A Buyers Guide forWading Boots and Wading Shoes
Good quality wading boots or wading shoes are a very important part of your fly fishing gear. If you are going to be wet wading or you have stocking foot waders, then wading boots are obviously a necessity. A quality boot will give you good support for wading in lakes, protect your feet and toes from underwater obstructions and hazards.
The wading boot you choose should be comfortable and have the proper foot support when wading in the water. Some typical features to consider when buying boots are lace up systems verses Velcro and replaceable/interchangeable felt and studded soles. Some cheaper boots come with rubber soles. A better choice would be wading boots or shoes that have felt soles.
When shopping for wading boots there are several types of boots to consider. There are heavyweight, medium weight and lightweight boots. The boot you choose should be based on the type of wading conditions that you will be fly fishing in. Is it fast or slow moving water? Is the stream or creek bed rocky or sandy? If you are wet wading you might consider wading saddles or lightweight boots or shoes.
Almost all quality wading boots or wading shoes come with felt soles. The felt soles on the bottom of the boots gives you better traction and sure footed ness when wading though streams or creek beds that are rocky and slippery. If you need better footing some boots come with felt soles and studded cleats. Another option which is available is strap on cleats.
Tip: Waders, wading boots and shoes should be thoroughly dry before storing them away. This will keep them from getting mold or mildew which could eventually ruin your boots.
Types of Wading Boots and Shoes:
Heavyweight boots are ideal when fly fishing in fast moving water and streams that have very rocky bottoms. Heavyweight wading boots should have good ankle support and feel comfortable. This type of boot or shoe usually has felt soles and studded cleats for added traction and stability when wading in these kinds of conditions.
Medium weight wading boots may be a consideration when fly fishing in slower moving water. They don’t have as much ankle support as the heavyweight boots and are usually a little more comfortable. They often come with felt soles or a combination of felt soles and studded soles.
Lightweight wading boots are ideal for fly fishing in small streams, and creeks. They offer very little in the way of ankle support. Mostly used for wading where there is no fast moving water and the bottom is not rocky. These types of boots will not last as long as the heavyweight or medium weight boots Lightweight boots or wading shoes are ideal for wet wading.
In Summary: When buying wading boots or wading shoes you need to choose the right one for the wading conditions you will be fly fishing in. As a minimum you want a boot that has felt soles, fits your foot comfortably and is made of good quality material.