It's been a pretty quick 10 days or so since I've been home from NZ and I'm leaving for Chile tomorrow. This is sure to be an amazing trip as I'm going on the Nomads of the Seas trip with my dad. I'm sure the fishing, scenery, and service will be spectacular but I'm really looking forward to hanging out with just my dad for a week.
Anyway, I've been thinking about the hype over rubber soles as of late. I think the wading shoe companies are the only real winners in this revolution of sorts. The pros of rubber soles are environmental in that they are easily cleaned, thus making it less likely for travelling anglers to pass nastiness around different watersheds, countries, etc. The negatives are not talked about as much but the reality is that the mfr process involved in making rubber soles is nasty in itself, rubber does not give as good as traction on slippery cobbles as felt, and everyone needs to get a new pair of boots.
The various govt. agencies and wading boot companies are putting the burden of spreading things like Didymo and Mud Snails on anglers. They don't address all of the other potential ( and more likely) vessels such as wildlife, livestock, birds, and vehicles. So, I think it's a "feel good" attempt by evil footwear empires to bolster sagging sales. That's my thinking anyway.
Rubber is fine for pea gravel riverbeds and spring creeks, but it just sucks on cobble or larger rocks with algae which are found in most western rivers. I don't think banning felt is really going to solve any of these serious issues, but rubber soles definitely have their place with anglers that do a lot of hiking or winter fishing. So, tone down the rubber rhetoric as the salvation to all foreign invaders is my only point.