“What an ugly boot.” That was my first thought when I saw the new Intruder Boot from Simms.
Then I got over myself and gave the boot a try. I loved it. And I wouldn’t say that unless I meant it. For wet wading, the Intruder Boot teamed with a pair of the Simms Wet Wading Socks is the best wet wading system that I have ever used.
I have been fishing small streams a lot lately and have been putting the Intruder Boot to the test. Here are my favorite things about it:
The traction is excellent.
It has been a while since I have worn felt soles and I forgot how great they grip wet, slippery rocks. In addition to the felt, the Intruder has a Vibram ring around the sole that provides good traction while climbing slippery mud banks. For super gnarly situations, the sole accepts steel studs to provide additional traction.
Your foot and ankle are protected.
For a long time, I wet-waded in old tennis shoes. Then I upgraded to the Simms Riprap Sandal. I still wear the Riprap a lot on the Missouri and other rivers/streams where the wading is pretty mellow. However, the Intruder has now become my primary footwear for any body of water that has more treacherous wading. While wearing this boot, you can jam your foot into cracks between rocks without fear. Being fully enclosed it also protects your feet from sharp sticks or anything else that might try to poke you. The high cut of the boot provides welcome ankle support that prevents painful ankle twists.
Nothing can get inside this boot.
For me, the most annoying part of wet wading has always been deciding how many rocks I will allow to accumulate in my shoe/sandal before I am willing to sit down and dump them out. The Intruder has a built in neoprene wading sock upper that seals the ankle and keeps everything out.
I haven’t gotten any blisters while wearing this boot.
I’ve been wearing the Simms Guide Wet Wading Socks inside of this boot. The socks reduce friction between my feet and the boot and I haven’t gotten any blisters. My old wading shoes/sandals would always eventually start to rub uncomfortably creating blisters. This especially happened anytime that I would leave the stream to walk on dry land. Then, dirt and other debris would stick to my feet, get into the shoe, and begin to create uncomfortable hot spots on my ankles and feet. That no longer happens with this system.
Fishing in the Intruder Boot
Due to the traits listed above, this boot allows me to move quickly and focus on fishing. I like to fish small water alone and I like to move fast. The traction, ankle support, and comfort provided by these boots allows me to move from hole to hole as fast as I want to.
Last time I wore these boots, I hooked a large trout that dove under a rock ledge on the far side of the pool. I had to run towards the fish to save my tippet from being cut by the rocks that it was being pulled over.
After clearing the leader, the fish ran upstream and then turned and shot downstream into the riffle below me. The only way to get the fish was to run downriver following it until I could safely land it in the slack water of the next hole located about 200 feet downstream. I followed it on the run in the middle of the river.
I probably would not have landed this fish (the best of the day) if I had been wearing old tennis shoes or sandals. In short, the Intruder boot helped me catch a fish I probably wouldn’t have otherwise. Isn’t that what all good fishing gear is supposed to do?
I still think these boots look ugly. However, I love everything else about them. It’s one of the pieces of gear that you don’t realize you need until you’ve given it a try. If you like wet wading confidently and comfortably, you should give the Intruder Boot a try.