Taimen Khatanga Wading Boots Review

posted in: Equipment, Fishing, Fly Fishing, Reviews | 2

The sturdy Taimen Khatanga wading boots come with the ultra fast ATOP reel knob lacing system. Read on how it works!


 Taimen Khatanga Wading Boots Specifications

  • ATOP reel knob lacing system.
  • Taimen wading platform GRB (grip to river bottom)
  • The tip of the sole is folded out for better toe protection, additionally stitched for longer durability.
  • The toe cap can endure a pressure of 150 kg. Reinforced with a special plastic toe cap, protect toes.
  • Wider construction of the boots that includes space for a thick neoprene sock provides greater comfort even if you choose to wear an extra pair of woolly socks.
  • Special construction of tongue to put the boot on easily.
  • The inside of boots padded with soft neoprene for better comfort.
  • Synthetic leather selected for long use during wading
  • Brushed rubber in places particularly exposed to rocks for better durability.

Both boots together weigh 1630 grams (measured by myself)

Taimen website

The Taimen Khatanga Wading Boots
The Taimen Khatanga Wading Boots

Performance of the Taimen Khatanga Wading Boots

Taking the Taimen Khatanga wading boots out of the box for the first time , I instantly felt how sturdy and well they are built. The rubber sole looks flawless and all seams are neatly stitched. Places exposed in particular to abrasion are even sowed three times. Wearing them with the Taimen waders, it seemed that the ring where the gravel guards hold is slightly too small. Still, I could easily attach the gravel guards to the wire of the Atop lacing system. (Note: Taimen supplies larger rings with each pair). The boots weigh 1603 grams when dry, which is quite heavy. However, robust boots need to have stronger material that is heavier. Furthermore, Taimen adds free tungsten studs for enhanced grip on slippery stones. Thus, the overall first impression is very good although a bit heavy.

The Taimen Khatanga Wading Boots with the Atop lacing system
The Taimen Khatanga Wading Boots with the Atop lacing system

The Atop Lacing Mechanism and Similar Systems

What really caught my eye, was the new Atop lacing system. This systems consist of a little knob and a wire, which replaces the shoe laces. The knob consists of a wheel which rolls the wire up and hence tightens the boot. Furthermore, there is a little release switch. If you put this switch to open, the wire is loosened by pulling the tongue and step straight out of the shoe. In this way,  the boots are tightened and loosened within seconds. This mechanism is particularly handy if the weather is nasty. It is just much more pleasant to turn at a knob when fingers are cold and wet.

The Taimen Khatanga Wading Boots with the fast Atop lacing system
The Taimen Khatanga Wading Boots with the fast Atop lacing system

While I was fishing in New Zealand, I heard some horror stories, where the similar BOA system from Simms broke down in the wilderness and the angler had to retreat. Some anglers even recommended to take some zip-ties with you in order to be able to fix the boots. Moreover, my friend Claudio, who uses the Simms Boa boots, walks around with one broken shoe. Therefore, I had some reservations regarding the similar mechanism of Taimen and its reliability. Yet, during the extensive testing phase of 3 months with weekly adventures, I had not experienced any issue relating the Atop lacing system.

The Taimen Khatanga Wading Boots with the knob of the Atop lacing system
The Taimen Khatanga Wading Boots with the knob of the Atop lacing system

In the Field…

I am very impressed how convenient the new Atop lacing system works in the field. Not only am I two to three times faster to put on my boots, but also when I take them off. Moreover, when taking of the shoes, there are no wet strings from the laces lying on the ground. Therefore, I had much less dirt in the car. Additionally, the boots feel snug and it seems to me that they are slightly larger than my Patagonia Ultralight boots of the same Size (11).

After fishing for a while, I realised on various occasion that even though you can tighten the Atop lacing system strongly, it does not become as tight as with usual shoe laces. In particular the lower parts of the boot do not enclose the foot as tight as other boots. Yet, I was never urged by this issue to feel insecure in my step. Owing to the protective toe cap, rather the opposite was the case. Whereas light wading boots offer less protection against stones, the Taiman Khatanga wading boots are superb. I never had any problems with squeezed toes between rocks.

The Taimen Khatanga Wading Boots are very comfortable although not as tight in the lower parts as usually laced boots
The Taimen Khatanga Wading Boots are very comfortable although not as tight in the lower parts as usually laced boots

Given that I use the Taimen Khatanga wading boots for about 3 months, I cannot adequately judge the long-term usage yet. However, due to the sturdiness and the tough feel of the hard rubber, toe cap and synthetic leather, I expect them to last for a long time. The only issue I foresee is that the strong steel wire causes an abrasion of the fabric while tightening. Otherwise this Taimen Khatanga wading boots seem to be built to last.

Summary about the Taimen Khatanga Wading Boots

Pro

– incredibly fast to put on and off!

– no laces in the dirt

– sturdy

– Rubber sole with good grip

– Studs included

– comfortable

– protective plastic toe cap

Contra

– cannot be tightened as much as with laces in the lower parts

– heavy (dry 1630 g)

– wire causes abrasion on fabric

– Gravel guard ring too small  (larger ones supplied or hook to wire)


All in all, I am very satisfied with the Taimen Khatanga wading boots which indisputable speed up the time until you are in the river. The minor issues regarding the tightness in the lower parts of the boots and their weight can be neglected in comparison to the advantages of a sturdy boot. The design issue has already been reported to Taimen and is hopefully fixed soon.

I can recommend the Taimen Khatanga wading boots to all those of you, who are looking for a robust shoe and want to be as fast as possible in the water.

The price of this item is currently EUR 139 (151$) and can be purchased here.


Have you used the Taimen Khatanga wading boots? What is your experience? Do you have any questions?

2 Responses

  1. Did you know “Taimen” is Trout in finnish? Well, now You do. Cheers : )

    • Hi Tony, thanks for letting me know that! :D As far as I know Taimen got its name from the largest trout in Mongolia.
      Tight lines
      Tom

Leave a Reply