Most anglers probably think of boots as fairly blunt, unsophisticated tools. Talking boots with Korkers' CEO Brian Chaney might change that impression. Chaney talks boots much the same way reel and rod designers talk disc drag coefficients and graphite-resin mixtures: with excitement. And product designers and company executives typically get excited when new technologies and designs solve problems and offer new possibilities. This year, it's Korkers' new method of boot construction—which Chaney is confident will make Korker's boots last longer and fail less often—that's causing the stir.
According to Drew Linth, who heads product development at Korkers, the bootmaker has been working intently on getting anglers more stream miles out of its boots for the last 4 years. The company's last big leap in that effort was a process it trademarked, called Protected Stitching, which helped to—you guessed it—protect seam and stitch points to reduce the likelihood of failures at the points where boot components meet.
The company's new process, Linth notes, takes that effort one step further, by attempting to virtually eliminate those seam and stitch points all together through boot construction that utilizes a single-piece, single-seam compression molded upper that Korkers' marketing team shyly calls "a hyper-light, water-immune shell of flexible armor."
If you're not familiar with boot anatomy, the "upper" is basically the entire part of the boot that covers the foot—everything but the sole, for the most part. The uppers of most boots (and everyday shoes, for that matter) are constructed of many pieces of sometimes disparate materials that are then stitched, taped and glued together as the boot is assembled.
Each seam and stitch line in any boot or shoe is a potential point of failure. Eventually, something in every boot is going to give and seams are typically what go first—rather than the materials themselves giving way—leaving Korkers' philosophy seeming pretty straightforward: eliminate all but one of those seams and stitch lines and it'll take longer before your boots finally go.
Korkers will debut its new bootmaking tech in its new WRAPTR boot, due in spring 2018 and starting at $199.