Best Shoes for Kayak Fishing

Best Shoes for Kayak Fishing Comparison Chart

Best for
Weight (per shoe)
Tread / Traction
Drainage Features
Bottom line
Best Overall
Best Water Booties for Kayak Fishing
Astral Hiyak Outdoor Boots
Water activities and boats during nice and warm weather
Water booties
Hydrophobic canvas with 1060 ballistic nylon
9.632 oz (Men’s 9)
Extremely sticky rubber
Toe and heel drain holes
Great drainage, comfortable, flexible soles, extremely sticky outsoles for excellent traction, very durable, quick-drying, lightweight, and offers great sensitivity
Offering excellent protection, comfort, and stability without being too bulky, these shoes have everything you need for kayak fishing.
Best Bang for the Buck
Best Men’s Water Shoes for Kayak Fishing
Body Glove Men’s 3T Barefoot Cinch Water Shoe
Kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, fishing, and swimming
Water shoes
Approx 2 oz
Ultra-grip rubber sole
Integrated Drainage System (IDS)
Quick-drying, breathable, barefoot feel, comfortable, affordable, good traction, very lightweight, and flexible
A bit difficult to put on for some
This is a good choice if you’re looking for shoes that offer a more barefoot feel while staying protected from sharp objects and rocks.
Best Kayak Fishing Sandals
KEEN Men’s Newport H2 Closed Toe Water Sandals
Warm weather hiking, walking, and all activities in and out of the water
14.2 oz
Rubber sole
Open design
Breathable, open, great grip on slippery wet terrain, toe bumpers for more protection, quick-drying, and comfortable
Can be a little difficult to put on
Open and breathable without compromising protection, this pair of kayak fishing shoes offer the perfect balance between sandals and shoes.
Best Wetsuit-Style Boots
Neo Sport Premium Wetsuit Boots
Aquatic sports where foot warmth is important
Wetsuit-Style boots
Not indicated
Rugged traction sole
Keeps feet warm and toasty, offers great stability, lightweight, high-traction soles, comfortable, durable, easy to put on and off, and available in 3 thickness
Not good at draining water
If you’re planning to go kayak fishing during colder months but don’t want anything bulky, then this is the best pair of shoes for you.
Best Fishing Boots for Kayak
FROGG TOGGS Men’s Aransas II
Activities near the coast
Fishing boots
60% polyester and 40% PVC
Not indicated
One-piece, cleated rubber athletic outsole
Reliable traction, warm, great on many different surfaces, comfortable, good support, and heavy-duty
Doesn’t have drainage holes
Here are fishing shoes that offer excellent durability, protection, warmth, and comfort, and work well in a kayak.

When it comes to kayak fishing – and basically any sport for that matter – your gear plays a crucial role in making the experience safer and much more enjoyable. Your choice of gear can also make your chosen activity either comfortable or unbearable. And this is especially true for your kayak fishing shoes. So once you’re done choosing a kayak, a paddle, and a good PFD, then your next step is to find the best shoes for kayak fishing. 

Now, with so many different types, brands, and models around, you might find it hard to find the right pair of shoes for you. So to make it easier for you, we’ve put together a list of the best kayak fishing shoes available on the market. We’ve also created a guide on what makes a pair of shoes good for kayak fishing. 

How We Chose the Best Fishing Kayak Shoes?

We first scoured Amazon, the country’s leading online marketplace, for all the fishing kayak shoes available on the platform. Once we’ve seen everything, we created a shortlist of the highest-rated and most recommended shoes for kayak fishing. We also included those that met most anglers’ needs. 

From there, we put all the shoes against each other and compared them by their features, comfortability, value for money, and overall quality. After hours of looking into numerous shoe types, brands, and models, we were able to narrow down our list to only the top 5 pairs of shoes for kayak fishing. 

That said, all the shoes in this list are carefully selected and are guaranteed to give you the most comfort, support, and protection while on the water. 

Top 5 Best Kayak Fishing Shoes

Why we love it: 

  • Great drainage
  • Flexible soles
  • Extremely sticky outsoles
  • Quick-drying

What it is best for:

  • Water activities and boats during nice and warm weather

The Astral Hiyak Outdoor Boots are our top pick for the best water shoes for kayak fishing. They have thin, flexible soles, allowing you to feel and understand better what’s beneath you. Their soles are also among the stickiest rubber soles available, giving you the grip and traction you need in any wet environment and terrain. 

What’s great about these shoes is that they offer just the right level of protection and stability without compromising your comfort. Their level footbed provides a more balanced feel, and their toe box is wider, allowing your feet and toes to spread out. As a result, you’ll have better stability and agility on the water. Furthermore, each shoe has a thin yet cleverly designed insole with a cushioned canvas upper and drainage holes in the front and back, keeping your feet comfortable to paddle all day. 

Where the Astral Hiyak Outdoor Boots truly shines is durability. They’re designed and created to withstand the elements and conditions you’ll usually encounter when kayak fishing. They’re surprisingly not bulky, too. So your movements and range of motion won’t be impeded in any way. To top it all off, they are among the few kayak fishing shoes that actually look good. 


  • ZComfortable
  • ZExcellent traction
  • ZVery durable
  • ZLightweight
  • ZGreat sensitivity


  • QPricey

Why we love it: 

  • Breathable
  • Barefoot feel
  • Flexible
  • Very lightweight

What it is best for:

  • Kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, fishing, and swimming

If you’re looking for shoes that will provide you with a more barefoot feel, then look no further. The Body Glove 3T Barefoot Cinch Water Shoe has reduced sole heights to create the same balance and grip of being barefoot. At the same time, their neoprene upper and rubber outsole provide you with enough protection against the elements. 

The unique thing about these shoes is that they feature a 3-toe pocket system, which maximizes the performance of the first and second toes while protecting the smaller toes from injuries. Their lower profile outsoles also make them perfect for use in restrictive spaces, such as in a kayak. Furthermore, the soles offer great grip and traction, making you more stable on wet surfaces.

Breathable, quick-drying, and flexible, the Body Glove 3T Barefoot Cinch Water Shoes are very comfortable. They’re even designed with the company’s Integrated Drainage System (IDS), which allows water and air to move freely. This speeds up its drying time, minimizing your chances of getting soggy and smelly feet. 


  • ZQuick-drying
  • ZComfortable
  • ZAffordable
  • ZGood traction


  • QA bit difficult to put on for some

Why we love it: 

  • Open design
  • Has toe bumpers
  • Great grip on slippery wet terrain

What it is best for:

  • Warm weather hiking, walking, and all activities in and out of the water

If you usually go kayak fishing during warm and hot days, then you may want to consider the KEEN Newport H2. It’s a sandal type, which makes it open, airy, and breathable. Now, what makes it better than other sandals is that it has a closed-toe design. So it’ll give you almost the same level of toe protection as shoes. 

Aside from that, this pair of shoes offer excellent grip on a variety of slippery wet surfaces. This makes it suitable for almost any fishing condition you find yourself in. It also features a washable polyester webbing and quick-drying lining, making it perfect for activities in and out of the water. Plus, it has a compression molded EVA midsole for better cushioning and a lace lock bungee capture system for a secure fit. 

Overall, the KEEN Newport H2 offers great performance, durability, support, and comfort for a whole day of kayak fishing. Sure, it’s pricier than many of the sandals on the market. But with its quality, you’ll find that it’s highly worth it. 


  • ZBreathable
  • ZOffers extra protection
  • ZQuick-drying
  • ZComfortable


  • QCan be a little difficult to put on

Why we love it: 

  • Available in 3 thicknesses
  • High-traction soles
  • Easy to put on and off
  • Lightweight

What it is best for:

  • Aquatic sports where foot warmth is important

Need to stay warm while kayak fishing? Maybe you’re planning to go on the water during colder months? If so, then check out the Neo Sport Premium Wetsuit Boots. Made with neoprene material and featuring an ankle-high cut, these shoes are designed to keep you warm and toasty. They even have beefy number 10 zippers backed up by a special barrier that prevents water from entering. 

With these wetsuit boots, you can choose from three thicknesses. If you’re going in warm water, you can go with 3mm. For moderate water, there’s a 5mm option. On the other hand, if you’re fishing in cold water, then you can go with a 7mm thickness. 

Aside from keeping you warm, the Neo Sport Premium Wetsuit Boots are good at keeping you comfortable too. They’re snug, fit well, and do not slip, considering of course that you get the right size. Plus, they’re easy to put on and off. These are also durable shoes with high-traction soles, providing you with better stability while on the water. 


  • ZKeeps feet warm and toasty
  • ZOffers great stability
  • ZComfortable
  • ZDurable


  • QNot good at draining water

Why we love it: 

  • Great on many different surfaces
  • Heavy-duty
  • Warm

What it is best for:

  • Activities near the coast

Finally, our last pick for the best water shoes for kayak fishing is the FROGG TOGGS Men’s Aransas II. It offers premium materials and exceptional construction at a surprisingly affordable price. It also features a reinforced toe and heel cap, so you’re well-protected even on rocky surfaces. 

Each shoe has an EVA midsole and athletic outsole, which provides cushion and comfort while you’re out on your adventures. Its outsole is also cleated, offering you reliable traction in mud, sand, and any other surface outdoors. Plus, it has an adjustable hook-and-loop strap that gives you additional support. 

Moreover, the FROGG TOGGS Aransas II is made of a 5mm neoprene shell. This makes it durable, lightweight, and comfortable. At the same time, it’s also able to keep your feet warm.


  • ZReliable traction
  • ZComfortable
  • ZGreat support


  • QDoesn’t have drainage holes

What to Look For When Choosing the Best Shoes for Kayak Fishing?

With the right pair of shoes for kayak fishing, you can feel more comfortable, and safer, and have better stability. You can also avoid injuries such as bruising and blisters. With some shoes, you can even have insulation, which is perfect when kayaking in colder weather. That said, your choice of shoes plays a big role in providing you with the protection and comfort you need while on the water. 

Now, depending on the location and temperature of where you’ll be kayaking, you’ll need to consider a variety of features and factors to ensure you’re getting the right pair for your needs. To make it easier for you, here’s everything you have to look for when choosing your kayak fishing shoes. 


Certain types of shoes are more suitable for kayak fishing. But to narrow it down and make your choice easier, let’s start with the no-goes first and the ones you should avoid at all costs.

Of course, flip-flops are out of the question. The same goes with your regular sneakers and tennis shoes as they won’t do a very good job in the water. That said, the best types of footwear for kayak fishing are the following:

  • Sandals: If the weather is nice and you’re looking for a lightweight and versatile pair of shoes, then consider sandals. They’re great at keeping your feet cool and they’re a good choice if you don’t usually go in extreme conditions. To top it all off, they’re also very inexpensive. 
  • Water Shoes: There’s a reason why many prefer water shoes for kayak fishing. They are lightweight and quick-drying. Plus, they are closed-toed, offering you more protection. However, since they don’t have much insulation, they’re not a good choice when kayaking in colder conditions. They can’t also stand up against tougher terrain. 
  • Wetsuit-Style Boots / Water Booties: These types of shoes are usually used for water-based activities, including kayaking. Similar to your wetsuit, they fit snugly to your skin, providing you a more barefoot feel but with more grip and coverage. They also offer more insulation, which makes them a good choice for colder conditions. Keep in mind, however, that they’re extremely lightweight. So they might not be the best option if you need more support and protection. 
  • Fishing Boots: When kayak fishing during colder conditions or when the weather is bad, consider getting fishing boots instead. With thicker soles and a longer upper, they offer the most protection against hazards that you may encounter in and out of the water. Not to mention that they’re also the warmest option possible. 


Once you’ve chosen the type of shoes you want to go with, you should then check for the material. This is an important feature to look at as it will affect your mobility on the water. It should also be suitable for the type of environment you’re planning to fish in. 

The most common types of materials for kayak shoes are neoprene and spandex. They’re lightweight, quick-drying, and are great for heat retention. You might also find shoes that are made from a combination of neoprene and other materials. They are more durable, which makes them ideal for rougher terrains. On the other hand, some are made with polyester, which is known to offer more comfort. 

Weather and Temperature

When choosing what shoes to buy, you should consider the weather and water temperature that you’ll be kayaking in. These will affect the type, material, and thickness of your shoes. For instance, if you’re fishing in warm weather, you should focus on shoes that are breathable and lightweight. They’re usually made of mesh fabric, thinner neoprene material, and have sandal-style rubber designs. 

For colder weather, consider paddling boots with thick neoprene around 4mm or more. They should also have a higher cut, particularly above the ankle, for more warmth and protection. 


There’s nothing more uncomfortable and annoying than spending the whole day in a pair of wet shoes. So to avoid that, you’ll need something with drainage holes as they ensure faster drying. Now, the style and aesthetics of your shoes might be the least of your concerns. But it sure won’t hurt to get a pair that looks good.

Grip and Traction

You also need shoes with a good grip and traction, especially since you’ll usually encounter slippery decks and rocks while kayak fishing. That said, here are the key factors to look out for: 

  • Grip and traction: Look for shoes that provide a good grip on different terrains, including surfaces that are slippery when wet like rocks, mud, sand, and dirt. 
  • Flexibility: The soles should be flexible as well to make sure they can conform to uneven terrain and have better surface area contact when controlling your kayak. 
  • Thickness of the soles: You’ll need to look for shoes with soles that are thick enough to protect you from sharp objects. 

Shoe Size and Weight

The last thing you need to consider is the shoe size and weight. As with any type of shoes, you’ll need something that fits you well. This is to ensure that it wouldn’t restrict your movements and slip off when you’re in the water. Getting the right size is also important so you can avoid getting blisters and cramps, and prevent debris from getting in. 

Now, when ordering online, it can help to check out what other customers are saying. This will give you an idea if a particular pair is true to its size or runs big or small. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What kind of shoes do you wear for kayaking?

A: There are different kinds of shoes that you can wear for kayaking. Your choice should depend on when and where you are planning to kayak. For instance, if the weather is nice and warm, then a light pair of sandals or breathable water shoes would make a good choice. If you’re kayak fishing somewhere cold, then you’ll need shoes with good thermal protection like water booties or wet suit-style boots. On the other hand, if you’re kayaking in whitewater or the sea, then consider paddling boots.

Q: Can you wear running shoes kayaking?

A: Yes, you can wear running shoes for kayaking, especially if you haven’t found the right pair yet. But keep in mind that running shoes are not designed to withstand the conditions and environment for kayaking. Days of moisture and getting wet can also lead to them getting unglued.

Q: Can I kayak without shoes?

A: Yes, you can kayak without shoes, especially in warm weather. It’s also recommended if you’re launching or landing in very particular conditions, such as a sandy beach without rocks or shells. However, when there are many sharp objects in and out of the water and on slippery-when-wet surfaces, then you’ll need shoes that provide you with protection, stability, traction, support, and comfort.