At a Glance: Waders

If you're of a certain age and have kept pace with the advancements, you have seen an incredible evolution in your pair of waders. Where rubber or canvas once ruled the day and came in chest waders or hip waders, neoprene waders took over, and then, since coming into fashion in the 2000s, breathable waders are, more often than not, the choice for discerning anglers. Unlike rubber and neoprene options that trap sweat inside and make one cold on cold days and odoriferous in warm temperatures, today's lightweight, high-quality waders made from GORE-TEX or specialized nylon fabrics allow sweat to escape as they stop river water from entering.

Waders come in several styles:

  • 1) Hip boots, or "hippers" are waders covering the foot up to the hip, and you need a pair of hip boots.
  • 2) Waist-high waders are an integral pair of waders, coming up to your waist, and are used for lower waters where you will not be wading deeper than your waist.
  • 3) Chest high waders are traditional waders, similar in style to bibs, and have shoulder straps to hold them up.

Waders also come in several foot styles:

  • 1) Stockingfoot waders have a bootie connected to the wader and are typically made of neoprene. You must have wading boots with stockingfoot waders.
  • 2) Bootfoot waders have the boot integrated into the waders. The boot can be insulated, for cold water wading, or uninsulated.

Bootfoot waders also come in several styles:

  • 1) Cleated bootfoot waders are a general boot with rubber cleats permanently attached to the bottom.
  • 2) Felt bootfoot waders are designed for wading on slippery stream surfaces like algae, where cleats or studs would be unable to grip.
  • 3) Studded bootfoot waders provide the maximum traction, especially on stone-bottom streams. Studded bootfoot waders can come with permanent or removable studs on the bottom of the boot.

Some people still prefer form-fitting neoprene because they are less likely to fill up with water in case of accidental dunking. Additionally, neoprene is considered a better material for insulated fishing waders, particularly for cold-weather fishing trips. These neoprene options come in both stockingfoot and integrated boots, which can help keep feet warm. Cleated rubber outsoles in bootfoot waders are the norm. While breathable models don't have neoprene insulation qualities, anglers stay just as warm by dressing in layers that conserve body heat. Many of today's options are stockingfoot styles, allowing anglers to choose their footwear to attain the best traction possible for the river or creek bottoms they'll wade.

Modern breathable options come with a range of comfortable and convenient features. Zippered internal pockets for a fly box, hand warmer chest pockets, and accessory tabs for tools and fly patches are some of the features that you can find. The heavy-duty elastic shoulder straps and suspender systems ensure that you can wear the waders all day without feeling uncomfortable. Some chest styles roll down to the waist, making them suitable for warmer weather or smaller water. Some models come with a waterproof center zipper that makes it easy to navigate streamside pit stops. An integrated gravel guard is standard on most and covers the top of the wading boot to prevent pebbles and other debris from entering. If you prefer waist high waders, FishUSA has got you covered with Simms wading pants. We have Frogg Toggs neoprene waders, Simms and Orvis waders, Simms women's waders, and youth waders.

Popular brands of waders available at FishUSA include Simms, Frogg Toggs, Redington, and more.