Guidance and Reviews For Waders

Technology has come a long way in the world of fly fishing. There have been many new innovations which have made it easier to fish. One of the biggest innovations for anglers has been the introduction of breathable waders. There was a time when an angler had no choice but to wear the heavy and uncomfortable waders that did not allow any kind of perspiration or body heat to pass through.

Earlier, the waders were made of rubber and other heavy material but these days there are a lot of choices available to anglers.

One of the biggest misconceptions prevalent amongst beginner anglers is that most of them think of a wader as not a necessity but as a luxury. However, nothing is further from the truth. A wader not only keeps the body dry but it also helps in making fly-fishing more enjoyable and successful. Beginners also do not necessarily know about the different wader types available today. In the article below, we will discuss various types of different waders available in the market and when to buy a particular type.

Why Do You Need Waders?

Before we get into various wader types, it is essential to understand the actual need of waders.

First of all, you do not need waders if you are going to fish only in warm weather. If you are going to be angling in this weather, you will be comfortable even without waders as your body will not feel the need to conserve body heat. It is true that you will end up wet, but if you do not mind getting wet, you will still be comfortable just as long as it is not cold.

However, everything changes when you go on fly-fishing in comparatively cold weather or cold waters in warm weather. You cannot stay comfortable while fishing in cold weather without waders. In simple terms, with waders you will not only enjoy the fishing but you will also have far more success as you will be able to concentrate better and will be able to carry on the fishing throughout the day.

Different Types of Waders

Waders can be divided into two different categories. These two different types are chest waders and hip waders. Chest waders continues to break down into two categories which are are called bootfoot waders and stockingfoot waders. We will now discuss these different types and advantages as well as disadvantages of each type.

chest wader man

Chest Waders

Chest waders are the most versatile option and they also provide the most coverage. You can pretty much venture out into any type of water depth from ankle-deep to waste-deep. Suspenders are used to keep the chest wader securely positioned but it still allows enough room just in case you want to wear extra clothing underneath.

Read our reviews on the most popular chest waders.

Bootfoot Waders

As the name suggests, these types of waders have the boots attached to the waders. These usually extend from the feet of the angler to the chest. With these, the angler does not need to invest in wading boots separately.

  • There are no laces to adjust or tie. You just put on the waders and you are ready to go.
  • These are warmer than the stockingfoot waders and are considered perfect for fly-fishing within very cold weather, especially in early or late season fishing.
  • No need to untie cold laces at the end of the day.
  • There is no need to adjust the boot by bending down. This factor is especially important for older folks.
  • These are comparatively heavier and bulkier. These take more space in storage.
  • These cannot be machine washed due to attached boots.
  • These are not as widely available as the other types of waders.

Stockingfoot Waders

As the name suggests, these types of waders have a stocking attached in place of boots. An angler needs to invest in a separate pair of wading boots which are put on these neoprene socks. Similar to the bootfoot waders, these also extend from the feet up to the chest.

  • These are comparatively lighter and much easier to pack.
  • It is easy to get into and out of stockingfoot waders.
  • These are easier to clean as these can be machine washed.
  • A wide selection is available in the market for these type of waders.
  • These do not conserve as much body heat as by bootfoot waders.
  • One needs to invest in a separate pair of wading boots.


hip wader man

Hip Waders

These fly-fishing waders are used by anglers for fishing within shallow and slow-moving waters. These extend from the feet to the hip of the angler. These are available both with boots and without boots.

Read our reviews on the most popular hip waders.

  • These are comparatively more comfortable than the other two types.
  • These are comparatively cheaper.
  • These can only work in shallow waters.
  • As far as choosing between these different types is concerned, it is dependent on the kind of weather and environment you are going to fish in. Most of the anglers are fans of the stockingfoot type as these are very versatile and widely available.
  • Different Types of Wader Materials
  • Most of the times, you are likely to find waders made of two different materials that are Neoprene or breathable material such as Gore-Tex.


Wader Material


Neoprene Waders

This material is available in various thicknesses ranging from 3 mm to 5 mm. It is not breathable material and hence keeps the body heat inside the waders. Therefore, it is perfect for fishing in cold weather. Usually, waders prefer to use 3 mm thickness for fishing on days with warm climates and a slightly thicker 5 mm thick waders for fishing within cold water.


  • Ideal for fishing within cold water or cold weather.
  • Available in various thicknesses.
  • This material is not breathable and hence waders made from this material can become quite warm very quickly for the angler.

Breathable Waders

These are made from various compounds which keep the water out but allow the body heat as well as the sweat to leave. The result is that anglers remain warm, comfortable and can fish throughout the day.

  • These are breathable and hence comparatively comfortable for fishing in warm weather.
  • These allow both body heat and condensation to escape.
  • Comparatively costlier.
  • Breathable waders are made from many different materials and the cost of the wader usually depends on the type of compound used to be great. Therefore, flyfishing waders made of Gore-Tex will cost a bit more than the other materials.
  • A pair of breathable fishing waders is essential for an angler for successful fly fishing in different environmental conditions. Investment in a well fitting breathable wader will go a long way in making the sport of fly fishing comfortable and enjoyable for an angler.