Get a Grip! The 14 Best Shoes for Kayak Fishing (Updated Reviews for 2024)

There are all sorts of top-quality gear and apparel options out there for kayak angling, designed to ensure you have the best possible chance of success.

And you should never overlook your feet – because if you keep them happy – everything else will follow.

So, let’s take a look at the best shoes for kayak fishing in this review, to keep you protected, supported, and comfortable – all day long.

And they might just stop you slipping overboard at the same time.

The Best Shoes for Kayak Fishing – At-a-Glance

Feel free to keep scrolling to get to the reviews if you prefer, but it’s always a good idea to know what you’re looking for, first.

That, and we have our top three recommendations coming right up.

When you’re in the market for new kayak fishing shoes, you should pay attention to the following features and factors that will all influence your choice:

  • Season and conditions – when and where will you be fishing?
  • Shoe size and weight – footwear needs to fit well, and not restrict your movement.
  • Materials and waterproofing – durability, breathability, and protection are all important.
  • Style – aesthetics might not be practical, but you’ll still want a shoe that looks good.
  • Grip – boat and water shoes shouldn’t let you down when it comes to slippery decks and rocks.
  • Cost – always take your budget into consideration and buy the best footwear you can afford, relative to how often you’re going to use them.

Don’t miss our buyer’s guide following the reviews that will explore each point in more detail, but for now…

Here’s our top three picks for the best kayak fishing shoes overall.

It’s been a tough decision this year, and we’ve had several options jockeying for the coveted podium finish, and of those three, any one of them could have finished in the top spot.

In the end, we’ve gone for the HUK Attack as our number one, largely thanks to it being purposefully designed for kayak and boat fishing.

A close second is Columbia’s hugely popular Bahama Vent PFG fishing shoes, which are highly versatile to wear all day long – whether you’re fishing or not.

In third place – and the former number one – is the Merrell All-Out Blaze hiking and water shoe hybrid, easily still one of the best shoes for kayak fishing on the market.

Do you agree with our choices? Take a look at the reviews below and decide for yourself, and don’t forget about the buyer-s guide which follows.

The 14 Best Kayak Fishing Shoes for 2024

HUK Attack Fishing Shoes

Regular anglers will all recognize HUK as an iconic fishing brand, and one that puts a lot of thought into their products.

Designed for anglers by anglers, they bill the Attack shoes as the most “thoughtfully engineered,” and “purpose-built” fishing shoe that has ever been created.

That’s a bold claim, but they might just have pulled it off with this stylish, practical, and durable product.

Its unique grip has been designed to lock down on slippery surfaces, while allowing water to drain at the same time.

Surely one of the most advanced kayak fishing shoes available, the HUK Attack takes no prisoners.


  • Expert design and construction.
  • Performance lacing.
  • Breathable comfort.
  • Ingenious grip system.
  • Choice of colors.


  • Reports that they run small – and might be too narrow for some.


If only every fishing brand put as much care and attention into their products as HUK does, we’d be spoiled for choice.

As it stands, this is one of the most impressive water shoes for kayak fishing I’ve ever seen.

Columbia Bahama Vent PFG Slip-On Boat Shoes

Columbia Bahama Vent PFG Slip-On Boat Shoes

I might be more than a little biased on this one, as the Columbia Bahama is my current choice of kayak fishing footwear.

I’ve had this shoe a few years now, and it shows no signs of letting me down, given its durable construction, stain-resistance technology, and leather uppers.

Highly versatile, it’s at home both on, in, and away from the water, with a cushioned, vented footbed for day-long comfort.

I’ve worn this shoe for several days in a row while kayak fishing and exploring islands, and when it does eventually give out, I’ll probably buy them again.


  • Name to trust.
  • Very highly rated.
  • Omni-grip outsoles.
  • Easy on/off comfort.
  • Breathable canvas upper.


  • Can take some time to break in – I can confirm.


As a company that practices affordable quality, Columbia is hard to beat, and you should check out this article on the best fishing jackets for more examples.

And for those long summer days out on the water, you can’t go wrong with their Bahama Vent PFG boat shoes.

Merrell Men's All Out Blaze Aero Water Shoes

The All Out Blaze hiking and water shoes from Merrell are just perfect for wearing when you’re kayak fishing, and for doing just about anything else, too!

Made with a synthetic sole and breathable mesh upper, they’re stylish and practical, with a nice, grippy lug to keep slips to a minimum while you’re on deck.

An Omni-fit lacing system is comfortable and easy-to-use, and the cushioned and protective UniFly midsole will keep your feet happy for as long as you’re out there.

A great choice if you have to walk to your launch spot, there’s a reason these shoes have been so popular for kayak fishing year after year.


  • Name to trust.
  • Stylish aesthetic.
  • Good choice of colors.
  • Versatile use.
  • Very highly rated.


  • None to speak of.


You only have to check out the other reviews to see that Merrell’s All Out Blaze model is one of the best kayak fishing shoes on the market.

Super comfortable and versatile, take them hiking, swimming, or even a stroll into town. I think I’m going to pick up a pair myself when I’ve finished writing this review.

Columbia Drainmaker IV Water Shoes

Columbia’s second entry in our review of the best shoes for kayak fishing comes hot on the heels of its first, as a design that appears to be closer to a sneaker than a water shoe.

Don’t let that fool you, though, as they don’t call it the Drainmaker IV for nothing.

With a superior cushioning and impact absorption system, you can have versatile, all-day wear, while the non-marking wet traction rubber outsole offers durability and comfort from wet rocks to kayak decks.

This is just a superb kayak fishing shoe all-round.


  • Name to trust.
  • Highly rated.
  • High-traction grip.
  • Suitable for all seasons.
  • Choice of colors.


  • Can take a while to dry.


Stylish, practical, and made with affordable quality, these water shoes are perfect for kayak fishing.

But if you’re looking for something a bit more robust, check out this review on sturdy fishing boots – which also features a popular option from Colombia.

Crocs Swiftwater Mesh Deck Sandals

Everyone knows the quality and popularity of Crocs sandals when it comes to beach, water, and casual wear, so it comes as no surprise to find these deck shoes included here.

The Swiftwater mesh sandals are super lightweight, and are perfect for sporty adventures, with a versatile, all-purpose design that’s “water friendly.”

Wide ports in the shoe allow for easy drainage, and they feature Croslite material for Crocs’ trademark comfort fit.

The closed toe will keep your feet protected, and with an impressive number of five-star reviews, they could well be one of the best shoes for kayak fishing out there.


  • Name to trust.
  • Very highly rated.
  • Durable construction.
  • Comfort fit.
  • Adjustable strap.
  • Choice of colors.


  • Reports that they can take some time to break in.


You either love them or hate them, but there’s no doubt that Crocs are an immensely popular choice for watersports and pastimes, and are an ideal choice for kayak fishing.

Under Armour Micro G Kilchis Sneaker

Another hugely popular sportswear brand, Under Armour offers these stylish water shoe/sneaker hybrids.

Made with a quick-dry textile upper, they’re highly breathable, with a contoured midsole and footbed that is designed to drain water away.

Welded synthetic overlays help keep your feet protected from abrasion – which is a common problem with water shoes – and the “best-in-class” rubber sole provides excellent grip on slippery surfaces.


  • Name to trust.
  • Non-marking grippy sole.
  • Highly breathable.
  • Quick drying.
  • Choice of colors.


  • Reports that they might be on the narrow side for some.
  • Some designs are more expensive than others.


A stylish and affordable water shoe from Under Armour, the Micro G Kilchis sneaker is a great option for all your watersports needs.

KEEN Women's Venice II H2 Water Shoes

This women’s water shoe from KEEN is in an attractive sandal style design, yet it’s still as rugged and durable as they come, with a thick sole with grippy lug and a protective front section that’s ideal if you’re prone to stubbing your toe on underwater obstacles.

The ESS shank offers lightweight support throughout, ensuring you can wear this for all-day comfort, while the fully adjustable heel strap and lace up system caters for a customized fit.


  • Stylish, practical design.
  • Very comfortable.
  • Excellent foot support.
  • Choice of colors.
  • Durable construction.


  • Can run a little narrow – check your sizing.
  • A little on the pricey side for sandals.


The Venice II is a quality women’s water shoe from KEEN, versatile enough for comfortable use no matter the activity – but very practical for kayak fishing.

Salomon Tech Amphib 4 Water Shoes

French sports company Salomon are known for their premium-quality outdoor shoes – including some of the best hiking boots money can buy.

The Amphib 4 is one of their water shoe models, ingeniously designed with sustainable materials, including a liner made from coffee beans and textile fiber and microfiber from 70% recycled PET (plastic bottles).

Breathable mesh allows water to pass through without letting debris in, and the grippy outsole provides non-slip traction on surfaces even when underwater.

And the clever collapsible heel means it can switch between a shoe and a slip on with ease.


  • Name to trust.
  • Versatile design.
  • Quick lace system.
  • Environmentally conscious.
  • Choice of colors.


  • Can run narrow.


I’ve always got time for outdoor sports companies who are conscious of the environment, and these water shoes from Salomon are the perfect example. And not only that – they’re just really cool.

For some more Mother Nature friendly companies, check out this review of the best kayak fishing brands.

NeoSport Wetsuits Paddle Low Top Boots

These neoprene water boots have been made with wetsuits in mind, but are just as at home when worn on the deck of a fishing kayak.

The seams have been glued and sewn for extra durability and warmth using a double-bonded thread, while the upper is made from a soft neoprene that’s comfortable to wear all day long.

A flexible thermoplastic rubber has been used in the construction of the sole, which also has a hardened insert to shield the foot and protect it from punctures.

Ideal for all paddle sports, they would also be perfect for use on one of these awesome fishing SUPs.


  • Lightweight design.
  • Hook and loop adjustment strap.
  • Ankle cinch cord for fit and comfort.
  • Aggressive tread.
  • YKK side zippers.


  • Again, might be a little on the thin side for some.


A quality water shoe that just lends itself to paddle sports, they’re very popular for kayak fishing, but just handy to have anytime you’re near or on the water.

Xtratuf Men's Wheelhouse Ankle Deck Boot

An ideal choice for kayak fishing in colder temps, the Wheelhouse ankle deck boot is a tough and durable option.

It’s made slightly wider than most, which is ideal if you don’t have narrow feet, and the 100% waterproof construction will keep you warm and dry.

The dual-density insole has built-in channels to improve breathability, with a reinforced upper at the key stress points of the toe and heel.

And the SRC-rated outsole ensures the best possible slip resistance while being non-marking and oil-resistant to boot.


  • Rugged, durable construction.
  • Dual pull-on tabs.
  • Choice of colors.
  • Aggressive, non-marking lug.


  • Sizing can be a bit tricky.


A top-quality deck boot that’s very comfortable and perfect for colder conditions. You should also pick up a pair of good-quality fishing gloves to protect your hands as well – so follow that link for more.

Northside Brille II Athletic Water Shoes

Easily the most affordable option in the review, the Northside Brille II water shoe is a unisex model with an outstanding selection of colors to choose from.

A rugged neoprene upper leads into a breathable mesh and lightweight webbing to keep your feet cool, with a reinforced, abrasion-resistant toe added for protection.

The quick-dry design is ideal for watersports, while the EVA sole adds extra comfort to cushion your feet should you wish to take them on a light hike.

And the multi-directional rubber outsole offers excellent traction on slippery surfaces.


  • Excellent price point.
  • Bungee lace system.
  • Easy on/off.
  • Very highly rated.
  • The color choice is superb.


  • They won’t be as durable as more expensive options.


I had to mention the color options again, because if you can’t find a pair to match your look then maybe think about changing your look.

Still, this is a nice, budget-friendly water shoe that’s versatile for most watersport use.

NRS Men's Paddle Wetshoes

Northwest River Supplies have been in this game since 1972, and they’ve been making quality outdoor gear and equipment ever since – with an emphasis on paddle sports.

This neoprene water bootie is a good example, with a high top, low profile look that’s been designed to keep you warm and comfortable without bulk.

Made with premium materials, it keeps feet warm with 3-mm Terraprene neoprene with heat-reflecting titanium, and remains easy to pull on and off thanks to the gusset-backed opening with YKK zipper.

Inside, the fleece-like lining repels water, so your feet stay dry and comfortable, and the high traction outsole grips nicely over slippery surfaces.


  • Name to trust.
  • Roomy toe box.
  • Ankle padding.
  • Rubber support bands.


  • Not the most stylish for kayak fishing.


A durable, well-designed and made watersport bootie that will keep you comfortable and feeling protected while out on your yak. Ideal for use when piloting one of these premium pedal fishing kayaks.

KEEN Targhee 3 Waterproof Hiking Shoes

Another entry now from KEEN, this time their Targhee 3 hiking shoe – which makes a great option for versatile fishing craft use.

Fully waterproof, it has a breathable membrane to keep your feet dry and comfortable while on deck, as it allows airflow without letting water in.

The all-terrain outsole provides an aggressive lug for non-slip grip on multiple surfaces, and an external shank offers additional support for uneven ground.

A removable EVA footbed cradles the arch of the foot for superior, all-day wear, and finishes a durable, lightweight hiking shoe that is highly versatile for use on the water.


  • Name to trust.
  • Very highly rated.
  • Non-marking sole.
  • Super comfortable.
  • Choice of colors.
  • Padded tongue and collar.


  • A bit more on the expensive side.


A quality hiking shoe that certainly wouldn’t look out of place when kayak fishing – hence why it fits nicely in this review.

Frogg Toggs Aransas II Neoprene Shoes

Everyone has surely owned something from Frogg Toggs at some point, as they make some of the best rain gear for fishing on the market.

This neoprene surf and sand bootie is an awesome fishing shoe, designed with a five millimeter outer shell for comfort and protection, with a supportive yet lightweight EVA midsole.

A reinforced toe cap offers solid defense against any obstacles you might encounter on or underwater, and that cleated outsole has some of the most defined lug we’ve seen on a water shoe.

Another example of why Frogg Toggs are just one of the best fishing brands all around.


  • Name to trust.
  • Front gusset with durable zipper.
  • Adjustable ankle-tension strap.
  • Toe and heel cap reinforcement.


  • Might be a bit bulky for some.
  • Sizing can be tricky.


A nice half-way house between a light water shoe and a full-on boot, the Aranas II offers plenty of comfort and protection for all-day use.

Choosing the Best Kayak Fishing Shoes – A Buyer’s Guide

When you’re in the market for a new pair of kayak fishing shoes, there are a few things you should consider before “adding to cart.”

Let’s take a look at what they might be in our buyer’s guide, below.

water sports kayaking wetsuit and water shoes

Season and Conditions

First up, you should think about when and where you’re going to be using your kayak fishing shoes, as the season and conditions will play a big part in your comfort.

Lightweight water shoes are going to be no good if you’re out in winter, or any time the temperature is likely to drop.

Likewise, bulky fishing boots won’t do in roasting-hot conditions.

Look for something that’s going to fit the time of year and the weather – and you should be good to go.

Size and Weight

I always say it’s important to check with a manufacturer’s sizing guide when choosing any item of clothing or footwear – especially if you’re ordering online.

Water shoes also tend to run a little on the narrow side across the board – so make sure you double-check that with the product you’re interested in – if you have feet on the wide side.

And take the shoe’s weight into consideration, too, as heavy boots or shoes will slow you down, but lighter models might not provide adequate protection – depending on the situation.

There’s always a happy medium to be had.

man fishing on a stand up kayak in the sea

Materials and Waterproofing

Look for kayak fishing shoes that are made with the best possible materials, which will ensure they last longer than one season on the water.

Neoprene, rubber, PVC, nylon, leather, and synthetic materials are largely involved in the construction of this kind of footwear, and you want something that’s going to last and protect your feet – but keep things breathable at the same time.

And consider how waterproof you want the shoes to be, which will likely depend on the season you’re fishing in. Nobody minds getting wet in the summer, but in the winter it can be a serious problem.

Consider if a shoe is made from quick-dry material or not – as this can also affect your comfort throughout the day.


Here you have a selection of options when it comes to the style of a kayak fishing shoe.

Water Shoes are similar to our regular day-to-day footwear. They offer good all-round protection, are lightweight and breathable, and are designed to be highly versatile in their use.

Providing they’re quick-to-dry (as most should be) you can easily leave them on all day for general wear, and good-quality versions can also double nicely as a hiking shoe.

Water Booties are usually made from neoprene, and are nearly always only worn during water-based activities

They fit snug to the skin, not too dissimilar to a sock, and offer extra grip and coverage than if you were to simply go barefoot.

Their wet-suit style design can also be useful when you’re out in colder conditions, but being the lightest kayak footwear option means they’re not the best for support or protection.

Sandals make excellent kayak shoes as they’re often quick-to-try and highly breathable – ideal for those warmer days on the water.

Like water shoes they can be worn for extended periods of time for multiple activities, but are the preferred option for when things get particularly hot.

Fishing boots can also be used for kayak fishing – especially in colder climes or when the weather is poor.

Many kayak anglers use wading boots during such conditions, and they certainly offer the best possible protection when it comes to hazards – underwater or otherwise.

It’s up to you to decide which style of kayak fishing shoe will suit your needs best – or you might like to try a selection depending on when and where you’re heading out.

fisherman floats on a white fishing kayak in ocean along the coast


One of the most important features of the best shoes for kayak fishing is the grip.

Which is why many anglers choose to wear something on their feet rather than go barefoot in hot weather.

They can be particularly effective when used in one of these stand-up fishing kayaks, to significantly reduce your chances of slipping and falling in.

Either way, look for a shoe that has a durable, aggressive lug on the sole – enough to give you satisfactory traction over slippery rocks, on deck, or anywhere the terrain might be questionable.

And non-marking options are preferable, especially if you’re on a boat or craft that isn’t your own.

Regardless of how grippy a kayak shoe is, you should always be wearing a certified fishing PFD when on the water. Following that link might just save your life…


Unless you’re looking at high-end wading boots, the price for water shoes doesn’t vary that dramatically, and you can get some quality options in the $50-$100 range.

There are even cheaper versions out there too, and you can always go with a pair of inexpensive tennis shoes, sandals, or other such footwear if you so choose.

However, I will say that spending a bit more will get you something that’s going to last – especially considering the challenging environment.

And speaking of, it’s important that we’re not always throwing stuff away after using it for only one season – especially when it comes to clothing and apparel.

Mother nature does not approve of this, and as keen anglers – neither should we.

Buy something durable, and keep the crap out of landfills.

And if you’re also looking to save a bit of money on your actual yak, take a look at this review on the best budget fishing kayaks on the market.

You might be surprised at the affordable quality available.


Wearing the right kind of footwear can make a huge difference to our day – no matter what activity we’re involved in.

And choosing the best shoes for kayak fishing can seriously help give you the edge when you’re out there on the water.

Let me know which pair you’ve gone for and why – and maybe I’ll change my mind for the 23rd time.

Tight lines everyone – and happy kayak fishing!

Stuart Jameson

Stuart is passionate about travel, kayaking, camping and the great outdoors in general. He's not quite as enthusiastic about angling as his father was, but out of the two of them, he's yet to hook his ear lobe while fly-fishing, which he sees as an absolute win.

Recent Content