If you want to be an angler than you have to get used to being on your feet a lot of the time. You might have to walk or hike to the best spot for your particular prey, wade into the water in pursuit, and even when you’re standing still, you’re very likely to be standing on a wet and uncertain surface.
All of this means that if you’re going to go fishing with any regularity, you’re going to need fishing shoes. Water shoes can help give you a surer footing and help keep your feet dry while you’re fishing, using suitable water shoes can drastically decrease the risk of injury while out on the water, and generally make you more comfortable because you don’t have the worry that’ll you be stood around all day with wet feet.
Angling already involves quite a lot of equipment, and some novices think that waterproof boots will do the trick while out on the water.
The problem with these is that they have no drainage and once water is inside your boots it tends to stay there. Water shoes suitable for fishing will drain any water in your shoes away and help keep you comfortable and dry so you can spend more time fishing and less time drying out your feet!
Finding the shoes that will suit you the best can be hard because there are so many options available after all anglers will always need shoes! With so many products out there, it can be hard to find the one that suits you the best, and anglers of all skill levels can find it overwhelming to pick.
Luckily we’ve come up with this handy guide to take you through some of the top products currently on the market, we’ll also take you through the features you need to look out for before purchasing and answer some of your questions.
The most important thing is to find shoes that suit your and your fishing style, you want your shoes to mean that you can spend more time on the water going after the big fish and you need them to be up to the job of keeping you comfortable on your feet so you can go into battle.
Top 5 Best Fishing Shoes
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
First up we have this airy option from Merrell, these shoes are suited for all types of fishing and are a great choice for beginners and seasoned anglers alike. They’re durable and well-designed with cut-outs along the soles to let any water drain quickly and to let your feet dry quickly.
They also increase the breathability of the design for this shoe and they’re comfortable to wear for long periods. The soles on this option are made from Vibram and they give an excellent grip on a range of surfaces. They’re a good choice for those who enjoy a hike from spot to spot, but would also be well suited for those who like to fish from a boat as they offer excellent traction on deck to keep you stable even in swells or bad weather.
They’re a great one for those who habitually wade into the water and they’re suitable for both salt and fresh water which makes them nice and versatile for beginners.
The uppers on this model are made from leather that’s been treated so it's waterproof, and the inside has been treated to be odor-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about any smells following you around. The shoes are durably designed and require very little maintenance.
A rinse after use in saltwater will go a long way. They’re comfortable to wear and dry quickly, so you can easily wear them all day and repeatedly go into the water with no worries.
The midsole is designed to absorb as much shock as possible so you can stay on your feet for longer and to minimize the risk of injury. They’re a good option for those planning a trip to a range of spots over a day or a weekend, and anglers of all skill sets who enjoy hiking will find these a great pair of shoes.
- Quick-drying and excellent drainage system
- Well ventilated with excellent breathability
- Very comfortable to wear for long periods
- Well-designed and constructed
- Great for all fishing styles
- Need to be broken in before heavy use or risk blisters
- Full grain leather upper
- Integrated lacing system for a glove-like fit
- Neoprene stretch collar for easy on and off
- Protective toe cap
- Kinetic Fit BASE removable contoured insole for flexible support
If you’re going fishing in cold water and you’re a little worried you might get a bit chilly, then we may have just the solution for you. If wanting to stay warm and comfortable is at the top of your agenda than these might be the boots for you.
Whether your fishing on or offshore, in rivers or on the beach, these neoprene boots will give excellent traction and keep you securely on your feet. They come in a range of different thicknesses from 3mm for warm water fishing, 5mm for moderate water, and 7mm for cold water, which means that you can choose exactly the right level for you.
They’ve also included a water entry barrier to help keep the water out and keep you dry. Sometimes you might need to walk on sharp rocks or pebbles throughout your trip, and this option has puncture-resistant soles to keep you as comfortable as possible and to stop damage.
Every angler has got cold and wet feet which have led to them going home early, and most don’t want to repeat the experience. This option gives you a lot of control over what you’re putting on your feet so you can stay comfortable and warm for as long as you need to land the catch you want. It also has features like high top to stop dirt or small rocks getting into the boots and causing irritation.
A lot of time has been spent thinking about how to make these boots as comfortable and dry as possible and it’s a great option for kayak fishing or for those who wade out a lot.
The safety features ensure that your feet will stay warm and comfortable as this can reduce the risk of injury from numb feet while out on the water. If you’re fishing in colder climates than its essential to stay warm or risk illness so make sure your boots reflect that.
- Puncture-resistant sole for good traction and protection from sharp objects
- Thermal protection for warmth
- Range of thicknesses to choose from
- Waterproof and comfortable to wear
- Great for waders
- Sizing may be on the small side
- Synthetic / Neoprene
- Select thickness - 3mm warm water - 5mm moderate water - 7mm cold water
- Durable glued and sewn construction - Puncture resistant sole
- #10 heavy duty zipper for easy on and off - rugged traction sole
- WEB - Water Entry Barrier behind zipper helps prevent water entry
Next up we have this lightweight option from Aleader that’s perfect for those who love fishing from a boat or a kayak. The reason that they’re a great choice for a kayak angler is their amazing water drainage system that includes drainage vents in the outsoles and mesh uppers that greatly boost the breathability of this option.
If you’re going to be close to the water, you want to make sure your shoes will dry quickly so your feet stay comfortable and this is a good place to look if this is important to you. They’re also a great choice for beginners thanks to the attractive price point and the excellent drainage system.
They’re versatile enough for you to have the ability to try out new fishing techniques and functional enough to take them on a range of different fishing trips. The cushioned midsole helps absorb shock and support your feet as you battle the fish to keep standing in a secure and comfortable position.
The soles are made from rubber and they give outstanding traction on a range of surfaces including wet wood, so they’re great for boat fishing.
Many anglers are impressed with this pair’s lightweight construction, that keeps the shoe light even in water so you can stay light and nimble on your feet no matter where you are. The contrast stitching lateral support system gives you a secure fit that reduces blisters and rubbing to keep you comfortable from the second they’re out the box.
They’ve been designed to slip on and off, so they’re easy to take with you if you don’t want to wear them till you get to your spot, or take off if you get a pebble or stone in your shoe without slowing you down.
- Excellent traction on a range of surfaces
- Comfortable and durable
- The excellent water drainage system
- Lightweight even in water
- The slip-on and off system makes them easy to wear
- Check sizing chart to make sure the shoes aren’t on the large size
- Breathable and durable air mesh upper allow the foot to breathe
- Solyte midsole provides an exceptionally lightweight midsole with excellent bounce-back and durability
- Water Grip outsole provides exceptional traction in wet and slippery conditions
- ComforDry sockliner provides the optimum cushioning performance that creates a cooler, drier and healthier shoe environment.
- Open mesh on the upper and hole on the sole provides for superior breathability and quick drying
If you like the fit of your shoe to be as individual as possible then you’ll love this option from Keen that features a footbed that conforms to your foot shape for the maximum amount of comfort possible.
Keen knows that the more comfortable your shoes are the more time you’re going to be able to spend out on the water fishing, and they’ve gone to a big effort to create a reputation for making excellent quality fishing shoes for boats and wading that will last and give great traction.
These are no exception to that rule and these shoes live up to the expectation of the Keen brand. These shoes have a closed toe but are water-friendly sandals that give an incredible amount of breathability. They’re not the best option for bad weather or cold water admittedly, but there’s nothing better on a hot sunny day than feeling the water run over your toes as you reel in a big fish.
The sandals give a great amount of protection to your toes thanks to the closed-toe design, but they also dry quickly and keep your feet cool and comfortable. They feature an EVA midsole that’s been compression molded so that you’re as comfortable as possible, and the washable leather construction makes them easy to maintain and keep in good condition.
The leather also has a microbe-resistant lining which is a nice touch from Keen and demonstrates their commitment to their customers' safety and comfort.
They’re a great option for the hiker angler looking for something suitable for hot weather that’ll still give them the protection and grip they need while hiking to new fishing sites. This option provides excellent traction on a range of surfaces from mud to slippery wood and they don’t scuff the finish either.
The whole shoe is designed to be very durable, and they’re a great option for wearing all summer so you’re ready for that sudden urge to go fishing.
- Offers great traction on a range of surfaces
- Water-friendly with a microbe-resistant lining
- Offers an individual fit thanks to the countering footbed
- Excellent drainage
- Abrasion-resistant toe guard makes them great for hiking
ConsInner sole could benefit from a little more cushioning
- TRACTION & PROTECTION: Multi-directional lugs with razor siping help provide superior grip on slippery or wet terrain; Non-marking rubber outsoles leave no imprint when walking indoors; Iconic toe bumper offers additional safety to help prevent injury
- SUPPORT & COMFORT: Lace-lock bungee capture system provides a secure fit while offering quick and easy on/off; Compression-molded EVA midsole for enhanced cushioning
- FIT & INSOLE: This style is running a 1/2 size small, we suggest ordering a 1/2 size larger than your usual size; Non-removable EVA footbed with added arch support for all-day comfort
- WATER-RESISTANT UPPER: Washable polyester webbing featuring quick-dry lining for active use in and out of the water; PFC-free, durable, water repellent helps shed water and prolong the quality and life of the material on these men’s sport sandals
- CARE TIPS & ODOR PREVENTION: All KEEN water sandals are machine washable. Use a small amount of detergent, wash on gentle cycle and air dry; Includes Eco Anti-Odor, a natural, probiotic-based technology for breaking down the odor in sweat
Finally, we have this pair of unisex boots which are a great option for those of you with stocking foot waders. While this pair offers you stellar protection, comfort, and grip all by itself, it’s the perfect choice for those who have a stocking foot wader already and are looking for some added protection.
Alone, this option’s patterned rubber sole gives you an amazing grip on both muddy and sandy river or oceans beds and helps keep you on your feet no matter what gets thrown at you. The 3.5mm neoprene construction keeps you comfortable and dry when you in the water, and the front zipper makes them easy to wear alone or over waders.
The cuff at the top of the boots can be used to create a tight barrier against grit, stones, or sand so that even if you’re fishing in the surf you can concentrate on the task in hand.
These are very durable boots that should only need a quick rinse after use to keep them in the best working order, they’re heavy-duty enough to be able to cope with pretty much anything you want to use them for, and while they’re not the best for hiking from place to place you could use them this way if you want to.
The rubber sole is also a great way to stop any invasive species from hitching a ride, and they’re an affordable option for those looking for something that can perform consistently but isn’t going to break the bank.
- High quality and durable
- Suitable for both men and women
- Solid traction on a range of surfaces
- Excellent comfort with features like a cuff to seal out gravel and sand
- 3.5 mm neoprene for excellent warmth
- Sizing can be a little confusing
- 3.5mm neoprene upper; Rubber outsole and toe protection
- Cuff adjustment around upper heel
- YKK durable zipper
- It is recommend for you to find your regular shoe size in the Traditional Shoe Size section and order the corresponding Hodgman wade boot in the Recommended Hodgman Wade Boot section.
- Typically this is one size up for men and one size down for women. Additionally if you wear a half size typically going up one half size will suffice (For example if you wear size 9.5 then a 10 will typically fit comfortably)
Best Fishing Shoes Buying Guide
Now that you’ve seen some of the best options out there, hopefully, you now feel ready to pick out the shoes that will best suit you and your fishing needs. If you want a little more information than this next section may be of help.
We’re going to take you through some of the most important features you need to be aware of when on the lookout for fishing shoes, to make sure you make the best decision for you.
As we said before fishing means you spend a lot of time on your feet, and the right fishing shoes are going to help keep you comfortable and supported while your out on the water.
The more comfortable you are, the longer you’ll be able to spend out on the water, enjoying yourself. You need to keep in mind what sort of weather you’re expecting, if you’re going fishing in the summer where the weather’s already warm than keeping cool is important and well-ventilated shoes should be top of your priorities. Shoes that might let in some water is alright in this situation as long as they have a good drainage system and dry fast.
If you’re planning a trip in cold weather, then staying warm and dry, to avoid injuries like frostbite so fishing boots are the better choice here. You need shoes that will support your ankles as sprains or even breaks are very common injuries while you’re fishing, especially on wet or slippery surfaces. Heavy boots will slow you down and tire you out, so look out for lightweight shoes that won’t get heavy even when they’re wet.
Make sure your shoes are padded adequately too so that they’re comfortable to wear for as long as you need them.
Traction and Grip
No matter what sort of fishing you like the best, you need great traction and grip to deal with the wet and slippery surfaces which are expected while fishing. Making sure that your shoes have enough traction to deal with them should be high on your list of things to look out for. Rubber soles are an important one to look out and textured or patterned soles will give your grip a big boost.
A good rubber sole can also mean that your shoe can be used for hiking, which some anglers need for their style. Think about what sort of thing that your shoe needs to be able to do and then make sure the grip and the traction are up to it.
No one wants to be replacing their shoes all time, so when you’re picking out a pair you need to have a think about how long they’re going to last. A good pair of shoes will be able to be worn for long periods in water, and features like stitching versus gluing is a good way to check the quality and likely durability of your shoes. Make sure your toe section is sufficiently reinforced to deal with rough impacts and still protect your toes.
The durability of your shoes can also contribute to how well they can protect you, so it’s worth thinking about and checking before you buy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I wear socks with my fishing shoes?
This depends on the shoe, but also on the weather and location you’re in. In cold conditions being able to layer under your gear can help keep you warm and dry, the same thing in warm weather might make you sweaty and uncomfortable. It depends on you.
Some shoes won’t have the space for socks underneath, but many do so think about what you prefer and make your choice!
Are Crocs good fishing shoes?
Well, yes and no. They’re great for fishing in warm weather as they’re lightweight, with excellent drainage thanks to the holes, but cold weather fishing will be uncomfortable and maybe even dangerous. It again depends on you and your fishing.