Finding the right pair of waders that function correctly, fits correctly, and, most importantly, serve you for more than a season can be challenging. But it can be even worse for women, who are mostly forced to turn to unisex waders. The ladies I have fly-fished with over the last years, including my nieces, have complained about the difficulty of finding the right waders that are durable and comfortable.
Hence, this article will show you everything you need to know about women’s waders. We’ll also show you how to pick the best waders for women and some of the best waders for women available in the market.
Guide Recommended: If you’re looking for a great value skip to the conclusion. The Redington Sonic Pro Waders are my pick. Check out read more reviews and current prices on Amazon with this shortcut link. 👉 Redington Women’s Sonic –Pro Wader
When it comes to a pair of waders, there is no one-size-fits-all; plus, a unisex gear is not the same as a gear designed specifically for women. Some brands tend to produce unisex pairs of wader for winter fishing which can work for some women. But most women tend to have poorly fitted or oversized gear, which can result in injuries and accidents that one can likely avoid if one wears the right gear. (source)
Remember, a small-sized wader for men is not a perfect option for women. So, to make the most of your fishing trip, you should choose the right option specifically designed for ladies. Stay away from the unisex options as they’re universal and won’t work for everyone.
Fortunately, the fly fishing industry has been changing in the last two decades, and while the ladies may not have as many options as the guys, they still have enough options. Some top brands have unique waders for different women who love fishing all over the globe.
First and foremost, the quality of your pair of waders matters a lot; it is what will keep you warm, safe, and dry while you focus on hooking your next catch. Therefore, by picking the right wader designed for women, you will get something that fits your body perfectly and has more than enough room without feeling too big. Women waders are designed to easily accommodate their curves, making them the best option for female fly anglers; plus, you can get a pair that perfectly fits your body.
On the other hand, the unisex options are designed for both sexes of the same size. So they may fit, but they won’t feel comfortable, especially if you have tried a pair of women’s waders.
Although they are designed for both sexes, men and women have different body shapes. Therefore, it makes sense that a crucial thing as a pair of waders should be designed differently. The probability of being comfortable in a unisex option can be low.
Picking the right pair of waders with specific features can help ladies feel more comfortable while fishing and keep them warm in the process.
Generally, the female’s feet are not only a scaled-down version of a guy’s feet but have several differences in shape, especially at the first toe, lateral side, arch, and the foot’s ball. Most manufacturers understand this and try to introduce it in their products as much as possible. (source)
On top of that, women’s waders are available for smaller feet and higher knees. Therefore, if you’re going for waders with attached boots, you will likely get a comfortable pair of women’s waders. Plus, you can get one with your shoe and body size.
Guide Pro Tip: Waders are part of a system. Read about what to wear under waders in this article. 👉 What to Wear Under Waders (Stay Warm)
Sure, you can rent a pair of waders every time you go fishing, but getting the right size, especially for women, can be pretty challenging. In most cases, you may end up with a unisex pair and compromise on the size and design that is suitable for your needs. Therefore, getting the best women’s wader that fits you perfectly is always a good idea, albeit considering the following factors:
Style is one factor that goes without saying; you must look good even when fly fishing. If your style matters, you should look for a pair specifically designed for women and not on the unisex options. Fortunately, some top brands like Orvis, Simms, and Patagonia started producing a special line for women a few years ago. Before that, female anglers had to wear baggy waders designed for men.
Most waders are chest-high and have a pair of boots or neoprene socks, but for flexibility, you should always get one with neoprene socks. Waders with neoprene socks are easier to wear, pack, and lighter than the ones with boots. Plus, you have to wear the wading boots over them, and you’re good to go.
Getting the right size when dealing with a unisex pair of waders can be tricky, especially because their shoe and body size varies. Generally, waders are sized by their socks or shoes, and you don’t need too much space in your shoes. A big pair of neoprene socks will likely be ripped while you’re wrestling it out of your shoes.
On the other hand, you do want to be surrounded by a huge water-resistant, baggy material to get the correct shoe size. So if your wader size and shoe size don’t match the conventional measure, then you should choose the customized options. However, getting the right size is worth the extra expenses, but it is all worth the comfort.
Before making your purchase, make sure you can bend down with your wader without getting any awkward pulling. At the same time, you don’t need too much room as the extra material can cause more resistance in the water.
Most folks believe that the price of the wader can dictate its quality, which is not always the case. Less-costly waders from some top brands like Reddington, Orvis, Simms, and Patagonia are also great. So instead of spending $900 on a high-end wader, you can spend $200 on the affordable options and join your pal for the coming fly fishing trip.
Remember, a pair of waders with neoprene socks is way more economical than the ones with boots. The shoes can quickly lose traction, and replacing the sock is cheaper than the boots.
Guide Pro Tip: If you keep your waders clean and condition occasionally with DWR they’ll work so much better. Read more 👉 How to Clean Fly Fishing Waders
Even though you’re working with a tight budget but still opts for pair of waders, you should never skimp on crucial features like breathability. You will wear them the entire day, so you need a breathable pair for your body heat to escape. Consequently, you should avoid full-body rubber and go for synthetic materials.
Another feature that most folks overlook but are mandatory is the drop-seat feature. The drop-seat feature is a unique feature that will make it possible for you to go to the bathroom without removing the waders and your other protective clothes. However, it’s not included in most women’s waders; therefore, you should ensure that you look for a pair with it.
1. Redington Women’s Sonic – Pro Wader – Best Value
Over the last few years, Redington has been improving their waders for women, but the Sonic Pro is one of their very best so far. This wader merges a perfect construction with an excellent fit, making them ideal for avid anglers. The Sonic-Pro is an exceptional bargain and one of my favorite pairs of waders for the best value for cash.
With its 4-layer construction, the Sonic-Pro features a piece of highly breathable and waterproof fabric with a slim outline resembling some of the top brands in the market, including the Simms Freestone waders. Its unique 4-layer design provides exceptional protection for all the elements and superior abrasion resistance. (source)
The nylon doesn’t feel plasticky like some waders in the market; therefore, it doesn’t produce a lot of noise when walking like other waders. Its chest pouch has a thin microfleece lining that guarantees you some warmth when it’s cold. Therefore, it can keep your hands warm when winter fly fishing.
It also includes a removable water-resistant bag with clips for quick attachment, which provides more storage options. Other than the zippered outer pockets, it does come with a detachable waterproof bag for your valuables and an open-topped inner mesh pouch with a unique key clip. For increased durability against injuries and punctures and extra comfort, it comes with some 4mm neoprene booties.
Plus, the fact that it has some anti-corrosive zippers is a bonus.
- Brand: Redington
- Size: small-medium full
- Material: nylon, neoprene
- Quiet and soft fabric
- Superior fit
- Available in different sizes
- It has a fleece-lined chest pocket
- The bib can accommodate different breast sizes
Guide Recommended: If the Sonic Pro’s sound appealing read more reviews and check current prices on Amazon with this shortcut link. 👉 Redington Women’s Sonic –Pro Wader
- Gravel guard requires more padding
2. Gator Women’s Waders Swamp -Best Bootfoot
Generally, some pairs of waders with boots may have issues with boot sizing, but there are a few brands that can surprise you. One of the less costly options for women who want to stay warm is the Gator Women’s Swamp. This Gator wader is an ideal option for folks who do most of their fishing from their boats.
You can also use the Gator Swamp for other sporting activities like hunting; they are the best option for durability. Plus, their sizing will guarantee an almost perfect fit in body shape and size; therefore, you may not need to customize it.
To keep you warm, Gator added a quilted thermal insulation lining on the inner part of the waders. The interior thermal cotton is covered by four layers of durable, breathable polyester that guarantees waterproof protection. And to provide mobility, they added a flexible, roomier inseam and adjustable elastic straps. (source)
This wader also comes with a pair of 1000G Thinsulate boots that can keep your feet safe and warm; these boots add agility and warmth, especially when trudging in the mud. It comes with an aggressive tread that guarantees your stability every time.
- Brand: Gator Waders
- Material: polyester, cotton
- Size: S-XXL
- Available in a wide range of colors
- It comes with high-quality boots
Guide Recommended: If you’re starting out the Gator Swamp might be for you. Read more reviews and check current prices on Amazon with this shortcut link. 👉 Gator Women’s Waders Swamp
- Boots wear out faster
3. Caddis Women’s Attractive Waders – Best Entry-Level
One of my favorite entry-level women’s waders is the unique Caddis Attractive Teal Wader. And despite being affordable, this pair of waders are durable. So if you’re still unsure about fly fishing and want to test the waters, this may be the best option.
Like most waders, this Caddis women’s wader comes with a wading belt and adjustable shoulder straps. It also has a unique chest pocket to keep your fingers warm and store valuables. These waders use breathable polyester materials with gravel guards and neoprene booties. (source)
Unfortunately, the material used to make this wader is not abrasion-resistant or thick, but it can do the job just fine. It is the best option for beginners, and considering its price, you may upgrade later after improving your fly fishing skills.
- Brand: Caddis
- Weight: 3.1 pounds
- Material: tricot, neoprene, and polyester
- Can keep you warm
Guide Recommended: If you’re starting out the Caddis Attractive might be for you. Read more reviews and check current prices on Amazon with this shortcut link. 👉 Caddis Women’s Attractive Waders
- Not thick or abrasion-resistant
One More Cast
Women have been fly fishing for decades; unfortunately, they had to use unisex pair of waders to keep warm and dry when fishing, which in most cases was very uncomfortable. But their love for fly fishing forced them to endure the buggy waders. Fortunately, things have changed, and most top brands have started producing waders for women. The women’s waders are specifically designed for their body size and shape; you can get a pair that matches your body and shoe size without customizing it.
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- Emily Kraus, Personal Protective Equipment: One Size Does Not Fit All, https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/pesticideinformation/2022/06/09/personal-protective-equipment-one-size-does-not-fit-all/ accessed August 20, 2022
- R. E. Wunderlich, Gender Differences in Adult Foot Shape: Implications for Shoe Design, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11283437/ accessed August 20, 2022
- Amazon contributor, Redington Women’s Sonic-Pro Waders, https://www.amazon.com/Redington-Womens-Sonic-Pro-Wader/dp/B0765C6LR6/ accessed August 20, 2022
- Amazon contributor, Gator Waders Insulated breathable wader, https://www.amazon.com/Gator-Waders-Insulated-Breathable-Offroad/dp/B086R926C8/ accessed August 20, 2022
- Amazon contributor, Caddis Women’s Attractive Teal Deluxe Breathable Stocking Foot Chest Wader, https://www.amazon.com/Caddis-Womens-Attractive-Breathable-Stocking/dp/B005GSYG5G/ accessed August 20, 2022