Most of us who have been fishing for a long time started in bootfoot waders–either because we were kids, and kids’ waders only came in the bootfoot varieties, or we’re now so old that we were fishing before GORE-TEX stockingfoot waders with separate boots were widely available. Either way, you don’t have to be a nostalgic old timer to appreciate bootfoot waders for all-in-one simplicity.
These Simms G3 Bootfoots tend to blend the best of both worlds–breathable, uppers and reinforced GORE-TEX leg sections attached to sturdy boots with a solid Vibram rubber sole. We prefer Vibram soles to felt, because even though felt grips river bottoms better, rubber lasts longer–and when your boots are permanently attached to a pair of $900 waders, you want them to last for more than a season or two.
We found them to be very comfortable, and so-far-so-good durable; the only concern is that the seam where the boot meets the leg can be felt on the inside–loose or dense clothing like sweatpants or blue jeans can bunch around that seam. So you have to be pretty careful to wear pants that won't ride up from the cuffs, or wear these waders with a pretty specific base layer like long johns or wading pants.
Other than that, the pros and cons of bootfoots versus stockingfoots are pretty similar no matter which brand you buy. I wouldn’t plan on long hikes and covering many river miles in bootfoot waders; they’re best suited for situations where you’re a bit more stationary, like duck hunting, fishing from a boat, or slowly moving downstream as you’re swinging flies for steelhead.