Wading boots come in varying heights that offer different levels of protection and support. The higher the boot, the more support you'll have for walking across rocks and slippery surfaces. When fishing from beaches or a boat, ankle support is less crucial, so you can get away with a low hiking shoe or sandal with a grippy rubber sole.
You'll find that wading boots feature one of two types of soles-felt or rubber. Felt soles grip slippery surfaces well, making them ideal for rocky streams. Rubber soles are better for muddy bottoms or in areas with long hikes in. Studs give both types of boots even more traction for particularly slippery surfaces.