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Footwear for sand flats?

I’m taking a fishing trip to Central America in a few weeks, and having to venture away from my typical Simms wading boots that I’d wear in freshwater, for something a bit lighter for chasing fish on the sandy saltwater flats. I’d go without shoes, but I’ve heard random coral cuts or whatever can kill a trip, so footwear is a necessity.

Anyone tried a handful of shoe options? What would you guys recommend? Thank you in advance for your insights!

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level 1

Surf booties. The Simms/Orvis/etc all have 80-$100 versions of surf booties. Find a play it again sports and pick up a pair for $15.

Fished Central America earlier this year. Took surf booties. Worked great. Eel/turtle grass is sharp as and will cut you up.

Have a blast, and remember not to trout set! :)

level 1

I just wear old running shoes.

level 2
Original Poster1 point · 3 months ago

Good point. Was hoping to use something that will dry out. Never really considered on old pair of runners, but guess they may be mostly poly etc. Any downside from all day fishing? Thanks for the feedback!

level 3

Just the usual downsides of having wet feet all day. Sure, wading boots are nice and everything but they cost money this broke college kid can't afford. I have regular waders but it's too hot right now.

level 4
Original Poster1 point · 3 months ago

Yeah, I get it. I wouldn’t consider wearing my waders, in some cases, I may be chest deep if it’s to chase a permit, and yeah, it will be hot!

I may try that if it’s a quick trip, but I’ll be fishing all day, for multiple days. My gear is sparse as well, but getting to tag along on a trip of a lifetime, so basically bringing flys and clothes and the rest is gear provided. Thanks again!

level 1

Simms just came out with a new flats shoe, looks nice.

level 2
Original Poster1 point · 3 months ago

The riprap wading shoe? Any experience with it? Thanks for the feedback.

level 3

The Currents shoe. Tried them on at my local flyshop a few weeks ago, they were comfy. I like how streamlined they are - zero snags.

level 4
Original Poster2 points · 2 months ago

Picked up a pair this week to try. Orvis pitched me on some rather clunky boots, which makes me worry if I’m going into some gnarly coral laden water. I’ll know next week!

level 1
Original Poster1 point · 3 months ago

Awesome, hadn’t even thought of a play it again, but was keen on searching on eBay for a deal. I haven’t looked much at booties, but will now. Thanks for the recommendation, I’ve been fishing a lot of freshwater, and tough to break the habit, lost my first redfish on a fly to a trout set. Live and learn! 🙈

level 1
Original Poster1 point · 3 months ago

Thanks, I’ll check them out!

level 1

I use Ray Guard Reef boots for oyster beds and stingray protection. Though I don't have the optional skin/calf guards. I probably should get those since years ago a skate hit me very near where the top of these boots would be. The drawback to these is they are heavy, kinda clunky and slow to drain and I don't know how the soles would hold up to a lot of oyster shells. They do offer decent traction on slippery jetty rocks and are miles ahead of the beatup trail runners I freshwater wade in. There are some other brands of this concept that may or may not be better or worse. These were $50 @ a beach store when I needed them on the TX coast. So, sample size of one pair. YMMV

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