Wading Boot Laces – Complete Guide

Wading boot laces get put through a lot of hard work.

As well as getting wet frequently, they are damaged while chafing against the boots’ eyelets as well as rocks and bushes.

And then the laces (and boots) are left in a hot car or damp cupboard for months before being used on the next fishing trip.

Looking after your wading boots and laces properly will ensure their longevity, and prevent the spread of aquatic pests.

Here are all the answers you need on wading boot laces.

Best replacement wading boot laces

First, most wading boot manufacturers produce replacement laces. 

Two brands with excellent reputations worth exploring are Simms and Orvis

However, buying branded laces for your wading boots is not necessary.  

Any good quality boot laces, particularly those made for working boots, can be as good.

Here are the best of those available on Amazon, both fishing and regular brands.

Branded wading boot replacements


  • High-quality denier nylon laces for increased lifespan
  • Feeds easily through boot hooks and eyelets
  • Laces measure 74″ long


  • Durable polyester laces have plastic aglets for easy threading.
  • Available in 55″, 69″, and 75″.

Generic replacement options:


  • Yakoda’s 72″ laces fit most wading boots and hiking boots.
  • Come in multiple colors.
  • A Heavy-duty ‘guide’ version is available.
  • Metal aglets, for durability, to stop fraying. 

What makes a great pair of replacement wading boot laces?


Select the correct length for the number of eyelets on the wading boots.


Wading boot laces need to be strong enough to endure being wet frequently and resist fraying on rocks and other surfaces.


Will the lace fit through the wading boot eyelet?

Dry quickly

Wading boots are designed to dry quickly. Your laces need to do the same.

Stay tied up

Will the laces stay tied? Laces with a slippery surface are more likely to come undone. That’s not what you need when landing a fish. 

Don’t stretch

Cotton laces will stretch when wet. Go for laces made from materials that won’t stretch when wet. Your boots need to fit snugly to be effective on slippery surfaces.

How to make replacement wading boot laces

Yes, you can make your own replacement wading boot laces. Many swear by the option to replace wading boot laces with homemade options.

Best homemade alternatives for wading boot laces


Paracord is 3 mm thick and holds up to 550 lbs.  

Paracord works fine as replacement laces, but you may need to tie an extra knot to prevent the bow from coming undone.

You prevent the end from unraveling by heating them with a cigarette/butane lighter. While the ends are melted and pliable, crush the multiple threads together to create a solid mass. 

Never be without a spare pair of wading boot laces.  Buy a paracord bracelet - or make your own

Accessory Cord

Rock climbers use accessory cord for rappelling (usually 7 mm) but it can also be purchased as 3 mm.

Accessory cord is very strong, stiffer than paracord and doesn’t stretch. 

Kevlar boot laces

Kevlar boot laces are fire and chemical resistant, hence favored for use by firefighters and in industrial sites. 

Heavy-duty nylon cord

Though not always the best choice for strength and not slipping, a heavy-duty nylon cord of the correct diameter will make a suitable wading boot replacement.  

Fun Fact
Some anglers recommend the use of ice hockey boot laces in wading boots.

How long are wading boots laces?

72” or 84” laces will fit most wading boots, which have 7 to 9 pairs of eyelets. (That’s 180cm or 210cm.)

How to select the correct length:

  • Measure your existing laces.
  • Count the number of pairs of eyelet holes.  

How to look after wading boot laces?

Keeping your wading boots and wading boot laces will extend their life.

Here’s my 7-step guide to cleaning your wading boots.

Give your laces the same good treatment you give your boots.

  • Remove any plant material, and leave it on the riverbank. (Don’t flush it down the drain.)
  • Clean the boots and laces after each use.
  • Dry them thoroughly between use.
  • Store in a cool, dry location.

Preventing the movement of aquatic pests on your wading boot laces

Stopping the movement of aquatic pests is critical for the health of freshwater fisheries.

The spread of invasive species from one trout stream, river or lake to another body of water occurs when fishing equipment, boats, wading boots etc., are not properly cleaned between fishing locations.

Soak your wading boots and laces in a bucket, or use a spray bottle with a solution of either a 10% mixture of household detergent, nappy cleaner – or a 2% mixture of bleach for 10 minutes. 

What are BOA laces on wading boots?

BOA laces are a patented system of laces that use stainless-steel wire and adjustable dials. This lacing system provides a micro-adjustable dial, super-strong lightweight laces and low-friction lace guides.

Snowboarders, mountaineers, golfers and cyclists use BOA laces, with Korkers being the first to take up their use in wading boots.

Opinions differ on their suitability in wading boots. Like all wading boot laces, they will break after repeated use. You can purchase a replacement BOA lace kit from Korkers.

Be caution.  You cannot substitute BOA laces with a length of nylon cord or any other type of bootlace, so you would always want to carry a backup pair of BOAs in your fishing kit.

Fun Fact
Lubricating your BOA laces routinely with a product like Lanox will extend their life significantly.