Re: Screw-in studs for wading boots

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Posted by Peter Patricelli on 2013-02-16 07:37:14 in reply to Re: Screw-in studs for wading boots posted by Dan Blanton on 2013-02-14 15:00:32

In my experience there are two extreme ends of the slippery snot slope of wading substrates. One is the thick algae coating of small rocks or even bedrock. When you step on it with felt you get traction on the top layer, but that separates and slips against the under layer. You need something that penetrates through multiple layers and catches on bottom irregularities....thus.....studs.

On the other end of the spectrum are the polished smooth "river rock" style boulders starting from softball size and getting progressively terrifying as they get bigger and bigger. It gets progressively difficult (and painful...and awkward) to step between them, but step ON them, whether wet OR dry, with studs and the steel-granite interface (the harder, most "long-lived" alloy.....the WORSE) will give you a very intense, short-lived skating session with an UN-happy ending.
Felt works beautifully in such an environment.

While nothing is perfect, and everything is compromises and trade-offs, I painfully convinced myself that in the NW rivers I frequent, N. Umpqua, Deschutes, J. Day, McKenzie, Klickitat, Hood, Snake, and Skeena, felt alone....or studs alone, resulted in more falls and difficulties for me than the combo. I have bought, or been given maybe 5-6 sets of Korkers in my lifetime and as smiles turned to grimaces I re-gifted every pair.

To each their own.

Technically speaking, the most ideal granite-sticking metal is soft aluminum....ask any aluminum river boat owner, but the wear rate would be high. In my mind the ideal system would be replaceable aluminum studs screwed into a tapped receiver base as is common in golf shoes. If anyone made such a beast I would be tempted to try it.

For a beginners take on the asethetic pleasures of wading consider this written 40 years ago.

Peter Patricelli

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