On the Water with the New Simms G3 Guide Wading Boots

Shane Rickert

A year after the G4, Simms has reworked their mid-range wading boot G3. How good is it?

Specs of the G3 Guide Wading Boots:

Soles: Rubber/vibram (the model we tested) and felt soles available

Sizes: US 8 – US 15

Traditional laces

Price: $299.95

Disclaimer: All products in this guide are independently researched by our team. We only recommend products we believe in and never get paid for the reviews. Learn more about our review process here.

First Impression

Toe Cap Simms G3 Guide Wading Boots
Simms’ new G3 model comes with a very durable rubber toe cap for extra protection. Photo: Shane Rickert

The Simms G3 has been one of the most popular wading boots in the game for a number of years now. The reason for that is simple. It’s slightly lighter than the G4 (read our in-depth review here) but first and foremost a lot cheaper ($299.95 vs. $499.95). Many fly fishermen that want the proven Simms quality but aren’t willing to spend 500 bucks on wading boots, used to go for the G3. Now Simms has reworked this boot and we’ve put it to the test for some spring fishing in Montana.

The first thing I realized is that the boot seems to have gotten a little wider. I felt like I had a little more space all around (wearing the same wading socks I used on my previous G3s). Apart from that they wear pretty similarly to their predecessor. Here’s a closer look at the G3’s main features.


Vibram soles on the Simms G3 Guide Boots
The G3 comes with rubber (vibram) or felt soles. Photo: Shane Rickert

One of the most important features of a wading boot are the soles. In the G3, Simms offers the two most popular types of soles: rubber and felt. Personally, I’ve become a fan of rubber boots in recent years due to their versatility. Simms’ new rubber version features vibram soles (which have become the gold standard in rubber wading boot soles) and you can add studds if you want (not included in the rubber version).

Simms claims their new G3 boot provides 20% more wet-slip resistance. To be honest, I couldn‘t tell the difference to the G3 I used to fish until now.

Vibram soles on the Simms G3 Guide Boots
The new Simms G3 Guide wading boots with rubber soles. Photo: Shane Rickert.

What I really like about the new model is the combination of lighter weight (compared to the G4) by using mesh fabric in the upper parts of the boot and sturdiness by adding a rubber layer that runs around the boot just above the sole. This extra layer protects your toes and heels in case you have to wade on sharp rocks. Their look and feel is quite similar to the Grundéns Bankside wading boots.

Fit and Comfort of the Simms G3

Simms G3 Guide Wading Boots Closeup
Lacing system on the new Simms G3 Guide Wading Boot. Photo: Shane Rickert

Like I mentioned before, my impression was that the G3 run a little wider than their predecessor. I still think sizing up one size from your street shoe size will be the way to go. They come with a traditional lacing system and it works well. It also makes the laces easily replacable when they’re worn out.


On stream barbecue with the Simms G3 Wading Boots
Enjoying a little BBQ while out testing the new Simms G3 Guide Wading Boots. Photo: Shane Rickert

Of course, it’s hard to judge the durability of a pair of wading boots after only using them for a few outings. Simms sure used their long lasting experience in equipping the G3 with all the essential features of a quality pair of wading boots such as a good fitting tung and lacing system, very grippy soles, extra protection around toes and heel and drainage hools along the side.

How Do they Compare?

Testing thee Simms G3 Guide Boots on the water
Out for some spring trout fishing while testing the new Simms G3 guide wading boots. Photo: Shane Rickert

The G3 are Simms’ mid-range offer coming in at $299.95. If you’re looking for alternatives in this price range there are a few other good options out there. Besides the Grundéns Bankside I mentioned before, I am a big fan of the Patagonia Forra Wading Boots.

Lacing up the Simms G3 Guide Wading Boots
The new Simms G3 Guide Wading Boot comes with traditional laces. Photo: Shane Rickert

How Does it Compare to Other Simms Boots

Besides the G3, Simms produces on a number of other wading boots for different use cases and budgets. What differentiates the G3 from its bigger brother, the G4? Everything on the G4 is a little more sturdy, increasing durability but also making Simms’ flagship a tad heavier. If you’re looking for the utmost in grip, I’d recommend going with the G4 because of its superior traction thanks to its Powerlock system. If you like Simms boots but want a lighter option, I also recommend checking out the Simms Flyweight.

Final Verdict on the Simms G3 Guide Wading Boots

The Simms G3 Guide is a very good wading boot for a fair price. It doesn’t stand out in any particular department (weight, ankle stability, traction) but performs well across the entire range. I’d go for the vibram sole as it’s an excellent allrounder. If you want to increase traction (which is really good out of the box already) you can always add studds later.




Rely on Our Experience

Leonard Schoenberger and his team spend plenty of days out fishing. Their goal is to test and review products for you so you can make a solid purchase decision and improve your fly fishing game. We always express our honest opinions, never get paid for reviews and are proud of our editorial independence.

Frequently Asked Questions

What sole options can I choose from in the Simms G3 Guide Wading Boots?

You can choose between a rubber (vibram) and felt soles. You can add different types of cleats to both types of soles.

What lacing system do the Simms G3 Guide Wading Boots come with?

The Simms G3 wading boots come with a traditional lacing system. There is no Boa option available for this model.

Do the Simms G3 boots come with drainage holes?

Yes, the G3 wading boots feature drainage holes on the sides of the boots to get rid of excess water quickly.