Patagonia Wading Boots Built By Danner-By Justin Nolan
Back in the spring we started hearing rumblings of a new boot coming from Patagonia. When we finally got the details that Patagonia was going to be teaming up with Danner boots to design the new River Salt Boot and the Foot Tractor our excitement level reached new heights. These new boots had quickly become the most anticipated product for 2019.
As details started to roll out I must say that my excitement level hit a bit of a snag. Sure, Danner Boots have a reputation for the utmost quality and sure they have been a staple in the hiking and hunting industries for years and are USA made but with a price tags ranging from $449-$549, how would this be received? In fact, most of us at the shop would say we put a ton of abuse on our gear and have grown accustom to replacing our wading boots on what seems to be an annual basis.
My concerns were initially tempered a bit when our Patagonia rep informed us that these boots are not just another boot to be replaced annually but rather a wading boot built for a lifetime and intended to be re-soled over the life of the boot. Fast forward to July and the buzz round these boots was crazy at the IFTD shot. All week long we kept hearing how great these boots were and how we had to try them on as soon as we could. This buzz culminated with Patagonia taking The IFTD Overall Best of Show award. An award that is not to be taken lightly and an award worth garnering our attention.
After weeks of waiting, the day finally came. It’s like Christmas morning when we get to not only see new product but get to leave the shop for the day and take these products out on the water. After a chilly and rainy day out on the Colorado River, the new Patagonia boots have not only shattered all our expectations but have raised the bar.
These new boots launch February 1 and I would not be surprised to see our guides and staff all rocking a pair on the water this spring. In short, I can honestly sum up these boots in two words: “Game Changer”
Stay tuned for an chance to try on the new boots in shop this fall before the official launch day Feb.1
The Gritty Details
The Foot Tractor Wading Boots and River Salt Wading Boots feature stitch-down construction of waterproof full-grain leather and tough 1000-Denier nylon. The saline treated leather is waterproof, non-shrinking, and non-cracking. This technology is intended to prevent swelling and as a result these boots prevent water retention and maintain their appearance. Perforated drains clear water quickly, and nylon webbing saves weight while maintaining strength and support. Nylon-coated hardware also adds an additional element of durability. The stitch-down construction consists of interlocking thread that increases the durability of the boots while also allowing the boots to be resoled and re-crafted by Danner. And both boots provide comfort and stability throughout from an insole board, an internal shank for arch support, a cushioned midsole for impact absorption, a wider platform for increased ankle support, and a lace-to-toe design that allows for a more customized fit over the top of the foot.
The Foot Tractors have an adjustable lacing system and a 5mm rubber midsole. With a VIBRAM® Idrogrip outsole for durability and performance, anglers have the choice of sticky rubber ($499), felt ($499), and aluminum bar ($549) for their preference of best traction. The Foot Tractor Wading Boots will be available in Forge Grey.
The River Salt Wading Boots feature low profile adjustable speed lacing evolved from Danner’s Marine Corps boots, and a bi-fit board combines shank, lasting board, and PU midsole into a single piece, thereby providing a lightweight platform. Additionally, a VIBRAM® Megagrip outsole with sticky rubber delivers impressive traction in an out of the water, as well as increased durability. The River Salt Wading Boots are designed specifically for the Middle Fork Packable Waders, wet wading, and the flats. They will be available in Feather Grey for $449
Shop Staff Reactions
Dave Budniakiewicz (Foot Tractor Bar Boot) – “The boot feels broken in and comfortable right out of the box. Having never worn an aluminum bar boot before I didn’t know what to expect and I was pleasantly surprised. The bars bite through slime on rocks like no body’s business and the boot itself offers such great support that was felt with every step I took.”
Tyler Banker (River Salt Boot) – “On a wet muddy day fishing a big slick river there is really no better boot. The ankle support is among the best of any wading boot I’ve worn. The sole hugs slippery rocks tight which makes taking a step out in an off-color river easier to do when you have the confidence your boots are going to grip the river bed underneath you.”
Joe Halovanic (River Salt Boot) – “This boot is tennis shoe comfort with military grade quality materials. I am completely amazed by the stability and control, but what I am even more impressed with is the traction of this strategically designed boot, by far the best rubber bottom boot I have ever fished in. I have complete confidence in using this boot in the field. It definitely lives up to its name and quality, the two brands have truly designed something special I can’t wait to test it in the salt.”
Justin Nolan (Foot Tractor Boot) – “Not sure what I can add that others haven’t said, best ankle support and comfort I have ever had out of the box in a wading boot. For me what stands out is that when they say its sticky rubber they mean it! Lots of treads have come out over the years with fancy names like River this or Stream that… this rubber compound shatters the competition.”