Korkers has evolved dramatically in the past few years. Their concept of replaceable soles was tempting, but they needed a tool to remove and re-set their soles, and it took significant work to make them seat properly into the boots. Those days are gone, and the Whitehorse is a feature-laden boot worth reconsidering. At $169, sits at a midpoint between their less expensive models and the high-top, high performance Devil’s Canyon and KGB.
Materials and Construction
Korkers has reduced the number of seams, and they are producing the Whitehorse with tough, hydrophobic (water-shedding) materials. The toecap is burly and surrounds the boot nicely without adding too much bulk. The triple stitching shows the work Korkers has done to make these boots durable.
I’ve owned three pieces of footwear since 2008 with the Boa system, and they are all still going strong, with the tread being the part I expect to wear out first. With Korkers, however, that just means a trip to the shop for a replacement pair. The Boa in the Korkers Whitehorse takes several turns, and some guidance was needed to get the tongue properly placed as I cinched down on my low-volume foot, but the Boa just works. It pulls evenly over the front of the boot, which can help to avoid pinching.
I took mine out to the river to test their draining power. Though it seemed they did not drain as quickly as I had anticipated without a foot inside, I found no heavy, sloppy transition out of the river in actual use. In fact, I forgot I was wearing them (it was a pretty good day of fishing–a distracting concern that I should investigate further), and I didn’t stop to get my own picture of the boots in use.
With several options of soles (felt, studded felt, rubber, studded rubber, aluminum bars), Korkers’ line fits the hike-and-fish crowd well, as there’s no need to beat up the felt on a long walk, but there’s also no reason to bring a heavy pair of boots in your pack or skate around on rubber in the river. There has been quite a debate about felt soles in the industry, with seven states banning their use, but proper care and drying of equipment between watersheds should be adequate to protect against bringing invasive species to new locations. I personally think that in wade fishing, aluminum bar soles may overtake felt in popularity, but that is a subject of another blog. Regardless of how you feel about this concern, Korkers has the sole type you’re looking for.
Korkers Whitehorse: the Verdict
This boot seems rugged, drains well, closes easily, and never comes untied. It can make a fisher forget they’re on and focus on the fishing. It is a good value in a mid-priced boot.