Rock Treads

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By Justin Pickett

Coming up with a reliable and effective solution for traction can be frustrating.

Not to mention, expensive. Screw-in studs are costly and are often lost or in need of replacement for those of us who wade hard and often. Other solutions, such as interchangeable soles (like what Korkers offers) will eventually need replacing and aren’t terribly cheap either. And your piggy bank will surely take a hit if you are forced to buy a new set of boots. However, with safety being of upmost importance, we are often willing to shell out our hard earned dough time and time again to help make sure we keep the rubber side down. 

However, one product that I have found has definitely been worth its price tag while also keeping me surely planted to the riverbed.

Rock Treads has developed an aluminum traction system that can be easily installed on any wading boot on the market and grip like a vise. Their kits contain three sizes of quarter-inch aluminum discs that can be installed using their various mounting systems. Whether you have felt soles, rubber soles, or interchangeable soles, Rock Treads can be installed in them, enhancing your traction while wading with the added benefit of helping to prevent the transfer of invasive organisms between watersheds.

Why do these work so well?

Aluminum. With soft and lightweight, yet strong, characteristics, these aluminum pucks cut through rock snot and conforms to stone under the weight of your boot. And, while these aluminum discs may be described as malleable, they are extremely durable and the average angler can expect to get multiple seasons out of one set. Rock Treads had well over 500 miles on their first kit and they still had another eighth of an inch of thickness left when they were retired! With their updated lock-down installation system, you can rest assured that they will stay rock solid and help to keep you solidly planted. For $60, it’s one of the better gear purchases you can make to improve your angling experience on the water. They will likely outlast the first set of boots you install them on, but all you’ll have to do is uninstall them and install them on your new boots! It’s the grip that keeps on gripping! 

I have been wearing Rock Treads on my boots for the last 18 months, and it seems that I have barely worn them in just yet. If you are looking for a better traction solution for your wading ventures, you should definitely give Rock Treads a look!

Justin Pickett
Gink & Gasoline
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6 thoughts on “Rock Treads

  1. I was thinking of trying the Rock Treads on my winter rubber soled boots but wonder how they compare to studs on ice and hard frozen ground. Do they bite or skate? Standing on shelf ice would not be the place to ask that question.

  2. Justin,

    Great info. How should one handle the need to fish from my drift boat, wade, and jump back in for another drift location? Recommended protective materials for boat deck? Also, cleat based waders create extra noise on river bed while in stealth mode for approach during summer / fall timeframes… Comments?

  3. I’ve been using Korker strap-on cleats for about 4-5 years. LOVE ’em. Great on rocks, rotted logs, wet leaves/grass. I move them from my waders to my Sorels when I need ice cleats. The straps will wear through after a couple of seasons and need replacement. Loss of a cleat (or two) doesn’t seem to make a noticeable reduction in traction. Cost is similar (around $70).

  4. The quest for an economical, good gripping wading boot solution has been a long one for me. I’ve used goat head spikes and the Simms spikes. They work ok but come out fairly easily and for what they are, expensive! I’m now using Kold Kutter 3/8” racing track ice tire screw in studs on my orvis pivot boots. The orvis pivot boots have an excellent grip by themselves but with the Kold Kutter studs, they have a tenacious grip! Plus, they are only $8 for 50 studs on eBay so you’ll have enough for a long, long time. I’ve not lost a spike this season as of yet and have fished about 15 days so far!

  5. I’ve wondered about Rock Treads. I have a pair of SIMMS G3 Guide Boots that I purchased back in fall 2015. I have the SIMMS Hardbite Star cleats on the boots, and they do alright when wading algae covered rocks and snot rock terrain.

    The G3 Guide Boots have recessed places on the underside for the Star cleats to be positioned and screwed into the boot. Any idea the degree of effort or difficulty it would be to attach and use the Rock Treads?

  6. I have them on two pairs of wading boots. They are the very best traction devices I have used in 60 years of wading rivers. Grass, snot rocks, mossy rocks, these cut through all of it. They are the real deal.

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