I’ve been wearing the Simms Rivershed Wading Boot for about 3 years now and while I don’t quite agree with the Simms marketing angle, I sure do like the boot.
Simms describes the Rivershed Boot as, “An athletic design for anglers who want lighter boots to hike into the backcountry.”
At 62.4 ounces, it’s not clear to me what Simms is comparing this boot to. It is lighter than their Guide Boot, but only by a few ounces. I think it compares more to a heavy-duty backpacking boot—good for hiking into the backcountry, but not exactly light.
Just know that if you make this purchase thinking you’re buying a light boot, you’ll likely be disappointed.
Here’s how the Simms Rivershed Wading Boot performs:
Awesome. The boots are fully lined with soft neoprene, and the soles have plenty of cushion for my needs. I tend to hike 2 or 3 miles whenever I fish, and I have never had a blister, hot spot, or aching feet at the end of a full day on the water.
Note: I wear extra-thick socks to fit these man-sized boots to my lady-sized foot.
Stability & Support
Excellent. The boot cinches tightly at the ankle, the footbed feels wide and sturdy, and the toe box is stiff and covered in durable rubber.
I’m not the most confident wader you’ve ever seen, so I’m always pleased with the foot and ankle protection these boots provide. I never wonder if I’m going to twist an ankle or crunch my toes while navigating a difficult streambed.
Out of the water, the StreamTread soles perform just like a serious backpacking boot. I’ve hiked on muddy trails and scrambled up and down steep stream banks without losing my footing.
In the water? You have to install the Simms HardBite Boot Studs or Star Cleats to get trustworthy traction. The StreamTread sole grips wet boulders just fine, but add a little slime and your foot will slide.
I put up with the slip-and-slide effect for a while (good balancing practice I told myself). But when I finally installed the Simms HardBite Boot Studs, they made a world of difference. No slipping. No sliding. Just a solid grip that I trust.
The bottom line: The Simms Rivershed Boot (with studs or cleats) is a great choice for anybody who wants a rubber-soled wading boot that offers comfort, on-trail traction, and serious foot and ankle protection.