If you’re a hardcore angler, you know that fishing can be a messy process. Many adventures include standing with your feet submerged in water for hours at a time, crossing shallow streams filled with slick pebbles and rocks, or trekking through thick mud.
If you’re doing these activities with unsuitable footwear, you are putting yourself in danger and are bound to ruin many pairs of shoes. Because of this, it’s a great idea to purchase a pair of fishing boots to wear exclusively during your angling adventures.
There are many different brands that specialize in boots for a variety of water-related outdoor activities, so to get you a head start, we’ve compiled a list of some great options for anyone looking to purchase their first (or fifth!) pair of fishing boots.
Are Boots Important While Fishing?
The benefits of wearing fishing boots compared to regular shoes are plentiful. Most regular shoes, even if they’re made for outdoor activities, aren’t suitable to be worn in and around the water.
Fishing boots are durable. If normal shoes are not waterproof, they tend to break down much easier in water and can be ruined after one or two fishing trips. Fishing boots can last trip after trip because they are made to be in and around water.
They are also much safer than wearing regular shoes or walking barefoot. Because fishing trips involve bodies of water, it means you’re bound to run into situations where there are many slipping hazards. Whether it is a slick, rocky, river bed or a mud-covered shore, fishing boots provide added traction to avoid injuries from falling.
The only real con of fishing boots is the price tag. Some brands tend to be a little spendier than a regular pair of boots, but for any avid fisher, it’s worth it to invest in a pair.
Qualities of the Best Fishing Boots
Though you may think that any type of rubber boot is suitable for fishing, there are specific products that work best because of various attributes. Fishing boots are also often referred to as wading boots.
These boots are different than rubber boots because they are suitable to be submerged in water. Great fishing boots should have some or all of the following qualities:
It’s important for your fishing boots to be waterproof for a number of reasons, but mainly because of the nature of angling. Being surrounded by water often results in soggy socks and feet, which is not ideal for an all-day excursion. Having waterproof boots can prevent liquid from leaking in while on deck or shore.
Trudging around the woods or shore with heavy boots on your feet is not fun. With weighty boots come tired legs, which can end a trip prematurely. Great fishing boots should feel fairly lightweight to prevent body stress.
The last thing you need during a fishing trip is a tear or leak in your boots. Exceptional fishing boots are made out of durable material that will last for many years.
Review of the Best Fishing Boots
Even knowing that a great pair of fishing boots should be durable, waterproof, and lightweight, there are still endless options to choose from. This section will walk you through some great options that you can choose from based on your own fishing needs.
Kamik Men's Hunter Boots
These Kamik boots are at the top of many lists for a multitude of reasons. They’re made for sporting in extreme conditions, which means they’re waterproof and able to keep your toes toasty in temperatures down to -40 degrees.
The temperature-resistance comes from the two-layer design, which features waterproof material on the outside and a removable thermal liner on the inside.
The boots come in a couple different colors, but all are knee-high and have an adjustable nylon collar that can be tightened to keep water out.
These boots are a great option for anyone who fishes in more extreme conditions. The thermal liner is a great addition to keep your feet warm in cold streams and rivers-- and it’s removable.
To ensure you get the right fit, check the sizing chart carefully. There are several users who have complained about their boots being too large or too small despite getting a size they usually purchase.
CLC Custom Leathercraft Men's Rain Boot
Simple but effective, the Custom Leathercraft rain boots have several qualities that make them attractive to anglers.
They are made with polyvinyl chloride, a tough substance that can withstand a great deal of wear and tear. The outside of the shoe is completely waterproof and they are easy to slip on and off throughout the day.
A cleated sole on the bottom of the boots allows for maximum control when walking on slippery and slick surfaces. The design offers a scalloped design at the top of the boot to allow for flexing your calves, which in turn reduces irritation.
These boots are a great, no-frills type of product that can work for a variety of fishing activities. Their waterproof and traction abilities make them an attractive buy, especially at their price point.
Some users did complain of comfortability issues and they tend to run at a larger size than described, so be aware of this when choosing a size. These boots might be a better buy for fishing activities that don’t involve hiking or long walking journeys.
Best for the Money:
The Original MuckBoots Adult Jobber Boots
Versatility is one of the main draws of MuckBoots. Whether you are planning on wearing them on an all-day fishing excursion or just a walk to the park on a rainy day, these boots can keep your feet warm and dry.
This is an ankle-high style, allowing for more mobility than a knee-high boot. They are 100 percent waterproof and feature inside insulation to ensure your feet are not too hot nor too cold, from 75 degrees down to sub-freezing temps.
A diamond tread outsole keeps you from slipping on slick rocks and muddy banks.
If you’re looking to transition from fishing to everyday outdoor activities, these MuckBoots might be the right choice for you. The ankle-high design allows for more mobility than other fishing boots on the market, and they are lightweight so they won’t tire your legs out after a day of walking.
They do only come in one style, which isn’t ideal for more fashionable consumers and some users have complained of the insoles wearing out after a couple months of use.
The XTRATUF rubber, ankle deck boots just might be the most attractive looking fishing boots on the market. The ankle-high design comes in several different styles ranging from plain and simple colors to more elaborate colored designs.
But aside from their looks, they’re also specifically designed for offshore angling, with several attributes that make it great to be on the deck of a boat in a variety of weather conditions.
They’re completely waterproof and have a chevron-style tread on the outer-sole to prevent slipping and sliding on a slippery deck or onshore surface.
The ankle-high design, with a variety of color choices, makes these boots the perfect choice for fishers looking for a versatile shoe that works great on a deck and also in everyday life. With their great waterproof ability and a good amount of traction, these shoes will keep your feet happy on a day on the water.
Because these boots aren’t the most comfortable choice, you may need to purchase an in-sole support to make them wearable for an all-day adventure.
ArcticShield prides themselves on creating boots that are suitable for the sloppiest of weather conditions. They are completely waterproof and are made from high-quality rubber and neoprene to ensure durability.
With lightweight heat retaining insulation, they can keep your feet warm in cold conditions by returning 90 percent of your body’s warmth back to you. They also feature cushioned insoles to keep your feet comfortable through long days of trekking or standing.
They have rubber outsoles with tread for traction and built-in on and off tabs on the outside of the boots to make them easy to slip on and off.
These are a great, heavy-duty option for fishers who plan on being near mucky riverbeds or streams. The material is super durable and long-lasting, and will keep your feet dry and warm in deep, sloppy mud.
Be cautious when wearing these boots in super slick conditions as some users said the traction wasn’t suitable for icy or snowy surfaces.
How to Care and Maintain Fishing Boots
It’s very important to clean fishing boots after you’ve used them to prevent cross-contamination of invasive species, algae, etc. from one body of water to another. It’s much easier than you might think to have aquaculture stuck to your shoes that can easily transfer to the next stream or river you enter.
For more stubborn grime, the following steps are an easy way to get your boots squeaky clean.
- Mix warm water and a couple drops of a mild soap to create a gentle cleaning solution.
- Use a sponge or a stiff brush to cleanse away stuck on mud and dirt.
- Because these boots are waterproof, you can also pour the soap solution into the shoe to clean the inside. Just make sure to remove any insoles or insulation beforehand.
- Rinse with clean water and allow boots to air dry in a room temperature setting.
For your own comfort and safety, investing in a pair of fishing boots is a great idea. From ankle-high designs to knee-high boots, there are plenty of options that can work for the style of fishing you like best.
Though the process of picking a pair of boots may seem daunting, all the styles on this list are great options and will get you one step closer to getting the perfect catch.