Back to top

How To Size Waders – Find Your Perfect Fit

how to size waders
As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases made on our website. If you make a purchase through links from this website, we may get a small share of the sale from Amazon and other similar affiliate programs. You can read our complete legal information for more details.

For the activity you do in the water, whether that’s fly fishing, water gardening, waterfowl hunting, or surf fishing, you need a good pair of waders to keep you warm. Freshwater and saltwater are no joke early in the morning in the late Fall- early spring.

But to get a good pair of waders, you need to know how they’re generally sized.

NOTE – No two charts are alike. Don’t use this chart to estimate your size for every wader company. This chart encompasses the general sizes that most wader manufacturers detail.


Inseam:Chest:Boot:Wader Size:
30.5”-32”35”-43”7-8S (Regular)
31”-32”37”-38”7-8S (King)
29.5”45”8S (Stout)
31″ -32″39″ -40″9-11M (Short)
31.5″ -34″33″ -47″9-11M (Reg)
31″ -34″41″ -42″9-11M (King)
30.5”-31.5”47”-49”9-11M (Stout)
32.5”-34.5”45”-47”9-11M (Tall)
33”-34”51”-56’12-13L-3XL (Short)
33”-36”43”-60”12-13L-4XL (Reg)
33”-36”45”-54”12-13L-2XL (King)
31.5”50”-53”12-15L (Stout)
34.5″ -35″48″ -51″12-15L (Tall)


Bust:Waist:Hip:Inseam:Boot (US).Dress Size:Wader Size:
42”-46”41”-46”46”-49”32”- 37.5”106-18L

It’s important to understand your body type and how to measure yourself to find the pair of waders that fit just right. Keep reading to learn precisely how to do that and

Decide What Activity You’ll do With the Waders

I know this doesn’t sound like it has anything to do with what size your waders will be, but it does! You intend to use waders for fishingOpens in a new tab. or duck hunting, especially in cooler water. That’s what they’re made for.

What makes a difference is how much moving around you will do with the waders. If your particular form of fishing requires you to walk around a lot, you need a pair of waders that don’t feel too baggy but don’t restrict your movement.

This can include fishing types such as fly fishing, especially because you often have to hike to get to the right spot at rivers and move from one location on the river to another higher or lower.

If you’re just water gardening, you don’t have to worry about that much.

Tips Before Taking Your Measurements

You’ll need a flexible tape measure or some thick string to measure yourself. Something that you can easily wrap around yourself. Sewing boxes always have a flexible tape measure.

While you’re measuring, measure while wearing a layer of clothing similar to what you would wear out on the water. This will more accurately measure how big the waders must be to cover your clothes.

This can be a bit tricky because we wear various numbers of layers based on what season we’re fishing or duck hunting. I would recommend wearing what you would for the Fall. 

That way, the layer is thin enough that the waders won’t be too baggy during the summer and thick enough that you’ll figure out if you can fit one or two more layers for the winter.

Second tip: measure everything three times to ensure you have the right measurements. When you’re sure, write them down! Don’t try to remember them because you will hate yourself for it.

Lastly, when you’re done measuring yourself according to either U.S. or U.K. standards (in or cm), find out what you would be with the opposite standards. 

So, if you’ve measured in inches, convert the inches to cm, and vice versa. This way, whether you order from a U.S. or U.K. company, you’ll know exactly what size you are.

Measure Your Upper Body

You need to measure the widest part of your upper body, which is typically the chest. For many of us, it could be the stomach instead. What matters is it’s the widest part you’re measuring so that the waders come up to your chest and fit comfortably.

Make sure the string or tape measure is parallel straight across your chest. Stand relaxed so that the measurements are more accurate for how you’ll be while fishing or hunting.

Finally, stop the tape measure when it’s all around but not too tight, and record your measurement.

If you need help, SportfishOpens in a new tab. has a terrific visual guide for men and Alaska Fly Fishing GoodsOpens in a new tab. for women.

Measure Your Inner Leg

Next, you need to take the inside leg measurement, also known as the “inseam.” Start by making sure you’re on a flat, even surface, and don’t wear shoes.

You don’t have to worry about needing a second person if you have the flexible tape measure. It’s easy. Stand up straight with your legs, just like when you’re relaxed. Not too stiff and not too bent.

Measure from the top of the crotch to the floor by taking the end of your measure that says “0” and barely tucking that under your heel. You can press the tape measure right up against your pant leg.

That could make the measurement too tight anyway.

Measure Your Boot Size

The last measurement to take is your shoe size. More accurately, your boot size, since boots always fit differently from tennis shoes.

This is easy if you already have a pair of boots that aren’t too old. You should be able to look at the tag inside to find your boot size.

If you don’t have a set of boots, or yours no longer have a readable tag, you can find your size by visiting a shoe store. They have a tool to measure your foot, and then you can try on some boots to ensure it’s accurate.

If you don’t feel like doing THAT, U.S. sizes are determined by measuring the length and width of your foot in inches. Measure from the back of your heel to the tip of your big toe.

Then measure between the very widest part of your foot. It might help to trace your foot on the paper. Be sure to measure both feet since one can be slightly larger.

Determine Your Body Type

If you see terms like ‘stout,’ ‘regular,’ ‘short,’ or ‘tall,’ these refer to different cuts of waders. They refer to what body type you are that they were cut for, and there are different terms (cuts) for men and women.



Regular cut waders were designed for men of average height and a more slender build. Men generally average height is between 5’5″ and 6′.


This cut was made for men taller than average to have a larger inseam (inner leg) and outseam numbers.


Stout waders were designed for men of average height with a stockier build. The chest, waist, and hips measurements will be larger than regular waders.


Only some companies have this size. Gator Waders does. This cut is for the extra tall bulldog types. Those between 6’1″ and 6’6″ also need larger chest/hip/waist numbers.



A women’s small cut is designed for really tiny frames, including young girls. They’re for ladies between 4’9″ and 5’5″ in height. Jean sizes between 0 and 4 would be comfortable in these.


Medium is the cut for ladies between 4’9″ and 5’10” with an average frame. Jean sizes between 4 and 10 will fit comfortably.


Large cuts generally fit women of the same height as medium but were made for ladies whose jean sizes are between 10 and 12.

Xtra Large

Women between 4’9″ and 5’10” wear jean sizes between 12 and 14.


This cut fits ladies of the same height as the X-large but is more comfortable for women who wear 16 and 18 jeans.

Consult Each Manufacturer’s Size Chart

Now, even though you’ve taken your measurements and determined your body type, each manufacturer tends to have different measurements that qualify for each body type. 

Your size may be XXL for a Korean manufacturer, but for a European brand, you’re a medium.

So it’s really important to look at the size charts with every pair of waders you look at.

Another problem could be that you run into a European brand measured for the U.S. or vice versa. As we said before, having your measurements in both in. and cm will be useful. 

When it comes to shoes, you can use this conversion chartOpens in a new tab. to help you.

Different companies will have different measurements. Some will want your full height, boot, and jean size, while others want an inseam, outseam, chest, waist, hip, and thigh. Just be prepared.


Now, you should be fully equipped to find the perfect pair of waders that will last for years to come. When they’re all through, you can still come back to this article to see what size you are for the next pair. The clothing industry will undoubtedly find a more confusing way to measure people.

Zaldy G.

I love feeling the cool ocean spray every time I hit the beach with a rod and a bucket of bait. I love the thrill of feeling bites on my line whenever I hook a big one. And I especially love the pride that comes with cooking a fresh catch and sharing it with my friends and family. Thank you for stopping by. Let's go catch some fish!

Recent Posts