Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Gear Review - Foot Tractor Wading Boot

The Patagonia foot tractor boot is in a category of its own. It is the latest and greatest from Patagonia and with the fly fishing show right around the corner, it is the perfect time to check them out. I wanted to do a review on these boots after I had fished them on all different types of water and terrain. They are one of the most comfortable pair of boots I have owned. They are not the lightest boot in terms of weight, but once you are wearing them, you hardly notice them. The aluminum bar boot is a newer concept that started off just as a hard plastic bottom with straight bars across them. Patagonia has taken the concept to the next level with this boot. There is sticky rubber in between each jagged-edged aluminum bar to help grip uneven surfaces. A high ankle collar gives you maximum support for those long walks over rough terrain. Patagonia's Clarino® synthetic leather is a durable and abrasion resistant material. Unlike natural leather, you don't have to worry about the material shrinking. Finally, the "D" ring makes attaching your gravel guards easy as pie.

With all good comes bad, such as the price tag of $279.00.  It is a lot of money, however, if you consider when you buy other boots, studs are typically sold separately (which often cost upwards of $60.00).  Another downside to these boots is that the aluminum bars are soft and flat making smooth surfaces like shale dangerous to wade. On the other hand, given that aluminum is a soft metal, instead of cutting and ripping the stream bottom, it molds to it so that you can gain traction.

I have worn these boots on the Salmon River, Tulpehocken Creek, Schuylkill River, Big Spring Creek, and Valley Creek.  Besides the price and difficulty wading on shale, I think these boots are awesome.  Stop in at the shop and check them out.  

If you look close you can see Patagonia Foot Tractors

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