The following review was sent in by one of our customers….
For Tailwaters Fly Fishing Co.,
Regarding the new Simms’ “Rip Rap” fishing shoe:
I bought these a week ago and immediately took them fishing on the Guadalupe River, south of Austin, Tx. The river was low due to recent lack of rainfall so we knew we’d be walking the river, rather than boating it. Walking the river is my favorite thing in the world, and I’ve done it in more states and on more streams and rivers than I can count, but I’ve yet to find the perfect shoe for this…perhaps that is until now. I typically give up comfort for protection, wearing something way too heavy, to make sure I don’t bash my feet and toes all over the rocks as I hunt fish. The lightweight shoes I’ve tried in the past just don’t have a real hiking sole, or the protection over the toes and heels, made to attack the rough terrain I always run into on the river, as well as gripping the often slippery surfaces I inevitably encounter.
This shoe seems to do everything I could ask of it for this type of fishing. It hugs your foot closely, like most real shoes, yet it is so light and stretchy that it feels more like a very firm sock than a shoe. On the upper foot that is. Underneath your foot is a low profile Vibram sole. Anyone who’s ever hiked anywhere understands that this is the best sole in the world to protect your feet from hard stones in the river and on the river’s edge, while still providing a good grip for slippery surfaces, found in and around all rivers and streams. I have to say, I’ve never worried less about slipping and falling, than I did hiking the river in these. I was cautious at first of course, but I quickly learned that I could just relax and enjoy the hike. No matter what surface I encountered, these shoes just took it in stride. And they drained as quickly as they were submerged, keeping them lightweight and allowing my feet to feel dry as soon as I stepped out of the river each time.
One thing to think about; though the shoe has a very cushioned feel to it underneath your foot as you walk, it does not have much arch support, (its pretty flat inside). I solved this problem like I do with a lot of my favorite outdoor footwear; I placed a $10 insole inside the shoe and away I went.
In closing I’ll say this; I would recommend these shoes to ANY fisherman. I can’t wait to get them wet again; which I’ll be doing as I head to West Virginia in 2 weeks to walk those streams and rivers; some of the most beautiful in the world. I do this trip every year around Memorial Day and every year I get excited about trying out some new hiking/fishing shoe, hoping THIS one will be the one that works. I guess this year I can just focus on what their biting on…my feet will be “covered”.