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How to Determine the Right Waders for You

As we go through these trying times due to the COVID-19 virus, it’s a good time to look back at some of the outdoor activities that you haven’t had a chance to pursue in a while. Whether that’s fishing, hiking, hunting, camping, walking or riding, it’s a good time for you to get outside and safely enjoy the outdoors.

One of the more popular questions asked is “what type of wader do I need for the activity that I’m doing?” Some people need a wader for work, some people for fishing, hunting, riding or just a leisure activity. Let’s take a look at material and foot choice first.

Neoprene or a lightweight Breathable material

For the coldest conditions, Neoprene Waders still reign supreme for their protection and insulating ability. Available in thicknesses from 3.5mm to 7.0mm they are ideal for cold days in the blind or fishing in weather that most people would not venture out in. For the coldest conditions, neoprene with added insulation in the boot, like Thinsulate™, can make a difference in foot comfort level. The downside to neoprene, is it doesn’t breathe, can trap moisture and can be harder to move around in.

Breathable waders give up insulating value over neoprene, but as the name implies, are built from waterproof, breathable materials to keep you comfortable during high activity or warmer conditions. It allows your body to breathe, allowing moisture to escape while keeping you 100% dry and comfortable. Breathable waders also typically give you better mobility and flexibility over neoprene and most breathable waders are sized to allow thicker base layers for cooler conditions.

Bootfoot or Stockingfoot Waders

A Bootfoot Wader has integrated boots and gives up the ability to adjust to your terrain and environment but makes for faster dressing so you can make the most of quick hunting or fishing adventures.

A Stockingfoot Wader has neoprene booties attached to the feet in lieu of boots. This allows you to combine a Wading Boot or Shoe of your choice, matching the terrain and weather. The Stockingfoot Wader is the ultimate in diversity and range of motion allowing to change your footwear whenever you choose. Movements can be quicker, more stable and surer footed.


Waders are purchased for stream fishing, river fishing, shore fishing, surf fishing, and large water body fishing. The type of wader that you need, will depend on your activity level, your climate and use. In warmer climates or for high activity level, a waterproof breathable wader is recommended. Even if the weather turns colder, you may still opt for this option and layer underneath the wader customizing your clothing to the weather. If you’re fishing and moving swiftly and securely is of paramount importance, you may consider trying a stockingfoot wader matched to your choice of wading boots.


A very similar logic to the fishing wader applies here with the exception that most hunting waders are bootfoot style. Some hunters prefer the traditional neoprene wader with it insulating values. The new trend is going towards lightweight, waterproof breathable waders that allow you to layer your clothing underneath the wader, customizing your set up to match the weather conditions. During the warmer weather conditions, layering may not be needed, and the lightweight, waterproof breathable wader will let your body breathe while protecting you from the elements.


At, the most common type of work-related wader purchased would be the Hip Wader. This allows for easy on and off and also allows for easy transport to and from the job site. Many of these waders are chemical and oil resistant and have many safety features built into them such as a protective toe or EH protection. LaCrosse has a wide range of work-related waders and boots on sale at


Many customers will purchase a wader to have around for general activities such as putting in a dock, working around the yard on very wet days or when they are working in a pond, pool or on an irrigation system. Most of these waders purchased will be Bootfoot Chest Waders made of rubber, pvc or neoprene.


Waders are a great item to have on if you enjoy riding your machine through the water, mud and muck. Most, if not all of the waders sold for this activity, are bootfoot style.

There are neoprene constructed waders for those cooler days and lightweight, waterproof breathable nylon waders for the warmer days.

Gator Waders makes a great selection of riding waders and boots for the adult or youth rider and available on