The latest press release from MDDNR alerts anglers to the felt sole ban effective March 21st, 2011. Many manufacturers of wading boots are answering the call to help curb the spread of invasives by switching from felt soles and designing better rubber compounds for traction. Simms is leading the industry by switching from felt to only Vibram soles in all boot styles. Simms also produced three different stud designs for anglers who feel they need more traction (many of us used the vibram soles without studs this past year). The Star Cleat features carbide chips welded to a triangular cleat that fits into the rubber sole tread pattern. The Alumibite Star Cleat features the same design, but in a lighter, softer metal. The Hardbite Boot Studs are a more traditional screw design with carbide shot welded onto the screw. One benefit of the Vibram soles is the studs can be removed, or configured differently depending on the desired traction. Maryland is now added to a list of states including Alaska and Vermont that have banned the use of felt effective 2011/2012. A number of states including Oregon, Montana and Missouri are currently debating a ban on felt soled boots.