I’m in the market for another pair of multi-purpose shoes. After the last pair I purchased, I’m pretty confident where I’ll be looking – Merrel. Merrel make a varied range of shoes, the range I am interested in have been incorporated with Gore-Tex technology. The end result is Merrel deliver a waterproof shoe.
18 months ago my physiotherapist advised me that my idea of proper footwear was a joke. Whenever I wasn’t at work I was making my way around in thongs or a pair of casual shoes that as my physio described as, “having a sole that resembled a slice of cheese”. After that I set out to make a purchase with a purpose. I needed to be able to wear the shoes in casual settings as well as when spending long periods of time on my feet, that included when fishing land based and from the boat. Apparently another important factor was that they provided adequate support, something that I supposedly wasn’t familiar with.
After explaining the requirements to one shopkeeper, she provided a flawless sales pitch for this particular brand of shoe. I say flawless because although I’m not overly sure what she said, tuning out after she mentioned Bear Grylls and hearing other key words such as hiking and waterproof. The rest is history, I purchased the shoe and discovered a new meaning to comfortable shoes (well for me anyway).
Despite being very skeptical about the waterproof aspect, I am now completely sold. The reality is, the cut of the shoe is only a few inches off the ground and apart from walking through the odd puddle my initial thoughts were, “what else could a waterproof shoe be good for?” As it turns out, they have proven themselves time and time again but the notable occasions are while walking through wet grass when i’ve been chasing bass or trout and have been perfect on the boat when standing in puddles of rain water. In any of my previous shoes, both of these instances would usually result in soggy wet feet.
Now I’m pretty sure there are other brands out there as well but as an alternative to uncomfortable gumboots these shoes have definitely earned their keep. Muddy creeks one day, a quick Gerni and dry that night in front of the heater before jumping on a plane for work the next day. My current pair have seen much better days but have been well used. After 18 months the Gore-Tex isn’t as water tight. Still care free and effective for rainy days however I do avoid walking in puddles where possible now (no doubt the regular blasting with the pressure washer didn’t help this). I’m confident these won’t be the last pair I own and will be on the lookout for a replacement pair soon.
What is your experience with fishing footwear?