Korkers Wading Boots Review

Korkers Wading Boots Review

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The designers over at Korkers have truly come up with a unique solution to a problem that so many anglers face. Their wading boots feature a detachable and interchangeable sole that allows the user to, very quickly, adapt boot traction as conditions require. It also allows the angler to replace soles easily when worn out. In this article, I go over the entire Korkers range including their wading boots and some of my favorite sole options.

Korkers

Korkers History

The Korkers brand has been around for more than 60 years. They started by making boots used by loggers in the logging industry. These original boots were made from used tires stapled to a normal shoe. It provided loggers with a boot to safely and confidently work timber.

The Korker boot quickly became popular in fly fishing circles. As many of us know, using standard boots in slippery rivers is a recipe for disaster. Since then, Korkers have made continuous advances in their boot design. Today, it is one of the leading wading boot manufacturers in the game.

Korkers Darkhorse Wading Boots

Korkers Darkhorse Wading Boots

Available Here: Amazon, Trident Fly Fishing, TackleDirect, AvidMax

  • Price: from $189.99
  • Height: 9 inches
  • Weight per pair: 3lb 4oz with felt soles
  • Sole Packages: Felt & Kling-On soles ($189.99) and Kling-On & Studded Kling-On ($209.99)
  • Sizes Available: 7 – 15
  • Color: Black
  • Lacing System: Boa

The Korkers Darkhorse is a heavy-duty wading boot. The fit is firm and rigid which protects your foot on rough and uneven rivers. It’s a boot that keeps your feet warm, making it perfect for winter or tailwater fishing. There is a small ring at the base of the Boa lace that attaches to your waders. The Darkhorse features recessed stitching on both the toe cap and heel support.

Korkers Terror Ridge Wading Boots

Korkers Terror Ridge Wading Boots

Available Here: Amazon, Trident Fly Fishing, TackleDirect, AvidMax

  • Price: from $179.99
  • Height: 9 inches
  • Weight per pair: 3lb 2oz with felt soles
  • Sole Packages: Felt & Kling-On ($179.99) and Kling-on & Kling-On & Studded Kling-On ($199.99)
  • Sizes Available: 7 – 15
  • Color: Black
  • Lacing System: Shoelaces

The Terror Ridge boots offer the same level of stability and ruggedness as the Darkhorse boot but in a slightly different package. This boot is a good choice for the angler that prefers shoelaces over Boa systems but wants the best Korkers boot money can buy. A unique feature of the Terror Ridge boot is that it has a webbing strap that pulls the boot securely around your ankle. This feature makes the boot well suited to slippery and uneven wading conditions. As with all the Korker’s premium boots, the Terror Ridge features recessed stitching on both the toe cap and heel support.

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Korkers Devil’s Canyon Wading Boots

KorkersDevil's Canyon Wading Boots

Available Here: Amazon, Trident Fly Fishing, TackleDirect, AvidMax

  • Price: from $199.99
  • Height: 9 inches
  • Weight per pair: 3lb 2oz with felt soles
  • Sole Packages: Felt & Kling-On ($199.99) and Kling-on & Kling-On & Studded Kling-On ($219.99)
  • Sizes Available: 7 – 15
  • Color: Black
  • Lacing System: Boa

The Devil’s Canyon is Korkers most expensive boot currently available. The Boa fastening system combined with the flexible synthetic material and stretchable upper cuff make this an incredibly comfortable boot. The boots are light in weight. The anti-abrasion synthetic material dries quickly which minimizes the risk of spreading invasive species. The Devil’s Kanyon features recessed stitching on the molded toe cap and heel support, which extends the overall life of the boot.

Korkers Women’s Darkhorse Wading Boots

Korkers Women's Darkhorse Wading Boots

Available Here: Amazon, Trident Fly Fishing, AvidMax

  • Price: from $189.99
  • Height: 9 inches
  • Weight: 3lb 3oz with felt soles
  • Sole Packages: Felt & Kling-On ($189.99) and Kling-on & Kling-On & Studded Kling-On ($209.99)
  • Sizes Available: 5 – 11
  • Color: Black and grey color combination with blue thread accents
  • Lacing System: Boa

Korkers have designed the Women’s Darkhorse boots specifically for women. It’s not just simply a small male shoe that comes in fancy colors. No, the fit is optimized for female angler’s feet. It features the same quality material and technologies as the original Darkhorse. The Korkers Women’s Darkhorse wading boot is the ideal choice for female anglers looking for a boot that will keep their feet and ankles safe.

Korkers Buckskin Wading Boots

Korkers Buckskin Wading Boots

Available Here: Amazon, Trident Fly Fishing, TackleDirect, AvidMax

  • Price: from $149.99
  • Height: 8 inches
  • Weight: 3lb 2oz with felt soles
  • Sole Packages: Felt & Kling-On ($149.99) and Kling-on & Kling-On & Studded Kling-On ($169.99)
  • Sizes Available: 5 – 15
  • Color: Brown and black color combination
  • Lacing System: Shoelaces

The Buckskin is a mid-level wading boot perfect for the angler that spends 20-30 days a year on the water. It’s a slightly shorter boot than the premium boots, offering slightly less heel support. The boots are available in a wide range of sizes (5 – 15), making them a good option for younger anglers.

Korkers Buckskin Mary Wading Boots

Korkers Buckskin Mary Wading Boots

Available Here: Amazon, Trident Fly Fishing, TackleDirect, AvidMax

  • Price: from $149.99
  • Height: 8 inches
  • Weight: 3lb 1oz with felt soles
  • Sole Packages: Felt & Kling-On ($149.99) and Kling-on & Kling-On & Studded Kling-On ($169.99)
  • Sizes Available: 5 – 11
  • Color: Grey, blue, and black color combination
  • Lacing System: Shoelaces

The female version of the Buckskin boot was created by optimizing the fit for anglers of the fairer sex. Korkers have also changed the color combination for this women-specific boot to black, grey, and light blue. It is slightly lighter than the original version and comes in sizes ranging from 5 – 11. Compared to the Women’s Darkhorse boot, the Buckskin Mary is shorter which offers less heel protection.

Korkers Redside Wading Boots

Korkers Redside Wading Boots

Available Here: Amazon, Trident Fly Fishing, TackleDirect, AvidMax

  • Price: from $139.99
  • Height: 7 inches
  • Weight: 2lb 6oz with felt soles
  • Sole Packages: Felt & Kling-On ($139.99) and Kling-on & Kling-On & Studded Kling-On ($159.99)
  • Sizes Available: 7 – 15
  • Color: Brown and black color combination
  • Lacing System: Quick clinch laces
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The Redside Korkers wading boot offers incredible value. The boots are 6 ounces lighter than the premium models, making them perfect for anglers that tire out quickly. At $139.00 you get a boot that uses the same soles and hence offers the same traction as the premium models. The only downside to the boot is that it is only 7 inches high. If you are regularly fly fishing in slippery and uneven rivers, the heel support might be too little.

Korkers Greenback Wading Boots

Korkers Greenback Wading Boots

Available Here: Amazon, Trident Fly Fishing, TackleDirect, AvidMax

  • Price: from $109.99
  • Height: 7 inches
  • Weight: 2lb 8oz with felt soles
  • Sole Packages: Felt ($109.99), Felt & Kling-On ($129.99), and Kling-on & Kling-On & Studded Kling-On ($149.99)
  • Sizes Available: 7 – 15
  • Color: Olive and black color combination
  • Lacing System: Shoelaces

The Greenbacks are Korkers entry-level wading boots. But don’t let that fool you, as with the Redside boots, you’re still getting the same traction system as on the premium boots. I recommend the Greenback to the angler who is spending less than 10 days per year wading. This boot also makes for an excellent backup if you’ve already invested in the Korker system.

How to Change Korkers Soles

The main benefit of using Korkers interchangeable soles is that it’s quick and easy to switch between terrain types. With every pair of boots purchases, you get two sets of soles. But, how easy is it to change the soles? Super easy, just follow these simple steps:

  1. Ensure that the base of the boot (without a sole inserted) and the top of the sole is clean and clear of any object. Also make sure that the slots on the side, where the sole clips into, are clean.
  2. Place the sole against the boot and slide forward to lock the front of the sole into position
  3. Pull the rear strap upward and clip into place on the dedicated pin positioned on the heel of the boot
  4. Position the boot on an even surface and place your body weight onto the boot. This will clip the sole into its final position.
  5. Repeat the above mentioned steps for the other boot and you’re good to go.

Our Favorite Korkers Soles

Korkers currently have 10 interchangeable soles available. The soles are compatible with the entire range of Korkers wading boots, which means you can apply the same sole system to affordable boots than you can to more expensive boots. Below, we look at 5 of our favorite Korkers soles:

Felt Sole ($39.99)

Felt Sole

Available Here: Amazon, Trident Fly Fishing, TackleDirect, AvidMax

Felt has long been the chosen sole for slippery rocks. These days, they are banned from many rivers. However, for the rivers where they’re still allowed, these Korker Felt Soles are hard to beat. They offer secure footing in slippery conditions. If the felt wears out, simply replace the entire sole or just the felt itself. I do not recommend hiking great distances with this sole.

Studded Felt Sole ($49.99)

Studded Felt Sole

Available Here: Amazon, Trident Fly Fishing, TackleDirect, AvidMax

This sole incorporates 13 carbide tips per boot to the standard felt sole. This results in the ultimate traction in seriously slippery fishing environments.

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Vibram Idrogrip Sole ($59.99)

Vibram Idrogrip Sole

Available Here: Amazon, Trident Fly Fishing, TackleDirect, AvidMax

If you’re looking for a serious upgrade on the standard Kling-On Sticky soles, then choose the Vibram Idrogrips. The superior rubber compound and deep tread pattern make for a better gripping boot on hikes. It performs quite well during wading, however, I would advise against using it in extremely slippery rivers. I would say it is definitely worth the extra $20.

Vibram Studded Idrogrip Sole ($69.99)

Vibram Studded Idrogrip Sole

Available Here: Amazon, Trident Fly Fishing, TackleDirect, AvidMax

With an additional 18 carbide studs on each boot, the Vibram Studded Idrogrip performs well in all but the most slippery rivers. If you need one sole to do it all, this is it. However, do not wear it on your next guided drift boat session, as it will damage the craft.

Triple Threat Aluminum Hex Disc Sole ($69.99)

Triple Threat Aluminum Hex Disc Sole

Available Here: Amazon, Trident Fly Fishing, TackleDirect, AvidMax

The same sole base as the abovementioned, but with large aluminum hexagon discs at the base of the spikes. The sole offers good traction in slippery conditions as the extra biting edges and soft aluminum bases bite through any slippery moss.

Conclusion

So, out of the entire Korkers range, what boot and sole combination would I recommend? My favorite in the lineup is the Korkers Darkhorse wading boot. It offers stability and protection when fishing and lasts a long time. If the legislation allows for it, I would opt for the Vibram Idrogrip sole for all hiking and the Studded Felt sole for fishing applications. However, if the rivers where you’re planning on fishing prohibit the use of felt, replace the latter with the Triple Threat Aluminum Hex Disc sole.

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