The Redington Prowler Wading Boots are surprisingly nimble. The Prowler is Redington’s premium wading boot, and the company says it had a multi-year development process aimed at building a comfortable, durable, and good-looking wading boot. Did they succeed?
To get us a closer look at the Prowler Wading Boots — which are designed to be worn with stocking foot waders — Redington sent us a pair to review. This is what we learned:
Redington Prowler Wading Boots Review
Let’s get this out of the way: I like the Redington Prowler Wading Boots. The fit and finish is good, and Redington does an excellent job of making entry-level and midrange-plus fly fishing gear that fishes above their price ranges. But to truly appreciate the Redington Prowler Wading Boots, you have to scramble over uneven, rocky ground.
I’m of two minds when it comes to the best wading boots: On one hand, I appreciate a very solid and burly wading boot with massive ankle support and rigidity. On the other hand, when I’m sliding down steep banks and stepping from boulder to boulder and navigating through rip-rap, I appreciate a lightweight, nimble boot that transmits a bit more feel back to my brain. I don’t always make the best decisions when I leap from rock to rock, and a heavy-duty boot can protect my ankles when I screw up . . . but I’m less likely to screw up with a lighter, more flexible boot. It’s a six of one, half-dozen of the other sort of thing.
If you prefer a lighter, flexible and nimble feeling wading boot that’s comfortable right of the box, the Redington Prowler Wading Boots should be on your shortlist.
Redington Prowler Wading Boots Review: Sizing
Redington sizes its wading boots knowing you’re going to wear them with stockingfoot waders. If you wear a size 12 men’s street shoe or boot, you should get a size 12 men’s Redington wading boot. (Some manufacturers have you size up to get the right fit.)
Meanwhile, the Redington Prowler Wading Boots run a bit large. Personally, I wear a size 13 basketball shoe and occasional 13 work boot but I usually wear a 14 for pretty much everything else, including backpacking and hunting boots.
The Redington Prowler Wading Boots in a size 13 are a little snugger than I usually go for, but out in the water they feel great. I credit this to the comfortable overall design as well as the wide toe box — I normally prefer narrower shoes and boots, but once I have neoprene stocking foot wader booties over my foot, I like more room, and the Prowler gives you room with a lace design that enables a great range of tightening and loosening. Dialing in your personal fit should be easy — and you will likely have enough room to add wool socks for cold-weather wading.
Either way, Redington nailed the comfort factor with the Prowler Wading Boots. I was very surprised at how much I liked these boots.
When it comes to ankle support, I was also surprised. Tied loosely, they give you a stable base. Tied tightly, they’re even better. What’s nice is that because the material design is a bit more flexible than stiffer wading boots, you get some feedback through your ankles — making it seem like you get a better “wrap” around your ankle than the lackluster feeling you can get out of more rigid panel-like designs.
Redington Prowler Wading Boots Review: Traction
The base of these boots is fairly wide, which Redington says helps give them a bit more traction. I’m not sure about how that plays out in the real world, but the sticky walnut rubber soles seemed to be about average for traction on my home water when compared to other sticky rubber soles. That is, they offer decent traction but felt soles offer better wet-rock traction. In fact, I’ve never found a rubber sole to offer in-the-water traction that is truly better than felt.
Fortunately, you can get the Redington Prowler Wading Boots in a felt option — as long as your state allows felt wading boots. There has been some concern over invasive species . . . and some states have responded by banning felt wading boots even though there is little more than a hunch that felt is a real problem. Either way, check out which states have banned felt soles, and most importantly, thoroughly clean and dry all of your gear before you travel to different watersheds.
Redington Prowler Wading Boots Review: The Verdict
It’s hard to explain how good the Redington Prowler Wading Boots look in person. The red accent is fantastic while the various colors and textures of the panels come together to create a pleasing design. But it’s not all looks. Aside from the comfort, all the seams are double-stitched. The high-wear, high-bend forefoot area has a rubber overlay for durability and the eyelets are a non-corrosive metal (instead of plastics). The toe also has a rubber bumper.
As for the rubber strap overlay at the forefoot, I’m truly not sure if it’s a weak point in the design or a strong point in the design. It could help protect the area or just offer another seam that could fail — but I’m guessing it’s extra protection rather than a core construction element. If it did start to come loose at the stitching, I’d just squeeze some Gear Aid Aquaseal urethane repair adhesive in there. Side note: Seriously, get yourself some Gear Aid Aquaseal — it’s waterproof, machine washable and fixes all kinds of outdoor gear.
For women, Redington makes a very similar boot — the Redington Siren Wading Boots. The Siren is a good looking boot without going overboard on femininity — I suspect the overall performance would be similar to the Prowlers.
All-in-all, long-term durability is tough to gauge in a new boot, but the fit and finish on the Redington Prowler Wading Boots is excellent. Better yet, they feel fantastic on and deliver a nimble and supportive base for your fishing adventures. If you want out-of-the-box comfort with a stable yet nimble overall feel, the Redington Prowler Wading Boots might be perfect for you. Highly recommended.