The best women’s wading boot? Korkers Darkhorse does it
Where other brands fail, Korkers succeeds with a women’s wading boot that is not below average.
Darkhorse women’s wading boots from Korkers are in a class of their own. Korkers is exclusively an outdoor footwear company, so boots aren’t just an afterthought. They have unique features and a level of comfort that I haven’t found anywhere else.
Generally, women’s wading boot options are slim. To be frank, I think a lot of companies half-size their women’s boots just to provide an option. They are not that.
Short: It may be a bold statement, but I sincerely believe that the Dark Horse of the Korkers ($210) boots might be the best pair of women’s wading boots.
Korkers Darkhorse Women’s Wading Boots Review
Comfortable wading boots
The words “comfortable” and “wading boot” are not usually found in the same sentence. Most of my wading boots are more like my old skates from the 90s. They’re stiff, unforgiving, and sometimes they don’t even feel like they’re shaped like a human foot.
Wading boots just aren’t comfortable.
I’m not going to tell you that the Darkhorse looks like a pair of sneakers or even a hiking shoe, because it isn’t. However, these are the closest I have found. Even after a long day on the river and many hikes to shore, and even back to the truck, I don’t immediately find myself wanting to take them off like I have with other boots. They are clearly built with comfort in mind.
The function of a good wading boot just doesn’t lend itself to comfort. They need to be stiff to provide a good stable base on uncertain terrain. An overstructured upper should be a little stiff to protect the ankle. It’s just the nature of the beast. That being said, these boots don’t hurt. It’s a drastic improvement over many of my boots of the past.
As for the weight, they are incredibly light. When you compare them to other boots, they seem bulky and heavy, but they are anything but. They feel light on the foot and the drainage system helps prevent water retention, which only helps them feel lighter.
A disadvantage ?
These boots take some getting used to; they feel a bit like moon boots. They have an interchangeable outsole, which adds an odd feeling of height to them.
That extra sole isn’t too chunky, but I think it’s that extra layer on top of an already substantial boot that gives it a bit of a Frankenstein’s monster feel.
Mind you, it’s a reach because it gets noticed early on, but it’s worth noting if you prefer minimalism in a boot. (In all honesty, that might be the perception more than anything.)
Wading boots with interchangeable soles
On the note of interchangeable insoles: is that cool? Korkers wading boots have been around for quite some time, and even when they were first created, the outsole was the focus. The idea that you could have a boot with multiple different treads for different scenarios is a total game-changer.
Whether you want felt soles in an area where they are allowed or cleated soles for rough terrain, you have a ton of options at your disposal.
Not only does this expand the function of the boot, but it’s also eco-friendly and wallet-friendly. The sole is almost always what fails first on a boot, wading or otherwise. Why replace an entire boot when you can just order a new set of outsoles? This reduces your costs and the environmental impact of throwing away boots unnecessarily.
It’s that simple that you can keep the same pair of boots regardless of season or terrain.
Traditional laces on a pair of thigh high boots suck. There’s no nice way to put it. They are covered in mud and are disgusting to deal with. Eventually, they become brittle and develop weak spots. Laces just don’t work well in wet environments.
the BOA fit system available on Korkers boots is smooth. Turn the dial to tighten the fine thread lacesthen pull to loosen.
Easy to put on. Easy.
They become tight and secure with solid all-day wear. A little popular! and they are open.
One downside I’ve heard is that the BOA system can get a bit “crunchy” if you live in a particularly sandy area. I’ve never had a problem with that. However, I know a fisherman who has this problem. He just takes his boots off and everything works fine again.
I won’t waste too much time on the lacing system other than to say I never want to mess with muddy, dirty laces again. The BOA Fit system simply works.
Is the Korkers Darkhorse worth it?
Yeah. Obviously, I haven’t owned mine forever, but with proper care, I don’t see why I should buy another pair of wading boots. If you spend a lot of time on the water, they are worth the investment.
On top of that, Korkers is a year old guarantee manufacturing defects, and they are incredibly focused on customer service.
If you’re also looking for a pair of waders to wear with your new wading boots, check out our list of Best Fishing Waders for Women.