A pair of the best comfortable fishing boots is worth its weight in gold if you are an avid angler. Good ankle boots will keep your feet dry and protected whether you’re just loading and unloading the boat by yourself or standing on a deck for hours on end while fighting less than ideal weather elements.
Our expert angling staff reviewed quite a few fishing boots over the last year and researched everything that is currently available. We also talked with a bunch of professional anglers, guides and other knowledgeable anglers to come up with a list of the best fishing boots out there right now for the money.e
OUR TOP PICKS
- Grundéns Deviation Ankle Boots – Buy from Grundéns Jump to this Boot ↓
- Huk Rogue Wave Fishing Boots – Buy from Huk Jump to this Boot ↓
- Xtratuf Sport Ankle Boots – Buy from Xtratuf Jump to this Boot ↓
- M’s Simms Challenger 7-inch Boots – Buy from Simms Jump to this Boot ↓
- Grundéns Freeboard Leather Chukka Boots – Buy from Grundéns Jump to this Boot ↓
- AFTCO Ankle Deck Boots – Buy from Tackle Warehouse Jump to this Boot ↓
- Muck Excursion Pro Mid Ankle Boots – Buy from Muck Jump to this Boot ↓
BEST OVERALL FISHING BOOTS: Grundéns Deviation Ankle Boot
I bought these boots last year and they are my favorites I’ve ever owned. Comfortable, good fit, easy on and they sit higher under your bibs than most boating shoes so you are not going to have wet feet in a rain storm.
These hands down have the best traction in wet conditions of all the other boots out there. Some deck boots are actually more slippery on a wet boot than regular tennis shoes. But the aggressive soles on these boots are awesome.
And in the early season and late season these are the perfect boots for cold conditions without having to wear full-on winter boots.
GRUNDÉNS / $134
AMAZON / $134
BEST BOOT VALUE: AFTCO Ankle Deck Boot
AFTCO won best of show in 2022 at ICAST for this boot and put themselves on the deck boot map with anglers. These boots are well made with oversized loop straps that make pulling on and taking off these boots a breeze. And they are the only good deck boots we’ve found under $100.
I’ve now had the chance to fish out of these boots for several months and they have become my favorite pair of fishing boots. They are comfortable, have really good traction, don’t mark up your deck or track a lot of junk into the boat. I wear them bank fishing all the time. They are dynamite boots for a do-it-all angler. And you can have a good pair of long lasting boots for $99. The inner neoprene is quick drying, the insole is custom compression and antimicrobial. Go a size up or wear them a lot if you are a half size shoe wearer. They seem to mold to your feet after you wear them a bit. Great boot for the money!
READ OUR FULL REVIEW OF THE AFTCO ANKLE DECK FISHING BOOT HERE.
TACKLE WAREHOUSE / $98
Huk Rogue Wave Fin Flats
I have worn the Huk Rogue Wave constantly for the past two years and this is my personal favorite fishing boot. They are extremely comfortable boat / fishing boots. The slide on easy, stay put on your feet and give you good traction in a boat and on the boat ramp.
The non-marking Grip-X outsole gives you great traction. Maybe the only drawback on this boot is that the grip pattern on the sole will pick up small gravel and pebbles and you will see some little rocks in your boat now and again. But that’s really the only drawback I’ve ever found with these boots. I wear them all the time for launching where I might need to get ankle deep in the water. And always when I fish in the rain.
I also have bank fished a bunch with these. I throw them in my truck on my travels and if I stop off to fish, I throw these on, hit the water, kick through the mud and weeds and then throw them in the back of the truck and go. A terrific boot for $100.
HUK / $99
AMAZON / $100
SCHEELS / $110
BEST LIGHTWEIGHT FISHING BOOTS: Xtratuf Sport Ankle Boot
These are some of the most popular fishing boots on the market largely due to how easily they slip on and how lightweight they are. Throw them in your boat, truck or garage and grab em and go anytime there is a chance you might have to get wet.
Whether you’re loading or launching the boat or fishing in a torrential downpour, these boots stand up to the test. I keep some in my storage unit with my boat as they have gotten to be as essential as my boat.
They are 100% waterproof, Non marking soles, slip resistant outsole with the highest rating for slip resistance possible. They also feature a breathable mesh lining that is sandwiched into the shoe to allow your feet to breath. Pull on tabs are sturdy and these boots are made for heavy abuse.
XTRATUF / $145
AMAZON / $135
SCHEELS / $145
BEST FITTING FISHING BOOTS: Simms Challenger Boot
This vulcanized rubber boot has somewhat set the bar in waterproof protection. Simms makes arguably some of the best gear for keeping anglers dry and these boots are no exception. The neoprene lining and elastic top give you a nice form fitting boot that is not too tight but also stays very close to the leg so no water can trickle in. The rugged outsole grips well on most surfaces and foot bed is very comfortable for all day wear.
This is a long standard in deck boots and the latest versions are every bit as good and improved as this boot has ever been.
SIMMS / $129
AMAZON / $129
BASS PRO / $129
BEST CROSSOVER BOOTS: Grundéns Freeboard Chukka
I was looking for a good-looking slip-on shoe that would do double-duty as a casual shoe and one with fishing-specific design features. I like the slip-on for convenience — no laces mean they go on quickly and fit consistently. This shoe style also allows for some sock layering, so I can bulk up when temps take a dip. They’re also waterproof, an obvious plus in the boat.
The sole is non-marking and built for grip on wet and slippery surfaces. I’m a clean freak, so cleanliness is a side benefit of the boat-specific sole – the low-profile tread pattern doesn’t carry a lot of dirt, so it minimizes tracking soil and mud into your boat. Cosmetically, the leather upper looks great and has a cool technical and casual hybrid look where the leather meets the black leather band and white sole.
The contrast in materials is attractive and functional in terms of durability where it matters (heel and toe). I’ve worn my single pair of Freeboard Leather Chukka’s for two years and running, and they’re still in excellent shape, given the abuse they’ve been subjected to.
GRUNDÉNS / $139
AMAZON / $139
BEST COMFORT FISHING BOOTS: Muck Excursion Pro
Muck has a long history of making great fitting waterproof boots and the Muck Excursion Pro Mid boot is one of their most popular ankle boots ever. I wore mine for many years before retiring them. The boot features a soft neoprene upper section with molded aggressive tread rubber lower section to keep your feet dry, comfortable and pain free after a long day of fishing.
The 4mm neoprene bootie and Xpress cool lining makes for a nice wear. The sock liner keeps foot friction to a minimum and the EVA midsole adds additional comfort and support. These boots are also very sturdy around the lower foot so they won’t tear up if you have to climb over obstacles on your bank fishing adventures.
Read our full review here: Muck Excursion Pro Mid Boot Review.
AMAZON / $99
MUCK / $145
WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING FISHING BOOTS
As I said earlier, a good pair of fishing boots is invaluable to an avid angler. Taking care of your feet will make your days on the water a lot more enjoyable. At 51 years old, I find myself wishing I had taken better care of my knees and feet. So keeping your feet healthy fishing all day means keeping them cushioned as the boat bobs up and down or as you climb over sticks and rocks along the bank to get to your spot.
It also means keeping them dry. When the weather is cold, the last thing you need is wet feet. So I’m looking for boots that are not only waterproof but also fit snug to my ankle so water has a harder time getting to my feet. So I’m looking for molded rubber and also some neoprene for a more snug fit. The boot goes up and fits close to your leg and your rain pant goes down and those two converse layers keep the water out of your feet.
So look for materials like molded rubber, pvc and neoprene for best fits and waterproof protection. Look for good insoles that keep your feet comfortable and provide some cushion as well as support. Look for good pull tabs so you can get the boots on and off easy. And then finally look for a good outsole with some traction to keep you from slipping in wet conditions or even icy conditions. One added benefit you can find in fishing boots is if the insoles have some antimicrobial protection. There are some things you can do to fight that below.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR FISHING BOOTS LAST
A few things will keep your fishing boots lasting for more than a single fishing season. To protect your investment, we recommend cleaning them after fishing, and then hanging them to dry and keeping the insoles from building up mildew. Just washing the materials off your shoes, especially saltwater will keep them lasting for a long time. Dry them by turning them upside down to make sure the moisture goes out of the inside of the boots.
I built a boot rack with a single 2×4. Cut it so that you have two standing posts about 12 inches tall. And use the rest of the board to make a platform to keep the two posts standing up. When you come in from fishing, hang your boots up on it and you’re good for the next trip.
The last thing is to use a silicone rubber spray to keep your boots lasting. This spray will help you clean them and and protect them.
If you store them in a warm, dry spot, keep them out of the sun and clean them up after heavy use, you will have boots that last for multiple seasons, making them well worth any amount of money you spend on them.