So you’re thinking about getting yourself some waders? Here’s what you need to know. Essentially, they will allow you to fish comfortably in colder waters, whilst staying dry and warm. If you want to take your fishing to the next level, check out our guide to choosing the right ones for you. The best fly fishing waders are:
- Frogg Toggs Canyon II
- TideWe Chest Waders
- Compass Deadfall Stockingfoot
- Redington Sonic-Pro HDZ
- Orvis Encounter Chest Waders
- TideWe Bootfoot
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Why You Should Invest in Waders
Waders are essential for most avid anglers – they allow you to fish in colder waters without suffering from the chill or getting uncomfortably damp.
When you invest in great quality waders, you’ll have more flexibility, freedom and enjoyment whilst fishing. You can explore deeper waters, fish all year round and not have to worry about the water temperature, and you’ll stay warm and dry, no matter how many hours you’re out there for.
What are the Different Types of Waders?
There are three main types to choose from. Let’s dive into the main differences, so you can pinpoint the type that would suit you best.
A bootfoot wader is just that – it covers you from foot to chest, and has a pair of boots attached to the wader. With these you don’t need any boots – you can just put this on and you’re ready to go, with full waterproof protection.
Having said that, it can be more tricky to put on these fishing waders with boots, and they are pretty heavy, too.
A lot of anglers opt for stockingfoot waders. These cover you from foot to waist or more often, to chest. Instead of full wading boots, these fishing waders have a neoprene sock which you wear separate wading boots over the top.
Many people find this type much easier to get into, and they do pack away smaller than the bootfoot alternative. However, once you’ve factored in a pair of wading boots, you’ll find that there’s not a lot of difference in weight between bootfoot and stockingfoot waders.
Hip / wading pants
If you’ll be sticking to fairly shallow water, then this might be just the thing you need. Some have attached boots and others don’t.
Designed for use in shallower depths and chilly temperatures, hip waders give protection up to the hip and tend to be more lightweight and comfortable than the above options. Wading pants are similar but they fit more closely, just like a comfy pair of pants.
However, if you’re one to push your limits and be adventurous, they can be very dangerous. If water goes over the brim you’ll find yourself with 2 very heavy legs and struggling to swim. This is one of the biggest killers in the fly fishing world. 
Neoprene Vs. Breathable – Which to Choose?
Most modern fly fishing waders are constructed from either special, breathable fabrics, or from neoprene. Waders made from neoprene are ideal for fishing in the coldest temperatures and in very cold water. 
The thickness of the neoprene does make a difference, with the range generally between 3mm – 5mm. However, it’s possible to overheat and start sweating quickly if you use a neoprene insulated wader in warmer weather.
If you’re looking for something you can use all year round, you might be better considering something made from breathable fabrics, like Gore-tex, and just layering up underneath. Rather than holding in all your body heat and sweat, breathable waders for fishing allow it to escape while keeping the water out too.
Fly Fishing Waders Reviews
So let’s get onto the reviews. Here I’ve pulled together some of the nicest waders out there, to make it really easy for you to select the right choice for you. You’ll find the features of each model, plus the pros and cons of each style so you can find the right ones to meet your requirements.
Frogg Toggs Canyon II
These Frogg Toggs are a great choice if you’re looking for the full protection of a chest wader. You’ll be able to fish in deeper waters and really push the boundaries with this chest wader. This model is popular due to the 4mm neoprene sock booties which make it easier to put on and more versatile than a bootfoot wader.
You’ll also find a handy, splash-proof chest pocket and a flip-out security pocket to keep your essentials safe while you fish. The material used for the Frogg Toggs Canyon II is a lightweight and flexible nylon, so you can feel free to move around unheeded.
Whether you’ll be standing, crouching or walking about, these Frogg Toggs waders won’t get in your way or hold you back. You can adjust the belt so that you can get just the right fit, and there’s generous room to suit every figure and body size.
- Durable – the Frogg Toggs Canyon II Wader will stand up to lots of intense use without wearing out
- The quick release buckles on the belt and suspenders make it easy to put on and take off
- A great choice if you’re looking for quality on a budget
- The knee area doesn’t have any extra padding to protect this sensitive area and reduce wear and tear
- The belt is prone to breaking, so it unfortunately doesn’t match up to the quality
TideWe Chest Waders
The TideWe Chest Wader is definitely an eye-catching example of neoprene waders, with a cool camo design and bootfoot style. You’ll stay warm with these insulated waders, thanks to a 3.5mm neoprene upper and sturdy, triple-finished seams to prevent leaks.
Detailed thought has gone into every element on the TideWe Chest Wader to provide superior quality and comfort, from the thick shoulder straps that attach easily with Velcro, to the cushioning, supportive boots. There’s even a hand warmer pocket so that you can tuck your hands away on the chilliest days.
The insulated rubber boots have been specially designed to be puncture-proof and to give you excellent grip while you fish, so you can be safe at all times and prevent falls or slips.
- 100% waterproof
- Made from premium materials to prevent any leakage and ensure that you stay warm and dry
- With reinforced, insulated rubber boots in this bootfoot model, you’ll have everything you need to get fishing straight away
- Keep your valuables dry in a small chest pocket
- Easy to put on and remove due to the adjustable suspenders
- One of the best waders for avid anglers who take their fishing seriously and are looking for a bootfoot style!
- More expensive than some other models, so not ideal if you’re on a budget
- The sizing can be misleading – TideWe recommends that you buy one size down as the fit is very long, but if you’re stockier you might find it’s better to stick with your normal size
Compass Deadfall Stockingfoot
Check this model out if you’re looking for durable chest waders that will stand up to plenty of use and serve you well. The adjustable elastic suspenders ensure that you can get a great, individual fit, preventing the straps from slipping off your shoulders.
The Compass Deadfall Waders have 4mm neoprene booties which are easy to get on and off and fit well to your feet, which means no annoying digging or pinching while you’re out on the water. Made from 4-ply nylon, these breathable waders are a great choice if you’re prone to overheating and want to steer clear of neoprene waders.
You’ll stay warm in colder waters, but you can use these breathable waders in warmer weather too without getting hot and sweaty.
- Extra reinforcement around the shins and knees makes these waders even more durable and strong, so you can use them for years
- Useful pocket to keep things handy and dry while you’re fishing
- Breathable – so you can fish for as long as you like without getting sweaty or overheating
- Great for use in all weathers and water temperatures, helping you stay at the optimal temperature
- On the expensive end of the scale, this might be too much of an investment for beginner anglers on a budget
- As these are stockingfoot waders, you’ll need to invest in a pair of wading boots too.
Redington Sonic-Pro HDZ
We recommend the Redington Sonic-Pro Waders for avid anglers who get out on the water at every chance they get. These waders are excellent quality, made from premium materials, and they are both comfortable and easy to get in and out of. Whilst waders do make fishing in cold water much more enjoyable, it can be a hassle to get in and out of most waders on the market.
The unique feature of the waterproof zip in the Sonic-Pro HDZ waders eliminates this difficulty, making it easy to get in and out of them. This really does make a difference, especially if you plan on being out all day and may need to get in and out of your waders more than once. More than that, they are both breathable and very comfortable to wear, whilst being durable and hard-wearing.
If you’re looking to get the best waders out there, these would be the ones we’d recommend, as they combine all the features you need for comfort, freedom of movement and practicality while fishing. Redington Sonic-Pro HDZ
- Plenty of pockets, including internal and external water-resistant pockets, so you’ll have space to carry everything you need to keep on hand, without risking water damage.
- The neoprene booties have a thick, reinforced sole for increased comfort and to reduce the risk of punctures.
- You can keep your hands warm by tucking them away in the fleece hand warmer pocket – a welcome feature on chilly days when you’re standing around for long periods of time.
- With a hefty price tag, these waders are probably only for the most enthusiastic and dedicated anglers who will use their waders again and again and get good value from them
- The sizing runs large, so you might need to size down to get the best fit
Orvis Encounter Chest Waders
Orvis Encounter Waders are a great budget option, combining impressive durability and breathability. They are constructed from four layer nylon which is resistant to rips, tears, and leaks whilst keeping you at a comfortable temperature even in very cold water. From an adjustable belt and adjustable braces for the ideal fit to a handwarmer pocket, there are lots of useful features to make your time out on the water more pleasant.
- The handwarmer is a nice feature, allowing your hands to stay warm and cosy even after hours on the river.
- They are comfortable to wear all day.
- The gravel guards provide extra protection against gravel, sand and other elements that could damage or cause wear to your waders
- The front pocket isn’t water-resistant, so take care if you put anything valuable in there.
- There’s no interior pocket included, although you can buy this separately if you need one.
- Great value for money and a brilliant option if you’re shopping for the best flyfishing waders on a budget.
The TideWe fishing waders with boots are lightweight, waterproof and suitable for men and women. Quick release buttons on the suspenders make these easy to put on, and they pack down to a small size.
- Strong and sturdy material which will stand up to a lot of hard use.
- Wide shoulder straps prevent digging for a comfortable fit
- Generous pockets to keep all your gear close at hand.
- The boot sizes are fairly small and tight, so you will need to size up if you have wide feet or want extra padding from thick socks.
- The chest pocket is not waterproof but splash-proof, with no seals to keep water out
- The water pressure can cause the rubber of the boots to press down on your feet.
Having breathable, sturdy waders can make all the difference to your enjoyment when you’re fishing. You’ll stay comfortable, so you can get even more time out there and push your hobby to new limits. You won’t be limited to sticking to very shallow water in wading boots or only fishing in warm weather.
If you’re looking to invest in the best fly fishing waders, any of our recommendations should do the job well. They combine the best features for comfort, practicality, and ease of use. You’ll just wish you’d bought yourself some sooner!
Hey, I’m Ben, a fly fisherman for over 20 years and also an aspiring blogger. I’ve been into fly fishing since my graduation from spin fishing when I was 12 years old. I started flyfisherpro.com to help introduce as many people into this amazing sport. Tight lines everyone!
You can read more on our about page here.
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