The giant Salmonflies of the Western mountains are legendary for their proclivity to elicit consistent dry-fly action and ferocious strikes.
I would go with the simms, I have also read some bad reviews on the corkers. I have orvis boa boots which are nice and they have lasted me quite a bit longer than I thought they would. I like orvis stuff and will likely replace mine with more orvis boots and waders. One thing im finding out is winter fishing requires different boots, as in a couple of size larger than the ones I wear in the other 3 seasons. God I thought I had frostbite last week, I have never felt pain like that. Larger boots so you can get another layer of socks and move your toes very comfortably!
I have owned four pairs of the Simms Freestones. They are very popular. I've owned two pairs with just felt and two pairs with felt and steel studs. Steel studs are okay but if you fish a lot they wear down. I didn't wear them all out I wanted to keep one pair at a cabin I have on a trout river and another pair to leave at home. Then as I aged my foot got wider and I needed two more pairs.
I recently bought a pair of Chota Citico Creek wading shoes. They have already installed inserts so you can screw in carbide studs. The head has a hexagon shape and there is a point on top of the hex to really dig into slime and terrain in, and out, of the river. Tungsten carbide are harder than the hardest metals. Harder = More durability.
THe boots are $70 and the studs are $30. Even with tax and shipping these are well within your budget.
Kold Kuttter studs
rubber soles with studs provide much more traction than felt.
I've lost 3 times as many glued on felts from other brands over a similar time span.