Simms Flyweight Boots
Photo credit: Alex Hansen

Simms Flyweight Boots: Hiking Efficiency Meets Fly Fishing Footwear

Weighing in at a scant 40 ounces, the Flyweights from Simms blur the line between fly fishing footwear and hiking boots.

Wading boots haven’t exactly been the poster child for efficient, agile movement. If you’re the type of angler that logs long days and hard miles to get to the stretch of river that hasn’t been fished, this is less than ideal. Luckily, as the fly fishing industry has begun pushing innovation in the sport, more lightweight options have begun to pop up across the marketplace.

Enter the Flyweight Wading Boots from Simms. These boots just might change the way you think about athletic movement and comfort in your wading boots.

Simms Flyweight Boots
Photo Credit: Zach Burton

Who Are the Flyweight Boots For?

The Simms Flyweight Boots are a fly fishing boot built around the premise of lightweight efficiency. These are wading boots for someone who spends long days on the path less traveled and wants a nimble, efficient set of boots to get them to the honey hole.

If you like to push the limits finding new water farther up the mountain or like bushwhacking your way to an un-fished bend in the river, the Flyweight Boots should be a priority addition to your gear closet.

In short, these boots are made to push you farther on the river while providing ample comfort for long days chasing fins.

Simms Flyweight Boots: Testing

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to test these boots near Jackson, Wyoming, in the Gros Ventre Wilderness. Surrounded by beautiful mountains and vast public land, I spent hours throwing bugs for native cutthroat and brook trout. I primarily fished Granite Creek, a smaller river with many intricacies that keep things interesting.

The areas that we fished had long approaches with relatively steep and technical drops and ascents in and out of the river. I wanted to put the Flyweights through paces similar to what I would with standard hiking boots. I fished with these boots down to about 45 degrees Fahrenheit (air temperature) well after dark on several occasions.

And while I know this isn’t their intended use, I wore the Flyweights (and Simms G4 Pro Waders) while whitewater rafting to keep myself warm and dry for hours — they are that comfortable.

Fly Fishing Jackson_Wyoming
Photo credit: Alex Hansen

Impressions

At this point, it should come as no surprise when I say that these boots are light. At 40 ounces per pair, these wading boots aren’t much heavier than some of my favorite hiking boots. Simms built these boots to compete with offerings from other brands in the “ultralight” category, so I expected these boots to impress on the scale.

The Flyweights earn their keep with their blend of comfort and lightweight design. Right out of the box, I was impressed with how well the boots fit my foot, and the comfort only improved with time hiking and on the water.

Simms’ speed-lace system effectively pulls everything tight across your foot, keeping you stable and secure. The synthetic upper is low-profile and makes you feel agile, rather than clumsy, as you scramble down rocks. At times, I found myself forgetting I was even wearing wading boots.

When combined with the lightweight nature of the boot, you’re looking at a completely different mindset for your feet over the course of a long day fishing. While I didn’t need studs, it’s worth noting that these boots are stud-compatible, another key benefit.

Simms Flyweight boots
Photo Credit: Zach Burton

High-Level Benefits

  • Super lightweight and comfortable; feels like you’re wearing hiking boots
  • Great price for this level of quality ($199)
  • Agile movement for tough-to-reach honey holes
  • Vibram sole with the option to add studs
  • Hot take: These boots are very aesthetically pleasing

Words of Caution

  • Fabric eyelets for laces could pose issues breaking down long-term from wear and tear
  • Sizing seems to run large, I went about half size down for the right fit
  • Boots this lightweight may not lend themselves to years of abuse on the river; while they feel durable, I haven’t had them long enough to say definitively either way
Simms Flyweight Boots
Photo credit: Alex Hansen

Final Thoughts

All-day comfort packed into a lightweight design at the reasonable price of $199 makes these boots tough to beat. Feeling agile in my wading boots isn’t something I expected, but the Flyweights are a welcome change of pace.

While there may be some questions of long-term durability, if you want wading boots that put comfort and freedom of movement first, these are a worthwhile addition to your gear closet.

Simms Flyweight Boots review
Photo Credit: Hannah Burton
Zach Burton
By

Zach has shaped his life and work around outdoors, adventure, and generally being as active outside as possible. He’s devoted to activities and experiences that push him mentally and physically and is a firm believer that there is 'no such thing as bad weather.' If he’s not riding his bike or planning his next adventure, you can find Zach hunting with his dog Stella, fly fishing, or climbing.

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