Best Fishing Boots & Hip Waders Reviewed
Are you an angler looking for the absolute best fishing boots and hip waders that you can find? Have you decided that you won’t be limited by the environment, and want to be able to get out into the water and fish, no matter what water or weather challenges confront you? Do you want dry pants and socks and no leaks, no matter what?
While you’re looking forward to the weekend, heading off to work in the fishery industry or planning your next fishing excursion, wherever it will be, knowing that you have the best boots for your particular needs will be the best preparation you could possibly make. Are you in cold waters or warm waters? Are the waters spring-fed from the mountains, in which case they will often be freezing? Is the outside air cold or warm? All of these conditions will impact your comfort and determine what you wear, and you should consider this before choosing your preferred boot.
- MuckBoots Edgewater
- Neoprene Shaft
- XTRATUF Legacy
- Flexible & Strong
- ALEADER Water Shoe
- Lightweight Mesh
There are 3 different types of fishing boots to choose from, and a number of variations with each one. We’ll look at what differentiates these, and what specific environments they are used for. After we’ve reviewed them you will know exactly which fishing boots to select for your angling requirements and preferences.
10 Best Fishing Boots
1. MuckBoots Edgewater
These boots pull on easily over a thick pair of socks. The neoprene is flexible and stretches well enough to get your foot into the boot easily. The lower part of the boot also features a reinforced panel for Achilles support.
Grippy, rubber sole
Fishing is slippery business and we’re not just talking about the fish. The shoreline, streambeds and lake bottoms can all post slip and fall hazards to the unwary. These boots feature a grippy outsole that can cope with those conditions. And if you get in a little too deep, the neoprene shaft will dry quickly as well.
Cost and Value
These boots are priced in the mid-range of the list and represent a very good value given that they are a versatile, comfortable boot that can take a lot of beating and keep coming back for more. Whether you’re fishing from the shoreline or working in wet conditions, these boots will keep up.
- Quick-dry neoprene
- Grippy rubber soles
- Pull on ease
- Achilles support panel
- Waterproof bottom
- Sizing issues
2. XTRATUF Legacy
Waterproofing is important for fishing. If only they would appear on dry land… These boots are also resistant to ozone, acid, and chemicals. They are made from a triple-dipped latex neoprene for lightweight and pliability along with great resistance.
The boots are built on a female-specific last. The heel counter prevents a narrower heel from moving around in the boot ensuring a more secure fit. They are also built with toe and heel guards that protect the boot (and your feet) from abrasion. They are slip-resistant as well.
Cost and Value
These fishing boots are priced in the mid-range relative to the rest of the list. They are a versatile boot made especially for the security of a woman’s foot. Resistant to almost everything, you can use them for activities other than fishing as well, where a comfortable, waterproof boot is necessary.
- Latex neoprene
- Flexible & strong
- Sizes run narrow
3. Allen Company Blue River
For use in warmer temperatures, these non-insulated shoes are highly rated by professional users as well as recreational users for being non-bulky and completely waterproof in extreme conditions.
The fit works well for most users, taking the boot comfortably up over the hip and usable with heavy socks if desired. They can also accommodate a heavy pair of workpants.
Cost and Value
These boots are priced very low compared to the other fishing boots mentioned in this comparison review. They offer excellent value for a very low price. Some users report being surprised at the level of quality for this price point.
- Completely waterproof
- Light and roomy construction
- Durable and longlasting
- Easy to get on and off
- Good length for most users
- Buckles are not high quality
- Soles too pliable for some
4. MuckBoots Scrub
Constructed from both rubber and textile, the Scrub will help insulate and keep you warm in cooler water temperatures but maintains enough flexibility so you can maneuver as needed for the catch. Not only does rubber help insulate you, but being reinforced, it helps add protection to your foot for scrambling across stones and pebbles, without fear of seriously banging your toes.
Within the Scrub boot is a breathable AirMesh lining, made to help wick away moisture from your feet and help keep you dry, even when water is rushing around you. This will help keep the boot smelling fresh and cut down on bacteria harboring inside the shoe. A comfort stretch nylon shaft helps keep you fit in place and makes these easy to get on and off.
Cost and Value
Moderately priced compared to those found on our list, the MuckBoots Scrub is a great boot for those looking to fish in shallow water such as creeks, river bed edges, or ponds. It's well insulated and protective, and definitely worth the investment. Available in neutral to brighter colors, this boot also has a unisex fit, so be sure to size accordingly!
Sizing May Vary
5. ALEADER Water Shoe
Uppers are made from a durable mesh, allowing breathability. This, of course, doesn’t make the shoe waterproof, but if your intentions are for shore surfing or to fish in warmer waters, it’s a solid option for consideration. Mesh allows these to dry quickly, and allows them to be washable should they start to pick up dirt or odors. A heel and tongue loop help you to slip these on quickly, so you won’t need to fuss with anything but the bait.
Support and Cushioning
A ComfortDry sockliner resides inside the shoe for cushioning, but helps to dry out the shoe after use, and promotes better shoe environment throughout the lifespan. Solyte midsoles give a lightweight bouncy feel, so with each step energy is returned to you, reducing foot fatigue. Water Grain outsoles give exceptional traction control but allow water drainage as well.
Cost and Value
If you’re just starting out into fishing, or intend to shoreline fish, or cast in warmer waters, this shoe is a perfect, budget-friendly option to do so. Investing in more expensive boots is ideal for those who peruse angling as a hobby, but a simple water shoe such as ALEADER’s Water Shoe, can help the beginner decide if this hobby is a passion, and requires more investment.
For Beginners or Casual Fishers
6. Magid Servus
Along with being waterproof, this boot is resistant to a number of chemicals including agricultural chemicals, fertilizers, and animal waste. It is seamless, and the sole is also rated for electrical hazards for additional protection. These boots will take whatever fishing can throw at them and then some.
The sole on this boot features a number of deep angle cleats that help you keep your footing on slippery surfaces – great for fishing and other slippery hazards you may encounter. The boot will help prevent a fall but remember that no boot is completely slip-proof so you’ll still need to watch what you’re stepping in.
Cost and Value
These boots are incredibly inexpensive. For the value, you get a great boot for fishing or other wet work that will resist degradation while protecting your feet from slips, falls and things being dropped on them. They are also good for work – the versatility increases the value you get for an extraordinarily low price.
- Seamless construction
- Degradation resistant
- Flexible shaft
- Lightweight cushioning
- Cleated outsole
- Not especially durable
7. Kamik Hunter
Rated for temperatures down to -40F, the Hunter also has an 8mm removable Thermal Guard liner, so if you find yourself a bit too warm, you can adjust the insulation. This liner is a two-layer system, that helps to keep moisture clear but retain body heat. A waterproof nylon collar is adjustable at the opening of the boot with drawstring ties, so you can secure your foot and keep out the water.
The Hunter has a rugged EXPLORER outsole, that will allow you firm traction on slippery ground or ice. As a bonus, the rubbers used in constructing Kamik’s boots are recycled, giving sustainability for those anglers concerned with environmental effects. Ideal for cooler rivers, ice, or streams, this boot will keep you firmly planted on all sorts of surfaces!
Cost and Value
One of the more budget-friendly boot options on our list, it’s a great addition to the newer fisher or expert angler alike. For those who ice fish, this boot is a solid option to consider not only for its insulation but lugged outsole as well. Anyone finding themselves in cooler water or temperature will love the Kamik Hunter!
One Year Warranty
Sizing Can Vary
8. Custom Leathercraft F23011
Wet surfaces are slippery surfaces and fishing is full of those. These boots are designed for improved traction in wet conditions – whether it’s fishing or just working in the rain. The sole is made of the same PVC as the rest of the boot, making it very durable as well.
Over the sock sizing
Over the sock sizing means that the boots fit a little large so you can wear thick woolen, warm socks under them. They will also accommodate a pant leg-in wear and feature a scalloped shaft that will flex and not irritate your calves.
Cost and Value
These boots are priced in the low end of the range and represent a very good value given their durability, traction, and comfort. The EVA foot form makes the boot feel more like a sneaker inside. The boot will also last quite a bit longer than many ‘wet’ boots on the market.
- EVA formed sole
- Cleated outsole
- Over the sock sizing
- Durable PVC
- Scalloped top line
- No ankle support
9. Honeywell Servus
The Honeywell Servus comes with a contoured insole for cushioning and support to your foot. Whether you work on a fishing boat or fish as a relaxing hobby, you will enjoy a great deal of comfort in this boot. It also features a steel shank for stability and to reduce leg and foot fatigue.
Soft & Flexible
The boot is made of injection-molded PVC which will stay flexible and comfortable in colder environments. The construction also makes the boots lightweight. Add in arch and heel support and you have a boot you can work in all day long.
Cost and Value
The boots are very inexpensive given their quality, comfort, durability and safety features. For just a little more than our least expensive boot, you get a boot that will last, be easy on your feet is also slip-resistant and safe for work or play on the slick deck of a boat.
- Very durable
- Lighter in weight
- Safety features
- Customizable height
- Sizes run large
10. Caddis Chest Wader
With a breathable outer shell consisting of polyester to help keep you warm, but also CaddisDry technology which helps keep water out while allowing perspiration to escape, the Caddis Chest Wader will have you comfortable in any kind of weather. The stockingfoot design is double taped and glued for added water protection, and quality stitching help bolster the integrity of the foot. Adjustable deluxe suspenders make this wader able to fit any height, so you can get the best fit possible.
Not only is the Caddis Chest Wader packed full of waterproof insulation, it also has attached and breathable gravel guards to prevent any silt from creeping in where it should be. Double knees help to give flexibility and durability, and a new Quad pocket allows for storage of everything you may need in lieu of a vest. For all your fly fishing needs, this wader certainly has you covered.
Cost and Value
When compared to other chest wader models and brand, its similarly priced, but when you consider the one year manufacturer’s warranty, stylish look, and feature packed design, it’s a smart purchase. If you’re new or a veteran for fly fishing, the Caddis Chest Wader is a great option to consider for your next new pair!
Now that you’ve reviewed all the boots and hip waders in our list, you need to come to a decision about what’s right for you. It’s true that the most important considerations for any fisherman always have to do with the environment you face, and you must plan your equipment to fit that particular situation.
Of course, the most important thing first. You all want the best 100% waterproof boots so that you stay dry no matter what activity you’re engaged in. You also want to have comfort in fit. After all, this is necessary when you want to spend long hours standing and walking on uneven and slippery rocks in flowing water conditions. Your feet must be supported perfectly so that you are able to maintain your balance is constantly changing and sometimes adverse conditions.
Good traction is also essential. You must also find the right amount of insulation depending on the temperature of the water in your fishing environment, whether it’s sub-zero or a little warmer water.
So take a few moments to consider your budget and your specific needs for your environment. With the products listed above, one of these fishing boots or hip waders will be sure to be the perfect choice for your activities. Get angling!
Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Fishing Boots
When you are selecting the best Fishing Boots and Hip Waders for your sporting or work environment as an angler or hunter, you must be aware of how important the choice will be to keep you healthy and safe, no matter what conditions you encounter. Of this you can be sure: finding the right equipment will make all the difference in your comfort, safety, and enjoyment of angling and hunting for years to come. It’s also very important that you have the right fishing boots or hip waders for the temperature of the water you plan to be angling in.
So let’s review at some of the most important considerations below.
Size & Weight
If you have read reviews from fishing boot purchasers online, you will often see that someone will say that they had too much tightness in the ankle, or that the boots they bought were either too small or too large. Keep in mind that different manufacturers use different lasts, or 3-dimensional molds made of wood or plastic to construct their boots. The overall fit of your shoe is determined by the last, which has the following dimensions: Forefoot width, heel width, and instep height. Of course, you can always send them back for another size, but if you’re about to leave on a big fishing trip the next day, that may not be an option. So what do you do?
The sizing could vary accordingly. You can easily check the reviews to see if the boots you have chosen has a few customers who write that they should have ordered one size up. Then you will know the tendency of that particular brand in terms of sizing.
Remember as well that many fishing boots use a sock on sizing, which means they are meant to fit larger to accommodate thick socks underneath.
Some fishing boots and hip waders are much lighter than others. Although it may seem like a few extra ounces would not make a difference, if you are standing in the water for hours and days at a time, it’s something to consider, depending on the temperature of the water you want to fish in. If the temperature is cold, then you will have to choose for a heavier boot or wader to stay warm.
Unless you are angling in very cold water, you always have the option to choose for PVC construction soles over rubber soles, which are somewhat heavier and will increase energy expenditure.
So be sure to check the weight on the shoes you are considering, and compare. A few hours or even a day of wearing an extra few ounces could make a big difference in your day out in the water.
Grip & Staying Dry
When you’re out on slippery rocks, trying to cast and keep your balance at the same time, grip and traction are going to be your most important consideration.
If your fishing boot or wader does not have the proper grip and traction for the environment in which you are planning to use it, slipping and falling can become a real concern in a flowing or rushing water environment. You do not want to suffer an injury from not being prepared with the best boots or waders for the fishing conditions you might encounter. With flowing water, you must be able to continually adjust and readjust your weight to maintain your balance as you traverse uneven rocks and varying degrees of slipperiness under the water.
It’s so important to make sure that the boot or wader you choose keeps you dry, which means it has to be 100% waterproof and doesn’t fail when you are out enjoying angling for the day.
To have your socks and pants taking on water will really spoil your day out, as well as being dangerous if you are in a colder-water environment of sub-zero, for example. When you’re out angling you’re often far away from having an easy change of clothing at hand. Suffering from hypothermia because your boots are not 100% waterproof is not an option anyone wants to consider. However, sometimes having a simple water shoe can suffice if the water is warm enough, so long as the sole has a firm grip or tread. Who doesn’t love the feel of warm water on a hot day?
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is rubber or PVC construction best for a fishing boot or hip wader?
A: Depending on where you are angling, you may prefer a lightweight boot. In this case, you should probably choose a PVC boot, unless the water where you are fishing is on the extremely cold side, where a rubber boot may serve your purposes better.
A PVC boot is around 25% lighter than a rubber boot, and if you’re standing all day in a rushing stream or river, this will have an effect on your stamina.
Q: How much traction does felt provide v.s. cleated soles?
A: The level of traction is dependent on many factors in the environment. Of course, sometimes the decision to choose between felt and cleated soles is already made for you. In some states, it is illegal to have cleated soles (so that the water environment is not too changed by human traffic moving about on the bottom of the river or stream) so in this case, you will have to choose for felt soles.
Actually, both types of soles provide excellent traction, but one has less impact on the natural environment and is therefore preferable. So it’s important to find out your local rules, or the rules of the area you plan to visit and make sure you have either interchangeable soles or that you purchase the right sole for the area.
Q: Will wading boots be safe on slippery rocks, both above and under the surface?
A: Many users report that their shoes “stick like Velcro” to moss-covered rocks that are covered by flowing water. If you know your environment, and where you plan to use the boots or waders, have a look at the comments of the users online to see how the traction compares from one boot to another. It’s usually best to cast from thigh-high water and not go much deeper.
It’s also really important that the fit is perfect and supports your feet properly so that you can maintain your balance under all conditions. You want to avoid any possibility of injury by being well prepared for your fishing activities.
Q: What is the main consideration when choosing a lighter boot over a heavier one?
A: A lighter boot or wader will feel more weightless on your feet, and if the conditions are not extremely cold or sub-zero, these may be preferred. A lighter boot will not have as much insulation, but the lighter weight will make it easier for you to stand in the water and move about for hours at a time.
Of course, in colder conditions, you will have to choose for a heavier boot. The good news is that Thinsulate insulation is available in many boots and waders, and does not add much weight to the boot.
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