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REVIEW: Chota HYRB-800 Rubber-Soled Boots


The subject of canoeing footwear has been largely beat to death by canoeing writers, including me. There’s no agreement as to what works best, probably because paddle-sport is affected by so many variables. Camp shoes are another matter; they are seldom discussed in guide books other than a comment that when the day is done you’ll want to replace your smelly water boots with something more comfortable. Most paddlers opt for two pairs of shoes—one for paddling/wading and portaging, and one for lounging in camp. Can one shoe do it all? Chota’s new HYRB-800 comes surprisingly close.

I discovered Chota boots more than 20 years ago, and I’ve been hooked on them ever since. Chota caters largely to the fly-fishing crowd, but Frank Bryant, its founder, is also an avid paddler. As a result, the product line addresses the needs of serious paddlers (and hikers) who need a lightweight, comfortable shoe that excels on both land and water.

Chota’s new HYRB-800 (Hybrid High-Top Rubber Soled Boot) is a quick-drying “water shoe”, a knee-high waterproof boot, and an efficient dry hiker. It is much lighter and cooler, and nearly as durable, as Chota’s popular “Caney Fork Wading Shoe”.

FEATURES:

  • Aggressive high traction rubber sole.

  • Reinforced toe and heel.

  • Cushioned polyurethane midsole adds bounce to your steps.

  • Dual lacing hooks

  • Chota QuickLace system—shoes go on and off fast, no laces to tie.

  • Padded ankle collar cushions and discourages bruising.

  • Mesh (micro-screen) panels on the sides encourage air flow and fast drainage. The shoe needs no break-in period; it is comfortable right out of the box.

Like the popular Caney Fork shoe, the thick neoprene insoles can be removed to provide space for thick socks or Chota’s signature knee-high (neoprene/Gore-tex) inserts. Add the inserts and you have a completely watertight boot—one that stays put as you walk. You can wear the boot with or without the waterproof liners. The boots drain water almost as fast as a dedicated water shoe. Add sun and they walk-dry in minutes. Portage heavy loads over rocks or mud? No problem, this shoe is durable!

I really like this new lightweight shoe. It’s tough, versatile and cool to wear. And it looks good too!*

* YOU'LL FIND A WEALTH OF INFORMATION ABOUT CANOEING AND CAMPING SHOES IN MY BOOKS, "CANOEING WILD RIVERS" AND "CAMPING'S TOP SECRETS".

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