Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Simms Intruder Wet Wading Boot



With summer fast approaching, it won’t be long before it’s time to take advantage of prime wet wading season. Below, Simms Product Line Manager and Developer of Footwear, Vince Garofalo talks about the key features of the most technical piece of wet wading footwear of all time, Simms’ Intruder Boot.

Simms: So you started at Simms when the Intruder Boot was in the middle of development. What was your initial reaction when you saw the plans for the boot?
Garofalo: Yeah, when I started, the Intruder was coming together pretty well. When I first saw it, I knew it was going to be a pretty special piece of footwear and I was really excited to have the opportunity to work on such a technical piece so early in my career at Simms.

Simms: Can you tell us a little more about your role in the development process with the Intruder?
Garofalo: Sure. Like I say, when I came in, the Intruder was pretty far along. It was such a technical piece, it still had a good bit of tweaking to go. I’d say the biggest aspects I had a hand in were the overall fit and the neoprene liner. When I arrived, the boot fit more like a wading boot. To fix that, we had a completely new last built. A last is a foot shaped form that all shoes are built around and is the biggest determining factor to the fit of any shoe. Because we wanted the Intruder to be barefoot capable, getting the last shape just right was pretty tedious but the end result was well worth it. Now, it fits a lot like a hiking boot which is what we wanted.

Simms: What changes were made to the liner?
Garofalo: The neoprene liner is the most noteworthy aspect of the Intruder for sure. Early on, the liner didn’t extend down to the toe like it does now. By extending it, we eliminated a seam which ultimately lead to a much more comfortable next to skin feel. Now, what we have is a completely seamless, fully integrated internal neoprene liner. The collar of the liner is also important to call out. We built in a gasket at the top that’s tight enough to keep debris out but stretchy enough to not compromise comfort.

Simms: So the main idea behind the Intruder was to create the most technical wet-wading boot of all time that was barefoot capable. If somebody wanted to wear a sock, what would you recommend?
Garofalo: Sure, if somebody wanted a little more protection, the Intruder works great with both our Neoprene Wading Socks as well as our Guard Socks. As far as the fit, the Intruder fits true to size whether you opt to wear a sock or not. In other words, if you wear a size 10 in street shoes, go with a size 10 in the Intruder.

Simms: The Intruder features a Vibram® Megagrip outsole, can you talk a little more about why this rubber was specifically chosen for this boot?
Garofalo: Vibram® Megagrip is the same rubber we use in our Vapor Boot. Both boots were designed for hike/wade anglers, which means they need to perform in and out of the water. Megagrip is grippy on wet/slippery surfaces but is also tough enough withstand the abuse of super rugged terrain.

Simms: Is the Intruder stud and cleat capable?
Garofalo: Absolutely. Much like our wading boots, the Intruder features a dual density midsole with isolated ESS plates for stud and cleat retention..

Simms: We hear the term dual density midsole a lot. Can you tell us exactly what that means and why it’s important?
Garofalo: Basically, a dual density midsole allows cleat retention without sacrificing flex. Cleats need something hard to bite into but if the entire midsole was hard, it wouldn’t be very comfortable at all. A dual density midsole incorporates isolated areas of a hard substrate for cleats to bite into while the rest of the sole remains soft giving you the flex needed for comfort and balance.

Simms: The Intruder is available with a felt outsole as well, right?
Garofalo: It is. And and the way we incorporated the felt into the Intruder is the beginning of the transition of how we will start building all of our felt outsoles moving forward. You’ll notice on the Intruder, the felt is surrounded by a perimeter of Vibram® Megagrip. This way, you get the unmatched grippy quality of felt when you’re in the water but you have just enough Vibram® to keep you on your feet on those wet, muddy banks.

Mad River Outfitters
813 Bethel Rd.
Columbus, Ohio 43214