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Trying to find the best shoes for fishing can be a little overwhelming. There are so many brands and models offering similar features at a range of price points, so knowing which ones to choose can sometimes be difficult.
We’ve put together some information that you might find useful, as well as our thoughts on some of the better fishing footwear out there.
BTW – we love the Bahama Vent shoes the most.
Sneak Peek: Top Fishing Shoes
- Columbia Men’s Bahama Vent PFG Boat Shoe
- Columbia Women’s Drainmaker IV Water Shoes
- Skechers Selmo Fisherman Sandals
11 Of The Best Shoes For Fishing
1: Columbia Men’s Bahama Vent PFG Boat Shoe (Best of Best)
- Brand: Columbia
- Model: 1815351049
- Size: 7 to 17
These Columbia Bahama Vent shoes can be the ideal fishing shoes if you’re fishing from a bass boat or kayak during the warmer months. They are a slip-on style, making them easy to get on and off. They also benefit from having a leather and textile upper for comfort and breathability.
The rubber sole is designed for maximum traction whether you’re on your fishing boat, wading into the river or walking to your favorite fishing hole, providing you with extra non-slip support when walking on wet surfaces.
These shoes are also crafted with a lightweight, impact absorbing midsole for added comfort.
- Waterproof materials
- Non-slip sole
2: Merrell Men’s All Out Blaze Sieve Water Shoes (2nd Best)
- Brand: Merrell
- Model: J65243
- Size: 6.5 to 13
The Merrell Men’s All Out Blaze Sieve shoes are designed for hiking across rugged terrain and crossing streams. They are lightweight water shoes that feature a high traction rubber sole that is ideal for walking over slippery rocks and uneven riverbeds. They can also be ideal for a range of watersports where you need secure and waterproof footwear.
These shoes feature a closed toe but have an open heel for added ventilation and comfort during warm conditions. This can also help water pass through the shoe and drain easily. They have a waterproof leather upper with a neoprene collar at the ankle for a secure fit.
Another feature of these shoes is the UniFly midsole technology that helps to add comfort and protect your feet from rocky terrain underfoot.
- Waterproof leather
- Closed toe
- Vented water shoe
- Durable sole
3: HUK Men’s Rogue Wave Mid Boot
- Brand: HUK
- Model: Men’s Rogue Wave
- Size: 7 to 14
These HUK Rogue Wave boots are ideal for both freshwater and saltwater fishing, whether you’re fishing from the shore or a boat. They feature a neoprene and rubber upper, with the inner boot being almost like a neoprene bootie but with the added protection from the rubber outer.
These Rogue Wave boots are waterproof and designed for all day fishing comfort. They feature a Grip-X Wet Traction outsole for added grip on slippery boat decks but they are also designed to be non-slip on dry surfaces too. A handy feature of these boots is the pull tabs to help you get them on.
Because of the neoprene inner, these could provide a little extra warmth for your feet when fishing in cooler months. However, if you plan to fish in the ice or in extremely cold temperatures, you may want something warmer than these.
- Neoprene bootie
- Durable rubber boots
- Non-slip sole
4: Rugged Shark Bill Dance Pro Boat Shoe
- Brand: Rugged Shark
- Model: BDANCEPRO-P
- Size: 8 to 13
These Rugged Shark Bill Dance Pro shoes are designed to combine comfort and performance, with the cushioned feel of a sneaker. The shoes feature a waterproof leather upper with nylon mesh vented panels for breathability and drainage. Inside there is padded mesh and a removable footbed that feature odor-fighting technology and is designed to conform to the shape of your foot.
With these shoes being designed for wearing on boats, the outsole is built for traction on wet surfaces. For added convenience when you’re fishing, the shoes benefit from wrap-around laces, so that you don’t run the risk of your laces coming untied or tripping over them.
If you’re fishing in saltwater, you might want to rinse them thoroughly and allow them to dry before you put them away.
- Removable footbed
- Waterproof leather
- Wrap-around laces
5: Columbia Women’s Drainmaker IV Water Shoes
- Brand: Columbia
- Model: Drainmaker IV
- Size: 5 to 12
These Columbia Drainmaker IV shoes are designed for women. They offer a breathable textile mesh upper and adjustable laces that can be secured in place, so you don’t need to tie them or untie them, making it safer for walking around on deck.
They are lightweight and designed to offer comfort like a sneaker and provide support for your feet whether you’re walking to the riverbank or standing on your bass boat.
Another feature of this shoe is the wet traction rubber outsole that provides grip on both wet and dry surfaces and can be ideal for climbing over slippery rocks. The sole also features Omni-Grip, which is designed to give you a sturdy grip in the winter when walking on snow and ice, so they can be an ideal shoe for year round fishing.
- All season tread
- Wet traction sole
- Women’s water sneaker
6: Skechers Selmo Fisherman Sandal
- Brand: Skechers
- Model: Selmo Fisherman
- Size: 7 to 14
The Skechers Selmo Fisherman sandal can be a great choice for fishing in warmer months. Designed for water use, these sandals feature a suede leather upper and elastic ghillie-style laces that stretch, making it easier to get the shoes on and off. There is also a velcro strap at the back.
The sandals feature a closed toe with rubber toe cap to add protection when climbing over rocks or wading into rivers. The moisture wicking insole is made more comfortable with the addition of a memory foam layer, which can take the pressure off your feet and add impact resistance when you walk.
- Comfortable footbed
- Moisture wicking insole
- Sandal style
- Closed toe
7: Teva Forebay Shoes
- Brand: Teva
- Model: M FOREBAY SANDAL-M
- Size: 7 to 14
The Teva Forebay shoes can be the ideal choice for summertime fishing from the banks of a river or lake. The open sandal style of the shoe can be great for warmer days and it helps water to pass through the shoes easily.
The shoes feature bungee cord laces that can be easily secured without needing to tie them, meaning they won’t come undone. They also feature a velcro strap that provides extra support and helps to keep the shoes securely on your feet, even if you end up in the water.
These are leather water shoes and benefit from a sturdy rubber sole that is designed to provide traction on wet, slippery surfaces. For added comfort, the heel features a ShocPad that helps to absorb impacts when you walk.
- Leather water sandal
- Durable sole
- Shock absorbing heel
- Bungee cord laces
8: Under Armour Men’s Kilchis Sneaker
- Brand: Under Armour
- Model: 1268873
- Size: 8 to 14
These Under Armour Kilchis Sneakers are ideal for boating, fishing and other water sports. They feature a mesh textile upper for comfort and ventilation and a fixed bungee cord lace system, making them easy to get on and off.
The sneaker style means they can be comfortable for wearing all day, both while you’re making your way to and from the water and while you’re on it. They feature a non-slip rubber outsole that is designed to offer grip on smooth wet surfaces such as boat decks.
The midsole and footbed have also been crafted to improve drainage and breathability, as well as to be quick drying. These shoes can be worn in the water while you’re fishing or swimming.
- Sneaker style
- Mesh upper
- Draining sole
- Bungee laces
9: Crocs Men’s Swiftwater Mesh Deck Sandal (Best Budget)
- Brand: Crocs
- Model: Swiftwater Deck Clog
- Size: 7 to 15
These Crocs Swiftwater shoes are designed to offer comfort and traction whether you’re in water on dry land. They feature a mesh upper to allow for drainage and breathability, which also means they dry quickly after getting wet.
They are designed with a CrosLite sole that has a herringbone tread to stop you from slipping on wet surfaces such as boat decks.
They are an open sandal design with a covered toe for added foot protection. The sole is flexible and lightweight for comfort and the insole benefits from having massage pods on the ergonomically designed footbed. They also have the added advantage of a velcro strap that helps to keep them on your feet if you’re in the water.
- Non-slip sole
- Breathable mesh upper
10: Adidas Outdoor Men’s Terrex Summer Boat Shoes (Budget)
- Brand: Adidas
- Model: BC0505-8.5
- Size: 6.5 to 15
The Adidas Outdoor Terrex shoes could be a good value option if you’re after a comfortable pair of fishing shoes that you can wear all year round.
The sneaker style shoe can be a great choice for most types of weather conditions and could be particularly useful in warm weather, as they feature Climacool technology which helps to keep your feet from overheating.
The shoes feature a mesh upper for breathability and benefit from a Traxion outsole which helps to provide grip on wet ground or boat decks. They also feature a drainage system in the midsole and outsole to let water escape.
- Climacool technology
- Mesh upper
- Traxion grip outsole
11: Crocs Citilane Roka Slip-On Sneaker (Budget)
- Brand: Crocs
- Model: Citilane Roka
- Size: 4 to 13
These Crocs Citilane sneakers can be great for watersports, fishing and boating. They are a slip-on style for convenience and they feature a non-slip sole that is designed to provide traction on both wet and dry surfaces.
They are made from CrosLite a closed-cell resin, like all Crocs, which means they are lightweight, comfortable and odor resistant, which can be ideal if you’re wearing them to fish.
The insole is ergonomically designed to provide comfort all day and there are perforations on the sides and upper to allow your feet to breathe and water to escape. They come in a wide range of sizes, which could make them a good choice for both men and women.
- Non-marking sole
- CrosLite material
- Odor resistant
- Non-slip outsole
Why Wearing Fishing Shoes Is So Important
Wearing suitable shoes for fishing can help to prevent you from slipping. Many shoes that are designed for water use will usually have good tread on the sole that is designed to provide traction on both wet and dry surfaces.
Boat decks and mossy rocks, for example, can be particularly dangerous to stand on if you’re not wearing the right footwear. But many shoes that are designed for water use will often have a specially designed tread that helps to prevent slipping on smooth surfaces such as boat decks.
Another benefit of wearing suitable footwear is that it can protect your feet from sharp objects, such as hooks and lures. It can also help to protect you from underwater hazards, such as rocks or logs.
Some angling footwear may also have the added benefit of a reinforced toe cap, for example. This can give you added protection if you do happen to stumble on a rock or drop something on your foot.
When you’re out fishing all day, it can mean several hours on your feet. So having shoes with the right support for your feet can make for a more comfortable trip, as well as helping to prevent pain in other parts of your body, such as your back or legs.
Shoes with a cushioned insole and arch support can be ideal for relieving pressure on your spine and can provide you with good impact support when you walk. Shoes that support your feet can also lead to improved posture, which can also be beneficial in reducing back pain and can be particularly helpful when you’re standing for long periods while you fish.
If you plan to be hiking over rocks or wading into a rocky river you may want to place more emphasis on finding shoes with suitable support for your feet, as these can be more challenging conditions where added support might be needed. These types of conditions may require full foot support, such as ankle support, as well as underfoot support, to help prevent you from twisting your ankle.
Fishing shoes are usually designed to provide all day comfort. But one of the main features of many angling shoes is that they are designed for use in water. You will usually find two different kinds of fishing shoes; one will keep your feet dry and the other will be designed to allow water to pass in and out of the shoe.
A shoe that will keep your feet dry will often be similar in style to a rain boot or equivalent type of shoe. You’ll find that a lot of angling shoes will usually be designed to be worn in water and be completely submerged. In this case, the footwear will likely be vented for drainage.
Whether your shoes are quick drying, draining shoes or sealed waterproof boots, both can help to keep your feet dry. Wearing footwear that’s not intended for water use can result in your feet being soaked for long periods of time and can mean your feet are at risk of injuries because of the weakening of the skin when wet.
Choosing Your Fishing Shoes: Buyer’s Guide
Fishing shoes can be made from a variety of materials but it can be important to look for materials that are designed for use in water. Some fishing shoes will be made from leather that has been given a protective coating to make it waterproof. This can be a durable, natural fabric that is also breathable and flexible.
You’ll also find fishing shoes that are made with mesh or textile uppers. These materials can be useful in providing good drainage and ventilation, and they can also usually be quick to dry, meaning your feet don’t stay wet when you’ve come out of the water.
When you’re looking at the soles of the shoes, you might want to think about durability as well as tread. The thicker the sole, generally the more hard wearing it should be and this means it could give you added protection and support when you’re walking over rugged or uneven ground.
Rubber can be a good choice for the outer soles of fishing footwear because of its durability and its non-slip nature. Most fishing shoes will have a well designed tread that makes them safer to wear on wet surfaces, to prevent slipping on piers or boat decks, or even the slippery rocks on a riverbed.
When you’re choosing new fishing shoes you will probably want to ask yourself whether or not you plan to use them for other activities as well as fishing. If you plan to wear them for other watersports you might want to consider a more flexible shoe and one that can be securely fastened to keep it on your foot.
Similarly, you may want to wear your shoes to hike to and from the water, which means you will probably want a sturdier sole and one that can offer good traction over different types of terrain.
Many fishing shoes are also designed as boat shoes, which can be ideal if you’re heading out on a bass boat or kayak. Some are billed as water shoes, which means they are designed to be submerged in water and can often be used for swimming.
If you want to wear your fishing shoes for swimming, it can be a good idea to think about the materials to make sure that they are suitable for being underwater for a prolonged period. Drainage will also likely be an important feature to consider, as you don’t want the shoes to fill up with water and weigh you down while you’re battling currents.
Another feature you might want to look out for if you’re looking for a dual purpose fishing and swimming shoe is that it has a secure fastener, such as an ankle strap so that your shoes aren’t pulled off by the water pressure.
There are different types of fishing shoes but the type you choose will usually be down to personal preference and the time of year. The type you choose should also be suitable for the conditions where you plan to fish, as you don’t want to have a bulky pair of boots when it’s not necessary or too warm..
Fishing shoe styles can include sandals, boots and sneakers. If you’re fishing in the summer, it might be useful to opt for a sandal or slip-on type of shoe as this might keep your feet cooler and be more comfortable to wear if you’re in the water or on a kayak.
However, with this sandal type of shoe, you may want to also think about whether your feet will be adequately protected in the event that you drop something on your foot or accidentally kick a rock. Many fishing sandals will come with a closed toe, which can help to give your toes added protection while providing you with the freedom and breathability that comes with a sandal.
The sneaker style can be a good choice if you plan to walk to your fishing spot or if you want the added cushioned comfort of a sneaker. Fishing sneakers will often offer good ventilation and have a drainage system that can let water escape from the shoes easily.
Sneakers with mesh uppers can often be lightweight and can usually be worn for a variety of activities, from watersports to casual land use.
Fishing boots may be better suited for colder conditions or when you need a little extra protection, for example if you’re wading into a river in the fall or fishing in the winter.
It can be a good idea to think about how much money you want to spend on your fishing footwear before you dive in to purchase. This can then help you to narrow down your options and stick to a budget.
Because there are a number of shoes available at a range of price points, you should be able to find something suitable in your budget. But once you’ve settled on a budget, consider the features that you want the shoes to have. The more expensive options will likely offer more in terms of features, such as technology to improve comfort or performance.
Questions And Answers
Are There Different Shoes For Different Types Of Fishing?
There are some types of footwear that can be better suited to certain types of fishing. For example, if you are fly fishing in a cold river where you’ll be wading into the water, you may want to consider boots or bootfoot waders, as this can give you a little more protection and warmth than a regular shoe might.
Deck shoes can be ideal if you’re fishing from a boat in summer but you might want to opt for a boot in colder months. If you’re fishing from the banks of a river or lake or from the beach, you might want to think about a fishing shoe with a thicker or sturdier sole, especially if you plan to be walking on more rugged terrain, such as rocks.
How Do I Clean My Fishing Shoes?
Rinse them in clean, fresh water to get rid of any residue or mud and use a vegetable brush to brush off any remaining dirt. You could also soak them in hot water to help kill any bacteria, then allow them to air dry.
If your shoes are made from neoprene, you can use some mild soap with some warm water to clean them before stuffing them with newspaper to help soak up the excess moisture while you leave them to air dry.
Video: How To Clean And Deodorize Neoprene Wetshoes
What Should The Soles Be Made From?
The soles should ideally be made from rubber as this can help to prevent the spread of invasive species because it doesn’t absorb water. You may see some fishing shoes with felt soles, which can provide good traction on mossy rocks but can also absorb water and other organisms in the water.
In some states, however, felt soled fishing shoes have been banned because of their ability to spread invasive species, so rubber soles are probably the way to go.
Wearing the right fishing shoes for your trip can make a fishing trip more enjoyable, as suitable footwear can mean you’re more comfortable and potentially safer. There are many styles of fishing shoes, but when you’re choosing your next pair, remember to think about the weather and conditions that you are likely to encounter.
Rubber soles with good traction on both wet and dry surfaces can be a good feature to look for, as this can help to keep you from slipping. Drainage features and quick drying materials can also be a useful feature and can help to prevent your feet from staying wet once you’ve come out of the water.
Remember to think about the features that could help to protect your feet from injuries, such as a thick sole or reinforced toes.
Leave us a comment to let us know your thoughts on fishing shoes or if you favor a particular pair. And keep your fellow anglers in the loop by sharing this guide with them.