January 24, 2012
When laces freeze/thaw over the course of a day of winter steelheading, they invariably come untied. Then you have the misfortune of removing your gloves, and attempting to tie wet, half-frozen laces. Try tying on a new fly after that. In three years of using this cable system on different brands of wading boots, and footwear for other outdoors pursuits, our testers report that the Boa Lacing System never comes untied, the stainless steel cables do not break, you can "tie" them up wearing mittens, and uniform tightness provides superior comfort and performance over laces. The Simms RiverTek Boa (simmsfishing.com, $170) is also "greener" because porous traditional laces, and the myriad eyelets and hooks that accompany them, are hard to clean and are prone to carrying aquatic nuisances such as didymo or whirling disease. Keeping with the easy-to-clean theme, the rest of the boot is completely synthetic with a full rubber toe cap, and lined with closed-cell Neoprene on the inside for maximum comfort.