It took twelve years for founder Bill Combs and team to create the ultimate fishing boots. Results are in and fishermen agree. What do you think? Best fishing boots ever? Tahma passes military slip-resistant test and exceed fishermen comfort | National Fisherman

I was leaving the Pacific Marine Expo, suitcase in hand, and at the last minute, veered to exit the doors near Lumen Field. Past rows of booths with engines, boat parts, and other equipment, the last booth on the right stood out with stacks of shoe boxes with a pair of sage-gray rubber boots on top.

I whipped my head to a sign on the wall: “Tahma Boots.” Never heard of them. However, thinking of a new boot company on the commercial fishing scene was exciting to me. As a partner of a commercial fisherman, I want my fisherman to wear anything and everything that will keep him safe and mobile. I had to hear what the sales rep, Jim Fink, had to say. 

I was surprised by the dedication to creating the ultimate boot for blue-collar workers and grip-safety industries (such as wine craftsmen and brewers, dairy workers, sanitation operators, etc.) in sizes for both men and women. The way Fink described the boots sounded almost too good to be true. I had to see for myself. I invited Tahma Boots founder Bill Combs to the Partners of Commercial Fishermen Podcast (Apple, Spotify, and more). I then asked if my fisherman could try a pair so we could give an honest and fair assessment of Tahma Boots from beginning to end. Here’s what we discovered:

First, the shipping was fast, and customer service was attentive and kind. Second and most important, my husband, a fisherman with almost two decades of experience, says Tahma Boots are the best boots he’s ever worn. The break-in period was minimal, if not nonexistent. And, aside from the super-grip sole, the fact that his heels don’t slip (a challenge he “just dealt with” until now) is what he appreciates the most. He ordered a size up to fit his Bama-insulated socks and has been fishing happily ever since.

Sure, he’s only a month into wear, but a testimonial from a sockeye fisherman, Daniel Watts, after two months of a hard, fast, 400,000-pound season reports that the boots not only held up but looked as good as new. 

Photo by Fisherman Daniel Watts.

“That's been the surprise,” Combs said. We’re chatting a few days before Thanksgiving via Zoom for the Partners of Commercial Fishermen podcast. Tahma knew they had the slip and chemical resistance down, but the reaction from each industry they've touched is the same: after multiple months of use, Tahma's look and wear almost like new. “I'll be honest with you. I don't really know why it just is,” Combs said. To me, it sounds like karma, and here’s why. 

It took Combs twelve years to perfect the sole for a slip-resistant boot that passes military approval. We’re talking glycerine-on-steel slip-resistant. Not every work boots goes through or applies for this process. (Apparently, you can name your price for an overseas tester to give you a passing grade. Not here.) Tahma goes through a third-party test, domestically, in Tennessee, that handles products approved for the U.S. military. “There's no gray area there,” Combs said. “You don't get to talk to the technician or the people who did the test.” You send in the boots and get a pass or fail. 

Photo by Commercial Fisherman Daniel Watts.

The 12-year process to develop these groundbreaking boots involved constant redesigns, tweaks, and waiting for the prototypes, only to return to the drawing board. But the “ah-ha” moment came in year twelve on a call overseas.

“The smooth steel with glycerol is very difficult to pass. It's almost impossible.” Combs said they kept revising the compound and came very close. “It was by chance that we were on a call with our guys overseas, and our rubber technician said, ‘Well, I think the strike point of the forefoot and the heel is wrong.’’’ The Tahma team revised the mold, waited for the boots, and learned they made the almost impossible-to-pass test possible. Tahma Boots was ready to launch. 

The company is rolling out to retailers through 2024, but the website is the best place to grab a pair of waterproof Tahma’s for $140 for soft toe and $150 for safety toe. Considering you may not have to replace boots each season or year, the price seems well worth the investment.

Combs hopes the biggest takeaway is that, first, Tahma Boots are the most slip-resistant, and second, they're the most comfortable to wear all day. Combs says that what adds to the comfort is that the stretchy shaft of the boot accommodates athletic calves and easily folds for ventilation. 

Join us on the Partners of Commercial Fisherman podcast as we go deeper on the journey of Tahma Boots, starting from the original family shoe company Bogs Boots, the unique ways Comb vetted the overseas boot factory to ensure fair wages and employee satisfaction while maintaining competitive pricing, and the importance of pushing the boundaries to create groundbreaking footwear for commercial fishermen. 

 Are these the best fishing boots ever? Fishermen, you be the judge.

To learn more, visit

Check out the Tahma Boots episode of the Partners of Commercial Fishermen Podcast!

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Megan Waldrep is a nationally published writer, columnist, and founder of the Partners of Commercial Fishermen community for girlfriends, fiancés, and wives of commercial fishermen. As a spiny lobster fisherman’s wife, she aims to connect POCFs worldwide through a private online forum, a podcast with inspirational stories and actionable advice, a lifestyle blog filled with helpful resources and real talk, and daily heart and humor on socials to make partners feel seen, heard, and less alone in this unique and adventurous lifestyle. To learn more, visit, on Instagram at @megan.waldrep, or listen to the Partners of Commercial Fishermen Podcast on AppleSpotify, and wherever podcasts are available.

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