Are Neoprene Waders Waterproof?

fisherman wearing waders caught a salmon on the river

Waders are an excellent product for keeping dry during water activities. If you’re in the market for waders, you’ve probably seen neoprene waders; neoprene is a common material used for water-related gear. So you may be wondering if neoprene waders are genuinely waterproof. 

Neoprene waders are waterproof and reliable but not breathable. They’re known for keeping you dry during any time of the year and standing up to harsh conditions. Neoprene waders will last for an unlimited amount of time in the water, a reason why outdoors people like using them in cold water.

The rest of this article will explain a few other essential things to know about neoprene waders, including what neoprene is, if neoprene waders are breathable, and how long neoprene waders can last in the water. 

Neoprene Waders Are Waterproof

Neoprene waders are waterproof because the material they’re made of lets in no moisture. The neoprene material creates a complete barrier to water or other liquid.

The neoprene material isn’t only great for keeping water out, but it’s known for its reliability. While other wader materials are advertised as waterproof, some of them tend to leak after time. Neoprene, on the other hand, stands up against harsh conditions and will stay waterproof for years.

What Is Neoprene?

Neoprene is a synthetic rubber known for good chemical stability and maintaining flexibility even in harsh conditions. It’s one of the first synthetic rubber products ever made. Neoprene can be a solid or a liquid and is used in a wide variety of products.

female hand choosing neophrene

This material is manufactured by mixing chloroprene with other ingredients, such as foaming agents and coloring. The chloroprene causes a chemical reaction that binds all of these molecules and results in chloroprene chips. 

Those chips are then melted and baked in an oven, causing them to expand. The result is a neoprene sheet, which is then cut and sewn into its final product. 

Neoprene is mostly mass manufactured in extensive facilities that produce thousands of sheets of neoprene per day. It’s then sold by the sheet to other companies that transform it into its final product before it is sold. 

In addition to some manufacturing materials like insulation, neoprene is also used for wetsuits, gloves, and jackets.

Types of Neoprene Waders

All waders made of neoprene are waterproof. However, neoprene waders come in several types. The different types and styles are designed for specific activities, and some may require other equipment. 

Stockingfoot Waders

Stockingfoot neoprene waders are waders that don’t have boots attached. Instead, they have stockings or booties attached to the legs. The booties are still waterproof and offer insulation, but they don’t protect particularly well from sharp objects. They also don’t provide a lot of support for the feet. 

The advantage of stockingfoot waders is you can wear whatever type of boot you like over the top of them — it’s easier to switch out your footwear depending on the kind of activity. Stockingfoot waders are also less bulky and easier to transport and clean. 

The disadvantage of stockingfoot waders is the limitations of being in deep water. If you don’t have your boots appropriately secured, water can easily seep into your boots and get trapped between the wader and the neoprene stocking. While you’ll still be protected from water, your boots can become slippery and quite heavy, making them challenging to move around. 

Bootfoot Waders

As the name suggests, bootfoot waders are waders that have boots attached to the feet. Usually, the boots are sewn into the neoprene stocking, making for one continuous piece. 

The advantage of bootfoot waders is the convenience. When using bootfoot waders, you don’t need any additional equipment; the one-piece which slips on and keeps you dry is enough. The other advantage is the versatility. Bootfoot waders can hold up no matter how deep the water is, and you don’t have to worry about securing the boots. 

The disadvantage of bootfoot waders is you can’t change your boots. The boots are permanently attached to the waders, so you only have one option for footwear

There are many brands of neoprene bootfoot waders on the market for both men and women, so do check them out.

Are Neoprene Waders Breathable?

Neoprene waders are not breathable because, in addition to letting no moisture in, they let no moisture out. While other materials allow some moisture out and are more breathable, neoprene does not. 

Letting no moisture in or out is great for waterproofing and insulation, but it can result in some heat and moisture trapped inside the wader. According to, neoprene provides insulation against cold water by trapping heat in the waders. For this reason, outdoors people like using neoprene waders in cold water.  

Avoid Wearing Neoprene Waders in Hot Weather

Because neoprene waders don’t let any moisture or air out, they’re best for cooler weather. The heat from your body will stay inside the water, providing great warmth in cooler temperatures and colder water. 

It can be easy to get overheated in neoprene waders in hot weather because of their insulation properties.

Neoprene waders are also not highly recommended for strenuous activity because your body temperature will increase. When your body releases more heat, it’ll get trapped in the water and may cause some discomfort or even overheating. 

How Long Will Neoprene Waders Last in the Water?

Neoprene waders will last for an unlimited amount of time in the water. The material doesn’t get waterlogged and is resistant to leaks, so there’s no time limit in the water. Therefore, you can use neoprene waders in the water as long as you like.

back view of a fly-fisherman fishing in a river while wearing a waterproof wader

Neoprene is incredibly durable and will not wear out no matter how many hours they are used. In addition, neoprene will hold up for many seasons of use. Some outdoorsmen even say that their neoprene waders have lasted 15 years. 


Neoprene is an excellent material for water activities due to its durability and waterproof nature. Neoprene waders are 100% waterproof and will keep you dry for hours and many seasons of use. 

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