You can spend a large chunk of your fishing gear dollars on wading boots, but when you fish frequently, a quality wading boot investment will result in more days on the river. Recently I set out to put together a set of wading boot reviews on boots that retail around $200. Having had family members use Chota Outdoor Gear, the Chota Lost Creek wading boot was high on my list.
I’ve fished the boots over the past few weeks and spent several full days in them while fishing the San Juan a few weeks back. Those were long days fishing from 8 a.m. to 6-7 p.m. Not once during the trip do I remember thinking my feet were uncomfortable or tired. They were certainly cold at times with the 39 degree water… but not tired.
These boots didn’t disappoint. They are clearly quality made and built to last many days on the river. Paired with a set of carbide cleats, the Chota Lost Creek wading boots provide excellent stability on all the rock snot you encounter on a regular day of trout fishing.
I think Chota nailed durability with this boot. Particularly, with the reinforced toe guard and rand (or rubber section of the boot above the sole). The rubber on the toe and heel are heavy duty and made to take a beating. I appreciate that given I’m not one to take my time carefully wading when fishing.
I tend to quickly move my way into the position I want and hope for the best when it comes to footing. Constantly bumping up against rocks and boulders, the reinforced rubber toe and heel keep your foot protected and help your boot last longer. The rubber heel is especially impressive given how far up the rubber extends on the back of the boot.
The upper section is made of Synthetic leather and dries quickly without retaining much water. It also flexes nicely on the bend of your step without retaining a crease from use.
The sole is made of thick ATX100 rubber which is quite stiff. I’m not sure how many wading boots I’ve actually worn the sole out of, but I do appreciate the ability to try :). More notable to me was the quality of the cleat receptacles in retaining the carbide cleats that I used. I intentionally pushed hard in different directions on a regular basis to see if a spike would shake loose to no avail.
One downside is that with durability comes some added weight. At 3 lbs 8 oz per pair the Chota Lost Creek wading boots are a little on the heavy side. Probably a small sacrifice for the level of reinforcement you get, however.
I’ll admit I’m not looking to impress the ladies with my Chota wading boots, but I also don’t want an anvil shaped block hanging on my foot. The Lost Creek boots maintain a fairly similar style that I’ve witnessed with past Chota boots. Simply put, they look like outdoor gear that’s ready for use.
The thing I appreciated most about the Chota wading boots during my review was the size. The Lost Creek boot is not overly large, and frankly is a fairly modest size given it has to fit neoprene booties. The modest size is appreciated given the amount of gear a fisherman/woman wears on a day fishing the river.
One other nice feature is the removable insole. This allows a variety of foot sizes to fit the boot nicely. It also allows the use of the boot in wet wading as well as with a pair of waders. I found my waders fit nicely with the insole intact, but its nice to have the option for varying foot sizes or neoprene thickness.
I also appreciated the rubber sole, and the versatility a rubber sole provides when fishing rivers or states across the globe that might not allow a felt sole.
The QuickLace system is a nice feature reducing the amount of time that is required to get on the river fishing. A quick pull on the lacing and engaging the barrel lock quickly gets the boot secure. I was also surprised at how easy it was to slip into the boot due to the flexibility of the upper section.
The only thing I would improve here are the eyelets that the lacing passes through. The lacing tightened really well at the top of the boot but did not pass as freely through the lower inlets making tightening the ankle or upper foot area a bit more difficult.
Traction control is great when the boots are paired with the “Long Rifle” Carbide Cleat kit. I had all the stability that I needed as I worked across sections of the rivers I fished. I couldn’t always guarantee that my feet were coordinated, but the cleats always gave me traction when my footing was placed.
The boots retail for $175 and the carbide cleats will cost another $30 so you are looking at around $200. You are buying a high quality boot here and I think it’s priced fairly when compared to similar boots in this range, and given the quality that you’re getting for that price. You also get a 1 year warranty along with the boot and a great customer service group.
What I liked most
Heavy rubber reinforced toe and heel.
Compact size of the boots
Great traction control when paired with the cleats
What I liked least
The lacing stuck a bit on the lower inlets, just adding extra time to lace up.