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”.
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".