When spending the day with your feet in the water, having a good pair of wading boots is absolutely essential. They are one of the most important pieces of gear that you will purchase and while it is possible to skimp on certain pieces of fishing equipment, wading boots should not be one of them.
There are several reasons that proper footwear is a vital addition to your fishing gear. The first and foremost reason is safety. Anglers spend ample time trekking over slippery rocks and uneven river terrain, a recipe for disaster without the proper footwear. In order to avoid rolling an ankle or slipping on the rocks and swimming with the fish, a supportive boot with a quality sole is a must.
A boot that provides firm ankle support can help you avoid painful injuries, as it’s likely that you will turn your ankle at some point while walking over uneven riverbeds. If you want to avoid dangerous slips and falls, then you need a boot that features a sole with serious grip to provide traction on those wet rocks and slimy river logs.
What to Look For
Generally, all wading boots feature either a rubber sole or a felt sole and which you choose will depend on where you spend your time fishing. Felt soled boots have long been the standard as they offer unbeatable grip on rocky bottomed rivers and slick terrain. Another benefit is the level of stealth that is attainable with these soles because they enhance quiet wading. Rubber soles, however, have gained popularity in recent years due to the fact that several states have banned felt soled boots based on the concern that invasive species easily lodge into the sole and travel from one river to another from your boots. Rubber soles also offer better grip when it comes to trekking over banks and trails.
So, how do you decide, felt or rubber? Well consider where you spend the majority of your time when fishing. Are you a very active fisherman who covers a variety of different grounds and water conditions? Go for rubber-soled boots. Do you spend the majority of your time in the river covering slime-covered terrain? Felt might be your best option.
Comfort is another big factor to consider. With all of the hiking, walking, wading, and trekking that anglers do, ill-fitting boots can ruin a perfectly good fishing expedition. When considering comfort, it’s important to pay attention to the shoe’s tongue in order to avoid debris gathering inside of the boot. Another factor regarding comfort is the drainage system that allows water to move in and out of the boot. There is nothing worse than trekking through the river with pebble-ridden, waterlogged boots weighing you down and making each step more painful than the last.
Ultimately, when choosing a wading boot the price difference between an ill-fitting, poor quality boot and a sturdy, dependable boot is insignificant compared to the peace of mind you will have knowing that you your boots will keep you safe and comfortable all day long. While it isn’t necessary to go broke when making your purchase, this is an item that you should be prepared to spend a bit more on. You will be glad you that you did when you realize the big difference that a quality pair makes.
Read below to see our reviews on several high-quality brands. Each brand is available for online purchase.
When it comes to choosing the boot for your needs, one of the biggest factors to consider is the type of sole that the boot features. This can often be a difficult decision for versatile fishermen who split their time hiking trails and covering slick rocks in the water. With the Korkers Whitehorse Wading Boot, the debate over which sole best fits your needs is no longer an issue.
The Korkers Whitehorse brand features the innovative OmniTrax 3.0 Interchangable Sole System, allowing you to switch outsoles in order to adapt to any fishing environment. With the option of plain felt soles or cling-on sticky rubber soles, these ingenuous boots help you stay prepared for any terrain that you encounter.
A truly performance-packed boot, the Whitehorse also features the M2 Boa lacing system that discourages debris from entering the boot and ensures a nice fit. With recessed uppers made from hydrophobic materials to help shed water and large drainage ports in the base, these boots work overtime to keep you safe and comfortable no matter where your fishing endeavors take you. At only 3 pounds and 2 ounces, these boots will keep you light on your feet and moving all day.
If you are in the market for rubber soled wading boots, then this pair is an excellent choice. The Redington Skagit River Boots keep a strong focus on comfort, as they have a padded collar to boost ankle support and a rubber toe cap to provide extra protection. The boots are extremely lightweight weighing only one pound, which puts less strain on your legs and allows you to have more energy throughout the day.
The solid sticky rubber soles offer superior traction and are stud compatible if you need that extra bit of grip. With mesh panels to promote easy drainage and faster drying, your feet will feel good in these Redington Wading Boots. And with a price point slightly lower than the Whitehorse boots, your wallet will feel pretty good too!
While these boots are slightly more expensive than the Korker and Redington boots, with the incredible comfort and durability that they provide, they are worth every penny. The Orvis Boa Pivot Wading Boots were designed to offer the highest level of luxury and durability, keeping your feet protected, secure, and comfortable all day long. Upon slipping your feet into the boots, you will appreciate the highly customized fit that you receive thanks to the aircraft-grade stainless steel laces that ensure a smooth and secure closure, while keeping the boot lightweight for ease and mobility.
With the implementation of a clever dial system, slipping these boots on and off is really easy. And with an injection-molded EVA midsole, you will enjoy high-quality cushioning for ultimate all-day comfort. The soles on these Boa Pivots are exclusively designed by Orvis and provide extreme grip and traction thanks to the dual-durometer Vibram rubber and lug pattern. If you need an added level of traction, the PosiGrip Screw-In Studs are the perfect solution.
With an upper crafted from proven synthetic microfiber and enhanced sidewall and heel protection, Orvis has truly thought of everything with their Boa Pivots. These boots offer luxurious comfort, extreme durability, and superb traction resulting in an all-around exceptional wading boot.