REVIEW: Footwear: MEC Swellies

Dan_Millsip

Paddler
Joined
Mar 8, 2005
Messages
9,297
Location
Beautiful BC


Product: MEC Swellies
Purchased at: Mountain Equipment Co-op
How much: $35.00 Cdn (as of Mar 20, 2005)

Review:
After a few very cold entries into my kayak last autumn wearing water shoes, I decided in October to try a pair of MEC Swellies. After using them several times over the winter months, I can say with complete confidence that these are probably the most comfort inducing bit of gear that I've purchased in some time. No more cold, wet feet getting in and out of my boat. You can step in the water and not feel a bit of cold (even in the glacier fed water of Pitt Lake).

The boots are made from 5mm thick nylon neoprene while the inner sole is made from 7mm thick neoprene. The semi-hard rubber soles grip well on slippery surfaces when walking on land and have proven to be quite durable. The top cuff of the boots are made of a very sticky neoprene that creates an excellent seal when used with the adjustable nylon strap (on two occasions I stepped in water that was higher than the boots and no water entered the boot).

Positives:
No more cold shock when stepping in the water! :D

Negatives:
Feet do get warm in these puppies -- I usually wear a pair of socks to absorb perspiration.

After washing the boots, the insides take a long time to completely dry. If I'm paddling in the next few days after wearing them, I only rinse off the outsides.

Final conclusion:
I highly recommend these reasonably priced, warm and dry boots for anyone who paddles during cooler times of the year.

*****
 

tim_in_bc

Paddler
Joined
Mar 23, 2005
Messages
46
Location
Victoria bc
I agree

being new to kayaking and not liking my feet to be wet I tried a number of options but these boots were perfect. Dry feet, comfortable and cheap at MEC. Rarely does a piece of gear fit the bill so well.
 

Tim

New Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2005
Messages
4
I bought a pair of the tall neoprene MEC boots (mine are made by Chota) about 5 or 6 years ago for about $60 US and have worn them summer and winter from Brooks Peninsula to Baja. Just discovered the first leak--looks like I snagged something--easy fix. I also wear a pair of felt bottomed "tabbies" (?) that are good for warm water as they are not waterproof and you can wear zories with them when you want to look especially excentric on land.
Nice site, look forward to its growth.
 

Steve_Fairbairn

Paddler
Joined
Mar 16, 2005
Messages
900
Location
Richmond, BC, Canada
Swellies are swell! (sorry, but I had to get that in before someone else did). I had always assumed that damp feet were a fact of life when you are paddling. I got mine at the same time as Dan and my experiences are similar. The only downside, for me, was that they are a bit too narrow for my wide feet and after a few hours the sides of my feet start to ache. If you have normal feet this likely won't be a problem.

As for the all terrain boots, I would have the same problem as Mark in that my feet wouldn't fit under the deck with them on and I'm only a size 11.
 

fester

Paddler
Joined
Aug 3, 2005
Messages
144
Ever try swimming with neoprene gumboots on? A chum of mine was knocked out of his boat by some six foot breaking waves and didn't have too many nice things to say about how the "swellies" effected his ability to swim. I like to keep my lungs dry and my feet wet. Any design that incorporates lacing to reduce the volume of flooding is probably worth the extra money.
 

Dave_Barrie

Paddler
Joined
Jan 23, 2005
Messages
1,002
Location
Victoria
I'm going to get a pair of these.....a few questions:

- fit wise do you recommend ordering your street shoe size, or bigger?

- will the fit over a wet or dry suit?
 

Dan_Millsip

Paddler
Joined
Mar 8, 2005
Messages
9,297
Location
Beautiful BC
Dave_Barrie said:
I'm going to get a pair of these.....a few questions:

- fit wise do you recommend ordering your street shoe size, or bigger?
If I remember correctly, I took a size 11 in the Swellies. I take a size 10 in street shoes. Best to try them on if you can.

- will the fit over a wet or dry suit?
Yes.

*****
 

jagir

Paddler
Joined
Jul 6, 2006
Messages
11
You may want to goop up the seams with some Seamgrip or Freesole - i dont think these seams are taped so eventually they may let water in.

(Put the leftover urethane in the freezer so it wont harden once popped)

Dont forget to tighten the tops before you launch - i've heard horror stories of fishermen in their wellies at the bottom of the lake.
 
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