Have you been on a ramp or boat dock and slipped? Regular athletic shoes can cause trouble when you wear them on a fishing trip. As a matter of fact, you may already have had your fair share of falls from years of wearing sports shoes. Whether it’s on the docks, the boat floor, the boat trailer frame, or even in a tackle shop, regular shoes can put your life in danger as fishing places you in a lot of wet and slick environments. Wearing the best fishing shoes will help ensure you’re safe.
Opt for the best pair geared towards fishing so you have adequate protection and enjoy comfort at the same time.
Best Fishing Shoes for Men
Since there are countless options for men’s fishing shoes, we’ve compiled the ones suitable for every angler from their toughness, reliability, and ability to provide comfort.
These shoes have truly simplified fishing in various scenarios for thousands of users. Check them out!
1. Columbia Men’s Drainmaker IV
All water shoes aren’t made equal. Among those that are made of fabric that are designed for getting wet, you’ll find models which have an added benefit of feet protection, particularly from underwater hazards. This includes the Columbia Drainmaker IV. It’s a dedicated pair of angling shoes as it’s impervious to damage from water. If you like wearing sneakers, you’ll definitely love these water shoes.
The Columbia Drainmaker IV has a rubberized sole and lace-up fabric uppers. The sole has excellent traction even on slippery, pitching decks. These shoes were specifically made for getting wet as they dry quickly.
It’s also not only comfortable, but this pair of water shoes breathes incredibly well. They are great for fishing trips in the summer and in hot climates. In terms of durability, it’s made to withstand rough extended use.
Just keep in mind these shoes aren’t intended for running or hiking, but rather for angling. Give the crowd-favorite Columbia Drainmaker IV a shot and you’ll be very happy you did from the safety, comfort, and convenience it offers.
2. Hodgman Neoprene Wade Shoe
These waders from Hodgman offer the ultimate solution to ensuring your safety while looking great at the same time.
Hodgman Wade Neoprene is made of a thick material that offers protection from rushing currents. Breathability is achieved from the adjustable ankle cuffs.
Just tighten them if you want to avoid debris getting stuck when you navigate deeper depths while wading. Traction of the shoes is provided in various kinds of terrain from the non-slip, non-marking soles.
The soles also offer excellent protection from aches, pains, and blisters. You’ll find the rust-proof zipper to be sturdy and capable of staying in place even after frequent zipping up and down. The neoprene material, as its name suggests, is used for the construction of the upper part of the shoe.
3. Sperry Sea Kite Boat Shoe
Made of 100% genuine leather, Sperry Sea Kite Shoes are resistant to water. They will ensure your feet are dry even when there’s water that sloshes from the top. A stylish and elegant pair of boating shoes, it has mesh panels to provide breathability and a quick-dry feature should water get in.
Wearing the shoes throughout the day is comfortable because of the EVA midsoles. They’re incredibly easy to wear and remove as well. On deck, you will find that these shoes are high-performing.
They’re able to handle various weather conditions like a champ. As for its grip, it’s what every sailor would want to have as the shoes also have non-marking soles. We’ve found that breaking in the shoes takes weeks or even a month. It will depend on how frequently you wear them.
If you want fishing sandals that are versatile and durable with the ability to keep your feet nice and dry while maintaining a dressy look that is perfect for casual occasions, you’ll definitely be hard-pressed in finding a better option.
4. Merrell Men’s Moab 2
When you slide your feet into these shoes, you’ll understand exactly why they’re so popular. These hiking shoes are truly comfortable with a cushioned tongue and collar, a supportive footbed, as well as sufficient flexibility in taking straight to any trail.
Apart from being an excellent hiking companion, the Merrell Moab 2 makes great angling shoes. The extra padding added to the heel offers underfoot protection needed for long hours out on the water. What’s more, it’s waterproof from the M-Select Dry technology, which seals out moisture while letting moisture escape.
In terms of its durability, the Merrell Moab 2 holds up really well. There may be permanent scrapes on the toe cap when used roughly, but they will still look like new. This pair of shoes has high-friction soles with above-average traction even on mud and wet rock.
With the Merrell Moab 2, Merrel offers an outstanding outdoor shoe at an incredibly competitive price. The only issue we had is its weight, which is 2 pounds more per shoe compared to the non-waterproof option.
5. Saguaro Water Shoes
When it comes to water shoes, a lot will agree when we say Saguaro makes some of the best.
For a flexible, all-around pair of aqua shoes, you would expect nothing but the best job at gripping wet, slippery surfaces. This is exactly what this footwear promises – and has delivered!
Not just that, they provide your feet adequate support from the rubber sole and the width is just right even for people with wider feet. As for the lace toggle, we found it durable just like the rest of these water shoes.
6. HUK Rogue Wave Shoe
When you’re out fishing and you absolutely don’t want to have cold, wet feet, the perfect pair for you is the HUK Rogue Wave.
These boots provide the protection that you need. They’re constructed from 100 percent waterproof neoprene encased in a rubber overlay for all-day comfort and water protection.
The heavy-duty pull tabs from the back and front let you slip them on and off without any trouble.
7. Columbia Tamiami PFG Boat Shoe
Breathable, stain-resistant, and lightweight, the Columbia Tamiami is one of the best fishing wades on the market today.
Its midsole is flexible, plus it has a lower toe-to-heel drop to provide closer foot contact with surfaces. This makes you more stable even on choppy waters and slippery floors.
Its uppers have synthetic overlays to give both durability and shore structure. Just like with most boat shoes from Columbia, the outsole has the omni-grip siping rubber, which allows users to enjoy excellent traction on both dry and wet surfaces.
Lastly, the Columbia Tamiami PFG Boat has venting ports that assist with drying and airflow.
8. ALEADER Quick Drying Aqua Shoes
With the perforated form of these aqua shoes, you certainly won’t mistake them with any other kind of shoes. These kicks are quick-drying and they’re the definition of lightweight and breathable.
They have an air mesh upper paired off with a rubber outsole, making them perfect for land and water wear. The rubber outsoles are thick and offer sufficient protection from sharp objects.
How to Pick the Best Waterproof Fishing Shoes
When you’re trying to decide on a particular pair from your top options, it’s important you evaluate each one carefully.
Take these factors into consideration as they will help you land on the right one for you:
There are several different types of shoes that are made specifically for fishing.
Here are the most common you can find, and narrow down your options based on your unique needs and requirements:
- Waders – As you may have already guessed from our review, it’s incredibly important for your shoes to have waterproofing. Your feet must be completely dry. As you fish in warm weather, low-cut, waterproof shoes will work best. Just keep the topmost part of your pants over your shoes. When you’re fishing in colder weather or you’re doing ice fishing, you would want to wear fly fishing waders or fishing boots. They offer water protection for your feet while also giving adequate protection from the cold.
- Mesh Shoes – Mesh shoes aren’t waterproof. However, they allow air to circulate on your feet to ensure they are dry and free from moisture. Mesh shoes make some of the best fishing gears, however, this will entirely depend on the situation. Mesh is excellent for wading, kayak fishing with your cheap kayak, boating, and when the weather is warm as water can drain easily and your feet and shoes can dry quickly. The material is also lightweight and breathable.
- Deck/Boating Shoes – Boat shoes are the ones designed to be used on slippery and wet decks of boats. They are quite popular among anglers. The majority of these shoes are water-resistant and have non-slip soles. We are sure you won’t have an issue finding the right style for you as boat shoes are available in various colors and designs.
- Water Shoes – These make for some of the best shoes as they can be worn in the water. Good water shoes dry quickly, but they’re also secure enough to help you retain stability even on a slippery lake or ocean. They are also protective and offer cushioning as your feet are kept from debris or sharp rocks. When you’re not on the water and it’s hot and humid, water shoes let your feet air out so they don’t become too sweaty and become the perfect place for bacteria to thrive.
- Clogs and Aquatic Sandals – Just like water shoes, clogs, and aquatic sandals are for warmer weather. They’re often used by fishermen who want to have less material on their feet and are great at protecting the feet from small objects like glass and pebbles which can harm your feet.
Do you prefer lightweight materials that don’t weigh you down? Perhaps what you need is something more substantial, which can ensure protection for your feet.
Lightweight fabrics are often added with breathable technology to let out water that managed to seep into your shoes. There are heavy-duty choices like rubber and leather. They are the ones that require more maintenance.
They’re not breathable, but they are less likely to wear and tear. The best material for fishing shoes for men will depend on each user’s personal preference.
Regardless of the kind of shoes you’ll get, they will have a non-slip sole as it’s crucial for their application.
For wading boots, you will get a tractor tread kind of stainless-steel attachment. For deck and boating shoes, they have some kind of a soft, non-slip outsole made of rubber.
No matter how or where you will be fishing, having a good grip or hold on the ground or platform you’re walking or standing on will improve your fishing experience.
Any prolonged movement as you stand on your feet barefooted is definitely bad for your legs, back, and knees.
Unknowingly, the entire body adapts to the discomfort from your feet, and your posture, performance, and agility will eventually get affected significantly.
The best water shoes have ample cushioning. They can provide shock absorption, help avoid unnecessary discomfort, aid you in performing your best, and ensure that your knee joints and ankles have protection.
Low-profile shoes don’t go beyond the ankles, which means they offer minimal support. Still, they are better than nothing.
The more substantial shoes, such as wading boots, can provide ankle stability and help prevent sprains and ankle injuries as you walk on unstable surfaces with sand, corals, and loose rock.
Protection from Sharp Objects
Whether you’re wading saltwater flats, on mountain streams, or spending the weekend fishing with your fishing mask from a boat, there will be sharp objects which find their way into the body’s unprotected parts.
If you will be standing on your two feet as you fish, the full weight of your body will be on your feet. Expect massive discomfort and through-skin penetration when there’s nothing between your feet and the sharp objects that you step on.
Apart from having thick rubber sole protection, the best shoes for fishing also provide protection on the top and sides. But, some only provide minimal protection in order to maintain an improved comfort and airflow, and lighter weight.
Mesh or neoprene tops are commonly used for the uppers of the shoes. They are light and comfortable, but only provide minimal protection from big, spiny fish and hooks.
They do an excellent job at providing sufficient protection for your feet from UV rays. For more robust, quality wading boots, they can help prevent unwanted penetration around the foot.
Just like with any other purchase, the price will be among the most important factors that will be on your mind. It can, however, be a challenge to judge which one has the best value if you don’t orient yourself with the price spectrum,
What you think of the price will depend on how serious you are about your fishing. Do you only go out once in a couple of months or even a year and you just want reliable shoes?
If so, then there’s no point for you to break your wallet. If, however, you’ll be using the shoes frequently, you would need one that’s of higher quality as it can last a longer time.
You should never sell yourself short by getting the cheapest pair of shoes you can find, most especially if you’re an experienced fisherman. You’ll be spending lots of days out on the water, so invest in a great pair of shoes.
The best waterproof fishing shoes are an investment in your own comfort. This is something you would want not only to have more success on your fishing trips but also to take care of your own body.
People say all the time to not skimp on a great mattress. This is because you spend a lot of time using it. This also applies to the best fishing sandals or the best boat shoes for fishing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use the best fishing shoes for other activities besides fishing?
You would want to ensure you’re getting the most from your purchase. You can do so by finding the other ways you can use your choice from the best pair for fishing.
There are actually a lot of outdoor activities that you can enjoy while wearing your shoes. This includes jet skiing, hiking, camping, climbing – whatever your adventurous soul craves.
Anyone who’s on the move constantly or those who take part in a lot of outdoor activities can appreciate comfortable shoes. Yes, even tourists, athletes, and dog walkers!
Can I use Crocs as fishing sandals?
A lot of people wear Crocs because they’re comfortable, easier to clean, plus they have good shock absorption qualities. But, they have a looser fit.
They also don’t provide enough heel support. Not to mention the fact that they are definitely not ideal for those with narrow feet.
While you wear Crocs and submerge your feet in the water, they won’t feel heavy even when they’re large and chunky as they don’t absorb water.
Still, they aren’t built for the specific kinds of challenges you would face as an angler. It is, therefore, best if you simply opt for any of the quality shoes.
Do I have to wear fishing shoes while on a boat?
There are those that think their feet are absolutely safe whenever they go behind the deck to fish.
While boats already have non-skid surfaces in order to prevent passengers from slipping, there’s still a need to wear sandals specifically for fishing as they can protect your feet from different kinds of danger.
Should you choose to go fishing barefoot, it won’t be long until you sustain foot injuries.
Can I use my trekking shoes for fishing?
Most people think that because hiking and trekking are outdoor activities, trekking or hiking shoes are suitable to wear when fishing. This isn’t exactly the case.
Hiking books will offer structural support which you need when you fish. They also have a good grip, plus most of them are insulated which means your feet won’t get cold. Fishing sandals, however, are still what we recommend.
You would need proper arch support, waterproofing, breathability, and quality cushioning to have the best fishing experience possible.
Fishing can offer anglers a challenging dilemma, particularly with footwear. The weather can shift all of a sudden while you’re on a boat. On a dock, slippery conditions call for stability and making sure your feet are secure to reel in fish.
To ensure you get the most value from your purchase, we suggest you stick with the Columbia Drainmaker IV. It offers exceptional features which are sure to make your day on the water fun, comfortable, and more importantly, safe.
But, no matter which pair you end up with, you’re sure to get one that’s well-made and high-performing if you choose from our list of reviews.