best fishing shoes

What Are The Best Fishing Shoes? (We Reviewed All Popular 2020 Models!)

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If your a hardcore fisherman like me, then you probably spend most of your time thinking about the best fly rod, reel or flies to use. But having the right pair of fishing shoes will make a huge difference to your experience and enjoyment when you’re out on the water.

The Weather Channel recommends that you always wear shoes when fishing, no matter where you’re fishing. [1] You need comfortable shoes that can handle slippery surfaces, so you don’t go into the drink. They will also protect you from hazards like hooks or sharp rocks.

So, do you have the best fishing shoes? The right pair will ensure your safety and comfort so that you can concentrate on catching more fish!

They provide plenty of support to your feet and legs but are not the best waders if you’re looking to go deep and stay dry. When you’re on your feet all day, wading through water or balancing in a rocky boat, you put your feet in all sorts of danger. The best fishing shoes provide support in all the right places and help to keep you steady on wet, slippery surfaces. If you want to avoid aches, pains, and strains, you need to choose your fishing shoes carefully!

Maybe you’ve never even thought about what shoes you wear fishing. Not to worry! There are some excellent options out there that are designed specifically for fishermen (and women too). In this guide, we’ll quickly go over the top factors to look for when you’re buying fishing shoes. Then, we’ll review some of the best fishing shoes on the market right now!

Top Pick
Merrell Men's J65243, Brindle/Butterscotch, 10.5 M...
Budget Option
Mens Womens Water Shoes Quick Dry Barefoot for...
Most Comfortable
Columbia Men's Drainmaker Iv Boat Shoe
Merrell Men's J65243, Brindle/Butterscotch, 10.5 M...
Mens Womens Water Shoes Quick Dry Barefoot for...
Columbia Men's Drainmaker Iv Boat Shoe
Non-slip sole
Draining holes in the rubber
100% mesh upper
True to fit sizing
Quick drying
Quick drying and drains water
Suitable for hiking
Suitable for men and women
Provide a firm grip even on wet surfaces
Top Pick
Merrell Men's J65243, Brindle/Butterscotch, 10.5 M...
Merrell Men's J65243, Brindle/Butterscotch, 10.5 M...
Non-slip sole
True to fit sizing
Suitable for hiking
Budget Option
Mens Womens Water Shoes Quick Dry Barefoot for...
Mens Womens Water Shoes Quick Dry Barefoot for...
Draining holes in the rubber
Quick drying
Suitable for men and women
Most Comfortable
Columbia Men's Drainmaker Iv Boat Shoe
Columbia Men's Drainmaker Iv Boat Shoe
100% mesh upper
Quick drying and drains water
Provide a firm grip even on wet surfaces

Buyer’s Guide

Here’s what you need to know before buying a pair of fishing shoes. Keep these factors in mind when you’re shopping around, and you’ll be sure to find the best shoes for you!

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Comfort

Your comfort is an essential factor that will affect your enjoyment when you’re out fishing. If you have wet, cold feet you’re uncomfortable, you won’t be able to concentrate on perfecting your cast! Look for shoes that have contoured cushioning that will provide support in all the right places.

Slip-proof

When you’re fishing, it goes without saying that you’re going to be in a slippery environment. Whether you’re fishing from a boat or clambering over wet rocks, staying safe is critical. That’s why you need shoes that have a firm grip on the floor.

Some shoes can wear through quickly when used for fishing. If they’re not designed to withstand wet conditions, they won’t last long. The tread will wear away, and they may become unsafe to use for fishing. The best slip-proof shoes tend to have a thick rubber sole with patterns that provide extra friction with the ground, for an improved grip.

Materials

You can find fishing shoes made from mesh, rubber, or canvas. Every material has its own advantages and disadvantages, but we like mesh shoes as they’re so quick-drying. Canvas makes a good alternative to mesh, but it tends to be heavier.

It’s also possible to find leather fishing shoes, but double-check whether they have been treated to waterproof them. Otherwise, they will suffer from water damage and won’t be as durable.

Weight

Avoid heavier shoes, because if they become wet, they’ll feel heavier than ever. When you’re coping with the physical demands of fishing, the last thing you need is your shoes to be weighing you down. Check the weight of any shoes before buying and go for a lightweight pair instead.

wading shoes

The Best Fishing Shoes: The Reviews

Now you know how to tell if a pair of shoes will make great boat shoes or not, let’s get onto the reviews! Here, we’ve rounded up the best fishing shoes for anglers. Snap up a pair of these cool boat shoes, and you’ll be ready for some epic fishing action!

Merrell

Merrell Men's Water Shoes

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Merrell is well-known for creating the best footwear and gear for outdoor pursuits, and this water shoe is no different. It’s made from a combination of leather and neoprene, so it’s sturdy, hard-wearing, and sheds water. You can wear this shoe for hiking as well as fishing, and comfort won’t be an issue, unlike with some water shoes with thinner soles.

The leather is made to withstand water without becoming damaged or waterlogged. The elastic strap makes it easy to slip on in no time, and the tread pattern keeps you steady on wet surfaces. All of these features make the Merrell water shoe a fantastic choice for frequent fishers.

Pros:

  • True to fit sizing so that you can get the right shoe for you
  • Very comfortable
  • Safe, non-slip sole
  • Suitable for hiking and fishing

Cons:

  • Not the cheapest option out there
  • Dry sand can get stuck in the shoes
  • Quite slow to dry

Mishansha Water Shoes

Mishansa Men Womens Water Shoes

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The Mishansha Water Shoe is made from spandex fabric upper with a rubber outsole, making it ideal for fishing from a boat or wading. This shoe is suitable for men and women, with a wide range of styles and sizes available. You can be sure to find the perfect design and fit for you!

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The great thing about the Mishansha water shoe is that it is quick-drying and breathable. No matter how active you are or how hot the temperature is, the fabric will wick sweat and water away from your skin to keep your feet cool and comfortable. The rubber outsole also has handy draining holes to make sure you’re not walking around with soggy feet all day.

This shoe is very flexible – you can even wring it out if you need to! That means that they pack up small so that you can take them anywhere. Plus, they’re easy to slip on and take off, with an elastic strap and pull tab on the heel for easy adjustment.

The Mishansha water shoe is a steal at under $25. Take your pick from their cool designs, and you’ll have an affordable, durable water shoe that is perfect for fishing.

Pros:

  • Very affordable – great value for money
  • Draining holes in the rubber outsole
  • Quick drying, breathable mesh upper
  • Suitable for men and women

Cons:

  • Not as much cushioning and support
  • Quite narrow – not ideal if you have a wide foot

Columbia Drainmaker

Columbia Men's Drainmaker Water Shoe

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If you usually live in sneakers, you’ll love the Columbia Drainmaker water shoe. This comfortable shoe is made from 100% mesh, making them perfect for fishing, when you’re bound to get your feet wet. They dry extremely quickly and are also excellent to wear in hot temperatures, as the open mesh offers great ventilation for your feet.

This water shoe comes with all the features you expect. It comes with padding around the collar, a heel pull tab to help you slip them on, and draining holes in the sole to keep your feet dry.

There are several different designs to choose between. If you want a simple shoe, go for the navy version. But if you’re into more daring, bright colors, you might prefer the Green Mamba or the Azul colorways. Whichever one you pick, the Columbia Drainmaker is just what you need for comfort and style when fishing.

Pros:

  • Perfect for hot weather as this shoe is made from 100% mesh upper
  • Quick drying and drains water through ports in the sole
  • Provide a firm grip even on wet surfaces

Cons:

  • Only provide slight support to the arches of the feet
  • The drainage holes are large and allow sand to get into the shoe

HUK Rogue Mid Boot

HUK Mens Rogue Rubber Water Boot

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Sandals and water shoes aren’t for everyone. If you prefer to keep your feet dry when fishing, these rubber mid boots might be for you. The HUK Rogue fishing boots are made from a neoprene and rubber upper, which won’t let any water leak through to your feet. They’re designed to withstand all conditions, no matter how wet or cold it is. But they also look pretty good, too!

The outsole on the HUK boots is non-slip and non-marking, and the tread provides a secure grip. You’ll feel firm on your feet in these boots, no matter how slippery it is or how rocky the boat gets.

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Pros:

  • Leak-proof, comfortable boots
  • Durable and hardwearing
  • A range of eye-catching designs to choose from
  • A warmer option than sandals (and they keep your feet dry!)

Cons:

  • Pricier than some other shoes on this list
  • The sizing runs small – buy a bigger size than normal!
  • No half sizes available

Columbia Bahama Vent

Columbia Men's Bahama Vent Shoes

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So, you’re looking for a boat shoe you can just as easily wear around town as on the water? Then, check out this slick offering from Columbia, which is made of leather and canvas. These boat shoes look awesome and come in every color you could imagine, so you can match it to your outfit or style.

But they also fit the bill for fishing shoes! They are super comfortable with a great fit, and they’re very lightweight, too. While they aren’t as ventilated as mesh shoes and don’t come with drainage ports or other advanced features, they still let your feet breathe. Another benefit of the Bahama Vent shoe is that the sole is very grippy, an important factor for your safety when out fishing.

The Bahama Vent shoes are versatile, stylish, and affordable. If that’s what you’ve been looking for, grab a pair now!

Pros:

  • Cool leather and canvas shoes
  • Lightweight design
  • The sole is very grippy

Cons:

  • Not very durable
  • The sizing isn’t always accurate

Aleader (Slip On)

Aleader Men's Mesh Water Shoes

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Just because you’re on a tighter budget, doesn’t mean you can’t find the right water shoes for fishing. These slip-on water shoes from Aleader are a perfect example. This shoe offers everything you need for a safe and comfortable fishing trip, allowing you to hike, fish, boat, and wade with no problems.

The Aleader water shoe has a fabric mesh upper and a rubber sole. This combination is ideal for fishing, as the mesh allows the foot to breathe and drains water fast. At the same time, the sole provides cushioning and traction. The inner ComforDry sockliner allows your foot to stay drier, even if you’re in and out of the water all day.

All in all, this shoe is a fantastic choice for any angler. It’s lightweight, comfortable, and doesn’t become waterlogged, and it’s available at a very low price. You won’t compromise your comfort with this shoe, and you’ll save money, too. It’s made in over 16 different designs, so browse through and see which one fits your style!

Pros:

  • Very lightweight
  • Doesn’t soak up water
  • Durable, comfortable design that doesn’t rub your feet
  • The sole provides a good layer of cushioning

Cons:

  • Not as fast drying as you’d expect
  • Sand can get stuck inside the shoes

Rugged Shark Bill Dance Pro

Rugged Shark Bill Dance Pro Boat Shoe

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The Rugged Shark shoe is made from flexible leather with mesh panels for breathability. This shoe has been designed with your comfort in mind and has a good layer of cushioning and excellent shock-absorption. But they are also lightweight with a sturdy rubber sole to stop you from slipping on water. The smart design ensures that water drains out of the soles, rather than weighing you down.

You can take your pick from four different colors: Grey, beige, tan, and brown. As comfortable as these shoes are, they look the part, too. If you need shoes that provide plenty of support to the arches and ankles, go for these shoes from Rugged Shark. You’ll be ready for all-day fishing trips with these on your feet!

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Pros:

  • The supportive midsole provides both cushioning and shock-absorption
  • Durable shoes
  • Mesh panels keep your feet cool

Cons:

  • The Brown color is lighter in real life than the images suggest

Sperry Men’s Sea Kite

Sperry Men's Sea Kite Sport Moc Boat Shoe

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The Sperry Men’s Sea Kite boat shoes are stylish leather shoes with mesh panels for breathability. The sole of the shoe uses a smart Adaptive Wave-Siping technique to disperse water underfoot, so you’re less likely to slip and fall.

While the shoe has been designed to be quick drying, leather does tend to absorb water, becoming waterlogged and heavy. This shoe won’t dry as fast as a shoe with a full mesh upper, but it will offer more comfort. It comes with a molded EVA footbed designed to fit the contours of your feet and provide amazing comfort and support.

If you like the sound of the Sea Kite boat shoe, you can grab a pair in several different colorways. Your choices include grey, tan, navy, and brown. We like that this shoe looks so smart and fashionable yet meets the angler’s needs for comfort, a non-slip sole, and breathable fabric.

Pros:

  • They look great on and off the boat
  • Comfortable and supportive
  • A lightweight shoe
  • Mesh panels for ventilation
  • The non-slip sole offers excellent traction

Cons:

  • Quite expensive
  • This shoe isn’t water-resistant (unless you treat the leather)

best wading shoes

FAQ

What shoes should I wear for offshore fishing?

You should wear fishing shoes with a rubber sole that offers plenty of traction. Other than that, it’s up to you whether you go for a sandal, shoe, or boot. Avoid flip flops, but if you don’t have proper fishing shoes, you can make do with sneakers if they have a secure grip.

What are the best shoes to wear on a boat?

The best shoes to wear on a boat are mesh shoes with rubber soles. These shoes are quick-drying, so they will keep your feet comfortable will providing a firm grip on wet, slippy surfaces.

Are Crocs good for fishing?

Crocs can be good for fishing because they’re lightweight, they dry quickly, and they float if they fall into the water. There are even some specially designed Crocs water shoes that provide extra grip, breathability, and water drainage. That’s why Crocs make an excellent choice for fishermen and women.

Do you wear socks with fishing shoes?

You can wear socks with fishing shoes, but it depends on what kind of shoe you’re wearing. If the shoe is constructed of mesh, socks will just soak up all the moisture and prevent your feet from drying out properly. But if you have canvas shoes, you can wear socks – just go for ones that don’t show (it’s not a good look!)

The Wrap Up

Every angler needs a sturdy pair of fishing shoes to keep their feet dry and comfortable. The best fishing shoe is quick-drying and breathable, supporting and cushioning your foot. But it also has to provide traction to prevent you from slipping over and hurting yourself.

We rounded up the best boat shoe and fishing shoe options out there for you. No matter what your style or budget, you’ll find the right shoe for you on this list. Drop us a comment to let us know which one you went for (or which pair you want to get!) And once you’ve done that, check out more reviews and fishing tips at Fly Fisher Pro.

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Simms Freestone Waders Review

References

[1] https://weather.com/sports-recreation/fishing/news/tips-for-safe-fishing

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