Cheap wading boots from my experience usually equals poor performance, having said that some of the top expensive brands can result in poor performance. When choosing your wading boots look for a good nonslip sole with a substantial tread. Vibram is a good non slip sole. Boots with a neoprene tongue and ankle top add to your comfort. A good wrap around toe guard that is double stiched and glued under the toe is essential. Lacing loops rather than eyelets are more durable. Remember wading in rivers is in an extremely harsh environment and it definitely takes a toll on your boots so choose wisely. Boots under $ 200 don't usually make the cut but you can find some. $200 to $300 is what I would expect to pay for a good boot.