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Lieutenant Dan told us right when he said “Always take care of your feet!”
We walk on average between 1,000 and 1,500 miles per year, so good shoes are a must.
But when you’re walking out on ice as thick as roadway and carving a hole in it to play splishy-splashy Fishy-smashy, your footwear becomes even more crucial.
We’ve gathered some of the best boots for the job in one convenient list.
Because good footwear is foundational. To your stride. To your posture. To your health. To good work.
Whatever you need from waterproof, to simple cold weather—the right boot for you is just a click away.
In a Rush?
Get this: Bates Men's 8'' Tactical Sport Side Zip Industrial Shoe
A Lightweight nearly indestructible boot meant to be put through its paces without robbing you blind. Medial zipper and excellent ankle/foot support mean these will see you through any fishing.
Best Boots for Ice Fishing on the Market Today
What To Look For When Purchasing New Boots
Since you’re going to be spending long days—and almost certainly cold nights—in these boots, you need them to be high-quality. Use this guide and/or make your own list of non-negotiable traits you require in a pair of fishing boots.
- Comfort. Were these boots made for walkin’? But in all seriousness, you need a boot that will keep moisture out, but is still breathable. Look for one with a cushy insert to keep your feet comfy all day. Try on a few boots before buying if possible to establish whether or not you need a wider size or even have your foot sized by a professional.
- Durability. Can they stand up to heavy use? Will you be walking in extreme weather conditions? Do you need a solid tread? What do the reviews say about the longevity of the boot?
- Materials. Look for a boot made with good leather and thick rubber soles.
Armed with these top 3 categories to consider, we hope you feel ready to dive into some options.
5 Best Boots to Bust Ice in
1. Bates Men's 8'' Tactical Sport Side Zip Industrial Shoe - Best Boot for Ice Fishing under $150
Bates Men's 8'' Tactical Sport Side Zip Industrial Shoe is a perfect and inexpensive boot for any Ice fisher.
Durable imported leather and high-performance nylon provide an outer shell that is both rugged and comfortable.
8-inch shaft measures approximately calf-high from the arch support, providing excellent ankle support. After all, nobody wants to roll an ankle while sliding on ice.
With its ultimate traction slip and oil-resistant rubber outsole, you can count on keeping upright and on task as often as the fish call for it.
Beneath that hardy shell is a moisture-wicking mesh lining because a dry foot is a healthier foot.
And with health in mind, Bates gave these bad boys a lightweight and cushioned EVA midsole and a removable insert for all-day comfort.
2. Merrell Moab 2 8" Tactical Waterproof Boot Men's - Best Waterproof Boot for Ice Fishing
The Merrell Moab 2 8" Tactical waterproof men’s boot offers out-of-the-box comfort that you can rely on in every way. Which can’t be overvalued to any of the people who fish out on the ice.
Trusted high traction Vibram TC5+ outsoles provide superior grip on any surface—and if you’re looking for waterproof ice fishing boots, slippery surfaces are the status quo.
Waterproof leather and ripstop uppers are built to stand up to the toughest work. Combined with super-tough medial zippers—for quick and convenient donning and removal—and a closure bellows tongue, which is attached to the upper on both sides to keep debris out of your boots.
An abrasion-resistant rubber toe cap and heel Molded internal heel counter cup provides extra stability as well as protection. Keeping you sturdy and upright in pursuit of pescadorial delights.
Inside a KINETIC FIT footbed with added zonal arch support—along with a midsole featuring Merrell air cushions in the heel to absorb shock and add stability—is paired with lightweight nylon arch shank to provide flexible support where you need it.
In short, you've got a Merrell boot like a tank with an interior like a luxury car.
3. Lacrosse Men's Brush Tuff Extreme ATS 1600G Wader - Best Cold Weather Boots for Ice Fishing
The Lacrosse Men's Brush Tuff Extreme ATS 1600G Wader is a great setup for for ice anglers and waterfowlers alike in areas where the temperature can vary drastically over the same hunt.
Before the sun is up—under heavy, cold, wet, fog—it's easy to appreciate the heavyweight insulating 5 millimeters of fleece-lined neoprene through the upper portion of the coverall.
When day breaks and the birds start calling, the double-stitched and taped seams keep you dry to the bone. 1,600 grams of Thinsulate ultra insulation, reinforced multilayer rubber at the vamp, and abrasion resistant toe cap make trudging out to collect as comfortable as it is satisfying.
Then on your way out in the heat of the day, and ideally loaded down with downed fowl, the upper can be easily turned down and the buckled straps used as a belt.
Hand warmer, top loading pocket, and built-in shell holder provide all the storage a waterfowler expects, while prepared for weather that can be unexpected.
4. XTRATUF Legacy Series 12 - Best Snow Boots for Ice Fishing
The XTRATUF Legacy Series 12 is a great simple option for anyone trudging through snow and ice, stomping shallows, high dewy fields, or wetlands, and in need of a trustworthy waterproof snow boot.
The triple-dipped latex neoprene of the XTRATUF boot is 100% waterproof and ozone, acid & chemical resistant. Slip-resistant, non-marking Chevron outsole provides excellent traction in extreme conditions on any surface.
Hand-layered construction allows for a greater degree of flex and provides strength at critical stress points. Making for a much softer, lighter and more pliable boot than one fabricated from ordinary rubber. Making these some of the best women’s boot for ice fishing.
Moisture-wicking Breathe-O-Prene insoles absorb shocks and have a breathable, open cell structure to reduce insole drying time. This helps prevent the buildup of bacteria that cause sweaty boot funk.™️
Toe & heel guards protect against abrasions; heel counter secures the foot to prevent movement in the boot.
Move well and keep your wheels dry without breaking budget, with the Legacy series XTRATUF Wading Boot.
5. Under Armour Men's Infil Ops GORE-TEX - Best Insulated Boots for Ice Fishing
Under Armor—a leader in high tech and hardcore athletic wear for over a quarter-century—brought that same standard of excellence to their Men's Infil Ops GORE-TEX boots.
That breathable GORE-TEX internal membrane is 100% waterproof but still allows sweat to escape. Paired with Integrated gussets on the tongue to help deter water entry, keeping your wheels—as lieutenant Dan would suggest—bone dry.
And knee-deep in traction too, what with the Vibram outsoles made from a MegaGrip rubber compound for dependable traction on any terrain.
Of particular interest, particularly to partners—be they patrol or spousal—is this boots Cupron Antifungal Pro Fiber sock liner. Tested to reduce odor & kill 99.9% of athlete's foot fungus after 12 hours of contact with the said liner.
Because a healthy foot is a happy foot, and a happy foot can kick fish tail all day.
High abrasion textile upper with Anafoam overlay—anatomically shaped—and a molded rubber toe cap combined with a TPU stability chassis for heel lockdown for precise fit and support.
Boots That Won't Leaving You Feeling like a Freezing Ice Hole
In them, you can hup for as many miles as you need and then some.
Walking long hauls day in and day out to your favorite fishing spot.
Over rivers and through slush.
And make no mistake, a quality pair of boots is a tool no angler can afford to do without.
Bates Men's 8'' Tactical Sport Side Zip Industrial Shoe
Whether you choose the Bates Men's 8'' Tactical Sport Side Zip Industrial Shoe or any other boot on this list, you can trust that you’re getting a hardcore workhorse just like you.
Don’t wait to replace worn-out gear. You never know when you’ll need to be able to turn on the gas and get down to business. After all, it's not every purchase you spent this amount of time with, nor depend on as consistently.
That is why footwear is no place to cut corners or pinch pennies. You won’t find much you can use more that costs less.
Pick out a set today, and keep your toes warm while safely ice fishing.