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Men's  >> Men's Fishing Clothing  >> Waders


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    G Loomis

    Fishing Waders

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    Waders Buyer's Guide

    When it comes to finding the right waders you have plenty of options. Waders come in a variety of styles and materials, each being suited to different activity levels and climates. The first thing you need to ask yourself is what you plan on doing with your waders. Are you planning on using these for fishing or hunting? If you plan on using your waders for both activities, which will you do more often? Water temperature plays a key role in understanding what type of materials you'll want your waders to be made from. After you have a good idea about what you plan on using your waders for, you'll need to understand how those needs translate to: material type, style, fit and boot type. Read More ...


    There are really only four options when it comes to wader materials: neoprene, breathable, nylon and rubber.

    Neoprene is by far the most popular wader material as it is very durable and keeps you well insulated. Neoprene stretches making it a more comfortable material to wear and keeps the waders from feeling bulky or uncomfortable. If you plan on hunting or fishing in colder temperatures then neoprene will likely be your best choice. You can also choose either 5mm or 3mm thickness to better adapt to your hunting or fishing styles. If you have to walk a ways to get to your fishing spot, or live in a warmer climate then 3mm will likely be your best option. Neoprene is not a breathable material, so you really want to take your hunting and fishing habits into consideration when choosing which thickness of neoprene you’ll use. As a rule of thumb, it's generally more comfortable to be a little warmer in waders than enduring the cold.

    Breathable waders offer the most versatility when it comes to wader materials. This material is generally the most comfortable and lightweight. This material will lock out exterior moisture while allowing your perspiration to vent at the same time. It needs to get pretty cold before you'll want to switch to a different material, all you'll need to do is change what you wear under the waders to adjust to the temperature. If you’re planning a fishing trip in the middle of summer then shorts and a t-shirt will do just fine, if it's colder out then you'll want some quality base layers.

    Nylon waders appeal to the budget conscious fisherman as they are generally a little friendlier to your wallet. These are great waders for beginning fly fishermen, but they can get hot. Since nylon doesn't breathe sweat can build up and make things uncomfortable. Rubber falls into much the same boat. While rubber is very durable it is also stiffer and traps in all your perspiration. For this reason you’ll generally only find rubber used in hip waders.


    After you know which season you'll be hunting or fishing in you'll have a clear idea of which style of waders you'll need.

    Chest waders provide the most coverage and are going to allow you to go deeper than any other type of wader. For that reason alone they are the choice of most fishermen and hunters. Using chest waders will keep you from running into trouble if you step over an unexpected drop off or plan on being in strong currents. If you plan on doing any pontoon or float tube fishing then chest waders are going to be a must. Chest waders also provide the most coverage and keep you a little warmer on cold days.

    Hip waders are the most convenient type of wader to wear, they easily slip on and off with your regular close and generally provide enough coverage to perform many hunting and fishing activities. If you're going to trudge through a bog or some mud these are a great option, they're generally the most cost conscious option as well.

    Waist waders are the compromise between hip and chest waders. These are a great choice for many fishermen as they cover enough of your body to go as deep as you'll generally want to go. This leaves you with a little bit more mobility and comfort than using chest waders, but allows you to go deeper than hip waders.


    Having a good fitting pair of waders will keep you warm and dry but don't forget about being comfortable while hunting or fishing. If your waders don't fit you correctly then you'll be more uncomfortable, tire faster and have less fun. Each manufacturer has their own way of sizing waders whether it is by boot size or by conventional large, medium, small sizing. There are a few measurements you'll need to take in order to know which pair will fit you best. The first and easiest measurement to get will be your boot size; this is just the size of your typical street shoe or boot. Next you'll want to know your inseam. Take out the measuring tape and measure from your crotch to the floor. Next you'll want to know how big around you'll need the waders; measure around the widest part of your chest, belly, waist or hips. Once you have those numbers you'll be set to make a proper fitting choice. Remember, you'll typically be more comfortable with waders that give you more room to add clothes underneath them, so if you're trying to chose between two sizes, go with the bigger option.

    Boot Type

    Chest and waist waders give you the option of having a boot attached to your wader or opting for the stocking-foot. If you choose to have the boot-foot attached then you'll have the ease of having everything all in one. This option will also keep your feet a little warmer and you'll have the option of either felt or rubber soled boots. Rubber soles will give you more traction while trudging through mud, but if you plan on being on some slick rocks in a river or stream then felt will be a better option.

    If you opt for the stocking-foot wader then you'll be able to choose your own footwear that is better suited to your conditions and more comfortable. Stocking-foot waders generally have neoprene booties that are made to insulate your foot and slip into wading boots. This gives you more options for footwear that fit you comfortably, protect your feet and ankles better and give you the option to have more than one wading boot and sole type. Wading boots will generally lace up and fit you better, which reduces friction and makes hiking into your fishing hole or hunting spot all the easier. Some wading boots have interchangeable soles so you can adjust to your needs. If you choose to use stocking-foot waders be sure you look after the neoprene sock attached to the wader as sand and pebbles can enter your wading boot and wear holes in the sock causing your waders to leak.