Gear Review: Simms Keen River Wading Sandals

Let’s get this out of the way: I hate waders. This bias is based on the fact that mine almost always stink like mildew and crotch, they take about 2 minutes to put on (2 minutes I could be spending fishing) and I just love traveling light. That said, from May to October, you can find me waist deep in 55-degree water in nothing but shorts and sandals. For the past few years, I’ve been wearing a beat up pair of Merrell sandals.

I recently decided to upgrade to the Simms Keen River Wading Sandals, and I have to say the difference is amazing. The felt sole on these sandals makes all the difference. Plus, there is a thick rubber outer covering that protects your toes.

Simms Keen Wading sandal

The strap construction is super easy adjust or take on and off, using velcro and a plastic buckle. But the biggest benefit of these sandals over other wading shoes is that they don’t fill up with pebbles — at least not as much as my Merrell’s did. I’m a couple months into owning these sandals and I have to give them a positive gear review, they’ve held up really well.

-Felt soles stick almost well as wading boots to mossy Oregon streambeds.
-When I do fall in the water, I don’t have to worry about filling my waders.
-I usually beat my fishing partners down to the best water, while they’re putting on their waders.
-I can wear these to the bar, like I did last night. I didn’t get a second look from the security staff at Davis. Keeping it classy.

-Off-trail bushwacking will result in thorn-shredded ankles and shins.
-Wet wading with open wounds in the Eugene town run can lead to infectious disease.
-River sandals are not as protective as boots on the feet. Slipping off rocks really can hurt.

Simms Keen River Wading Sandals on sale: $59.95 at the shop. -MS

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3 Responses to Gear Review: Simms Keen River Wading Sandals

  1. Rae Spiers says:

    Where can I find these sandals? The link above is not showing them. If they are no longer available, do you have a suggestion for walking on slippery river rocks on and off for 6 hours a day fishing.

  2. Hazel Hadden says:

    We got the 2 pairs that we have from Cabels…but they don’t carry them anymore. I am looking for them also. My husband LOVES them for hiking in and out to river…and fishing on slippery rocks. If anyone can locate them please let me know. Thanks

  3. Mark Ripolone says:

    I have a pair I got in Montana I really liked them but they fell apart after a few trips . It seems like they didn’t use water proof glue. I reglued the left one thought I was all set went fishing and the right one fell apart. Both times I lost the felt and had to buy former replacement felt and cut them to fit. It’s to bad Simms wouldn’t stand behind them when I called they told me I was out of luck because I didn’t have proof of purchase. I will never buy a Simms product again and will try to talk others out of it. At least or is stands behind thier products

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