5 Best Fly Fishing Boots (2023 Buyer’s Guide)

An angler's guide to the best fly fishing boots including cheap wading boots, features to look out for, best materials, ones to avoid & more.

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When looking for the best fly fishing boots you should be looking for items that work the best for you. Think about how often you plan on going and where you plan on wearing them.

Quick-Look: 5 Best Fly Fishing Boots


Knowing when and how you plan on using them is going to help you make the correct decision and will make you safer and more comfortable when you’re out on the water.

That’s why below we’ve got five different boots you can wear for fly fishing. These are going to help grip the bottom, and cover more water. Which is going to result in you catching more fish.

See also: 10 Best Wading Boots – 2023 Buyer’s Guide

10 Best Fly Fishing Boots of 2023

Below, we have five different boots that you can use on your next fishing trip. We’re going to cover them in detail so that you can have the most information possible and can make the best decision for you.

1. Korkers Hatchback Fishing Boots

  • Price – $200.00
  • Pros –  Rear entry boots. BOA Laces
  • Cons – Small sizes and are stiff

Fly fishing boots can be a pain to put on and take off. Especially when you’re wearing your neoprene or if you happen to wet wading. That’s why Korkers has the rear entry system.

Now, all you have to do is unlace the back of the boot and you easily slide your foot in and out. Making getting into the water quicker and getting out of the water and back on the road easier.

Korkers Mens Boot

The BOA lacing system ensures that your laces do not get frozen while fishing in chilly winter conditions. It also allows for single-handed loosening or tightening of your shoes. This way you don’t have to out any gear down.

Korkers Hatchback features a flow foam foot system. This will shape to the foot of the wearer and will hold them sturdy and comfortably all day. Allowing for a boot that allows you to fish and hike all day with limited feet exhaustion.


2. Orvis Encounter Wading Boot

  • Price – $119.99
  • Pros – all synthetic upper and has a padded collar
  • Cons – Wide and long fit

The Orvis Encounters have a scratch-resistant rubber toe cap. This helps protects the wearer from any scrapes or cuts that could occur while fishing. Toe stubs on rocks or tree branches will no longer slow you down.

The upper is all synthetic and dries very quickly. This will help reduce the risk of the wearer transferring invasive species. The quick-dry is also great on weekend trips. As wading boots may not be dry the next dry.

The Orvis Encounter Wading Boot

The padded collar features an extra layer of support. This will help prevent sprained ankles and will help give you more stability when walking through slick rocky water. These boots will also accept screw-in studs to increase balance and traction even more.

The outsole of the boot is made of dual durometer rubber compounds. This material on top of the fact that is has a padded collar and the ability to use screw-in studs will give you the best possible traction while wading.


3. Compass 360 Tailwater II

  • Price – $75.99
  • Pros – Great price, and drains quickly
  • Cons – Stiff boot and can be heavy

These boots are made to worn with your neoprene booties. So if you plan on wet wading make sure you have a pair of Compass 360 Tailwater II so that these can be worn comfortably. If you don’t then you should order a size or two down to ensure they fit and won’t cause blisters.

They can be worn either with or without screw-in studs. So, they’re stable enough and give you enough reactions but if you find your self on a river with a strong current then you have the option to use studs too.

The heel of the boot is also made of a durable XL webbing. This gives it extra durability so that heel does not fray or break while taking your boots and off continuously throughout a season.

The padded collar of the boot is also great. It gives you extra comfort while hiking and fishing long stretches of trail or river. It also provides you with a little bit of extra support.


4. Chota Outdoor Gear Wading Boots

  • Price – $149.60
  • pros – Comfortable and features a quick lace system
  • Cons – The laces are prone to breaking, it would be best to replace them.

The leather uppers on these boots allow for superior durability and ankle protection. While the mesh vents on the side allow for quick and easy drawing when leaving the lake or the river. The quick lace system allows for quick and easy streamside removal.

Chota Outdoor Gear on top of wooden table

You’ll also find that these are a felt sole and also have a rubber base. Chota Outdoor Gear Wading Boots is made especially for adding and removing cleats into the bottom fo the boots. Allowing you to have superb durability.

There is an extremely comfortable midsole that decreases foot fatigue and just makes for a much more comfortable day out, not he water. Allowing you to have a better day out wading.

The genuine leather upper will dry and shrink once you leave the water. Making for a tight fit the next time out. The best thing to do is to soak them before heading out fishing for the day. Or, you could just never stop fishing!


5. Simms Freestone Wading Boots

  • Price – $169.95
  • pros – Has a scratch-resistant upper and a very comfortable midsole
  • Cons – These can run small and have difficulty draining

Simms Freestone Wading Boots is made of waterproof synthetic leather. That also features a scratch-resistant upper. Giving the wearer a strong defense against boulders and sunken trees while also maintaining a strong and durable boot.

The internal neoprene lining allows you to easily take the boots on and off. No longer do you need to stand truck side and stomp your feet into the boots while wiggling side to side like a squirmy worms drifting in the current.

The midsole, combined with neoprene lining, will give you extra comfort, support as well as warmth. Simms even added an extra layer of the midsole to give the boots extra cushioning and shock absorption.

These boots can be worn in saltwater but proper care must be taken after wearing them. Removing the laces and cleaning with a brush to remove sand and then rinsing with fresh water from a hose or your sink.


What Makes the Best Fly Fishing Boots

Below we’re going to go over exactly what makes a fly fishing boot great. There are a number of things and some are more important to others. But this all depends on what type of fishing you plan on doing.

fishing boots for wading in the river


If you’re not comfortable wearing your boots then your not going to be fishing for long. In fly fishing, you will most likely be on your feet for the majority of the day.

So, anything that rubs, and gives you blisters is going to be a no go. The same goes for any boots that don’t have cushioning or shock absorption. You need something that will allow you to be out there for hours at a time.


When thinking of durability you should keep in mind exactly how often you go fishing and how rough you are on gear. If you only go out a few times a year then an expensive, strong durable boot is not needed.

The opposite goes for the weekend warrior or the fishing guide. If you’re out on the water 200 days a year then it’s very important you choose something that will last. Otherwise, you’ll be changing your boots out every couple of months.

Bottom Sole

Felt, rubber, studs? Which ones do you need and why. Felt is going to give the maximum about of traction when inside the water. It won’t slip very much, but if you plan on hiking long distances to the river of your choice then it might not be the best option.

Rubber is great for all-around hiking and wading. It’s going to give you traction for the tree stump you need to hike over on the trail while being grippy enough to hold you in place in a river with the current.

Studs can be screwed into both soles as long as the boot permits it. Using studs gives you an extra boost grip and traction. If the boots you’re wearing allow for them then its best to use them. These are suggested for wear on drift boats though.


When wading in river filled with loose and slippery rocks its important to have something to hold your foot an ankle in place. A strong upper that gives you support will do this.

You don’t want to be in the middle of a river and roll an ankle thanks to a flimsy upper and or loose boot. For your safety its best to find a boot with great support.

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With all of the information above its time to go out hunting for some great fly fishing boots. Any of the boots above would be a great choice or use the info above as a springboard for your own search.

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Dallas spends most of his time chasing brook trout in the mountain streams of his home state of Virginia and paddling around farm ponds throwing wooly buggers to bream and bass. When not fishing he's writing about fishing and has been published in The Virginia Sportsman, Southern Culture on the Fly as well as other fly fishing and outdoor sites.

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