Shoe size for waders

How many sizes should I go up if I want to use non-wading boots with stocking foot waders? I normally wet wade but early in the season when the water is still cold I wear waders. I hate wading boots. I can’t understand why they are all so clunky. I am getting a new pair of Astrals for wet wading this year (been using Astral Hiyaks for a couple years now) and am considering getting a second, over-sized, pair to wear with my waders.

Great question. I’m guessing one size larger than you wear the same shoe with regular socks but that could still be one size too small.

I believe REI sells the Astral Hiyak if that’s what you are interested in. Yeah REI is expensive but they have a great return policy and you get a dividend return on the purchase.

My advice is go to one of a store that stocks what you want and try some on with your socks and waders. You may have to order them if they don’t carry them in that store then try them on in the store when they come in. And I don’t believe in showrooming; trying something on in a store but buying the same style & color online because it is cheaper. Any brick and mortar store willing to carry inventory I want to look at/try on for size in person gets my business.

I currently use the Hiyak for wet wading and like them a lot but am going to try the tr1 merge this season. I think they will perform a little better on hikes. One size larger for stocking foot waders is what I was thinking but wanted to ask around first. Thanks.

REI carries the TR1 Merge too.

My Hyaks arrived yesterday and I tried them out with my Simms wading socks over a pair of lightweight smartwool socks and they fit perfectly. I normally wear a size 9 but got a 10 for wet wading.

@Brian_Miller, I usually prefer going to a physical store as well. However, I am looking to get my boots directly from Astral. I have had good experiences dealing with them directly in the past. Not to mention, REI and everything else is shut down around here.

@dpnoll, would you say your wading socks plus your smartwool are about as thick as a neoprene stocking foot?

I think the wading socks are 3 or 3.5mm. So yeah, probably pretty close to my waders. I’ll try on my waders later today and let you know. My wading socks are the Simms Guide Guard socks.

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I had bought some shoes from Astral 2 years ago. Great to deal with. I am from Canada, so could not try on before ordering, so the sizing was a pain in the butt. I ended up with shoes that were larger than I hoped. I would only buy again if I can try in-person. I no longer buy shoes online.


@dpnoll, did you get a chance to try them on with your stocking foot waders? I am thinking one size up from my normal should be about correct.

I’ve just worn them with my Simms Guide Guard socks and one size up was good.

Thanks. Did you have other socks underneath the Simms Guide Guard socks?

Yes, smart wool lightweight hiking socks. I wore the guide socks once without socks underneath. Dang near couldn’t get them off.

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Got my shoes last week. I am normally a 9.5 so I got them in 10.5 to use with my waders. Can’t get my foot in. So, I’m sending them back a going to try 11.5. I think half the issue is with the way stocking foot waders are sized. I wear a medium wader which fits a foot size from 9-11. What that really means is that it’s an 11. So, I have a bunch of extra room in the neoprene stocking and I have to have room in the shoe to cram all the extra neoprene.