7 Best Boat Shoes for Fishing of 2021 (Reviewed!)

When you’re a fisherman, you want to have all the proper gear before you hit the water. But there’s one crucial piece of equipment many people don’t give too much consideration to – the proper footwear. 

Going out on the boat for a day of fishing is a great time. But when you wear the wrong shoes, your fantasy could turn into a nightmare fast. The wrong shoes increase the risk of falling due to a slick, shifting surface and leave you with sore feet and blisters. Many people turn to boat shoes, which have unique features. We’ve found the seven best boat shoes for fishing

We’ve reviewed the top seven boating shoes to wear while fishing. We provide a brief review of each and listed the pros and cons of each model. We have also provided a detailed buyer’s guide that will explain the various features and types of boating shoes. 

The Best Boat Shoes for Fishing Reviews (Editor’s Picks) 

We’ve numbered our list of boat shoes for fishing reviews, but these numbers do not reflect any ranking. We are not listing these in any particular order.

1. Sperry Men’s A/o

If you like the traditional moccasin loafer design of boat shoes, you can’t find anything better than the Sperry A/o, a 100% leather boat shoe.

Your feet will stay dry and comfortable with the wide toe box. However, be aware that these shoes run small to size, so you may want to go up a size. 

And I can say from personal experience that you should use shoe freshener because the inside of these shoes can start to smell bad after getting wet.

These shoes come in multiple two-tone color options, with a different colored, leather collar, two-hole rust-resistant eyelets, and hand stitching. 

Sperry knows what a shoe needs to be safe for fishing, and they’ve excelled at it time and again, with a thick, gripped rubber sole so you won’t slip when it’s wet.

Pros 

  • 100% leather, hand-stitched construction
  • Dozens of color choices
  • A well-known brand for boat shoes
  • Siped sole 
  • Spacious toe box

Cons

  • Can smell bad after getting wet
  • Size runs small
  • Can’t relace if damaged

2. Columbia Bahama Vent PFG Boat Shoes

The Columbia Bahama PFG boat shoes are a stylish mix of breathable leather and canvas, with a synthetic wet grip outsole with razor siping to keep you steady on your feet. These shoes have a unique Omni-Grip sole that is non-marking.

These shoes are a lightweight 9 ounces with stain-resistance and waterproof properties, so your shoes stay looking good, even from murky water, fish scales, guts, and blood. 

A Techlite vented midsole offers extra cushioning and foot support while draining any water that gets into your shoes.

Laces ensure these shoes fit tight enough not to slip off. And paracord loops make these shoes easier to put on your feet. 

You have multiple color options and sizes. The classy design with detailed stitching around the leather and the PFG logo on the tongue means you can wear these shoes for more than fishing.

Pros 

  • Stain-resistant and waterproof materials
  • Vented midsole keeps feet cool and dry
  • Lightweight design maximizes comfort
  • Multiple colors
  • Lace-up design allows for a tighter fit

Cons 

  • The sizing is not accurate, so it’s best to try these on for size
  • It only comes in men’s sizes and styles
  • Canvas takes longer to dry

3. DLGJPA 

If you need a budget pair of shoes that won’t break the bank, the DLGJPA Aqua Water Shoes can be yours for less than forty bucks. 

While the design is pretty basic with a solid colored upper, the many vent holes of the mesh (Fluidflow technology) make these shoes fully drainable and quick drying. So, don’t be scared to wade into the water to get your fish.

These boat shoes have a springy rubber sole with intricate water grip holes designed to provide traction without hindering your movements. The design of these shoes allows you to slip them on, and you can adjust the fit with the bungee lace.

You can get a wide range of sizes and 15 color options, but these are men’s shoes. However, the simple design does mean that women could wear them too without looking too manly. Sizing is tricky with these shoes, and many customers say to buy a size down. 

(You might also be interested in reading our article specially on Best Boat Shoes for Men)

Pros

  • 15 color options 
  • Budget-friendly
  • Designed to wear in the water
  • Fluid flow technology keeps feet dry
  • Water grip outsole provides traction and grip

Cons 

  • Sizing isn’t accurate 
  • Many users felt these were too narrow
  • Not for women

4. Shimano Evair Marine Fishing Shoe

If you’re looking for a durable pair of sandal boat shoes, allow us to introduce the Shimano Evair fishing shoes or sandals if you’d prefer. 

These shoes have open slots along the upper, similar to a traditional sandals design. But they have an enclosed toe box with plenty of room, so your feet don’t rub. We recommend avoiding wearing socks with these. Not only does it look horrible, but it will give you blisters too. 

The lightweight EVA material of these shoes means they’re waterproof, and the open design keeps your feet cool. However, we wouldn’t recommend wearing these in cold weather. 

An ergonomic arch and solid one-piece design mean these shoes absorb shocks associated with standing for long periods. 

A neat feature about these sandals is the removable waterproof inner sole, cleaning and drying a breeze. However, many people said the soles fell out while wearing it.

 A half-velcro strap allows slight control of fit. You can get these in six neutral man colors, including camo, which looks more like a paint job gone wrong.

Pros 

  • Removable insole makes cleaning easier
  • 100% waterproof
  • Enclosed toe box to protect feet
  • Ergonomic arch for extra support
  • Open design allows for water drainage and airflow

Cons

  • Many users said these shoes ran wide
  • The insole may come out while wearing
  • Not adjustable

5. Skechers Women’s Go Walk Lite Boat Shoe

For you ladies who want to keep your style while staying safe on a boat, check out the classy design of the Skechers Go Walk Lite Boat Shoe.

These shoes are a fabric and synthetic design with a rubber sole. These shoes are machine washable, so you don’t have to worry about them smelling horrible. 

However, there are no vents to drain water out, so these shoes aren’t for jumping in the water. But they’re cute enough to wear on the boat or off.

Available in four colors, with a different colored color than upper and a white sole with moderate gripping. These shoes have e-z fit elastic laces so that you can slip them on in a hurry. And an air-cooled Goga mat insole keeps your feet cool and comfortable.

(Best Boat Shoes For Women, you will find it worth reading)

Pros

  • Cooled insole keeps feet comfortable and cool
  • Classic fashionable moccasin design
  • Machine washable but air-dried
  • Slip-on design
  • Four fun colors 

Cons 

  • Not waterproof
  • The grip on the sole isn’t the best
  • Fabric/synthetic material

6. Rugged Shark Bill Dance Boat Shoes

Say the name Bill Dance around a fisherman, and they’re sure to know who you mean. They might also be interested in the Rugged Shark, a line of boat shoes by Bill Dance.

Now, these shoes aren’t the most attractive, with a thick rubber outsole and nubuck leather, mocassin box toe, mixed with a tennis shoe cushioned collar combined with the lacings of a Top Slider. 

But they are comfortable, supportive, and slip-resistant. However, the laces are not adjustable or replaceable. 

There are mesh panels to allow air circulation, drainage ports to release any water that gets in, and Shark grip rubber pads on the bottom to prevent slipping and scuff marks. 

A soft midsole of molded CMEVA material absorbs shocks and cushions your feet. But it’s not removable, so you may want to use a foot fresher to keep odors away. There are five colors to choose from and various men’s sizes.

Pros

  • The molded midsole absorbs shocks 
  • Slip-resistant, scuff-free rubber outer sole
  • Ports to drain water
  • Vents to allow air
  • 100% leather upper

 Cons

  • Not the most attractive shoe
  • Not replaceable or adjustable
  • Non-removable sole

7. Crocs

Crocs is an everyday accessory for all fishermen, whether on or off the boat. Many people wear them all the time, although some people consider this a fashion no-no. 

These shoes are a clogged design that slips on and has a rounded closed toe with an open heel. There’s a flip-up strap that you can wear around your ankle or flip to the front, so your shoes are backless.

Cleaning is as easy as soap and water due to the synthetic material, which is 100% waterproof and fast drying. You can get these in a variety of colors.

The gripped sole means you won’t slip, while the textured inner sole massages your feet with tiny nubs. These are perfect for wide feet and run true to size. But some people prefer a bit loose, so you don’t get blisters. 

Pros

  • The textured insole feels good on feet
  • Movable strap for backless or ankle strap
  • Gripped bottom for support
  • Open vents for draining and air circulation
  • Easy maintenance

Cons

  • May cause blisters
  • Slips off some people’s feet
  • Not very supportive for feet

(We also have our top pickups of Best Sailing Boat Shoes)

Best Boat Shoes for Fishing Buyers Guide – (Making the Best Purchase)

With so many different types of boat shoes available, it can be mind-boggling trying to narrow down the choices. We’ve put together a guide breaking down the various features you should consider when shopping for a boat shoe for fishing.

Types of Boat Shoes for Fishing

There are many types of boat shoes you can wear for fishing. Which type you choose is an individual preference. Let’s look at some common variations.

Mocassin

Boat shoes are leather or canvas material that many people wear for fishing and casual attire. Most of these are Top-Sider, which is a mix of moccasin and loafer. They have a rubber sole and a leather upper. Cross-trainers are also an option.

These shoes are easy to slip on and gripped, so they’re slip-resistant and waterproof. Many have quick-dry abilities designed for getting wet.

Fishing Sandals

Sandals are a great solution when you’re fishing on land. Sandals let your feet breeze, so your feet don’t sweat while strapping in place. 

And many sandals have grips to help keep your footing while reeling in a fish. Some materials dry quickly and are water-resistant, so no worries if the tide comes in over your feet.

Fishing Boots

If you’re fishing in cold or rough weather where there’s chances water may come on the boat, you may want to invest in a quality pair of fishing boots. These can come at ankle-height or as high up as your knees.

Slip-on 

Slip-on water shoes are stretchy material designed for water. These have a rubber, gripped sole on the bottom. And a soft upper (usually mesh) that dries quickly and slips on without tying. Many people refer to these as aqua socks. 

Materials

Boat shoes come in multiple materials. Leather, canvas, and rubber materials offer the best water resistance. But mesh provides the fastest drying times and is lightweight. In comparison, thermoplastic resins are lightweight, flexible, and often less expensive.

Parts of a Boat Shoe

Boat shoes have multiple design components that you should consider in a boat shoe. Read the product description for each shoe you consider and debate these criteria.

Sole

The sole is the most significant component of your shoe design. The best boat shoe for fishing will have a siped sole, which is when there are intricate patterns carved into the bottom to create grip, similar to a tire tread. The original siping design came from Sperry himself, who created shoes with the feature to stop slipping on deck.

Upper

The upper part of the shoe is the part that covers the sides and top of your feet. Traditionally, this part is leather, which repels water, so your feet stay dry. But newer designs use many different materials.

Stitching

Many boat shoes have stitches along the seam of the upper and around the tongue. This stitching is similar to moccasins, which makes the toe box more comfortable without socks. 

This unique toe box design reduces chafing and rubbing of your toes against the shoe. Socks aren’t recommended with boat shoes as they can trap water. 

Benefits of Boat Shoes

There are many reasons why you would want to invest in a pair of boat shoes for fishing instead of wearing a pair of flip flops or trainers. Here are a few benefits of boating shoes.

Waterproof

Most boat shoes are waterproof, which means your shoes won’t get damaged if they get wet. Wet shoes can be uncomfortable and make your feet hurt. But boat shoes can block the water, so your feet stay dry. 

Dry Quick

Many boat shoes can dry quickly, so you aren’t stuck wearing yucky damp shoes the next morning after you’ve spent all night fishing. And fast drying also reduces the foul odor that accompanies wet sneakers. 

Non-slip Sole

Boat shoes have a gripped sole that helps you keep your footing when it’s wet. Anyone who’s ever snagged a fish while standing on a damp deck knows things can get slippery. Regular tennis shoes have a smooth sole that makes things dangerous. 

Best Boat Shoes for Fishing Comparison Chart

ProductPriceLacing SystemMaterialUnique Features
Sperry Men's A/o$360 degree lacingLeather and Textile100% leather, hand-stitched construction, dozens of color choices
Columbia Bahama Vent PFG Boat Shoes$No lacingCanvas and LeatherStain-resistant and waterproof materials
DLGJPA$Elastic strapsFiber15 color options, budget-friendly
Shimano Evair Marine Fishing Shoe$Both lacing and strapsEthylene Vinyl AcetateRemovable insole makes cleaning easier, 100% waterproof
Skechers Women's Go Walk Lite Boat Shoe$Elastic strapsFabric and SyntheticCooled insole keeps feet comfortable and cool
Rugged Shark Bill Dance Boat Shoes$Elastic strapsLeatherPorts to drain water, vents to allow air
Crocs$No lacesCrosliteGripped bottom for support

Wrap Up

We hope we’ve helped you understand the importance of wearing the appropriate boat shoes when fishing. Each of our recommended shoes has unique pros that put them on our list. We’ve also mentioned the cons of each and told you everything you need to know about shopping for the perfect shoe. 

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