Suggestions for Boots

Joined
Jul 31, 2011
Messages
98
Reaction score
0
Location
Northern Wisconsin
Anyone have recommendations for good paddling/portaging boots? I bought a pair of Chota Quetico Trekkers this past spring and the sole started coming apart at the toe while up in the WCPP this August, after less than 20 days of use. I need to find boots or chukkas that offer good support for my ankles and arches and that have the durability to last through wet exits/entries and portages, and stay wet for long periods of time.
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2012
Messages
838
Reaction score
2
With fall coming on I've been considering the same question. I looked at the LL Bean men's boot in 10". The one I' talking about is half rubber and from the ankle up, leather. It might well be the oldest made in America boot now still in existence. I doubt that they will be work without me getting some intersoles of wool felt and probably Dr Scholes arch supports but on the other hand when I'm done they will probably fit me better than anything made in China. The one I'm talking about is Item # 175054. Reading the customer evaluations; the first one out of the box sounds like what you (and most of us) are talking about. I believe Beans offers a re-soling service for not too much when the bottoms wear out.
Best Wishes, Rob
 
Joined
Aug 12, 2012
Messages
315
Reaction score
42
Location
Illinois
I read these water shoe threads with interest. I find too many reports of water shoes coming apart after only a few weeks of wet footing portages. For this reason I have held off buying anything and just drill holes in an old pair of work boots picked up at garage sales. Two years ago I drilled holes in a pair of Bates water proof 9 inch boots. They have now survived two 30 day canoe trips with many extra miles of searching out portage options in the back-country of Woodland Caribou PP. A close inspection shows that the inside fabric has no tears and the soles and outer components show no deterioration. This is the boot I seem to have. Mine are tagged as waterproof and in the description of these boots it mentions waterproof and not just water resistant as the name implies. Mine are 9 inches and that makes it a little hard to slip in and out of. The traction and ankle support are fantastic. http://www.batesfootwear.com/US/en-...er-Resistant-Tactical-Sport-Boot?dimensions=0
 
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
Messages
3,730
Reaction score
1,181
Location
Appleton, Maine
I second the 10" Bean Boots..

I second the 10" Bean Boots..

but I like Martens idea too.

I have been tripping in Bean boots for a long time now and I like them alot. They don't have the ankle support a pair of work boots do, but they are as good as those water boots I see everyone wear.
They leak at the seams between the rubber and leather though, but I pull out the removable sole every night and wipe them dry inside and they are damp but not to bad with a dry pair of socks in the morning.

You can get them resoled and if they don't hold up to your expectations, Bean will replace them free, no questions. I had a pair of 12 inch Beans resoled and they where never right. I stopped at the store in Maine and they took them back and gave me a new pair right away.
 
W

Willis

Guest
My friend Harry wears some shorter, i think 6 inch, Bean boots and absolutely loves them. He had one pair leak at the rubber/leather seam. He got them fixed at no charge.
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2012
Messages
838
Reaction score
2
Marten, Do I understand your post right; you wear your drilled boots into the water and your feet stay wet all day? If I did that I'd be afraid that my skin would turn to mush and abrade away. Never tried it though, maybe I'm wrong. I might be missing a chance to get my feet really clean!

Robin, Have you ever tried Huberd's Shoe Grease? It's been a mainstay of loggers here in the northwest for longer than I can remember. Actually on the can it says "since 1929" It's become increasingly difficult to find in the stores; Yuppies are grossed out by grease on their little fingers. If anything will seal that seam I'd put my money on Huberd's. I found their site on the web and ordered two quart cans. That ought to last me till I'm 150.
Best Wishes, Rob
 
Joined
Aug 12, 2012
Messages
315
Reaction score
42
Location
Illinois
Yes Rob, most days my feet are wet all day. An lunch time I will go barefoot to let the sun do its thing for them. I wear heavy wool-poly blend socks with a light poly liner sock next to the skin. I think the liner socks smoothness keeps the abrasion at bay. I watch them carefully and address any issues right away. I have found that a little Dove dish detergent spread lightly on the toes and dried in the sun does wonders to keep them healthy. The wet footing style suits me for numerous reasons. I can walk anywhere and step out into any depth of water. If I am feeling hot and grimy it allows me to wade in and rinse my clothes and body at any time. There is a picture of me in the 2012 Gathering video wading in water over my waist. A few seconds later I was enjoying one of these impromptu clear water rinses. Note that I do not do this in the shoulder seasons, then I am back to my 15 inch rubber boots.
 
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
Messages
3,730
Reaction score
1,181
Location
Appleton, Maine
Robin, Have you ever tried Huberd's Shoe Grease? It's been a mainstay of loggers here in the northwest for longer than I can remember.
Best Wishes, Rob

I use "Snow Seal" on the leather to keep it soft and prevent drying out, and I think it slows down the leaks at the stitching where the rubber meets the leather, but after quite a few years wearing different pairs on the trail, I have given up hoping they won't leak.

I just returned a pair of 10" cause the thread or whatever they use to stitch the replacement soles on with was rotting, and they just gave me a new pair, NQA'ed.

I had a pair of 12" that had perfect leather, well broken in, really comfortable and I had ordered "quick tie hooks" rather than eyes on the top 5 spots the eye holes go when I purchased them long ago, (a really nice feature btw for a couple of bucks)
Anyway, when they sent them back (after the soles needed replacement) I think they sewed the wrong size replacement soles on them, cause I would get a blister on my ankle every time I wore them.
I brought them back to Maine this spring and they agreed, wrong size rubber soles on the leather uppers, they gave me $110 credit which I used to order a new pair even with the quick tie upper hooks.
BTW, these boots are cold, don't use the "Maine Hunting Boot" while hunting.
 
Joined
Jul 31, 2011
Messages
596
Reaction score
32
Location
Aberdeen, MD
i guess for me it depends on the trip, time of year, and location. most stuff is like that i guess.

i currently live in Louisiana. flat water, no real portages, water's warm almost year round except for Dec-Feb. i mostly just wear water shoes, with a pair of cheap green pack boots for 'winter'.

my summer trips in the Adirondacks vary. in june-august, i bring the water shoes and a pair of low Merrill Ventilators, one for the canoe, the other for walking/portages. i don't believe in 'waterproof boots' or shoes, and you will drive yourself nuts trying to stay dry. thick, soft, high-quality wool socks are critical to comfort and warmth. my whole shoe thing dries quickly, and that's the key. doesn't matter if my feets get wet.

for fall trips to the Adirondacks, where the water's cold (sept/oct), i'll sub out the water shoes with the cheap green pack boots. again, the thick wool socks are important. in this case, you can portage in either the shoes or the rubber boots, and this becomes important if it's a really nasty muddy portage. i did the St Regis area last fall, and walked a very muddy "fish pond to long pond' portage (2 miles ish) in rubber boots. not the best walking footwear, but given the state of the trail (a running stream after 2 days of rain. sank up to mid calf and deeper in some spots), i did fine because of the thick socks.

hope that all made sense. rubber boots for cold weather, water shoes for hot.
 
Joined
Dec 7, 2011
Messages
425
Reaction score
10
Location
Maryland, USA
I have those same boots, Gavia. The laces drove me nuts. It appeared as though the laces were glued to the loops!! I took the laces out and threw them away. I opened up the loops with a marlinspike and replaced the laces with 550 cord. They work well now. I just use wool socks since the boot drains well.
Dave
 
Top