Wading boots are an essential piece of gear for any angler. They not only protect our feet but also provide the necessary traction and support when navigating slippery riverbeds.
Today, I’ll be reviewing the Hellbender Felt Sole Wading Boots by Frogg Toggs, a brand that has been in the game for quite some time. Let’s wade in!
The Frogg Toggs Hellbender boots offer a decent balance between price and performance. They’re suitable for occasional use, but there are better options available for those who are serious about their wading.
First Impressions of the Hellbenders
Upon unboxing, the Hellbenders give off the impression of a lower-end wading boot. The materials, like PVC and nylon, seem to be of a cheaper strain. However, the design is simple and straightforward, which is a plus.
Guide Pro Tip: In the same price range as the Hellbender, 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
The Hellbenders have the appearance of a budget-friendly wading boot. They don’t boast any flashy designs, but they get the job done.
Fit and Comfort – the Hellbenders on Your Feet
The initial fit is okay, with a flexible sole that’s easy to appreciate. The speed lacing hooks might be plastic, which could be a concern for durability. The boots are adequately comfortable, with a spacious toe box and no noticeable hot spots.
Guide Pro Tip: I’ve evaluated a bunch of wading boots. So many my feet are sore 😃. Read the full article 👉 The Best Wading Boots for Slippery Rocks
Scoring the Frogg Togg Hellbender Wading Boots
When it comes to wading boots, finding that sweet spot between lasting durability, genuine comfort, and a price that doesn’t break the bank is the ultimate goal.
I was eager to see if the Frogg Toggs Hellbender Wading Boots, coming from a brand with a reputation in outdoor gear, could truly deliver on these fronts. So, I laced them up and took them for a spin.
Here’s how they scored:
Overall Score is 2.31 out of 5
|Characteristic||Score (out of 5)||Notes|
|Initial Impression||2||Appears to be a lower-end, but functional wading boot.|
|Appearance||2||PVC and inexpensive lacing hooks maybe a concern.|
|Comfort and Fit||3||Adequate comfort with a spacious toe box.|
|Walking Comfort||3||Standard walking comfort.|
|Flexibility of Sole||3||Middle of the road, I would prefer more flexibility.|
|Ankle Support||2||Could use more ankle support.|
|Traction and Grip||4||Good grip with the felt.|
|Provisions for Cleats and Studs||2||Provisions, but studs not included.|
|Value and Cost||2||Affordable, but there are better boots in the same price range.|
|Weight and Drainage||1||Poor drainage leading to increased weight when wet.|
|Durability||2||Signs of wear apparent, materials feel cheaper.|
|Versatility||2||Suitable for the twice a year fly fisher; better options available.|
|Lacing System||3||Concerns about lace strength and potential plastic hooks.|
|Overall Score||2.31||A cheap wading boot for occasional anglers.|
Performance in Water – Frogg Toggs’ in Action
The Hellbenders grip well in water, similar to other felt-soled boots. However, they lack visible drainage holes, which can be a concern for those who spend extended periods in the water.
Grip and Traction
The felt soles provide good traction, especially on slippery surfaces. The boots also have provisions for studs, though none are provided. There’s a small step in the sole, which might be a trip hazard when wading.
The Hellbenders are showing signs of wear, but they aren’t the least durable boots I’ve tested. Concerns about glue adhesion and stitching durability have been noted.
Value for Money
Priced at $90, the Hellbenders are on the cheaper end of the spectrum. While they offer decent performance, there are other boots in this price range that offer better durability and comfort.
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What Others Are Saying
Review #1 (4 Stars):
“For the price, you can’t complain. The laces are cheap, but the felt is thick and of good quality. The boots are comfortable but have a very stiff sole.”
Review #2 (5 Stars):
“Good boots, very sharp looking. Comfortable and supportive. Only regret is getting the felt sole.”
Review #3 (2 Stars)
“3 trips in…total garbage.”
Review #4 (1 Star)
“Comfortable but started ripping after ONLY 6 times worn. Contacted the manufacturer about the warranty.”
Weight and Drainage
The Hellbenders are on the heavier side when wet, weighing over 5 lbs. The lack of visible drainage holes contributes to this weight.
One More Cast with the Hellbenders
For occasional use, the Frogg Toggs Hellbender boots are a decent choice. They’re comfortable and functional. However, for those who are serious about their fishing and spend many days on the water, there are better options available.
For a similar price consider the Paramount Outdoors Deep Eddy’s. What I would consider the best budget wading boots being sold right now. Read the reviews and check the price on Amazon with this shortcut link 👉 Paramount Outdoors Deep Eddy Wading Boots
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.