Gill Fishing Mid Hydro Boot
Craig Raleigh

Gear Review: Gill Fishing Hydro Mid Boot

Whenever we buy a pair of boots, we want to know that they can stand up to uses that they weren't exactly made for, and the Gill Fishing Hydro Mid Boot doesn't disappoint. Sure, if you're going to try to do some hiking in these boots then you will find out that they're just not made for going the distance, but for around the house use in wet conditions they work just fine.

These boots are made for anglers and boaters that need a sticky grip on the deck of their boat, reliable waterproof protection, and all-day comfort. Not only that, but we have a need to be waterproof around the boat ramp and along the shore as well with some lightweight boots that don't drag us down when we need to keep moving.

While the Hydro Mid Boot might seem like another in a long line of decent waterproof boots, they are made with both fishing and boating in mind, and from materials that put up with the rigors of both. This pair of boots checks a few of the most desired things off the list for anglers and boaters, so let's take a closer look at them.

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The Hydro Mid Boot in a Nutshell

With a flexible neoprene upper can be easily rolled down, the mid boot is designed for anglers and boaters who need a higher boot, whether they're wading in high water at the boat ramp or fishing in cold, wet weather. The neoprene upper delivers complete waterproof protection while also wicking moisture and regulating temperature, even in the worst conditions, but they're not the tallest boots out there either.

The lining of the mid boot is also made with neoprene for both thermal comfort and a small amount of impact protection. They are made from a 100 percent natural rubber compound, not some hybridized version that doesn't hold up to our outdoor adventures, with steady on-deck performance and non-slip razor cut soles which provide a seriously dependable grip on wet and muddy surfaces.

As with any quality boot, you are going to want to care for it after use by hosing them down and wiping them off with a soft brush and letting them air dry. Any neoprene or rubber products always need to be stored in ways that avoid extremes of temperature, especially sources of direct heat and sunshine to give them every opportunity to last a lifetime.

Using the Hydro Mid Boot

It may be easy to just say, put them on and walk in them, but for someone like me who likes to really test a product, it is sometimes just that simple. Sure, I start eyeing mud puddles, creaks, the muddy hills around my home, and any other wet areas because it gives me a chance to get dirty, but I don't want to get wet either.

I was pleasantly surprised at how well the mid boots gripped the ground around our steep yard with the flat soles, which are mainly made for use on the deck of a boat. I even found them quite useful to drive in, since they are so comfortable and form fitting around the ankle, especially when getting in at out of my truck to collect and transport firewood. I don't do any cutting without proper work boots, though.

I walked through our woods, but stayed on the trail since these boots aren't made for any type of brush busting, and they're perfectly comfortable to walk in for an hour or two. I did walk down to the local stream and found an area to stand in for a minute or so, but you can tell right away that it's February and that you're only in your sock feet in that cold water!

With the ankle gripping action and the right materials, it is more than comfortable enough to use for a day on the water where the only walking you're doing is around the boat or to and from the creek or pond. They hold up just fine in the colder air, (with the right socks) but these boots are probably best used in the warmer months.

Forget that the Shadow Camo pattern looks great for a moment, and let us remind you that these boots are completely comfortable and have a great price point. In fact, with a promotion offer to folks who subscribe to their newsletter, (which applies on their first order and must be over $49) folks can get an additional 20 percent off.

Pros include the solid neoprene performance along with the rubberized material. The soles that are remarkably good in wet conditions along with the ankle-gripping style make them extremely pleasant to wear, and they're more than adequate in the cold. Cons, on the other hand, start with the fact you aren't just going to wear these in super-cold conditions. The inner soles are removable, and as you might imagine, they start to come out virtually every time you take the boots off. Additionally, they're not going to protect your toes or feet from anything heavy that might fall on them.

I let my partner Katie take the Mid Hydro Boot into the big city on a rainy day recently and eight or nine different people asked her what they were and where she got them. They were super easy to walk around in and the great looking boots got a lot of attention, even from the urban folks around her that aren't all that used to seeing outdoor gear in that setting.

These boots are altogether comfortable, completely waterproof, and easy to get around in, as long as you're not taking them on an extended hike.

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