In my experience with wading boots, finding the right balance between durability, comfort, and price is essential. I’ve tried out Cabela’s Ultralight Felt Sole Wading Boots, a product from a brand I’ve come to recognize for its outdoor gear.
At first glance, these boots seemed to offer a lot for their price. But did they live up to my expectations? Let’s wade in.
TL;DR: The Cabela’s Ultralight Felt Sole Wading Boots are affordable and offer decent traction with included studs. However, they fall short in durability and comfort, with some users noting issues like rapid wear and potential blistering. While suitable for occasional anglers, there are better alternatives in the same price range for those seeking longevity and consistent performance.
Guide Pro Tip: In the same price range as the Cabela’s Ultralight, there are better wading boots out there. I personally recommend the Paramount Outdoors Deep Eddy’s for a superior wading experience. Check the price on Amazon with this shortcut link 👉 Paramount Outdoors Deep Eddy Wading Boot
Upon unboxing, the materials of the Ultralight boots felt a bit stiff and gave an impression of being on the cheaper side. However, the speed lacing hooks and metal eyelets for the shoe laces were a pleasant surprise.
The boots seemed to have more stitching than necessary, and the heel box was notably rigid. The inclusion of provisions for studs and the accompanying package of studs was a nice touch.
Aesthetics of the Cabela’s Ultralight
The boots, to be frank, look like they belong to the lower end of the wading boot spectrum. They don’t scream luxury, but then again, they aren’t priced as such.
Fit and Comfort
The initial fit was decent, with a flexible sole that I appreciate to a certain extent. Lacing them up was a breeze. However, there’s a noticeable edge in the heel pocket that might lead to blistering after prolonged use. The boots are true to size, fitting well with 3mm neoprene boots.
Scoring the Cabela’s Ultralight Wading Boots
After countless hours wading through diverse rivers and streams, I’ve truly understood the importance of a quality wading boot. I’ve owned several pairs of the Cabela’s Ultralight Felt Sole Wading Boots.
Initially, I believed a budget-friendly boot would suffice. However, after experiencing another brand at a similar price point, I’ve come to recommend a different pair that simply offers better value for the money.
Let’s dig into my score card:
The average score is 2.9 out of 5
|Characteristic||Score (out of 5)||Notes|
|Initial Impression||3||Stiff materials, but good lacing system.|
|Appearance||2||Looks like a lower-end wading boot.|
|Comfort and Fit||3||Adequate, but potential for blistering due to heel pocket edge.|
|Walking Comfort||3||Average comfort while walking.|
|Flexibility of Sole||4||Good flexibility, which is preferred.|
|Ankle Support||2||Limited support and cushioning.|
|Traction and Grip||4||Good grip with felt, but felt may wear quickly.|
|Provisions for Cleats and Studs||5||Studs included and fit well into recessed bosses.|
|Value and Cost||2||Affordable, but there are better boots in the same price range.|
|Weight and Drainage||2||Average weight, but lacks visible drainage holes.|
|Durability||1||Least durable among tested boots; issues with material breakdown and sole delamination.|
|Versatility||2||Suitable for occasional use; not recommended for frequent outings.|
|Lacing System||3||Speed lacing hooks and metal eyelets are good, but laces show signs of wear quickly.|
|Overall Score||2.9||An affordable option for occasional anglers, but there are more durable alternatives available.|
Performance in the Water
Wading with the Cabela’s Ultralight boots was a mostly positive experience. The felt soles gripped well, though they seemed to wear a tad quickly. The inclusion of studs is a bonus, fitting snugly into the recessed bosses in the sole. However, the soles have a step, which could be a potential trip hazard when shuffling feet along the riverbed.
Guide Recommended Tip: With the Cabela’s Ultralight Felt Sole Wading Boots, I noticed a distinct step in the sole design. This seemingly minor detail can be a significant trip hazard, especially when shuffling feet along riverbeds. It’s essential to be aware of this when wading, as catching this step on underwater rocks or debris could lead to a stumble or fall.
Grip and Traction: A Fisher’s Perspective
With the Cabela’s Ultralight, the felt soles initially offered commendable traction, especially when wading through challenging terrains. The inclusion of studs is a bonus, enhancing the grip on slick surfaces.
However, I observed the felt wearing down a tad quicker than I’d prefer. For those like me, who often find themselves in diverse wading conditions, the grip and traction of your boots can make all the difference between a successful fishing day and an unplanned swim.
Durability of the Ultralights
This is where the boots fall short. They rank as the least durable wading boot I’ve tested so far. The inside seems to deteriorate over time, and I’ve experienced sole delamination. The materials, while of average thickness, feel cheaper compared to other boots in the same price range.
Value for Money
Priced at $90, these boots are on the more affordable end. However, having owned three pairs, I’ve come to realize that there are better options available in the same price bracket.
What Others Are Saying
The boots have garnered mixed reviews from other users. Some praise the boots for their traction, especially with the cleats, while others point out issues with durability and comfort.
Reviews found on Cabela’s website – link https://www.cabelas.com/shop/en/cabelas-ultralight-felt-sole-wading-boots-for-men
Reviewer #1: 5 Stars
The boots have been used for about five fishing trips, showing signs of wear, especially on the black plastic plates. While the cleat-changing system on the felt soles is commendable, the plastic components on the boot’s exterior seem prone to cracking and tearing before the soles wear out. The reviewer suggests an upgrade to a more durable rubber-type material for these parts to enhance the boot’s longevity.
Reviewer #2: 4 Stars
The reviewer praises the boots, especially when using the included cleats, which significantly improve traction on rocky terrains. They’ve worn out a pair of these boots in the past without using the cleats but highly recommend installing them for better performance. The cleats might be a bit challenging to install, but the effort is worth the enhanced grip. The reviewer and their fishing buddy, both senior citizens, find the boots to be effective for river wading.
Reviewer #3: 1 Star
This reviewer finds the boots painful due to a stiff sidewall that digs into the lower part of their ankle. After only two uses, they had to pad the sides to prevent discomfort. The boots are so uncomfortable that the reviewer is already considering a replacement after just two outings.
Reviewer #4: 2 Stars
The steel cleats are extremely difficult to screw in, which the reviewer finds frustrating. Apart from this issue, the boots fit well and perform adequately, especially when purchased on sale. The reviewer has bought multiple pairs over the years, with each pair lasting around 1.5 years, indicating a moderate durability for frequent users.
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Weight and Drainage of the Cabela’s
I always opt for wading boots that drain well and are lightweight because they make my fishing sessions more comfortable, allowing me to move with ease and stay out longer without feeling weighed down or fatigued.
The Cabela’s Ultralight Wading Boots, as the name suggests, are designed to be on the lighter side of the wading boot spectrum. Weighing in at a dry mass of 3 lbs. 2 oz., they sit in the mid-range when compared to other boots on the market.
However, after a session in the water, they gain an additional weight, coming in at 4 lbs. 2 oz. when wet. This weight increase is a bit more than some competing boots, indicating that they retain more water.
One of the critical aspects of any wading boot is its ability to shed water efficiently. Proper drainage ensures that the boots remain as light as possible during use and dry out faster post-use, reducing the chances of mold and odor build-up.
The Cabela’s Ultralight Wading Boots seem to miss the mark in this department. Despite being labeled as “ultralight,” they lack visible drainage holes, which is a significant oversight.. The absence of effective drainage can also prolong drying times, which isn’t ideal for back-to-back fishing days.
For years, I recommended the Cabela’s Ultralight Felt Sole Wading Boots. However, after extensive testing and comparison, I’ve shifted my allegiance to other brands that offer more comfort, better durability, and a similar price point.
If you’re an occasional angler, these might serve you for a season. But for those looking for longevity and consistent performance, you might want to explore other options.
Guide Recommended: If you’re in the market for a durable, comfortable, and reasonably priced wading boot, consider looking at alternatives like the Paramount Deep Eddy 👈 link to Amazon. They offer better value for money and are likely to outlast the Cabela’s Ultralight boots.
Ready to Make a Purchase? If you’re convinced that the Cabela’s Ultralight Felt Sole Wading Boots are for you, click here to buy them now. However, if you’re looking for alternatives, check my 👉 Wading Boots for Slippery Conditions.
More Resources and Websites Talking about the Cabela’s Ultralight Wading Boots
- On paflyfish.com, users discuss the flexibility and potential fragility of Cabela’s Ultralight Wading Boots, sharing personal experiences and opinions on their durability.
- Cabela’s offers the Ultralight Felt Sole Wading Boots for Men, highlighting their lightweight design, rugged nylon and synthetic uppers, felt outsoles, and additional steel cleats for enhanced traction.