How to Determine Your Wader Size

Written by mary lougee
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How to Determine Your Wader Size
Fly fishermen wear waders to enter the water and stay warm and dry. (Foggy Morning Flyfishing image by Joyce Wilkes from

Waders are available in men, women and children's sizes from extra small to 2x with some sporting goods stores carrying larger sizes. Measurements need to be accurate to fit waders to the wearer so that they will last for several years. There are two main types of waders--neoprene and breathable--with variations in stocking foot bottoms or boots on the bottoms.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Soft measuring tape
  • Paper
  • Pen

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    Girth/Chest Measurement

  1. 1

    Wear your fishing shirt that you will normally wear with the waders.

  2. 2

    Hold a soft measuring tape so that the numbers point upwards to read yourself. Hold the end with number one in your left hand at the centre of the chest. Drop the other end of the measuring tape onto the floor and reach behind with the right hand to pull the measuring tape across the back, over your shoulder and to the middle of the chest.

  3. 3

    Read the number off the measuring tape where the two ends meet. Write the measurement down on paper with a pen.

    Inseam and Shoe Measurements

  1. 1

    Stand on the floor without shoes. Place the end of the soft measuring tape at the top of one leg in the crotch seam of shorts or trousers.

  2. 2

    Drop the other end of the measuring tape so that it falls to the floor. Flatten the measuring tape along the leg and record the measurement at the floor level. This measurement is easier to take with another person to hold the tape measure flat against the leg while the person being measured stands straight up.

  3. 3

    Record shoe size on the paper also. This helps in the fitting when putting waders on over shoes or purchasing waders with rubber boots built in.

  4. 4

    Order waders comparing the measurements from a sizing chart to the measurements written down for the specific type and brand of waders.

Tips and warnings

  • It is important to measure for waders so that they are long lasting. Waders that are too short will pull up in the crotch when sitting or bending over and the crotch seam will stress.
  • Waders that are too long will rub together in the knee and crotch area and lead to weak seems that will leak.
  • Men's small waders are approximately for chest size 39 inches, inseams of 23 to 31 inches and a shoe size of 7 to 8. Men's XX-Large waders generally have measurements of a 55-inch chest, 31 to 34 inch inseam and a shoe size of 12 to 13. Check the size chart on the specific brand for exact measurements. Each brand and type of waders has its own sizing chart.
  • Neoprene waders are made of the same fabric as diving suits. They hold in body temperature to keep the wearer warm.
  • Breathable waders wick water away from the body to stay dry inside but are not as warm as neoprene.

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