By Kirk Deeter
Several months ago, I reported on a felt sole alternative for wading boots being offered by Korkers called "Svelte". I gave it a glowing review. After all, it was "grippy" on wet rocks. It had kind of a "pot scrubber" texture. It was eco-friendly, less apt to carry invasive species. All the right things...
My one caveat was that I was going to see how long they lasted before rendering a final verdict. Well, they didn't last too long. Not long enough to justify $50 a pair. I got about two months wear out of my test pair. Granted, I hike a lot in some rocky terrain, but two months wasn't a passing grade.
I was just about to write a nasty gram, when I bumped into the Korkers people at the International Fly Tackle Dealer show. It turns out they were one step ahead of me. To their credit, they realized the durability issue, and will soon come out with "Svelte 2." At first glance, one notices that "son of Svelte" is much thicker, akin to the thickness of the standard felt wading sole. I think the texture also seems a little more coarse, which is a good thing, in my opinion.