Neoprene boots

cyclegranny

Paddler
Joined
Aug 12, 2020
Messages
32
Location
Courtenay
So I've been looking all over the internet and north Vancouver island for the NRS Boundary water 'shoe' , a 5 ml neoprene boot with a grippy sole and a velcro fastener over the instep priced at 130.00 CAD plus taxes. The NRS company has come out with a new model, the 'Boot' which has a firmer thicker sole which looks less comfy for the use in a kayak. Looking all over for the older model and can't find any old stock. The comparable kokotat product is $170.00 plus taxes. Anyone using alternative product for a soft boot that they like?
 

JohnAbercrombie

Paddler
Joined
Dec 7, 2011
Messages
2,327
Location
Victoria, BC
I have a good (??) collection of water shoes and boots. :)
I have a couple of low-deck boats, so having a shoe that isn't too bulky can be important when I paddle those.
It's also easier to swim in low-bulk shoes, so I think about that if I'm heading out to practice or demo rescues.
Astral Hiyak low boots are nice but very expensive. I got mine by mail-order from Aquabatics in Calgary and they were good about a return which I needed to get the correct size.
I recently bought a pair of the MEC Igopogo 'hi-top sneaker' style shoes and I like them. They are comfortable and the sole is just thick enough to keep the sharp rocks underfoot from being painful. I don't think the neoprene uppers will be extremely tough, but time will tell. I like the lace-up style boots.
I also have worn Level Six Creek Boots - the newer 2.0 version is harder to get on and off and I had to remove the stretchy lacing - and I don't have a very high instep.
Another possibility is neoprene socks over your drysuit 'feet', worn with sneakers or mesh-type water shoes. You do need to protect your drysuit from pebbles and sand underfoot. I had to take a pair of sneakers to the disc sander to remove 'extra' length at the heels when I used them for kayaking.
The thin-soled shoes which are really comfy when paddling (or swimming) can deliver a lot of pain when walking on rocks or shells. :)
So it's a bit of a balancing act - thus my numerous shoe purchases over the years! :)
 

a_c

Paddler
Joined
Dec 23, 2014
Messages
40
Myself, and most paddlers I know, use the MEC Moque (hi or low cut), or something similar over their drysuit booties.

I'm assuming you're specifically looking for a higher, boot-style piece of footwear, and I'm guessing the NRS 'shoe' you describe has been discontinued for the newer model shown. Have you tried Amazon, eBay, etc?

What about some kind of hybrid combination? Something like the Kokatat launch sock, paired with a Moque-type bootie over top?

Kokatat Hydrus Launch Socks | Western Canoe Kayak
 

Tangler

Paddler
Joined
Sep 5, 2016
Messages
76
Location
Nanaimo, BC
I have yet to find a perfect paddling shoe...
Neoprene booties will start to stink if you wear them over bare (or even socked) feet if you are doing overnight paddling trips. After a couple of days you (and those close to you) will think you are walking around with a pair of dead soles on your feet (or some other form of sea life). Even those nice tall Mukluk like things develop quite an odour... Maybe this isn't a problem if you are always wearing a dry suit with attached socks.
I now only wear booties on day trips in cold weather.
Enclosed sandals (Keenes) or runner type shoes offer reasonable protection from rocks and barnacles but you are very likely to get sand/small pebbles in them when launching and that will do a number on your feet.
I most often wear a pair of rugged sandals (old Chacos). They provide little in the way of protection for anything but the bottoms of my feet but I have learned to be careful around barnacles. They don't get stinky and if the weather is reasonable I can wear them around camp. If sand or pebbles get in them it is easy to rinse my feet. If the water is too cold I wear a pair of neoprene socks with them which don't get as stinky as they are easily turned inside out to air. Not as easy to get pebbles out though...
Good luck and have fun building your collection of paddling footwear. :)
 

eriktheviking

Paddler
Joined
Jul 4, 2009
Messages
168
Location
Prince George, BC
I have yet to find a perfect paddling shoe...
Neoprene booties will start to stink if you wear them over bare (or even socked) feet if you are doing overnight paddling trips. After a couple of days you (and those close to you) will think you are walking around with a pair of dead soles on your feet (or some other form of sea life). Even those nice tall Mukluk like things develop quite an odour... Maybe this isn't a problem if you are always wearing a dry suit with attached socks.
I now only wear booties on day trips in cold weather.
I have only used the MEC neoprene boots- low cut for fresh water and high cut for saltwater (ankle protection from barnacles etc). I haven't tried other brands or styles. As for the stink problem, I have found rinsing with fresh water after each use and then drying in the sun keeps it under control. After long trips when it gets bad, I have an enzyme based de-stink solution that works (I bought a bunch at a local fishing shop that had a closeout sale). No-one seems to care during a trip, but getting home from the coast can be a bit ripe. Sometimes they ride home on the kayak under a deck strap.
 

cyclegranny

Paddler
Joined
Aug 12, 2020
Messages
32
Location
Courtenay
Myself, and most paddlers I know, use the MEC Moque (hi or low cut), or something similar over their drysuit booties.

I'm assuming you're specifically looking for a higher, boot-style piece of footwear, and I'm guessing the NRS 'shoe' you describe has been discontinued for the newer model shown. Have you tried Amazon, eBay, etc?

What about some kind of hybrid combination? Something like the Kokatat launch sock, paired with a Moque-type bootie over top?

Kokatat Hydrus Launch Socks | Western Canoe Kayak
a_c
Yes I think this will be my next option. I have shorter wetsuit booties, but have been coveting the taller boot type option. And yes I have looked at the internet giants for the NRS shoes. Sold out in my size.
 

cougarmeat

Paddler
Joined
Sep 17, 2012
Messages
636
Location
Bend OR USA
I wanted to like those HIGH NRS boots but, dang it, I played football in highschool and then climbed some mountains so had … calves. The opening at the top was just too small. It would be nice to have something I could just slip on when it’s time to go down to the mucky shoreline and deal with dinner dishes. I have some generic rubber boots but they are heavy and a bit bulky. I guess I could fit them in if I made them a priority - but not to paddle. I’d loose them the first time I’d have to wet exit.

I wear socks with the paddle booties, but as Tangler said - even then, you bring the sea back with you.

One benefit shows up when returning from a multiway trip in Canada. The back windows of the jeep are tinted so when the border crossing guy asks me to roll down the window, and I do, I am quickly waved through the check point.
 

JohnAbercrombie

Paddler
Joined
Dec 7, 2011
Messages
2,327
Location
Victoria, BC
One benefit shows up when returning from a multiday trip in Canada. The back windows of the jeep are tinted so when the border crossing guy asks me to roll down the window, and I do, I am quickly waved through the check point.
I had a similar (funny) experience in the 70s. I'd been on a club climbing trip in the Selkirks for 2 weeks, then immediately after did another climb with my partner. After that all the wet gear went into the trunk of my Plymouth sedan. Overnight at a friend's place in Calgary and the next day headed for Wyoming via SweetGrass, Montana border crossing.
Summer day in the 90s F.
US border guard (female): "What's the story?" then "I need to look in the trunk."
5 seconds after the trunk lid went up: "Away you go; have a good trip!" :)
 

SalishSeaNior

New Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2020
Messages
6
Location
Okanagan Valley, Canada
The NRS Boundary boot is the one I have used for the past few years and I love it. The best, most comfortable paddling boot I have had. I bought mine at Western Canoeing in Abbotsford. I just looked at their site and they are listed as being in stock for $129.95. Albeit they call it a men's boot. But they have sizes down to men's size 6. They will ship.

Hope this helps

Rick
 
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