When I hike into the remote hollows to fish mountain trout streams I wear my felt sole boot foot hippers if I am going two miles or less. If I am going to hike in more than two miles I wear hiking shoes and hang my hippers over my shoulders. Then when I get to the area I plan to fish I put my hippers on and hide my hiking shoes behind a tree. When I finish fishing I retrieve my hiking shoes and wear these back to my jeep. I never wear chest-high or waist-high waders when fishing small mountain trout streams because they limit my ability to crawl along the streams.
Metal studs on wading shoes are a great help on large streams such as the Shenandoah River and Yellowstone River. However, they do not grip well on dry rocks and ledges which we encounter on small mountain streams. A good friend took a bad fall because of these and I fell and cracked some of my ribs.
Metal studs can improve your traction when mounted in vibram-style rubber soles on your wading shoes on large streams such as the Yellowstone River and Shenandoah River.
However, I strongly discourage using them on small mountain streams where you frequently climb over dry boulders and ledges. The studs do not grip on these dry hard surfaces and you can take a dangerous fall.
Attention Anglers!! We all need to help stop the spread of Aquatic Nuisance Species. For those attending our On-The-Stream Schools, please follow one of the steps listed in this article to clean your fishing gear prior to the attending our schools. Drying after a thorough cleaning is all it takes… No special chemicals or equipment are necessary.
Yes, you can replace worn out felt soles. 1. Remove as much of the old felt as possible. 2. With a steel brush remove all of the old grit and dirt. 3. Allow you shoes to dry completely. 4. Coat the shoe bottom and new felt with cement and allow it to dry overnight. 5. Re-coat both areas with a second tube of cement (I use Barge). 6. Place the new soles on or put them in a vise. 7. Allow them to dry.
When you are fishing small streams where the banks are covered with snow use boots or wading shoes which have rubber cleated soles and not felt soles. Thick snow builds up on felt soles making it difficult to move along the stream.