The 10 Best Fishing Waders

Updated May 18, 2018 by Sam Kraft

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We spent 45 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. If you plan on standing in the water to cast a line or two, make sure you’re equipped with a pair of these fishing waders. Whether the water is ankle deep or approaching chest height, this protective gear should keep you warm and dry as you work to land the big one. They come in a range of sizes and styles for men, women and children. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best fishing wader on Amazon.

10. Yiwu Bode Men

The Yiwu Bode Men are lightweight enough to provide impressive freedom of movement without sacrificing protective qualities. Their thick rubber outsoles keep your feet nice and dry and help to prevent any skidding or slipping.
  • available in camo or brown
  • easy to put on and take off
  • smell strongly of rubber
Brand Yiwu Bode
Model pending
Weight 5.3 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

9. Sougayilang Boot-Foot

The detailed camouflage print of the Sougayilang Boot-Foot extends all the way to the bottom of the boot, so you'll be in full stealth mode when you wear them. They’re also built with soles that provide a dependable grip, which lessens the risk of a fall.
  • suitable for men or women
  • plenty of room in the thighs
  • straps are difficult to adjust
Brand Sougayilang
Model pending
Weight 6 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

8. Ouzong Chest

Whether you’re buying these for a small woman or a tall man, the Ouzong Chest are designed to fit a variety of body types, so you shouldn’t worry too much. You can go with a camouflage design or an attractive forest green color — both ideal for fishing.
  • made with lightweight nylon
  • suspenders are simple to adjust
  • belt comes unbuckled easily
Brand Ouzong
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

7. Redington Sonic Pro

The strong seams of the Redington Sonic Pro ensure that no water will sneak in while you’re fishing. The reinforced rear end is ideal for those who sit for long periods of time while waiting for a bite, and they’re surprisingly breathable for such a heavy-duty option.
  • zippered hand warmer pockets
  • offer a nice amount of mobility
  • withstand wear and tear well
Brand Redington
Model Redington
Weight 6 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

6. Grundens Highlander

The Grundens Highlander are reliably waterproof and provide enough air circulation to keep you comfortable, which should satisfy serious anglers. Avid hunters will appreciate the camouflage print, and the cargo pocket on the right leg is a handy spot to keep a knife.
  • leg cuffs are adjustable
  • roll up for simple storage
  • seams are taped for durability
Brand Grundens
Model CWWB
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

5. Webetop Overalls

The simplicity of the Webetop Overalls is the basis of their appeal. They’re easy to adjust, climbing in and out of them is no problem at all, and they feature one inner pocket for storing essential items. Water doesn’t stand a chance against these things.
  • high-value option
  • simple to wipe clean
  • pvc buckles are strong and reliable
Brand Webetop
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

4. Oakiwear Children

What’s better than taking your kid out for a relaxing afternoon of fishing? With the Oakiwear Children you can teach your youngster how to wade as well. The arm straps are fully adjustable, and they’re easy to clean after a day in the mud.
  • 3 colors to choose from
  • built-in waist belt
  • boots provide solid traction
Brand Oakiwear
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

3. Orvis Sonic Convertible

With a suspension system that allows you to quickly change them from waders to waist-highs, the Orvis Sonic Convertible are both practical and versatile. They also feature comfortable neoprene booties with a robust rubber lining.
  • gravel guard is attached
  • resistant to odors and bacteria
  • outer fabric is thick and resilient
Brand Orvis
Model 5H5E:5H5E
Weight 3.4 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. TideWe Hunting

The taped seams of the TideWe Hunting guarantee your dryness, and a flip-out chest pocket offers you a convenient place to keep small items. These are well-built, lightweight and durable, so they should be able to handle years of outdoor excursions.
  • fit into a backpack easily
  • include a satisfaction guarantee
  • waterproof phone case
Brand TideWe
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Compass Deadfall

The knee and shin areas of the Compass Deadfall are reinforced to provide added protection while you trudge through the water. The fleece-lined, zippered pocket provides an impressive amount of storage, and it’s a great place to warm your hands as well.
  • ideal for cold weather fishing
  • 5 size options available
  • suspenders are elastic and stretchy
Model 4014701-Parent
Weight 2.6 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

Comfort Breeds Success

When I used to go fishing in the murky waters of our local river as a kid, my adventurous spirit would at times guide me waist-deep into the running water in pursuit of elusive bass and catfish. I never wore fishing waders. Even if my father had instructed me to wear them, which he didn't (parent of the year, he apparently was not), I almost surely would have disregarded his advice. Shorts and flip flops were my universal uniform; some mildly polluted river water wasn’t going to change that.

Knowing what I know now, I would’ve asked my dad to pony up for a solid pair of waders and slid them on every time I went down to the river. For most anglers, fishing is a leisure pastime. It’s about relaxing, spending time with family and friends, connecting with nature, and that addictive tug of a fish on the line of your favorite fishing pole. Few things can drive away your desire to fish like being unbearably cold and wet.

That’s why remaining dry and comfortable is such an essential component of extended fishing sessions. This is especially important for fly fisherman, since they spend all of their time in the water instead of on a boat or the shoreline. A lot of fly fishing is done up in the mountains, where the air and water can become rather cold. To prevent the submerged parts of your body from freezing and going numb, most waders are lined and insulated.

Spending hours at a time in the water can be hazardous. In extreme cases, immersing your feet underwater for too long can cause a condition known as trench foot. Furthermore, you’re often unable to see the surface you’re walking on as you wade, which makes you susceptible to slipping and falling. It's important to consider the soles of the wader boots you're using and the level of grip they provide.

A Fit For All Anglers

Speaking of wading boots, you’ll have two primary types of footwear to choose from: bootfoot and stockingfoot. A bootfoot model offers the convenience of being integrated right into the waders. If you opt for the stockingfoot option, you must purchase and put the boots on separately. Bootfoot models are simple, easy to take on and off, and convenient to clean. Stockingfoot waders are flexible, provide better ankle support, and can be equipped with metal studs on the soles for enhanced grip. It's a simple matter of preference.

Each distinct style of wader is designed for a specific type of fishing situation. For more audacious souls who require maximum coverage, chest waders are probably the way to go. As you’ve likely guessed, they offer protection up to your chest. These are useful for deep and unpredictable waters where you may encounter surprise drop-offs or floating debris.

Waist high waders are similar to a pair of pants, leaving your torso exposed. This style is ideal when chest waders are excessive, as they offer ample protection for aggressive stream wading and climbing in and out of boats. Plus, they’re far more comfortable in warm weather. Essentially heavy-duty tall boots, hip waders are perfect for shallow creeks and streams on hot summer days. They’re also the least expensive and most versatile.

You should also consider the material. If you prefer to do your angling during the spring or summer, breathable waders are a nice choice. They’re vented, resilient, and easy to wear with a tee shirt and shorts. During the cooler months, the insulating quality of neoprene waders can be very attractive. While not breathable, they’re highly durable. Nylon waders are a flexible, inexpensive option.

Keep in mind, certain materials have undesirable qualities as well. For example, a movement to restrict the use of felt-soled waders and wading boots to prevent the spread of invasive species has been gaining momentum since 2009. To date, several states have enacted legislation to ban these. If you’re considering felt-soled waders, make sure to check whether they’ve been banned in your state before purchasing them.

Why Bother With Wading?

Yes, boat fishing allows you to cover the maximum amount of water, and fishing from the shore can be supremely relaxing. Wading, however, is unique in that it draws you into the very habitat you seek to penetrate. For example, enormous fish can be found in shallow areas during their spawn, but sometimes these hotspots are remote and difficult to access. With the right wading gear and strategy, you can have a field day at these places.

Some species, such as walleyes, prefer running water in precise locations near the inlets of streams. Since the fast-moving water makes it very tough to position a boat or accurately cast from shore, wading emerges as the only viable option to really get into these fish. Wading in this situation can be loads of fun, but be careful – this is an instance where safety and vigilance are of the utmost importance. Don’t enter the water if the current is too strong, and make sure your boots provide reliable grip for the type of bottom you’re dealing with.

Of course, wading isn’t the easiest method. Maybe you’re reluctant to do it because it requires you to leave behind the convenience of having your tackle and gear within reach at all times. It’s certainly a valid gripe, but it’s one that can be addressed with a quality fishing backpack. Using one of these, everything you require to land the big one is literally on your person. Most fishing backpacks are waterproof, as well.

As a fisherman, you’re part of an important industry. In today’s era of social media addiction, you’re far more likely to see a young person stumbling down the street glued to an iPhone than carrying a fishing pole to the creek. And while you may only consider it a personal passion, recreational fishermen in America make a significant impact on the economies in which they live and fish. They support hundreds of thousands of jobs and generate billions of dollars in retail sales and tourism revenue in states across the nation.

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Last updated on May 18, 2018 by Sam Kraft

Sam is a marketing/communications professional and freelance writer who resides in Chicago, IL and is perpetually celebrating the Cubs’ 2016 World Series victory.

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