Felt soles carry didymo, along with other invasive plants and or disease, which has been spreading through out New England. VT has several streams that have been affected. So far the disastrous results seen in rivers and streams in New Zealand has not born out the same results in New England. Biologists theorize that the cold winters of the NE slow the spread and growth. It will be interesting to see what happens after such a mild winter.
VT outlawed felt a year or two ago. Rubber soles are an accident waiting to happen on moss covered streambeds. Spikes in rubber soles will take care of that. Felt is great for rocky bottoms but rubber with spikes works just as well. I have found felt in most other situations are not the best material, especially steelheading or walking in sand.
I support a ban on felt but would have grandfathered it over a few years or offer a buy back program for guys who bought new boots a year or two prior to the ban.
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the things you did. So throw off the bowlines. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain, 1879