When the fishing season opens every fisherman checks for their equipment rods, reels, lines, baits lures, the tackle box and so on, to see if everything is ready to go. However, there is something the majority of us overlook a pair of boat shoes for fishing, to keep us glued to the deck and make sure no accidents happen while fishing and let’s admit it accidents happen to the best of us.
There are a wide variety of boat shoes you can buy in the market today from different shapes, and sizes and styles. However, all of them must have some similar qualities that make them perfect for the purpose, regardless of whether you are fishing from an actual boat or the dock. It is essential to invest in a good pair of quality boat shoes that will provide you tons of comfort and the right support while fishing. While you may think that choosing a boat shoe is not a difficult task, there are some things to know and consider before starting to shop for a pair of boat shoes.
In this guide, I will try to give you the knowledge on how to get the best boat shoes for fishing. There are some things you should consider before buying and I will list some of the best picks on the market.
The Top 10 Boat Shoes For Fishing
10. Under Armour Men’s Kilchis Sneaker
The first entry on this list is the Under Armour Men’s Kilchis Sneaker, which is a kind of sneaker as its name implies but it is specially built for hanging around the lake and the sea, fishing and other shore activities you may find yourself in. They have interesting qualities to make it attractive for fisherman, as they are beautiful, comfortable, drain and dry quickly and are pretty light as well, while they do not have the best arch and ankle support they are excellent.
The upper part of the Kilchis is an extremely durable, fast draining and quick-drying, on top of that they have synthetic overlays that are abrasion-resistant and there is a pull-on loop on the rear. The lacing is pretty traditional and the fixed bungee tension lacing makes it easy to slide the shoes on and off, however, they get untied very easily. The mesh construction of these shoes makes them extremely attractive and the breathability is excellent.
The outsole of these shoes is a Grippy J-Step one, and if you don’t already know these, these are one of the most durable and the best non-slip outsole made out of rubber. It will give you excellent traction on wet and smooth surfaces and it will deliver the most stable even when you are in the water.
9. Merrell Men’s J65243
The Merrell Men’s J65243 Water Shoes are one of the best shoes you can get for fishing, and for outdoors as well, as these shoes are designed to be extremely breathable, great midsole for comfort and support, quick-drying body, versatile design that will also be extremely attractive for watersports and hiking as well, and a lightweight design to fit your needs. These are some of the best you can get for fishing.
The biggest selling point fo these shoes is that they are extremely versatile, in fact, they are the most versatile of boat shoes you will find in the market. They look like a pair of hiking shoes in terms of design and looks, however, they are designed to be used around water and fishing in general. They are also extremely durable and rugged making it a proper outdoors shoe, and on top of that, they are extremely lightweight which also makes them very comfortable since their midsole offers also plenty of arch support, and ankle support is great as well.
They are made out of weather which is treated for waterproofing and it is also abrasion-resistant, you cannot go wrong with these. A nice bonus is the odor resistance treatment, making them extremely attractive.
8. Neo Sport Premium Neoprene
Next up we have the Neo Sport Premium Neoprene Boots, which are essentially wetsuit boots, but can be worn in any kind of activity and are a great pair of boat shoes that deliver amazing value for their price. On top of that, they can be used on mud, rocks, beach, lake, river and many different scenarios. These shoes are made out of a combination of interesting materials, synthetic, and neoprene, and they come in different thicknesses you can choose from, to suit the temperature of the water properly.
First off I have to say that these shoes are definitely not attractive and look hideous, however, they aren’t made to look good, they are glued and sewn for durability, and in addition to that, the sole delivers amazing traction. On the sides, you will spot heavy-duty zippers for removing and wearing them easily, and what amazed me the most was that they had a water barrier that is utilized to prevent the water from entering the boot, and it does a great job at that.
The synthetic and neoprene combination of materials delivers a great versatility in terms of function to these shoes, and if you manage to look past their looks and need a pair of functional shoes for fishing these are perfect.
7. Aleader Men’s Mesh Slip On
When it comes to the costumers who want to get the most value for their price when it comes to everything, I have an excellent pair of shoes, that are pretty affordable but are well worth double their price point, the Aleader Men’s Mesh Slip-On shoes. These are pretty much the most affordable option you can find on the market, however, they are not some sort of cheap copy cat pair of shoes, they are constructed and built to be usable and functional around the water.
They are extremely breathable as first, and durable as well thanks to their mesh construction on the upper side, which will be by your side for a long time, and on top of that these shoes will dry out extremely fast, thanks to the mesh and the water drain outsole. The ComofrDry sock liner inside of it helps create a cooler in-shoe temperature, which is perfect for warmer environments and climates, that is not something you may have noticed about other shoes, but once you give this thing a shot you will definitely not go back to the old ways.
6. Rugged Shark Great White
If you want to go classic hardcore fisherman style and want to opt for waterproof boat shoes, you definitely have to check out the Rugged Shark Great White. I have to say that once I tried these shoes it was a whole other world, as they were extremely comfortable and designed to deliver the best possible experience, as they have arch support, and a good pair of insoles that are removable, but I wouldn’t swap them for anything else since they are perfect.
I wouldn’t do that since they have extra cushioning in the heels and the midsole cushioning is just amazing. The comfort is great and it will absorb any impact your foot may land on, resulting in a pretty safe pair of shoes. On top of that, these shoes have amazing outsoles that make it special, as they are constructed from a non-marking rubber that has the company’s trademark groove and channel design to get the water from under your feet and deliver amazing traction.
The crack-proof and water-proof construction will also make things even better as these warm shoes will make things easier on your feet, a must-have.
5. Adidas Outdoor Boat Shoe
Adidas is one of the best shoemakers in the business especially for sports, and the manufacturer has delivered a great pair of fishing shoes perfect for the cause, the Adidas Outdoor Boat Shoe. These shoes look amazing and dry out extremely quick, and their Climacool materials make this shoe one of the best to use around the shore, perfect for fishing and the boat.
The material quality of the Adidas Outdoor Boat Shoe is pretty much amazing and it delivers great value for its price, and while in specialty shoes you most likely get what you pay for, this time you get more than you pay. They are also extremely versatile in their use, thanks to its amazing design which is very contemporary and hybrid, and on top of that they are one of the fastest drying shoes in the market thanks to the Climacool mesh technology that makes these shoes very breathable and on top of that they are also super lightweight, so you can toss them in your backpack.
These shoes will feel perfect on your feet, and the fit will be extraordinary.
4. ALEADER Men’s Water Shoes
Coming through is another very affordable model from Aleader, the quick Drying Aqua Water Shoes. Despite being extremely cheap these shoes deliver plenty of desirable qualities, delivering a great balance between versatility, function, style, and value for the price. They look like a pair of super-simple and utilitarian sports shoes and they look pretty well in my opinion versatile and attractive, without any weird shape or colors.
Instead, they have a functional mesh upper body that is extremely breathable and is super lightweight, on top of that they have rubber soles that make them perfect for running as well, even if they are not made for that. I should mention that the ALEADER Men’s Water Shoes are one of the most lightweight shoes that I have ever seen and are perfect for travelers that pack around and want a pair of fishing and water shoes that do not slip at all.
The gripping power of these shoes is perfect and you will rejoice with these shoes on the boat deck. They also drain and dry out extremely fast delivering a pretty pleasant experience overall.
3. Sperry Men’s Sea Kite Moc
The number three on this list is the Sperry Men’s Sea Kite Moc, which is produced by the father of the boat shoes, and this is one of the most well made and most functional boat shoes in the market, for a variety of reasons that you will see in a couple of moments. One of the biggest selling points of these shoes is that they come with an easy to maintain and clean removable molded EVA footbed.
On top of that, the Sperry Men’s Sea Kite Moc is equipped with a nice Adaptive Wave-Sipping technology that is placed on the rubber outsole to deliver the most non-slippy experience in the market, and you don’t really need to be extremely attentive while walking on slippery boat decks.
These shoes are made to last for a long time since comfort and build quality are one of the biggest features of these shoes, and while these aren’t the most versatile pair of boat shoes, and maybe are a little more expensive they are well worth the price.
2. Tommy Hilfiger Men’s Bowman
As a runner up we have an amazing pair of boat shoes, coming in with the classic loafer design, the Tommy Hilfiger Men’s Bowman. These are also extremely attractive and are pretty affordable when you consider their exceptional quality, and on top of all this, they can also be worn in town when you go on an evening stroll, extremely versatile.
For fishing, they are pretty good coming with their leather construction, great rubber sole that is perfect for walking on slippy areas and has rawhide laces that come with the 360-degree lacing technology. The heel of these shoes is also 0.5-inches tall and these are extremely comfortable as well on top of everything they deliver.
If you want a quality piece of shoes that you can use for everything else and fishing as well the Tommy Hilfiger Men’s Bowman’s are the perfect option for you.
1. Sperry Men’s Authentic
Coming to the best boat shoes for fishing, we have the authentic ones that are the first of its kind, the Sperry Men’s Authentic. it is the classic pair of boat shoes, it is the first thing that comes to mind when you say boat shoes and they are just beautiful, but not just that since these shoes have also an excellent amount of comfort and functionality.
Yuu will definitely use these shoes for a lot of reasons and occasions, not just fishing, as these look excellent with their leather. This shoe is also great for absorbing shock as it utilizes an EVA heel cup, which is hand-sewn and pretty much just amazing, and on top of that, you also get the 360-degree lacing system which gives a secure fit despite looking otherwise. The soles are designed to be non-slip and they also channel the water from underneath your shoe.
These are all original and handmade, are a little expensive but well worth their price, as they are one of the best shoes in the market, and not just for fishing.
Things You Should Know About Fishing Shoes For Boats
First off let’s talk about the material that is used in your new pair of shoes, because this may be the most important factor of them all. Boat shoes for fishing should be built outdoors, and they will be exposed to water and other harsher conditions outdoors, and on top of that, they will have to be worn on slippery surfaces. Not all footwear is created for this purpose, and the materials chosen must be a little more functional than others, the most common materials you will spot are leather, canvas, mesh, rubber, and sometimes even neoprene, but choosing the best one for you will depend on your environment.
The most popular type of boat shoes is made out of treated leather for repelling water to stay dry as long as possible. However, Mesh, on the other hand, is also a very attractive option for warmer weather since it drains water easily, is lightweight, dries quickly and is the most breathable. On the other hand, canvas also dries pretty quickly and will protect your feet perfectly against elements while still being lightweight. For colder weather conditions I would suggest neoprene since these shoes are waterproof and insulated resulting in a great package that will keep your feet dry and warm.
While you can find some cheap fishing shoes in the market these days, but I wouldn’t recommend you do that since you have to make sure that you get a quality piece of equipment that will last you for years and will deliver excellent quality at that. If your cheap boat shoes for fishing fall apart in just a few months and will need a replacement what is the point of buying cheaper ones.
Of course, even the strongest of the materials will be worn down since the elements and conditions will take their toll on your beloved shoes but during that time you will have your feet protected very well against them, and you won’t worry about replacing your shoes any time soon.
Talking about durability you have to inspect your candidate shoes throughout before buying. First, be sure to check the quality of the construction, this means checking if the soles are stitched or glued, or whether or not the tongue of the shoe is attached to the body or not, since this will deliver an extra layer of protection against the elements. The quality of the stitching should also be checked out and should be one of the biggest selling points of the shoe so your shoes will stay intact for longer periods. The toe area should also be inspected if it strong enough to handle your environment. If you plan to go fishing on ice, then you should look for a pair of ice fishing boots.
Traction and Grip
This is also very important when it comes to boat shoes, and this is also one of the reasons this kind of shoes were found by Paul Sperry, as he hated slipping on wet and icy boat decks and decided to create a tread pattern for the sole of the shoe, and since then the company hasn’t looked back. Today we see also different technologies that provide different features when it comes to traction with non-slip grippy materials to specialty tread patterns to keep you connected to the ground. Rubber is most likely used for the outsoles as it is always grippy and is one of the cheapest materials, and to make things better most of them have texture on top to make them even more non-slip.
Comfort is also essential when it comes to shoes, and not just fishing shoes, since this is the piece that will connect you to the ground at all times, and they need to provide you comfort and support at all times. You should always choose the right size when it comes to shoes and for our purpose make sure that they are built for fishing or for outdoors at least since they are the shoes that will deliver the most comfort and support for your feet.
Cushioning is also important to check out when you shop for a boat shoe for fishing, check the leveling of the in-sole and if it provides enough support, and if not you can always opt for aftermarket insoles for better support. Most of the fishing shoes that are built for the purpose will also have some kind of proper ankle support to deliver you balance and stability in uneven grounds, a twist of the ankle will end your fishing trip instantly and maybe even your season.
While most of the boat shoes for fishing are lightweight, always double-check if they feel light enough for your feet, because there is nothing more uncomfortable than a hefty pair of shoes when you need the most comfort. Also, take into consideration that the shoes will pickup up some weight during fishing since they will take in some water, so in each case choose the lightest of the shoes, to make sure you are not fatigued and comfortable at all times.
Design and Style
This aspect is not as important as the other ones that we mentioned above, however, if you want a pair of shoes that are a little versatile and can be worn on the beach for example or while you are having lunch, you should check that aspect as well. I can say that most of these shoes are built to be functional, however, you will also see that they aren’t hideous, and in fact, they also look pretty good, so I wouldn’t worry about that.
There you have it, folks! I hope you have a nice idea of what to look in a pair of boat shoes for fishing, the importance of them, and which are some of the best in the market. While you could also get along without a pair of boat shoes for fishing, I would very strongly recommend and want to emphasize the importance of footwear not just for fishing but for everything else as well, proper footwear and headwear such as headlamps for fishing is the key. Until next time my fellow fishermen!