Best Wading Boots for Fly Fishing

Geoff Stadnyk in Fishing Accessories on

Fly fishing is an art, and if you love to fly fish, you have put many hours into learning the craft of fishing in this manner. You should make sure that you never head out to enjoy your favorite activity without the the best wading boots for fly fishing. All the skills in the world will not make up for a day spent trying to cast with the wrong equipment for the activity.

If you have been wanting to upgrade your wading boots, you might have found that there are many boots on the market. It can be bewildering to pick the right ones for your needs! We made this guide to help you to find the best wading boots for fly fishing. For fly fishing vest and fly fishing reels, read here.

Table of Contents

These are the best wading boots for fly fishing that you can find on the market and you will be able to locate the perfect pair for your needs when you use this guide to help you to shop.

Best Premium Wading Boots

This is a great wading boot to select if you want a lightweight boot that feels sturdy and comfortable all day.

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Your feet will not get tired or sore due to the EVA midsole and you will love how easy it is to attach studs if you feel that you need them. These are really nice boots for a great price, and they can offer you all-day comfort if you are planning to traverse a lot of miles while you are fishing.

If you want to have a hiking-style wading boot that is easy to get on and off, this is the right choice for your needs. You will love how simple these boots are to fit and you will be pleased with how easily they dry out. These wading boots will be unlikely to cause blisters and other discomforts as you use them for long days of fishing fun. Make them your best wading boots for fly fishing.

Fit can be a little challenging for these boots when shopping online, but most people find that sizing up two sizes will allow you to use your wading socks with comfort. These boots can run a little narrow, which makes them the rare boot that will fit a very narrow foot with ease and comfort.

This is a really nice pair of wading boots that will keep you comfortable at all times while you walk through rivers and streams looking for your next great catch!

What We Like
- Quick-Drying
- Hiking style laces and fit
- Attractive and easy to put on and take off
- Abrasion-resistant protection in high wear zones
- Strong yet light
- EVA midsole provides comfort all day
- Accepts Studs
Know Before Buying
- Buy two sizes up as they run small
- Require cleats for slippery surfaces
- Must be returned quickly if they do not fit
- Can be narrow for some feet
- Might not be able to fit wading socks with some sizing choices

Best Felt Wading Boots

These are great wading boots from a well-known brand. They offer superior support and their wide and flat soles will allow you to balance in even the toughest current or rockiest location.

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They are made to withstand many hours of hiking and wading during a busy day of fly fishing and the speed laces lock will make you really happy that you do not have to lace them up by hand.

These boots offer great quality and superior construction that will hold up to lots of walking and lots of tough terrain. They are lightweight and can be easily cleaned and cared for after you are done with your fishing trip.

This is a great flat-soled wading boot that offers a lot of extra space within the boot for your wading socks. Many users report that their solid traction has saved them from taking a tumble into an icy-cold river. Being able to balance on slippery rocks with secure footing can make it possible to get into tough locations to chase after some really good fish.

If you want to have superior comfort and support for your felt wading boots, this is the right boot to choose. It could even be the best wading boots for fly fishing that you will ever enjoy. Most felt boots are not going to offer you the stability and comfort of this pair of boots and you will be pleased when you see how secure and nimble your feet feel with these wading boots on your side.

What We Like
- Padded ankle collar
- Wide for support and stability
- Speed laces with locking lace clip
- 100% PVC
- Great price point
- Soles are comfortable and durable
- Easy to put on and take off
- Very functional design
- Easy to clean and store
- Lightweight and comfortable
Know Before Buying
- Less sturdy than some boots
- Run large
- A little heavy when compared to some brands
- Can be a little wide for some people’s feet
- Seams can be a trouble spot for rips
- Might need cleats for added security on tough terrain

Best Mid-Range Wading Boots

These are very sturdy wading boots that are offered at a great price. You will enjoy how protected and secure your feet feel as you wear these boots.

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They might be a bit heavier than some brands, but they offer great protection against sticks, sharp rocks, and other items that might harm your feet while wading.

These boots can be a little stiff at first, but they break in readily and you will find that the rubber bottom sole is very helpful in all kinds of treacherous terrain. There is a lot of room inside of these wading boots for your wading socks and the fit will not suffer for adding your wading socks to the mix.

You might want to avoid hiking long distances in these boots at first. They will take a bit to break in, but once they are broken in, you will be comfortable walking much longer distances in these than you have in other wading boots that you have owned.

This is a durable boot that will hold up to some use and abuse. Best of all, you will be able to pick this boot up for a reasonable price and they make it possible for you to get started enjoying your next fly fishing adventure right away! If you want to avoid paying a really high price for your wading boots but you still want quality, this is the boot for you! What are you waiting for to make it your very best wading boots for fly fishing?

What We Like
- Neoprene lining for easy on and off
- Laces for up quite high for superior ankle support
- Traction soles for good grip on slippery rocks
- Rubber toe cap adds protection for your feet
- Durable and comfortable
- Good price point
- Felt is tough and durable
Know Before Buying
- Sizing a bit hard to sort out online
- Run large
- A bit bulky and stiff
- Sole can be tough to break-in
- Not ideal for long hikes
- Need studs for the toughest terrain
- Can take a while to dry out

Best Zip-Up Wading Shoes

This is the right style of wading boot if you want to wear lightweight wading footwear that will hold up to tough challenges.

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This is a great selection to make if you want to use your wading boots barefoot and you will find that the boots drain off water readily and with no hindrance to your comfort.

The sole support is not enough for some people, and you might want to add an arch support if you are going to be walking or standing for a long period in these. You will still love the toe protection and the lack of weight as you traverse streams and rocky river beds. You can also use these wading boots with waders and some people use them over hiking sandals for some added protection when fishing in shallow or rocky streams.

Make sure to check the sizing and buy one size too small for your usual sizing needs. You might want to be careful with the zipper as well to avoid breaking it or fatiguing the fabric near the zipper insert. The Velcro strap that secures these wading boots will not rub and you will enjoy the easy-to-use and easy to care for simplicity of these wading boots.

This is a really comfortable and useful wading boot that will hold up to lots of use and many challenges.

What We Like
- High-quality brand that is well-known
- 3.5mm neoprene upper
- Cuff adjustment
- Durable zipper
- Rubber outsole
- Good toe protection
- Durable
- Quality materials
- Very lightweight
- Easy to fit and use
Know Before Buying
- Runs large
- Might need to insert an arch support
- Slick on some surfaces
- Soles can be a bit thin for some people
- Zipper stopper would be nice to add to the design
- Can be a little cold
- Will be full of water once you get out, but will drain fast

Best Interchangeable Wading Boots

These are a really great boot design if you are tired of having to invest in more than one boot for different fishing needs.

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If you do not want to have to make allowances for variable terrain, these are the right boots for you to invest in. You will get the benefit of having rubber and felt soles when you invest in these boots.

Being able to tailor your boots to your environment is a huge plus with these boots and you will love their comfort and support. They are easy to put on and take off and you will find that changing out the soles is easier than you thought as well.

These boots can run a little small and some wearers say that they also run a little narrow. You will enjoy how well they drain as well as the easy-to-use functionality of every part of these wading boots. They lean more toward mesh construction than leather, which makes them very easy to use even in the strongest of currents.

These boots do suffer from some quality complaints as far as durability and less-than-ideal craftsmanship here and there, but they are overall a really great product that stands up to tough terrain and is a comfortable and effective hiking style boot with a unique sole feature that you will not find anywhere else.

What We Like
- Great traction
- Quick Cinch Laces
- Fast Drying
- Hydrophobic materials
- Internal drainage
- Durable
- Abrasion resistant
- Easy to change out sole system
- Felt or rubber soles
- Easy to break-in
Know Before Buying
- Putting soles on can take some practice
- Can run a little small
- Can provide less traction than expected
- Rubber bottoms could be higher quality
- Rubber soles can be a little soft
- Mesh might feel cheap to some people
- Heel lift annoys some wearers

Best Women’s Wading Boot

This is a really great wading boot for women who do not want to have to wear men’s wading boots for their fishing trip.

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Many companies make their wading shoes and boots unisex for efficiency, so having access to a boot that is made just for women can be a nice change of pace for some women. You will be so glad to be sure of your sizing when you order this pair of boots!

If you have narrow feet and you are worried about sizing, you should be able to just buy one size larger than your usual shoe size. These boots often fit exactly as expected, and they will dry readily and be easy to care for. No more struggling to make sure that your wading boots have dried thoroughly when you are done with them!

Lightweight wading boots do not have to be lacking in durability. You will find that the lightweight nature of this pair of wading boots is well worth it. It is always easier to walk many miles if you are wearing lightweight, yet sturdy wading boots.

These offer a supportive fit that cannot be duplicated with a men’s shoe that you are wearing as a woman. You will really enjoy the ankle support, quality materials, and women’s sizing that these wading boots have to offer. These are practical wading boots that will hold up to your needs, no matter how challenging or how easy they might be.

What We Like
- Lightweight
- Ripstop inserts
- Durable
- Quick-drying Clarino microfiber
- Abrasion resistant
- EVA midsole for long-term comfort
- Woven laces
- Not bulky or heavy
- Great over slippery terrain
Know Before Buying
- Runs small
- Very light
- Styling is a little boring
- Might be a little bit restrictive if you do not need lots of ankle support
- Can be a little lightweight for some wearers
- Arch support can be a little high for some people

How to Pick the Best Wading Boots for Fly Fishing

There are many styles of wading boots on the market and you should know what the benefits and features of each style are in order to obtain the best wading boots for fly fishing. Here are some factors that you should consider when you are shopping for your next wading boots:

Rubber Soles

Some of the best wading boots for fly fishing are made with rubber soles which provide superior grip. They can give you a lot of traction on muddy river bottoms or slippery rocks. These wading boots will tend to be heavier but they will offer up a lot of comfort for your long day of walking and standing on tough terrain.

Felt Soles

Felt soles are really ideal when purchasing the best wading boots for fly fishing activities because they will offer you the ability to flex your foot as you traverse slippery rocks and other tough terrains. They will not offer you as much cushion for the bottom of your feet, but you will appreciate their ability to grip the landscape that you are walking on and their warmth when compared to rubber-soled wading boots.


The best wading boots for fly fishing that you can invest in is one that is not waterproof or water-resistant. The best wading boots for fly fishing will allow water to pass through them so that they do not become heavy or saturated with water. Most wading boots are made of synthetic leathers and microfibers that don’t absorb water. They are also usually made with drainage holes in key areas to allow for water to pass through the boots without becoming trapped.

Ankle Support

When you are fly fishing, you will need to be able to traverse a lot of tough terrain. You will need the best wading boots for fly fishing in order to hold up to this kind of work and to support your ankles and feet as you walk and navigate the beds of streams and rivers. You will need to make sure that the heel of the wading boot is made to keep your foot in place as you walk and to make sure that your toes will be able to grip as you walk.


The best wading boots for fly fishing usually cost somewhere between $75 and $200. No matter how often you plan to use your wading boots, you will want to invest in quality boots that will offer you comfort and durability that will make your day of wading pleasant.

Lacing Arrangement


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Most of the best wading boots for fly fishing may be laced up in various ways. You could have a traditional hiking boot style lacing arrangement or you might have Velcro closures on your wading boots. Some of the lighter-weight wading boots have a side zipper that allows you to get them on and off easily. Full laces will always provide more support for your ankles than the other styles of wading boots.


How Can I Properly Maintain my Wading Boots?

Before you leave the stream for the day, make sure that you rub your boots against one another to scrub off the worst of the mud and remove any invasive items that are on the boots. Disinfect your boots by submerging them in hot water for at least three minutes. Of course, this helps keep them your best wading boots for fly fishing.

Scrub off any mud or other matter that does not want to come off after soaking the boots. Make sure that your boots dry thoroughly before you put them away. Consider storing them in a sunny location to ward off bacterial and other kinds of growth. Afterall, the constant maintenance of your best wading boots for fly fishing will always pay off.

What Size Wading Boots do I Need?

To get the best wading boots for fly fishing, always obtain one size up from a standard hiking boot. The extra space gives you room to fit wading socks into the boots. Wading socks are thick enough to protect your feet from getting rubbed by your boots and to keep them somewhat warmer when you are walking through cold water. Adding this additional room to your boots will make it much more comfortable to wear your wading socks.

What Are Studs Used For on a Wading Boot?

Studs are normally found on the best wading boots for fly fishing. They are used to help with traction. These little additions to your wading boot soles can make sure that you will not slip or fall when traversing tough terrain. They are not always needed, but they come in very handy when you are walking over tough surfaces that might cause you to fall.

What Kind of Socks Should I Wear With My Wading Boots?

best wading boots for fly fishing

Never wear cotton socks with your waders. They will soak up water and get very cold as well as being likely to cause blisters and rubs on your feet. Always pair the best wading boots for fly fishing with neoprene wading socks when you head out to fish.

Picking the Best Wading Boots for Fly Fishing Does Not Have to be Hard

If you have gotten tired of trying to find the best wading boots for fly fishing and being unable to locate just what you need, this list will get you on the right path! All of the wading boots on this list are quality items that will hold up to the tests of time and many miles of walking and fishing.

Stop compromising on the comfort and fit of your wading boots and get one pair of the best wading boots for fly fishing on this list!

Geoff Stadnyk

Geoff started fishing as a child in the gorgeous lakes of Mammoth, while on family vacations. His fishing experience includes the use of fly rod and reel. Guided trips along the Madison and Gallatin rivers in Montana, the Frying Pan and Animus in Colorado, and the Deschutes river in Oregon have all paid off and helped make Geoff the angler and writer that he is today.

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