A Guide to Fishing Boots – how to choose and what to buy

In the market for some fishing boots, but not sure which to go for? Then check out this handy Anglers’ Net guide to fishing footwear, it’s packed with help and advice to make sure you find your perfect pair of fishing boots! 

Angling has come quite a way over the last decade or two. I remember when the only real choice for footwear when going fishing was a pair of Wellingtons, Docks, or something ex military. Nowadays, you can’t move for ankle boots, low boots, high boots, field boots, walled boots and even moon boots!

Lots to choose from, then, but what points do you need to think about before making your purchase? The main point for consideration should be the type of angling you intend to be doing, and also a crucial factor, the length of your sessions, as this will dictate how long you’ll have them on for at a time.

To start off with, let’s take a look at what types of footwear are best suited to which types of angling. If you’re a stalking, roving or mobile type of angler, you will be better off looking at some of the low cut boots for the majority of your fishing. These will be comfortable for long periods spent walking, and being more like a trainer in design, will be much better suited to climbing trees and scrambling down riverbanks. Most low cut boots are waterproof and breathable, but if it’s likely you are going to be coming into contact with the water on a regular basis, a slightly higher cut might be more suitable – especially if you won’t be doing much climbing.

A good design to look at in such circumstances would be a field boot. A field boot offers a rubberised lower part of the boot, so it’s totally waterproof and easy to clean, whilst the upper wall is made of fabric to ensure comfy walking. One thing to look out for, though, is whether the lining is fixed, i.e. stitched in and part of the boot, or removable in that it can be taken out of the boot altogether. Whilst those with a removable liner are great for session fishing, or as a winter boot to keep your feet nice and warm, they aren’t too good for trying to walk long distances as the liners – which are often very thick – often move around within the boot itself.

An ankle, low, trail or high boot will usually have a fully stitched in liner so they give you the best of both worlds; good comfort with good traction. It’s probably the case that, in time, you’ll get a few different types of footwear to suit the season. My preference for summer is usually a skate type trainer, which is quite well protected but allows me to climb trees and stalk fish comfortably. In the winter, I’ll tend to be night fishing so will go with a pair of field type fishing boots with a removable liner. In the day I’ll wear them all the time, but when in the sleeping bag at night, I’ll whip them off and take out the liners, this way I can get them on is a second if the rods go.

For the angler who wants the benefit of comfort, needs to be able to walk good distances, and who will also come into contact with the water quite a bit, you then have the extreme type boot which rides quite a way up the shin. They will be much the same design as the low or ankle boot, but basically allow you to go into much deeper water without getting your feet wet. Obviously, they are quite big and cumbersome and take quite a bit of lacing up, so they wouldn’t be suited to night fishing, but would be ideal for the roving angler in the winter.

It’s worth bearing in mind that most angling manufacturers who now offer boots are only taking their lead from the hiking and trail boot industry, and as such, in many cases, you can get just as much bang for your buck – if not more – by purchasing a good hiking or trekking boot from any number of long established brands who have been designing very similar boots for much longer!

Whilst comfort and warmth are usually the main factors people consider, for the session angler, ease of use has to come into it as well. If you’re bivvied up on a session, the boots are going to be on and off quite a bit, so in such circumstances you might wish to take a look at some of the moon boot styles, which offer good insulating comfort, but have no laces so are much easier to take on and off during the session and during the night.

As a final note before we pick out a few selections for you, it’s well worth getting yourself some decent socks. Good boots are nothing without a good pair of socks to go with them, and my advice would be to get yourself a pair of SealSkinz Mid-Thermal Merino Socks; proper waterproof & thermal socks that won’t let you down, I’ve been using them for nearly ten years now and wear them every time I go fishing. To me, they’re as important as my rods and offer unrivalled comfort and protection, irrespective of whether I’m out for a few hours stalking or if I’m wearing my waders all day long in the depths of winter! Priced at £27.99 they are a bargain; full details – CLICK HERE.

SealSkinz Mid-Thermal Merino Socks


Moving onto the boots themselves, a popular choice at the moment is the X-trail AP Low Boots from TFG. Designed for the angler who likes to remain mobile and active, these X-trail AP Low Boots provide unrivalled support, grip and incredible stability while roving over all terrain. Lightweight and comfortable, yet 100% waterproof, the X-trail AP Low Boots provide outstanding sporting performance, superior protection and full comfort. You can easily climb trees and scramble through bushes so they are great for the stalking angler who likes to remain agile. Priced at £59.99; full details – CLICK HERE.

TFG X-trail AP Low Boots


For more heavy duty use, the same range offers the TF Gear X-trail AP High Boots, combining unbeatable grip, incredible stability and the latest in endurance fabrics, these X-trail AP High Boots provide unbeatable protection and performance. Inbuilt shock absorbers, totally waterproof and breathable, this all season footwear will keep you warm, dry and comfortable throughout the season and the higher and thicker side walls will give extra protection whilst out on the banks. Priced at £59.99; full details – CLICK HERE.

TF Gear X-trail AP High Boots


Stepping away from fishing brands, the Hi-Tec Eurotrek Leather Waterproof Boot is a quality choice offering real value for money. The Eurotrek from Hitec are traditional leather boots which are easy to clean and maintain. With a one piece full grain durable leather upper the boots offer good support to the ankle. The EVA midsole is both light and hard-wearing and an hardy carbon rubber outsole makes the boots ideal for fishing by lakes or rivers. Boasting a soft padded collar and bellows tongue, the Eurotreks are comfortable whilst walking. Including a steel shank for support and rustproof brass eyelets. Eurotrek boots really are one of the best value for money outdoor boots on the market. Priced at £44.23; full details – CLICK HERE.

Hi-Tec Eurotrek Leather Waterproof Boot


For those wanting to treat their feet to a little luxury, the Scarpa Terra GTX Leather Boot is a popular choice amongst many session anglers, particularly for use during the colder months. Boasting Gore-Tex technology the boot is both waterproof and breathable offering exceptional protection for your feet. Formed around a stunning new Vibram sole using Direct inject technology these boots are instantly comfortable and cushioned straight out of the box, so perfect for the roving or long stay angler. Fishing boots don’t come much better than this. Priced at £109.99; Full details – CLICK HERE.

Scarpa Terra GTX Leather Boot


We hope this fishing footwear guide has proved useful, and don’t forget to check out all the other fishing boots available via the Anglers’ Net Fishing Tackle & Bait Finder.

Julian Grattidge
December 2010

All prices and offers correct at time of publishing.

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