When you go fishing, you are going to be around or in the water. If I’m going to be in the water, I want to be safe and comfortable. Being safe is a no brainer, being comfortable is a choice. When fishing, I do not like to be wet, cold and uncomfortable. A good pair of waders can solve the problem. Waders are pretty much standard from how they are constructed, how many ply fabric, tread on the feet to how many pockets and the suspenders. There are a number of brands out there and a visit to your local fly fishing shop or try https://www.amazon.com to get a look and price you might like. A lot of manufactures such as Simms, Reed, Chota and Patagonia offer a good selection and good prices. Most all these names have their own websites as well. Another good place I have found is Sportsman’s Warehouse, they have a lot of stuff and the prices are good too. I forgot to add Hodgman , Frogg Toggs, Redington and Pro Line are all good brands worth taking a look at.
Traditionally waders are made of rubber or neoprene but with today’s advances in technology many waders are made of nylon and other synthetic material. Waders not made of neoprene or rubber are usually spoken of as “breathable” . While both are still available, neoprene waders are used mostly in cold waters. You can get waders in several styles but usually carry the same name. Hippers or hip boots are waders that cover the foot up to the hip. Waist-high waders are just that. Coming up to your waist, so you have some restriction there, wading in water no deeper than you waist. The chest high wader is most popular and versatile similar to bib overalls, with shoulder straps to hold them up and usually some big pockets for a camera or other items you don’t want to get wet. They have zipper or Velcro closure to keep the pocket dry.
Different foot styles are your choice also. Stockingfoot waders have a bootie that is connected, usually made of neoprene, so you must have wading boots to wear with stockinfoot waders. Another style is called the Bootfoot wader. That style has the boot already attached to the wader and can be either insulated or not. Cleated bootfoot waders have rubber cleats permanently attached to the the bottom of the boot. Another option is the studded bootfoot wader, which can come either with permanent or removable studs.
When shopping for waders, you have to access your needs and how deep the water is that you plan on fishing most. Water temperature is also a factor. Your needs will be different if you are fishing in Florida or fishing in Alaska so get the gear you will get the most use of. Unless you have unlimited funds, be selective in your purchase as it can add up to a lot of money if you just buy on a whim. Another purchase overlooked a lot of times is good quality wading socks and are pretty much an essential item for foot comfort. Make sure they have moisture wicking base layer bottoms and tops to keep your skin dry and warm. Most waders are designed for fishers by people that know fishing so it all gets down to what whistles and bells are important to you and what you are willing to pay for. As a general rule, a good pair of waders will last for many fishing seasons.