chota stl wading boots
Reaching remote stream locations can involve miles of hiking before you ever wet your line. A good pair of boots are a must. I have heard of many anglers who bring two pairs of boots. One for hiking and one for wading. I can't see carrying the extra weight through the steep canyons and rocky terrain. I have tried several types of boots and found they fell into two categories: too stiff and too soft. The stiff boots provided great support and protection from the rocky terrain but my feet felt like they were on fire by the time I got back to camp. If the boots were too soft my feet absorbed all the hits from the rocks and my legs would ache for days. I also found that a really soft boot seldom lasted more than a season. I picked up a pair of Chota STLs a few seasons back and have never regretted it.
They sport a dense black felt sole, not as grippy as some of the cheaper models I have tried but they have lasted much longer. The soles provide just enough support to keep the rocks from destroying my feet while being flexible enough to make keep me in touch with the ground. The uppers are the real shining point of these boots though. If people didn't look at me funny I would wear these things daily. So soft yet just enough support; VERY comfortable. They drain well and the speed lacing system with elastic laces makes putting them on and taking them off a breeze. This lacing system is especially useful on those cold days when your fingers stop working. I doubt I will be reviewing any other boots for quite a while unless I pick up the STL Plus version with steel cleats. I can't recommend these boots enough. They are one of my favorite pieces of gear and a fantastic value.