Patagonia rep Frank Smethurst was kind enough to get us a pair of Patagonia’s extreme traction wading boot. I must admit, when I first saw this boot I was skeptical. How could a wading boot with a couple bars of slick aluminum bolted to the sole provide any kind of traction? Frank said to to trust him, and he’s never led me astray so I thought what better place to give them a field test then on the Blue River in Silverthorne.
If you have ever fished the Blue in Silverthorne you know it’s like wading in a river lined with greased bowling balls. We entered the river just below the spectator hole and crossed to the other side. I could tell in just that short little walk that there was something significantly better about this boot and it’s traction compared to other boots. Hands down the best traction I have ever had on that river.
Unfortunately for me, my client was slipping all over the place. So I took off the Patagonia boots so he could wear them and I went back to the car and grabbed my Simms Vibrams soles. Nothing against vibram and Simms, but until now, there hasn’t been a boot traction that has ever held it’s own against the Blue in Silverthorne.
A day later I found myself on the North Platte in Wyoming wading on slippery moss rocks to reach a spot I normally wouldn’t feel comfortable going to on a cold day in January. With these boots, I didn’t even second guess it.
A few days later I found myself walking into Freemont Canyon. Bad idea. These boots are made for walking on slick wet rock in the river bottom. They are not made for hiking around on dry rock to get to the river. So is this boot your everyday wading boot? Probably not. However, if you find yourself consistently wading on slick rivers, than I would highly recommend this boot.
Unless you’ve worn them, it’s hard to understand how flat aluminum can provide traction. For this reason, this boot would be very hard for us to stock and actually sell on a regular basis at the shop. However, if you have come to trust our recommendations and want a boot that offers grip on slick bottom like you’ve never owned, then ask us to order you a pair.