I really like the breathable waders. You don't sweat as bad and can layer up. It is really all you need in the cold months.
I also would consider getting them at L. L. Bean's. They have a good price but best of all, they have a life time guarantee and will accept returns, no questions asked and will replace free, immediately.
Pass on the Neoprene, too hot and too difficult to get in and out of but if you REALLY want a pair, I have a set I would sell you CHEAP and they're in great condition. All depends on your size.
I wear the LL Bean Emerger stocking foot wader, with the LL Bean Ultralight II wading boot. It's very comfortable and I can layer up to match the conditions. The LL Bean Emerger stocking foot wader has an integral gaiter built into the wader, right above the stocking foot, so that when the boot's on, the gaiter rolls down over the top of the boot. I get no sand in my boots, even after a day of standing in the pounding surf.
Well for the sand, my personal preference is those super cheap "water shoes" that they sell at all the beach stores. All I'm really concerned about at the beach is a sharp shell or piece of glass putting a hole in the stocking foot. I don't know that they would be my choice for the mud &/or oyster bars. But if you've got some distance to cover on the beach, the water shoes work great. I also know several people who don't wear any shoes over their stocking feet & still get multiple seasons out of their waders.
The question is how much time do you plan on spending in the water. I've got both Neos and the breathables and use them for different applications. The breathables are great for all the reasons already mentioned but they're light weight material and have next to no insulation which is just fine for the times you plan on being in the water no longer than it takes to make a cast or land a fish. For any other reason you may have for staying in the (cold) water for any length of time use the neopremes, they'll help keep you warm.
Without a doubt, the BEST waders I have ever owned are Hodgeman Weir Waders.
They are breathable and they have a waterproof zipper in the front that make it a breeze to get into, not to mention the fact that you can zip them down to be more comfy when not in the water, they don't trap air and balloon out ,,,plus if you have the urge to "go" it is just zip ...zip and your bladder is happy again.
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