Fly fishing enthusiasts know how important it is not to skimp on their equipment. However, a good pair of wading boots doesn’t need to break the bank.
Simms has a good reputation for high-quality products, and they offer some less expensive options as well.
The Simms Tributary Wading Boots tick all the boxes for high quality yet low budget and makes a great beginner or introductory boot.
The look of the boots is not something I am overly worried about, and I usually focus on performance rather than the looks of my gear.
With that being said, the boot looks appealing, maybe not as much as some of the top-tier boots.
They are altogether not unpleasing to look at, thanks to the carbon and orange coloring, and thick sole makes them look very sturdy and capable.
Tributary Carbon Wading Boots seem to be a little clunky. And truth be told, in a big size, they will probably look bigger than what they actually are.
The design of the tongue is gusseted, which prevents most of the debris from getting inside the boot. For even better protection, it is best to pair it with socks with a gravel guard.
The toe cap has the look and feel of a metal plate work boot. Sometimes I kick the stones with the tip of my foot when wading, and the boots undoubtedly saved my toes multiple times.
I am not overly happy about the upper lacing system. While the lower part doesn’t bother me at all, the design of the upper boot is a little bit off. The laces tend to slip off while tying the upper part.
I feel like a better solution would be a speed lacing system.
Tributary boots are made with challenging terrain in mind. I tend to get into rough places, and therefore I needed something incredibly resistant to cuts and blows.
The upper of the boot is made from synthetic leather and mesh with rubber overlays in high abuse areas. I have used them for a while now, and they still look brand new, with no scratches.
Considering how big they look from the outside, there is a big difference on the inside. I have a relatively narrow foot, but with two pairs of socks on (neoprene and merino), there is not much space to wriggle sideways.
I like how the stiff upper boot keeps my ankles straight, even in the rough river bottoms and how rubber soles grip the wet stones with ease.
Speaking of rubber outsoles, the ones on Tributary wading boots are pretty thick. I like how stepping on even the most pointy stone won’t make you cringe.
I have not tried the studs yet, but the design of the rubber outsoles allows to customize gripping patterns with Hardbite or Alumibite studs.
The “big boot” appearance might make you think they are heavy. But don’t be fooled by the looks. The weight of a pair of Tributary Carbon Wading boots is just around 4 lbs.
At first, I didn’t find them to be so comfortable because of their stiffness. But after few steps, I realized how different they are from the standard shoe, and I got used to the feeling.
That stiffness came in handy in the fast-flowing river. That’s where I needed the support the most, and Tributary made it easy to stay upright and push against the current.
They are not a boot I would like to be hiking several miles in.
They are perfect for particular terrains like riverbanks or forest paths, but they are not flexible enough to offer much comfort when hiking gets too heavy and rugged.
I had them on for hours and never complained from sore feet.
Simms Tributary Carbon wading boots pros and cons
- Thick sole protects you from sharp edges of rocks and stones
- Great ankle support
- Durable outer layer
- Excellent value for quality boots
- Fast drying
- Too stiff for a hike in rough terrain
- They look clunky, but not everyone cares about the looks
After getting used to the rigid fit of the boot, I learned to appreciate how well they support every one of my steps in the river.
The Tributary boots present a formidable opponent to rough stone edges and thick bushes. They are hardy and scratch-resistant from the bottom to the top.
They are a perfect fit for those who don’t like to travel on foot too far to reach their fishing spots or those who need extra support while wading deep in the river.
Simms put a very nice price tag on their Tributary Wading boots, making them an excellent choice for people looking for the best quality at a reasonable price.