Gray’s Best 2017

(River Travelers, by Chet Reneson)

ANGLING: Simms Intruder Boot

simmsintruderbootWet wading is the best. I love the dissonance of cold water curling around my feet and summer air blanketing my body. I generally ditch the waders by the first week of June (weather depending, of course). And while I love freeing my trunk from clammy Gore-Tex, footwear becomes a problem. River sandals are comfortable but lack ankle support and stability. Traditional wading boots require neoprene socks that fail to block gravel and turn my feet into prune soup. Simms has long designed innovative wading gear, and the Intruder Boot ($180) elegantly continues that tradition. The Intruder is built explicitly for wet wading, with a built-in neoprene cuff that prevents the ingress of insidious pebbles far more effectively than traditional wading socks. Mesh holes above the foot-beds allow water to drain, and while I wouldn’t say this prevents my feet from waterlogging, it’s a significant improvement. Intruders come with two different sole options. One is completely made from Vibram sticky rubber. The other features rubber around the perimeter of the sole for grip when hiking and felt down the middle for stability on slick rocks.