Skip to main content

Simms Flyweight Access Boots

New Vibram IdroGrip really sticks to wet rocks.

Simms Flyweight Access Boots

New Vibram IdroGrip sticks to wet rocks.

Sometimes there are huge leaps forward in our fly fishing, like moving from neoprene to breathable waders, or from fiberglass to graphite rods. Tungsten beads, fluorocarbon tippet, and wading boots with “sticky rubber” compounds all made us more effective. The industry standard for these types of rubber outsoles for a decade has been a compound called Vibram IdroGrip. It was created, tested, and produced specifically to stick on wet rock. It’s used on many brands of premium wading boots, as well as on footwear for kayaking, canyoneering, rafting, hiking, and cycling (BMX, downhill, dual, or fourcross) and of course technical approach shoes. I used La Sportiva shoes with Vibram IdroGrip soles this past summer to summit Pingora Peak—a situation where if you slip on wet rock, death is a potential outcome.

It seems as though the chemists and engineers at Vibram have been busy, because they now have an improved rubber compound called IdroGrip Flex, and it’s exclusive to the outsole of the new Simms Flyweight Access Boot ($250, simmsfishing.com). According to SATRA—an independent testing lab based out of the UK—IdroGrip Flex provides more slip resistance on wet surfaces than any other competitive products or previous Vibram products. Vibram’s own internal testing makes IdroGrip Flex Vibram’s new gold standard for traction in water footwear.

It’s not just the outsole that’s new. The Flyweight Access Boot has a lightweight non-absorbent mesh upper, and a supportive and comfortable web lacing system that combine to make the boot feel like a comfortable lightweight hiker you’d want for long-range adventures. It has welded TPU overlays in high-abrasion zones, closed-cell neoprene foam lining, and pull-on loops for easy on/off.

I wore them on three different rivers in Chile, ranging from weedy spring creeks to tailwaters and massive freestoners, and also in lake fishing, jumping in and out of aluminum and fiberglass boats, wading rocky shorelines, and navigating muddy cutbanks. I’m no lab rat, but the soles seemed grippier to me than any previous rubber I’ve worn. To the touch, the rubber is more malleable and compressible to conform to the contours of the rock and provide more surface area and greater contact. With rock climbing rubber compounds, softer rubber provides better friction, but also wears out faster than harder rubber, so it’s possible these soles will wear down a little faster than previous Vibram soles. I’d still guess they’ll outlast the rest of the boot, and will have 20 times the lifespan of any felt sole.


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

Fly Fisherman Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Fly Fisherman App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Fly Fisherman stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Fly Fisherman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now