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5.03.2013

Gear review: Korkers Chrome Wading Boots


As a fisherman who spends a lot of time in the water of streams and rivers, I have some high demands in a wading boot.  I have gone through a lot of boots and many of them only last a few weeks to a few months before I have had to replace them.  Boots that have lasted longer tend to be quite heavy but have been worth it because of the lasting quality.

Aside from durability, the two things I look for in a boot are ease of getting in and out of them and the support.  There is nothing worse that starting your day fighting with boots that don't fit right. The problem only compounds when you are on the stream and you have to stop to retie your boots.  It just takes a lot of the fun and enjoyment out of the day.  

When it came time to replace yet another pair of boots, I decided to go with a pair of Korkers Chrome boots.  A big appeal to me was Boa Lace System. I loved the idea of how easy these boots could be to get on and off along with the ease of tightening and loosening.  



The first time I tried them on, my thoughts were confirmed!

To use the Boa system, you simply pull the knob “out” until you hear/feel a pop.  At this point, the lace system is loose and you can easily place your foot in the boot.  Once on your foot, you push the knob back in until you hear another pop. You are then able to turn the knob to tighten the laces.  

Now that the boots are on, it’s time to go fishing. The terrain I cover varies from flats to hills, sand dunes, rocks, snow, and ice.  In the water, the conditions range from mud and muck, sand, gravel, and algae covered rocks. Throughout the seasons, the terrain is always changing.  So far, I have been able to use these boots in late winter conditions and early spring and so far I love them.  

The boots came with two interchangeable soles (the Kling-On and the studded Kling-On).  For the most part, I used the studded Kling-On in the winter and they were simply amazing.  They gripped the ice and gave me the confidence I needed to scale steep hills covered in snow and ice. In the water, they gripped slippery rocks quite well. The one thing I would point out is if you have the studded soles on, do NOT run into a gas station. Let’s just say that metal studs, tile, and gravity don't go together very well.   

Now that spring is here, I have primarily switched to the rubber soles. Aside from being safer of tile floors, I am pleasantly happy with their traction in and out of the water. Even on algae covered rocks, they grip quite well. With that said, I would still recommend the studded soles for really slick conditions.  

In terms on changing soles, it is quite easy.  There is a rubber tab that hooks at the heel or your boot and a hard plastic tab at the toe that fits into the bottom of the boot.  I have found it easiest to work from the toe to the heel. Once the soles are on and hooked at the heel, take a few steps and you can feel them lock in.  This set up makes it easy to change in the field but make sure you are on firm ground; not muddy or soft.  

The final element that I would like to cover is the weight. My other pair of boots was made by a top end company and while they lasted quite some time, they were heavy! In comparison to those, these things are drastically lighter. After spending eight, nine, ten hours in the water and covering miles and miles of ground, the difference is amazing.


In closing, these boots are fantastic and I really can’t say anything bad about them so far.  For me the support, weight, and ease of use are pure winners for me.  They have held up to everything I put them through and look like they will easily keep on working. These boots get a 10 out 10 in my book and I highly recommend them to all my friends and fellow anglers.

8 comments:

  1. Hi, Nick! Thanks for a fine review on your new Korker Chrome boots. I purchased another style of Korkers just this last year and really like them. In saying that, when it comes time to replace them sounds too me like these great boots would be the way to go.

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    1. They have served me well thus far! If you are hesitant on the lace system, the metalhead or the new KGB's look stellar as well

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  2. I have a pair of these Korkers and wouldn't wear anything else--they are the best boots I have ever waded in--thanks for sharing

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  3. I tried the Chromes, in fact 4 different pairs to go along with at home and in factory "fixes" spaced over two years. I finally gave up. The Chrome lace system comes apart, as you can see in the photo in this review. The little tubes the laces go through don't stay in place and eventually they gut stuck places that make it impossible to tighten the laces. In case this seems like a fluke, I have 1/2 dozen friends (one of whom is a guide as am I)who have had the same problem. Some with multiple pairs of boots. I finally got Korkers to replace the Chromes with Metalheads. The Metalheads cost less and have a different lace system that does not have the tubes. Why Korkers insists on stubbornly sticking with the lace system on the Chromes I have no idea. The Metalheads are awesome, you couldn't buy them away from me for any money. Korkers customer service was top notch. Stubbornly pushing the Chromes as is is a dis-service to anyone who forks out the dough.

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    1. Thanks for the comment

      I suppose it's one of those "what's good for the goose isn't always good for the chicken" type of things. While I put on quite a bit of miles with all of my gear, perhaps as a guide you put on even more.

      Still nice to hear that Korkers took care of you and that you are happy with their replacements.

      Best
      Nick
      BFA

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  4. I have thought about these boots, but I stayed away from them. One thing that concerned me was, what if was out on the water and the wire/cord broke. I'd be SOL until I got home, contacted customer service, and waited for them to ship a replacement. But with laces I could easily go back to my car and replace them. Just my thoughts. I do love the concept of those Korkers, and their interchangeable soles.

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    1. The laces are pretty easy to replace. Not as simple as running a new lace through eyelets, but not too bad. You just need and extra lace and a little tool. I got these *free* from BOA. Now I keep a backup with me.....I just keep it with my wader repair kit.

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