What do you wear on your feet?

cougarmeat

Paddler
Joined
Sep 17, 2012
Messages
885
Location
Bend OR USA
I have socks with toes for my shoes with toes but … my toes were not the model for those socks. It takes a commitment to sit and work each toe - especially the little toe (which is more of a wish than an actual fit) - in its place. I’m guessing a style that just separates the big toe from the others would be easier.

All my neoprene booties are from NRS. I have a high top for general paddling, a below the ankle version that has a wider cut for more ease with drysuit latex bootie, and a light weight river/lake shoe. I tried some AquaTech type water draining (mesh) sport shoe but they were just too heavy and very difficult to clean the sand out of. Because of the extended toe/heel, they were more difficult to fit on the foot braces.
 

JohnAbercrombie

Paddler
Joined
Dec 7, 2011
Messages
3,152
Location
Victoria, BC
With mesh shoes (which I don't wear much) , I use neoprene socks over the drysuit socks to protect the drysuit. The mesh allows a lot of sand and fine pebbles to get in.
 

jamonte

Paddler
Joined
Aug 6, 2015
Messages
126
When paddlers talk about "dressing for immersion" they invariably mean one thing: dressing in clothing that will prevent hypothermia in the event of a swim. To me, "dressing for immersion" also means wearing clothing that will remain on your body when you swim and will not hinder your ability to swim or to perform a self or assisted rescue, or hinder your ability to hike for miles and miles through the wilderness in the event that you lose your boat. So no matter what footwear you choose to wear, it has to stay on your feet during a swim... even a violent swim through breaking surf or rapids. That is a non-negotiable criterion for kayaking footwear, IMO, and I have kicked people off my trips who showed up in sandals that won't stay on their feet. And it's not just sandals, neoprene mukluks also have a way of coming free during swims. And don't get me started about mukluks with crisscrossing laces... talk about an entrapment hazard! Blah, blah, blah... two coppers from a hardass.
 

chodups

Paddler
Joined
Nov 2, 2005
Messages
1,159
That is a non-negotiable criterion for kayaking footwear, IMO, and I have kicked people off my trips who showed up in sandals that won't stay on their feet. And it's not just sandals, neoprene mukluks also have a way of coming free during swims.
Totally agree! Can't tell you how many times friends who wear Tevas, Chachos or Keens come up beside their boat with their sandals needing their own rescue. All of those companies make good paddling shoes that stay on but folks tend to drift towards the more casual sandals that don't. Not my style.
 

glcwhistler

Paddler
Joined
Dec 8, 2010
Messages
50
I think footwear usage is such an overlooked thing with kayaking until you are having issues.

I find it daunting at times to find the right combinations. Summertime, fall, winter, spring are all different and issues arise with each season.

During the summer, I like bare feet, but I notice my heels and bottom of my feet get sore easily being on the foot pegs and fiberglass. I have the NRS neoprene boot socks. The issue there.. When I have my drysuit on I need more room in the sizing for the goretex foot sock. the same boot becomes sloppy when walking up any incline, like when carrying the boat up from the beach,

I like to have feeling through my feet when in a kayak, the neoprene boots give that and enough protection with the thin rubber soles when on shore.

I really don't like having normal style boots or shoes on. My feet last longer, but I feel like I am totally lost in where my feet are and the overall banging around to get enough sensation through them to get a sense of where things are down at my feet.

The strap on sandals collect rocks between my feet and toes, doing the little foot kicks to dislodge them before sliding into the boat is annoying, but I can use the side of my feet to feel the pegs, or anything that might have slipped down there.

I like the looks of the new NRS neoprene boots with the straps, with the heavy lugs on the sole, but they seem like they could end up being a mud collection device and turn the cockpit of your boat into what would look like a overused outhouse.

I notice Alex wears the tall boots when he is on land. That would be my preference for exploring, collecting water, or foraging once on land, something that wouldn't be a low tide muck collector and easily washed off.

II wish I could, but know I haven't found the holy grail of kayak footwear yet.
 
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sofstu

Paddler
Joined
Jun 14, 2021
Messages
103
Location
Kootenays BC
During the warm months I prefer bare feet while paddling, however unless I plan on staying around a sandy beach I always carry a pair of sandals or booties in a drybag behind me.
I would hate to take a hike with unprotected feet on any barnacle covered surface

With colder water it's 9mm neoprene paddling boots.
They are comfortable, work great, grip wet rocks and logs well and keep my feet dry and toasty warm.

However i struggle getting them over my heel, so I will be looking at other brands or even just thinner boots in the near future.
 
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