How To Choose The Right Fishing Waders

How To Choose The Right Waders
Obviously when fishing, your rod and reel are most important, but not far behind waders should be your next priority.

Wading will let you reach those hard to reach places in the water, because it’s those hard to reach places the fish tend to hide. The correct waders will keep you dry and help provide your feet with grip while in the water.

Choosing a pair of waders can be a little daunting but allow us to help you through the process.

The water you are planning on fishing will identify the waders for your angling needs.

If you are planning on fishing shallower rivers and streams Hip waders should be your waders of choice. Hip waders will give you the coverage you need and provide a real comfortable fit, especially in warmer conditions. These waders are typically the lightest and easiest waders to use.
Hip Waders
If you have your eye on deeper waters, then waist waders will be the ones for you.

These waders are the middle ground and are for water, like the name suggests, no deeper than your waist. These waders, like the hip waders, are well suited to fishing in warmer climes as they still provide excellent waterproofing, but they leave your upper half exposed so you stay cool.
Waist Wader
At the top of the list, providing maximum coverage, are chest waders. Many anglers love these waders because not only are they almost kept completely dry, the waders aren’t that restrictive.

The bonus of these waders is that you will be prepared for almost any fishing scenario, whether it be heavy currents or a hard fighting fish putting you through your paces, chest high waders will see you through it.
Breathable Chest Waders
So, now you are familiar with types of waders it’s time to think about style.

Waders come in two styles, Bootfoot Waders and Stockingfoot Waders. Each come with their own pros and cons.

Looking at Bootfoot first, these waders have boots built in and don’t require you to also purchase wading boots.

A major thing going for the Bootfoot is the ease and speed in which you can get them on and off. These are ideal if you have arrived at your destination and want no fuss fishing. Since the waders and boots are attached you are almost guaranteed to avoid getting mud, sand and other nuisances in those hard to reach areas.

The drawbacks in this style of waders is there is more weight to carry and if you find them a little loose there are no laces to tighten them up and little room for customisation.

Bootfoot Thigh Waders
Next up, Stockingfoot. These waders have tended to provide more selection and availability.

The obvious thing with these waders is the additional purchase of wading boots, which some might see as a negative, but it does in fact come with many positives. Stockingfoot waders are much lighter and as a consequence is a much better option regarding packing your car for the big fishing trip. Another perk of buying your boots separately is you will have more freedom of choice when it comes to deciding on comfort and traction in the water.
Stockingfoot Waders

Felt Sole Wading Boots
When it comes to waders, there are several options regarding the type of sole to choose.  They key thing is to consider the kind of terrain you will be fishing and the amount of traction you will need.

Cleated sole waders are ideal for soft, muddy, marshy terrain and after a hard days fishing they are easy to clean. They are often found on Bootfoot waders, though others are available with them.

Felt sole waders provide great grip on the slippery rocks under the water that have ruined many a fisherman’s day. However, some states in the USA have started banning them as they carry bacteria and disease between water sources.

Both rubber and felt soled wading boots can come with the added attraction of studs. Studded sole waders can add traction and grip on the most slippery of rocks and riverbeds but be prepared for a messy clean up if you use them in muddy and marshy conditions. As a bonus if the studs wear down they are easily replaced.

Ultralight wading boots are steadily becoming the boot of choice among travelling fisherman tired of lugging around their bulkier wading boots. Ultralight boots can be found with the soles mentioned above.

Now it’s time to think about materials available when buying waders. The importance of warmth, durability, weight etc. to you the angler will aid you in your decision. It’s important to think about the conditions and environment you will find yourself in on your day in the water.

Neoprene Waders are ideal for fishing in cold conditions and freezing weather. Neoprene is non-breathable and warm and as a result they are usually worn in conditions where other materials are not an option.
Neoprene Chest Waders
Rubber waders are great if you are working with a tight budget as they are relatively cheap. They are duarable, waterproof and warmer than nylon. But, they are heavier and not breathable so moisture can build up inside.
Rubber Bootfoot Thigh Waders
PVC waders are light, relatively inexpensive and ideal for travelling as they are easy to store away and fold. They also don't absorb water like neoprene. The disadvantage is that they are not as breathable as GORE-TEX® and not as warm as neoprene.
PVC Waders
Breathable waders come in a variety of different materials. Examples include heavy duty 4-layer nylon, 3-layer waterproof nylon with Finetex membrane, Toray QuadraLam, Climatex, and of course, GORE-TEX® If you are looking for superior quality waders, then Simms Waders are hard to beat.  There is also a fantastic range of Patagonia Waders available offering excellent durability and breathability.

Breathable waders are increasingly popular among anglers because of their moisture wicking ability and overall lightweight build. They offer tremendous versatility and can be worn throughout the colder months right up until things start to heat up.
It is worth noting, however, that breathable waders do not offer the same durability as their rubber cousins and may need backing up around the knee or seat areas.  Therefore caring for your waders is very important.
Breathable Bootfoot Chest Waders
If you take anything away from our advice it is to remember that before buying your waders check for comfort, durability and breathability.

Being properly fitted will mean you are comfortable. Every brand will have their different size guide so trying on different waders in store is beneficial to ensure the right fit.

Waders that fit will make your days angling a far more comfortable experience, and when you are comfortable you are a far better angler. You cannot fish well if you’re distracted by discomfort and are constantly adjusting.

Finally, wading requires a certain level of common sense, so wear appropriate clothing under your waders and always take the correct safety measures such as, wearing a life jacket and not fishing alone if it can be helped.

We have a fantastic selection of waders in store here at, plus wading accessories and repair kits that can add to your wading experience.

There is a lot to consider before wading in but hopefully our advice has equipped you with the knowledge and confidence needed for a fantastic days fishing.  If you want to learn more about waders that suit your budget and needs, feel free to contact our expert staff on 0141 212 8880 or email

And if you are wading in the East Coast, don't forget you can shop for all your essentials at Edinburgh Angling Centre.