Best Fishing Shoes – Our 5 Recommendations (2021)

Footwear Gear

Finding a reliable pair of fishing shoes is really important – In addition to protecting your feet, they will also keep you safe and comfortable on long fishing trips. Like a good fishing watch, a pair of quality fishing shoes can make your experience much easier.

The question is: which are the best fishing shoes? How can you find the best ones, and which features should you be looking for? What are the different types, and how can you determine which one is best for you? We’ll answer all those questions, and give you our top 5 recommendations.

The bottom line up front: We like the Columbia Men's Bahama Vent PFG Boat Shoe. They’re stylish, have excellent grip, drain really well, and have good cushioning to keep your feet comfortable all day.

We also like:

We’ll be looking at:

  • More details on what fishing shoes are
  • Which features you should look out for
  • Our top 5 picks, including their key features, pros, and cons
  • Some frequently asked questions
  • More about our top picks and why we like them so much

Let’s start by looking at the best fishing shoes compared.

The Best Fishing Shoes Compared

Feature
Most Versatile
Most Stylish
Best Fishing Boots
Easiest to Wear
Good All-Rounder
Model
DLGJPA Men's Lightweight Quick Drying Aqua Shoes
Columbia Men's Bahama Ven PFG Boat Shoe
Columbia Men's Bahama Vent PFG Boat Shoe
HUK Men's Brewster Slip-On Fishing and Deck Shoes
Columbia Men's Low Drag PFG Boat Shoe
DLGJPA Men's Quick Drying Water Shoes for Beach or Water Sports Lightweight Slip On Walking Shoes
Columbia mens Bahama Vent Pfg Boat Shoe, Kettle/Tippet, 11 US
HUK Rogue Wave Shoe | High-Performance Fishing & Deck Boot, Grey, 10
HUK Brewster Slip On Shoe | Wet Traction Fishing & Deck Shoes, Gray, 9
Columbia mens Low Drag Pfg Sneaker, Collegiate Navy/Tangy Orange, 11.5 US
Style
Sneaker
Deck shoe
Boot
Deck shoe
Deck shoe/sneaker
Materials
Mesh, rubber
Canvas, rubber
Polyester, neoprene/rubber
Nylon
Mesh, leather
13,166 Reviews
2,126 Reviews
807 Reviews
340 Reviews
408 Reviews
Feature
Most Versatile
Model
DLGJPA Men's Lightweight Quick Drying Aqua Shoes
DLGJPA Men's Quick Drying Water Shoes for Beach or Water Sports Lightweight Slip On Walking Shoes
Style
Sneaker
Materials
Mesh, rubber
13,166 Reviews
Feature
Most Stylish
Model
Columbia Men's Bahama Ven PFG Boat Shoe
Columbia mens Bahama Vent Pfg Boat Shoe, Kettle/Tippet, 11 US
Style
Deck shoe
Materials
Canvas, rubber
2,126 Reviews
Feature
Best Fishing Boots
Model
Columbia Men's Bahama Vent PFG Boat Shoe
HUK Rogue Wave Shoe | High-Performance Fishing & Deck Boot, Grey, 10
Style
Boot
Materials
Polyester, neoprene/rubber
807 Reviews
Feature
Easiest to Wear
Model
HUK Men's Brewster Slip-On Fishing and Deck Shoes
HUK Brewster Slip On Shoe | Wet Traction Fishing & Deck Shoes, Gray, 9
Style
Deck shoe
Materials
Nylon
340 Reviews
Feature
Good All-Rounder
Model
Columbia Men's Low Drag PFG Boat Shoe
Columbia mens Low Drag Pfg Sneaker, Collegiate Navy/Tangy Orange, 11.5 US
Style
Deck shoe/sneaker
Materials
Mesh, leather
408 Reviews

What Are Fishing Shoes?

Close up of industry steel staircase with yellow anti slip plate with safety shoe step on the tread.

Fishing shoes are lightweight, breathable and can grip well, even when they are wet. They will prevent you from slipping and are easy to drain, meaning they will dry quickly.

Fishing shoes should be durable enough that they can be exposed to the elements repeatedly without breaking down.

What to Look for in Fishing Shoes

Let’s take a look at the key features you should be looking for in fishing shoes:

Durability

single-runner-running-rain-making-splash

Durability is an essential component. Fishing shoes will constantly be exposed to water. You may find regular shoes cannot withstand that kind of wear and tear.

Look for shoes with stitched soles rather than glued soles. Glue, when repeatedly exposed to water, won’t support the shoe compared to strong stitches. You should also look for shoes with the tongue firmly attached to the sides to stop sand from entering.  Sand will eventually wear away at the shoes from the inside.

Additionally, you should also look for a strong toe area, this is an area that can develop holes quickly.

Comfort

Fishing boots for wading in the river

If you want to enjoy fishing for an entire day, you’ll need a pair of comfortable shoes. So if you’re fishing in warm weather, look for shoes with great ventilation to stop your feet from overheating. If you’re fishing in cold weather, look for insulated fishing shoes or boots to keep your feet from getting wet. It’s crucial to stay warm and safe when fishing in the winter.

Ultimately, you want to find a shoe that is lightweight. When a regular pair of shoes is waterlogged, they will become heavy fast, and that’s going to tire you out pretty quickly. 

As is the case with any other shoe, you  also want to look for something with suitable ankle support. This is especially important in fishing because you may be standing on uneven ground, and when you’re walking through water, you’ll need a shoe that will maintain a firm and secure grip around your ankles to prevent any accidental injuries.

If you want something with optimal comfort, look for a shoe with extra cushioning.

Grip

A close-up of the outsole is wear-resistant. Boots for hunters and tourists.

Grip is important as you’ll undoubtedly be walking across some slippery surfaces. Look for shoes with a rubber sole, as this will help you maintain your balance no matter what. You can also look for studded soles for excellent traction.

Design

Blue water shoes isolated on white background

There are different types of fishing shoes, including:

  • Water shoes (designed for wading)
  • Fishing boots (good for cold weather)
  • Deck shoes (great for fishing on a boat)
  • Fishing sandals (ideal for warm weather)
  • Slip-on fishing shoes (can be slipped on and off easily)
  • Sneaker-style fishing shoes (comfortable and cushioned)

The style that you choose will depend on two things: the climate you’re in, and the activity you’ll be doing. Deck shoes look smart and stylish, so they’re ideal for a boat trip; whereas if you’re fishing in the depths of winter, you’ll need a warm, insulated fishing boot.

Materials

Drops of water on black leather shoes

Fishing shoes are made from different materials:

  • Leather – leather fishing shoes tend to be treated to make them extra waterproof. They’re designed to look good and stay dry.
  • Mesh – these are ideal for wading, and they’re super lightweight and breathable. They drain really fast, so they’re ideal for beach fishing.
  • Canvas – these are lightweight and look stylish, and they’re comfortable to wear. Deck shoes tend to be made from canvas.
  • Neoprene – this is waterproof and insulated, making them an ideal material for winter fishing boots.

The soles of fishing shoes tend to be made from rubber as this provides excellent grip.

Water Draining

It’s important to find shoes that drain quickly to prevent your feet from feeling wet for the remainder of the day. Look for a shoe that has a breathable mesh upper area, and vents in the sole to help drain away any excess water.

Top 5 Fishing Shoes

Let’s take a look at our top 5 fishing shoes. We’ll share all the key features, what we like about them, and what we think could be improved.

DLGJPA Men’s Lightweight Quick Drying Aqua Shoe – Good All-Rounder

DLGJPA Men's Quick Drying Water Shoes for Beach or Water Sports Lightweight Slip On Walking Shoes

Key Features

  • Style: Sneaker
  • Materials: Mesh, rubber

The DLGJPA Men's Lightweight Quick Drying Aqua Shoes are a good option for all kinds of water-based activities, not just fishing, thanks to the fact they have good drainage. They dry very quickly, and they’re really lightweight, so they won’t feel heavy when wet.

They’re  comfortable to wear, which is due to the fact that they are both lightweight and exceptionally flexible. They grip closely to your feet when walking on uneven terrain, demonstrating their flexibility and supportive design. 

The downside is they are quite large in size, meaning they may get congested with mud and small stones.

The anti-slip rubber sole makes them a solid choice in terms of safety. They have excellent grip, and are reinforced in the toe area too, making them efficient and durable.

The drawstring cord makes them easy to put on and saves time. Plus, they come in a variety of colors, which is a nice addition for aesthetics.

Pros

  • Easy to wear
  • Comfortable
  • Drains quickly
  • Ideal for all kinds of water-based activities
  • Lots of colors available

Cons

  • Large drainage holes increase the chances of dragging excess mud
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Columbia Men’s Bahama Vent PFG Boat Shoe – Most Stylish

Columbia mens Bahama Vent Pfg Boat Shoe, Kettle/Tippet, 11 US

Key Features

  • Style: Boat shoe
  • Materials: Canvas, rubber

The Columbia Men's Bahama Vent PFG Boat Shoe is a stylish option if you’re interested in deck shoes (also known as Boat shoes that are typically canvas or leather made, and designed to use on a boat). They’re lightweight, meaning they won’t feel heavy when wet, and they have vents to help them drain quickly.

These are designed to get messy, as they have Columbia’s ‘Blood ‘n Guts’ Water and Stain-Resistant Treatment. This means they’ll be easy to clean, no matter the conditions. They also have Omni-GRIP soles that give you great traction on any type of terrain.

They’re also quite comfortable. They have cushioning for impact absorption so your feet won’t get easily fatigued. The downside: they’re not as durable as other shoes, and are better suited for boating rather than wading.

They come in a variety of colors and sizes, so you can find a pair to suit you. They also come in a ‘wide fit’ in certain sizes for extra comfort if you have wider feet.

Pros

  • Stylish
  • Comfortable
  • Vents for good draining
  • Traction is good
  • Easy to clean
  • Wide fit sizes available

Cons

  • May not be as durable as other fishing shoes
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HUK Men’s Rogue Wave Shoe – Best Fishing Boots

HUK Rogue Wave Shoe | High-Performance Fishing & Deck Boot, Grey, 10

Key Features

  • Style: Boot
  • Materials: Polyester, neoprene/rubber

The HUK Men's Rogue Wave Shoe is a comfortable, sturdy fishing boot that will keep you both warm and dry. They’re waterproof with micro-channel openings that won’t allow water to escape.

Their neoprene and rubber soles provide an excellent grip, regardless of how slippery the conditions may become. The soles are designed to grip in all directions, helping you to stay sturdy and upright.

They’re comfortable to wear, even for long periods of time, and are really easy to put on.

In terms of design, they’re quite stylish and provide 6 colors/patterns to choose from. However, you may encounter issues with sizing as they typically fit large, and unfortunately may not offer half sizes.

Pros

  • Stylish
  • Comfortable
  • Good draining
  • Excellent grip
  • Durable

Cons

  • Sizing runs large, and they may not offer half sizes
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HUK Men’s Brewster Slip-On Fishing and Deck Shoe – Easiest to Wear

HUK Brewster Slip On Shoe | Wet Traction Fishing & Deck Shoes, Gray, 9

Key Features

  • Style: Deck shoe
  • Materials: Nylon

The HUK Men's Brewster Slip-On Fishing and Deck Shoes are stylish, comfortable, and easy to wear. They have drainage ports that quickly drain water and they’re lightweight, even when wet.

They have Huk’s excellent grip, a specially designed tread pattern that allows for additional control when walking. You’ll stay balanced no matter what surface you’re treading on.

The best thing about these shoes is they are comfortable. With soft cushioning, they keep your feet happy all day, and thanks to the collapsible heel, they’re also easy to wear.

These deck shoes come in a variety of styles; however, the downside is they don’t produce many sizes – half sizes and wide fit are not offered.

Pros

  • Stylish
  • Easy to take on and off
  • Comfortable and lightweight
  • Excellent grip and drainage

Cons

  • Fewer sizes available – no half-sizes or wide fit
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Columbia Men’s Low Drag PFG Boat Shoe – Good All-Rounder

Columbia mens Low Drag Pfg Sneaker, Collegiate Navy/Tangy Orange, 11.5 US

Key Features

  • Style: Deck shoe/trainer
  • Sizes Available: 7-17
  • Materials: Mesh, leather

The Columbia Men's Low Drag PFG Boat Shoe is a good all-rounder. They’re described as deck shoes, but they look like sneakers. They have small drainage holes to stop them from getting overly waterlogged.

They have a great grip, with a specially designed wet-grip outsole to help you to stay balanced on slippery surfaces.

They’re lightweight and easy to wear, with a light midsole and cushioning around the ankle for comfort.

In terms of design, there are a few different colors and several sizes available; including half-sizes, however they do not provide any wide-fit sizes. It has Columbia’s ‘Blood ‘n Guts’ Water and Stain-Resistant Treatment, meaning you can easily clean them regardless of the conditions.

Pros

  • Nice mix of deck shoe/sneaker style fishing shoe
  • Good drainage
  • Grip is excellent
  • Several sizes available including half sizes
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • No wide fit is available
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Frequently Asked Questions

Before we settle on which fishing shoes are the best, let’s take a look at some frequently asked questions about fishing shoes:

Do I really need fishing shoes?

Adventure woman hiking in the mountain. View of hiking boots.

Ideally, yes. You need fishing shoes for several reasons, but it’s mainly down to the drainage and grip. 

Drainage is essential to consider because if your shoes get wet, they will quickly start to feel heavy and uncomfortable. Grip is important because you need to be able to hold your balance while walking on wet surfaces. 

Can you get kids’ fishing shoes?

Child standing in shallow water with nice red shoes

If you want to teach your kids to fish, you may find fishing shoes for them are hard to come by, so you’re better off looking for water shoes for kids if you’re fishing in warm weather. Water shoes drain easily and are comfortable and grippy, making them a good option to go for. (You can read more in this guide from Mother.ly on Beach Safety for Kids).

You can read more in our guide to the Best Water Shoes for Kids.

Can you recommend any other equipment for fishing?

blue cart on sandy beach against hotels and dark clouds in background. High quality photo

One thing we can recommend is a good beach fishing cart. This will make carrying your gear much easier. We can recommend the Mac Sports Collapsible Folding Outdoor Cart which is useful for all kinds of outdoor activities.

A black Coleman cooler sits on the floor in an apartment room, packed for a trip

We also recommend that you invest in a quality cooler. YETI or Pelican coolers are ideal, as they are sturdy and will retain ice for a long time. You could also try any kind of beach cooler, or a rotomolded cooler, to help keep any fish you catch nice and fresh.

Something along the lines of the Coleman Performance 40-Quart Wheeled Cooler as it’s nice and easy to transport.

A cooler is beneficial for keeping your lunch and drinks cold too – check out this guide on how to pack a cooler for more tips.

Do you have any more tips for staying safe and comfortable on a fishing trip?

man hold bottle of water looking aside at sunrise over the sea outdoors

It’s important to think about the environment and weather elements. Keeping warm and dry is important in the winter – make sure you pack enough layers when dealing with varying temperatures.

It’s also important to stay safe in the sun, by making sure you’re not out in direct sunlight on hot days for hours at a time. Seek shade, and make sure you bring a big water bottle to keep you hydrated.

To Sum Up … Which Fishing Shoes are the Best?

inted to fishing journey with fishing tackles and waterproof shoes on paper map background

The Columbia Men's Bahama Vent PFG Boat Shoe is a great choice if you’re after deck shoes. They’re comfortable, drain easily, and the grip is reliable. Plus they look smart, and are easy to clean.

If you want something better suited for hot weather, you could check out the DLGJPA Men's Lightweight Quick Drying Aqua Shoes. They drain well and dry easily, so you can dip in and out of the water without any issues.

We also recommend the HUK Men's Rogue Wave Shoe if you’re after fishing boots. They’re more suited to cold weather, and they’re pretty stylish as far as fishing boots go!

We hope this has helped you to find the best fishing shoes for you. If it has, please feel free to share this article online with your fellow fishing enthusiasts.

We’d also love to hear your recommendations – what fishing shoes do you wear? Is there a particular style you prefer? Leave us a comment below.