Here's an honest review of the new Orvis Boa pivot wading boot by an obsessive fly fishing addict.
What is as important as a fly rod for the fly fishing fanatic? The wading boots, of course. A good pair of wading boots is going to keep you on your feet and in comfort all day long. They also have to last many years of hard use in all conditions so it pays to do your homework and find the best ones you can possibly get. This is why this writer was excited to get his hands on Orvis' newest wading boot release, the Boa pivot, and put them through stream, rivers, trails and rocky ravines in the never-ending hunt for trout and the odd fat bass.
The approach I would take was a simple one, I would conduct two weeks of fly fishing on both some of my favorite river fishing spots and smaller trout streams; not only in the water or at streamside, but I would also put them through the hard use of long trail approaches, off-trail walking, ravine climbing and descending of rough terrain. On one outing I put over four miles in walking before even reaching a wilderness stream, the length of the walk I have to admit was somewhat extended as I became "geographically confused" at one point, but no matter, it was a valuable try nonetheless.
For the assessment there are four simple categories I took to get a measure of this new Orvis release. I would base the use on comfort, durability, traction and functionality to build a good picture of the Boa pivot.
What became quickly obvious in the first few wears of the Boa pivot was its comfort. This wading boot has the fit and feel of a good hiking boot and even after some pretty long walks on both trail and in the water these wading boots provided a great level of overall comfort and support to foot and ankle, even when on your feet all day. They are truly built for extended wear and to get over difficult terrain and long hikes.
These are built to last with enhanced sidewall and heel protection with a tough rubber-soled bottom. They also have a molded rubber toe cap to protect the wearer from stone strikes and the overall fit and design is like a top-of-the-line hiking boot. These boots are made to get you to the water, in the water and back and are designed for the angler who is willing to put the extra distance on to reach their own fishing favorites and get away from angling pressure. I put many miles on these wading boots and in two cases did some pretty significant rock climbing out of a deep ravine and they held up superbly.
Traction for freestone river wading conditions, over submerged and surface rocks, was excellent. Pair the boots with Orvis Posigrip screws, Orvis proprietary outsole for ultimate traction, and you will be surefooted in the water and on the banks. These boots also are an enhancement over older felt grip soles, which more and more are seen as a potential vector for invasive species, and in some cases felt is not even allowed on some of the prime fishing rivers in the US and Canada so rubber is the more eco-friendly choice.
The BOA pivot finishes by being highly functional. Built like a good hiker for long and comfortable wear they are also a snap to take on and off. With the Boa® Closure System, lightweight reel and stainless steel laces, it is truly a case of slipping these on over your wader booties and pop and turn the dial to tighten. To take off you simply pop out the dial button and it releases the steel laces and you slip your feet out. This lacing system is similar in design to high-end back country ski boots and allows for an ease of taking on and off, but also with a uniform tightening, that keeps the boot tight yet comfortable. This is a feature you will appreciate when gearing up in those early mornings or taking them off at the end of a long day of fishing.
I have worn many wading boots over the years but this really is the first boot I have seen designed with not only just traction in mind but also comfort and durability. It is constructed to get over all types of rough terrain over miles of hard walking and perform once you hit the water. It blends the best of hiking boot design with wading boot construction that will serve you well over the years. It is time to trade in those old beat-up felt soled boots and get the Boa pivot wading boot to get you into your next fishing adventure. With a MSRP of $199 you will be providing your feet a great investment.
For more on the Boa pivot see the Orvis site and check out their great video.