With the Convention coming close, a bump of this thread is timely.
re: cheap studs, I found this article ... Hint: Stop Grossly Overpaying for Wading Shoe Studs and ordered 2 boxes of the Kold Kutter 3/8" studs.
That's 2 boxes at 250 studs per box. Depending on how you configure the studs on your boot sole, you need 10-15 studs per boot. (And apparently studs tend to fall out on a regular basis, so it's good to have extras. When they're $3 EACH, that is annoying.) So probably 40 would be a decent number for DIY-studs for a pair of boots, and I have purchased enough for approximately 10 extra pairs of boots beyond my own need.
If you're interested in putting in a "reservation" to pick up some of these at the convention, let me know via a private message. First come first serve until they're all spoken for.
A 10 cent/stud donation to NANFA would be sufficient, or more if you're feeling generous. There is no other way to equip your boots with studs for $4 / pair that I know of.
* This is a "light-duty" solution. It's not going to be suitable for pros who use wading boots on a daily basis. (I assume.) Once a stud has been replaced a couple of times, the hole in your vibram/rubber boot sole probably will have lost its thread, and I'm guessing the studs won't hold any more.
* I have not personally done this before. No guarantees.
* You'll probably need a socket wrench or something similar to install them.
* I just ordered these. They ought to be in hand well before the Convention, but they might not be.
Durable wading boots
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