The Best Flat Wading Shoes

Dressing like a pro will impress your hot fishing guide.

Photo: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

Let's face it, nothing about fishing attire is sexy. But with a trip already booked, it's time to get serious. Showing up at the boat ramp sporting high heels and a flowing skirt will definitely turn heads. However, outfitting yourself with the correct gear will impress your hot fishing guide. The first step is choosing footwear. Wading shoes allow you to manipulate like a ballerina over slippery river rocks. Yet, if you just can't bear wearing something that looks like it fell out of grandpa's closet, there are other options for tiptoeing graciously through the rushing river.


The least attractive, but most practical, type of wading footwear is the traditional wading boot. Wading boots have felt soles, permitting maximum stability and traction on slippery rocks. Do they come in a dainty pink or lace-up embroidered version? Unfortunately not, but they do provide stable ankle support while navigating rushing rivers and streams. Some manufacturers make ladies wading boots that resemble hiking boots. Pairing these with cute camo shorts keeps you in the game without abandoning style.

River Sandals

If you want your guide to take notice, show up sporting the latest trend. Many fly-fishing guides wade in river sandals manufactured by companies in the kayaking industry. These sandals' sole construction incorporates 5.10 rubber (a rubber found on rock climbing shoes), creating an anti-slip grip for your feet. Additionally, they come in delightful styles with criss-crossed colorful straps. If you want performance without compromising your look, go with river sandals.

Closed-Toe Wading Sandals

Afraid of ruining yesterday's spa pedi? Choose a closed-toe sandal designed specifically for river wading. This style combines the attractive appeal of the river sandal with the felt sole and protection of a boot. An additional feature: The antimicrobial footbed keeps hot, soggy feet smelling fresh. Plus, with Velcro straps, these sandals slide off easily for a quick transition back into your fancy footwear.

Flip Flops

Yes, it is OK to use flip flops as wading shoes, but only under certain conditions. First off, you need to be versed in river walking. Second, sticky rubber soles on quality-constructed sandals is mandatory. Last but not least, flip flops should only be worn when wading through small creeks and streams, not deep rushing water. True, this surf-style shoe is the best option for preserving your fashion identity. But before venturing out under-protected, ask your guide about specific trip details.

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