Fishing Boots

Fishing Boots: When and Why You'd Need Them, and a Few Solid Picks

Fishing boots let us trek where we need to, even if it's straight into the water. Here are a few choices for you to consider.

The notion of "fishing boots" conjures a few different thoughts. It could refer to chest waders or hip waders (or the boots worn with them), but there are other varieties as well. Knee high rubber boots are common, deck shoes can come in handy, and even waterproof shoes for wading in creeks can qualify.

Hiking boots and hunting boots can also be used for fishing in some circumstances, but not everyone wants to use these for fishing.

Fishing boots should give the wearer proper cushioning, insulation, breathability, and certainly waterproofing. In some cases simple water drainage can be the best design, and in others arch support is the key. Some are low top, some are ankle height, and some are knee high. It all depends on what you are looking for.

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We want to look at a few examples to better understand what benefits can be gleaned by your choice of fishing footwear. Things like time of year, location, fishing conditions, and weather patterns are of great concern for fishermen everywhere, and they can all have an impact on your fishing boot picks.

Rubber Boots

For this subject we'll look at some boots that will allow shore fishermen and stream fishermen the chance to get close enough to cast and fight their quarry while still keeping their feet dry. Rubber boots and neoprene boots are not only functional as fishing boots, but are also super practical in the outdoor environments we love. They're at home on farms, in gardens, at hunting camp, and, of course while fishing.

Nowadays rubber boots not only work well, but they look good and fit well too. They come in many varieties of sizes, styles, colors, and patterns, and the improvements in construction and materials have made these boots versatile and useful.

Original Muck Boot Company Edgewater 15'' High Waterproof Field Boots

Although there are a lot of great brand names out there, they still all seem to be chasing the venerable Muck Boot company. In sizes and styles for men, women, and kids there is no end in sight for those looking to cover their feet in comfort. Even in basic black, these molded rubber, rugged, and completely waterproof boots provide excellent traction and stability in the uneven, slippery terrain we tread while fishing on the ground.

They come equipped with 5 mm neoprene for extreme comfort along with heat retention while adjusting to your foot shape to resist the blisters and chafing that come with walking the banks of a stream or river. As an overall boot, there are more costly brands and boots that are cheaper, but the Muck Boot seems to be among the most popular and long lasting.

Deck Boots

These deck boots are designed specifically for fishing from the deck of a watercraft. It should be said that this style of footwear does not magically allow you to be safer standing up in a boat or kayak, but they are packed with features for both water lovers and anglers.

Deck boots should provide plenty of cushioning and arch support in the mid sole to help absorb the shock from bouncing in waves while delivering all day comfort. Remember that these can either be completely waterproof or merely water resistant with mesh panels and drainage holes that encourage plenty of air flow for fast drying capability.

XtraTuf Ankle Deck Boots

The standard brand for commercial fishermen's deck boots has long been XtraTuf, and these Ankle Deck Boots will do the job. You can certainly use them when you aren't on a boat, but they're made with XtraTuf's slip-resistant Chevron outsoles and are totally waterproof.

Water Shoes

When protection for the soles of your feet is the main concern, and you aren't afraid of getting your feet wet, then water shoes or sandals are the way to go. These are obviously better for warmer weather in sandy environments.

KEEN Newport H2 Water Shoes

This is a hybrid trail and water shoe for outdoor enthusiasts which are great for paddling, treading along the bow of the boat, or on the trail to the banks of your favorite stream. It includes new age shanks for stability over uneven, wet ground and features a 3mm lug pattern for excellent traction in treacherous, wet conditions.

The KEEN Newports are great for everyday use as well as for kayaking and and summer pier fishing. They come in three different color patterns and a good variety of sizes to choose from including widths.

Wading Boots

Wading boots are meant to cover your feet after putting on a pair of stocking foot chest waders, and can be useful for both fishing and hunting. The term is also used to describe a pair of slip-on or zippered boots meant to be worn in warmer waters and conditions. You may refer to them as flats sneakers or booties, and they are commonly used in saltwater from the Coastal Bend of Texas to South Florida.

Since there are so many brands and varieties it stands to reason that it can be a daunting task to choose from them all. Typically, anglers can pick between the more traditional felt soles or the basic rubber bottom versions. Felt soles are generally better in sandy and gravel bottom streams and are quite good at providing grip in slippery conditions that anglers encounter while wading. The downside is that they are banned in some states and waterbodies due to their unfortunate ability to collect and transfer parasites, invasive species, and other organisms that can then be unintentionally transported to other bodies of water.

Simms Men's Freestone Wading Boots

For those who want to get a rubber soled pair of wading boots for areas where felt is not ideal, as well as to make their waders more versatile for duck hunting in addition to fishing, the Simms Freestone will grip steep banks, wet shorelines, or be comfortable riding in a drift boat until it's time to fish.

Simms uses a right angle foot bed that fights fatigue and provides excellent ankle support. The cushioned midsole and neoprene lining provide all-day protection and warmth, plus there's a wide opening for getting your feet in and out.

Magellan Outdoors Shoreline Front Zip Wading Boots

These Magellan Outdoors Shoreline Front Zip Wading Boots are well-priced and fully capable of serving their role. Their rubber outsoles are super durable and slip-resistant, and the neoprene and rubber uppers are comfortable, lightweight, and very easy to slip over your foot.

Finding the Right Fishing Boots

For those of us who spent many years going to the river or creek in a pair of work boots or lightweight PVC booties that just barely did the trick, this is a piece of fishing gear that needs to be taken seriously. They're more than just boat shoes or water shoes destined for the beach or the lake at a picnic, but instead they're sophisticated waterproof outerwear that will keep you fishing when others are going home with wet feet.

Depending on the style you choose they should be breathable, have cleats, a Vibram sole, ease of accessibility, and even a good camo pattern as you see fit. Even backpack fishermen need ultralight footwear that will give them an easier trip into the backcountry and a solid pair of high quality fishing boots can do just that.

Quality manufacturers such as Frogg Toggs, Simms, and Patagonia all make good products so your search should really only begin here. Anglers everywhere are always on the lookout for the newest in exciting gear to add to their collection, and while fishing boots aren't exactly glamorous, they still serve a very solid function and need to be practical when the moment of truth arrives out on the water.

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