The Redington PROWLER-PRO Wading Boots are lightweight, have a stable base, and provide a great blend of comfort and support.
To get Man Makes Fire a closer look at the PROWLER-PRO, Redington sent us a review unit. This is what we learned:
PROWLER-PRO Wading Boot Review: First Look
The previous generation Prowler wading boot has been one of our favorite wading boots for years — they’re lightweight and offer great stability in the water. They had also earned a spot in our guide to the best wading boots for years. The new PROWLER-PRO takes everything that was great about the previous generation and improves it. They are lighter, absorb less water, and feel just as good on your foot.
The best new feature, however, is super simple and won’t help you wade better or catch more fish. What is it? The new heel step. What’s a heel step? It’s a ledge built into the back of the boot that lets you easily kick off your boots after a long day of fishing.
Sure, we all do that anyway with any other wading boot, but the PROWLER-PRO feature gives you a bit more traction to make it happen with ease. We’re fans.
Comfort and Fit
We haven’t had a chance to get the PROWLER-PRO wet yet — just tromping around in waders around the garage. Because Redington has discontinued the regular PROWLER, we thought a few people would appreciate a first-look review.
So, fit. The Redington PROWLER-PRO boots have a fantastic fit — nearly the same fit as the PROWLER. The ankle wraps well, offering good, comfortable support. The footbed has a shock-absorbing EVA midsole, which comes into play on long days on the water. The toe box is one of the best we’ve ever used — it’s somehow roomy enough to handle stocking foot wader booties but the shape of the forefoot section also provides good support.
Basically, the Redington PROWLER-PRO wading boots offer fantastic out-of-the-box comfort.
Of course, these boots are sized to fit when you’re wearing stockingfoot waders with neoprene booties — just noting this if you’re new to fly fishing and wading gear.
In terms of sizing, you should know that the sizing is about a half size large. What do I mean? If you’re a size 12, you should order a size 12. If the fit is a bit big, you’ll still be able to properly tighten the laces for wading over rough terrain.
If, for example, you’re really more like an 11.5, you could likely order a size 11 PROWLER-PRO for a perfect fit.
At Man Makes Fire, we have two gear testers that wear size 13 street shoes and boots. The size 13 PROWLER-PRO fits about a half-size big on our size 13 gear testers — but it still tightens down nicely for rough ground. For me personally, I usually wear size 14 street shoes and boots, but I’m more like a 13.5, which nobody manufactures. The PROWLER-PRO fits snug.
Traction and Sole Choice: Rubber vs Felt
Redington’s sticky rubber soles are pretty good in the water, and we expect the rubber soles on the PROWLER-PRO to be about the same. They are stud compatible, so you can make them extra grippy if you need to.
Redington also offers a felt sole version, which delivers outstanding grip on wet and slick rocks.
The only downside to felt is that a handful of states have banned felt soles due to concerns over invasive species. If you plan to fish in a state that has banned felt soles, you’ll want to get the sticky rubber version. Either way, it’s always good practice to clean and dry your gear before your travel to different watersheds.
The PROWLER-PRO wading boots have a very similar design but seem to have a cushier midsole. The rubber toe rand now wraps farther back on the boot.
The eyelets no longer pass through the boot itself and the ankle near the front of the tongue has cutouts for improved fit. You can now better tighten the forefoot area and ankle separately if you like to adjust the fit over your forefoot or ankle.
The rear pull loops, which assist in getting the boots on, are slightly larger and rubberized, making it easier than ever to find the loop when you’re pulling on the boots.
Redington has also lightened the boot slightly and added more drain holes.
Of course, the aforementioned heel step is also new.
At first glance — and especially in photos — the Regington PROWLER series of boots seem a bit wild from a style standpoint. We like the splash of bright red for the interior, but the boots themselves offer a mix of texture and color that most wading boots don’t have. For instance, even with a lot of grays and blacks, the toe box is covered with a heavy-duty brown nylon material. In our photos, this brown really stands out, but in person it’s far more muted.
Most importantly, the design elements all come together very well. In fact, the Redington PROWLER-PRO is a surprisingly handsome boot.
While we haven’t yet put these boots to the test while fishing, our first look confirms our expectations from previous PROWLER experience: The Redington PROWLER-PRO wading boots deliver a fantastic, outstandingly comfortable out-of-the-box fit. The overall quality is excellent, and we fully expect the new PRO version to wear just as well as the originals. Highly recommended.