If there’s one thing that I do tend to suffer with in these cold winter months it has to be freezing feet!. I normally have 3 pairs of socks on, drysuit on top, all slipped into a pair of Gul wetsuit boots. My feet tend to last 3-4 hours on a cold day at best before they get really cold. I think a lot of the problem is down to the boots filling with water when launching the kayak, or whilst sitting side saddle when fishing. Sure, the water will warm up to a degree, though it can’t be helping matters.
Over the past year or two I’ve seen a handful of UK anglers investing in a pair of Chota Mukluks. They certainly looked the part though they came with a hefty price tag, around £100 or more if memory serves me right. I don’t believe that they are sold here in the UK anymore.
Anyway, I was surfing Ebay and came across a new unused pair in the USA. They didn’t sell in the auction so I contacted the seller and a deal was struck. A week later they arrived in the UK, total cost to me was just over £80. First concern was that they were a size 13, great, just what I’d wanted. Though the penny had dropped whilst they were en-route that they were a size 13 US, hence a UK size 12. Now I normally go at least 2 sizes larger than my foot size to allow for socks, drysuit, etc.. were they going to be too small??
Out of the box first impressions were good, brand new with all the tags still attached. They’re quite heavy, though I’m comparing them to my Gul ankle boots. The soles are heavy duty and will resist sharp rocks with ease, something my thin soled Gul boots failed to do.
The main body of the boot is fleece-lined 3mm closed-cell neoprene which should hopefully prove to be very warm. The material has quite a lot of give in it which is a good thing. When I first looked at the boots I could imagine being able to get the over my calves when I was wearing my snowboarding pants with a drysuit over the top. However, they’re easy to put on and with two pairs of thick socks there is still a good 1/2” or more of toe space remaining.
There’s plenty of protection for the toes and heel with rubber protection for both areas. Note the ‘quicklace’ around the ankles for improved fitting.
The sole thickness is quoted as 7mm with I have no reasons to doubt, sturdy is a good word to describe the soles. The soles also afford plenty of grip so they should prove quite effective over slippery terrain.
A nylon cinch strap is fitted to the top of the boot offers a good splash proof seal. The quicklace system fitted around the ankle allows for better fitting and there’s a tie point on either side of the boot to allow any loose end to be tied back out of the way.
Initial impressions are good. The build quality is superb and they appear to offer excellent insulation, plus the rugged sole should be effective on the stony/rocky areas that I tend to launch from. I’ll have the opportunity to try them out during the next 3-4 weeks so I’ll be in a good position to start providing some feedback.