Help Stem the Spread of Aquatic Invasives — Inspect, Clean, & Dry Your Gear.
As the threat of Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) such as New Zealand mud snails and Didymo grows, anglers wonder what’s the best way to care for gear to help stem their spread.
“The best way to care for your gear to prevent the spread of aquatic invasives is to
* Chemicals used to clean gear are harsh on gear and environmentally harmful. Orvis and most leading conservation organizations do not recommend them.
Felt-soled wading boots - one source of the spread of ANS
While birds, wildlife, and outdoor pursuits other than angling can carry ANS from watershed to watershed, we anglers play a part. Felt soles on wader boots are the primary concern of anglers, as they make the most contact with the river bottom where ANS live. Combine that with felt being absorbent and slow to dry, and they become the #1 carrier of ANS due to angling.
The Innovative Design of River Guard Wading Boots with EcoTraX™ Soles
Our new River Guard Wading Boots with EcoTraX™ Soles help stem the spread of ANS because ANS can’t cling to them as well as to felt. EcoTraX soles also dry exponentially faster than felt, which can take days to dry thoroughly enough for absorbed ANS to die.
New EcoTraX sole treads, exclusive to Orvis, have special sharp edges on the lugged cross pattern to grab better than other rubber soles. We include PosiGrip™ screw-in studs, so you get the best traction in varied conditions for added safety.
While there’s no panacea to stop the spread of ANS, new River Guard boots go a long way to help.
“Our higher purpose as a company is to introduce our customers to the natural world;
Wash invasives away! Rubber soles make washing off invasive species far easier. The smooth non-absorbent surface, unlike felt that absorbs water and spores that can remain in it for weeks on end, gives spores and the like no place to take root or “hide.’’
|River Guard Wading Boots Comparison Chart|
With Trout Unlimited's recent call for the voluntary end of felt sole sales and legislation by New Zealand and Alaska, Orvis has spent a lot of field test time and product development efforts toward developing wading shoe and wader soles that are easier to clean and as safe as felt soles.
We have developed a rubber compound and tread pattern in cooperation with Vibram called Eco-TraX, which offers superior traction to any other sole we’ve tested on gravel, mud, clay, ice, and snow. Our tests also proved to us that no existing rubber compound was equal to felt for safe wading on slippery rocks. Thus, in tandem with our rubber sole development, we engineered a design of tungsten carbide studs called Posi-Grip Studs, which are an Orvis exclusive and far superior to any we’ve tested. What we also found in our testing and development was that stud placement is critical, and the unique stud placement on every pair of rubber soled wading shoes we sell is designed to place the angler’s center of gravity above the studs for maximum safety and support.
We are absolutely convinced that our Eco-TraX sole and Posi-Grip stud combination gives the wader superior performance to felt on mud, sand, clay, wet grass, ice, and snow; and performance that is equal to or better than felt on slippery rocks.
Note that rubber soles do not release an angler from the responsibility to clean, inspect, and dry all wading gear between watersheds. Rubber is much easier to clean and dries quicker than felt but it is not a panacea.