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Boots

Simms Women’s Freestone Wading Boot

Light, responsive Freestone (rubber sole) Boots for freestone rivers.
Kara Armano picture
Kara Armano
April 24, 2024
Simms | Women’s Freestone Wading Boot
product description
“Defined by proven support, determined traction and rugged durability, the time-tested Women’s Freestone Boot powers through a full range of wading conditions.” – Simms
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

Simms continues to design tough, ergonomic wading boots, specifically for women, and the Freestone Wading Boot is no exception. While I’ve had some performance issues with past Simms wading boots and traction in the river, the Freestone boot proved to be a winner.

I took them on a recent trip to New Zealand, and hiked through blackberry patches and across moss-covered forest floors, while accessing rivers on the North Island. Once I stepped into the river, this boot maintained impeccable traction, making wading miles of rivers an easy task.

I appreciated the lightweight, comfortable fit and excellent traction of this boot. They were easy to get on and off, largely due to a partial neoprene lining, which can be a trick with some wading boots. In the product description, it notes that they are “waterproof,” i.e. “waterproof, synthetic scratch leather,” and we wondered if this was some sort of marketing typo: Obviously, wading boots are built for complete submersion, that’s the point. But we dug a bit further and found out from the manufacturer that the scratch leather (rubber) is in fact waterproof, the advantage being that it doesn’t “pick up and retain water,” or “saturate.” All big advantages when considering the working weight of a boot (42 ounces), when hiking to-and-from destinations.

I’ll be using this boot while guiding this summer, which often requires a bit of a hike and some unstable footing in Colorado’s high country creeks, and I have no doubt they’ll perform.

Pros

Love the lightweight feel, without carrying around the weight of retained water.

Classy, stylish design.

Trustworthy, grippy sole.

I haven’t tried them with studs, but imagine the traction would only improve.

Cons 

I’m hesitant to add studs, when already they have good traction on wet rocks. (I also don’t want to risk spooking fish.)

Does anyone really require boot cleats, unless you’re fishing the Deschutes, Madison or upper Roaring Fork? Stay near the bank, where the fish are, get a wading staff, or make a better (grippier) sole, like Simms.

Pricing

At $199.95, these boots are moderately-priced, appear durable and provide solutions to many wading and hiking scenarios. I’d recommend them for any woman angler. 

Craftsmanship

I love the blue highlights and option for blue or grey laces–feminine without being overt. 

Durability

The soles seem durable, yet are flexible enough to feel the rocks and grip easily. Past Simms boots have had too tough of a sole, which proved great for hiking and durability, but slippery on wet rocks. So, I appreciate the upgrade, though it might limit the long-term durability of the sole. We’ll report back later in the summer regarding the wear and tear.

  • Price: $199.95
  • Models: Rubber, felt soles
  • Sizing: 5 - 12
  • Colors: Slate
  • Weight: 42 ounces
  • Construction/Materials: Waterproof, synthetic scratch leather upper with toe and heel reinforcement, partial neoprene lining, dual density EVA midsole
  • Traction: Rubber outsole package compatible with studs, cleats
  • 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

Women anglers looking for a solid, durable, easy on/off boot with good traction. 

Conclusion

We know Simms always puts great effort into designing their products, and the Women’s Freestone Wading Boot is no exception. These boots will get you through many great days on the water with comfort, style and dependable traction.

Simms Women's Freestone Wading Boot being laced up lifestyle shot
Simms Women's Freestone Wading Boot sole being shown lifestyle shot
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