Simms RipRap Wading Sandals Review – I’m glad I didn’t review these in the first couple of weeks. I actually quit wearing them for a month because they just didn’t fit right. It was also the dead of winter and snow on the ground may have contributed a bit.
I wore their previous model (can’t remember the name) through several seasons in Montana and Chile. I would buy a new pair each year and they were absolutely awesome. I wish they still made those as I definitely liked them better than the RipRap. After a few months of wearing the rubber soled version, here is my full review:
Style Points – I’m probably not the person to throw out style tips. I think they look good. Neutral overall really. The shoe version would work for semi formal wear for most people. The sandals have a neutral tone, they cover most of the foot and will work for everything from casual to formal for me.
Comfort – I was not a fan for the first month. They seemed way too narrow which is never an issue for me. I have a narrow foot so if yours is wide, try them on before you buy. They also seemed to fit different on each foot and were uncomfortable just walking around town. I set them aside for a while then threw them back on after blowing out a cheap pair of Costco sandals. I wore them on a float trip and did some wading. Suddenly they fit great. Either the break-in period is long or you need to get them wet to get a good fit. Whatever the case, they are feeling comfortable at this point. The heel strap has taken some stretching as well. Hopefully they hold up for a while.
Soles and Grip – They come in felt and rubber soles. The felt option bugs me as Simms led the charge on banning felt. It was clearly a big marketing ploy and they reintroduced felt around the same time other brands were catching up on rubber soles. Borderline unethical in my opinion. I went with the rubber option and the grip is awesome. They don’t seem to be picking up too many small rocks either. When they do however, the little rocks are a little more difficult to eject when compared to more open sandals. I like the enclosed toe for wading and so far they track great on slick surfaces.
Durability – Jury is still out on this one. I expect sandals to survive at least one year of hard use. That’s a good 100-200 days of river use. I’ll update this section if they run this model again in 2019. So far, they feel pretty well built outside of some audible stress and stretching on the heel fabric when I put them on. There is also some early sole separation that isn’t looking good. I’ll have to glue them back down to prevent the sole from blowing out early in the game.
Ultimately, I think the Simms riprap sandals are decent if you have a narrow foot and the patience to really break them in. I highly recommend trying them on first to make sure they fit your foot. Do not buy them blind.