Best Fishing Shoes of 2020 – Ultimate Round-up

When you're out fishing, it's essential to have a quality pair of fishing shoes to ensure secure footing, comfortability, and a productive, enjoyable, and safe experience without any slips, aches, soggy feet, or pains. The best models drain and dry quickly, are well-ventilated, fit well, and provide excellent traction on water, sandy, slippery, and rocky surfaces. 

The right fishing footwear is important for all anglers, whether you're surf fishing, wading in the water, or fishing from a boat or kayak. To help you choose the perfect pair, we've reviewed some of the best models available today.

Comparison Chart of the Best Fishing Shoes

PRODUCTDETAILS
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Sperry Men's Sea Kite Sport Moc Boat Shoe

  • Unique design helps to enhance grip and prevent slipping
  • Better drying is promoted by leather and mesh linings and uppers
  • Comfort is enhanced by the removable unique molded EVA footbed
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Merrell Men's J65243 Water Shoes

  • Upper is made from waterproof leather for durability
  • Designed to survive even very harsh environments
  • Sits comfortably on wider and bigger feet
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Aleader Men's Mesh Slip On Water Shoes

  • Best for the Money
  • Water drain feature helps with better traction
  • Mesh material enhances brethability and durability
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SHIMANO EVAIR Marine Fishing Shoes

  • Best Waterproof Fishing Shoes
  • Made from lightweight EVA material that is durable
  • Comes with a removable and waterproof inner sole
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Belilent Water Shoes

  • Best Women's Fishing Shoes
  • Thick rubber soles provides increased protection
  • Designed to be cool, dry and healthier
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Columbia Men's Drainmaker IV Water Shoe

  • Best Columbia Fishing Shoes
  • Adjustable strap makes the shoe very verstile
  • Uniquely designed footbed and frame for impact absorption
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Should Any Shoes Be Used for Fishing?

If you spend a long time on the water or are an avid angler, then you should definitely use fishing shoes. They're also recommended if you angle occasionally or are just starting out. While you might feel that fishing shoes are not worth spending money on when you can simply wear athletic or outdoor shoes, such shoes don't provide the protection and comfort fishing shoes do.

To put it simply, not every shoe is suitable for fishing. Regular shoes are uncomfortable and can even be risky to wear while fishing. Fishing shoes can handle water well, are comfortable and lightweight, and have a stable and firm grip on slippery surfaces.

What Materials Are Best For Fishing Shoes?

The most common materials for fishing shoes include canvas, mesh, rubber, and leather. Rubber is, arguably, the best outsole material as it offers a good grip and excellent traction on most unstable surfaces. If you're fishing from a kayak or boat in warm weather, then mesh is ideal because it's breathable, lightweight, dries fast, and drains water quickly. 

For cold water fishing, neoprene is the best material. This is because it is waterproof and provides excellent thermal protection, keeping your feet warm, dry, and comfortable. 

Quick Take | Best Fishing Shoes

Review of the Best Fishing Shoes

With so many manufacturers designing fishing shoes, choosing the best one can be a very difficult and time-consuming task. To ensure you have the ultimate fishing experience, the following are detailed reviews of some of the best models available in the market: 

ALEADER Men's Mesh Slip On Water Shoes Gray 11 D(M) US

PROS

  • Available in a wide variety of colors
  • Stitching design ensures a secure fit
  • Water Grip outsole offers exceptional traction
  • Extremely lightweight and comfortable to wear
  • Excellent water drainage, drying speed, and breathability

CONS

  • Not as durable as other models
  • Additional fabric needed around the heel area
  • Holes on the bottom suck up sand and pebbles

What Recent Buyers Report 

This model has received a lot of positive reviews. Users loved its lightweight design, breathability, and quality construction. They said it fit snugly, with one buyer even stating that it was as comfortable as going barefoot. However, some customers reported that the hot beach sand permeated through the vent holes, and did not provide protection from beach hazards, such as sea glass and jagged shells.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This unit's upper portion is designed with mesh, allowing quick drying and better durability. The ComforDry sock liner provides excellent cushioning while creating a healthier and drier environment for feet at the same time. The unit further features a contrast stitching lateral support system, which ensures a secure and snug fit.

Who Will Use This Most 

The thick rubber of the sole makes the unit ideal for use in unstable areas, like riverbeds. It also offers excellent traction in slippery conditions, further making it suitable for boats and docks. All in all, it's comfortable to wear in watery environments in warm weather.

Bottom Line

Designed with a rubber sole, this model boasts all the features that fishermen would want in a fishing shoe. Mesh fabric ensures constant water and air circulation, while the light Solyte material gives a lightweight feel. While the unit provides maximum comfort and dryness, it's not as durable as other models.

Merrell Men's J65243, Brindle/Butterscotch, 10.5 M US

PROS

  • Excellent traction on both land and water
  • Quick-drying and excellent water drainage
  • Neoprene stretch collar ensures a snug fit
  • Hollowed lugs for comfortability and lightness
  • Odor-resistant design makes maintenance easy

CONS

  • Bit narrow at the middle
  • Don't handle slick wood well

What Recent Buyers Report 

The majority of the buyers loved this model and said that it kept its grip on most surfaces. Users said that it provided excellent traction, quick drying, good support, and was easy to clean. While buyers found the shoes to be extremely comfortable, they stated they weren't suitable for wet rock hiking.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

Boasting a lightweight design, breathability, roomy toebox, and a footbed that conforms to the shape of your foot, this model stands out to us because of the excellent comfort it provides. Its thick sole further prevents sticks and rocks from piercing your feet, while the toe cap provides protection from external impact. The stretchy neoprene also ensures your feet are soft and comfortable.

Who Will Use This Most 


These models are ideal for fishing in friendly weather. They're also excellent boat fishing and kayak sandals. Furthermore, they're perfect for hiking when you want to reach your favorite spot and for walking in and out of water. They're incredibly versatile and allow a transition from dense jungle to aquatics seamlessly.

Bottom Line

All in all, this model certainly deserves a place on our list of top picks. Its open heel design enables sand and water to drain out quickly, while the loose neoprene rubber makes them ideal for walking on dry land as well. Although the shoelaces support your feet, some may find the shoes to be a bit narrow in the middle.

Sperry Mens Sea Kite Sport Moc Boat Shoe, Grey, 11.5

PROS

  • Mesh lining helps ensure quick drying
  • Provides excellent traction and breathability
  • Water-resistant leather protects your feet from water breaching
  • Adaptive wave-siping reduces slippage on dry and wet surfaces
  • Removable cushioned footbed provides maximum underfoot comfort

CONS

  • Insoles could be smoother
  • Not ideal for wet flat surfaces and moist lawns

What Recent Buyers Report 

Almost everyone who purchased this unit was extremely happy with it. Users said that the fit was great and found the unit to be comfortable and supportive. They stated that it had good ventilation, good build quality, and excellent traction on wet surfaces. However, some customers said that they let in water when they walked on wet ground, while some reported receiving defected models.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

Designed with water-resistant leather and mesh fabric, this unit ensures that your feet stay dry for as long as possible. The outsole features adaptive wave-siping technology, ensuring stability on slippery surfaces as well. They're also incredibly comfortable and easy to put on and take off. Lastly, its removable cushioned footbed makes it easy to clean and maintain as well.

Who Will Use This Most 

If you're looking for high-class boating gear, then you should definitely choose this Sperry model. Designed by combining the versatile style of classic boat shoes with athletic shoe performance, they're ideal for fishing on a boat out in the ocean or on dry land.

Bottom Line 

When it comes to accessories and clothes, this Sperry model keeps you looking sharp, while keeping you dry at the same time. The comfortable EVA midsole makes them easy to slip off and put on, and the Wave-Siping rubber ensures excellent traction on all types of terrain. However, the insoles are not as smooth as other models.

Best Waterproof Fishing Shoes:
 SHIMANO EVAIR Marine Fishing Shoes

Shimano Evair Marine Fishing Shoes; Size 11; Khaki/Blk

PROS

  • Ergonomic design keeps you comfortable
  • Reduces foot fatigue and absorbs heel shock
  • Provides excellent foot support and cushioning
  • Durable and rugged construction ensures longevity
  • Extremely lightweight EVA material provides breathability

CONS

  • Not available in half sizes
  • Might leave blisters in the first few days of use

What Recent Buyers Report 

Most buyers loved this model, with one user stating that they were the most comfortable fishing shoes available. Users said they offered great support and traction on wet surfaces and dried quickly without any odor. While customers loved its lightweight design, some reported that the front plastic webbing broke after a few months of use.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This model is designed with molded EVA material, making it 100% waterproof and extremely lightweight. But the Shimano stands out to us because of its comfortability. The midsole perfectly disperses weight for flexibility, cushions feet with every step, and is incredibly flexible. The ergonomic arch further offers foot support, reduces foot fatigue, and absorbs heel shock.

Who Will Use This Most

Since this unit is 100% waterproof, it's ideal for boating and fishing. It's also extremely versatile, making it perfect for kayaking, surfing, and jet skiing as well. So, if you're someone who loves trying out every awesome activity there is, then this is the model for you!

Bottom Line 

Along with making high-quality fishing rods and reels, Shimano also makes some of the best fishing shoes available today. Delivering excellent performance and maximum comfort, they're undoubtedly the best waterproof fishing shoes. However, they run a bit wide, so they might not be suitable for those with narrow feet.

Best Women's Fishing Shoes:
Merrell Women's All Out Blaze Water Shoe

Merrell Women's All Out Blaze Aero Sport Hiking Water Shoe

PROS

  • TPU heel counter enhances stability
  • Bellows tongue helps keep debris out
  • Omni-Fit lacing system ensures a precise and glove-like fit
  • Quick-drying mesh makes hiking in wet or hot weather comfortable
  • Lightweight model provides excellent traction and easily handles wet conditions

CONS

  • Sole cushion could be improved
  • Only ideal for use on warm summer days

What Recent Buyers Report 

Most buyers were impressed with the ventilation and design of this unit. They said that it had an excellent grip over wet rocks and dried quickly. One user even stated that they had no sore spots or blisters after climbing and water hiking for hours. However, customers were disappointed with the lack of padding, and some reported that the model did not have enough arch support.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This unit stands out to us for several different reasons. Firstly, it has excellent tread and holds up well in rugged conditions. Secondly, it dries incredibly quickly, resulting in fewer blisters and moisture-related problems. The model's synthetic sole also grips well to a wide range of hiking surfaces. Lastly, it's incredibly easy to clean and requires very little special care.

Who Will Use This Most

If you're planning on swimming, hiking, or fishing, then this model is the one for you. They're ideal for hiking in varied terrain as you can easily switch back and forth between rocky and damp conditions. It's also well ventilated, making it perfect for both damp riverbeds and hot temperatures.

Bottom Line 

An excellent everyday shoe, this unit is suitable for most conditions. However, since it's made with mesh material, debris and dirt can easily enter the shoe. All in all, Merrel has designed a quick-drying, comfortable, and easy-to-wear footwear option in this outstanding model for women.

Best Columbia Fishing Shoes:
Columbia Men's Drainmaker IV Water Shoe

Columbia Men's Drainmaker IV Water Shoe, Black, lux, 13 Regular US

PROS

  • Offers excellent stability and full-coverage feet protection
  • Wet traction rubber outsole ensures durability and comfort
  • High-traction grip prevents slipping on dry and wet surfaces
  • Convertible heel and adjustable straps make it customizable and versatile
  • Techlite frame and footbed provides superior impact absorption and cushioning

CONS

  • Laces are a bit short
  • Sand can get in the shoes

What Recent Buyers Report 

Most people liked this model and recommended it to other potential buyers as well. They stated that it was extremely comfortable and fit perfectly. Although users loved its quality and draining feature, they reported that it was not suitable for sand. Consumers also felt that the laces could be longer.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The sole of this unit is designed with numerous large drain ports at both the forefront and the heel. The removable insole has holes too and offers decent cushion and support. The upper and sides are further constructed with open mesh material, ensuring the shoe drains and dries quickly. Lastly, it fits true to size, and the full lace design also allows users to tighten or loosen the shoe according to their fit.

Who Will Use This Most

This unit is an excellent all-around water shoe that can handle a wide range of water sports and other outdoor activities. It's incredibly versatile, making it ideal for use in lakes and rivers, on beaches, and for hiking, rafting, camping, and boating. It further boasts a dual-zone winter tread pattern, ensuring solid footing and grip on ice and snow surfaces.

Bottom Line

Columbia has always been improving and redefining its Drainmaker shoes, and the Drainmaker IV is almost perfect. It's an incredibly versatile shoe that dries fast, drains fast, and offers good ventilation and breathability on hot summer days. However, the short laces might be a hindrance to some.

Conclusion

Whether you're involved in water sports or fishing, it's important to have fishing shoes that provide both style and comfort. All the aforementioned models have quick-drying ability, good breathability, and can withstand harsh environments. Make sure you go through all the reviews to find the unit that best suits your needs!

People Also Ask

Selecting the right pair of fishing shoes can be a very difficult task, especially if you're just starting out fishing. To clear away any confusions you might have and to ensure you make the right decision, here are some of the most frequently asked questions:

Are Crocs Good for Fishing?

Crocs can be used when you're out on the water. They're also easy to clean and are designed with portholes for drainage, so you're not concerned about your feet when you're fishing. Furthermore, they're odor-resistant and slip-resistance, so you can move around the deck of the boat confidently.

Do You Wear Socks With Fishing Shoes?

It's not advisable to wear socks with fishing shoes. However, you can wear no show socks as they give you the comfort of socks without being visible.

What Kind of Shoes Do You Wear on a Boat?

It's advisable to wear boat shoes or fishing shoes on a boat. They're usually leather shoes similar to loafers that protect the woodwork and deck from scratches and scruffs.