Christmas is my favorite time of year. Santa Claus was such a great human being and I love celebrating his birthday. And there's nothing better than going out to Target or Best Buy and wishing and hoping, then going home and adding all those goodies to your wish list. Then of course you get to open up all the shiny packages on Christmas morning to play with the formed and extruded pieces of plastic inside for a few hours before getting bored of them. The only downside is that I also have to buy stuff for other people.
This year Santa did me particularly well. I have been rocking the same pair of cheap-o wading boots for a while now. I've actually been trying to figure out exactly how long. I bought them when I was living in Colorado so they're at least 2 years old and they saw at least one season there. So my current boots are at a bare minimum 3 seasons old, and I think they're probably 4 seasons...of 40+ days each. That gives my cheap-o Chota wading boots a very high rating in my book as far as durability goes; perhaps a gear review is in the future...
The boots are now in very poor condition and are actually much worse than they look in this picture. The last few times I've had them out I've been worried they wouldn't survive the day. Seriously. The laces are about to snap in multiple places, and the seams in a couple places are totally gone.
But back to the point: the new boots Santa bought for me are big upgrade but there's a history with me and this brand. The wading boots I had before the Chota's were a pair of Korkers. I thought the idea of removable soles was genius for two reasons. One is because the felt fell off my first pair of wading boots before the boots themselves wore out. If I could have just replaced the sole (which I guess I could have had done) it would have been nice to not toss out. The other reason is being able to swap a hiking sole for a felt sole for a studded sole, etc.
My gear review for those Korkers is: they totally sucked. The felt only covered 70% of the bottom surface. You may think that's not a big deal, but when I get out on the water and my foot starts to slip I instinctively try to dig in with the edge of my foot...where the felt doesn't exist, so it just makes things worse. After suffering through those boots for a couple years and not really getting a great lifespan out of them I said "never again!"
Until now apparently. Once I saw that Korkers had revised their sole design to actually cover the entire bottom of the boots like any other wading boot I have decided to give them a second chance. I'm very optimistic about the performance of gripping the river bottom and the material they're made of looks much more durable, so I hope for the best.