What are the best saltwater wading boots?
There is nothing that can end a day of fishing quicker than sore, wet feet. We want to spend as much time on the beach as possible and do so while remaining comfortable and safe. Rocky coasts can be treacherous, and we need boots that are going to allow us to navigate them confidently.
In this article, we will look at five models of wading boots that will give you to comfort, stability, and confidence to work those beaches more efficiently.
What are the best wading boots for saltwater fishing?
Here is a quick preview of my top choices. Below we are going to take a closer look at each one so please continue reading.
- Hodgman Neoprene Wade Shoe
- Caddis Neoprene Flats Wading Shoe
- NeoSport Premium Neoprene Boot
- Orvis Christmas Island Bootie
- Orvis Encounter
- Redington Skagit River
- Korkers WhiteHorse
- Adamsbuilt Gunnison River
Do I need a special pair of boots for saltwater fishing?
Before we start this post, I would like to answer a question that many people have: Do I need a special pair of boots for saltwater fishing? The simple answer is no. Yes, you can use the same pair of boots that you would use to go fly fishing and have no problems.
However, with that being said, I have found these boots to be cumbersome. This is due to the fact that they were designed for stability and traction. On the other hand, they do have their place especially when fishing around rocks or rocky coasts.
For that reason, in this post we are going to look at two different types of wading boots for saltwater fishing. Ones that you might use when fishing around sand, oyster beds, flats and ones that you might want to have when you need something more rugged.
8 Of The Best Wading Boots For Saltwater Fishing
Let’s dive right into this and take a look at some of this footwear.
Hodgman Neoprene Wade Shoe
To start our search for the best saltwater wading boots, let’s take a look at the Hodgman Neoprene Wade Shoe.
These shoes are made with a 3.5mm neoprene upper, meaning they are designed to keep your feet warm and dry. This pair is also equipped with a rubber lower and offers great toe protection.
What I like most about fishing with a good pair of wading shoes is they are lightweight and easy to put on. This pair is no except with the durable zipper located on the front simply slip them on and you are ready to go.
Bottom line if you are looking for something that is lightweight, and yet durable, you won’t be disappointed with the Hodgman Neoprene Wade Shoe.
Caddis Neoprene Flats Wading Shoe
Another good pair of saltwater wading shoes are the Caddis Neoprene Flats Wading Shoe.
Made with a neoprene upper and a ripple sole for great traction. When choosing a pair of wading boots many people get worried about the sole as some materials are prohibited in some bodies of water. You won’t have to worry about this pair because the ripple sole is legal in all states.
They are equipped with a comfortable insole which is a nice feature as these are designed to be worn barefoot.
Lastly, they can be wore comfortably over a good pair of stocking foot waders. In fact, if I had to recommend a pair of waders to go with this pair of shoes I would recommend the Caddis Neoprene Stocking Foot Wader.
NeoSport Premium Neoprene Boot
Many times when surf fishing, traction isn’t as important as keeping our feet warm. With that in mind, the next pair of booties were designed specifically to keep our toes warm. It is the NeoSport Premium Neoprene Boot.
These pair of booties are made from a durable 3mm neoprene that is designed to keep the water out so that our toes stay warm. One of the best features is the zipper. In fact, the zipper was specifically designed to act as a barrier keeping the cold water out and keep your warm. On top of that the seams are both glued and stitched.
Lastly, they are equipped with a good amount of traction.
Orvis Christmas Island Bootie
If you are looking for a premium pair of wading boots, you might want to check out the next on our list, the Orvis Christmas Island Bootie. This product is made from of airprene. Unlike neoprene which tends to keep water out, airprene allows the water to enter the shoe, but at the same time keeps sands, shells and mud out.
The best part about these pair of booties is that they are lightweight. In fact, they only 2 pounds. When surf fishing it is important to try to keep things as light as possible. After all, we don’t want to have to be dragging around bulky heavy footwear just to do a little fishing.
Lastly, they slip on quite easily and can be secured with a side zipper and a tab to protect the zipper from getting snagged.
Now that we have taken a look at some good shoes for wading saltwater flats, let’s take a look at some good saltwater wading boots when you need something more rugged.
Are you a beginner angler and yet still looking for the best boots? If so, the Orvis Encounter Wading Boot might be just what you are looking for.
This pair is a great option for the beginner angler who wants quality but is not quite yet ready to splurge for the top of the line. Make no mistake, these are not inferior boots and will hold up over several years of fishing trips.
These boots use a rubber Vibram sole with a dual durometer design which provides a flexible but sturdy gripping surface. This sole alone gives you excellent traction when wading through slick rocky bottom. If you feel the need to add a little extra traction these soles are compatible with several screw in studs.
We also like the protective rubber toe cap that helps protect the boot from tearing and also provides some impact and abrasion resistance. For anyone who has ever fished in muddy waters where it is difficult to see where you are sliding, this is an excellent feature.
The uppers are made from synthetic materials that will dry quickly when out of the water, and when paired with the rubber soles they help prevent the movement of aquatic species between water systems and also prevent the boots from deteriorating.
Like most wading boots, you will need to go a size larger to get a proper fit with your wading socks. Overall, these boots fit comfortably and are not too fatiguing when working around uneven rocky bottoms and the padded collar provides additional ankle support.
Redington Skagit River
Do the Redington Skagit River have what it takes to be categorized as the best wading boots for saltwater fishing? Let’s take an upclose look.
The first feature that I would like to highlight are the rubber soles. This sole provides a lot of traction on slick and algae covered bottoms. In the case that you need even more grip, these boots are compatible with some studs.
One of my favorite features is the neoprene lining on the inside of the boot and the mesh paneling on the outside. As you walk this mesh is designed in a way that it will dry out very quickly. This can help to prevent mold from growing in your favorite boots and in some cases it can help prevent funky smells too.
These boots feature plenty of padding and support around the ankle to help in the current and prevent rolled ankles when trying to maneuver around uneven surfaces and larger rocks. The rubber toe cap will also provide some extra impact and abrasion resistance and give a lot of support to the toes.
These boots also feature sturdy pull tabs on the boots tongue and back ankle and make these boots easy to put on as well as take off and cuts down on a lot of frustration.
The next on our list is the Korkers WhiteHorse.
This pair has a unique and effective lacing design where tightness is adjusted with a dial knob on the tongue of the shoe. This design gives you an even and consistent tightness throughout the foot which provides better support and stability. Whitehorse also provide extra support with an oversized rubber toe guard that helps cut down protect the toes from abrasions and impacts.
This is a great pair that feature quality stitching with durable materials that give you boots that are going to be able to take the rigors of wading surf fishing and give you a lot of use. They are also comfortable with their enhanced midsole design and padding around the ankle that helps keep your feet from fatiguing during the day.
This wading boot has several drainage ports with mesh material that allows quick water drainage, and when paired with the hydrophobic materials used in the design for the rest of the boot you get extremely quick drying wading boots.
These boots are interchangeable between rubber and felt soles to give you more options depending on the type of rocky bottom you will be wading through. We wish the rubber soles were stud compatible, but that is our only gripe with these wading boots.
Adamsbuilt Gunnison River
When looking for wading boots, support and comfort should be one of the deciding factors for you. With that in mind, the Adamsbuilt Gunnison River Wading Boot deliver in both categories.
These boots might be some of the most comfortable with the thickly padded insole that will also provide some extra protection to your feet. These boots also have reinforced toe and heel sections with an extra layer of rubber that helps protect those areas of the feet from abrasion and impact as well as protects the key stitching of the boots in these areas.
The rubber soles on these boots give you decent traction in most surf fishing settings, but with slick rocks and algae we would recommend investing in some studs, and these boots are compatible with most brands.
These boots are easy to get on and off with nylon pull tabs, and they also lace up tight and evenly. There is also ample mesh drainage ports situated in key areas of the boot to assist in removing water and expediting the drying process.
One of the biggest keys to successful fishing, specifically wade fishing, is having comfortable and well-supported feet. This can be accomplished with a quality pair of wading boots, and we have presented five boots that will give you the support and traction to fish comfortably and safely.
Now please share with us your experience, what have you found to be the best wading boots for saltwater fishing?