Patagonia Bar Boots
Ask anyone that has worn these boots, or crampons for that matter, and you’re likely to hear terms like “best ever”, “game changer” and “grippy as hell” empathically scattered throughout the conversation. They really are that good! We’ve been wearing them for a full season now and continue to be nothing but impressed by the boots comfort, durability, and yes they are “grippy as hell”! As we head into winter around here, the crampons seem more and more like a great idea for those that are still wearing felt soles or don’t want to mess with the hassle of removing and installing studs on their own. The Patagonia River Crampons are simple to use and give the same amazing traction as the Bar Boot, but can easily be packed around and added to your existing boots when conditions call for them. I’m thinking that they would be great to have on hand to add to your boots once you get to the water after a long hike through the snow around here or for backcountry fishing in New Zealand. Anyplace where you need to walk for a while but need more traction that what you can expect from rubber soles.
Sometimes the whole point of going away from felt soles gets lost and the Patagonia Bar Boots are the best alternative to felt that we’ve seen in terms of traction goes. Felt works great in terms of traction, but it carries a lot of sediment and microbes with it in between fishing trips. It’s very difficult to clean effectively and is big contributor the spread Aquatic Invasive Species across watersheds. Rubber soles greatly reduce this issue, but they don’t provide the traction or grip that anglers have come to expect from felt. So, many companies are reversing their course and going back to felt soles.
The Patagonia Bar Boots are a great angling tool in that they provide superior traction while helping reduce the likelihood of transmitting AIS. They are made in the “bomber” tradition that Patagonia is well known for (going to last a long time) and are the most comfortable heavy-duty boots we’ve ever worn. The flat bars are ok to wear in drift boats (slippery but much less so than studded boots). Once the bars start to wear down (we’re seeing about 75 days of heavy use per set) you can buy a replacement set of bars for $30 and replace them in however long it takes you to turn screwdriver a few times (power screwdriver works great).
So, in closing, these are the most comfortable and grippy wading boots we’ve ever worn and really think either the boots or crampons should be worthy of some serious consideration the next time you’re in the market for new boots!