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The Under Armour Micro G Kilchis Fishing Shoes are water shoes built to handle a wide variety of conditions. They’re designed to be worn in and out of boats as well as on the shore and in the water. The sneaker-like style delivers versatility.
To get us a closer look at the UA Micro G Kilchis Fishing Shoes, Under Amour sent us a review pair. After testing the Kilchis shoes on the beach and on the river while fishing, this is what we learned:
UA Kilchis Fishing Shoes Review
I am blown away by how much I like the Under Armour Micro G Kilchis Fishing Shoes.
They are a much better shoe than the spartan description and photos you see online might lead you to believe — and this is why manufacturers send us gear to test in person.
For the Kilchis in particular, I was hesitant to try them out because I tend to cover a lot of ground over rough terrain along rivers while fly fishing for trout — and I wasn’t sure about the lacing system. I also wear water shoes while rafting, kayaking, and stand-up paddle boarding, and I like my shoes snug in the water.
When you look at UA’s Kilchis product photos, it looks as if the laces are simply closed-loop elastic laces. And generally, elastic lacing systems don’t cut it for me — I need to be able to lock down my foot so that it doesn’t slide around inside the water shoe when wet.
As it turns out, the laces are actually traditional laces — they don’t have elastic and you can tie them! Occasionally product photo people at companies do weird things with laces like tuck them in to hide them to make the photos appear neat and tidy, and I’m sure that’s what happened here . . . except there’s no way to tuck the laces behind the tongue. Someone cut the laces to get rid of the excess for the online photos, which implies a different lacing system entirely to unsuspecting online shoppers. Not cool.
But in person, the shoes are cool! Let’s take a closer look.
The UA Micro G Kilchis in Action
The best field-testing ground for me is on Idaho and Washington rivers and beaches. I get to scramble over a variety of terrain, including slick round bowling-ball sized rocks as well as wet rock slabs, wet sucky mud, loose dry scree, and dry sand.
I knew the UA Micro G Kilchis Fishing Shoes were the real deal when I took them fly fishing on a hot spring day. I was expecting to change into a set of fly fishing waders and wading boots . . . but due to the unseasonably warm sunshine and high fast water, I thought I could get away with staying close to the bank with just my shorts and water shoes.
I was right. But I was surprised at the Kilchis performance.
First, you get a stable base that handles rough terrain. I was able to scramble down a steep rocky slope with ease. Once at the river, I could step into the water and get good grip on the bottom and on relatively slick rocks. (This time of year, the rocks don’t have as much built-up slime to contend with, but they are still slick.)
Here’s what really caught my attention: I hooked into a large cutthroat trout and was busy fighting it on a trusty Orvis Recon 5-weight fly rod. With the high water, I had to follow the trout downstream or risk breaking off. As I was working my way down the rocky bank, I stepped on a steep flat-sided boulder that angled down into the rushing river. As I did so, I immediately noticed my error — it was a total “Oh shit!” moment because I expected my feet to slide out from under me. I thought for sure I was going down and into the river . . . but I didn’t. The Kilchis soles held.
I stepped off the slanted rock and eventually landed the fish.
The point is, I wouldn’t step on that rock on purpose again, even to test the shoes further. It was a dumb move — but the Kilchis held fast. Ultimately, on less scary ground and water, the UA Micro G Kilchis Fishing Shoes have surprisingly good traction.
Drainage & Debris
All great water shoes have great drainage. The best water shoes usually have drain holes in the soles that channel water out of the inside of the shoe very quickly. The Micro G Kilchis Fishing Shoes have 8 drain holes that channel water from inside the shoe through the midsoles and out the sides.
In addition, the exterior is made of fast-drying mesh that will also squirt out water as you walk.
All these drainage holes are great, but what about sand? Sand gets everywhere. You can’t keep all sand out your water shoes, but you can reduce the issue. The insole of the UA water shoes is basically a comfortable mesh that helps keep sand from creeping up from the drain channels and inside the shoe. The same goes for the exterior multi-weave mesh.
The collar fits comfortably around my ankles, but it’s not a sock-like fit, so you can get some sand and debris into the shoe as you walk on a beach. You can defeat a lot of sand with neoprene sock-like water shoes like the NRS Backwater Wetshoes, but you lose the comfort of a classic sneaker style. For that reason, I prefer sneaker-style water shoes — and I just recognize that sand is sand.
The fit is spot on. I have a narrow foot, and the lacing system lets me snug it up. I think average width feet will find a perfect fit. I’m less certain about wide feet, but I can tell you that the upper might have enough flex to hug your foot if your foot isn’t super wide.
The midsole is made from Under Armour’s proprietary ‘Micro G’ foam, which provides a stable, responsive ride. I found the Micro G Kilchis to be surprisingly comfortable after a full day of fishing on my feet.
One key feature of the UA Micro G Kilchis Fishing Shoes that sets these shoes apart from most other water shoes is the design of the heel pocket.
Some competitive water shoes end up with too much heel slip, which is bad if you’re actively in and out of the water when you’re wearing water shoes without socks. The Kilchis Fishing Shoes have a heel that cants forward, which creates some snug, but it also has two pads that provide some contact above your heel and around the lower part of your achilles tendon. The result for me is that I got a better fit than I was expecting — a fit that was capable of handling rougher ground than I thought.
That’s not to say that these are burly water shoes — they’re not. They’re delightfully lightweight and airy. If you’re looking for a super rugged water shoe, go with the Simms Flyweight Wet Wading Shoe.
The Columbia Drainmaker IV shoes are a bit more sneaker-like than the UA Micro G Kilchis shoes. The Chaco Torrent Pro shoes have a more sock-like upper and are aimed more at water play than fishing. All three are versatile full-coverage water shoes.
The UA Kilchis Verdict
All-in-all, I’m surprised by how much I like the UA Micro G Kilchis Fishing Shoes. They’re lightweight, drain fast, and have a comfortable sole that will protect your feet from rocks. The non-marking tread design isn’t particularly aggressive, but it does a good job on slick rocks. Very highly recommended.