Best Wading Boots – Expert’s Guide 2019

If you want to have a successful fishing trip, you will need the right footwear. Of course, you will also need the rod and the reel. However, someone with experience in this sport will highlight that the best wading boots are the most important piece of equipment that you can have.

best wading boots

You need to feel comfortable and secure. Therefore, simple and standard will never be enough. Wading boots will allow you to walk the distance between you and where the fish are. If you’re not protected properly, you will risk walking on sharp rocks or glass.

We have selected the boots which will provide you with full protection at all times. Our team thoroughly believes in quality rather than price.


​Quick Comparison - Best Wading Boots


Hodgman Neoprene Wade Shoe

​Number of Sizes Available

  • ​7

​Upper Material

  • ​Neoprene


​Sole Material

  • ​Rubber

​Closure

  • ​Zipped

Korkers Greenback Wading Boot

​Number of Sizes Available

  • ​9

​Upper Material

  • ​Plain Felt


​Sole Material

  • ​Changable

​Closure

  • ​Lace

Frogg Toggs Hellbender

​Number of Sizes Available

  • ​8

​Upper Material

  • ​Mesh and PVC

​Sole Material

  • ​Rubber

​Closure

  • ​Lace

DUCK&FISH Men’s

​Number of Sizes Available

  • ​6

​Upper Material

  • ​1200 Denier Polyester

​Sole Material

  • ​Rubber

​Closure

  • ​Lace

Redington Fly Fishing Men’s Wading Boot

​Number of Sizes Available

  • ​6

​Upper Material

  • ​Felt and Mesh


​Sole Material

  • ​Rubber

​Closure

  • ​Lace

​Features To Consider


​Sole Type

There are two basic sole types. The traditional one is felt, it provides great traction in the stream, especially on the algae-covered rocks that are slippery. Inside the river, the felt is the most superior traction as far as soles go.

Rubber Sole - The other option which has become a lot more widespread in the last few years is rubber sole. The advantage to rubber is that it provides much greater traction outside the river. So, if you wind up finding yourself hiking along the riverbank, this might be an excellent pick for you because rubber tends to be more durable.

​Additional Traction

Some fishing boots allow you to attach studs or cleats to provide more friction. Depending on the weather condition you can always fix them on the sole. However, if conditions change you can always simply remove them.

​Material

The material is another thing to consider when purchasing a pair of fishing boots. The boot must be lightweight and comfortable to wear, but at the same time, it should allow water to flow in and out of the fishing boot.  Materials that let the water drain as fast as possible are the following: neoprene, nylon and synthetic leather.


5 ​Top Wading Boots


​1. Hodgman Neoprene Wade Shoe

These boots are made for walking – no reference to the famous song. You can use these boots for numerous fish sports such as fly fishing and flat fishing as they are made from neoprene. The upper body is 3.5mm thick neoprene and it also has an adjustable hook-and-loop cuff.

Therefore, they will sit tightly around your ankles regardless how far you walk or stay in the water. As well as, the closing system ensures that small rocks and debris cannot enter inside. Hence, you will feel comfortable for a longer period of time.

Unlike the other models, you can clearly notice that it doesn’t have a lace-closure. Additionally, it doesn’t have a zipper closure either. This will make sure that you can easily put them on and take them off. It also means that it will be impossible for water to get inside.

Even if you stay in it for numerous hours. The rubber soles will provide you with superior protection as it ensures that you will not get scratches or cut. Therefore, you can walk on a range of surfaces.

Due to the high-quality soles, these boots can be classified as durable river shoes. Even though the ground is slippery, the superior traction will take a grip of the slippery surface. Even if the ground is made from mud, vegetation or rocks.

​As well as, you can also safely walk on gravel grounds without second-guessing. You will be pleased with the fact that they won’t feel like you’re losing them when you’re walking through dense waters.

​​PROS

  • ​Fully waterproof
  • ​They feel tight even under water
  • ​It can handle oyster beds
  • ​Rubber toe protection
  • ​Superior traction

​CONS

  • ​The Velcro is too tight for thick ankles
  • ​The sizes are not similar to normal sizes
  • ​Not suitable for duck hunting

​2. Korkers Greenback Wading Boot

These fishing boots are made from plain felt and Kling-On sticky rubber. The top is made from felt in order to dry much faster than any other models. The rubber is Kling-On so you have the option to turn it from the best wading boots into the best walking shoes.


The interchangeable sole system is compatible with other Korkes outsoles. Therefore, you can change these boots into different boots not just walking or wading. Numerous people that have already purchased these boots have used them for light hiking.


Furthermore, it has a unique internal drainage system where water flows through the internal channels of the sole ports. This will make sure that all of the excess water is fully removed. Therefore, even if you walk through dense waters and rivers, you won’t feel slowed down by the extra weight added by the excess water. This is very important if you want to walk for many miles.


You will also be pleased with the traction system as it will keep you protected from slips and falls.

Due to the fact that it dries quicker, they will last for many years. The first they dry, the less likely it is that the material will get ruined by the microorganisms living in the water.


As well as, it also means that you can use these in fresh and saltwater as you will be protected against any damages. You can wash off the excess salt with ease. 

​​PROS

  • ​Designed with strategic seam locations
  • ​Created with a drainage system
  • ​Suitable for a range of grounds
  • ​Interchangeable sole
  • ​Impossible for debris to get inside

​CONS

  • ​Not designed with toe protection
  • ​The sizes are not similar to normal sizes
  • ​Not suitable for those with wide toes

​3. Frogg Toggs Hellbender

The reason why these are one of the best wading boots is due to the fact that they are made from PVC and mesh. As the ankle collar is padded, you will be provided with excellent comfortability for a long period of time. In addition to this, the rubber sole will ensure protection so you can use these even on oyster beds.


As well as the rubber toe will prevent you from hurting in case you accidentally hit your toe or step on a sharp rock. The thick PU foam is placed in the midsole so you will feel comfortable having these on for a long period of time.


You will be thoroughly pleased to know that this is another pair where you can replace the sole with felt. This means that they are able to provide you with comfort and security in different environments.


Regardless of where you are. If you are walking in waters with high streams, we recommend that you use the rubber sole in order to be safe and secure. Additionally, the padded tongue will ensure superior foot stability.


As you can see, these boots are made especially for those who put a high price on comfortability. They are also lightweight so you won’t feel like you have to drag your feet when walking. There are numerous sizes available and customer service is one of the best on the market so you can easily replace the size in case you order the wrong size.

​​PROS

  • ​Designed with riveted speed laces and locking upper lace clips
  • ​Easy to untie the laces
  • ​Suitable for saltwater
  • ​Comfortably step on sharp and slippery beds
  • ​Designed with ankle support

​CONS

  • ​The laces are not enough for thick ankles
  • ​Some people have suggested that the rivets come off too fast
  • ​The seams are prone to come apart

​4. DUCK&FISH Men’s

If you’re looking for safety and security you should consider this model. They are designed with a reinforced toe and heel which means that you don’t have to worry about injuries. You may be aware that in case you injure yourself and stay in the water without treating the wound, you risk it getting infected.


You will risk wasting a lot of time at the doctor’s office and a lot of money getting better. If you don’t want to risk that, we recommend these boots.


Additionally, it has a polyester upper body and neoprene padded ankle collar. This means that they will feel tight even if you use them in high stream waters. The extra wide base is very good news for those with wider feet and those.


In addition to this, it’s also suitable for those that are on the larger sizing chart. You will enjoy the fact that they require little to no maintenance even if you walk through deep mud. It has self-cleaning properties so you don’t have to waste time meaninglessly.


The rubber sole will completely eliminate the possibility of them sticking to dirty and muddy grounds. As well as, the drain holes are very helpful if you want to walk long distances. It removes the excess water once you step out of it. Also, it also makes sure that water cannot get inside of the boots.

​​PROS

  • ​The boots stay true to your normal size
  • ​The sole is suitable for people with wide feet
  • ​You can lace them up fast
  • ​Suitable for fresh and saltwater
  • ​Designed with removable insoles

​CONS

  • ​The laces are described to be too short
  • ​The sole is prone to come off
  • ​Customer service could be better

​5. Redington Fly Fishing Men’s Wading Boot


By purchasing these boots, you will never feel like you are experiencing fatigue and tiredness due to their weight. This is because the upper body has been designed with nylon and synthetic leather. It dries fast so you don’t have to wait around for them to get as they should be. In addition to this, the leather will allow your skin to breathe.


Therefore, if you are prone to sweating excessively, the sweat will come out with ease. Furthermore, the sole has been made from rubber so you will be able to walk on different grounds.


If you feel like you want to add more traction, you can add additional studs. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be an expert to know how to do it. All that you will need to do to is to screw them into the designated places. This will ensure that you can walk through streams and rivers upwards without feeling insecure. Even if you’ve never done it before, you will feel safe for your first time.


If you want to feel more comfortable, we advise that you should order a size up so you can wear socks with it. Regardless of your choice, the insoles are designed to provide you with the comfort you need and it’s also resistant to bacteria. Therefore, you can keep your feet safe from any infections.

​​PROS

  • ​The mesh panels drain out the water fast
  • ​Excellent ankle support
  • ​It has a convenient lacing system
  • ​Designed with pull loops
  • ​Rubber toe cap protection

​CONS

  • ​The seams are prone to come apart
  • ​They are not individually quality checked 
  • ​Customer service could be better

​FAQ's


How can I clean these boots?

The great thing about these boots is the fact that you don’t have to spend a long time on maintenance. If you’ve been fishing in freshwater, all that you will need to do is wait for them to dry. However, for saltwater, we advise that you clean the excess salt with normal water as it can ruin the material.


How can I choose my size?

Normally, it’s written in the description of the product whether you will need to order a size up or down. However, if you want to wear socks, we advise that you order a shoe size up as you will feel more comfortable. If you normally wear a half size, we advise that you go up to the next size.


Are these boots fully waterproof?

Yes, they are. Even if they have different closing systems, it doesn’t mean that water can get inside. For example, the models designed with laces have a thick insulated tongue which will make it impossible for the water to get inside. The sole, however, isn’t waterproof.


Can I dry them in the dryer?

The very first thing you need to do is to tie them together by the laces. Then, when you close the door you have to ensure that the laces are over the door so it closes properly yet the shoes don’t touch the drum of the dryer. Finally, set the drying cycle as you normally would.


​Can I use them for a range of activities?

Yes, you can. As we’ve mentioned some of these models have versatile soles. You can either remove the sole and completely change it or you can add spikes for better traction. Whatever you choose is up to you.


Leave a Comment: