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      Closed toe sandal recommendation?     
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shorty123
member (12)member
 
07/01/2020 04:14PM
We are looking for a closed toe sandal to wear for portaging and canoeing. Does anyone have a recommendation for a sandal that can accomodate a high instep? Salomon and Keen did not work for us. Thanks in advance. I am looking for something similar in style to Keen Newport H2. If the sandal has an adjustable velcro strap to accommodate the high instep, that would help.
 
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KarlBAndersen1
distinguished member(1237)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/02/2020 06:24AM
Sandals are for camp. Boots/portaging "shoes" are for the trail.
 
07/02/2020 06:46AM
I used a pair of Keens on one trip, but I had the same experience as Karl - not enough protection on beaver dams, portages, too much stuff getting in, hard to keep on in mudholes.
 
shorty123
member (12)member
 
07/02/2020 07:11AM
Karl, are you saying that for a trip that has short portage (in July), you still think that a closed shoe/boot is a better choice? Thanks.
 
fishEH
member (37)member
 
07/02/2020 07:49AM
My friend and I routinely go to BWCA in June and the only footwear we bring are Keen Newports. For 95% of the stuff they are perfect. They are, however, lacking in the protection category. A few years ago we went into Quetico and had one big portage that hadn't been cleared yet. We were climbing on top of 8ft of downed trees and I got a pretty decent gash on the outside of my heel. I think socks would have avoided the problem. Or some old gym shoes.
 
Jackfish
Moderator
 
07/02/2020 07:50AM
I'm with Karl on this one. If you have one short "state park-ish" portage trail, maybe I could be convinced, but if you're doing regular wilderness portage trails, you risk injury to your feet with sticks, rocks, etc. Urgent Care isn't five minutes away by car.

How long have you been planning your trip to the BW? Probably many months, right? Why risk ruining the long-awaited trip for you and your trip mates with an injury to a part of your body that is easily protected by wearing portaging shoes or boots? A pair of Chuck Taylor high toppers would be far superior to sandals.
 
shorty123
member (12)member
 
07/02/2020 10:33AM
Thanks for the advice. I got it that water shoes or boots are safer than sandals for portaging.
 
Oldtown13
distinguished member (129)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/02/2020 03:57PM
I have a pair of Simms water shoes. Not sure the model- have had them about 10 years. Not sure if they are good for high instep, but they've been great for me. This last trip I brought the Simms and a pair of Crocs "Off Road" version ( a little better traction). Both worked great.
 
Erngato
 
07/02/2020 06:04PM
Recently bought the Keen SOLR sandals, haven’t used them on a trip yet but wear them everyday and am loving them so far. On my feet all day (Bartender) and have had zero issues.
 
shorty123
member (12)member
 
07/04/2020 01:19PM
I ended up buying Merrell Moab 2 Vent Mid boots. I realize that it will be hard for the boots to dry out. If we are doing short/light portages, what is the most lightweight smartwool sock we should be using? I bought smartwool light cushion hikers, but my husband wants to wear something thinner that will be easier to dry out. In my opinion, any sock in a boot will probably stay wet.
 
07/04/2020 02:32PM
Take a dry pair for camp. Even if they dry out, how long before they're wet again?
 
shorty123
member (12)member
 
07/04/2020 06:44PM
boonie: "Take a dry pair for camp. Even if they dry out, how long before they're wet again?"
True.
 
07/06/2020 02:13PM
I maintain 3 pairs of socks on a canoe trip -
Today's socks which will be getting wet.
Yesterday's socks which might be almost dry to the touch before I put them on tomorrow.
My dry socks for in camp.

Occasionally I'll take a 4th pair for colder seasons which never leaves the tent.

If it's going to rain & we're in camp I'll try to change back to my wet socks & sandals.

Like you, I had to find something other than Newport H2 sandals, but my issues were more performance and quality of the product. I still wear Keens on the water but instead I have Arroyo sandals. I might replace the shock cord with a shoelace, but I'm lazy so probably not.
 
Durza
member (9)member
 
07/07/2020 04:40AM
Wet-footing a canoe up a low river to get to a portage sounds just about awful in boots imo. Well fit Keens work fine for me but choose the level of risk you're comfortable with. I don't have the same problem everyone else has with stuff getting in em. Like sure it happens but just a quick swish back and forth in the water flushes everything out for me.
 
shorty123
member (12)member
 
07/10/2020 08:23AM
Durza: "Wet-footing a canoe up a low river to get to a portage sounds just about awful in boots imo. Well fit Keens work fine for me but choose the level of risk you're comfortable with. I don't have the same problem everyone else has with stuff getting in em. Like sure it happens but just a quick swish back and forth in the water flushes everything out for me."
Thanks for your response. The bungee style laces don't work for us because my son's foot is on the wider side of normal width. We needed footwear with standard laces.
 
AmarilloJim
distinguished member(2178)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/10/2020 08:42AM
I wore the Keen Arroyo 2 with wool socks for years without issue. I changed out the laces on all of them over time with paracord. The Astral TR1's are nice also.
 
07/13/2020 12:10PM
Just to stir things up I will be on the other side of the conversation LOL.

I have been using standard Teva sandals for portages for over 10-years now; beaver dams, rocky landings, muck and mud... I will probably never go back to "shoes" for portages again. It's a personal preference. I load, unload, and portage in sandals, sit barefoot in the boat, and have a pair of hiking shoes for in camp.

Standard Teva are not for everyone. The other people in my group use toe covered Teva, Merrel, Keen, and some off brand from Walmart. The guys wearing the Merrel and Keen seem most happy with them.
 
Zanzinger
senior member (75)senior membersenior member
 
07/18/2020 11:31PM
Trying Astral Loyak AC shoes for the first time this year. Wet foot all day
 
shorty123
member (12)member
 
07/19/2020 08:20AM
I ended up with buying the Keen Newport H2. We are going to Moose Lake. The portages are supposed to be really short/trivial.
 
07/20/2020 11:21AM
Have a great trip! Post your thoughts after you get back if you have time.
 
TechnoScout
distinguished member (255)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/20/2020 02:34PM
I wear a boot with ankle support that drains water (A Cabela fishing boot...bought 13 years ago). This year I am pondering replacing them even though they are still functional.

I was wearing the Soloman TechAmphibian but in the same period of time I have gone through two pair--never going to buy them again. I use them for camp and paddle trips from camp. The Keens mentioned above ^^^ are appealing. Maybe I will buy a pair for camp this trip.

I don't think I would ever portage with out a boot. Too much can go wrong and I am old. If I were in my 20's maybe a different mindset.
 
07/20/2020 10:53PM
Keens never worked well for me either. I use these Teva sandals .

I wear a thin wool liner sock and a neoprene water sock over that. Keeps my feet warm in almost any season on when the inevitable pebble gets under your foot on a long portage, it provides some cushion.
 
dogwoodgirl
distinguished member(1544)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/21/2020 09:44AM
Just had my first time out using Baffin Swamp Buggies- highly recommended so far! They drain great, and absolutely nothing made it way in- not even sand. I used to be solidly in the Teva camp, but I really like these.
swamp buggies
 
AmarilloJim
distinguished member(2178)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/21/2020 01:05PM

The Arroyo 2's have closed toes and heels. The side slats do not go all the way to the footbed so this helps keep out rocks and such.

The Astral TR1's are nice also.
 
07/21/2020 01:53PM
Brux, your Tevas look a lot like the old Dozer III model when they put on more of a sneaker outsole vs a hiking tread.

Glad yours work for you. I miss my Dozer II's.
 
jewp
member (25)member
 
07/21/2020 04:40PM
I'm ok with sandals, I use Keens because that's what I have. We are only walking after all, it isn't that extreme. In cold seasons I have hippies, but that is more for warmth than protection.
 
HowardSprague
distinguished member(3050)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/22/2020 07:54PM
I’ve always gone with a Cabelas wading boot as well, usually with wool socks and those chota caney fork neoprene wader socks. But i really want something lighter/cooler for hot weather. So i got a pair of Merrell Choprocks. The ones with real laces, not the bungee laces you pull. They have a nice grippy sole and i will combine with a pair of wool socks - nothing over them, just let them get wet and keep the tiny rocks out. I expect them to work well for portaging in warm/hot weather. It’s not a sandal but has the temp/air circulation/lightness you’d expect with sandals, maneuverable like an athletic shoe. Will see.
 
07/24/2020 02:26PM
This may be a bit off topic but I tried the Scuba boots I had bought for shore diving and they worked great! I have Mares Classic Dive boot but there are others that may be better. These are designed for walking in water over crushed corals, rocks, etc. so they have great protection and give some heel support.
 
07/30/2020 07:21PM
Cricket67: "This may be a bit off topic but I tried the Scuba boots I had bought for shore diving and they worked great! I have Mares Classic Dive boot but there are others that may be better. These are designed for walking in water over crushed corals, rocks, etc. so they have great protection and give some heel support. "

I got some knee high kayak boots a size up for late fall trips, then I wear thick wool hiking socks under them. They are great! I usually bring neoprene water shoes for my camp shoe.

I tried keen sandals and slid around too much. Someday I’ll buy fancy jungle boots, but I’m just using inexpensive hiking boots these days. I sprained the hell out of my ankle a few years back in trail runners. I use a three sock method. One for today, one for tomorrow, one for camp, and they are sacred and stay dry.
 
shorty123
member (12)member
 
07/30/2020 07:35PM
The Keen Newport H2 Sandals worked out well for our trip. We wore socks with the sandals. Even though small pebbles got inside the sandal, it wasn't that bad (probably because we wore socks). Our portages were easy and short (less than a mile).
 
mgraber
distinguished member(1070)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/31/2020 12:50PM
I know shorty123 has heard enough about the dangers of portaging in sandals, but for anyone else out there, some of the most gruesome injuries I have witnessed have been from sandal portagers, and I've seen a few. It is like playing Russian roulette, your confidence grows every time you have success, but it is only a matter of time, which might be years. We have banned them for anyone travelling with us, but we do go places that are remote and rugged. It is just not worth ruining the trip for others so we try to always minimize risks.
 
shorty123
member (12)member
 
07/31/2020 02:53PM
mgraber: "I know shorty123 has heard enough about the dangers of portaging in sandals, but for anyone else out there, some of the most gruesome injuries I have witnessed have been from sandal portagers, and I've seen a few. It is like playing Russian roulette, your confidence grows every time you have success, but it is only a matter of time, which might be years. We have banned them for anyone travelling with us, but we do go places that are remote and rugged. It is just not worth ruining the trip for others so we try to always minimize risks."

I got it. It is safer to portage with boots and just wear the sandals in the canoe or at camp. We did encounter a steep area in our short portage.
 
woodsandwater
distinguished member (293)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/01/2020 12:06PM
Ha! Another endless debate here. Read all the responses and choose what you think best for you. I have been wearing Keen H2O's for years with no problems. The toe guard has been helpful numerous times. And since we always "Wet foot" when loading or unloading the boat and lifting it out of the water or putting it in they have been perfect. They also have a good tread for slick rock surfaces. Been over numerous beaver dams with them. All the guys I paddle with wear them, too. Been doing at least two trips every year for the last 25 years or so. Never had or seen any injuries with Keen H2O's.
 
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