Best Fishing Shoes – Guide and Reviews

The next time you go fishing, make sure you don’t bring an athletic shoe. Invest in a specialized water footwear or a pair of fishing shoes as these are more suited to the activity. You’ll be thanking yourself the moment you realize that fishing shoes can do a lot of things for your feet that a pair of basketball or running shoes can’t.

For starters, fishing shoes can keep you safe especially when you walk on wet, slippery surfaces. Specialized water footwear has excellent traction.

This type of footwear also won’t get soaked once submerged to water. It is also durable and can prevent molds or breakdown of materials no matter how many times it gets immersed in water.

Plus, there are lots of fishing shoes that you can choose from whether you’re into ice or fly fishing.

How to Choose the Best Fishing Shoes

But make no mistake about it, shopping for a pair of fishing shoes is a lot different from choosing for a pair of athletic shoes. You aren’t just looking for a pair that fits your feet well, or shoes that look good on you.

Here are some of the top factors that you need to consider when shopping for fishing shoes:

Type of fishing

You're into perhaps the most important consideration when shopping for fishing shoes is the type of fishing you are into. If you are into kayak fishing, then the shoes you should get should be lightweight, with soles that can let the water to quickly drain. In case you like to fish on shallow water, invest in a pair of water shoes. These are made of combination of rubber, leather, and mesh, giving you enough traction when going through slippery surfaces.

Water sandals are designed for fishermen who always have to go in and out of the water. Compared to your regular sandals, water sandals have great traction on slippery surfaces.

Ankle support

Whatever type of fishing shoe you end up buying, make sure that it provides sufficient ankle support. This would prevent you from ending up with a broken ankle after a day of fishing, especially if you find yourself in unstable river bottoms.

Shoes with good ankle support can enable you to deal with slippery surfaces. It’s something you will be thankful for, as a slight turn can potentially twist your ankles to the point that you might have to cut your fishing trip short.

Sole type

Traction is critical for fishing footwear. It must has soles that can prevent the wearer from slipping and falling whenever he is on slippery surfaces. Most fishing shoes have rubber soles, allowing the fisherman to trek through the woods comfortably and safely.

Fishing shoes also have felt soles that can grip well to wet surfaces. This is the type of fishing footwear you need if you are to walk around rocky areas. Cleated or studded soles are also great if you’re after the best traction. These soles have metal spikes, providing excellent grip even when on the slipperiest surfaces.


Fishing footwear can be made of rubber, leather, felt, and synthetic materials, or a combination of these materials. Rubber soles are ideal if you are to walk around rocky surfaces as these provide excellent traction. Felt also has good traction. Synthetic leathers like Nubuck, meanwhile, can resist water so that you need not drag boots filled with water.

The lace should also be made well. Don’t buy shoes with cotton laces as the material tends to absorb water. It can also break easily. Nylon and polyprolene laces are better because these materials can handle pressure and resist water.

Other Considerations

Aside from the four factors mentioned, there are other things that may affect your buying decision such as:

  • Size - just like in buying any type of footwear, you need to get fishing shoes that fit your feet well. The rule of thumb in buying fishing footwear is to get one that is at least one size larger than your trekking boots. This would allow you to wear thick socks that can protect your feet in case you go on ice fishing. It would also let you wear wading socks, which can prevent your toes from getting chilled when you wade in chilly waters.
  • Durability - don’t buy fishing shoes that are glued. The ideal pair is stitched as this is more durable. You must also look for shoes with lots of drainage holes.
  • Style -fishing shoes are available in a handful of styles like light sneaker and hiking boots.

Recommended Fishing Shoes Reviews

Sure, buying a pair of fishing shoes can get really confusing what with the numerous factors that you have to consider. But I am more than happy to make things easier for you as I present five excellent fishing shoes that you can buy for your next fishing expedition:

1. Columbia Men’s Drainmaker Running Shoe

Columbia Men's Drainmaker Running Shoe

Don’t be confused with the name, as this is a fishing shoe that has the qualities of a running shoe. It has both the quick-dry qualities of a fishing shoe and lightweight comfort of running shoes.

The first time you wear these shoes, you will notice right away how light and comfortable they are. And when you move around a wet surface, you will be surprised how excellent the grip of the shoes is.

Aside from its excellent grip, this pair of shoes also dries very quickly. It also helps that the shoes are from a reputable brand with a fairly reasonable price tag.

Feature At a Glance

  • Rubber sole
  • Open-cell sandwich mesh
  • Transluscent TPU toe cap
  • Drainage ports in heel and forefoot

2. Columbia Men's Bahama Vent PFG Slip-On Boat Shoes

Columbia Men's Bahama Vent PFG Slip-On Boat Shoes

Columbia makes it again to this list. This time, it’s a pair of slip-on shoes with a rubber outsole and excellent traction even on slippery surfaces.

The shoe’s midsole provides excellent cushion and support that you won’t mind standing all-day long while wearing it.

The inner sole is easy on the feet. The upper part, meanwhile, is made of canvas and leather.

Another thing that you will love about these slip-on shoes is the fact that they quickly dry. Despite being more expensive compared to the Drainmaker, this pair of shoes is still a great buy.

Feature At a Glance

  • Rubber sole
  • Ideal for activities around the water
  • Techlite midsole provides cushioning
  • Upper: combination of canvas and leather

3. Sperry Top-Sider Men's Voyager Boating Shoe

Sperry Top-Sider Men's Voyager Boating Shoe

Like Columbia, Sperry is a reputable brand. Many people don’t know that it also makes fishing shoes and not just casual footwear.

The Voyager boating shoe is an excellent addition to your fishing footwear collection.

As its name suggests, the Voyager is designed for adventure. It can absorb shock up to 30%. Sperry equipped it with its patented ASV heel technology so that it can absorb impact and protect your ankle no matter how tough your surroundings get.

Its Adaptive Wave Siping sole, meanwhile, is responsible for its excellent traction. You won’t hesitate going to slippery areas with this pair of shoes on your feet. Plus it has a fast drying upper portion and lining, draining out the water right away.

Finally, you will love that for all the great features that Sperry incorporated in this fishing shoe, it is still relatively affordable just like Columbia’s Drainmaker.

Feature At a Glance

  • Synthetic
  • Imported
  • Synthetic sole
  • Made in USA or Imported

4. Rugged Shark Men's Tidal Wave Boat Shoe

Rugged Shark Men's Tidal Wave Boat Shoe

These boat shoes from Rugged Shark are designed to give you a comfortable time outdoors. You can also use it for other outdoor activities aside from fishing such as trekking and camping.

The shoes are made of premium, full grain leather. They look good on pictures, but perform a lot better in real life.

The moment you take them out of the shoe box, you will realize how easy the shoes are to wear. The three-eye lace up front closure is designed for a firm fit, as well as its 360 degree nautical lacing.

You will get amazing cushioning and shock absorption with this boat shoes as it has a compression molded EVA midsole. And its outsole is made of slip resistant, and non-marking rubber. It is definitely a great buy, for a very reasonable price.

Feature At a Glance

  • Full grain leather upper
  • EVA insole
  • Compression molded EVA midsole
  • Hexagrip(TM) slip-resistant non-marking rubber traction outsole

5. Sperry Top-Sider Men's A/O Boat Shoe

Sperry Top-Sider Men's A/O Boat Shoe

Upon first glance, you might mistake this boat shoe for the usual pair of casual shoes.

But this boat shoe is far from being just stylish. Yes, it is made of nice and soft leather but its outsole has excellent wet/dry traction.

It also won’t leave a mark on surfaces. The shock-absorbing heel cup also ensures that you will be comfy all-day long. This boat shoe is about the same price as the other fishing shoes in this list.

Feature At a Glance

  • Shock-absorbing EVA heel cup
  • Non-marking outsole with wet/dry traction
  • Leather
  • Rubber sole

The Final

As you can see, shopping for fishing shoes isn’t as easy as looking for a pair of athletic shoes. You aren’t looking for shoes that look good on you. You need to be wary of the materials used in the item.

You’ll also have to consider the outsole as well as the ability of the shoe to resist and drain out water quickly.

But with the numerous fishing shoes available in the market, you at least have many choices to choose from. Start your shopping by looking at the five fishing shoes I have listed above. Your shopping may prove to be short lived.


David Echols is the Editor of Who is a Fishing enthusiast and love to share what he know about this field. In Personal life he is a father of two cute kids and loving husband of a beautiful wife. He love foods and nothing is more important than reading book in his spare time.

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