One random Saturday in November I took my waders, socks and headed to my local fly shop. Really it was Thanksgiving and I needed a time out. After an hour or maybe three hours of trying on every boot in the shop and scaring away all the customers. To be fair the shop guy said, I should test them like I would in real life. What would I do if I saw a bear in real life? I'd push the guy beside me down and yell "bear" as I ran away. A sweaty guy in waders running through the store screaming "bear" wasn't good for business. Happy to be alive, I decided to live life to the fullest and purchased the Korkers BuckSkin boot. I'm happy I did!
For example, if you're fishing in Missouri felt soles are not allowed. The locals will throw rocks at you until you leave. Easy fix, pop off the felt add the studded soles. Now you're feeling like a stud and getting in your buddies drift boat when your buddy starts coming at you like Von Miller in Super Bowl 50. You scramble and quickly audible to the regular rubber soles. All good now and ready to hit the water. In my kayak, I regularly change between felt and rubber soles. The felt doesn't grip well on the kayak. But I prefer to use felt when wading. It's a quick and easy change between the two and can be done on the water without having to remove the boots. The extra soles don't take up much room in my sling pack either.
|Keeping it together. No issues. Extra soles stored in my sling pack.|
The fit is great. I ended up going a size larger than my normal shoe size. When you add waders and socks they fit snug but also remain comfortable. More importantly, I feel like I'm wearing a hiking boot while walking and wading. At almost 3 lbs (pair) you're not going to out run a bear but a few miles of hiking won't kill you.
|Drying after first day of use Thanksgiving weekend 2014|
It's also important to mention how quickly these boots drain. It wasn't something I was concerned with until I started hiking a few miles to the water in them. They get rid of water quickly. I now use them as a wet wading boot on multi day/night kayak camping trips in the Ozarks and in the "Driftless." Regularly walking several miles each day in and around the water. Obviously a traditional wet wading boot would be a better option. But when you're kayak camping, traveling, or want to spend your cash on something else, these do the job just fine.
I've been very happy with my Korkers BuckSkin boots. Over the last 18 months, I have been challenging them to fall apart. I've left them too close to the camp fire, drove 200 miles with them dangling from my kayak rack and crushed a few beer cans with them. But they've kept it together and kept me upright while fishing. I would recommend taking your waders, socks and visiting your nearest fly shop to test out your bear escape plan. You might find a new pair of wading boots while you're there.