There is no perfect boot. The closest I have come are the simms freestones in felt and in vibram. I fish year round and mostly in the salt which is probably the harshest conditions as the salt will destroy most material and material tends to rot and corrode at a far higher rate than in fresh. Just the same these freestones have given me 6-10 seasons. As @arieger noted, I pair them with gripStuds…1800s for bubble weed in the surf…1300s for freshwater and weed free rock.
@R_Ruff notes the danger of spikes. On slick algae sometimes spikes cannot grip and even on smooth rock, there is danger of skating. Plain felt is better in those conditions, but most of the time spikes will save you from a tumble.
You need to know your spots, pick you footwear, and even then… test every foothold.
For fresh, there is claim that felt can harbor klingons…rocksnot and the like. I guess no matter the boot one should try to clean them prior to marching around especially in different geographic locations.
never saw the freezing recommendation…seems like the simplest…
@Brian_Miller , I like your boot dryer. I have a dehumidifier that I run in my basement most of the year. I just use that, but it can take a couple days to fully dry. I am a firm believer in drying gear…especially waders. Inside dry first then outside.
I have 4 pairs of boots in rotation…and outfitted for different conditions/purposes. I prefer this over dealing with korkers and interchangeable soles. Rotating and specializing based on type of water and type of structure. They get their turns and have opportunity to dry out fully.
One important tip I can share, I use the green superfeet inserts in all my wading boots. Wading boots never have any arch support and it will fatigue you pretty fast. Those green superfeet I buy are around 30-40 bucks but worth every penny. I have pairs that are still functioning perfectly after 5 seasons in the salt and fresh. Really well made…high density foam inserts that do not seem to hold water.