Korkers Buckskin Wading Boot ReviewApril 30, 2014
- Soles can be tread-matched to conditions
- One of the lightest boot when dry and wet
- Effective interior drainage
- Risk of failure of the interchangeable sole system
- Fabrics on tongue, laces and uppers can snag fly
- Traditional lacing rather than Boa system
The Korkers Buckskin Wading Boot take full advantage of the one thing that sets Korkers apart from all its competitors: the Korkers OmniTrax Interchangeable Sole System. But allowing outsoles to be easily and quickly replaced, the Buckskins allows anglers to securely explore a variety of water and terrain without the cost of, or storage space for, multiple sets of boots.
The Korkers Buckskin is a lightweight wading boot featuring Korkers Interchangeable Sole System. The Buckskin boot comes standard with both the rubber KlingOn soles and traditional felt soles, though other options are also available. Soles may be purchased separately as well.
To better illustrate how the Buckskins’ faired against the rest of the boots I tested, I only field tested the basic (non-studded) KlingOn rubber soles. These performed well on the snow and in the mud but it slipped more than I liked on the slimy rocks of low-water winter conditions.
The high cuff is well padded and provides high ankle support and the stiff heel lock seemed to prevent twisted ankles while wading tricky river bottoms. I traipsing through deadfall-covered forest floors without problem, and in good comfort.
A single boot went from 1.6 pounds dry to 2.2 pounds wet, but the material dried quickly and the interior drained rapidly, thus quickly dispelling weight gained while submerged. This also helps to prevent anglers from unknowingly spreading invasive and exotic species from one water to another.
Constant changing of the soles may reduce the life of the boots if the clip-in pins weaken or break from repeated in-and-out use. But judicious use of the system more likely means the Buckskins will outlast many of its competitors
The relatively soft, spongy rubber used on the KlingOn tread provides good traction in the water, but could wear more rapidly when walking on dry, abrasive rocks.
Buckskins come with two soles and two options for the soles. Even matched with the higher priced sole options, the Buckskins are the least expensive but most versatile boot in the class.
We field tested the boots in a variety of conditions, from the pebbly beaches of Puget Sound while chasing Sea-Run Cutthroats, to the fast waters of the Salmon River in Idaho. We wore each pair of boots for multiple days, and wore mixed pairs on multiple occasions – that is, one model on our left foot, another on our right – to get direct side-by-side comparisons.
Brett Prettyman has been an outdoor writer at the Salt Lake Tribune since 1990 and also freelances for a number of outdoor-related publications. He tests fly fishing boots and waders for the Gear Institute.