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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi

What sort of boot sole is most effective/safest for UK rock fishing?

I bought some Karrimor Hiking boots to use with my stocking foot waders for the Cornish Bumble, they look like they have a good sole and are very comfortable to walk in BUT once off the beach they were only just short of lethal!
(I had 2 falls and many foot slipping moments. It was the absolute least enjoyable part of the Bumble :-()

It turned out I had no grip on dry smooth granite BEFORE I even got to the weed covered rocks! :shock:

Do boots generally start out a bit slippery and improve as you wear off any moulding release agents?

If I screw the metal wader studs into the Hiking boots will the metal give extra grip? (obviously, picking only the thicker parts of the sole for the screws)

Any thoughts or anyone found a solution to getting more grip?

cheers Nick
 

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It's a tough one and no boot does it all. I have found felt soles superb on the slippy boulders I fish on a lot but useless on wet grass walking there.
 

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I use the Greys Platinum boot, rubber sole with metal studs. They've been great on all surfaces bar very thick, freshly uncovered kelp - Which I'm sure no boot would stop me slipping on.
 

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Nick
the rocks this weekend were very slippery indeed. Personally I find felt good for grip but only if they are loaded with loads of metal studs. Vibram rubber soles are good as well but if you fished the bumble, the rocks on sunday were extraordinarily slippery and I suspect not much would have worked well.
 

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I have wading boots but I am not happy with the grip despite some expensive studs. I was having this discussion with someone at Sportfish and they urged me to try wading boots with Vibram rubber soles for rock hopping. I ahvent checked yet which boots have these. Nathan at Bassmasters has some new studs dsigned for rubber soles he raves about so thats what I will be trying next!
 

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Evening Nick :) As we talked about, for all round performance & durability, I don't think that you can beat cleated & studded rubber soles. Perhaps not the best performing on absolutely all surfaces but the best all rounder imho. I don't know how long felt soles would last on the sharp, jagged mussel & barnacle covered rocks we often find ourselves fishing off in the South West, especially with all of the walking to the marks involved??

Apart from putting some retro fit studs (there are a few alternatives out there) in the soles of your boots I'm not sure that there's an alternative to improving the grip of your boots.
 

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I was using felt with studs at the bumble and on wet rocks they were OK. They were rubbish on a wet grass slope. The new Simms G4 boots has Vibram sole that you can fix both traditional studies and these new "Star Cleat Studs" that combination might work.
 

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I forgot to mention 25+ years ago I had a pair of thigh rubber waders with leather studded soles and they were great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the comments guys, it's great to know what you guys use rather than reading sales literature/reviews.

very helpful

Option One, is I'm going to give the boots another outing but fit some studs first.

Adrian was able to walk easily over the Bumble rock areas I struggled on, with his felt/studded boots.
But I'm not sure felt is an option for me unless I go for the boots with the interchangeable soles, because it's the lack of grip on wet grass with felt soles that bothers me. At least two of my favourite marks involve long walks and have fairly steep grassed paths.

I did notice that Vibram soles are also used in some work/safety boot soles for anti-slip on oily floors, so that might be another option.

Thanks once again for your help.
 

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Andrew mentioned Vibram and I can vouch for it. I have used a pair of "standard" hiking boots - Karrimor, coincidentally - and found them downright dangerous on any rock worn rock not covered with barnacles. But my Salomon boots with a Vibram sole are superb, and are currently putting up with a lot of abuse. Sure, the more slimy areas of rock, and wet weed, are still tough, but the Vibram sole is an excellent all-rounder IMO. I also have some Merrell shoes with Vibram and though not quite as good - they have a very different tread pattern - are still way better than the Karrimor boots.
 

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Being in the market for a pair of boots myself I've found this a really useful thread. As someone pointed out, it is much better to get advice from people who have actually used the gear, rather than from sales hype. I had a pair of hiking boots which were absolutely lethal. Vibram look interesting now that I've been pointed in that direction, lots of categories, maybe climbing boots - not cheap but neither is a new head. Great thread
 

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Studded rubber soles I have found great on normal wet weedy rocks but when you get on large smooth boulders like the ones you encounterd near Lands End, I've found them absolutely lethal. I have been told the aquastealth pimpled rubber type soles are the business on the boulders.
 

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as a long time climber i have experienced lots of soles and jumped round loads of rocks and boulders on the coast.
the key thing is that there is no one size fits all. i am not as nimble as i used to be so have to be a bit more carefull with dancing round on boulders. looking and reading the ground is a big thing and foot placement is another, a dimple which is a couple of degrees different will give a massive difference in friction so looking where you put your feet is key.
just to balance things i was wearing a pair of old karrimor shoes with waterproof socks and was up to my knees at points on everything from weed to wet and slimy rock and was very impressed with the grip. The difference maybe is i was expecting to slip at every step on wet rock as it hurts so might have been a bit more carefull.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
This has been a good thread, as I've been off and read a bit more, I keep coming back and finding someone has already posted what I've just read about, thanks again guys!

Neil wrote
I was wearing a pair of old karrimor shoes
the 'old' bit grabbed my attention, because some of the hiking/climbing boot soles tested much better in reviews once their 'release agents' (used in the manufacturing moulds) have been worn off.

So will have to hike around in some sand before writing these boots off completely, but looking at proper climbing/mountain boots I can see that the sole grip pattern isn't the best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Andrew mentioned Vibram and I can vouch for it. I have used a pair of "standard" hiking boots - Karrimor, coincidentally - and found them downright dangerous on any rock worn rock not covered with barnacles. But my Salomon boots with a Vibram sole are superb, and are currently putting up with a lot of abuse. Sure, the more slimy areas of rock, and wet weed, are still tough, but the Vibram sole is an excellent all-rounder IMO. I also have some Merrell shoes with Vibram and though not quite as good - they have a very different tread pattern - are still way better than the Karrimor boots.
Hi Neil,
Can I ask which Salomon boots you have?
 

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Hi Neil,
Can I ask which Salomon boots you have?
Now that I look, I was mistaken: my Salomons don't have a Vibram sole, they have something called Contagrip (It's the Merrells I have that are Virbam, sorry).

They don't do the model I have any more, but I'd say the closest current model is the Salomon Fastpacker Mid GTX. If I was buying now, I'd likely go for a slightly higher ankle with the kind of terrain I walk now.

I've hammered the Salomons for a year now. They've seen a lot of salt water over the past 4 months or so and I've had to refresh the waterproofing as a result, but still going strong.

You can read my review here this review, and will not hesitate to go for Salomon again once these have finally given up.

Digging a little more about the Contagrip...

This page http://dxn.me/q8 looks at the details and seems Contagrip is Salomon's own brand of sole. What's most interesting is they have a specific Water Contagrip
"Specifically formulated to maximize traction in wet, slippery and amphibious conditions"​
Unfortunately, I can't seem to find anything other than sports shoes with Water Contagrip. Maybe there's a boot in there somewhere.

And I just found this: http://dxn.me/q9 an excellent blog post with comparisons of Vibram and Contagrip under heavy walking (jungle) conditions.

hth

neil...
 

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Hiking and a bit of mild 'bouldering' on Bodmin Moor in my youth let me in on a few of the details of grip (skinned knees as evidence). For my rock fishing I'm using Karrimor at the moment but looking into Vibram soles in the new year. I share your opinion Neal, one should always place one's foot as carefully as possible but should almost always expect to slip in those conditions. Much like a brand new set of tyres on a car the release agent needs 'scrubbing' off before optimum grip can be achieved I think. Excellent thread/replies.
 

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I had some Berghaus boots with vibram, which were brilliant over loads of different ground. The eyes all fell off unfortunately as I didnt look after them and the salt destroyed them. I then got some North Face shoes with vibram soles, and they are nowhere near as grippy over wet rock/weed.

I just use my waders and felt soled wading boots with loads of studs in for everything now, even when I don't envisage getting wet.
 

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as a long time climber i have experienced lots of soles and jumped round loads of rocks and boulders on the coast.
the key thing is that there is no one size fits all. i am not as nimble as i used to be so have to be a bit more carefull with dancing round on boulders. looking and reading the ground is a big thing and foot placement is another, a dimple which is a couple of degrees different will give a massive difference in friction so looking where you put your feet is key.
just to balance things i was wearing a pair of old karrimor shoes with waterproof socks and was up to my knees at points on everything from weed to wet and slimy rock and was very impressed with the grip. The difference maybe is i was expecting to slip at every step on wet rock as it hurts so might have been a bit more carefull.
Hi Neal, what a great post that is. Nice One.
Thanks,
IAn
 
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