Patagonia Inc., the outdoor apparel company, announces two brand new wading footwear innovations for Spring 2012 – The Rock Grip Aluminum Bar Boot and River Crampon. Developed in the original Chouinard Equipment blacksmith shop in Ventura, California, these products are the direct result of Patagonia founder/owner Yvon’s development work and tinkering over the last year.
“In late summer 2010 in the same blacksmith shop where we revolutionized the ice crampon for mountaineering, I assembled the first prototype of the River Crampon and cobbled together a pair of boots with aluminum bars,” notes Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia Inc. founder/owner, “The boot and crampon have been heavily tested over the last year on the Columbia, Madison, Kispiox, Skeena, Dean, Ponoi and many other rivers that provide challenging wading conditions. Everyone involved in the testing agreed that they would never go back to studs or felt soles, as the aluminum bars offer a level of security that can not be matched. The testers, myself included, feel naked wading without them.”
Inspired by the mountaineering crampon but adapted for the river, the River Crampon (MSRP $199) is the fishing industry’s most innovative traction device for wading. The performance is derived from soft, malleable aluminum bars which are riveted to a burley, stainless steel adjustable frame with highly corrosion resistant brass rivets. The soft aluminum cuts through weeds and moss on the slickest of river bottoms and grips rock like no other traction device. The crampon can be used with most wading boots on the market.
The Rock Grip Aluminum Bar Boot (MSRP $239) utilizes similar technology but is a full featured wading boot with permanently affixed aluminum bars on the outsole of the boot to provide superior support and traction in extreme wading conditions. Other features include a compression-molded EVA midsole and polypropylene insole for rigidity and support and a highly abrasion-resistant toe bumper with a reinforced toe box for protection. Additionally, testing shows that the aluminum bars are much easier on boat interiors than traditional cleats.
“I have over 100 days on the water testing Patagonia’s new Aluminum Bar technology, fishing in some of the most difficult wading in the lower 48 like the Bear Trap Canyon of the Madison and Box Canyon of the Henry’s Fork,” notes Craig Mathews, owner of Blue Ribbon Flies and Patagonia ambassador, “I can honestly say that this represents a breakthrough in wading technology. I have been able to wade safely and confidently to areas on the river that I had not previously been able to reach in my 30 years of fishing these home waters. This technology is a game changer.”
Products will be available January 1, 2012. USA PATENT PENDING
You always hear about how good things are, but I can vouch for these bad boys. I wore them at the Salmon River, which is known for rough wading and didn’t fall once (personal best) I was even able to cross the river is some rough places. Make these boots something to consider of you fish hard to wade places!