Angler catching fish

Fishing Socks Built Just For Anglers


We meticulously and lovingly test and tweak each sock before landing on the perfect pair. But, we also like to ask people who are out there on the regular, wearing our products, what they think about their performance, comfort and durability. It’s one way we check in to ensure we’re meeting our high standards. We caught up with a few anglers around the country to get their take on our new PhD® Pro Wader fishing socks. Their feedback? You'll wonder how you used to fish before you had these socks.


Tessa Shetter, Alaskan Angler

An Alaska native, Tessa has been wearing Smartwool® socks on the river since she was a young girl, fishing with her sparkly pink fly rod. Since those days, she has upgraded her fly rod but has stayed loyal to the socks she loves. When she discovered we designed a wader-specific sock, she was first in line to put it to the test.

“I’ve been wearing Smartwool® socks for years now. They have been my go-to for any Alaskan outdoor activity, such as fly-fishing, hunting, and snowmachining (snowmobiles for you lower 48ers). The PhD® Pro Wader Socks are taller than normal, making them extra comfortable to wear under my waders. They are warm, breathable and durable, which is a must for me with my long days of fishing in harsh Alaskan conditions. For these reasons, the wader socks are a new favorite of mine! Thank you, Smartwool!”

Tessa pulling on Smartwool fishing socks
Tessa showing off fish while testing Smartwool fly fishing socks


Dave Reilly, Fly-Fishing Photographer

The life of a fly-fishing photographer often involves hiking through rugged terrain to access hard to reach rivers—sometimes spending all day on the freezing ground and chilly river in order to get a single shot. After a case of severely frostbitten toes, Dave realized his fishing socks game needed an upgrade.

“Neoprene does not breathe, plain and simple. As a photographer, I’m often hiking into remote locations which causes my feet to sweat. Then, my chilled feet are subjected to the elements while I’m trying to focus on shooting. While the waders keep the water out, they don’t expel all the sweat your body creates while moving. Thanks to just the right amount of cushion and ventilation in Smartwool’s new PhD® Pro Wader sock, I can focus on what is important.”

Dave testing new Smartwool wader socks


Jakub Dybala, Smartwool Raw Materials Manager & Weekend Warrior

When Jakub isn’t behind the desk at Smartwool, he’s most likely rowing his boat or fishing one of his many favorite fishing holes on local water. As a weekend warrior, each hour on the water is precious, which is why he only wears gear he knows will keep him comfortable all day long.

“For a cushioned sock, I was pleasantly surprised how light and airy it felt on my foot. At first, I had my doubts if it would fit comfortably in the booty and boot, but I went on to find the fit comfortable and plush. The tall, over the calf silhouette allowed me to wade comfortably in the late fall water temps by keeping my feet and lower legs toasty. I also did not have to worry about my base layer riding up and leaving a portion of lower leg exposed, creating a cold spot.”

Sending fish back into the water

April Lassiter, Smartwool Operations Planning Coordinator & Fly-Fishing Guide



April readily volunteered to put our wading socks to the test in the field as a part-time local fly-fishing guide and Planning Coordinator at Smartwool. What to wear under waders when fly-fishing is a common topic when she's guiding new groups, so she couldn’t resist an extra opportunity to hit the water.

“There is nothing, and I mean nothing, that will ruin my day on the water faster than cold toes. As a guide, it’s really important that I’m able to focus on my clients and getting fish in their hands—instead of my feet. Wearing these socks helps me do just that—sometimes I even forget I’m wearing them.”

April holding fish while trying Smartwool fishing socks

Sock Technology: PhD® Pro Wader

If you enjoy spending your fall and winter in a freezing cold river in hopes of catching a few fish, chances are you’ve been told by someone, somewhere, that one pair of socks will keep your feet warm and two pairs will keep them even warmer. Right? We’ve all been there, but truth be told, your neoprene booties were designed to insulate in cold conditions, so the more socks you wear, the less blood circulates to your feet.

That’s why we’ve created fishing socks that can withstand the chill of a rushing river, all day long and then some. Our brand new PhD® Pro Wader sock was designed to keep your feet warm and comfortable. Seasoned anglers know that wearing the right wool socks are integral to a successful day on the water.

angler casting

The PhD® Pro Wader socks feature everything you love about our PhD® socks but designed specifically with the angler in mind—including our IndestructawoolTM technology, 4 Degree™ Elite Fit System, Gender Specific Fit, and Virtually Seamless™ Toe. These fishing socks are built with extra cushioning where you need it most to help keep you warm in cold rivers and streams. With added cushioning in the foot and ankle, your feet will feel relief from the pressure of your wader booties. We removed some cushioning where the ankle meets the foot for better ankle articulation. Throughout the leg are mesh channels so the socks remain breathable. Throw in an Achilles strap that provides extra protection and warmth to reach all your fishing destinations in comfort.

Whether you’re rowing a drift boat down the Deschutes in Oregon or wading through one of Colorado’s tailwaters in the dead of winter, cold feet can end a day of fishing faster than anything else. Slip on the PhD® Pro Wader Sock and focus on your cast—not your toes.


Socks for Fishing


Wondering what to wear under waders when fly-fishing? Try our new PhD® Pro Wader socks, and let us know what you think! Pair with Merino 250 base layer bottoms for breathable and warm comfort. Learn more about the benefits of Merino wool.


Explore the entire PhD® Pro collection: Built for pros. By pros.


rowing drift boat

Smartwool provided PhD® Pro Wader socks to Tessa Shetter and Dave Reilly to test.