Fly Fishing Gear photo

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn more ›


A lot of ink and attention has been paid to wading boots recently. Rightly so. Many people are wondering about tread options in a day and age when felt is being frowned upon, if not altogether banned.

Regardless of where you stand on the felt situation, one of the biggest issues I have with any wading boot I buy is the absolutely lousy laces that come with them. (Granted, BOA wire laces are in their own league, but it’s up to the angler as to whether the wire binds are worth the extra cost or not.)

I’ll be totally honest: I can’t see how any company can market $200 wading boots and accompany them with laces that break after being soaked in a river four or five times. That, to me, is plain cheap and stupid.

I’ve worn fancy boots from all over and they all claim to be the next best thing. Some of them fit great and grip great on the bottom of the river, but after a few trips, when I go to tie them, the laces break.

Do yourself a favor. Don’t trust any of the boot companies. Oh sure, go find a pair that fit you just so, and have a good tread and all of that. But if those boots don’t come with wire laces, go ahead and punt the laces they come with.

Instead, go to the nearest sporting goods store, buy some hockey skate laces, and swap those for the laces your boots come with. Ice hockey skates see plenty of moisture and wear and tear. While not perfect, they are far better than the cheap import stuff that comes standard on most boots.