Probably the best backcountry fishing boot on the market today, Forra is well suited for long hikes and rock hopping. It’s also one of the more versatile boots we’ve tested. Over several months of abuse in the summer and fall seasons, we wore them to high alpine lakes, used them in drift boats, wore them with flippers to power belly boats, wore them over waders, as well as wet wading with thin, neoprene socks.
There really wasn’t an obvious flaw where we thought the boot could’ve been designed any better. These look and feel different than your typical wading boots. Some wading boots are built like winter boots; others like work boots, and others are bulky and overbuilt like Frankenstein boots. The Forra is alpine inspired, for life in and out of the water, like high-end Italian mountaineering boots.
They’re light and comfortable, yet supportive, and they have burly Vibram Mars sticky rubber soles that we found to grip almost as good as felt or studs on river bottoms, but not quite. You can get a variation with a grip studs traction kit, but we didn’t test those, because we don’t wear studs in boats, and we think hiking in studs is less comfortable than hiking without. It almost seemed that adding studs to these boots would take them out of character, though we certainly could see the value in that if you were to hike shorter distances, wade slicker rivers, etc. For rivers like the North Umpqua, studs would be the play. For hiking in the Apache Wilderness, leave the boots alone.