Top 7 Best Shoes for Kayak Fishing! (Field Approved!)

7 Best Shoes for Kayak Fishing

Whether you indulge in kayaking for recreation or to seriously practice the sport, kayak fishing shoes would ensure your feet remain dry and comfortable throughout your indulgence. The shoes also offer protection over rough terrain and against impact with objects like creek rocks. 

The NRS Boundary is great for how it marries comfort and protection. If you want a shoe with an understated, yet unique design and comfortable, check out the low-profile Vibram Signa. The NRS Paddle, NeoSport Premium, Northside Brille II, etc. are also great options.

The shoes listed below have been chosen for their ability to intelligently blend attributes that a great kayak fishing shoe must possess—including comfort, protection, durability, and design. No kayak shoe is perfect, but the ones mentioned below are as close as they get.  

P.S. If you think you don’t need kayak shoes and could do just fine with any other type of shoe, such as tennis shoes, watch this video:

NRS Boundary Dry Boot

With a pronounced footbed and fairly thick 7mm (0.7cm) rubber sole, the NRS Boundary is a mukluk-style boot. 

It’s made of neoprene and, therefore, is waterproof and quite versatile. The 5mm (0.5cm) neoprene is relatively thick and works in most conditions. To ensure warmth and comfort during extremely cold weather scenarios, pair the boot with thermal socks.

NRS Boundary Shoe

Purpose-built for mucky put-ins and soggy portages, the NRS Boundary Boots deliver knee-high protection from the elements with a super grippy, rugged sole to handle the terrain kayak anglers favor.

Though this knee-high shoe looks a bit unwieldy at first, it’s surprisingly comfortable and breathable. The shoe’s extra height, in fact, helps keep your feet toasty when it’s cold outside. Wearing and removing the shoe is pretty easy, too, thanks to the arch strap. The convenient strap also locks the boots in place and prevents sand and water from getting in. All things put together the shoe gives a secured feeling to your feet.

Pros

  • Warm, dry, and comfortable
  • Tough sole and well-padded insides
  • Durable and loads of traction
  • Security arch strap

Cons

  • Female kayakers may have issues finding the right size

Vibram FiveFingers V-Aqua Water Shoe

The Vibram Five Fingers is an athletic boating shoe for kayakers who need a low-profile kayak shoe. This Vibram pair is made using synthetic material and an abrasion-resistant, stretchy, and comfortable upper polyester mesh. The shoes are pretty flexible and thin, which makes you feel more grounded or like you have not worn anything on your feet.

Vibram FiveFingers V-Aqua Water

The snug fit and lightweight design, along with perforations in the very durable sole, allow water to move quickly through the shoe, allowing for quick drying. 

 FiveFinger shoes allow for natural movement in and out of water while moving across a variety of terrains.

The shoe is slip-resistant, thanks to the MegaGrip compound. It ensures you don’t slip while treading on damp surfaces. The slip resistance is a pretty handy feature, particularly when you consider the shoe’s use case. The shoe has drainage holes to facilitate quick drying. Also, you get a strap to ensure a more comfortable and cozier fit.

Pros

  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Snug fit
  • Resists abrasions pretty well
  • Cool and innovative design

Cons

  • Arch support could have been better

Neo Sport Premium Neoprene Men & Women Wetsuit Boots

The NeoSport Premium is a zipper, hi-top boot made from a rubber and durable neoprene material laced with advanced technology for increased wearer comfort. 

It has a heavy-duty zipper that ensures zero water ingress. This relatively lightweight shoe’s insert sole boasts increased traction and solid puncture protection. The seams and sole are also glued together, reinforcing the pair’s durability and longevity.

Neo-Sport Premium Hi-Top Neoprene Boot

NeoSport really nailed it with these boots. The outer part is made from a super tough material that stands up to scrapes and bumps but still lets you move easily. They’ll keep your feet toasty warm, no matter how cold it gets out there. Plus, they have special high-traction soles, so you won’t slip and slide around. So, you can count on them to last through many fishing trips!

The shoe starts at 3mm (0.3cm) of thickness and moderate layering, which helps it resist impacts and abrasions. The layers also keep your feet warm, making the pair ideal during cold weather conditions. 

You can choose from three levels of thickness: 3mm, 5mm, and 7mm. The 3mm thick shoe is ideal for kayaking in warm water, while the 5mm and 7mm pair are designed to withstand moderate and cold-water conditions, respectively.

Pros

  • All-weather shoe
  • Durable and flexible
  • Different thickness options
  • Puncture-resistant sole

Cons

  • Zipper mechanism’s durability is suspect

NRS Men’s Paddle Wetshoes

The NRS Paddle is a warm, comfortable, and pretty versatile shoe. It has a side zipper entry that opens pretty wide, making it quite easy to put the shoe on or take it off. The low-profile, high-top design offers great protection and warmth without any bulk. In chilly waters, the 3mm Terraprene neoprene and the heat-reflecting titanium glue ensures your feet stay warm.

NRS Paddle Wetshoe

When you’re out paddling and need something that keeps your feet warm and safe. The NRS Men’s Paddle Wetshoe is perfect for that! Even though it has a high-top design to give you extra support and protection, it’s still slim enough to fit comfortably into tight spots in your kayak.

The fleece-like, soft lining tends off water and dries almost instantly for greater comfort and warmth. The high-traction, 3mm sole paired with the 5mm neoprene insole offers your feet protection from roots and rocks. The sole wraps around your toe and heel for added protection. Moreover, the toe box is quite roomy and gives your toes enough space and all-day comfort.

Pros

  • Ideal for all-day paddling
  • Convenient zip side entry
  • Neoprene offers great cushioning
  • You can swim in it

Cons

  • Getting the right size could be tricky

Northside Unisex Brille II Athletic Water Shoe

The Northside Brille II water shoe is made from a blend of quick-drying mesh and neoprene. The shoe features a removable insole and synthetic sole and looks more like a regular pair of sneakers. The drawstring laces ensure a snug and pretty comfortable fit. The rubber sole offers a solid grip even on slippery waterbeds.

Northside Unisex Brille II Water Shoe

The Brille water shoe has a rugged neoprene upper with breathable mesh and tough overlays to protect your feet. It’s designed to handle water and has quick-drying materials that keep you comfortable all day. The lightweight EVA insole adds extra cushioning, and the toe bumper guards your feet against rocks and rough terrain.

Available in a range of colors, the Brille II keeps up the reputation of Northside, a brand known for making rugged footwear for all kinds of terrain and weather conditions. The shoes are fairly flat, with raised portions in the right areas. For a water shoe, the padding is pretty thick. There is also arch support. People with wide feet will find the shoe quite accommodating.

Pros

  • Durable and comfortable
  • Decent traction for the design
  • Sneaker design
  • Removable insole

Cons

  • Takes time to dry

NeoSport Wetsuits Paddle Low Top Boots

The Neosport Wetsuits is a pair of kayak shoes constructed using comfortable and soft neoprene for the upper. 

The sole is made from a flexible and soft thermoplastic rubber, and the sole insert is hardened for solid puncture resistance. The glued and hand-sewn rubber seams and outsoles offer solid traction on all surfaces, while the under-ankle cord helps with securing the shoes to your feet. You also get an arch strap for increased stability.

NeoSports Paddle Low Top Boots

If you’re looking for a boot that’s great for kayaking and keeps your feet warm, check out the NeoSports Paddle Low Top Boots. They’re made from tough, abrasion-resistant material that lets you move easily and have glued and sewn seams for extra durability. The high-traction soles keep you steady on slick surfaces, and the low-top design fits comfortably in your kayak.

The shoe is pretty easy to wear and remove. Though ideal for paddling, these boots are all-around shoes that can also be used to navigate river bottoms or rocky beaches. Not to mention, the shoe works pretty well both in and outside of the kayak.

Pros

  • Great all-terrain shoes
  • Warm and durable
  • Seams are both glued and stitched
  • Soles offer great traction

Cons

  • Minor water retaining issue

Aleader Men’s Mesh Slip On Water Shoes

This Aleader slip-on shoe is made using a combination of hydrophobic engineered mesh and FluidFlow technology to facilitate quick drying. The shoe is lightweight, breathable, a comfortable fit, and grips on pretty well to various surfaces. It has an inner lining that prevents sand particles and small rocks from settling inside the shoe.

Aleader Men’s Hiking Shoe

Aleaders features a breathable mesh upper that lets water drain quickly, keeping your feet dry and cool. The durable, slip-resistant rubber sole provides great traction on wet and dry surfaces. The lightweight design and comfortable insole make them perfect for long days out on the water.

The shoe is commonly referred to as the ‘amphibious shoe’ within the community since it marries qualities that render the shoe ideal for different environments. The Aleader slip-on comes in a range of colors comprising different grey, white, and black color pairings. 

Aleader Women’s Mesh Slip On Water Shoes

For women, there is a separate pair, which comes in even more interesting colors.

Aleader Women’s Mesh Slip On Warer Shoe

The ALEADER Women’s Quick Drying Aqua Water Shoes are perfect for kayak fishing with their breathable mesh upper that keeps your feet dry and comfortable. They have a sturdy rubber sole that gives you excellent grip on wet and slippery surfaces. These shoes are lightweight and easy to wear all day, with quick-drying materials that make them perfect for any water adventure.

Pros

  • Fairly versatile
  • Comfortable, snug fit
  • Flexible and cushy soles
  • Removable inner liner (which means increased space)

Cons

  • A tad too many vent holes

Conclusion 

A kayaking adventure can be full of surprises and revelations. Proper kayaking shoes ensure your feet are ready and willing to meet those challenges. 

If you are a seasoned kayaker, buy an all-weather, all-terrain shoe such as the NRS Boundary. 

Also, look into other aspects of the shoe: breathability, comfort, fit, and construction. Buy a pair only after weighing in the various attributes and what aspects matter to you the most.

Mike Rodman

Mike enjoys fishing all year round, from fly fishing small streams in Wyoming's higher mountains to kayak fishing the lower altitude lakes and reservoirs. Mike also has a passion for ice fishing. When he has spare time, he'll be found at his rod bench building custom fishing rods.

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