Paddling footwear?

Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
1,831
Location
Schenectady, NY
Hey there Scott,

I have had the same pair of LL Bean 8" duck boots for the last 35 years, sort of...
They're perfect for early and late season paddling, carrying and scrambling over beaver dams and deadfall. No worries about puncturing a delicate bottom like my neporene boots.
The duck boots are a classic design, waterproof leather uppers, waterproof rubber lowers. I have sent the back 2 times so far, for new uppers and new lowers, not really the same boots that I started with though.

Warmer weather, I use any type of teva like sandal.

I have been considering to buy a taller pair of LL Bean duck boots, I have occasionally stepped into water too deep for the 8 inchers...and it takes days for those boots to dry out once wet inside.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
6,473
Location
Raymond, ME
Where?

I wear wetsuit booties in the Everglades or western rivers or the Yukon and paddle in Merrell Maipos elsewhere in the summer. I have to have sole flexibility as I kneel. I would never be able to use Bean boots.

But then I am a confirmed wet footer. If its cold I simply wear Chota Mukluks. As I mostly solo, getting out in deep water from a narrow boat (24-28 inches at the middle) is normal for me.
 
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I wet foot always, sometimes by choice, sometimes by accident. In shoulder season I used to just slog around in soggy boots, and dry off and warm up at the end of the day - ugh! I've been wrestling with footwear ideas all winter. Summertime is a treat, I love wading and splashing around; but cold water in April, May, and October is too much for my old feet. All ideas would be appreciated. Thanks.
Brad
 
Joined
Jul 31, 2011
Messages
596
Location
Aberdeen, MD
Depends where I am, and when. I canoe mostly in LA year round, and in the Adirondacks anywhere from June-October, depending on when I get my vacation. If the water's too cold, I will actually carry and wear a pair of knee-hi rubber boots. That's October in NY, NOV-FEB here in LA. The rest of the time, here in LA, I wear a pair of cheap walmart water-shoes, with the rubber sole and mesh uppers. In NY, it's usually barefoot (no snakes or cypress knees). It's pretty quick to change back into dry socks and shoes once you're ashore.

I sometimes wear wool socks with the water shoes, and that helps a lot with clamminess, even in summer, and keeps them from getting sunburned. Two pairs is about all you need for a week, three if you insist on having something dry, but they dry out quick enough if you have the right shoes to go with them. Damp feet while camping/canoeing is the norm, for me anyway... wool keeps it manageable, warm, and fun. I gave up on 'dry feet all the time' a long time ago. just not worth the bother.
 
Joined
Nov 21, 2012
Messages
83
Location
Eastern Long Island, NY
I've got more water shoes than Imelda Marcos since I hate cold soggy feet -- In the summer its keens sandals or cheap body glove water shoes depending on what I'm paddling. Large shoes don't fit in the sea kayak and on Long Island we're dealing with primarily sandy beaches so the cheap water shoes work fine, in the ADK's the water shoes are terrible to portage in, while the keen's are pretty good for most carries. Once it starts to get cold its NRS mukluks in the kayak and over the last year I've tried the Chota Quetico Trekker's with the waterproof gaiter in the canoe. The chota's are on the heavy side but are almost a hiking boots so they are pretty good on root or rock covered portages. The gaiters come up to almost my knee. When it becomes dry suit season it's a pair of one size bigger NRS water shoes to protect the socks on the dry suit.
 
Joined
Nov 23, 2012
Messages
704
Location
Western Adirondacks
Summer: If I am portaging very far, especially when racing, I wear Merrell water shoes that I like very much. Like a running shoe, but heavier construction. If I am training or on a lesser race course I'll wear another lighter type of water shoe or maybe an old pair of running shoes.

Cold water: I do like the Quetico Trekker, along with neoprene sock insert. But don't like to wear them when the day warms up. I take them to the Yukon as an emergency item because they are like a hiking boot, but usually wear the Merrells when paddling there. Even though the water is always cold, the air is not.

Really cold water (like at ice-out and a couple of weeks there after): I have a pair of Chota mukluks that work well for that. Really don't like to wear them if it warms up much at all though.
 
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So if I understand correctly, the cold season footwear recommended is waterproof? I've thought of neoprene socks in (leaky) footwear, but some people don't like the odour issues etc. It's quite the conundrum for me, waterproof vs wet; especially given that at least once in a while I take a slow motion 1/2 roll into the lake at a take out. At least I get style points for that.
 
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
Messages
3,692
Location
Appleton, Maine
I need to be able to use my footwear for more than just a few weeks a year in the canoe, so I use LL Bean boots. I use them snow shoeing, plowing the driverway, shoveling walks, deer hunting and canoeing. I just don't use them in tree stands sitting, too cold.

I ordered my 12" boots with the "quick lace" hooks, they go on and off fast. They leak around the stitches where the rubber meets the leather, but I can live with that during the warmer months.

For cooler months I used to have a pair of bottoms from hip boots that I used around the house during the wet season, low profile heal made them very stable. I figured if I can work around this rocky New England land and not sprain an ankle, they would be good on portages. They finally wore out and I bought a pair of knee high rubber boots from Dick's which work pretty good at keeping the feet dry in cold weather wet foot exits and entry's.....

12" LL Bean boots
DSC00961_zps341c9f96.jpg
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2013
Messages
3,472
Summer time on trips, the mantra is "wet shoes, dry shoes". Wet shoes go on every morning before travel, and come off once into camp. Dry shoes stay dry no matter what. Wet shoes are quality runners, I use New Balance because of my fat feet. Dry shoes are usually last year's shoes. We do a lot of porting up here, walking footwear has to be quality, or it will fall apart in 3 or 4 days.

Fall and early spring I wear the good old Kapuskasing dress shoes, the big old green rubber boots.
 
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Shoes and canoeing

I usually wear Chota Mukluks from October ‘til April, depending on where I’m paddling. Obviously not on rare 70 degree days, but most often I find them comfortable and not unduly sweaty in both the shoulder seasons and in winter.

They are the old Nunavut style with a boot like heel. I bought them a half size larger and almost always wear a thin pair of Smartwool liners under a pair of Sealskins (or knockoffs).

That wicking/breathable combination seems comfortable in a wide range of temperatures. I do take them off immediately on reaching camp or take out, and when possible hang the socks and Sealskins to dry. The outside of the Sealskins is always a little damp, whether from wicked sweat or tiny leakage at the seam stitching.

Those Chotas are, um, probably getting on 10 years old. I have Aquasealed the seams twice and tried to keep them going as long as possible. I’ve worn a variety of Neosports and Boggs (it’s handy when your sons have same-sized feet), but none had a stiff enough sole and raised heel for my taste.

I think those Nunavuts were discontinued for a while, but whadda ya know.

http://www.jerseypaddler.com/paddle-boots-shoes-and-socks/chota-nunavut-ii-marsh-boots/

Daddy needs a new pair of boots.
 
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Wrong again

Wrong again

They are the old Nunavut style with a boot like heel.
I think those Nunavuts were discontinued for a while, but whadda ya know.

http://www.jerseypaddler.com/paddle-boots-shoes-and-socks/chota-nunavut-ii-marsh-boots/

Daddy needs a new pair of boots.

I was wrong again. It must be a day ending in “y”.

It appears that those “Nunavut II Marsh Boots” are no longer made. I can find a scattering of them leftover at outfitters and still for sale or E-bayed (which I don’t do), but none in Size 12 or 12.5.

The Chota site no longer shows them.

Does anyone make something (very) similar to the Nunavuts? Stiff sole, decent tread, raised heel, rubber bottoms and neoprene uppers, 18-20” high.

Daddy still needs a new pair of shoes.
 
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I'm a warm-weather-only paddler, and my feet warm up quickly, so I do the two-shoes thing, and keep both pairs very light. Campsite pair are sandals, unless mosquito density will be too high. In-water pair are LL Bean Vacationland sneakers, because they're super-light and dry pretty quickly, and are comfortable for my finicky ankles while kneeling. I also tried fivefingers -- comfortable on the water and near the water, blisters portaging. Though I looked them up to find the name and several reviews are whining about the sizing changing, so they may have redesigned them -- caveat emptor. Thin wool socks underneath.
 
Joined
Jan 30, 2013
Messages
53
I researched this around Christmas time and went with a Navy seal OTB over the beach boot, from New Balance. I got a sale from Harrys surplus. Inside of them go a Chota knee highs I used them one time and feet where great, the summer will just be the boots. Ravenwolf;
 
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