Simms' felt-free footwear line on display at FlyFishing Retailer

Industry-leading StreamTread line of wading footwear has seven models with Vibram

DENVER, Colo. (For immediate release) – One year ago, Simms Fishing Products president K.C. Walsh announced Simms was doing away with felt-bottomed wading boots in an effort to assist anglers in the fight against aquatic nuisance species. And with that, Simms unveiled the first fishing-specific Vibram®-soled wading boot.

This week, at the annual FlyFishing Retailer Show being held in the Colorado Convention Center, Simms will roll out its first completely felt-free line of fishing footwear featuring Simms' revolutionary StreamTread™ soles made with Vibram® rubber technology.

The StreamTread™ line for 2010 features seven wading boots, including a women's specific model. It also features Vibram® in a new Flats Boot, a redesigned Flats Sneaker, an entry-level boot priced below $100, a shoe and a sandal, giving Simms 11 footwear products with superior performance, durability and comfort. All models are quick drying and easy to clean, which is key in stopping the spread of aquatic nuisance species.

Simms continues to lead the industry in removable stud technology. New this season, the HardBiteâ„¢ Star Cleat integrates with the sole's 360-lug pattern. Coupled with the HardBiteâ„¢ Boot Stud, this system allows for the angler to customize a boot to provide traction where it's most needed.

Trout Unlimited, one of the leading cold-water conservation organizations in the world, has called for gear manufacturers to eliminate felt-bottomed boots by 2011. Simms is a year ahead of that schedule.

“We know felt-bottomed soles are not the sole culprit in spreading invasive species and ecologically devastating diseases,” said Walsh. “But this is one area where anglers and companies can do better. We've decided to be part of the solution.”

Simms StreamTreadâ„¢ boots have been on the market since January 2009 and have drawn positive reviews from anglers and environmentalists alike.

“Streamtread soles are a big step forward in the wading game - the first really practical wading alternative I've encountered,” wrote Field & Stream's fishing editor John Merwin.

New Zealand banned the use of felt-bottomed boots at the start of the 2008 fishing season and southeast Alaska has banned them starting in 2011.