Scierra X-Force wading boots
THIS rugged-looking wading boot, modelled very much on a hill/walking boot, is available in three versions: cleated sole or felt sole boots are £169.99 each, while the combination cleated/stud boots, which I had for review, are £189.99 and available in sizes 6-12. The rubber outsole has a well-thought-out deep cleated pattern with troughs and ridges on the sole and heel. The sole is not flat, it has a definite arch, and this gives a comfortable rolling platform when you are on the move. The sole has been prefitted with tungsten steel studs, five in the heel and 10 in the sole. These studs stand very proud of the sole so on a flat, hard surface the grip is attained by the studs alone as the rubber doesn’t actually come into contact with the ground. On softer ground, such as mud and grass, the cleats/stud combination works together very well. This rubber outsole, which has been bonded to a lightweight and cushioned EVA midsole, curves partway over the toe and heel for extra protection. The toe box itself is rigid, offering excellent protection against toe strikes.
Comfort and cushioning
The boot’s upper is made from synthetic microfibre and mesh materials reinforced with synthetic leather, a combination that reduces weight while also offering good durability. The joint between the upper and sole (called the rand) is covered with a rubber and synthetic fabric, again affording extra protection. A padded cuff increases comfort and support around the ankle, while the tongue, made from a soft but durable neoprene, gives some cushioning across the top of the foot when the laces are tightened down. Seven small punched holes on the inside edge of each boot allow water to seep out, but no debris to get in. By pulling the tongue forward you can create a nice wide opening, while a smooth lining to the inside of the boots makes it very easy for the stockingfoot booties to slide in and out. There are four sets of fabric lace eyelets, and three sets of metal hook eyelets. There is also a webbing pull tab on the back of the heel. I believe the EVA insoles are supposed to be removable, but mine were glued at the heel section so I couldn’t take them out.
Lightweight boot (the size 10s I had weigh 3lb 9oz), with a good solid build quality. I do have reservations about the studs sticking out so far from the sole. I would go for the cleated sole boots and insert my own studs.