When I was walking down a creek in my normal hiking shoes and walking so fast, I fell and got hurt. I’m just beginning to understand the value of professional wading shoes designed for riparian environments.
If you’ve ever tried walking and standing fishing in a river on a rocky bottom and the current squeezed your legs, then you know the need for wading boots. Falls, especially those that result in injury, pose a real threat to river anglers, and wading boots are key pieces of equipment designed to reduce this risk.
As with all water-related sports and activities, having a good pair of wading shoes removes most of your insecurities. The main purpose of these boots is to provide traction against algae, weeds and slipper beds and reduce fatigue. Also protects against debris and objects on river/lake beds and sharp rocks. The traction provided by wading boots allows anglers to navigate wet rocks and other slippery conditions with relative ease
Having a good sole is essential to ensure your feet are always firmly planted on the floor. There are many different soles to choose from, each with significantly different advantages on specific terrains. It’s not uncommon for anglers to walk miles into backcountry in search of top fishing spots. That’s the advantage of a rubber sole with good traction and abrasion resistance. The rubber used on the wading boots is specifically designed to provide better traction on unstable surfaces. A slightly softer rubber variant, its malleability allows it to increase its surface contact and provide the extra necessary grip on slippery rocks. Rubber soles are more durable and easier to clean than felt soles.
Most wading boots have drainage holes and/or advanced drainage channels in the midsole to reduce drainage time and make it easier for the wearer to get out of the water. The lightweight style is best for low-water streams or beaches where your feet are easy to place. Heavy boot styles are more durable and ideal for walking long distances and traversing obstacles. The wading boots are designed to take the hits, and the materials used are specifically chosen to withstand the impact of jagged rocks, logs and other objects. Many boots feature tough, durable materials that allow water to flow freely into and out of the shoe without absorbing it. Most boots are usually triple stitched with nylon thread so the boots can withstand the rigors of wading life.
We can look for wading boots with uppers made of synthetic leather or microfiber. This type of upper material is relatively light, durable, dries quickly and retains flexibility over time.
Sneaker-type booties are slightly different, as they tend to have a zipper system rather than laces.Some manufacturers also use BOA fit systems on their products. This unique system is ideal for anglers with reduced mobility, ie. Hip or knee problems, or even arthritis in the hands. The BOA system eliminates the amount of movement normally required to tie shoes. The system uses a push-pull mechanism to engage or disengage the system, while a simple turn clockwise or counterclockwise will see the boot tighten or loosen.
While submersible, wading boots will last longer if they are cleaned and ventilated regularly. After using them in the sea or river, clean the boots with fresh water and scrub with a brush to remove any dirt. After letting the boots dry gradually, store them in a dark, dry place. Take the best care of your shoes as there may be slight differences between them.
If you don’t remember the rest of this article, then try to remember this simple little formula:
Quality wading boots = better balance = less chance of injury = better fishing day.