SIMMS G3 Boot Foot Guide Wader Review: Five Star Performance

Thank you SIMMS, for finally delivering the goods. I’ve been wearing my old set of Simms Bootfoots for the last 4 years, and Eric Nufeld (dear friend and SIMMS rep) was getting a little tired of hearing my annual pestering about bringing back these waders for us mostly boat-oriented anglers.

Be patient Jay, he’d say, you’ll get your new Bootfoots soon enough, but you won’t get ’em until Simms is sure they will knock the ball out of the park in terms of upgrading from their old model.  And how are your old boots doing anyway, he’d ask, smiling, to which I’d reply – still going strong, just a little seepage in the foot, nothing to complain about really, to which he’s smile again, and tell me that was one of the things Simms wanted to address before bringing the latest-greatest Bootfoots to market.

OK, got it Eric, I’d say.

The product development people at SIMMS were being really perfectionist about developing these waders.  Eric explained that the process of building World-Class Boot foot waders wasn’t as simple as I wanted to believe, and that the wait would be worth it.

Well, the wait was indeed worthwhile. Head-and-shoulders better than my last Boot Foot waders, the new SIMMS G3s are by far the best I have ever worn.  Ever.

First, allow me to explain my preference for bootfoot waders versus stockingfoots.  Simple:  a) 99% of my fishing these days is out of a boat, b) entry and exit time wearing bootfoots is super fast and comfortable, and c) bootfoots represent the most simple and comfortable wader option when I fish dawn to dark – day upon day, week upon week, season’s start to season’s end.

I finally got my new G3 bootfoots and I’ll run down some of the key features.  Be advised, I am a loyal SIMMS wearer, based on decades of practical experience; honestly, I expected these waders to be good, and that expectation could have biased my reaction, but when I slipped into these beauties, I found they were better by far than my last set, I took a close look at ’em, and here is why I believe they are a truly superior Bootfoot wader.

The Boots. These Bogs Boots are far more solid and substantial than any Wader Bootfoot I have ever worn before.  The foot bed is solid and there is serious ankle support, again, far better then any I’ve experienced previously.

The soles. I selected the lug soles, the SIMMS Streamtread, to wear in the boat when I’m fishing the estuary.  No need for felt here where mud or sand is the rule if I get out of the boat.  I also got felt soles for the times I am fishing upriver and want to get out and wade the gravel bars and sandstone in nearby coastal rivers.  Frankly, these two sole options are very nearly as firm and supportive (I think) as on the best wading boots one would wear over stocking foots. True, you don’t have the lace-up stability of the boots, but these Bogs Boots are a different breed of solid than I have ever worn before and I like them.

Note: you can add screw-in cleats to the StreamTread soles if you wish.  I prefer not to have cleats in the boat when I’m fishing the estuary (I always stand on my fly lines), and my Dory friends don’t want my wearing cleats in their glass or wood-decked Dories either.  But for many people, the non-felt, StreamTread sole with screw-in studs might be a great option.

The wader fabric. Oh yes my wait was well rewarded.  These 2014 SIMMS Bootfoot waders have the Gore-Tex Pro Shell material previously reserved for the G4 series; a material 25% more breathable than previous generations of wader material, with 5 layer in the lower leg and 3 layer in the upper wader.

Leg Seams.  SIMMS leg seams are front and rear of the leg, a design selected to prevent seam snagging when legs rub together – this is not an issue for me standing in the boat hour upon hour, but for anglers who are hiking miles each day, the no-inseam seam-design is a major advantage.

Neoprene inside boots. 6mm Neoprene is both comfortable and warm and that can make a huge difference in cold weather wading.

Suspenders.  Substantial, sturdy, easy to adjust 1.5 inch elastic.  The clips allow one to convert the chest wader into a pant, which I find a great option on balmy days out in the bay and in the nearshore Pacific on sunny afternoons.

Other features. Belt loops. 2 inch stretch nylon wader belt. Reach through hand warmer zippered chest pocket.  Inside pocket that is removable, to handle tippets including Maxima sized spools, and other slim items.

If you travel by air: Bootfoots will pack with less mess and moisture, in my opinion, than soggy wading boots that plus Stockingfoot waders.

Entry and exit time. Some people may relish the process of squirming into Stockingfoot waders and lacing up boots. I do not. Yesterday I slipped into my Bootfoots in something like fifteen seconds, including the time to clip on my belt and Stream Works pliers.  No, I did not actually time it.  I’m guessing at how long it took, but honest to goodness it is fast and clean to get in and out of those boots.

Who might consider these Bootfoot Waders? Tons of us PNW salmon and steelhead anglers fish from boats.  These waders make far more sense than Stockingfoot waders.  Lug StreamTread boots, with or without cleats, or felts are absolutely fantastic boat waders and allow us to be ready to exit the boat to land fish, to wade fish, and when launching and loading our boats at ramps.  Duck Hunters ought to love these boots too.  Remember the easy-in and easy-out feature, and the no-soggy dripping boots on the trip home.

Who might NOT want the Bootfoots? Hummmmmm.  Not absolutely sure, but I think that if your style is putting on miles hiking each day, up and down trails and over boulder fields, in that case, the Stockingfoot with separate wading boots might be more comfortable and secure on very uneven terrain.

My daily routine usually involves getting into my Bootfoots in the dark, driving to where I will fish, fishing till dark, and sometimes driving back to the cabin in the dark.  I hang up my waders overnight and then slip back in the next morning.  I only have a month into my new SIMMS Bootfoots this season, but I know how my old waders performed, and I can tell you that these are an absolutely fantastic upgrade over waders that I already loved.

Jay Nicholas, March 2014

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1 Response to SIMMS G3 Boot Foot Guide Wader Review: Five Star Performance

  1. Bob McCollum says:

    Jay: It’s been a couple of years since this post. Now that you’ve used these waders for a while, any additional feedback on performance, durability, etc.


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