Some say expensive fly fishing gear won’t catch more fish. We disagree. Good gear especially wading boots will catch more fish, because you’ll be more comfortable which allows you to be out on the water longer, hence, catching more fish.
The Patagonia Foot Tractor wading boot is the first wading boot with a true hiking boot design in collaboration with Danner. Durable, abrasion-resistant, stable, and made with comfort in mind. So here are some pros and cons we found with the Patagonia Foot Tractor wading boot.
- It’s the most expensive wading boot on the market. When the new Foot Tractor was first introduced MSRP was $549.99. That is a lot of duckets for this boot with aluminum bars. The good news is, the boot currently retails for $399.00. Far more reasonable.
- It’s heavy. They call it the Foot Tractor because it weighs in like a tractor. Not really…but weighing in at 86.8 oz. It’s not a lightweight boot by any means and can make long hikes seem longer.
- Designed with hiking in mind. The lacing pattern and the uppers combine for a very stable, comfortable, and secure fit covering a variety of situations. Its sole is also stiffer, which adds to its stability and making it easier to stay out longer. Your feet will less likely be the reason your day gets cut short. In addition, the lacing design is made so tying up and taking off the boot is easier. It’s very stable and comfortable and to be fair the weight of the boot contributes to the stablity.
- It’s very “sticky.” The Vibram Idrogrop sole is designed for a better grip on wet surfaces and the aluminum bars add that much more bite on river bottoms with snot and larger rocks. Our tester found the aluminum bars bite the rocks covered with river snot making it much easier to navigate the banks.
- Drainage. The Foot Tractor features drainage to let water out of your boot while hiking and allows it for faster drying times.
- Durable: Made of full waterproof leather it is more resistant to wearing down and can be reconditioned. It is also less susceptible to saltwater damage.
- Well thought out aluminum plates. The midsole plates, don’t traverse all the way across the boot, allowing more give for better balance and flexibility in the already stiff sole. Our tester also believes the flexibility helps enhance its “stickiness.”
Other things to consider:
- Stichdown Construction: A feature from Danner, this allows your boot to be resoled by Danner.
- They are made in the U.S.A. with imported parts.
- The boots are designed with additional layers in mind. Neoprene booties, and socks. Patagonia recommends choosing your regular street shoe size, but if you’re looking for thinner booties and socks to get a size down.
- You can buy them without the aluminum bars, and also come in felt for those who fish areas that allow felt boots.
Overall the Patagonia Foot Tractor boot is a very good piece of gear, and probably one of the most comfortable wading boots currently on the market. The well thought out design and consideration, specifically for the angler is its most impressive feature. So, if you’re in the market for a new wading boot, please consider the Patagonia Foot Tractor boot. Go to your local fly shop and try a pair on. Regardless of how old you are, these may be the last pair of wading boots you’ll buy.
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