First off, disclosure: I fish a lot!
I am not a fishing guide, but I still put around 150 - 200 days on the water.
I tried almost all the boots you can buy on the market today.
Chota STL plus is the only boot that will give me 1-2 seasons of very comfortable wear.
What makes it the best:
- they are not bulky like the other expensive boots. Just enough padding and support. More is not better! A good boot should allow you to feel the river bottom. That way you are safe and wade with confidence!
- the laces system is very fast and convenient.
- nice, easy to change, lasting cleats and soles.
There are things that could be improved(hear me out Chota!):
-- the laces eyelets are made out of some textile material which
wear out much faster than the rest of the boot. Solid plastic eyelets should be a much better choice.
-- the solid leather uppers of the boots could be mixed withsome sinthetic material. It will dry faster and will help with the shrinking of the leather later in the life of the boots. What I noticed is that these boots last longer if you keep them wet all the time! The drying and shrinking of the leather is the death of the boot!
Overall, the best boots money can buy for people that spend a lot of time in the water! I will buy these boots for as long as they make them. Hopefully when Chota upgrades the model, they don't screw up a great boot! Before I forget, I wear 11.5 for regular shoes and I find the Chota size 13 to be a good fit with some toe room for cold steelheading days.