I’ve been wearing Simms’ new Riprap wading shoe for a little while now, and I thought I’d share my experience with them so far.
- The Riprap is very comfortable, with a sock or without. Great footbed, excellent support. I haven’t experienced any inner seams/rough spots that chafe or blister at all when wearing them without a sock.
- They seem to run a little on the big side. I normally wear a M’s 9.5, and the M’s 9 fits me with plenty of room for a light neoprene sock (we also have these in stock). However, with the shock-cord lacing system, I can easily snug them up to my feet when wearing without a sock so that they don’t feel loose or sloppy. The Riprap only comes in whole sizes.
- Very good foot protection. Probably one of the biggest downsides to river sandals for wade fishing (other than typically poor traction) is that they don’t tend to offer much foot protection at all. The Riprap has a beefy, rubberized toe box, and protects the whole foot.
- The other problem with wearing river sandals is that it seems like you’re forever getting gravel trapped in them between the footbed and your feet, which can vary from uncomfortable to downright painful, and this is probably the biggest reason why I’ve moved away from sandals while I’m wading. With the Riprap, Simms has found the perfect balance point between lots of mesh for quick drainage, while keeping sand and grit out.
- The Riprap comes with Simm’s Streamtread sole, which is resole-able, and it’s about as grippy as a rubber sole can be. It will also accept Simms’ studs/cleats.
Summary: If I could honestly find anything wrong with the Riprap, I’d tell you, but so far I haven’t. I think Simms has hit it out of the park on this one, and finally convinced me that sandals are a thing of the past for wading. And, as icing on the cake, they dry quickly and look good, so there’s no need to change shoes when you hit the pub at the end of the day.
- Bruce Smithhammer