Do not overlook the importance of wading boots. I spent my first season fly fishing using rubber soled hiking boots as my wading shoes. What a mistake. I was slipping and sliding all over the place, actually falling several times, and by the end of the day my ankles were usually killing me. Though I just couldn’t believe that felt bottom shoes would make a difference, I succumbed to a friend’s wisdom and bought a pair of wading boots. I could not believe the difference. Gone were the slipping and sliding and most importantly, the falling. I now believe that wading boots are one of the biggest safety items you have when fishing (common sense and eye protection are others).
Boot Material – Wading boots take a beating while you are fishing. You will constantly be scraping them against jagged rocks, logs, and other objects, so the boots must be durable. Look for wading boots made from synthetic leather that won’t absorb water. This makes them lighter and easier to walk in. Drain patches should be made of thick, double-layer nylon. Overall, make sure they are well built with good materials.
Sole Material – Felt sole wading boots are the norm. They provide good traction in most environments. Wading boots come in other sole materials as well. Some have special rubber soles for traction. Additionally, some manufacturers have added studs to the bottom of their soles (felt or rubber). These studs work like your studded snow tires for additional gripping.
Recommended Wading Boots: