How to Wear Waders: What to Wear Under Waders Duck Hunting in Summer & Cold Weather

When duck hunting, the last thing you want to worry about is getting wet. Duck hunters endure some of the most challenging conditions, from fierce storms to going through reeds, busting through ice sheets, and maneuvering on boats. Waders are built to withstand harsh environments and should keep you dry without failing. 

But to truly gain all the benefits this essential piece of clothing has to offer, you need to know how to wear waders correctly. More specifically, what to wear under waders duck hunting. There is a fine line between too many layers underneath and not enough - and striking a balance is important to stay comfortable in the cold, windy, and wet conditions you’ll face out in your duck blind.

If you’re wondering how to wear waders, this article is for you. Read on to learn everything you need to know about wearing waders, including what to wear under waders in summer, how to wear waders and boots, and what to wear under waders in cold weather. 

First, let’s provide a brief overview of what waders do.

What Exactly are Waders?

Duck hunting waders are waterproof boots or overalls. They can stop at the thigh or go all the way up to your chest. Wearing waders can keep you dry in harsh weather conditions, when wading through water, and when getting in and out of boats. There are many different types of waders to choose from for certain occasions. 

Why Learning How to Wear Waders and Boots Correctly is so Important

Learning how to wear waders and boots correctly is important for your safety and comfort in the outdoors. Not only do waders keep you dry, but they also protect you from the elements like wind and cold temperatures.


When you wear waders and boots, you are physically protected from potential injuries. When duck hunting, you may step over jagged sticks, rocks, and logs. Wading boots provide protection from these objects and give you traction in wet and slippery areas. They can also provide a barrier between you and poisonous plants while you are walking along the banks. 

And, wearing waders keeps you safe from hypothermia. Some of the best conditions for duck hunting are the coldest and most miserable. With a waterproof layer to protect your feet and legs as you wade out to collect birds or set decoys, you are safe against health complications.


The main purpose of wearing waders is to keep you comfortable and dry. With options such as nylon, neoprene, and polyester, you can find the right material to keep you warm and dry when in direct contact with water. 

But how you wear the waders dictates just how comfortable they are. You aren’t going to just wear these over your underwear with some socks. You need to consider the layers you put on underneath. And depending on the waders you invested in, you need to specifically consider your footwear. More on that later.

What to Wear Under Waders Duck Hunting: Tips Depending on Weather & Conditions

What should you wear under your duck hunting waders? From the hottest days to the coldest, base layers are equally important. If you’re wondering what to wear under waders duck hunting, this section will help you select the best layers for your particular situation. 

Best Material to Wear Under Waders 

Regardless of the season, you will likely sweat under your waders. Whether you are hiking through the snow or baking out in the hot sun, waders can get warm. The idea is to wear clothing underneath your waders that is breathable and draws moisture away from your skin. 

When deciding what to wear under waders duck hunting, consider purchasing base layers made of polyester, a tried-and-true moisture-wicking material. Other materials to use are nylon, wool, and bamboo. 

Best Socks to Wear Under Waders 

To avoid rubbing against the neoprene in the boots of your waders, it is always a good idea to wear socks that extend above your ankle. In order to avoid bunching and cold patches where the skin is directly in contact with the waders, longer socks also give you the option to tuck in your leg coverings. 

A lightweight crew sock will be your best buddy throughout the hotter summer months, while a thicker material will be ideal in the winter when air temperatures are more erratic and the water is colder. 

When it's chilly outside, you will need to be careful not to layer too many pairs of socks. Doing so will make you feel colder more quickly.

What to Wear Under Waders in Summer

Summertime temperatures might vary greatly depending on where you reside, from comfortably mild to scorching hot. Make sure your outfit has materials that wick moisture and protect you from the sun when buying summer duck hunting attire. It’s a good idea to buy a variety of warm-weather fishing clothing to wear beneath waders, such as:

  • Lightweight pants/shorts: a good pair of pants/shorts will help keep you dry and comfortable. 
  • Shirt: A lightweight duck hunting shirt with moisture-wicking and SPF features is ideal for wading. 
  • Hat: waterfowl hunting hats will provide protection from the sun. 
  • Sungaiter: A sungaiter will help you fight off bugs and sunburns. 

What to Wear Under Waders in Cold Weather

Wintertime temperatures can be frigid. For this reason, it is important to focus on layers while assembling your duck hunting attire. It is better to be over-prepared and take off layers than to not have enough. Some of the basic layers that will keep you warm during your outing are listed below. Consider incorporating these pieces when deciding what to wear under waders duck hunting: 

  • Fleece Sweater: A sweater can keep you warm on colder days but is also useful on milder days. 
  • Long Johns/Leggings: These provide insulation to help you retain heat. 
  • Insulated pants: With insulated pants, they will provide warmth all day long. 
  • Sungaiter: A sungaiter provides warmth around your neck and protects your face from the wind. 
  • Hat: waterfowl hunting hats help keep your head and neck warm in harsh conditions. 

In addition to layering warm clothing underneath your waders, cold weather conditions may require some additional gear to be added on top. When going duck hunting in the winter, be sure to wear a waterfowl jacket and a pair of duck hunting gloves

Additional Tips for Wearing Waders Comfortably 

It is important to be comfortable in your waders, as you will be moving around and wearing them all day. You won’t want to have to leave your trip early due to feeling uncomfortable, wet, hot, or cold. 

So, we’re going to provide you with some additional tips for wearing waders comfortably. From choosing the right type to sizing them correctly, here is how to wear waders comfortably: 

Choose the Right Type 

When it comes to materials, there are two main types of waders: insulated and uninsulated.  Choosing the right style can dictate your thermal comfort in varying weather conditions. 

Insulated breathable duck hunting waders will keep you warm in cold weather due to their built-in insulation. They reduce the need to layer up underneath your waders. While they are great for cold weather, they can be uncomfortable during the warm summer months. 

Uninsulated waders do not offer additional warmth as they do not have insulation. They are more breathable and often better for the warmer months. 

Chest Waders vs. Hip Waders 

In addition to the different levels of insulation, waders come in two different length varieties: chest and hip. 

Hip waders are pants with boots designed to help you wade without being exposed to potentially uncomfortable temperatures. If you don’t plan to wade into water that’s deeper than your hip, these types of waders will serve you well.

Chest waders, on the other hand, are composed of one piece that extends all the way up to your chest. They offer much more coverage compared to hip waders. Chest waders allow you to go into deeper water without getting wet. Additionally, they will allow you to be more flexible while duck hunting through various water bodies.  

Invest in Quality Waders

It is important to invest in quality waders to improve your comfort and safety. Texas Fowlers offers a wide selection of online inventory to suit all of your duck hunting needs. Some of our most popular products include Frogg Togg duck hunting waders and Banded hunting clothing. We also have Drake waders for sale.

Size Correctly

Finding the correct size for your waders is important for duck hunting. At Texas Fowlers, we have every size under the sun, including big men’s waders and youth duck hunting waders. Whether you have small or large feet, TX Fowlers has you covered. 

Final Thoughts on How to Wear Waders

In summary, waders are waterproof boots or overalls that protect you against the elements in harsh weather conditions. But to unlock the protection they offer, you need to wear them correctly. And, this comes down to proper wader selection and layering. 

The right type of waders for your particular trip will depend on the weather conditions and water temperature. Insulated waders are best for the winter, while uninsulated waders are ideal in the summer. Similarly, chest waders are needed if you plan to be submerged in water, while hip waders will do if you don’t need to wade into deep water or have a dog that can fetch birds for you. Regardless of the type of waders you get, though, you need to make sure you layer them correctly. 

Beyond knowing what to wear under waders duck hunting in summer and what to wear under waders duck hunting in cold weather, it is essential to purchase a high-quality pair of waders. By shopping with a reputable retailer, you can be sure your equipment will hold up for years of hunting trips that require wearing waders. 

If you are looking for the best and most durable duck hunting clothing, check out Texas Fowlers. We offer amazing customer service with the best prices. All of our customers enjoy quick shipping after placing an order online. We are a trusted name in the industry and look forward to answering any questions that you may have regarding your purchase.