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: The ankle loop assists when putting them on, and the tongue loop is there when they need loosened to take off. These loops don't seem like a big deal, but if you've ever tried putting wading boots on or taking them off without the loops, you really come to appreciate them being there. Also, I've owned boots in the past that the ankle loops wore out after less than a season. The loops on these boots are still in good shape even after some use and abuse.
Reinforced heel and toe: Have you ever been wading down a steam and stubbed your toe on a big rock? The reinforced toe on these boots is thick enough to absorb most of those missteps. The thicker heel allows you to walk on large rocks without the annoying feeling of walking on them with your bare feet.
Removable insoles: These are one of my favorite features. Chota did a great job designing them so they truly do change the fitting of the boots. They're easy to slip in and out, and the thickness of their padding is far more than most other boots I've owned.
Waterproof outer coating: This does not mean these boots are waterproof. It means water is only allowed inside the boot through the mesh side screens. Less water gets in which reduces/eliminates the amount of water that the boots hold.
Outer Rubber sole: The outer sole's made from one solid piece of rubber that wraps up over the toe in the front and about 1/4 the way up the heel in the back. The groves on the bottom sometimes get clogged with dirt and mud which can make them "slicker" than I would prefer.
Check Amazon for current pricing:
How well do the Chota wading boots fit?
To me, one of the most challenging aspects of buying new wading boots or shoes is determining which size I should get. I like the option to use the same footwear for fishing with waders as well as wet wading, but this can be tough because when wearing waders, the booties increase the size of shoe/boot I would need.
Chota wading boots fit differently depending upon whether the insoles are in or out. When the insoles are in, the boots fit almost true to size. When they're removed, they fit 1 to 1.5 size larger.
Example: Size 9 boots with the insole in will fit like a typical size 9 shoe. With them out, they will fit like a size 10 or 10.5.
Which size to get depends upon whether you'll be wet wading only, only wearing them with waders, or both. This boot size chart should help you determine which size would be best given your situation.
To use this chart: In the left hand column, find the size shoe you typically wear. If you plan on wet wading and wader fishing in the boots, look in the second column. For wet wading only, go to the third column. For wader fishing only, use the far right column.
Quick Video of Chota Hybrid Wading Boots
Chota's Customer Service
I have no personal experience with Chota's customer service as I have not had any issues with their products.
I have however spoken with others who have contacted them and said they've had positive experiences. One nice thing about their customer service is they have a direct phone number you can call. I get so frustrated sometimes when I go to call a company but can't find a direct line to speak with an actual human!
Chota's direct customer service phone number is: 1-877-462-4682
Strengths and Weaknesses Summary
Versatility: With the options for adjustments with the two sets of lace hooks and the removable insoles, these boots work just as well when wet wading as they do when fishing in waders.
Comfort: Being very lightweight, with extra padding in the tongue and ankle collar, and having a reinforced toe and heel, these boots can keep you comfortable all day long.
Most noticeable Weakness:
Warmth: Because these boots are designed to be lightweight, they would not be a first choice with fishing in sub freezing temperatures.
Traction: Traction for these boots is fine most of the time. I've found that sometimes mud and dirt get stuck between the grooves in the rubber soles, which can make them a little slick on the bottom.
*Note: I have no relationship with Chota other than being a satisfied customer. I am a part of the Amazon Affiliate program, which in English means: If you determine the Chota Hybrids are right for you and end up purchasing them on Amazon, I might be eligible for a small commission at no extra charge to you. This revenue is what helps us keep our site up and running. Thanks!
Finding a good pair of wading boots or shoes that fit properly can be tough. I've owned my Chota Hybrid Wading boots for a little over three years now, and they have become my go to.
The three things I like most about them are:
Can be adjusted to use with or without waders
Have added padding which really helps with comfort
Drain water quickly which prevents them from becoming waterlogged and heavy.
If you are interested in checking out the pricing of the boots on Amazon, click on the image below.