Best Wading Boots – Buyer’s Guide and In-Depth Reviews 2017
Walking through water puddles can be quite tough on your feet and shoes. Especially when you consider the fact that water is one of the toughest natural elements on earth. Sometimes it just cannot be avoided and you will need to pass through rivers or smaller dams. Fishermen usually have to go inside the water to get their fish of the hook or to ensure that the hook does not snag any underwater rock.
With the best wading boots, you should be capable of walking through puddles of water without effort. You will also be able to have longer lasting shoes, as normal boots might just deteriorate significantly in the water.
We have set out to find the best wading boots and show you how they could benefit you. These boots are not only designed for keeping your feet dry underwater, but they are also designed to allow you to walk on slippery stones without falling.
First off, you need to know that wading boots are available with two different outer soles. These soles both have their own characteristics and will have a huge impact on the way you wear them:
Felt Soles vs. Rubber Soles
1. Felt Soles
Felt soles are the grip-kings of wading boots, but they are banned in lakes and rivers in certain states in the US. Should you be able to buy a pair, you will notice that they offer almost perfect grip on slippery rocks and gravel, thus also making them a little more expensive. The felt-soled wading boots, do, however, wear thin much faster if you like walking outdoors often.
2. Rubber Soles
While rubber soles are also a little cheaper than their felt counterparts, they also offer a little more durability in terms of using them a lot. Rubber soles have developed significantly over the years and we have moved on from the traditional gumboot in Africa to more stylish designs. The rubber boot is also great on sandy surfaces for grip and will give you better grip in lush vegetation and river banks.
Now that you understand the difference in wading boot outer soles, there are still a few other features that you will need to take notice of, to ensure that you buy the best possible high-quality boot. The features we chose have been chosen for the value they provide and thus, we believe that they will also ensure quality.
Key Features to Look for in The Best Wading Boots
Most commonly the price is a factor and many people tend to only look for the boots which are waterproof, but this is fine if you might be a loggers, but for trekking through deeper rivers and waters, you might need to consider lifting your budget to make it easier to incorporate the most of these features:
We always put a lot of emphasis on value when we look at any boots and this is the same with wading boots. Having durable boots from high-quality materials will ensure that your boots never accidentally tear underwater from plants and stubborn trees.
Fly fishing experts will tell you that you need to be able to comfortably move quickly from place to place and heavy boots will not allow you to do this. A lightweight boot will allow you to move faster and also much more comfortable through the water.
3. Ankle Support
With slippery surfaces and especially slippery rocks, it is imperative that the boots offer you adequate support for your ankles. In rocky rivers, one slip could cause major harm and with broken or twisted ankles, your fishing experience will be over.
With water constantly seeping in and out of the shoe, the boot will need to have proper drainage. Without proper drainage, the boots will become heavy and thus your movement will be hindered significantly.
Flexibility in the upper part of your boot is also vital and this will allow you to move freely as well. Synthetic leather or microfibers could really help keep the boot flexible in the long run.
Once you have decided on the specific boot type, the features will be equally important and with these five features in your wading boot, fishing should be much more fun. These features will also add collectively to the durability, which, in return will make the shoe last significantly longer.
That said; let’s look at the top wading boots for 2017:
Top 5 Best Wading Boots Reviews 2017
1. Caddis Men's Taupe Felt Sole Wading Shoe
Designed from durable polyester, this boot features a durable felt sole to keep you on your feet on those slippery river rocks. The polyester design is extremely durable and even though it might be a little stiff, it will become more and more flexible over time.
The cushioned insole has been combined with a reinforced heel and toe cushioning system to enhance the comfort that the boot provides.
Once the boot has drained all the water, the insole will not become hard, but it might cause some internal slipping.To combat this, the lacing system has been lifted a little, thus allowing you to tie the boots securely and have non-slip fit
Furthermore, the shoe feature adequate ankle support and the polyester design will ensure that your ankles are protected. It is also worth noting that the shoes are half a size too big to accommodate people with larger feet and this should be taken into account when you purchase.
We highly recommend these boots in any wading conditions from fly fishing to working. The comfort and lightweight of the boot should help reduce the strain on your feet as well from being on them constantly.
- Lightweight and durable polyester design
- Perfect grip felt outer sole
- Reinforced toe and heel cushioning
- Strong lacing system
- Stiff polyester make the break in period longer
2. Redington Skagit River Wading Boot Sticky Rubber
The Redington Skagit River wading boot has been specifically made for slippery river conditions and will allow you to comfortably take on some of the most slippery river banks.
The boot is also great to use all over the world and in any US state. The boot also features a rubber outsole, but you will have the benefit of a rubber toe cap to reduce any chances of abrasions for prolonged wearing.
On the sides of the boot, mesh panels have been added. These mesh panels are added to make the draining process much more efficient and to reduce the weight of the shoe after a few water walking experiences.
Furthermore, a padded collar has been added to the ankle and when it is laced up the collar will help support the ankle, thus ensuring that your ankles do not take damage from accidentally slipping.
Finally, it is also worth noting that the boots are almost half a size oversized and that the inner cushioning is a little harder to get used to at first. This should wear down after a little walking to make the boot more comfortable.
- Perfect drainage
- Durable rubber sole
- Abrasion resistant
3. Korkers BuckSkin Wading Boot with Felt and Kling-On Outsoles
Nothing can resist nature quite as well as nature itself and the Korkers wading boot has been constructed from pure materials for more durability.
Not only does this add to the durability of the shoe, but it also makes the shoe lighter compared to many other designs. This boot features kling-on felt outsoles, which will ensure that you never slip on those slippery rocks.
While felt soles do wear thin much faster, with this boot, you will be able to interchange the different outsoles and to give them a break every now and again.
The enhanced midsole design will help the shoe mold to the shape of your feet, thus also making it more comfortable to wear, while the rubber toe cap will not only protect your toes, but it also makes the shoe abrasion resistant.
Finally, the hydrophobic upper materials will reduce the amount of water that is held back by the shoe, to allow them to dry faster. With perfect drainage, you could be in and out of the water constantly. We highly recommend this shoe for fly-fishing.
- Durable materials with perfect drainage
- Interchangeable sole system
- Perfect inner cushioning for comfort
- Abrasion resistant
- Best of the best wading boots
- Expensive, but provides longer lasting value
4. Chota Outdoor Gear Abrams Creek Felt Bottom Wading Boots
The Chota Outdoor Gear wading boot is a little heavier than most other wading boots, but it does feature a stronger and more durable synthetic leather construction.
This will also help with the drainage of the boot, while the felt outer sole will ensure that your feet can comfortably stick to almost any surface.
The inner padding has been made from a softer nylon material and this will not only provide adequate support for your ankles to help reduce any injuries, but your feet will also be kept warmer in colder conditions.
Furthermore, the instep riveted holes have been incorporated to improve the drainage in water and also allow the boot to get fresh air to dry it up faster.
Finally, the boot is one of the most affordable boots on the list and it also features a comfortable and cushioned midsole. This should mold to the shape of your feet over time and allow you to walk more comfortably. We highly recommend these boots to anglers and fishermen, the weight might be discouraging for fly- fishing.
- Really affordable
- Durable synthetic and nylon construction
- Padded ankle collar for more support
- Perfect drainage
- The boot is quite heavy
5. Orvis Encounter Wading Boot
The Orvis encounter rubber wading boot has been designed with style in mind and to not only give you comfort, but also multifunctional use.
Not only with this boot be great for wading conditions, but the durable synthetic materials will allow you to trek through lush vegetation and also swampy areas with ease.
The welted construction does feature multiple drainage areas and will also add to the durability, while the reinforce toe areas will help reduce any injuries from impact and also ensure that no abrasions ever occur. Furthermore, the boot features a padded ankle collar for adequate support and more comfort.
With the Vibram rubber sole, we highly recommend these boots for novice and intermediate anglers and we believe that the durability will also be great for multifunctional use in other areas of life.
- Relatively affordable
- Great drainage
- Extremely durable
- Abrasion resistant
- Stylishly designed
- Does take a while to dry completely