By Don Jurries
Interchangeability is a growing trend in the outdoor industry. Makers of sunglasses and snow goggles, such as Switch Vision, have designed interchangeable lenses so only one frame is required regardless of conditions. Now footwear brand Korkers has jumped in with an interchangeable sole for their range of boots. Called the OmniTrax Sole System, the actual outsoles of Korkers boots can be changed out when needed in order to participate in variety of different activities.
For years, Korkers has had a loyal following amongst fly fishermen and anglers who swear by the Korkers line of wading boots. The foundation of the company was always centered around traction, when Sherman Smith first created the “River Cleat” out of scrap rubber, nylon cord, and carbide studs in order to navigate the banks of the Rogue River in Oregon some 50 years ago.
The OmniTrax Interchangeable Sole System has further strengthened the Korkers product offering. Options include high-friction rubber for scrambling trails, rock hopping, and wading in wet conditions, compressed felt for traction underwater on slimy rocks, and either rubber or compressed felt with carbide spikes for extremely slippery conditions.
I had the chance to talk to Korkers about some of the newest designs in the OmniTrax line, including a range of winter boots featuring soles for traction on snow and ice. The winter boots comes with two pairs of soles, including the SnowTrac Winter Rubber Lug and the IceTrac Studded Rubber Lug.
The only difference between the two soles is the 32 carbide studs in the second pair. A combination of built-in clips and a rubber clasp at the heel makes the interchangeability quick and easy, extremely useful if you are facing changing wintry conditions and slippery trails.
The Korkers range of winter boots, including the StormJack, SnowJack, and IceJack are all well made, with waterproof construction and either 200, 400 or 600 grams of 3M Thinsulate insulation respectively. The IceJack boot even comes with the Boa speed lacing system.
The Korkers range of winter boots retails for between $140 and $200 and are widely available now.