Whether you’re targeting monster pelagic species like marlin, sailfish, tuna, wahoo and dolphin offshore or just out for a casual day on the water with your family and friends, you need to be equipped with the proper footwear. The best shoes for boating and fishing combine comfort, style and dependability. Boots are waterproof and offer better protection for your feet, while sandals are more comfortable in tropical conditions. Here are the best fishing shoes, boots and sandals when you’re on the water.
Best Fishing Shoes
This has one of the most aggressive outsoles of the group, and provides excellent traction on teak and fiberglass decks. The mesh upper has synthetic overlays with midsole ports for venting and breathability in the heat. There are four color patterns; Mountain/Voltage is shown. columbia.com
The all-nylon upper and shock-absorbing EVA midsole combine to make this one of the lightest shoes in the group. The nonmarking natural gum rubber outsole pods feature razor-cut siping to quickly move water away for excellent traction in any weather condition. There are two color patterns; Metal and Anchor is shown. grundens.com
Olu Kai Moku Pae
Meaning “come ashore” in Hawaiian, the Moku Pae is Olu Kai’s modern approach to the traditional boat shoe, with breathable mesh construction and the company’s signature drop-in heel for shoe or slide functionality. The outsole is nonmarking wet-grip rubber with a lugged, articulating pod design. olukai.com
A classic design, the Billfish has perforated side panels for breathability, along with shock-absorbing enhancements in the sole for all-day wear on deck or onshore. The outsole has Sperry’s patented siping for excellent traction; the full-grain natural leather styling is timeless. There are two colors available, dark tan and tan/beige (shown). sperry.com
Sperry 7 Seas
The 7 Seas offers a great balance of comfort and performance, thanks to the company’s patented outsole combined with a water-repelling mesh upper and breathable midsole to quickly shed water and keep feet dry. The 360-degree lacing system makes this one of the most comfortable boat shoes of the group as well. sperry.com
Gill Race Trainer
The Race Trainer was created for active use around the water. These lightweight trainers showcase a water-drainage system and a quick-lace adjustment. The outsole is molded using a nonslip compound and features an impact-absorbing insole. Two colors are available: graphite and gray (shown). gillfishing.com/
Columbia Megavent Dorado PFG
If you want to stand out in a crowd, you’ll love these Megavent Dorado PFGs from Columbia. They feature a breathable mesh upper treated with the company’s Blood ‘n’ Guts water and stain treatment, plus the Omni-Grip non-marking outsole with razor siping. columbia.com.
Sperry Shock Light Boat
Weighing just 6.7 ounces, Sperry’s Shock Light Boat shoe has ASV Technology built into the heel, absorbing vibration and reducing shock up to 30 percent. There’s also a 360-degree lacing system for extra security with a comfortable bungee system. sperry.com.
OluKai Nohea Lace Mesh
Hawaiian for handsome, the Noheas have a dual-density polyurethane gel insert that’s removable and washable. The uppers have breathable mesh with a tightly woven mesh quarter panel and microfiber lining throughout. The drop-heel design means you can slide them on too. olukai.com.
Under Armour Kilchis
The Kilchis features Under Armour’s J-Step non-marking outsole for great traction on smooth, wet surfaces. A quick-drying upper with welded synthetic overlays helps with abrasion protection, and the contoured midsole with full liner adds softness and comfort underarmour.com.
Simms’ Currents are ready for the deck with seamless welded quick-dry uppers, bungee lacing system, EVA insoles and non-marking siped soles for a sure grip. And your buddies will also appreciate the Agion anti-odor technology. simmsfishing.com.
Sperry Captain’s A/O
When you want the classic look combined with upgraded technology, reach for the Sperry Captain’s A/O. There’s ASV Technology in the heel and toe to reduce shock by up to 50 percent, along with Hydro Grip rubber outsoles, and they weigh just 9.7 ounces. sperry.com.
Paul Sperry Flex Deck Boat
Part of the Paul Sperry Collection, these are available through select Sperry retailers only. The patented SON-R Technology has an interactive insole for greater sensory feedback, which means greater stability. The soles feature Adaptive Wave-Siping to help increase traction in slippery conditions. sperry.com.
Sebago Docksides Ariaprene
Ariaprene is an ultra-lightweight, nontoxic and recyclable synthetic from Sebago that’s combined with an EVA-cushioned removable insole for the ultimate in comfort. Non-marking soles and hand-sewn construction round out the entire package sebago.com.
Best Fishing Sandals
Grundens Leather Captain’s Sandals
Sometimes you just want a really nice pair of leather sandals. The molded EVA foam midsole is surprisingly comfortable, with 100 percent natural leather straps and footbed inserts. There are two colors available: black and butternut. grundens.com
Pelagic Offshore Fishing Sandals
Purposefully designed for life on the water, this design from Pelagic performs comfortably in either wet or dry conditions. The sandals have water-channeling footbeds, neoprene-lined straps and nonslip, nonmarking soles. This is one pair of sandals that’s always ready for a trip offshore. pelagic.com
Leave it to the Hawaiians to design one of the best fishing sandals. Named for an ancient surf break near Waikiki, the Kapuas dress it up a bit with full-grain leather straps and a molded midsole wrapped in high-character full-grain leather. A brass accent tops it off with understated style.olukai.com
Best Fishing Boots
Huk Rogue Wave
This ankle boot is engineered for durability, thanks to full neoprene and rubber upper construction with commercial-grade reinforced pull straps. The outsole is designed to grip in any direction, while microchannels allow water to escape; the interior foot bed is 8 mm molded EVA for all-day comfort. It’s available in a variety of solid colors as well as two Mossy Oak camouflage patterns; Huk Blue is shown. hukgear.com
Rugged Shark GreatWhite
Constructed from rubber for flexible wear, the GreatWhite from Rugged Shark is designed for even the harshest conditions. Featuring a removable cushioned water-friendly interior foot bed and a trademarked Shark Grip slip-resistant nonmarking rubber sole, this boot is a must-have for serious offshore anglers.