Wading boots:
rubber-soled or felt-soled?


23th June 2019

Wading boots are an essential part of your equipment, they must give the right stability and comforts, sometimes you can wear them for several hours, so it’s really important to choose the proper boots.
When you have to buy a pair of boots you have 2 choices, rubber-soled or felt-soled.

Felt-soled: felt is a textile made by pressing fibers together, it has an excellent grip on the underwater stones clothed by silt or moss, but the felt is really slippery on the wet grass or wet logs.
Felt-soled boots, like waders, can carry spores, this particular is quite important. If you don’t clean and dry your boots and waders you can spread invasive species in other rivers. In some States, the felt-soled boots are banned.

Rubber-soled: years ago the rubber-soled boots for fishing were really bad, both in quality and function: after a while, the sole came off and the grip was almost equal to zero.
With the new technology, the rubber-soled are getting much better, the grip is almost the same, but the felt is still better underwater.

As we saw there are pros and cons in both soles. Your choice, after carefully checking the regulation, should depend on where you are planning to go and what kind of approach you have for the day.
If you are going to spend all day in a few hundreds of meters of the river staying a lot of time in the water it is better to use felt-soled boots, they give you more stability and security inside the water.
If you are planning to walk for some kilometers, fishing in some pool or hot spot, maybe climbing a mountain, it is 100% better to use rubber-soled boots.


You can improve the traction properties of both soles by adding special metal studs, there are classic studs less expensive (click here to see them on Amazon) or in tungsten, more expensive but with better quality (click here to see them on Amazon).
It is really important to keep clean and dry your boots and waders, especially you move into different rivers. During the centuries the humans made enough disasters with the natural environment, be conscious of this, it’s really important.

Tip: if you buy wading boots on-line get an extra size, for example, if your foot is size 10, buy size 11. In this way, you leave enough space for the waders between your foot and the water. I use an old pair of hand made wool socks between my waders and the boots to prevent scratching in the waders from the small pebbles.

What about your boots choice? Any more suggestions to give? Share on the comment section below.