Review: Korkers Devil’s Canyon Boot
I first saw these boots while cruising the show floor at IFTD 2014. They were the first BOA integrated wading boot I’d seen so they caught my eye.
Korkers sent a pair for testing, which I’ve been doing for about a month or so. I fish just about every Sunday on the Beaver Tailwaters (White River in Arkansas) as well as a spring fed river in Missouri called Roaring River when the White is generating electricity. I also took these boots to Jackson during an outdoor blogger conference and got to fish for about two hours on the Gres Vent River.
The closest competitor I could find is the SIMMS G4, which I also own. Here are my thoughts between the two.
Wading boots pretty much all do what they’re supposed to do. You stick your booties in em and walk around in the water. If they do just that, then I’d give a solid four stars. What makes that fifth star are the extras that makes a product special. In this case, it’s the BOA strap that eliminates the tying and untying wet laces as well as the the removable/replaceable soles so you can switch out the soles depending on what you’re wading in. They do offer felt soles which to me is a step back for me (our area in the Ozarks is under attack from Didymo). Nevertheless, the fact that they have switchable soles means that they’ll last longer since it’s typically the soles that wear out.
Design and Aesthetic ★★★★★
In terms of design, these boots are much more comfortable to slip on and off than the SIMMS G4 thanks to a neoprene tongue. While I do realize that the G4’s are designed to have a more supportive ankle, for slow waters like tailwaters that we have out here, there’s no need for a young guy like myself to have so much ankle support. It just feels bulky and restricting.
That said, last week I was in Jackson Hole fishing on the Gres Vent River (fast water) and nearly lost my footing crossing a fast moving tributary. That could have spelled disaster and right then I realized the benefit of stiff ankle support in boots. So for my particular situation fishing tailwaters mainly, I prefer a looser, more comfortable boot. But when the water is fast, stiff boots are the way to go. Because I prefer a looser boot, again, five stars here.
I’ve fished in these every Sunday for two months. A couple hundred rainbows, a few browns and a Yellowstone Cutthroat later, I’m pleased to say that these boots still look new. They’re definitely an over-engineered category in general (wading boots) so I don’t see them falling apart soon. But that’s what you should expect from a $200 pair of boots.
The neoprene ankle support is definitely flimsier than their G4 counterparts’s waterproof PU coated leather but that doesn’t make them any less durable. So in that sense, I can’t really give them a good reason for a 4 star here.
They’re $200 which is pretty up there for wading boots but is about 20 percent cheaper than the G4. That said, they are BOA boots which is a big deal to me. And for BOA boots, they’re one of the better values out there.
I’ll admit that I’m not as critical of gear as maybe other reviewers are, but this has been one of my favorite pieces I’ve received this year and is definitely the highest review I’ve ever given for a piece of gear. I prefer them over my G4’s, plus they’re a little cheaper which says a lot (when you choose the cheaper gear over the more expensive one).
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