Buying the right fishing apparel is always a hassle. You spend countless hours searching for the right gear. The last thing that you want to hear is that you bought a poor-quality rod, line, or fishing shoes. Yes, having the right pair of shoes is as important as having the right rod, hook, and line combination.
That’s why we bring you this review of the 10 best fishing shoes for any angler. Here, you will find breathable, quick-drying, strong, waterproof, light, and durable fishing shoes.
The decision of which one is the best fishing shoes depends on your needs. So, with that in mind, we added a buyers’ guide with all the important features that you should look into when buying a new pair of fishing shoes.
HUK Men’s Rubber Rogue Mid Boots
Boots are excellent for all kinds of outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and, of course, fishing. And these HUK fishing waders are the perfect example.
With these on, you will acquire instant traction, especially on wet and slippery surfaces. But the best part is that you won’t even notice that you have them on! The boots are so light and very comfortable that you will be able to wear them throughout the entire day.
The boots come in five different colors for you to choose, and they look pretty awesome!
The Rubber Rouge Mid Boots are completely waterproof. And as the name suggests, the boot is made of rubber and neoprene. The inside has enough cushioning to support your feet and keep them snugly. However, if you want to buy these, you should add an extra size.
The boot has a rubber sole with a textured pattern, which increases its grip, especially on slippery exteriors.
The only thing we didn’t like about this boot is the slip-on style. It is a little loose on the top, which might be uncomfortable for some people. Still, this allows airflow within the boot, which keeps your feet from getting too hot.
- Rubber sole and body.
- Textured rubber sole for enhanced traction.
- Lightweight and durable.
- The cushioning adds an extra size.
- No half-size models.
- Loose at the top.
SHIMANO EVAIR Marine Fishing Shoes
When you see the SHIMANO brand on any product, it automatically means quality. And these SHIMANO sandals are not an exception.
We know that many people aren’t fond of sandals. Mainly because of that trend to wear socks with them. But we assure you, these fishing sandals are so versatile that you should give them a chance.
The SHIMANO EVAIR fishing sandals feature a single mold EVA foam, which means no stitches or glue fix the sole to the shoe. They have a changeable inner sole. So, you can replace it whenever it wears out.
These fishing shoes are not waterproof. Still, they dry out quite quickly thanks to the holes in its body, which makes them perfect for fishing during hot summer days.
In terms of the outer sole, it has a textured sole to increase your grip on wet surfaces like a boat deck, kayak, and docks
- Entirely made with EVA.
- Changeable inner sole.
- Shock absorption sole.
- Textured sole.
- Ergonomic design.
- Not suitable for muddy terrain or extreme cold.
- The sandals run a little wide.
- No half sizes.
Mishansha Unisex Water Shoes
Are you looking for affordable and versatile fishing shoes? Well, here you have a suitable candidate. Mishansha water shoes are notably light and flexible, even when wet!
One great thing about these shoes is that you can fold and then put them inside your backpack. They pack so small that you won’t even notice that you are carrying them.
The Mishansha water shoes have a spandex upper with a rubber sole. Additionally, the outer sole has tiny holes that serve as a drainage system and allow air to flow inside the shoe. This combination will keep your feet dry and fresh even on the hottest days. However, they don’t work so well on muddy terrain and in extremely cold weather.
In contrast with the other shoes we’ve reviewed so far, these have laces. The elastic straps keep the shoes in place and give a sense of security. Besides, you don’t need to tie the laces. All that is needed is to pull the straps and secure them with the lace locker.
- Breathable upper and sole.
- Elastic laces.
- Lightweight and flexible.
- Spandex upper.
- Textured rubber sole.
- EVA inner sole.
- Dries quick.
- You might find that the shoe is a little narrow.
- Not enough traction.
- Lack of feet support.
- Not suitable for long hikes.
Columbia Men’s Bahama Vent PFG
Columbia gear is known for being durable and fashionable. Therefore, if you are looking for a pair of fishing shoes that you can wear all day long, regardless if you are fishing or not, the Bahama vent PFG are the ones.
The shoes are very comfortable, and they adapt nicely to feet shape. We prefer to use them without socks since, with them, the shoe feels a little tight. Besides, the shoes aren’t completely waterproof. Thus, adding socks will only increase the dry out time.
The upper body is a composition of canvas and leather, a combination that will protect your feet from the sun. Additionally, the fabric and midsole holes allow airflow, keeping your feet dry and fresh.
Columbia Bahama vent features a rubber sole with Columbia’s OMNI-GRIP design, which increases the shoe grip on wet facades. These shoes are perfect if you are looking to fish from a boat or dock. But don’t use them if you are planning to fish under harsher conditions.
With the slip-on design, you can easily put them on and off whenever you want. And, the inside cushioning provides excellent support and comfort.
- Leather and canvas upper.
- Rubber sole.
- The fabric has a stain-resistant treatment.
- Breathable sole.
- Good grip and feet support.
- Not suitable for harsh conditions like fishing from a riverbank or muddy terrain.
Hodgman Neoprene Wade Shoe
Maybe the ugliest shoe in this list, but one of the most reliable without a doubt. The Hodgman wade shoes are a great choice for those anglers that like to fish from the water and muddy terrain.
The shoe is waterproof as long as you don’t submerge your feet under the water. However, if you do, the boots won’t get heavy, and they will dry out fairly quickly.
The Hodgman neoprene wade shoe has a neoprene and rubber section that provides support and protects your feet. The rubber sole has a pattern that resembles the scales of a snake. At first, it might look like they won’t offer too much traction. But the Hodgman neoprene wade shoes have an outstanding performance on muddy terrain.
Additionally, the neoprene and rubber combination will keep your feet fresh during hot weather and fairly warm on moderate cold conditions. So, these waders are perfect for a wide variety of conditions.
These boots have a slip-on design with a zipper and cuffs to keep them in place. Furthermore, the 3.5mm neoprene layer wraps around your feet and prevents debris from getting inside your shoes.
- Rubber and neoprene construction.
- Textured sole.
- Slip-on design.
- Heavy-duty zipper.
- 3.5mm neoprene layer for enhanced support.
- The cuffs and the zipper keep debris from getting inside the shoe.
- Great traction on muddy terrain.
- Affordable boots.
- Offer great protection against rocks and rubble.
- Ugly; you might not want to use them all day.
- Not suitable for extreme hot or cold conditions.
- Lacks traction on slippery surfaces like rocks or fallen trees.
XTRATUF Full Rubber Ankle Deck Boots
The XTRATUF boots are similar to the HUK fishing boots we reviewed early in this article. These will protect your feet and keep them dry, as long as you don’t submerge your feet on deep water.
These boots have a full rubber body and are thick enough to increase the durability. The downside is that they retail for a higher price than the HUK fishing boots.
The boots are completely waterproof thanks to the rubber body and outer sole. Additionally, the inside has enough cushioning to provide good support and comfort to your feet. It might not look like it, but the XTRATUF full rubber ankle boots are very comfortable, and you can use them all day long.
Like the HUK fishing boots, this model uses the slip-on design and has two straps to help you put the boot on. The boot is 6 inches high, but the top is loose. So, you can easily walk with them, and you won’t even notice that you have them on.
The XTRATUF has a slip-resistant that gives you enough traction to walk over slippery or wet surfaces. Exactly what you need if you want to fish from a boat.
- Rubber sole and body.
- Slip-resistant non-marking rubber sole.
- Antimicrobial inside.
- Durable and flexible.
- Superior traction.
- Good protection.
- 100% waterproof.
- No unpleasant odors after prolonged use.
- It takes time to dry out when the inside of the boot gets wet.
- No half-size available.
Frogg Toggs Hellbender Wading Shoe
Now, we are talking about some harsh fishing conditions here. Frogg Toggs specializes in making heavy-duty fly fishing gear.
With these boots on, you will be able to fish from wet rocks and extremely slippery surfaces, including river banks!
The boot has a PVC and heavy fabric body, which is no waterproof, but it can handle the occasional splash. However, the boot protects your feet from pointy rocks and other debris. And, the ankle support in this model is superb; no more twisted ankles!
Frogg Toggs wading shoe has a rubber sole with a replaceable felt coating, which increases the traction. Plus, it has a rubberized heel and toes support.
The boots feature old-school laces paired with brass speed hooks to tightly secure the boot.
- PVC and heavy fabric body.
- Rubber sole with a felt coating.
- Thick polyurethane midsole.
- Shoelace closure.
- Excellent protection and feet support.
- Good grip.
- Extremely durable.
- The boot isn’t waterproof.
- Heavier than the other shoes than we’ve reviewed so far.
- The laces could need replacement in the short run.
- The boot requires constant maintenance.
ALEADER Water Shoes
Talking about an affordable fishing shoe is talking about the ALEADER men’s quick-drying shoes. The great thing about this shoe is that they are very versatile. You can use them for fishing, kayaking, and water sports.
The ALEADER quick-drying shoes aren’t waterproof. Still, they don’t get heavy when wet, and they dry-out amazingly fast.
At first glance, the outer sole looks like it offers little to no protection. But everything should be alright as long as you don’t use them over sharp rocks or something similar. A good thing about the outer rubber sole is that it provides enough grip to cope with wet decks or rocks.
The shoe body is where the ALEADER quick-drying is a winner. It has a meshed upper body that allows air to flow, keeping your feet dry and fresh. Additionally, the sole has big holes that, paired with the meshed body, makes an excellent drainage system.
The inner sole provides support for your arch, making these shoes as comfortable as they can be. Besides, they are so light that you won’t even feel that you have them on.
- Mesh body.
- Rubber holed sole.
- Drainage system.
- Quick-dry out.
- Affordable shoes for beginners.
- Not suitable for rocky or muddy terrain.
- Sand might get inside the shoe.
If you like the slip-on style more, you should get the ALDERMAN slip-on shoes. They have similar specs, and they have a more elegant design. They are a little more expensive, though. But they feature an EVA insole for increased comfort and support.
Merrell Men’s All Out Blaze Aero Sport Hiking Water Shoe
Although these shoes are a little pricey, these are a great candidate if you are looking for an all-purpose fishing shoe. The Merrel shoes are sturdy enough to cope with long hikes and uneven, treacherous terrain. Still, they are quite light not to be a burden after prolonged use.
So, all those features make the Merrell hiking water shoe a great option for anglers looking for a durable and reliable fishing shoe.
The shoe has a mesh upper with synthetic overlays to increase support and protection. The construction is breathable enough to allow the shoe to dry-out and keep your feet fresh. However, they take more time to dry out than other similar fishing shoes we’ve reviewed.
The outer sole has an incredible grip over almost any surface ranging from river banks and wet rocks to wet decks and sand. Additionally, it is thick enough to guarantee the shoe durability. The downside is that aside from the mesh body, the shoe lacks a drainage system.
Merrell all out blaze aero sport water shoes features an inner sole coated with an antimicrobial layer. It prevents the appearance of unpleasant odors and keeps your feet cool.
The shoe tongue stays beneath the body, preventing debris from entering the shoe. And, the strong laces keep the shoe in place.
- Mesh upper.
- Strong shoelaces.
- Textured rubber sole.
- Soft antimicrobial inner sole.
- All-purpose fishing shoe.
- The shoe provides enough protection to your feet.
- Grants protection against sharp rocks.
- Rather expensive.
- Takes time to dry-out.
- Not suitable for extremely muddy terrain.
There is a sandal version of this shoe, with similar features. These take less time to dry and are lighter than Merrell all out blaze aero sport. However, they don’t provide the same support and protection.
Neo Sport Premium Neoprene Men & Women Wetsuit Boots
These are similar to the Hodgman Neoprene waders we review earlier in this guide. However, in this case, you have 3, 5, and 7mm thickness neoprene versions to choose from depending on your needs. The thicker version is better to fish during cold weather and chilled waters.
One thing about these boots is that they offer a great grip regardless of the surface.
As the name suggests, the boots have a neoprene body that wraps feet nicely and keeps the water out. Additionally, the boot has a toe and heel rubber reinforcement to improve protection.
The heavy-duty zipper goes down and up very easily, even when dirty.
With these boots on, you will have an excellent grip over any surface including, rocks, decks, and mud. The rubber sole is glued and sewn into the body to ensure durability. However, they lack cushioning and support for long walks.
- Neoprene and rubber upper.
- Rubber sole.
- Heavy-duty zipper and cuffs.
- 3, 5, and 7mm body thickness.
- Glued and sewn sole.
- Extremely light.
- Waterproof body.
- Not for long hikes.
- Lacks protection against pointy rocks or sharp objects.
- Runs small, buy a half-size extra.
Best Fishing Shoe: XTRATUF Performance Series
These boots are amazing. They are waterproof, light, comfortable, and durable. Sure, they are a little more expensive than the HUK fishing shoes on this list. But they have a thicker body, which increases its durability. Additionally, the sole has a better grip and has non-marking technology, which is a nice touch.
Some of the shoes on this list, like the ALEADER water shoes or the SHIMANO EVAIR, are more suitable for fishing during hot summer days. While others like the Frogg Toggs Hellbender and Hodgman are better for harsher conditions.
But, the XTRATUF fishing boots are very versatile and offer a middle ground between the two extremes. You can walk long hikes and fish from boats, docs, shore, mud, and rocks. Additionally, you can use them for other purposes besides fishing. So, if you are looking for a solid pair of fishing shoes that will be useful in many different situations, the XTRATUF is your best bet.
Best Style: Columbia Men’s Bahama Vent PFG
If you are searching for a good-looking fishing shoe that you can use throughout the entire day, these are the ones. They have beautiful craftsmanship and have a great performance under light fishing conditions.
The Columbia Men’s Bahama Vent doesn’t have the breathability of the ALEADER or Mishansha fishing shoes. But they have better looks and are a great choice for those occasional anglers that like to fish from a boat or dock and then walk home without switching shoes.
Best Value: ALEADER Water Shoes
Now, if you are looking for a cheap fishing shoe without compromising its quality, you should go with the ALEADER water shoes. They are lightweight and have a super drainage system thanks to the holed rubber sole and meshed body. Features that you won’t find on Merrell or Mishansha fishing shoes.
What to Look When Buying Fishing Shoes?
Finding the best fishing shoe is as hard as finding the best rod. Many brands offer different types of shoes at different prices, claiming that their product is the best. But what makes a great fishing shoe?
First of all, “best” is a relative term, as it depends on some conditions. For example, aluminum studs offer the best traction on a muddy football field. But, if the arena is hard as stone, regular plastic cleats will be better.
With that idea in mind, choosing the best fishing shoe depends on several conditions. So, before starting your search for your new pair of shoes, you should ask yourself the following questions:
- Will you be fishing from a boat, shore, or inside the water? From where you fish has a huge impact on the material and type of shoe. For example, breathable and lightweight shoes are the best choice if you are fishing from the shore.
- How much money are you willing to invest? Most of the top-tier materials are expensive. Therefore, by setting a budget, you will make sure that you get the best shoe possible.
- How often do you plan to use them? If you fish for a hobby, and you go on the occasional fishing trip, you don’t need to buy the most expensive shoe there is.
- Is it cold or hot? Waterproof boots are not the best option if you are fishing during hot summer days. In contrast, low cut mesh shoes are not suitable for icy climates.
Now that you have a general idea of the conditions under which you will be using your fishing shoes, it’s time to talk about the shoe features. We have taken the time to make a summary of the relevant features that you should pay attention to when buying a fishing shoe.
- Grip and Sole Type.
- Ankle Support.
Materials and construction dictate fishing shoe quality and properties. Neoprene, lycra, mesh, canvas, rubber, leather, and felt are among the most common materials found in this type of shoes. Each one has its uses, advantages, and disadvantages. We will make a short review of each one.
It’s a waterproof, flexible material. You can find both natural and synthetic rubber. Most fishing shoes have rubber soles, and some of them add some rubber into their bodies.
It is a type of synthetic rubber and, as you would expect, is also waterproof. Neoprene is great for cold climates as it isolates your feet and keeps them dry and warm.
Mesh refers to any loosely knitted fabric. Most lightweight fishing shoes have meshed bodies, which makes them perfect for hot climates.
Canvas is a versatile fabric; you can use it for sails, bags, clothes, and shoes. It is very resistant and offers more protection than mesh fabrics. Still, it takes more time to dry-out and is heavier than meshed fabrics.
Also known as spandex, it is an incredibly flexible synthetic fabric. It dries out quickly and easily adapts to any shape.
There is both natural and synthetic leather. While they are not completely waterproof, they sure are water-resistance. Leather is very durable, as long as you take good care of your shoes, of course. The downside is that leather fishing shoes are quite heavy.
Felt is a hard, thick fabric. Some fishing shoes coat their rubber soles with felt to increase grip and traction.
Grip and Sole Type
Fishing means getting wet, harsh conditions, and slippery surfaces. Therefore, it is of interest to have a pair of shoes with sufficient traction to overcome those severe circumstances. Otherwise, you are prone to have an accident while fishing.
As you might expect, the shoe grip depends on the sole type. Materials, construction, and design have an enormous impact on the shoe traction and performance. But, as we said before, choosing the best fishing shoe depends on the situation. Thus, selecting the sole type depends on it as well. Here, you have some of the most common sole types.
Most fishing shoes have a rubber sole. It offers an excellent grip on most surfaces, especially on the slippery ones like boat or ship decks, docks, and rocks. Besides, rubber soles are durable and more than capable of resisting long hikes.
Some fishing shoes have textured soles to increase shoe traction. Others have holes within the sole to allow the water and air to flow. It all depends on your needs. For example, if you are looking for an all-purpose fishing shoe, textured rubber sole without holes is the best bet. In contrast, if you need a shoe that dries out quickly and you don’t plan to use them on muddy terrain, a rubber sole with holes is what you need.
Some companies coat their rubber sole with a thick layer of felt. It offers extra traction over wet rocks. The downside is that felt wears down faster than rubber. Therefore, you have to replace the felt from time to time.
Furthermore, felt soles don’t perform well on muddy terrain or outside wet surfaces. So, think before you buy them as felt soles have fewer applications.
Now, we are talking about extreme fishing conditions. Cleated soles are perfect to fish from ice, mud, and in rapid rivers. Of course, these are the direst of conditions. Thus, if you are unlikely to face such circumstances, you are better off with rubber soles.
But if you ever find yourself needing a studded sole, you can buy a strap-on studded sole.
So, the best advice we can give you is to choose a rubber sole fishing shoe. Such footwear has a solid grip, is lightweight, and durable. Bear in mind that there are soft and hard rubber soles, which have an impact on comfort.
If you are fishing from a boat, dock, or hard surface, ankle support is not too important. But, if you are planning to fish from the water, ice, rocky or muddy terrain, and irregular ground, you should buy a good pair of shoes with superb ankle support.
But, how to identify a shoe with excellent ankle support? For instance, boots and medium-cut shoes offer the best ankle support. However, some people could have a hard time walking with boots.
If you rather prefer low-cut shoes, make sure to check the ankle area. It has to be sturdy enough to support your ankle. Otherwise, you will twist your ankle, and your fishing trip will end sooner than expected.
Comfortable is a keyword when looking for any piece of clothing. And fishing shoes are not an exception. Besides, you will be using them throughout the entire day, so better some comfy shoes. Or you’ll regret it later.
Now, what makes a shoe comfortable? Well, here the insides are everything. Look for fishing shoes with enough inside cushioning. Bear in mind that it has to be soft and provide support to your feet.
Another important thing when looking for comfortable fishing shoes is the weather. Choose breathable and lightweight shoes if you are planning to fish in hot and humid conditions. Nobody likes to have soaked feet. Besides, it is unhealthy to have wet feet during extended periods
In contrast, take a solid pair of waterproof shoes to fish during cold climates. Such footwear will keep your feet dry and warm.
Shoe size is also important when looking for the best fishing shoe. It has to be big enough not to strangle your feet. But tight enough to keep them in place. Typically, we recommend ordering a half-size bigger for narrow models. But, if you are planning to fish under icy conditions, you should buy a size extra. This will allow you to accommodate those thick warm socks without a problem.
Weight is very important when choosing a fishing shoe. The lighter, the better is a common rule of thumb that you should follow. Otherwise, you will feel the burden of carrying heavy shoes during your fishing session. And we don’t have to tell you how uncomfortable it is to drag the extra weight around.
Certain types of shoes tend to get heavier when wet. Therefore, we recommend buying either waterproof or fast-drying fishing shoes.
As we said before, construction has a tremendous impact on shoe quality and durability. Thankfully, it is easy to recognize whether a shoe has been well constructed or not.
For instance, search for stitched soles, as they last longer than glue ones. Furthermore, the thread should be as thick as possible to increase its strength.
Some fabricants use both binding methods. But with a sewed sole is more than enough.
Waterproof versus Breathable Fishing Shoes.
This decision depends on the weather. For example, if you are fishing during winter, we recommend choosing a fully waterproof shoe. Full rubber or rubber/neoprene combination are good choices.
Other fishing shoes are water-resistant instead of waterproof, which means that they can get wet after prolonged immersion. We don’t like this type of fishing shoes because they get rather heavy when wet.
In contrast, if you are fishing during hot summer days, you should buy a breathable and light shoe. Why? Well, a fully waterproof fishing shoe will prevent water from entering. But what happens with sweat? It will stay inside the shoe and will make them wet.
Therefore, to prevent unpleasant odors and uncomfortable wet feet, a meshed shoe with water drainage is your best bet. They allow air to flow within the shoe and sole. Thus, keeping your feet dry. Furthermore, they are very light, even when soaked.
Some brands make their shoes with hydrophobic fabrics, which don’t get wet and keep the shoe as light and breathable as possible.
Shoelaces, Velcro, or Slip-on
Fishing shoes with laces are ideal for harsh conditions. They keep the shoe in place and provide better support to the feet. We recommend buying fishing shoes with polypropylene and nylon laces since these materials are capable of withstanding more tension.
Slip-on fishing shoes are more comfortable in the long run. But don’t provide the security and support that laces do.
We don’t recommend buying velcro fishing shoes. It might look like an in-between option. But the reality is that velcro gets wet and dirty. So, it might not secure the shoe as well as if it was clean and dry. Furthermore, velcro loses its sticking ability over time, which decreases the fishing shoe durability.
For us, this is not a deal-breaker. We care more about durability, comfort, and quality rather than style. Still, for others, it might be an important feature.
Fishing shoes come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from full boots to sneaker-like. And in almost any color combination you can imagine. So, there are plenty of options to choose from. But remember to choose the one that best suits your needs, not the one you like the most.
Style becomes highly important if you are looking for a shoe that you can use all day long. In this case, we recommend buying a sneaker-style fishing shoe.