Winter waders for women


Active Member
My wife wants to get in the water, but she gets cold really easily. I'm not sure if she'll be doing a lot of winter fishing, but I still think a neoprene wader is the way to go. Does anyone have a wader they would suggest for women? She is 5'7 and 115 lbs, so I think they may need to be womens specific. Do the cheap cabelas or caddis waders suck?

She also is going to need boots, any suggestions there? Thanks.
Simms makes a womens bootfoot. That would be suggestion. Lots of layers, fleece, wool, get the boot foot a little big for two pair of socks. I wouldn't get neo's. A good set of loose fitting gortex bootfoots is what I would recomend.
I'll just say this; took my wife out yesterday for her first outing in the cold. We dressed her for the arctic, and she FROZE even though it was only 40 degrees. We both agreed that would be the last time she attempt to go fishing in the "cold."
I bought a pare of caddis wadders from sportsmens wharehouse last summer for $150 and love them,they have different quality and price range for caddis depending on the double knees and pockets.I went real cheep with my neopreen waders ,caddis, and got them at fredmyer for $70 because I dont do as much winter fishing, they work just fine and they have them for women.
I have used neoprene and breathables and prefer the latter. If she is going to use them year around, the breathable with a boot is the way to go. With breathables pile underwear and a couple of pair of socks works for all but the coldest temperatures.

Red Shed has women's sizes in Bailey breathable waders.
I have two thoughts for you:

First, whatever kind of wader she gets, its all about the layering to stay warm. Make sure she's got layers & they are wool, polypro -- gear that's not cotton. Make sure the top layer is a solid windbreak and she's got a warm hat and gloves.

Next -- I'd say no to neoprene. Along with being warm, she'll want to be comfortable. Sometimes its hard enough to hike around with all the cold weather gear, don't make it worse by adding a gumby suit to the equation.

Plus - go back to rule #1, its all about layering! And... like Evan learned - choose a day that isn't 32 degrees!

Leroy Laviolet

Aint no nookie like chinookie
Boot foots and neoprene if warmth is paramount- If you'll be having her walk alot, I agree with Kristin, layers under breathables . You will never keep the feet as warm in stocking foot waders , as you will in boot foots-.


Not to be confused with freestoneangler
As a woman who gets cold easily, I agree with Kristin - NO neoprene. I freeze to death in neoprene as it compresses the layers and normal perspiration makes you damp and therefore colder. Best case, have her buy breathable insulated bootfoot waders but make sure the waders and boots have lots of room for layers. Insulated bootfoot breathable waders can be hard to find; don't buy the uninsulated ones or she may still be cold and most of the ones I've seen have really flimsy boots especially the women's ones. If you can't find insulated bootfoot waders, just buy stockingfoot waders and boots at least one size bigger than she'd normally wear. Since the waders will be big, you may find that mens waders fit just as well as womens but she'll have try them on to be sure. In the store, have her put on every layer that she may ever need, then add one more and try it all on. Make sure it is not too tight and that she can still sit, bend, squat, etc without stressing the seams. If the boots and waders aren't big enough to accommodate the layers, the insulation will compress and she'll be cold anyway. I will often wear up to 5 layers in the winter, including a puffy (synthetic) insulated jacket and pants under my waders. I look like the Pillsbury Dough boy but I'm warm and able to steelhead all winter in E WA. I also wear 3 pairs of socks (liner, mid and heavy weight) and toe warmers. But if my waders and boots were my normal summer size, I couldn't do this so I have another set of everything bigger for the winter. If you can only afford one set, get the bigger size and live with the bagginess in the summer. I also put hand warmers in my pants pockets and often in the chest pocket of my waders. I hate wearing hats but I do in the winter as one losses tons of heat from their head so make sure she has a very warm hat and a balaclava or neck gaiter. Fingerless gloves with a flap are another must for me.

And probably most important of all, never ever ever tell her she can't be cold or question how much crap she needs to bring to stay warm - that is, if you want her to keep going with you. Let her bring her whole closet if she wants to and trust that she knows her body and what it takes to stay warm. I'd be rich if I had a buck for every time a guy said "You can't possibly be cold" or "Gee, how much stuff do you need!" A doctor once told me that on average, a woman''s body temp is 1.5 degrees lower than a man's. I don't know if that is true but my normal temp 97-97.2 so I'm already halfway to hypothermia before I even leave the house; if she gets cold easily, she may also have a low normal body temp and it sounds she doesn't have a lot of natural insulation, so to speak. So buy an extra duffel or dry bag and let her fill it up with extra warm layers, gloves, hats, hand warmers and a thermos of hot water, tea, etc. Make sure she stays hydrated and eats snacks throughout the day as that will help her stay warm too.

I don't know if these will work but a quick search turned up a pair of women's bootfoot waders on sale at Orvis. There is a new Orvis store down your way so I'd stop in and try a pair on if they have them. The men's waders with the Bog boots are probably warmer buy they are twice the price. Simms used to make some awesome bootfoot waders so if you can find them, they would be great. Then if she doesn't have synthetic or wool layers, get a bunch in different weights so she can add or subtract as needed. If the budget is tight, you can find lots of fleece garments at the Goodwill. With all this crap on, it may not be the sexiest look going, but she'll hopefully be warm! Good luck!

Don't forget those foot warmers, hand warmers, back warmers, etc. in addition to all the good stuff mentioned above. They make a big difference.

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
Simms makes a womens bootfoot. That would be suggestion. Lots of layers, fleece, wool, get the boot foot a little big for two pair of socks. I wouldn't get neo's. A good set of loose fitting gortex bootfoots is what I would recomend.
Rick nailed it. Kristin amplified it, Freestone knows much and is showing off. Follow their advice to keep her comfy and warm. Circulation in the feet and a hat on for keeping the heat in will help.


Active Member
Thank you,

I use breathables and typically stay warm enough. We have a lot of cold weather clothing, we used to live in Logan Utah so long underwear, fleece and down jackets were normal for 1/2 the year.
As a woman steelheader, I completely agree with Kristen & Sue (Freestone). I will always choose to wear many layers under my breathable waders while my neoprene waders hang un-used in the garage.

I'll add a comment to Sue's note about insulated bootfoots (which I have on my neoprene waders): think twice about this option if you intend to do a lot of hiking/walking/wading -- especially if she ends up with men's waders. (Whether she gets stocking-foot or bootfoot waders, the feet will usuallly be two sizes too big for her if they're men's.) I thought that I could easily just fill this extra space with lots of socks to stay warmer, but the boots just feel awkward and huge. It makes hiking and wading very unpleasant, and even unsafe since it is difficult to feel the boulders and other obstructions around the feet while wading. For someone who isn't moving much, this is OK and it will definitley be the warmest option. But if you plan to cover a lot of territory in a day, it really sucks.

Good socks and those stick-on toe warmers have become my good friends when fishing in the winter months.



Not to be confused with freestoneangler
Thanks for chipping in Kim! (Kim only steelhead fishes so she knows cold!) I've never bought bootfoot waders as I also like the support of regular boots even though my feet get cold. Are you and Mike back from the Ronde?

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