having the invasive species carried into Yellowstone’s waters via felt sole boots. This is why they banned the felt soles and are only allowing rubber-soled boots. The thing you must know though before putting on a pair and wading waters is that just plain rubber soles are very slippery in the river. I tried them two years ago and it was hard to stand up straight, I slipped a lot. I had tried studded felt years ago, and they worked good at first, but as the studs wore they became rounded and slippery. So, I was not excited about studded rubber. Now I have tried studded rubber, studded Vibram, bars, and rock treads. The studded rubber is good, studded Vibram is better, the bars are very good but they are heavy. I like to use Rock Treads best, as they are light in weight. The first time you see them they look like they are going to be slippery, but that’s far from the truth. Yes they look odd, perhaps even goofy to some, but they’re not slippery. As a matter of fact the more you use them the better they work. Rock Treads are made out of aluminum and aluminum is softer than the rocks that are in the river. This will cause them to get grooves and will deform the Rock Treads, which is exactly what’s intended. This is why they grip so well. I love them so much that I’m now using them outside the park on the Madison in Montana. I won’t be using felt anymore, because there’s no need to.
Rock Treads can be installed on insert soles like Korkers, and on any wading boot that has rubber soles, no matter the brand. We do install them here in the shop, no charge. Just give us an hour. Try them out you will love them, too. Lower your chances of getting hurt from slipping in the river! Use Rock Treads, we do!
Korkers Boots are a favorite of mine and the staff, we all wear them and use them on our guided fishing trips. Lots of great features, but the highlight is the removable and interchangeable soles. I used felt for several years, but now that Yellowstone has banned felt the only option is rubber. This new regulation would’ve made me have to buy a whole new pair of boots, but because I had a pair of Korkers boots, I just changed out the felt soles and I was good to go. Besides the highlight of removable soles, Korkers has a lot of other features that make it a great fishing boot. They are made of hydrophobic materials which means faster drying and lessens the chance of spreading invasive species. Something else important that works well with the hydrophobic materials is the internal drainage design. This allows water to flow through internal channels then out midsole ports, removing excess water and weight making the boots much lighter than competitors. The durability is fantastic as it has triple stitching and the rubber toe cap of the boot does a great job of protecting your toes from those rocks in the river. Korkers has many different boots to choose from, but the one that I have really come to love is the Darkhorse. The Darkhorse is unique in their line as it has the BOA M2 which is basically a dial that you turn to tighten the laces or pull on the dial to pop it out and loosen the laces. Once the dial is pulled out, now you just pull the tongue forward and all the laces loosen right up and you can slide your foot right out. This lacing system makes for quick on and off with so much less hassle than trying to deal with tightening and loosening laces to get those boots on and off. If you haven’t tried a pair of Korkers yet, come on in and check them out. Our team will be glad to show you how they work.