Worley Bugger Fly Co. Staff Gear Reviews

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Gear Review #6 May 2007  

 Korkers Streamborn Wading Boot

 

I had used the older style Korkers boots with the interchangeable soles for about three years and I really liked them with two exceptions.  There was not much ankle support and the interchangeable soles keep coming out while wading.  The versatility of the interchangeable soles is what really set the Korkers products apart from all others on the market.  The concept was great, which is why I originally bought them. 

 
When you encounter a situation where you possibly could be hiking several miles up a wooded trail and fishing your way back down the creek, this boot by far has others in its same class beat...hands down.  Take the trail lug sole for the hike and slip in the felt sole for fishing back down. Or if you are planning that once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Thompson or North Umpqua and need the best traction available?  Then replace the Streamborn Boots felt or lug sole with the Korkers studded felt soles (and grab a wading staff for good measure) and you are good to go.   When you purchase the boot from a authorized Korkers dealer, you receive both the trail lug sole and the felt sole at the time of purchase.  Two boots for the price of one.  What a concept! 
 

LUG SOLE AND PLAIN FELT SOLE INCLUDED

 

 MEN'S SIZES:6-15
 WEIGHT: 2.6 lbs. per pair
 COLOR: Dark Olive/Coriander
 PRICE: $129.95 Please Specify Size
 CUSTOMER REWARD POINTS: 130

More Streamborn Boot Info

 
Korkers Streamborn boot with various interchangeable soles could do the work of four different wading boots.  But a great idea without any engineering or ingenuity can still lead to a poorly designed product.  The problem with the original Korkers wading boots was getting the sole to stay put until you wanted to change them, NOT while crossing the tailout of your favorite river.  On several occasions, the Velcro strap was the only measure to keep me from losing the sole altogether. 
 

Evidently Korkers was listening to my complaints and the comments of others because in early 2007, Korkers came out with three new wading boot styles and several major improvements.  My new Streamborn model boots have improved ankle support than their previous predecessor.  This leads to increased comfort for all-day walking and wading. 

 

They also added more sizes which now range from 6-15.  Always plan on getting one size larger if you intend to incorporate the use of a breathable wader with a neoprene boot foot.  Be sure to get the right size by fitting them while wearing your normal waders and socks. 
 
By far the best and most important improvement in the boots engineering is the drastic improvement in solving the ďsole separation problem.  The soles now fit very snug to the boot, requiring a special Korkers tool to be used when changing different soles. The Korkers Sole Key comes packaged with your pair of boots and is not an addition to the cost.  The sole-changing process takes a bit of practice and a little more time, but if the new system keeps the soles from falling out, Korkers may have designed the perfect wading boot. 
 
The Streamborn boots retails for about $130 and the trail lug sole and a felt sole come standard.  Additional soles for specific applications can also be purchased separately for about $30 a pair.  These include Aquastealth, studded felt, studded rubber, and a boat sole.  The studded rubber soles also allow replacement studs to be added when they wear down.  These soles are by far the best traction for wading I have ever used when fishing on slippery, algae covered rocks.  Needless to say, I have a lot of confidence in my wading abilities with the rubber studs.
 

So far I have only worn my new boots in light-duty situations.  But I can only assume they will be much better than the older version.  Steve was given a pair in January and has used them extensively this spring and has nothing but positive comments to say.  Over the past several seasons, He has experienced problems with other boots and designs, especially on the Klickitat River,  where large to medium size volcanic cobble can be tiring on your feet and ankles.   He seems to think this boot will perform flawlessly on this treacherous wading river and looks forward to putting it to the test.

 
There is one thing Iím concerned about with my new Streamborn model wading boots: losing the sole replacement tool.  Without it there is little chance youíll be able to change your soles without considerable effort.  Iím worried Iíll hike five miles up the trail and forget the tool in the truck!  Speaking with Jason, the helpful Korkers customer service agent, I was assured that once broken-in, the sole changing process could be done without the tool.  The tool also comes with a latching clip, so it can be easily snapped to the outside of your vest or pack D-Ring to be stored for future use.
 
Feel free to contact me or any member of the Worley Bugger Fly Co. staff with any questions or comments regarding the Korkers Streamborn Wading Boot.