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Thread: Simms W/Vibram sole

  1. #1

    Default Simms W/Vibram sole

    Any one have any expierience with these in any model. Need A new set of wading boots, wondering if they are worth looking at.

  2. #2
    Member muzzyman87's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FLYFSN View Post
    Any one have any expierience with these in any model. Need A new set of wading boots, wondering if they are worth looking at.
    man if you fish as much as me it does not really matter what you buy, your gonna burn them out. at the same time i also hike a bit to my spots. i will not spend , more than 65 on the boots and 150 on the waders cause im gonna tear them up. but thats how i am....

  3. #3

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    I picked up the Guide model with the vibram a couple months ago and I have been very pleased. They maintain traction over a wider variety of terrain than any boot I've owned, plus they are super light weight, have great support, and are more comfortable than my hiking boots. The only time I notice a difference between them and my felt boots (thus far) is when I'm getting more traction than I'm used to when I'm out of the water. They aren't cheap, but I am getting my money's worth out of them.

    When I was at mountain view last week, someone brought in a pair of the G4 vibrams that had started to delaminate on the guy's first trip. Probably a faulty pair, but the g4 doesn't seem to be built as tough as the standard guide boot, it's heavier, and doesn't have as good support.

    Also, I believe the guys at mountain view worked with simms and got the guy a replacement pair same day. Simms (and mountain view for that matter) stands behind their product.

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    Hi I'm Kevin and I'm new to your board. I found it while doing research for my next trip up. I've been fly fishing for about 20 years, mostly in the south east and some salt water. This next trip will be my 7th trip to AK.

    I just purchased a pair of the guide boot with the Vibram soles and so far I love them. They are the most comfortable by far of any boot I have ever worn. The grip is much better also, especially on slipery banks gettring in and out. The first time I wore then I was able to walk down a steep bank that I have always had to slide down before. I can't recomend them enough. Simms also makes them in the Freestone if you want to save some bucks.

    Kevin

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    Member wildwill's Avatar
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    Default The faulty G4's were mine.

    The G4's that Mountain View returned were mine. I wore them one day floating the Kenai and then 1.5 days in Yakutat. The rand was starting to delaminate, but the biggest prolem is the toe box on the G4's wore a huge blister on my left big toe the first day of Hiking. This was my 3rd pair of Simms boots since 2002--and no issue with either of the others fitting correctly.

    Mountain View was great and took care of the return. They gave me a store credit since the boots were tearing up my foot so badly I had to buy another pair of boots in Yakutat. I picked up a pair of boots at the Situk fly shop--they had the previous aquastealth guide boot with studs.

    As for the vibram sole, it had great traction, better so than the aquastealth. Would buy another pair with the sole in the future, but would buy the guide boot, not the G4 because of the fitment issue and failure I experienced.

    Will
    Since the World is 2/3 Water and Only 1/3 Land, Figures the Good Lord Intended I Fish More Than I Plow.

  6. #6

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    Thanks to all that provided some input. I have tried on 3 differant models of Simms boots that offer the Vibram sole. The G4, Guide and the Rivershed. I totally ruled out the G4, i didn't like how wide the were. They just felt weird to walk in. For me it was a coin flip between the Guide and the Rivershed. I went with the Rivershed for one reason only. They felt lighter than the Guide model. Both felt like hiking boots the main differance besides price to me seemed to be weight. I have them on order and should be gettig them soon.

    Again thanks to all.

    Don

  7. #7
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    Default Simms

    Does anyone know where i can get the soles put back on or resoled?

    thanks,

  8. #8

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    Jeff i just checked into all that before i ordered. Scroll to bottom of page it list resolers for the Vibram sole

    http://www.simmsfishing.com/site/streamtread.html

  9. #9

    Default not all vibram created equal

    Quote Originally Posted by FLYFSN View Post
    Jeff i just checked into all that before i ordered. Scroll to bottom of page it list resolers for the Vibram sole

    http://www.simmsfishing.com/site/streamtread.html
    better check a little deeper than that; none of those websites show the vibram 360 sole used on the Simms wading boots to be available as a resole. There are all sorts of "vibram". Anyone who has tried walking in aquatread or other products knows that they slip all over the place; and are nothing like felt. Whether this vibram 360 tread design, or its rubber composition, have significantly improved traction - I can't tell as I don't have them.

    But for the sake of argument, let's assume it does work. I made that assumption, and had the same question; where do you get these soles? So I asked several Simms representatives directly - I have $200 G4's that are one year old - I'd like to get some vibram soles on them at some point, say to comply with Alaska state law - where do I get these soles from? Gee, I don't see them in your catalog, where do I get them, who does the re-soling?

    They responded that the soles for vibram 360 are not "yet" available. I got some mumbo jumbo about the need to develop adhesives for re-soling; and that vibram has some exclusive use thing with Simms that they only provide this particular rubber and tread design on the new wading boats.

    So as of this moment - no one has the re-soles, no one does the re-soles, and no one knows if or when anyone will be able to resole with this product. Please respond if I am wrong as I would like to get some replacement soles with the vibram 360.

    Just a message to those who work on product development, and State legislation, if anyone is out there listening:

    Dear Simms/State F&G commission:

    Hello - Mcfly - I don't throw away $200 wading boots just because the soles wore out. My wading shoes last 10 years and I resole them at least 4X.

    If you want to change your State law to outlaw felt, it might be worth having the soles available to do so before you make the change.

  10. #10

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    Stevesch

    How long ago did you talk to the rep? And did you actually call one of the resolers listed?

    I took the websites word, they show the new vibram soles in the picture. above the following.
    Vibram® Resoling Resources


    Vibram® soles are available through the following vendors for $44, not including installation. Additional costs for resoling with the Vibram® soles should be expected. For exact pricing and expected time frames for delivery, please contact a vendor from the following list.



    If these are not available, i sure was led to believe i could get them resoled by that website.



    I did not check any deeper than that. I hope this is not the case.

  11. #11

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    If you want to get specific about it; it was on April 18, 2009. I was told in person, face-to-face, by a Simms representatives familiar with product development, that those specific resoles -the vibram 360 used on the wading shoes, are NOT available separately, that Vibram does not allow them to be sold separately, and Simms/Vibram has not yet developed a glue or process for replacing these soles outside the factory. He said they are "working on it."

    The website says "Vibram" soles; it does not say Vibram 360; and Simms does not sell the Vibram 360 resoling material and neither does anyone else to my knowledge. Those websites list other materials, but not this one. I looked. What do they expect people to do? Put aquatread on as resoling material? beentheredonethat - it does not work.

    If a Simms representative or anyone else, knows where to get Vibram 360 soles, fire away and respond. Otherwise I will "stick" with studded felt. That is available. I know that works.

  12. #12

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    Stevesch,

    thanks for the insight, i am disappointed in the way it makes one think they can be resoled with the new vibram sole streamtread.

    Good question what are Simms expecting folks to do with worn out soles?

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by FLYFSN View Post
    Stevesch,

    thanks for the insight, i am disappointed in the way it makes one think they can be resoled with the new vibram sole streamtread.

    Good question what are Simms expecting folks to do with worn out soles?
    Likely answer: Simms expects everyone in the state of Alaska to throw their shoes away and buy some new Simms!

    Passing a major equipment regulation change on wading shoe soles without having a resoling product generally available; what the heck is your fish and game commission thinking? It's as if they never resoled a wading shoe.

    And another thought - I don't need to send my shoes to Montana to have them resoled; many people such as me use local shoe repairmen with the equipment, and some attempt to do it themselves. I couldn't care less about sending my shoes away. I want the soles.

  14. #14
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    I undetand that the sole is attached using a process called vulcanization. It involves high pressure and heat and equipment more expensive than a shoe repar shop could afford.

  15. #15

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    well - the process is also called stitching - for the original soles, because that is what is done - but I believe there is a fundamental disconnect between using rubber to stand up on slippery rocks in water:

    Below is a posted reply on "flylife forum", regarding this alleged felt replacement by Simms, from January 20, 2009:

    "Just wondering if anyone has bought the new Simms Boots with Vibram soles.

    I saw an American guy selling his already on a US website and when someone asked why he was getting rid of them he said;


    "I will be honest w you....I hate these boots. I got them bc I want to move away from felts. Like all Simms, they are well made, but with the new Vibram rubber sole, which is reportedly "better than felt." I wore them for one day on the Rapidan River in VA, which is a pretty small freestone mountain stream. They are nice for the hike in - very comofrtable - but, for the streams I fish out here (VA/MD/PA), they are pretty much worthless. They are terrible on smooth rocks, felt like I was wading in dress shoes. That said, judging from all the breathless reviews leading up to the release of this new sole, I may be in the minority.

    They are well made and these obviously held up over the afternoon I used them . The soles just don't mesh with the streams I fish out here. "

    I am interested to know if anyone has tried them in the field here in Oz or NZ?"

    In other words; rubber on shoe-bottoms in water does not compute.....so, next time your Fish and Game commission passes a gear requirement like rubber-soled wading shoes - they should first put them on and try to walk across some similar slick-rock bottomed river in Alaska such as the North Umpqua, Oregon, or Pit River, California.

    I have a feeling there will be a run on travel health insurance, felt soles, wet-suits, and/or knee pads.

    Requiring rubber-soled wading shoes.....sounds like a joke if it weren't true.

  16. #16

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    Fished all weekend with Simms Freestone w/ vibram sole. Not one slip. Very comfortable. Also hiked through a lot of mud with no problems. So after probably 20-30 hours in them, I would say that I couldn't ask for anything better except maybe a little weight reduction.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by michigan_mike View Post
    Fished all weekend with Simms Freestone w/ vibram sole. Not one slip. Very comfortable. Also hiked through a lot of mud with no problems. So after probably 20-30 hours in them, I would say that I couldn't ask for anything better except maybe a little weight reduction.
    What the heck were you fishing on? Pea gravel? Sand? Mud? None of that would involve traction needs.

    As I said in my prior post, the difference becomes important on large rock, boulder and bedrock, bottom rivers. I fished Deer Creek, California, over the weekend, which was waist-high+, faster water, and had everything from 6-foot boulders to 4-inch rock. It was pocket-water fishing, and wading upstream and across the stream was involved to avoid sheer-rock faces on one side. Or how about wet, moss-covered logs? Good luck with anything except metal studded felt.

    No way could that be done without studded felt. There are very similar situations in Alaska. Not everything is like your driveway.

    And Deer Creek is a piece of cake compared to some other heavily fished rivers here; if you tried to fish the McCloud with some rubber crap you might as well come without waders because you wouldn't be able to stand in the water.

    Those rubber soles better have been extensively field tested, and they better be pretty good. The Aquatread product which preceded the Vibram was also marketed by simms, and it is utter junk. The only reason they sold any of it was because they sold a version with studs. As you know, studs don't work real well with inflatable rafts. Which brings up another question.......anybody try these vibram 360 rubber soles in their inflatable....and, in particular, self-bailers with inflatable floors? I wouldn't. those rubber things on the bottom look like 50 rubber studs to me; so if they grip rocks, they may tear thru the bottom of your raft. Just a thought to the designers.

    More importantly, they need to have them for sale as a separate item for re-soling. You can't buy what isn't for sale.

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    I haven't spent a lot of time in mine yet but on a few outings my grip in them has been very good. Large flat rock in current, medium size free stone, and mud. All places where I have slipped in felt before and they stuck like glue, except when I steped off in a hole. I know GA isn't AK but we do have slick spots here. I don't think Vibram alone would ever hold as firm as felt with studs, and I do have studs on order for mine. I will be in AK in June and will have them in the Kenai, Kas, Shipp and a few others. I'll let you know if I still like them after that.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by stevesch View Post
    What the heck were you fishing on? Pea gravel? Sand? Mud? None of that would involve traction needs.
    You're right. I fished for 3.5 days and did not step on a single slick rock. I obviously should not have wasted your time with my opinion of the shoes I was wearing.

  20. #20

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    Well, where are we talking here in Georgia; I lived and fished there for 10 years - and there is some slippery stuff up there and adjoining states. But not everywhere. Where do you fish? The Conasauga and Jack's, Noontootla? or closer by, such as Panther Creek, or farther out, like maybe you go to South Caroline to the Horsepasture....

    But if it's wading shallow on some mud banks at low flow on the hooch below sidney lanier, well those aren't rocks necesarily.

    As far as Alaska is concerned you have some of the worst of the worst - - - traction becomes the most serious problem where rocky streams enter salt. There is some slimy stuff there that could take out the Tanya Harding and the Stanley Cup winners along with her. Just unbelievably slick stuff. And guess what you have to walk over at low tide? That's right. Marine slime on rocks. Sand is fine. Rocks are not.

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