Whether you’re regularly in a lake, river, or stream with a fly fishing pole or simply spend a lot of time in the mud and muck, a pair of hip waders is a great product to invest in. A little less constrictive than full chest waders, they still work well in keeping you dry and comfortable in wet conditions.
Comparison of the Best Hip Waders
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What Makes Great Hip Waders?
Before you make any final decisions, let's see some of the factors that make for a great pair of hip waders:
While it may seem self-explanatory, some waders are more waterproof than others. Having water-resistant waders is super important to your comfort during a long day of fishing or working in the mud and muck. Go for a pair that is made with proven water-resistant materials, like nylon or rubber.
A great pair of hip waders should be able to last trip after trip. Durable waders are created with high-quality materials and should be tear and abrasion-resistant.
If you’re a fly fisherman, you know that you often spend hours and hours out in the water at a time looking for that perfect catch. For this reason, your waders should be comfortable enough to support standing for long periods of time. Look for waders with ankle and calf support.
There’s nothing worse than taking an unwanted tumble due to a pair of boots with unsuitable traction. Keep yourself safe from slick, rocky riverbeds or slimy mud with a pair of waders with cleated or heavily tractioned soles.
Review of the Best Hip Waders
Here are our top picks of the year!
Best Hip Waders:
Allen Black River Bootfoot Hip Waders
Allen is a well-known brand that specializes in all things outdoors. Since 1970, they’ve been churning out products designed to make the lives of outdoorsmen a little easier and these hip waders fall into that category. The Black River Bootfoot hip waders are made with warmth and dryness in mind. They are created with a two-ply design with a lightweight, but durable, polyester upper. It includes a waterproof membrane to keep moisture out and warmth in.
Because they’re created for activities like fly fishing, these waders are made with extra traction in the sole with the addition of cleats. This will prevent slips and falls on slimy rock beds. They also feature a take-up strap to make it easy to pull them on before jumping in the creek and a belt loop to secure them while in use.
They come in several different sizes and have adjustable straps on either side. These are a good option for anglers who spend a good amount of time in streams or for anyone who does work in and around mud and muck.
Overall, while these hip waders aren’t the highest-quality boots on the market, but for their value, they’re a great option for a variety of anglers. This is one purchase that won’t break the bank and they do perform well for long days in the river or creek. Don’t underestimate the importance of traction in these waders; they’ll keep you safe in slimy conditions.
LaCrosse Men's Big Chief
Originally released in 1951, LaCrosse’s Big Chief boots have been a staple in many angler’s closets for decades. Although their design is over half a century old, it’s still the one used today- and for good reason.
Made with naturally waterproof ZXT rubber, LaCrosse says their boot is 100 percent water-resistant and stays so year after year. They feature an internal calf harness which laces and snaps around your legs for extra support and a superior fit.
For traction, the bottom of these boots has a chevron-style cleat. This is designed to handle mud and muck easily and prevent slips and falls on slick rocks. They’re not insulated, so they work best in mild or warm temperatures. Their rubber design also makes them resistant to stink- the smell of sweaty feet and legs won’t linger in these waders.
Other features include a removable EVA footbed and a fiberglass shank.
The Big Chief Boots from LaCrosse have proven themselves to be a quality product over the years. They have several admirable attributes including great foot and ankle support, which makes them easy to wear for a full day of activities. They also feature a good amount of traction, keeping you safe in hazardous conditions. Users say these boots tend to run on the small side, so order a half size up if you’re worried about it. Also, keep in mind these boots are not ideal for cold conditions as they don’t have any insulation.
Frogg Toggs Bull Frogg
The Frogg Toggs Bull Frogg line of waders was made with durability in mind. First and foremost, they are created with a three-ply design for strength, comfort, and water-resistance. They’re made with canvas and vulcanized rubber, and all inner and outer seams are reinforced for extra strength.
To ensure they’re a good fit for all anglers, the Bull Frogg waders include an adjustable hip drawcord, so the user can fit their boot to their own body. They also have adjustable belt leashes with buckles that are quick-release so it’s easy to get out of them at the end of the day.
For comfort, the boots are made with foam cushioning and a wool-felt mid. They also have a hard toe cap, heel kicker, and a steel shank. Users can choose between two soles: felt or cleated. Either works well for traction, but felt soles have been banned in many states due to their tendency to transfer invasive species. Ensure your state allows the use of felt sole waders before purchasing that option.
The Bull Frogg line of hip waders from Frogg Toggs is a great choice for those anglers looking for a more durable choice. These boots are made to last for years at a time and the choice of PVC and vulcanized rubber as material keeps them in great quality. While the majority of users say the fit of the product is great, some complained about the adjustable cord sticking. They’re also a little heavy for some people’s tastes.
Best Hip Waders for Fly Fishing:
Frogg Toggs Canyon II
Unlike the other hip waders on our list thus far, these Canyon II waders from Frogg Toggs are stockingfoot, rather than boots. This gives the angler a little more freedom in terms of sizing, but also requires the purchase of boots before use.
These waders are specifically created for fishing. They feature a four-ply design, created with a nylon upper. They also have 4mm neoprene booties which are double taped for extra water-resistance and durability. Nylon is a great material for waders because it is waterproof but also super breathable. If you’re spending a long day out on the water in the heat, these waders will keep you cool and dry.
The waders also feature an adjustable elastic belt leash to keep them able to fit all bodies and quick-release buckles for easy take-off after a long day of fishing. They also have sand and gravel guards with rust-resistant lace hooks.
If you already have a pair of waterproof boots that can withstand the river or stream, these stockingfoot hip waders might be for you. They’re fairly limited in sizing and don’t have options for women or children, but in the sizes, they do come in, they are durable, lightweight, and effective. These are a great option for anglers who fish in warm weather as they are pretty breathable compared to waders made with rubber.
Best Hip Waders for the Money:
Frogg Toggs Rana II
The third and final pick from Frogg Toggs are the Rana II hip waders, which are a great value for their price. They’re made with a blend of nylon and PVC, with an upper that is created with PVC and reinforced with nylon. They are totally waterproof and have a welded boot attachment that is reinforced with waterproof taped seams.
To fit a variety of shapes and sizes, they include a poly-webbed belt leash that is fully adjustable. They also have quick-release buckles and elastic stride flex to make them easy to put on and take off throughout the day.
The boots are also created with PVC, but no part of the waders are insulated, so these are a better choice for anglers who fish in mild conditions. Users can choose between a felt or cleated sole. Felt has been banned in several states due to its tendency to carry invasive species, so make sure your state allows the material before purchasing that option.
These hip waders from Frogg Togg are yet another great choice for an angler on a budget. While these may be cheaper than some of the high-end waders, they do not skimp on effectiveness. They are watertight and durable so don’t worry about roughing them up a little bit. The main complaint with these waders is their lack of sole support; some complain that they are way too flexible, but others say this adds to the traction.
Benefits of Investing in a Great Set of Hip Waders
While you may be drawn to some hip waders because of a cheap price tag, make sure that you’re getting the best value for your buck. It’s totally not necessary to break the bank for a great pair of waders, but it should be a little bit of an investment.
In general, high-quality materials will be a little bit pricier but will be much more durable than something that is cheaply made. There’s nothing more frustrating than buying a product just to have it fall apart after a couple of weeks of use. Spending a little more will generally result in a product that will last years, rather than months.
Another reason not to skimp on a pair of waders is that they play an important role in keeping you safe. If you’re a fly fisherman or work in muddy conditions, the chances of you slipping and falling are much greater; for that reason, you should consider purchasing waders that will do the best job to reduce potential hazards.
Finding the best wader for you can be a daunting task. While there’s no shortage of hip waders on the market, hopefully, this list gave you a small taste of some of the better options available to you. Always remember to splurge for quality if you can, as it will likely result in longevity and durability. Happy fishing!