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Which fishing boots are best?

No matter where you fish, you’ll be around water, be it a pond, peaceful stream, fast-moving river or the ocean. And no matter what you’re fishing for, you’re going to need a good pair of fishing boots. Whatever style you choose, your boots should be comfortable and provide good support and excellent traction while standing up to the elements.

Fishing is more enjoyable when you have a good fishing hat and fishing vest, but the one essential is a good pair of fishing boots. If you are looking for watertight waders with fishing boots built right in, take a look at the Runcl Chest Fishing Waders with Boots.

What to know before you buy fishing boots

Work boots are made for people whose work or recreation calls for footwear that protects them from injury. Rain boots are made to keep people’s feet dry. Fishing boots are made to do three things: protect your feet from injury, keep them dry and provide great traction in wet conditions.

Rain boots

Also called muck boots, rubber boots and Wellingtons, these boots come in mid-calf and knee-high versions and are fully waterproof. They’re great to wear when the water is calm and the river or lake bed is mud. 


Waders look like rubberized bib overalls. They are waterproof and designed to keep fishers dry when standing in water that is waist- and even chest-deep.

  • Bootfoot waders have the boots built right into what is essentially a chest-high wetsuit. This seamless construction keeps your feet dry.

  • Stockingfoot waders are wetsuits that have built-in socks that keep your feet dry, but no boots. Boots to wear with them should either be the kind that keep water out completely or those with mesh panels that let the water in and drain it away quickly.

Wading boots

They look like the kind of boots you wear when cutting firewood or hiking up into the hills. Wading boots are waterproof and a bit more than ankle-high. They lace up and have thick soles that protect your feet from injury from sharp objects, underwater obstacles and coral reefs.

Ankle deck boots

When you are fishing from the deck of a boat, you want a waterproof boot designed to provide outstanding traction on slippery decks without scuffing or scraping the deck. 

Flats boots

These are lightweight, lace-up sneakers with special outsoles made for sneaking up on wary bonefish in shallow tidal flats. Some are waterproof and others are made with mesh sides that let water in but drain it away quickly.

What to look for in quality fishing boots


The right sole for you depends on where you plan to use your boots.

  • Mud: If you plan on wading around a muddy lake bottom, get a sole with a tread that won’t slip in the muck and slime.
  • Rocks: If you’re surf casting from a rocky shore, choose a sole made for good traction on rough terrain.
  • Deck: If you’re fishing from a boat, opt for boots that won’t skid or slip on a smooth, wet deck or harm the deck in any way.


Look for several characteristics in your innersoles.

  • Materials: Foams, gels and combinations of the two are designed to cushion your feet and distribute your weight properly, improving your balance.

  • Support: The longer you are on your feet, the more you appreciate a comfortable insole padded in the right spots.

  • Washable: You can wash your innersoles after wearing just as you would a pair of socks, so look for innersoles that are not only washable, but easy to remove and replace, too. 

How much you can expect to spend on fishing boots

Flats fishing boots cost $20-$80. Rubber boots run $35-$150. Ankle deck boots are $50-$150, and waders and wading boots go for $50-$250.

Fishing boots FAQ

Is it possible to keep your feet entirely dry when wearing fishing boots?

A. Yes, if you buy boots made of fully waterproof materials, wear them properly and don’t exceed their limits. Most fishers get their feet wet because their boots aren’t tall enough for their fishing conditions or they step into deep holes.

Do I need fishing boots with waders?

A. You won’t if you buy bootfoot waders, the ones with the boots built in. But you will if you buy stockingfoot waders, the ones with built-in waterproof socks that keep your feet dry while wearing the boots of your choosing. 

What are the best fishing boots to buy?

Top fishing boots

Best Runcl Chest Fishing Waders with Boots

Runcl Chest Fishing Waders with Boots

What you need to know: These watertight waders have a non-slip boot built in.

What you’ll love: The outer layer is reinforced nylon and the inner layer is made of ripstop polyvinyl chloride, or PVC. All internal seams are glued and stitched with extra wide seam-seal tape for complete watertight reliability while maintaining maximum breathability. The waterproof bib has high sides, a drawstring top and a zippered chest pocket for keys and valuables.

What you should consider: The boots are too narrow for some.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top fishing boots for the money

Best Froggs Toggs Men’s Hellbender Fishing Wading Boot

Froggs Toggs Men’s Hellbender Fishing Wading Boot

What you need to know: You’ll wade through lakes and across streams without having to worry about jagged rock edges. 

What you’ll love: This thick-soled lightweight PVC boot with polyurethane midsole has mesh panels for quickly draining water away. This boot is made on a wide last for support and stability. It  has sturdy heel and toe protection and secures with a heavy-duty riveted lacing system with an interlocking lace clip 

What you should consider: These boots come without insoles.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Best Xtratuf Men’s 6-Inch Ankle Deck Boot

Xtratuf Men’s 6-Inch Ankle Deck Boot

What you need to know: The chevron shape of the slip-resistant outsole provides excellent traction and won’t leave scuff marks on the deck. 

What you’ll love: The breathable mesh liner wicks, dries and cools from the inside out. The removable soft innersoles add extra comfort and support. You can slip these deck boots on and off quickly with the large front and rear pull tabs.

What you should consider: You’ll need to order a size up from your regular shoe size.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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David Allan Van writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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