Like other wader styles, hip waders come in your choice of materials to suit your needs and budget:
Breathable hip waders are built from rugged yet light nylon or polyester fabric bonded to a waterproof/breathable laminate. The seams are completely sealed to keep you dry, but the microporous construction of the laminate means perspiration escapes so you stay cooler and more comfortable as you walk. This is definitely the premium comfort option in hip wader design – and one most fisherman wonder why they didn’t upgrade to sooner!
Rubber hip waders are built with the same tough vulcanized construction you find in your favorite rubber boots. That means they’re exceptionally durable and ideal for fishing or job site use alike. In fact, in any environment where tears and snags from branches, sharp rocks or debris of any kind are a concern, rubber waders are the perfect choice. This durability does come at a small cost in weight, however and if there is one criticism to rubber hip waders, it’s that they can start to feel heavy and sluggish as the day wears on.
PVC hip waders give you a nice combination of lightweight performance and value. Generally the foot is made of durable rubber, but the upper uses PVC to keep the weight light and nimble. The PVC is not breathable like other fabric models, but for shorter fishing trips or value-conscious fishing the PVC models are worth considering.
Stocking foot or boot built in options
Most companies also give you the option of a hip wader with built-in rubber boots or a sealed stocking that slips into your favorite wading shoe. Long hikes in to a fishing location generally favor a wading shoe that’s built like a hiker, but integrated boots make a quick slip-on-and-go option to maximize your fishing time.
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