Felt or Rubber? This has been the fly fisherman’s dilemma. Felt works so well in the water, but on a muddy trail down to the river or a snowy bank will have you second-guessing your footwear choice. Advances in rubber soles have come a long way but can still never match that confidence-inspiring grip that felt soles give you when wading deeper than you probably should be.
The Flyweight Access Boot took a great boot and made it even better. The now discontinued original Flyweight was a significant change from the usual high ankle bulky wading boot that reminded me of an army surplus boot from the Vietnam era. The Flyweight boot looks like a Nike Air Jordan, lightweight and comfortable, and after a few miles of hiking up and down the river, they do not leave your legs feeling like mush. I loved these boots, but on those death-trap slick rivers, I still hesitated to wade out there.
Then Simms added the Vibram Idogrip flex rubber sole to create the Flyweight Access boot. Rubber soles that grip like felt. The rubber is much more supple than the rubber of other boots, so it conforms to those rocks and gives you that grip you can only get with felt. I was initially skeptical that the sole would not hold up as it was a much softer compound. However, Simms knows what they are doing and has tested these boots with folks who really put the miles on when fishing. I have had these boots since they came out in 2022, and the soles are still strong and show normal wear.
If you’re looking for a boot to give you that felt feel but also be able to hike in, look no further. The Simms Flyweight Access boot is for you. The Idrogrip technology works and will have wading with confidence.