Updated: Apr 16
An in-depth review of Chota Hybrid Wading Boots
Have you ever searched the web or stared at a boot rack wondering which pair of wading boots would be best for you and your fly fishing situation? Worse yet, have you ever bought a pair of wading boots and regretted the purchase later due to lack of durability or comfort?
Finding a pair of wading boots or shoes that are comfortable, durable, and well fitting can be tough, but it can also mean the difference between enjoying a day on the water vs coming home with blisters and frustrations. In this article I'll give my thoughts on one option you might want to consider.
I'm Travis with Noses Up Fly Fishing, and in this article I'll be reviewing and sharing my thoughts about the Chota Hybrid Wading Boots, which I've learned a lot about by owning and wearing for the past 3 seasons.
Here's a heads up. I have no relationship with Chota, and they've never approached me about giving a review for their products. However, I've purchased so many other wading boots and shoes in the past that I've been disappointed with, and am so pleased with the Chota Hybrids, that this might sound something like a commercial. I promise you it's not and I'll try to point out both the pros and cons.
Quick Pros and Cons Overview
Comfort: Ankle and tongue padding is far better than any others I've used.
Durability: I've fished in mine for 3 seasons and notice no visible wear and tear.
Lightweight: Less than 1lb per boot and side wall mesh allows them to drain extremely well. This is crucial when I'm fishing anywhere that requires a walk or hike in.
Versatility: With the removable insoles, multiple lace hooks, and stretchable elastic laces, these boots can be adjusted to work equally as well for wearing with waders or wet wading.
Longer laces after tightening them: I've never experienced it, but I could see how these might get caught on rocks or sticks while hiking in or out.
No hook or loop to attach bottom of waders to: I clip my waders to the lower crossed laces which seams to work fine, but they do sometimes come loose and I have to reattach them.
Lightweight means they're not as warm: They're warm enough on most days, but when temperatures drop below 40 degrees, they aren't as warm as a heavy pair would be.
Traction: The traction isn't awful, but mud seems to easily get stuck between the rubber groves and create a slickness on the bottom on the boots.
If you're interested in checking out amazon's current pricing of the boots, click on the image below.
Features of the Chota Hybrid Wading Boots
Laces: These boots come with stretchable elastic laces and include an adjustable stopper to help keep them tightened down.
Tongue and ankle collar padding: This padding is far superior to any others I've tried. I can walk/hike in these all day without worrying about blisters or excessive rubbing against my ankles.
Side screens: This mesh like material covers almost half the boot on both the inside and outside. It allows the boots to drain very quickly so water doesn't build up and create heaviness. When I first saw how much of the boot was made up of this mesh I was concerned about durability. Because the mesh has been "criss crossed" with the rubber side walls, I've found no issues with the mesh ripping or tearing.
High ankle support: The term hybrid refers to the design of a higher ankle fit than traditional wading shoes. I've found this to be essential any time I need to hike in or walk long distances to where I'll be fishing.
Weight: Each boot weighs less than 1lb, which is far less than the majority of the wading boots on the market. If I'm on a day long outing and walking/hiking to and from various spots, this makes a huge difference.
Lace hooks: The Chotas come with two sets of lace hooks on each boot. There's a decent amount of distance between the upper and lower set, providing greater variability in tightness. When I'm wet wading, I cross and loop the laces around both sets. When using the boots with waders, I only loop them through the bottom set.
Padded mid-sole: This is the sole underneath the removable insole. They're advertised as being padded, but seem to be lacking a little here. This however hasn't been a big deal for me since the only time I wear them without the removable insole is when I'm wearing them with waders. When I'm wearing my waders, my booties provide the cushion needed.
Ankle and tongue loop: