Simms Freestone Stockingfoot Waders, Currently on sale starting at $229
The first breathable stockingfoot waders I ever purchased were Simms Freestones back around 2013. It seems that every few years, Simms updates their line of Freestone waders and provides some new features, and ensuring it hears anglers' feedback on what these waders should include.
The current model of Simms Freestone Stockingfoot waders is on sale, I presume because it will soon be replaced with an updated model, so now is a fantastic time to purchase them at a discounted price.
As a disclaimer, I own the 2019 model of Simms Freestone Stockingfoot Waders. While there are slight variations in this model compared to the 2022 Simms Freestone stockingfoots, this post applies to my experience with the Freestone line of Waders since 2013.
These waders have a bunch of fancy names for their 4-layer technology (Toray® QuadraLam™). The goal of the technology is to make them durable and breathable. They include a built-in gravel guard, a nice zipper pocket, and fleece-lined pockets for the cold-weather anglers.
Older models used to have just one belt loop; the most recent models have three belt loops that keep it in line with your waist. Remember, a wading belt is a great built-in safety feature of waders, so be sure to use it.
You also have the option of a few add-on features to this wader, including the Waterproof Wader Pouch ($49.95 - perfect for a cell phone), the Tippet Tender Pocket ($29.95), or a nice bag to store your waders in (the Taco Wader Bag, $49.95).
The Freestone Stockingfoots have a variety of size combinations based on your leg length, foot size, and chest size. Below is a screenshot of some of the options that Simms offers, and they also have a "Size Finder" at this link to help you determine your size.
After fishing these waders for multiple seasons in a variety of places and conditions (from Montana to Alaska to Iowa), I still believe the Simms Freestones perform very well. The older models from the 2010's used to have neoprene feet that would stretch out; the current models are much better at retaining their shape and flexibility even after extended use. Simms also builds antimicrobial features into these feet of the wader to keep them from getting as smelly over time.
I'm 5'9", and roughly 155 pounds. I wear a size 10 Simms wading boot, and I fit well into the medium sized Freestone wader with a regular length. I have never tried a "short" length wader, but when I filled out Simms "Size Finder", they suggested I try a "short" length wader." I was always fearful that a short wader would limit my mobility and make a tear more likely, so I like the regular length wader so I can step over logs and brush in my bushwhacking endeavors.
Any breathable wader will develop leaks with extended use; this will also be exacerbated by not caring for your waders. On some of the older models, I developed leaks relatively quickly on seams on these waders, but since about 2017, I've seen much more extended durability in my waders. With plenty of use (I probably use my waders an average of 10-15 times per season), I expect to see a solid 2-3 years (or more) of use with these before having to seal up any pinhole leaks that develop.
I've seen continued improvement in the durability of the inner legs of these waders, as older models that I owned tended to earn their pinhole leaks on the inner thigh due to the friction of walking. I haven't seen these leaks developing as much in the models from the past 5 seasons, which is a huge improvement.
Simms stands by their products. Their wader guarantee states:
"60 Days: Wader replacement for leaks. 365 Days: Wader leaks repaired for free. Beyond 1 Year: $60 for most repairs."
In my experience, I've had to issues getting my waders warrantied or repaired by Simms within a year or outside of a year. Whenever I reach out to them with my concerns, they are quick to help out and prov ide good customer service. (As a pro tip - if you treat a customer service representative with respect, they are much more likely to treat you with respect in return and possibly even go above and beyond to help you out).
There are less expensive waders on the market than the Freestones. There are also more expensive waders on the market. After years of refining their products, Simms seems to be doing a good job of honing in their products and providing quality gear to anglers everywhere.
After growing up in Montana, I feel good about supporting a Montana brand like Simms, but a huge part of this is due to their support to me as a customer over the years. Knowing that I will receive great customer service and a quality product, from them, I can highly recommend a product like the Simms Freestone Stockingfoot waders.