Waterfowl season is upon us. It’s that time of year when sportsmen begin to gear up and get excited about this season’s upcoming hunts. The beauty of duck and goose hunting is the accessibility of the sport. You can just throw on a pair of hip boots and get out into your local marsh, creek or wetland if you don’t feel like loading up your duck boat with decoys or assembling a blind. Of course there’s great pleasure and pride in gearing up for a big hunt with all your favorite equipment — but you got to love how you can just bring your shotgun and waders into the field and have a shot at harvesting some waterfowl.
Whether you like to load up your duck boat to the brim, assemble a gloriously hidden blind or just go swamp jumping looking for birds — you’ll need a tough pair of hip boots or waders. Your hunting waders may or may not be the same pair as your fishing waders — but lord knows they take a heavier beating trudging through wetlands after fallen birds than they do standing in the stream with a rod in hand. It’s worth owning a particularly tough pair of duck boots or waders that won’t puncture or malfunction while you’re in the field. The terrain you conquer while looking for and retrieving birds can be unpredictable, so prepare for some rugged hunts with a reliable wading system that will keep you warm and dry this season.
We’ve put together a top 10 list of some great wading options for waterfowl hunting. There’s a range of products here from lighter weight hip boots for less intensive hunts on the coast or stream bank, to nearly impenetrable chest waders suitable for all out excursions through Jurassic Park looking swamps and marshland. Don’t limit where you can trek this season and gear up with a tough new wading system that will hunt wherever you want to hunt.
1. Best Overall Waders for Duck Hunting: LaCrosse Mallard II Expandable 1000G Insulated Waders
Lacrosse is one the biggest names in the waterfowl hunting world, and for good reason. Their high quality products are made consistently and praised by hunters everywhere. 1000G insulated waders are for the serious duck hunter who wants to truly get after it. These 5mm thick neoprene waders are designed to take a beating — the seams are double stitched and both the knees and seat are polyurethane reinforced. There’s even a combination of spandex and Lycra layered over the neoprene of these waders for added toughness. The boots are lined with 1000G Thinsulate ultra insulation to ensure your feet stay toasty. The upper part of these waders are expandable, so there’s some extra room in the torso if you need it — great for hunters with bigger builds and for hunters who need to layer up in the extreme cold. LaCrosse has paired their abrasion resistant “Brush Tuff” exterior with some seriously warm internal insulation on this pair, making for a near impervious and comfortable pair of waders. The camo pattern is specifically designed for waterfowl hunting — the Realtree MAX-5 pattern is suited for blending in with marshes, open fields and flooded timber. There’s a top loading chest pocket that can act as both a call holder and a hand warmer. Reviews insist these waders run true to size, so don’t worry too much about these running too big or small. If you’ve got a big build or huge foot size, these expandable waders have some good sizing options for you. All in all, these are an excellent choice for the cold weather hunter who expects to trudge through some rugged terrain.
Price: $237.00 – $249.99
Buy the LaCrosse Mallard II Expandable 1000G Insulated Waders here.
- Expandable torso makes for a very comfortable fit for hunters of all builds and also gives you room to layer up if you need to
- Exceptionally warm boots
- LaCrosse’s Brush Tuff exterior holds up great to abrasion and puncture in the field — good luck popping a leak in these bad boys
- Boots have a contoured ankle-fit design to prevent heel slippage
- At 10 pounds, these are pretty heavy waders — but that’s the price you pay for warmth and solid protection
- Some complaints these waders are a bit difficult to get out of
Find more LaCrosse Mallard II Expandable 1000G Insulated Waders information and reviews here.
2. Most Rugged Pair of Hip Boots: LaCrosse Men’s Trapline Hip Waders
Here’s a top notch pair of hip boots by Lacrosse. This heavy duty, rubber pair of boots are a seriously tough option in wading. If you plan on mostly staying in your duck boat or blind and remaining above waist deep in marsh muck or creek water, then these boots could be a great choice for you. The weight on these monsters is pretty high, so you likely won’t want to trek terribly far in them, but then again customer reviews insist the fit is excellent with these boots so you can probably get away with walking a decent distance depending on who you are. If you’re hunting on firm marshland or open fields, the Traplines are not to be overlooked. These boots are insulated with a wool felt lining, so they’re pretty toasty in cold water and weather conditions. The removable EVA footbed can be added for additional cushioning, making this pair of boots truly comfortable throughout long days of hunting. There’s a simple lacing system that secures the boots at the waist, but customer reviews claim the rigidity of the rubber allows these boots to stand up just fine on their own without the need for straps. The ‘Trac-lite’ outsole is renowned for the all around traction it provides in almost any terrain. These are a tough pair of hip boots that can be used for a whole lot more than just hunting. If you’re looking for the Cadillac of waist-wading, look no further than the Trapline Hip Waders.
Price: $119.95 – $155.00
Buy the LaCrosse Men’s Trapline Hip Waders here.
- Wool-felt lining provides some toasty insulation for cold water and weather
- Boot soles are renowned for their traction in mud, snow and loose terrain
- The toughness of these boots are unmatched — the rubber construction is seriously rugged
- There’s a metal plate molded into the soles — so these could even double as aquatic work boots
- Due to the heavy duty rubber construction, these hip boots are definitely on the heavier side
Find more LaCrosse Men’s Trapline Hip Waders information and reviews here.
3.Best Array of Pockets and Storage for Chest Waders: Drake Eqwader 2.0 800 Gram Insulated Chest Waders
Here’s another rugged built pair of chest waders — this model by Drake. These 3.5mm neoprene waders are a bit less cumbersome than the previous pair listed by LaCrosse. The greater freedom is because these waders are slightly less insulated at 800G and are built with thinner neoprene around the torso (still quite warm!). If you’re hunting in some of the lower states where temps don’t drop terribly low during duck season, then you might appreciate the mobility of this pair. All the external seams are treated with a liquid seam weld and with extra-wide waterproof seam-seal tape. Drake is another trusted name in waterfowl hunting apparel so they’ve built these waders super tough for the whatever the wilderness throws your way. These waders in addition to their toughness, come with some really neat features. There’s no buckle shoulder straps for convenience and extra high sides for keeping dry when you unexpectedly plunge into that bottomless mud hole. The Eqwader 2.0’s also have a vertical cargo pouch and phone pocket with Magnattach (a magnet holder) which is pretty cool. Adding to the array of chest pockets, there’s a dry security pouch with a waterproof zipper located at the top of the waders. There’s even some sleeves for securing shells to your chest in addition to all the pockets — gotta love that! For the value, these waders are seriously capable and come with a great array of features to support you while hunting — an excellent choice in hunting waders by Drake.
Price: $225.25 – $300.00
Buy the Drake Eqwader 2.0 800 Gram Insulated Chest Waders here.
- Great array of chest pockets and shell sleeves for keeping organized and ready for the next shot while in the field
- 800G insulated boots keep your toes warm
- Double treated seams ensure these waders will not spring leaks
- Extra high sides are great for duck hunters who trek into the unknown muck and ride the dry line when wading or marsh hopping
- Magnet holder is not to be trusted with your phone!
Find more Drake Eqwader 2.0 800 Gram Insulated Chest Waders information and reviews here.
4.Best Boots for Cold & Warm Weather Hunting: The Original MuckBoots Adult Wetland Boot
I really like this pair of wetland boots by Muck Boot. These are a great lightweight option for both warm and cold weather hunting. These are versatile boots for hunting that can serve all kinds of purposes. There’s a ton of hunter reviews for these boots raving about their performance turkey, deer and duck hunting. If you’re highly mobile while hunting waterfowl and need a pair of boots to get around comfortably in, these are a reliable and affordable option. Alternatively, if you are mostly stationary in your duck boat or blind while hunting — why suit up in a full pair of heavy chest waders when you could wear a simple pair of boots like these? These boots are 16.5 inches tall, so they don’t have the height of some other taller boots, but depending on your hunting style these could be ideal for you. The outer sole is built with traction in mind and according to hunter reviews sheds mud and muck nicely. These are very comfortable boots — they employ a breathable airmesh lining and instep protector so you’re not thinking about your feet while hunting. The insulation and breathability of these boots makes them suitable for both temperatures above 70 degrees F and below sub-freezing! You want to make sure you fit snug into these boots for them to insulate properly and to ensure they pull nicely out of the muck. The versatility of these wetland boots makes them an excellent piece of gear to own for the avid duck hunter or sportsmen in general.
Price: Starting at $88.20
Buy the The Original MuckBoots Adult Wetland Boot here.
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Suitable for warm and cold weather — these are your “one boot fits all” for various hunting scenarios
- The tops fold nicely if you want to lower them
- Well made soles for traction
- Although built tough — I wouldn’t go barreling through any brambles or jagged terrain with these boots
- Can be tight around the calf for hunters with particularly thick legs
Find more The Original MuckBoots Adult Wetland Boot information and reviews here.
5. Best Heavy Duty Boots for Trekking Longer Distances: LaCrosse Men’s Big Chief 600G Wader Boots
Here’s yet another truly high quality pair of wading boots by Lacrosse that lives up to the high reputation the brand name has made for itself. The fit and feel on these boots are tough to beat, customer reviews praise these boots for remaining comfortable even during longer treks. If you’re favorite hunting grounds require a decent walk or hike to reach, then these boots might be a great option for you. These are 600G thinsulate boots — so they’re warm but not SUPER warm. There’s an internal mechanism to attach the boots below the knee as well as snaps to help stabilize the boots when adjusted at knee high level. If you’re a particularly tall person, then these might be knee boots rather than hip boots, but that might suit you fine too depending on what you plan to do in them. A final note worth mentioning is these boots are highly reviewed for their traction. If you plan on hunting streams, coast line or wetlands with sketchy footing, or plan on hiking over some uneven terrain to your duck blind, this pair by Lacrosse has you covered with some solid traction.
Price: $131.48 & Free Shipping (18 percent off MSRP)
Buy the LaCrosse Men’s Big Chief 600G Wader Boots here.
- One of the highest reviewed pairs of wading boots for longer distance walking — these stay comfortable even during a decent trek
- Built exceptionally tough, you’ll find it challenging to puncture these bad boys
- A Lacrosse product — one of the best names in wading systems
- Great traction on the soles
- Might only extend up to knee height for taller hunters
- Although certainly warm, these are not ideal for super cold conditions (see the Traplines by LaCrosse for a bit more warmth)
Find more LaCrosse Men’s Big Chief 600G Wader Boots information and reviews here.
6. Best Chest Waders for Hunting Wetlands: LaCrosse Men’s Swamp Tuff Waders
Here’s another killer pair of waders by LaCrosse that’s specifically suited for swamp, marsh or wetland habitat. These are the most heavy duty pair of waders on this list if you’re looking for chest waders that cannot be stopped. LaCrosse has employed “Armor Weld” construction with this pair — the double stitched seams are bonded and taped internally and coated with abrasion resistant liquid rubber on the exterior. You could practically storm a castle in these waders they’re so tough. The neoprene is a whopping 5mm thick and the boots have 1200G thinsulate insulation, so this is a seriously warm wading system. The mossy oak bottomland camo pattern is perfectly suited for hunting waterfowl in wetlands during the fall and winter seasons. Overall, I think these waders have a seriously badass look. The buckle and Velcro straps on this pair will conveniently convert to a belt when you want to fold your waders down, making them a bit more versatile. There’s some well thought out chest pockets included with this model as well as a spacious and removable shot shell pouch. Surprisingly, these waders are not any more expensive than the other wading options offered by LaCrosse, pretty awesome considering the heavy duty materials and construction employed here. If you have plans to conquer the wetland this waterfowl season and go where most hunters cannot, check out this suit of insulated swamp armor.
Price: $220.10 – $294.95
Buy the LaCrosse Men’s Swamp Tuff Waders here.
- Unparalleled toughness — these waders are designed for rugged trekking and wading while hunting
- The 1200G insulation on the boots makes these waders VERY warm for cold weather hunting
- Great array of chest pockets and add ons
- Excellent, well tested camo pattern for hunting a variety of wetlands
- Due to the heavy duty nature of these waders, they have some weight to them
Find more LaCrosse Men’s Swamp Tuff Waders information and reviews here.
7.Best Lightweight Hunting Boots for Freezing Temperatures: MuckBoots Men’s Arctic Pro Hunting Boot
Here’s another wading option by Muck Boot that is designed for the COLD weather duck hunter. These boots are rated to keep your feet warm in temps as low as minus 50 degrees F….sheesh! For those sportsmen chasing waterfowl in the northern states, these might be a must have item. The 8mm four way stretch CR flex foam construction of these boots ensures they remain comfortable despite their astounding thermal characteristics. The topline binding is effective at keeping the elements out and your body heat in. The molded synthetic outsole is what makes these boots feel so solid on your feet. Furthermore, the Achilles, instep and heel are double reinforced for added durability. For an affordable pair of hunting boots to keep you warm and dry in the most viscous of conditions, this is the pair to buy.
Price: Starting at $83.95
Buy the MuckBoots Men’s Arctic Pro Hunting Boot here.
- Provide excellent warmth for such a lightweight boot
- Customer reviews insist these boots come on and off easily
- Quite an affordable option in hunting footwear considering the quality here
- Perform well on snow and ice
- Don’t provide the height of some taller hip boots
- Aren’t ideal for busting through terrain that could puncture neoprene
Find more MuckBoots Men’s Arctic Pro Hunting Boot information and reviews here.
8. Best Affordable Duck Hunting Waders: Frogg Toggs Amphib Camo Bootfoot Waders
Finding affordable waders in the waterfowl hunting world is near impossible. Given the strain wetland waders are put through and therefore the materials used, they are not cheap. These chest waders by Frogg Toggs are an exception to that rule. The 3.5mm neoprene upper coupled with the 600G thinsulate insulation in the boots makes them a pretty warm option for duck hunting. These won’t cut it if your hunting in below freezing conditions, but if you want a budget pair of waders for some cold weather hunting this wading system is up for the task. The neoprene is treated with a strong poly-jersey shell and stretch liner, so these waders have some added ruggedness while still remaining comfortable. The sides run especially high on this model as well, so they are perfectly suited for high wading in sketchy wetland conditions. The knees are padded for extra puncture protection where you need it and the boots are well reviewed for traction in the muck. The fit on these is a bit long in the legs according to almost all the customer reviews — most hunters appreciated the extra space but if you have a particularly stout build then the leg length may be a bit excessive. The suspenders sport a hook and loop attachment making them highly adjustable to achieve the right fit. For a budget pair of waders, this pair by Frogg Toggs is a pretty outstanding value. If you’re looking for something to stay reasonably warm in that can handle a decent beating, then check these out. If your hunting style is going to take you into some seriously grown in, abrasion and puncture prone terrain, then maybe consider the superior durability offered by LaCrosse’s wading systems.
Price: $107.49 – $159.95 (up to 33 percent off MSRP)
Buy the Frogg Toggs Amphib Camo Bootfoot Waders here.
- The only budget option in duck hunting waders worth buying
- Highly adjustable and comfortable to wear
- Provides higher mobility than a lot of the waders listed here because of the lighter materials used
- The extra length in the legs although preferred by a lot of hunters might be problematic for people with a stout build
- Although the materials used are quite rugged — they don’t match up to the superior thickness and toughness of some other wetland wading options
Find more Frogg Toggs Amphib Camo Bootfoot Waders information and reviews here.
9.Best Affordable Hip Boots: Duck and Fish PVC Hip Boots
You get more than you pay for with this wading option. Here’s a seriously budget choice in wading for the strapped for cash duck hunter. If you just need to keep dry below the hip, these boots will serve you just fine. Don’t expect this wading option to provide you with much warmth, they’re constructed with PVC and have no insulation. The PVC design however makes them 30% lighter than rubber and also more flexible and less prone to chafing. If you’re hunting waterfowl in warmer climates and don’t require the height of chest waders then this is a perfectly suitable option that will cost you next to nothing. The boot has a traction outsole ideal for mud and sand — but once again, don’t plan on bringing these boots out into the snow and ice. For a pair of budget duck hunting boots, there’s nothing wrong with these at all as long as you don’t try and use them in the colder weather.
Price: $39.90 & Free Shipping
Buy the Duck and Fish PVC Hip Boots here.
- Super affordable option in wetland wading
- Very lightweight and flexible due to the PVC construction
- These are pretty dam tough boots, you’ll find it challenging to find terrain that can puncture these bad boys
- No insulation makes these boots unsuitable for cold weather hunting
Find more Duck and Fish PVC Hip Boots information and reviews here.
10. Best Value Waders for Duck Hunting: Frogg Toggs Migration Grand Refuge Breathable Camo Wader
Here’s a high end pair of wetland waders by Frogg Toggs that surpasses the quality of their Amphib Camo model without adding too much to the price tag. These waders are built for waterfowl hunting and have a pretty awesome array of features for the task. The boots are equipped with 1,200G thinsulate for maximum warmth and the upper breathable material is 120G quilted insulation nylon. The material of these waders makes them highly mobile. The material of the torso might not be inherently super warm, but it has high range of motion and therefore allows you to comfortably wear some layers when its freezing. The boots however are very much suited for wading in freezing temperatures. The main storage pocket on the chest is fleece lined to act as a hand warmer and there’s even an additional oversized chest pocket. There’s also an internal, flip-out zippered chest pocket perfect for stowing your phone or sensitive electronics. Additionally, a few D-ring attachment points and built in shell loops make accessing your gear and ammunition in the field a piece of cake. The suspenders are conveniently adjustable for finding the right fit and the sides are nice and tall for added security while wading at chest level. I personally really like the mossy oak bottomland camo pattern for use in the marsh or in flooded woodlands — but it’s an excellent pattern for almost all wetlands. For the ‘lower than most’ cost, this pair of high quality waders is no doubt an excellent value.
Price: $172.74 – $249.95 (up t0 21 percent off MSRP)
Buy the Frogg Toggs Migration Grand Refuge Breathable Camo Waders here.
- Awesome array of internal and external pockets and storage
- Roomy, breathable material allows for high range of motion and ability to layer up
- 1,200G thinsulate boots make for some seriously warm feet
- Best valued waders for waterfowl hunting — great product at a very reasonable cost
- Breathable material is built rugged, but I imagine it’s not as tough as some of the reinforced neoprene pairs listed here