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Kokatat Launch Socks Review

Aug 29, 2017
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Gaithersburg, MD
I'm back from a seven day, six night lazy man's (guided) trip on the Allagash from Johnson Pond to Round Pond, which I will write up later. But I wanted to post a review of some new-to-me gear: Kokatat Launch Socks.

These are essentially the soft socks plus 18" inches of leg from a dry suit with a bungee closure at the top. Uninsulated. I wore Darn Tough wool socks underneath and closed toe sandals over them. A very good combo for wetfooting. They kept out the water and perhaps more importantly the grit and rocks that usuall get into sandals and then grind my feet while paddling. They also work like gators when walking through brush/tall grass. Most importantly, I absolutely HATE the feeling of putting on a shoe/sandal when it is cold and wet. This solves the latter problem beautifully by keeping the wet sandal/shoe off of your skin.

As with any footwear system designed to keep your feet dry (short of wearing a full dry suit) you can always overtop them if you are not careful. That happened once on this trip when I was forced to leap out of the canoe in water that was about 1 inch deeper than the 18" inch Launch Socks. But once in camp I turned the Lanch Socks inside out and they dried in the sun literally in a matter of minutes.

These are going to replace my clunky rain /muck boots that I've used on prior trips. Extra socks may be needed in shoulder season since they are uninsulated.

I give them an A++++.

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Looks like a really practical, effective strategy. Thanks for sharing. We always do wet landings and launches and footwear that accommodates both that and paddling has been elusive.
I have never used the Launch Socks, but have used the Kokatat Tempest Pants extensively. My wife uses the Tempest Pants, with the built in socks, under boots for our wet-footing in the BWCA and Quetico. They have held up very well and, if need be, they can be repaired. Also, the Whirlpool Bibs are an outstanding waterproof bottom. Kokatat is top notch.
I like the idea. Thank you for sharing. Just for another idea. I use the Sealskiz waterproof socks the same way during the winter. Wool socks under them then generally crocks as shoes.