Fly Fishing Wader Buying Guide: Stocking foot vs. Boot foot

How do you know the best fly fishing waders? Take that in mind for a moment, and define reasons you require waders for fly fishing and wading in the first place: the best breathable waders or neoprene waders will get you right into the world of fishing. This equipment changes your experience and skills for the better.

Certainly, sometimes you want waders to cast your fly to fish, which makes the pants an indispensable tool for wading, especially for beginners who can’t cast well yet. There are some rivers with brushy banks and you can only wade out in water to cast. Some lakes with shallow bottoms require you to wade out to catch fish. Sometimes, you do for fun and intend to scramble around streams or choose the far spots where fewer waders go.

Thus, how do you choose which boots of waders are best? Which factors do you require? Find the most important factors you need in a good pair of waders for your next fly fishing trip.

Stockingfoot vs. boot foot

The two major types of fishing waders are boot foot or stocking foot waders.

Boot foot

Just use booted waders when you like simple steps in a boot and the river doesn’t have rocky, unstable bottoms. What is the reason? Booted waders look like rubber boots and loose enough to step comfortably, but they don’t support ankle much. If your destination has rocky grounds, you’ll need a boot with much ankle protect.

Thus, if you wade in lakes with gentle shores, the booted waders are quite comfortable, handy and easy to use. However, who knows places you’re going to wade next? Then, it’s better that you wear stocking foot waders.

Stocking foot

A stocking foot is an ideal option since you can pick various boots in the period of wading. Plus, when the river is clear and low and the temperature is higher, you should wear sturdy wading boots instead of stockingfoot waders and only fish around in short pants. Generally, your versatile investment in fishing gears should be separate wading boots and stockingfoot waders.

Breathable vs. neoprene stockingfoot waders

If you only wade in the cold water and cold weathers, you should choose heavy neoprene waders. If you intend to fish all year round, lighter breathable waders are perfect options. Thus, when you wade out of the water, you don’t sweat so much. In cases, the weather is extremely cold; you can layer up with thick fleece pants underneath the breathable waders. However, you can never wear cold-weather suits for hot days.


That comes down to a simple recommendation: just use neoprene if you wade in cold weather and cold water. Absolutely, neoprene is more durable but breathable waders are more comfortable and thinner. Moreover, neoprene is harder to package and requires longer to dry completely.

Best fly fishing waders


Best fly fishing wadersThe most difficult question you will face is the budget you will invest in fishing gears. Can you spend hundreds of dollars or just below $100? What do you want additional features? You should consider extra factors like shoulder straps, pockets, extra layers, or types of material that make pants more abrasion resistant.

Extra features

  • One of those features you need always to think of is built-in gravel cuffs that are a fabric covering the upper parts of wading boots. Thus, gravel doesn’t come into the boot when you’re fishing, which may damage your waders.
  • Commonly, the higher-end pants are really worth money when you intend to be a professional during your lifetime. They are also ideal for hiking through fish and brush on rivers with rocky grounds or you go to wading over 20 times every year.


If you wear a pair over 10 times a year, you need models to last several years. After the period of using, the sealed seams and material will degrade many times and eventually crack or leak even if you take a good care of them. When you notice these signals, thinking of buying a new pair before you start a fishing trip.

Totally, if you’re a new fly fisher, you should choose breathable waders with entry-level stockingfoot that cost about $100. It’s better that you get patch kits for a good care of your waders.

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