2 fishermen fishing in boat

Top 13 Best Boat Shoes For Fishing In 2019: Featuring Buyer’s Guide

When you think about factors that add up to an enjoyable fishing experience, what comes to mind?

Is it rods, poles, baits, lures? A well-stocked tackle box? Enough sandwiches to ward off hunger?

I’ll let you in on a secret.

One of the most important things to consider when you’re going fishing is what to wear on your feet.

Whether you’re fishing on a boat or from the dock, it’s important to have shoes that provide you with enough comfort and grip for you to rely on them.

Read on to discover my top 13 best boat shoes for fishing. Below the list you’ll find a buyer’s guide, to give you the skills to do your own research and an FAQ section where I’ll tackle some of the most common queries about fishing footwear.

Without further ado, here’s the list.

Top 13 Best Boat Shoes For Fishing In 2019

Columbia Men’s Bahama Vent Relax PFG Boat Shoes

Review: Made from canvas and leather and featuring a synthetic sole, this shoe is stylish and durable in equal measures.

Pros

  • Lightweight, at only 9 ounces per shoe, the Bahama Vent won’t weigh you down out on the water.
  • Columbia’s signature waterproof and stain resistant canvas and leather exterior will handle any situation.

Cons

  • Sizing is a little tricky. Because of the way the material fits, you might have to experiment with different sizes.

Takeaway

A solid option for beginner fishermen, this boat shoe offers everything you’d need at a reasonable price.

Under Armour Men’s Kilchis Sneakers

Review: Featuring a contoured midsole & footbed designed for drainage, the Kilchis won’t allow your feet to stay damp for long.

Pros

  • J-Step marking rubber outsole provides top-class grip on smooth, wet surfaces.
  • The upper textile is breathable and dries quickly.

Cons

  • Unpleasantly narrow fit will rule out plenty of otherwise standard foot shapes.

Takeaway

The fit leaves a lot to be desired, but the material is top-notch. If you can find one that fits you, this is a great choice.

Columbia Men’s Dorado CVO PFG Boat Shoes

Review: Featuring a lace-up closure to ensure a good fit and comfortable material, this offering from Columbia is a little pricey but good value.

Pros

  • The shoe itself is stylish and comes in 7 different colors.
  • Stain resistant open mesh allows for care-free days spent out on the water.

Cons

  • The price is towards the upper end of the spectrum.

Takeaway

If you can afford it and are looking for a solid all-rounder boat shoe, this could be the make for you.

Rugged Shark Bill Dance Pro Fishing Boat Shoes

Review: With excellent traction and comfort, this shoe will keep you from sliding around on even the wettest of surfaces.

Pros

  • Water draining soles provide ports through which water can escape.
  • Non-marking rubber sole prevents scuff marks on floors or boat decks.

Cons

  • It’s not the prettiest shoe you’ll ever see. To be honest, it’s a bit of an eyesore.

Takeaway

If you don’t care about looking too good out on the water, this Rugged Shark product has tons of good features. It’s one of the best fishing deck boots too, considering the lack of scuff marks.

DLGJPA Men’s Lightweight Aqua Water Shoes

Review: Constructed from a mixture of fabric and synthetic materials, this boat shoe breathes easily and dries quickly.

Pros

  • Lightweight and easy to slip on and off, this is a great option for if you’re doing a lot of moving around.
  • Unique ComforDry technology provides world-class cushioning for your foot.

Cons

  • The sizing is horrifically bad. You might well have to go a full two sizes down to get one that fits right.

Takeaway

Once you’ve found one that your foot can slip into, the combination of lightweight material and breathable technology makes this an attractive option for all kinds of fishing activities.

This is a strong all-rounder when it comes to the best water shoes for boat fishing.

ALEADER Men’s Quick Drying Aqua Water Shoes

Review: One of the cheapest models on the market, this shoe is basic but provides all the features you might want in a boat shoe.

Pros

  • The low price makes this a great bargain for any level of angler.

Cons

  • The features that this shoe offers are the bare minimum.
  • Durability is a concern owing to the way it’s constructed.

Takeaway

While this model doesn’t offer as many bells and whistles as its competitors, if you’re on a tight budget it’s not a bad choice.

Mishansha Quick Dry Water Shoes

Review: One of the cheapest items on this list, the Mishansha is a unisex shoe that does a great job for very little expenditure.

Pros

  • The price, considering what you get for it, is a great bargain.
  • Quick dry drainage holes and elastic straps add to its overall convenience.

Cons

  • This product doesn’t have any advanced technology, if that’s important to you.

Takeaway

A supremely versatile option suitable for both men and women, if you’re looking for a shoe at the lower end of the price spectrum you won’t do a whole lot better than this. Easily one of the best shoes to wear on a fishing boat.

SoftSciene Men’s The Fin Athletic Boating Shoes

Review: The classic, retro design is timeless, and the Universal Comfort Platform makes for a spacious, relaxed fit around your foot.

Pros

  • Easy sizing: unlike many shoes on this list, the only difference you’ll need to make from your regular shoe size is going up to a whole number if you usually wear a half size.
  • Lightweight and durable, the Forefoot water flow system keeps your feet from getting unpleasantly wet.

Cons

  • It’s pricier than some of its competitors.
  • As a relatively new addition to the market, there’s not much information on how people find it. It’s a bit of a risk.

Takeaway

If you don’t mind going for a shoe without a lot of time on the market, the SoftScience Fin is a very respectable choice of boat shoe for fishing.

Columbia Women’s Dorado Slip PFG Shoes

Review: Designed for women, this elegant piece of footwear features a slip-on, slip-off silhouette as opposed to tying laces.

Pros

  • Multiple colors and sizes ensure everybody will find a model that works for them.
  • Open mesh and synthetic upper exterior keep you cool and dry, no matter what you’re doing.

Cons

  • Weighing 1.65 pounds each, they’re a little too light to be truly durable.

Takeaway

Women have many fewer options than men when it comes to boat shoes for fishing. This is one of the best available, despite durability concerns.

SITAILE Quick Dry Water Shoes

Review: A unisex shoe suitable for everybody, the SITAILE is cheap and comes in more than 20 different colors.

Pros

  • Multifunctional, this shoe is suitable for a wide variety of different activities and is certain to fit whichever fishing situation you happen to find yourself in.
  • Professional anti-slip rubber technology leads to a highly durable sole which won’t let you down.

Cons

  • The ultra-lightweight fabric isn’t going to be as durable as the sole, so the lifespan of this shoe probably won’t be too great.

Takeaway

This shoe isn’t going to last you forever, but it’s so cheap and versatile that it’s worth a pop, even if just for a short while.

Sperry Men’s Authentic Original 2-Eye Boat Shoe

Review: Unlike most of the other boat shoes out there, this product from Sperry is made of 100% leather and has been constructed with real quality and attention to detail.

Pros

  • Non-marking outsole will keep your feet grippy without marking your boat.
  • The shock-absorbing heel cup will save your feet in the case of an unfortunate accident.

Cons

  • The leather requires a lot of work to maintain and will fall apart if not looked after properly.

Takeaway

The Sperry is a real investment and one you’ll want to take your time before deciding on buying, but if you can maintain it properly it will treat you well for many fishing trips down the line.

Huk Men’s Brewster SubPhantis Loafer Shoes

Review: Featuring a slip-on design instead of velcro or laces, the Brewster has a collapsible heel and drainage ports to guarantee its versatility.

Pros

  • It’s supremely comfortable owing to the Huk Proprietary Technology that went into its design.
  • This shoe was created specifically with fishing in mind.

Cons

  • Huk haven’t invested in half sizes, so finding one that fits your foot is going to be trickier than it should be. Still, though, this is one of the best fishing deck shoes around.

Takeaway

Although it’s a little pricey and the sizing issue makes things inconvenient, it’s very easy on the feet and offers enough durability to justify the cost.

SoftScience The Fin 2.0 Women’s Boating Shoes

Review: Similar to the SoftScience Fin mentioned up above, this version, which is tailored for women, blends lightweight material with reinforced microfibres to create a solid all-rounder.

Pros

  • Universal Comfort Platform which guarantees a roomy, relaxed fit for all shapes and sizes of the foot.
  • Durable enough to be worn every day without a decrease in quality.
  • No scuff marks, ever. Your boat will remain pristine.

Cons

  • No half sizes, which will be inconvenient for many.
  • If you already have issues with foot pain, the comfort mechanics may not be advanced enough to handle your needs.

Takeaway

Versatile and good value for money, this is a great option for women who want to spend short or long periods out on the water, fishing, and one of the best fishing deck boots out there when it comes to being kind to your boat.

Boat Shoes For Fishing Buyer’s Guide

2 fishermen fishing in boat

A list of my favorite boat shoes for fishing is great, but remember that old phrase?

Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for life.

When you’re doing your own research into which boat shoes are going to fit your needs, there are a few important things to keep in mind.

By the way, here’s a great video I found on YouTube while researching this article. Give it a watch, you won’t regret it.

Slip-On vs. Velcro vs. Laces

Although it can be easy to overlook the manner in which your shoes are fashioned, it makes a big deal when it comes to fishing.

Your answer to this question is going to depend on what kind of fishing you’re doing, what kind of conditions you’ll be doing it in, and your own skill and experience as an angler.

If you’re going to be in relatively rougher seas, you’ll want a shoe with laces, since the velcro will get wet and the slip-on silhouette isn’t going to be enough to make you feel safe.

On the other hand, slip-on shoes are often much more comfortable, and so if you’re not worried about the conditions (or if you know for a fact you’re going to be fishing on a lovely day), why not go for the option which is going to keep your feet feeling happiest?

Price, Price, Price

As is the case with any purchase, price is one of the most important things on everybody’s mind. But it can be difficult to judge where you want to orient yourself in relation to the price spectrum.

How you feel about the price is going to depend on how seriously you take your fishing.

If you go out once in a blue moon and just want a reliable pair of shoes, what’s the point in breaking the bank?

Go for a solid option at the lower end of the range.

If, however, you’re an experienced fisherman who’s planning on spending days upon days upon days out on the water, don’t sell yourself short by trying to go for the cheapest pair you can find.

Shoes are an investment – more than that, they’re an investment into your own comfort, which is something money can’t buy on its own.

People always say don’t skimp on a good mattress, because you’ll be spending a lot of your life on it. The same goes for boat shoes for fishing.

Material

Would you prefer a lightweight material that’s not going to weigh you down, or do you need something a bit more substantial to ensure your feet are kept protected?

Lightweight fabrics often provide breathable technology which lets out any water that made its way into your shoes.

More heavy-duty choices, like leather, require a lot more work to maintain and often aren’t breathable; but they’re much less likely to experience wear and tear, and can be relied upon in a way the lighter fabrics simply can’t.

Like most questions, this one is going to depend entirely on your own personal requirements and wants. Just make sure you keep material in mind when you’re doing your research.

FAQs

adult man spin fishing

Does style matter?

Style means everything to some people, and nothing at all to others. When it comes to boat shoes for fishing, my advice would be to prioritize function over form.

The best shoes for fishing on a boat aren’t necessarily beautiful, but they don’t need to be hideous either.

How long can I expect my shoes to last?

This depends completely on which type of shoe you end up going for. Leather and more costly fabrics will last longer, provided they’re well taken care of.

At the same time, the internet is full of stories from people whose lightweight shoes have served them well for a very long time.

Take care of whichever shoes you buy, and when they fall apart (they all will, eventually), just buy another pair. It’s a crucial investment you won’t regret.

Can’t I just use a regular old pair of sneakers?

Yes and no. Yes, you can, but no, you absolutely shouldn’t.

The reasoning is simple. Nothing’s stopping you from throwing on an old, unwanted pair of shoes, but your feet won’t thank you.

Neither will your boat. Neither will your back once the sub-par arch support comes back to bite you. Neither will your memory, when you think back on a fishing trip that was way more uncomfortable than it needed to be.

Don’t use an old pair of regular shoes – boat shoes for fishing are vital.

In Summary

People often don’t think about shoes when they wonder about what fishing equipment they need.

To a lot of people, it’s just not a priority.

I hope the above article has helped you see that not only is it a priority, it’s one of the very first things you should pack into your bag when you’re planning a trip.

Do you have any comments about which are the best boat shoes for fishing?

Let me know down in the comments below, I’m always in the market for good advice.