If you’re a fly fisherman or are looking to get into the sport one piece of gear you’ll undoubtedly pick up along the way is a pair of wading boots. If you’re new to the sport let me put it as simply as possible. The rocks along the bottom of rivers, streams, creeks etc. are very smooth and very slippery. Wading boots are designed to give you the necessary traction to wade in the water safely and keep you standing upright.
When I purchased my current pair I was just getting into the sport and I was looking for the most affordable wading boots I could find. I was also looking for a pair in my size, and let’s just say, not every wading boot is sold in a size 15. These restrictions lead me to the Chota Abrams Creek Wading Boots. These boots are sold for a pretty consistent $85 across the Internet. Wading boots in general range from $65 – $200 depending on size and manufacturer. So, my thought was that $85 would get me a decent pair but not top of the line, and this reasoning proved correct.
For me the most important aspects of wading boots should be; stability (do I have good traction and feel stable in the water), comfort (are the boots comfortable and can I wear them for extended periods of time without discomfort), and durability (do the boots hold up over time). So, let’s put the Chota Abrams Creek Wading Boots to the test, and start with stability.
The boots are felt soled and they offer excellent traction in the river. I have never had an issue with slipping off a rock while wading in any river. My boots are now almost 4 years old and the felt is still doing its job quite well. So Chota Abrams Creek Boots are 1 for 1. **Be advised, felt soles are illegal in some states so make sure you know your local regulations before purchasing boots, a list of states with bands can be found HERE.**
I find my boots to be very comfortable. This is always a concern when you wear a large size, have no idea how a pair of boots will fit, and if they will be spacious enough to accommodate your waders as well. These boots have excellent support and my waders fit inside of them nicely. I have spent 10+ hours strait fishing in them and have not once dealt with foot pain, blisters, or any other issues. Chota’s boots are now 2 for 2.
Finally, durability, here is where these boots lack a bit. I mentioned earlier that my boots are almost 4 years old, and although I have not had issues with the felt soles wearing out or falling off, my boots now look like this:
Chota uses a fake leather material for the outside of the boot and it wears out very quickly. When you’re wading in a river your toes bang against a lot of rocks so you’d expect some wear and tear but not this much. Really my only gripe with these boots is the lesser quality material they use on the outside. The majority of the boot has held up fairly well but the exterior will not survive the years unscathed. Chota’s boots finish 2 for 3.
All and all the Chota Abrams Creek Wading Boots are pretty decent. They aren’t too expensive, come in sizes all the way up to 15, give you excellent traction in the river, and are comfortable to wear. They only really lack in their durability. Now, I have to say that I’m still using these boots and they still work for their intended purpose but their esthetic value is long gone. These boots would work well for a beginner who can’t spend a lot of money on top of the line equipment but wants something comfortable and functional. However, if you’re looking for a boot that will last forever and look good for years, I’d advise you to look elsewhere.
Until next time, happy fishing!
– A. Egli