Fishing & Hunting Tips

How to choose fishing wader (A Total guideline) 2019

Outcomes at a glance from this article:

  • Why you need a fishing wader
  • Types of fishing wader
  • Fishing wader materials
  • Wading boots
  • Fishing wader accessories
  • Which wader will be the best for you these days

Wanna Get into the water but not getting wet and keep yourself absolutely dry? Well, the answer is pretty common. You need a good fishing wader. Now isn’t this question knocking on your mind that why you need a wader?

You can wonder that’s why you put your money to a fishing wader? This question came into my mind when I was a beginner level angler. But after learning about this horrifying syndrome caused by cold water mostly, I can realize the importance of a fishing wader. I want to share those with you folks.

Contacting your body for a Long time in Freezing water can fetal for the human body, once you ensure the safety of your upper portion such as putting a glass, wearing a cap covering your head and other precautions, we have something to protect your lower portion which is a fishing wader.

If your body contacts with freezing cold water for some time somehow, you can get yourself hypothermia which effects the whole blood circulation and can be fatal for some cases. The 1st stage of hypothermia is Frostbite, what happens when your body is in a contact with freezing water the body temp is drastically changed and get below 29° Celsius it results in cell death and heart failure and ultimately it’s fatal for the human. Staying in any kind of water for a long time can give your skin fungal infection. Also, There are many trash like rust steels or broken bottle, sharp rocks under the water which can be harmful for us.

Apart from all those terrifying facts, Imagine you get yourself to a fishing trip, a 500$ rod and reel combo in hand, have flies, leaders, tippets and other stuff for fly fishing costs around 300$ and suddenly you started freezing cause your cheap wader started leaking. What an awful moment it will be! A fishing wader is a must have the thing for many anglers, some anglers have even several fishing waders for different water and weather situation.

Choosing the right fishing wader is a daunting task because there are some factors you need to know before spending your money into it!

Types of wader

  • Bootfoot chest wader
  • Stockingfoot chest wader
  • Waist wader
  • Hip wader

choose fishing waders

Bootfoot chest wader

Basically, a bootfoot chest wader means a wader covers from feet to chest with a Boot attached with the wader.

This types of wader have a major advantage in a really cool environment, it covers almost the whole body from foot to chest. The boot is attached with it so you don’t have to buy an extra boot for this wader.

Normally this wader is heavier and bulkier than other ones, enjoy fishing to any kind of water with it. They don’t come in short and tall sizes if it is an inexpensive wader.

As there is no issue of tying shoelaces, bootfoot chest wader offers an easy on-off. Just wear them on comfortable shocks and you’re all ready to go fishing.

Stockingfoot chest wader

The basic idea of stocking foot chest wader is it’s a type where there’s a sock instead of boots.

It allows you to choose different soles according to your choice for the different fishing situation.

A much lighter wader than a bootfoot chest wader comes with neoprene socks permanently attached with the wader. It needs an additional boot indeed. An added benefit that I love about chest waders is the maximum coverage they provide both inside and outside the water.

This particular type of wader also covers almost all of the body, gives strong protection from cold weather. Bootfoot chest wader or stockingfoot chest wader, both have a typical pocket where you can put your both hand to make yourself comfortable!

Don’t forget to put the belts folks, these waders can really keep you extra safe from any adverse fishing situation such as winds, strong waves, heavy currents and many more. But Be warned, if you do happen to tip and fill your waders with water you can find yourself in a really uncomfortable and dangerous situation. So it’s safer to put the belt on.

Waist wader

This wader is perfect for a fishing session in a warm situation! It’s more like a pant from your waist to feet, a mixture of hip wader and chest waders.

It’s less restrictive obviously than chest waders, but these waders are basically made for warm situations and shallow water fishing. If this water level and temperature level matched then it will completely serve your purpose.

Hip Wader

If you are planning for fly fishing or trailering boats, digging for clams in a much more warm situation, hip wader is what you need. It covers your two legs only, from feet to the upper thigh made up for shallow water and slow-moving water.

These are the lightest wader option you have, easy and quick to put on or off. Because they are less constricting and allowing better ventilation, they are famous for hot summer days fly fishing in shallow waters. There’s both he stockingfoot and bootfoot design options, easily pack them and go fishing.

Wader materials

There are several wader materials that basically all the waders are made of. It’s very important to know about these materials, there pros and cons of each material. Some waders are made of single material and some are made of multiple materials. The materials such as neoprene, nylon, PVC, rubber and waterproof-breathable fabrics such as Gore-Tex® and Thinsulate®. Let’s have a discussion about these materials.


A wader used in early age, this waders are lightweight and cheapest from all other waders available now in the market. These two facts are the only pros of this material.

As you know this PVC waders are your lowest price option, the major disadvantage of this waders is they don’t last very long. They breakdowns real quick, even they punctured easily in an adverse situation which is quite disgusting.

Another disadvantage is these PVC waders has very limited size options. There’s some average foot sizes and body sizes. It doesn’t come with all possible sizes.


I refer to this as a beginner wader. They are less expensive and lightweight which is perfect for beginner fly fishing anglers. This wader can be a little bit problematic for warmer days cause it’s breathability is not so good.

Like a neoprene wader, nylon can warm up quickly and does not breathe well. This could be uncomfortable both in the hot and cold situation because of inappropriate thermal insulation. But I must say, if you are a beginner you should start with this nylon waders and learn how to fish in waders safely.


Once this neoprene waders were the most advanced and expensive waders in the market but with time now you can get them on an affordable price range and in most of the purpose they serve so well and still the best option you could have!

Now, these waders are made of the advanced synthetic rubber the neoprene, it’s comfortable, water resistant and can be very helpful in a cold situation. well, when they first came to market, they were not lined from inside which was extremely uncomfortable in a warmer situation, but all the modern ones are the line from inside which made them a bit more comfortable in warm weathers.

This wader is really recommended in an extremely cold situation. If you go to a place where it’s melting ice there or glacial meltwater there, or you are in a situation where you are mostly submerged in water and the water is extremely cold, a neoprene may be the best option for you.


Another less expensive and heavy wader option. They are made out of rubber, maybe they have a cheap price rate but with the low price, it has poor build quality. It’s not going to last for long, easily breakable and no breathability. So this could be so uncomfortable for you in any situation. This rubber waders are not what I would recommend these days.

Waterproof breathable wader

It’s the wader of these days, the most modern waders now available in the market now best for the thermal insulation. They are made of nylon or other synthetic materials with an addition of an air-permeable membrane (such as Gore-Tex®) which allows internal moisture and perspiration to escape even while you’re in the water, amazing isn’t it!

With the advancements in the breathable fabrics technology, you can be extremely comfortable with this one and also can keep yourself warm at the same time in very cold water.

These are the most versatile wader of these days, they are lighter, really comfortable, absolutely waterproof, breathable, great durability and easy to put on and off! Is there more you want? I don’t think so! Get yourself comfortable in any situation, it will keep you dry in hot weathers and warmer as much as you want in an extreme cold situation. So this is what you need considering fishing in all the situations.

Another major advantage of this wader is these waders have a lot of size options available, you can get a short or tall, fat or thin sized, any sized boots according to your foot size. Even there’s the waist wader and chest wader both available for different temperature comfortness.


Wading shoe options

Felt Soles

As a responsive angler and a student of fisheries, I would not recommend this sole because it’s harmful for fishes and other aquatic organisms. Once it was extremely famous for its traction they give in the rocky bottom but not an ideal on for muddy bottom. It has several downsides such as using it on freshwater can be harmful for freshwater species. This type of outsole can spread invasive species, such as diatoms (algae), fish parasites, fungi and tiny snails that can literally starve a stream to death. Plus I also needs an additional kit for sole repair. Some states in the US has already banned this soles. So if you decide to buy this sole for any reason, I would suggest checking the state policy first.

Rubber outsoles

Rubber outsoles are ideal for muddy or murshy bottoms. They even work perfectly on the slippery and algae-covered rock, provides a stability and traction which refers that this sole can be used for most the fishing situations. This outsole is super easy to clean and not harmful for the underwater environment.

Hiking outsoles

A very durable outsole for anglers, some bootfoot wader offers hiking sole which offers a good amount of traction and stability. This sole is really good for the anglers those are the hike, walk and wade for a long distance while fishing.

Ultralight Wading Boots

If you are tired of heavyweight soles, it’s been an extra hassle for you to lugging heavy and bulky boots with all other equipment then you can try an ultralight wading boots. These boots are coming extremely famous nowadays among the anglers for it’s a lightweight and good performance.

Studded Soles

Ideal for traction on slick rocks and slimy river bottoms but not good for muddy or marshy bottoms. It’s also a stressful work cleaning this sole after a long day fishing. As this is not a versatile sole, so consider checking your purpose before buying it!

Wader accessories

For better care and extend the longevity of your fishing wader, these wader accessories can come handy. All of them are not must have things to buy but obviously, some of them are really useful which can change your mind to have them.

Wader Belts

Well, wading belt is a must-have thing that you need. For safety precaution, the wading belt is really important. It saves you from flooding and even drawing. If there’s any strong wave you get yourself flooded and there will be water inside your wader. That could be so dangerous if it’s really cold water you can even go to hypovolemic shock. Such an awful situation!

Wading Socks

This heavy wool socks to knee-length, cushioned wader specific socks can really keep your feet so warm in freezing water. It’s really important to keep your lower portion warmer for a long day fishing and wading shocks are the perfect accessories that will serve the purpose.

Boot and Wader Dryer

Who doesn’t want their properties to last for a long time! Even for waders, if you want them to last for a long period boot and wader dryer will come handy. For removing any excess water from your boots and waders after a long fishing trip, you can use a Boot and Wader Dryer.

Neoprene vs breathable ( which one will be the best for you )

    Neoprene         Breathable
Material Made of modern
synthetic rubber Neoprene
Made of nylon or
other synthetic materials
along with Gore-Tex®
Weight Heavy in weight comparing
breathable one
Lightweight than
Neoprene waders
Breathability Not available Available obviously
Comfort Very comfortable in an extremely
cold water, but not so comfortable at
warm weather. If you hike or walk for
a long time in a warmer situation it
can be very uncomfortable then. The
thermal insulation or breathability
is poor, that’s also a reason behind
it’s uncomfort.
Extremely comfortable in any
situation. Breathability, good
ventilation, lightweight, thin,
no chance of water leakage all
these facts prove its
comfortability. You can go for a
long time fishing at any
the situation with this waders.
There are also both waist
and chest wader options available.
Built quality Built quality is good,
inner lining and
stitched inside.
Not stitched at all,
they are glued or taped
from inside allows feeling free!
Durability Very much durable than
all other inexpensive waders
like rubber, PVC, etc.
Extremely durable.

Fishing wader is that essential thing which keeps you safe from any unexpected situation and builds strong protection against any adverse situation. You can choose any wader or boot you want, but your safety and comfort should be the first priority of yours. We discussed about all factors that you should know before buying a fishing wader and boot. And one more thing must think about the durability and appropriate size before getting one.

Hope this article was helpful to you, considering all the facts now it’s it’s your choice which fishing wader you want! Happy fishing, folks!

Nicholi Wyto

Hey I'm Nicholi Wyto is a professional sports fisherman and hunter, love to enjoy spending time in Michigan’s rugged northern forests. I love to explore my experience and help others who are interested in fishing and hunting.

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