If you are getting into fly-fishing, wading shoes are something you are going to definitely benefits from having. However, if you’ve never purchased waders before, it can be difficult to know exactly what you need. To help make the decision a tiny bit easier, here are a few things you should know.
Types Of Waders
- Boot-foot Chest Waders. A good choice for those working along saltwater, this simple option offers an easy slip on and off design, with no lacing or tying necessary. Since these boots are attached directly to the wader suit, this saves you from having to purchase separate wading boots and overalls. Additionally, they are often warmer than other types, which makes them good for wading in colder waters; however, the trade off is that they are heavier and bulkier overall.
- Hip Waders. These are designed in separate pieces, with one of each leg, and they extend from your foot to the top of your thigh. These are made to be used in shallow waters, and can be found in both boot-foot and stocking-foot varieties. This type is also easier to pack for trips, which makes these wading shoes perfect for those who like to go on destination trips.
- Waist-High Waders. Falling in between hip and chest high waders, this type offers more coverage than hip waders, and can be used in waters that reach to the mid thigh. They can be less restrictive than chest waders, and can be more comfortable when used on hot days.
Wading shoes can come in a wide variety of materials, a couple of the most common are:
- Neoprene. Made from the same material as wet suits these are typically favored by anglers who frequent colder waters. Because it is both waterproof and insulating, it can help keep anglers comfortable and warm, while also being stretchy and easy to maneuver in. A drawback of this material is that it isn’t very breathable, so for warmer weather it can be uncomfortable when you start to sweat.
- Nylon. This material makes for lightweight and inexpensive wading shoes; because of this many beginners tend to favor it. However, like the above it tends to not be as breathable as some people may like. On hot days sweat can build up and soak under-layers easily. That said, this is a good choice for those just starting out, and can be both cost effective, and a good way to learn safe wading.
- Rubber. Rubber boots are heavier than other types, but they are relatively inexpensive. Many suits comprise of this material, and it is commonly found in many fly-fishing gear essentials. However, as with the prior options these lack breathability, though rubber also tends to be less flexible than nylon or neoprene.
- Waterproof And Breathable Wading Shoes. Typically materials such as Gore-Tex excel when it comes to waterproofing and breathability. These can also work in both hot and warm climates, and are comfortable enough to be worn for long periods of time. For serious fly-fishers materials like this are something to keep an eye out for.
Finding The Right Fit
Finding the right fit for your wading shoes is essential to ensure proper comfort, warmth, and safety. If the fit is wrong, not only with your waders be uncomfortable but they can also pose a safety hazard. The best fitting waders should be loose enough to wear comfortable without constriction, but not enough that they can cause slipping when wading along slippery rocks.