Wading boots are one of the most important bits of equipment for me. The need to be light when wet (for comfort), tough (for value), and have good grip (for practicality). This season i spent more money for a single pair of wading boots than ever before, paying for a pair of $500 Orvis Pro Boots. After seeing a heap of pairs on customers last year, these boots seemed to be the best of the next generation. For me there is no point having a tough boot if it weighs more than a brick, so wet-weight was a key factor in choosing the Orvis Pro Boots. So far i’ve hiked and wadedabout 200km’s in them across half a season, often in terrain more suited to hiking boots. The terrain included wet rock, grass, snow and mud, along with slippery rivers such as the Mersey and St Patricks. My verdict: these are my new favourite wading boots. My last pair of favourite boots were Patagonia Rockgrips (circa ten years ago), which were super light, super comfy, and handled wear and tear resonably well. The Orvis Pro’s seem just as good on the weight and comfort criteria, but a lot tougher. On the biosecurity front these boots are also leaps and bounds ahead of the rest, resistent to catching grass seeds and scum, and very easy to clean. The tread seems a lot more resistent to wear than any previous boot, and i haven’t had any maintenance issues. So are they worth $500? It’s a lot of money, and the occassional fly fisher won’t be able to justify it, but if you walk a lot, and fish a lot, then these are the bees knees and the design should save you money on boot wear and tear over the long run, lasting twice as long as anything else i’ve found.