A remastered classic from the optimal traction brand; the DarkHorse is not a one trick pony. Made for the angler that can’t compromise weight and durability
Late weekend I had a complete blowout on my Frogg Togg wading boots. After researching different boots and getting opinions from other fly fisHER's, I jumped into the purchase of a pair of Korker Darkhorse boots with the Boa closure system. They had their maiden voyage on the Rush River in Wisconsin on May 11, 2018. I was extremely pleased with my purchase. Very comfortable with a wide toe box and no slippage on my foot or heal. I walked several miles up stream with no issues on the rocks. They are light weight, drain great and have great ankle support, plus my feet never got cold wearing thinner socks or did my toes cramp up. It was a balmy 47degrees. They also preformed great when stepping into the deep silt. I did have to tighten the boots twice but going from dry to wet I would expect that. The shoes came with two interchangable bottoms. Felt and sticky rubber. I put on the sticky rubber and wondered how will they would stay on the boots walking all that way. Zero problems and whether walking on dry rock ground, sand or grass or wading up stream, they worked perfect. The only drawback was the price. $179.00 everywhere I looked. They only came in mens sizes where I purchased. I found I took a size larger then what I would for a man's shoe but the wadder booties were not crunched up in the toes. FYI. I don't work for the company and this is completely unsolicited on their behalf. I don't regret dishing out the money. Most comfortable fishing trip to date. Oh and we caught some really nice brownies.
3rd pair of Korkers over the years. This is the best yet. Great concept with the interchangeable soles. Versatile and easy to change. Great support and easy to hike in.
Let me start by saying I fish really, really hard. I wore through the KGB boots in 6 months and two pairs of K5 bomber boots in a year and a half. The issues were always either related to the stitching on the heel giving out or an issue with the omnitrax peg. Korkers has honored their warranty every time and for that, I am grateful. Having said that, I was disappointed with the durability of the seemingly "bomber" boots and was strongly considering moving to simms g3 or orvis pivot/access boots. My main fishing partner switched to these when he wore through his KGB's so I got a glimpse of these. VASTLY IMPROVED. It seems like Korkers design team is really taking feedback to heart. The Omnitrax peg is so much better than in previous models and the heavily recessed protected stitching will hopefully hold up where previous generations have failed. I wore size 14 in the K5's and KGB's but the boots are much more generous size so I had to switch to 13, which is my street shoe size. I didn't think I was going to really care about the boa system to be honest, but the on and off with these is so convenient that it has made de-wadering between spots over 30 minute drive totally reasonable for comfort, safety and cleanliness in driving. Korkers is still seemingly the only boot company who has figured out to put drains at the bottom of the boot(cabelas guidewear boot has them too) but this is huge for saving water weight when walking out of the river, especially if you're using these for wet wading. I will reiterate my point that the kling-on "sticky" rubber is horrible in the river, fine for hiking or in a boat, but makes for really unsafe wading where felt is not an option. Because of this, be prepared to spend another $50 or $60 for the Vibram(standard in simms and orvis) or Alumatrax sole putting these at the $229+ range. I hope that the design improvements they have made, translate into more longevity.
I've never looked forward to putting on or taking off a wading boot until now! They open way up and it's a breeze no matter if they are wet, dry, or partially frozen. I put a lot of hours and miles wading in the Madison and with the various tractions and ankle support it seems like I always have stable footing. I think they are going to hold up too with this hidden stiching.