A good wading boot is priceless. In this wader boots review we give you the best fly fishing boots of the year.
Wading boots literally makes you stand on solid ground. No matter whether you go for a rubber sole, a felt sole or one of these choices combined with studs, a quality fly fishing boot is always a good investment.
The best wading boots provide you with a level of safety that is a prerequisite to enjoy your day at the water. It can prevent you from slipping and it can make you reach places a pair of bad wading shoes won’t. In this guide we’ll give you an overview of the best options. We will also explain what you should look for in general when buying a new pair of wading shoes: material, sole and fit. Let’s go.
The Best Wading Boots on the Market in Fall 2020
In this wader boots review we’ll give you our top choices from several categories so you can choose the product that suits you best.
The Simms Freestone Wading Boots is an excellent wading boot for the money. The American manufacturer Simms its well known for the durability of its products. Synthetic leather and rubber toe caps guarantee scratch resistance.
A dual-density midsole provides extra comfort for long days of wading and walking. A wide opening ensures you can put the Simms Freestone on easily and take them off without breaking your leg.
The Simms Freestone Wading Shoes come with a rubber sole. You can also get them with felt soles and cleats if you need extra stability. Simms offers a great warranty so you will always be happy with your product.
The Patagonia Danner Foot Tractor are our favorites in this wader boots review when it comes to traction. The Foot Tractor system made from Aluminum bars is just supreme when it comes to slippery river beds.
The Patagonia Danner Foot Tractor where built in cooperation with the American hiking boot specialist Danner. The comfort of these boots is simply amazing and you can feel the superior built quality.
Yes, the Patagonia Danner Foot Tractor are expensive but they will last you a long time and Patagonia gives you the opportunity to resole. If you think the cleats are not for you, you can get these fly fishing boots with a rubber Vibram sole or felt sole.
Portland-based Korkers has innovated fly fishing boots over the last years. They solve the tricky question of different soles in wading shoes. The Korkers Devil’s Canyon feature their unique sole system as well.
The Korkers Devil’s Canyon comes with plain kling-on soles and an extra pair of studded kling-on soles for days when you need an extra bit of stability when wading.
The Devil’s Canyon feature Korker’s Boa quick lacing system which makes putting them on and taking them off really easy. Heavy rubber toe caps provide extra abrasion resistance. If you are into felt soles check out the Korkers Greenback Wading Boot with Felt & Kling-On Soles.
The American manufacturer Orvis has been in the fly fishing business for decades and known to make some of the best fly fishing gear in the industry. Their Orvis Men’s Ultralight is no exception to this rule.
The Orvis Men’s Ultralight is our wader boots review top choice in the lightweight category. The lower shaft gives the Ultralight Wading boots the feeling of hiking shoes. You can comfortably wear them all day.
The Orvis Men’s Ultralight feature a Vibram sole and still come in at only 40oz (1.14kg)/pair. You can add studs for extra stability. The Orvis Ultralight are a great choice for trips when you have to keep the weight of your gear low.
The Chota Outdoor Gear Wading Boots is our go-to boot in this wader boots review when it comes to low-cut wading boots. The lower shaft reduces the weight of the boot, similar to the Orvis Ultralight.
The Chota Outdoor Gear features a quick lacing system and an innovative system with removable insoles. This means you can use the Chota fly fishing boots with sock foot waders or leave the insoles in when wading wet, for example in summer.
Reinforced heels and toes will make the Chota Outdoor Gear Wading Boots last a long time. At around $120 these low weight wading shoes provide great value for money.
When it comes to wading on slippery surfaces some fly fishermen would argue that nothing beats a felt sole. So if you know you’ll often face situations like that, the Orvis Encounter Wading Boots Felt Sole is an excellent choice for you.
Coming in at under $100 the Orvis Encounter Felt Sole has all the features you are looking for in the best wading boots. A reinforced rubber toe cap and a loop on the back of the boot for easy access.
The Frogg Toggs Men’s Anura Wading Shoe is our best budget wading boot. Coming in well below $100 it has everything you are looking for in the best wading boots.
With the Frogg Toggs Men’s Anura Wading Shoe you can choose between a felt sole and a rubber sole with the option of studs. A rubber toe cap provides extra abrasion resistance.
The Frogg Toggs Men’s Anura Wading Shoe also features a padded collar around your ankles for extra comfort. The combination of leather and cordura ensures the Frogg Toggs fly fishing boots dry quickly.
Wading boots are one of the most important pieces of your gear to have fun at the water. Furthermore, they provide stability in all situations and are hence crucial for your safety when wading. It’s worth to invest a bit of money into a quality pair of wading shoes. You can’t to wrong with any of the fishing boots we reviewed above. Here are a few things to pay attention to when choosing your fly fishing boots.
Sole of a Wading Boot – Felt vs. Rubber Soles
The general question you have to answer first is: felt sole or rubber sole. In fact you don’t have to answer that question if you go for the Korkers with their interchangeable sole system.
Generally speaking rubber soles give you extra comfort when you do a bit of walking getting to and from your fishing location. Felt soles on the other hand are the better option on slippery surfaces such as river beds with rocks covered with algae.
No matter whether you opt for felt soles or rubber soles you can always add cleats/studs to your wading boots. They provide extra traction and stability. The only downside of them is that you have to be careful off the river, for example when walking into a fly store.
The shape and built of your wading boots has an influence on its weight. If you prefer a really light boot you should go for one with a lower shaft such as the Orvis Women’s Ultralight Wading Boot. If you want increased stability and sturdiness a product such as the Simms Women’s Freestone is the way to go. They are basically indestructible and will last you for years.
Taking Care of your Wading Boots
The most important thing to make your wading boots last longer is to dry them properly after every use. Make sure they are completely dry before storing them for longer periods. If they are still wet they can mould.
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