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Simms Challenger 7-inch Deck Boot

A comfortable, waterproof boot designed for boaters, fishermen and dock duties.
Andrew Steketee author.
Andrew Steketee
March 30, 2024
Simms | Challenger 7-inch Deck Boot
product description
The Simms Challenger 7-inch Deck Boot is a comfortable, waterproof boot designed for boaters, fishermen and dock duties.
company ethos
“Like you, we’ve come to realize that fishing isn’t a pastime. It’s not a hobby. And it’s not a sport. Fishing is our way of life. And we firmly believe we all owe it to ourselves to make as much time as possible to do the things we truly live for. After all, you get one life. #FishItWell.” – Simms

Product story

The Simms Challenger 7-inch Deck Boot was designed to be a versatile and ergonomic short-boot solution for “wet, cold and rainy environments.” Built with a “vulcanized rubber outer, neoprene lining and proprietary rugged outsole,” Simms seemed intent on placing a comfortable distance between themselves and the rest of the highly-competitive waterproof deck boot space (Grundéns, Huk Gear, XTRATUF etc.). And where there’s a will, there’s a way, because this well-designed boot largely blows away the competition.   


Some of the design decisions you notice right away and make complete sense: 1. The seven-inch boot is a comfortable and functional height, while many of the competitor’s come in shorter. 2. A rear pull tab and kick-off provide a nice way to get the boot on and off, without creating unnecessary, line-tangling features. 3. The Vibram outsole channels water, easily grips most surfaces and doesn’t mark floors or boat decks. 4. Warmth and comfort are provided by a snug, neoprene ankle cuff, micro-grid fleece lining and a “right angle footbed” to (ostensibly) remove knee and back fatigue. That’s a lot of engineering for a $129.95 deck boot. 


It’s not often that the marketing hype comes close to meeting the everyday performance of a product offering, but the Challenger Deck Boot comes pretty close. The boot is snug in the upper, comfortable in the foot and grippy as hell with the outsole. Compared to the XTRATUFs of the world, which are basically glorified rubber shells, this is actually a comfortable boot to walk, work and scramble around in–and the “wet-slip resistance” of the outsole lives up to the billing, even on ice. I also loved the warmth and comfort features of the neoprene ankle cuff and fleece lining, which can become a grating annoyance in other boots when missing.  


Billed as a highly versatile option for cold-water fishing, but also work and runs to the grocery, the boot definitely provides a number of crossover opportunities: think camp, lodge and boat deck. With warmer socks and the microgrid fleece (for wicking water), there are many opportunities to wear the boot in colder, wetter situations, though it’s, obviously, not a winter boot. The non-marking outsole removes any worries of scuffing up people’s floors or expensive boats, and I’m still looking for surfaces to test the traction. “Built with a ‘right angle footbed,’ which orients the foot to remove knee and back fatigue…” is basically a fancy way to say the boot was constructed with an ergonomic consideration. Having worn and walked in these boots a lot, they’re pretty comfortable when compared to the competition.


Comfort, warmth, solid construction, outstanding outsole grip.

Clean design to avoid fly line tangles.

Made by Simms, a highly reputable company.


They seem to run a half-size small, so check your sizing.

The general design aesthetic is for utility, not urban hipsters, for those who care.

Maybe more color options coming soon…?


At $129.95, they’re not a bargain, but also not breaking the bank. Compared to the competition, a nice value.


Clean, thoughtful design–maybe a little heavy at 50 ounces, but a well-constructed boot that will hold up.


They still feel pretty bomb-proof after 40-to-50 days of use.

  • Price: $129.95
  • Models: Non-marking outsole with wet-slip resistance
  • Sizing: Wear with thin liners or heavier wool socks (seem to run a half-size small)
  • Colors: Riffle Green, Slate, Black
  • Weight: 50 ounces
  • Construction/Materials: Vulcanized rubber outer with neoprene lining, proprietary rugged outsole
  • Warranty information: Simms warranty

Simms warranty.

“If your SIMMS product fails due to a defect in workmanship or materials, SIMMS will repair or replace your gear and get you back on the water as soon as possible. If your SIMMS product fails due to excessive wear, accidents involving barbed wire or campfires, or the natural breakdown of materials over extended time, SIMMS will make every effort to repair your gear for a reasonable fee.”

60 days: replacement for leaks.

365 days: “repairs on us.”

Likely buyers

Guides, saltwater anglers looking for warmth, outdoorsmen looking for a reliable, mid-height boot to wear on trips, or utilize in camp situations. Hell, I wore them all winter walking the dog in the snow and slop. 


If you’re looking for a versatile, waterproof boot that’s actually comfortable to walk around in, while also keeping you steady (deck-side) on your next east coast striper trip, the Challenger 7-inch Deck Boot is your ticket. Slide them under some bib overalls and let the bass start ripping your squid flies–your feet will be warm and secure.

Find the Simms Challenger 7-inch Deck Boot with our trusted partners:

M's Simms Challenger 7" Deck Boot close up standing on dock
M's Simms Challenger 7" Deck Boot close up kneeling on dock
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