Contributors to this thread:
AK boat based boot thoughts
I am contemplating an Alaska boat based bear hunt in the next couple years (pretty much a sure thing), and thought I would spend some time researching gear and getting what has worked for everyone else.
I'm looking more for what you use for stream/river crossings and hopping out of the dingy to get ashore.
Have you guys used your regular hunting boots (I wear Zamberlans) and Wiggy's or Neos Sourdoughs, or Hip waders? Heck, maybe there is another option I'm not even thinking of that you can let me know.
If you used hip waders, what brand? I'd like something quiet (I need to get into longbow range) yet not get soaking wet inside from perspiration. Yeah, I know I'm asking for quite a bit, but I believe in the "Buy once, cry once" philosophy.
I highly doubt that hunting boots and a great pair of gaiters would fill the void, but maybe your experiences are different. That's why I'm asking the questions now. I don't want to waste my money, and I'd like an enjoyable hunt and not have to worry about my gear.
Thanks in advance, and good luck this coming season.
Cabelas Master Guide series waders work great, excellent ankle fit and quiet. Use a pair of Gortex socks and felt insoles.
Check out Cabalas Tundra hip boots. Regular boots transform into hip waders and then back within seconds. Perfect for marsh, bigs or getting in and out of boats. They are light and wear like regular boots. I need a new pair, worn mine a lot.
Maybe something to consider also is ambient temperature. If it's warm enough you might be well off to consider some type of stockingfoot wader and wading boots...IF you'll be in water a lot of the time. For part-time use in true wading the NEOS hippers are superb but too noisy to wear hunting. They are heavier Cordura and weigh over 4# per pair. Take them off when you reach dry ground and add them to the outside of your hunting pack. Somewhat bulky.
Woodguy65---I wanted a pair of those a couple years ago, but they were discontinued. Yes, those would be ideal, but they are no longer available...unless someone knows of a different manufacturer.
If you are going to be getting in and out of a boat on a regular basis, I'd bring a good pair of hip waders. They make it so much easier to deal with different conditions at each landing or mooring spot. If on a particular day you plan on spending a lot of time hiking around, I'd have leather hiking boots if it'll be dry or rubber knee boots if it'll be wet.
Oh crap wished I'd have known that - would have stocked up.
Frogg Toggs makes a very good lightweight sockfoot hip waders. It has a neoprene stocking foot and you can wear a Simms type wading boot. This is very much like the Cabela's product above. With this set up, I can wear chest waders, hippers or just the boots and still wear the same basic boot. For wearing just the boots I get a neoprene sock. I think I got these at Fishing USA on line for about 60 to 70 bucks. I just wore them on a 10 day float and wore the hippers most of the time versus the chest waders.
Someone needs to take the Wiggy's concept and build a product which is more durable and doesn't develop leaks/holes after a few uses. I've owned a half-dozen pair and know whereof I speak. They are a great concept and serviceable but their durability for me and some other guys has been very poor. I keep thinking about making myself a set on the sewing machine but I don't have the right fabric.
I agree Kevin but for short crossings and the weight you could buy 2 pairs and put them inside of the outer pair. They are not for all day use.
I've given up on Wiggy's as they are usually good for one or two crossings for me.
I just bought a pair of Yoder's Muck boot waders that I love.
The Tundra boot above is a perfect answer for the "tundra" but I imagine the buying audience just isn't there for that type of boot.
For my upcoming AK hunts I'll be either wearing the Yoder Mucks or my Sims boot with my Cabelas lightweight waist high waders.
These get some pretty good reviews and basically should like both decent rubber boots and hip waders