Chat Rooms (2 Chatting)  |  Search  |   Login/Join
* For the benefit of the community, commercial posting is not allowed.
Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Gear Forum
      Cold-weather wet foot strategies     
 Forum Sponsor

Author

Text

tomo
member (21)member
 
09/13/2019 06:49PM
Hi all,
I'm planning a late September trip and am seeking advice from the collective brain trust about how to keep my feet from freezing. I've always wet-footed before, and have a pair of neoprene socks that I've worn in the past, but last year when I did a solo trip my feet froze. I ended up being rough on my canoe because I was trying hard not to get my feet wet.

Any tried and true suggestions?
Thanks.
 
      Print Top Bottom Previous Next
mutz
distinguished member(1116)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/13/2019 07:14PM
Mucks, warm dry feet in cold weather can make the whole trip more enjoyable.
 
09/13/2019 07:41PM
Chota caney fork socks, and caney fork boots has worked for me.
 
CRL
member (8)member
 
09/14/2019 07:00AM
Knee boots like those from Lacrosse, Gumleaf, Xtratuffs, or Grundens. I had a pair of Northerners that were awesome but they finally bit the dust. Now I'm using Grunden Deck Boots. A little shorter than I'd hoped but decent quality and awesome insoles. Made in USA, too.
 
Othello
distinguished member (104)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/14/2019 12:58PM
I love my Chota Hippies for shoulder season trips.
 
09/14/2019 05:14PM
mutz: "Mucks, warm dry feet in cold weather can make the whole trip more enjoyable. "
Yup Mucks Wetlands are what I used durning an October trip. My feet stayed dry and comfortable even on a mile long portage
 
Northwoodsman
distinguished member(1236)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/14/2019 06:14PM
Blatz: "mutz: "Mucks, warm dry feet in cold weather can make the whole trip more enjoyable. "
Yup Mucks Wetlands are what I used durning an October trip. My feet stayed dry and comfortable even on a mile long portage"

+1
 
unshavenman
distinguished member(1149)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/14/2019 10:53PM
Like Walllee, I use Chota Caney Fork wading boots with Chota Caney Fork Knee-High Wading socks.
That provides neoprene dryness up to the top of the calf. If you plan on going deeper you can go with the Chota Hippies.
 
TipsyPaddler
distinguished member (157)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/15/2019 08:13AM
Othello: "I love my Chota Hippies for shoulder season trips."

+1 paired with Chota Hybrid Hikers
 
KevinBFanning
member (18)member
 
09/15/2019 05:19PM
I use a $30 pair of Servus rubber boots (not over boots) from farm and fleet and I like them more than my muck boots. They’re maybe 14”-15” tall. They serve me well on October trips, you can double up socks if needed on colder days, and if they do get wet they dry out fairly quickly by the fire.

If you think that doesn’t give you high enough protection, an irrigation/hip boot would work too - lacrosse makes a pair that I would recommend.

 
Tomcat
distinguished member (296)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/15/2019 09:13PM
 
x2jmorris
distinguished member(896)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/15/2019 09:15PM
I wear sandals with no socks no matter the temperature. I have my keen boots in the canoe with wool socks stuffed in them.

I wet foot the portage with sandals and then when I am settled in the canoe and off I switch into the socks and boots until the next portage.
 
Minnesotian
distinguished member(1687)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/16/2019 07:41AM
Northwoodsman: "Blatz: "mutz: "Mucks, warm dry feet in cold weather can make the whole trip more enjoyable. "
Yup Mucks Wetlands are what I used durning an October trip. My feet stayed dry and comfortable even on a mile long portage"

+1"


+2
Been tripping with Muck Boots now for about 5 years and I will never go back to wet footing it.
 
cyclones30
distinguished member(1765)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/16/2019 08:02AM
Othello: "I love my Chota Hippies for shoulder season trips."

These, in some OTB boots
 
billconner
distinguished member(7008)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
09/16/2019 08:38AM
I'm with morris - I wear same June Through October and if I went earlier, probably same - Chota Caney Fork and Smartwool hiking socks. I only change at end of day. I don't like the extra weight or being afraid to step in over the depth of the footwear. Doesn't bother me up to about the jewels.
 
IndyCanoe
member (50)member
 
09/16/2019 08:55PM
I used a pair of Cabelas Rubber Boot for my trip this year in May for fishing opener. It was a last minute decision (vs wetfooting) and the Cabelas brand boot was all they had in stock for my size. I can say they were awesome with the cold water. They are almost knee high on me and i didn't have any issues with water over the tops.

My son used a pair of the sealskin waterproof socks with his trail runners and he liked that method as he didn't want to wear the heavy boots.
 
09/17/2019 06:11AM
Minnesotian: "Northwoodsman: "Blatz: "mutz: "Mucks, warm dry feet in cold weather can make the whole trip more enjoyable. "
Yup Mucks Wetlands are what I used durning an October trip. My feet stayed dry and comfortable even on a mile long portage"

+1"



+2
Been tripping with Muck Boots now for about 5 years and I will never go back to wet footing it. "


+3. Been using Mucks for 10 years on May and Oct trips.
 
mschi772
distinguished member (292)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/17/2019 06:13AM
After the outsoles on your Mucks inevitably start to fall off, and you have to glue them back on, make a note to try Dry Shod boots the next time around. They are owned by the guy who originally started the Muck brand before Honeywell bought them out, and I'm super glad I gave them a try.

Both Muck and Xtratuf quality is not what it used to be, and I blame Honeywell's ownership.
 
hairtux
 
10/03/2019 07:12PM
I did a late September trip that was filled with rain, wind, and some snow one afternoon, and though I tried to tough it out with sandals and thick wool socks, it sucked and I was suffering the whole time. After a ton of searching, I settled on NRS Boundary Shoes (https://www.nrs.com/product/2308/nrs-boundary-shoes-closeout) for my next trip. Looks like they are going away now (?), maybe, but I loved those things. Also wore wool socks and they kept my feet warm and dry the whole trip. Also kept them on for the entire Grand Portage because it was muddy as shit. Good traction, decent sole. Totally happy with that purchase.
 
bwcasolo
distinguished member(1931)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/04/2019 03:11PM
neos
Here's what i do and i have been doing it for years, and i trip spring and fall.
i am on my second pair of these, my first pair lasted ten years. i wear gortex, 8 inch hiking boots, then slip these over the hiking boots for getting in and out of the canoe.
i slip them off when i portage, and carry them with my spare pack, i double portage.
they are handy to have if i am paddling them in the rain( keeps my boots dry), or at camp.
they offer great traction, as i have portaged with them, but try not to.
i just picked up a new pair in ely at the surplus for $100.00, good for another 10 years of dry boots, and great ankle support carrying my packs and canoe.
 
martian
member (9)member
 
10/04/2019 04:10PM
Those Neos overboots look to me like a great option. What about something like this:
https://www.tingleyrubber.com/collections/over-the-shoe/products/workbrutes-g2-17-inch-work-boot
I'm still trying to sort out this part of the game. Dry footing it until now.
 
sdebol
distinguished member(562)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/04/2019 07:31PM
NRS Boundary Socks and OTB Abyss boots have always worked well for me during May and October trips.
 
overthehill
distinguished member(4398)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
10/04/2019 08:51PM
I like NRS Boundary shoes IF I don't wade over the tops. A bit thin-soled for rough portaging; but like paddling in them with a kneeling pad and around camp. I rotate them with some moccasins and / or some Origional LaCross Grange rubber boots with felt insoles. Mukluk Lights for paddling and camp are good too,; although thin soled.
SOCKS are KEY to me too. A pair or two of course WOOL boot socks, knee h=high Liners , and heavy cushioned Smartwool Hunters , and/or a good 70% Merino wool sock. (mine are Darn Tough Vermonts ,Rocky Ultimate Wool)...most anything 70% or better.
I have also considered a tall waterproof snake boot; but not tried yet.
I have yet to be content with just one pair per trip and ALWAYS take EXTRA WOOL SOCKS.
I usually basecamp-or-two. oth
 
mjmkjun
distinguished member(2513)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/05/2019 06:11AM
hairtux: "I did a late September trip that was filled with rain, wind, and some snow one afternoon, and though I tried to tough it out with sandals and thick wool socks, it sucked and I was suffering the whole time. After a ton of searching, I settled on NRS Boundary Shoes (https://www.nrs.com/product/2308/nrs-boundary-shoes-closeout) for my next trip. Looks like they are going away now (?), maybe, but I loved those things. Also wore wool socks and they kept my feet warm and dry the whole trip. Also kept them on for the entire Grand Portage because it was muddy as shit. Good traction, decent sole. Totally happy with that purchase."
Agree. Very comfortable treking with those. Must size up, tho. I wear a 10.5 and had to size up to a 12 on NRS Boundary Boots.
 
HowardSprague
distinguished member(2885)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/07/2019 04:02PM
I start with a nice pair of wool/ wool blend socks. Smartwool, FITS, Vermont DarnTough, etc.
Then I put on something like Chota Brookies (not made any longer, I believe) or Chotas Caney Fork - various sizes, mine go to just below the knee. Then I put on a pair of wading boots - water can go in and out. Mine are from Cabelas and they sell something different now, I think they’re called Gold Medal Waders or something. But there are plenty of alternatives out there, many being better. (Get a nicely-treaded sole you can hike in. ) But that’s what keeps my feet from freezing.
 
HowardSprague
distinguished member(2885)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/07/2019 04:10PM
Oh. Going late september i see... hate when I don’t pay attention before responding!
 
mjmkjun
distinguished member(2513)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/08/2019 07:37AM
KevinBFanning: "I use a $30 pair of Servus rubber boots (not over boots) from farm and fleet and I like them more than my muck boots. They’re maybe 14”-15” tall. They serve me well on October trips, you can double up socks if needed on colder days, and if they do get wet they dry out fairly quickly by the fire.


If you think that doesn’t give you high enough protection, an irrigation/hip boot would work too - lacrosse makes a pair that I would recommend.


"

I also have a pair of white ones and they are great. Best barn boot with no struggling to get on and off. Comfy to wear while mending fences all day yet easily kicked off in the case of an accidental flip in deeper water. I normally wear a 10.5 in most shoes/boots but I have a size 9 in the Servus 15" white rubber boots. I have them for summer wear so not sized for thicker socks.
edited to add: Servus white boots
 
Shimbo
member (24)member
 
10/08/2019 09:11AM
I had the same concerns for my wife. We went on a trip just a couple weekends ago (Sept. 27). I saw that the NRS Boundary Shoe was on sale everywhere (Backcounry, Moosejaw, etc.) I got a pair for her, then I decided that I wanted one too :) They worked very well! They are completely waterproof and very warm. They go up to just under the knee. I flooded mine out a couple times, but it wasn't actually a problem - they still keep very warm when wet. If you're careful you can avoid flooding them out, too. The boot height was sufficient for every landing we made. We each wore a pair of wool socks underneath. I recommend buying slightly large. They were so warm and comfortable, we wore them around camp too. As some have mentioned, if you have really rough portaging, their toughness might be a concern. However, we went through "normal" portages, and it was never a problem. There were just a couple times where I was traipsing around in the woods behind our campsite where I was worried I might damage my boots, but no damage was sustained. If you're doing hiking off the beaten path, bring a pair of tougher boots, though. Next time, I'll bring some light hiking boots as camp shoes.
 
10/08/2019 06:11PM
How much did you size up, Shimbo?
 
overthehill
distinguished member(4398)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
10/08/2019 07:20PM
I wear an 11 in most all shoes ans boots. 11E. The Boundaries are a snug with thick socks and a 12 is the next size up. No 11.5 and no width sizes, but the velcro arch strap is adjustable and it doesn't take a thick sock for 30F +. Never tried them in snow or Winter temps. Thinking about a pair of 12 on the cheap just because they grip well on a damp slab of rock. I LOVE them for kneeling while paddling as I can get my feet out from under the web seat in the canoe. I have wondered about a 12 and an insole added for portaging /lining in a rough area.
 
Shimbo
member (24)member
 
10/08/2019 07:54PM
boonie: "How much did you size up, Shimbo?"

I normally wear a 12 boot, and I got 13
Fits well considering I'm wearing bulky socks with it.

Wife wears a women's 9 and I got her a 9. (They don't have women's sizes)
 
10/08/2019 09:02PM
Time to be the odd man out again. My shoe size is very difficult to find 8 1/2 but very wide at EEEE. Being a leather boot guy I have custom made hiking boots that get worn almost all the time. Just pair up with quality merino wool socks sometimes silk liners. No problems with cold feet, drying, or boot life, but I do lavish regular care on them. First set of Mohican Stalkers Russel Moccasin Co. over 20 years of use, current favorite is a pair of Minimalist Thula Thula 5 years old all leather.
Many scoff at the cost but they have paid off well over years of use.

butthead
 
10/08/2019 10:59PM
Butthead ... I have been in sales for 40 years and ROI (Return on Investment) is my mantra.

Your boot purchases have a high initial cost but your payback in quality and length of service speaks for itself. U da man !
 
marsonite
distinguished member(2193)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/09/2019 07:07AM
martian: "Those Neos overboots look to me like a great option. What about something like this:
https://www.tingleyrubber.com/collections/over-the-shoe/products/workbrutes-g2-17-inch-work-boot
I'm still trying to sort out this part of the game. Dry footing it until now. "


That's my solution. Love my Tingleys. You can pack em if it's hot and you want to wet foot, turn them inside out and dry out the insides if you go over the top, and patch them if you need to. My daughter claims they are butt ugly but what would she know?
 
Savage Voyageur
distinguished member(12801)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
10/09/2019 08:26AM
Knee high neoprene boots with wool socks.
 
FirstTimer2019
 
10/09/2019 04:31PM
I just got back from my first BWCA trip. All the other comments are great and from much more experienced paddlers. Only thing I might add is that because of an old ankle injury I wore compression ankle sleeves (braces) to prevent rolling an ankle while portaging in muck boots and thick wool socks. I tend to reinjure my ankle when tired and on uneven surfaces. Side effect was the spandex and nylon braces kept my feet warm and dry and increase blood flow to the feet. They are cheap too ($10 on Amazon). I would definitely recommend for anyone who has stability concerns on uneven terrain when you can’t have a normal full ankle lace up hiking boot, but the added warmth when a little damp was great. Towards the end I stepped in too deep and got a@water in one boot and barely noticed except gross feeling toes. Comment on Keens: I found the bottom of some poor guy’s Keen in the mud at one of the landings for a campsite on Snipe Lake. I bet he does not recommend them.
 
firemedic5586
distinguished member (165)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/10/2019 04:55PM
Wally13: "Butthead ... I have been in sales for 40 years and ROI (Return on Investment) is my mantra.


Your boot purchases have a high initial cost but your payback in quality and length of service speaks for itself. U da man ! "


I'm not in sales and am not up on those "Fancy" Philadelphia Lawyer words. ;-)

However I did stay at a holiday in once.

I've always said:
"One gets what One pays for,... When you buy cheap and it breaks leaving you with your butt hanging out in the wind you end up buying what you should have in the first place. Buy once Cry once...

I just happen to be in the market for foot ware that are being discussed in this thread..
 
      Print Top Bottom Previous Next