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Twenty9inarow
member (7)member
  
06/10/2022 09:29AM  
Morning BWCA friends,
I have chosen to wet foot during our portaging and paddling and believe during our time frame (early June) it is the best way to go, just for the fact that our feet and legs will get wet.

Currently, I have been using Teva strapped sandals. They are effective and work great, but they are getting old and beat up. Now I am in need of a new pair. Something that dries quickly, easy to put on/off, and covers my toes. I have been eyeing up Keen Sandals, but which dry quicker, the leather or fabric?
 
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Kermit
distinguished member (114)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
06/10/2022 10:25AM  
If going with the Keens, definitely the fabric over the leather. With the fabric you can take them off at camp and leave them in the sun and they're dry the next morning. Not so with the leather. The only trouble with keens is the large gaps let all kinds of debris in and give an opening for the biting flies to still get at your feet.

The Chotas are a fairly popular option with both high top and low top versions. I have friends who trip in those and love them.

I've been on the hunt for the perfect portaging shoe for awhile now (I'm convinced it doesn't exist, so if anyone wants to start a company with me, let's do it). I was looking for something very lightweight, with excellent drainage, a wide toe box, and quick drying. I settled on the Altra Escalante Racers and so far I'm loving them. Heading up for a seven day loop in a few weeks to really test them out. Don't be afraid to look at shoes that aren't billed as water shoes per se.
 
06/10/2022 11:35AM  
The Chota brand is primarily for fly fishermen, and although they've put out boots for portaging I've found that for me they just don't hold up very well. Personally I now wear the Keen Voyageur Mid hiking boot when I'm moving and then in camp I switch into the Keen Newport H2 sandal
 
06/10/2022 12:18PM  
If you wear neoprene socks with your sandals that will take care of the sand/twigs/etc problem
 
SummerSkin
distinguished member (205)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
06/10/2022 12:51PM  
Neoprene socks are money...you can get cheap options that work great on Amazon.

I love the Astral TR1 Merge M's for wet-footing. Great protection and support on the portage trail as well
 
Bjfinnegan
senior member (70)senior membersenior member
  
06/10/2022 01:17PM  
Just went through a few weeks ago and ironically four of us all had different styles of Astrals. I can't say if they are faster drying materials in any way, but they do have extra drain holes and dried well if you have a good sunny day to leave them out. I had no issues with just smartwool light hiking socks.

Here's my thoughts on 4 different styles:

Astral Loyaks - I used these and while they were fine, the sole is a little thin for walking over the rocky portages. Great traction on wet or underwater surfaces, but the rubber seems soft and may wear out sooner than others. Somewhat meant to be work barefoot, so the fit is snug with a wider toebox. I dropped down to a smartwool light hiking sock and the fit was still fine in my normal size.

Astral TR-1 Merge - SummerSkin probably nailed it here with being the #1 or #2 choice of the 4. May just be the slower drying but seemed a little warmer if you're feet are wet in windy or cold conditions. Most expensive.

Astral TR1-Mesh - These are also a #1 or #2 choice. More aggressive sole and traction that was better over terrain than the Loyaks. Only complaint seemed to be the mesh was more prone to cold in windy conditions with cold feet.

Astral Rassler - These seemed to work good with now major pros or negatives to report. Seemed more of a casual shoe style wise.
 
06/10/2022 01:29PM  
SummerSkin: "Neoprene socks are money...you can get cheap options that work great on Amazon.

I love the Astral TR1 Merge M's for wet-footing. Great protection and support on the portage trail as well "


Got mine on Amazon for I think $10 three years ago. Not so much money is it? When I step in mud halfway up my shins, I want the aforementioned mud to stay on the outside of my shoes while portaging!
 
yellowhorse
distinguished member (138)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
06/10/2022 03:25PM  
I'll second the neoprene socks over top of wool socks. Feet and socks stay dry as long as you don't go over the neoprene.
 
StLouisPaddler
senior member (75)senior membersenior member
  
06/10/2022 05:28PM  
I’ve been happy with Chota Hybrids while wet footing and Keen Newports for camp shoes and fishing. The Chotas dry and drain pretty well. The Keens are plenty comfortable and I’m sure I could safely portage with them if I had a problem with my Chotas. I’ve never used neoprene socks but I do pair the Keens with Sealskin waterproof socks while fishing. I wouldn’t trust them to stay waterproof under hard usage like while portaging. But they have worked well around camp. I wear Darn Tough merino wool socks on travel days and around camp.
 
SummerSkin
distinguished member (205)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
06/10/2022 07:48PM  
dogwoodgirl: "
SummerSkin: "Neoprene socks are money...you can get cheap options that work great on Amazon.



I love the Astral TR1 Merge M's for wet-footing. Great protection and support on the portage trail as well "



Got mine on Amazon for I think $10, 3 years ago. Not so much money is it? When I step in mud halfway up my shins, I want the aforementioned mud to stay on the outside of my shoes while portaging! "


Ha! I meant "money" as in they do the job well, but yes, they're usually very inexpensive -- worth every cent and more.
 
06/11/2022 10:14AM  
Kermit: "I settled on the Altra Escalante Racers and so far I'm loving them. Heading up for a seven day loop in a few weeks to really test them out. Don't be afraid to look at shoes that aren't billed as water shoes per se.
"


+1...especially for the wide toe box. I also like the sealskinz waterproof socks for cold weather and/or anti bugs.
 
HappyHuskies
distinguished member (417)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
06/11/2022 11:00AM  
Hard to recommend shoes for someone else, but I've been wearing Teva Churns for the past 10 or 11 years and been very happy with them. I out on the water most weeks and am on my third pair now and like them enough that I have two new pairs on the shelf tin reserve. I find them to be comfortable in the canoe and the sole is stiff enough to be comfortable on muddy and rocky portages.

I should mention that these are a shoe and not a sandal. The fabric is a quick drying nylon.
 
EddyTurn
distinguished member (253)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
06/11/2022 11:36AM  
SummerSkin: "I love the Astral TR1 Merge M's for wet-footing. Great protection and support on the portage trail as well "

Ditto that! I tried more different shoes for wet footing than I care to remember and the Merge wins hands down. They are among the lightest ankle-high shoes (1.7lbs for size 11), offer very good protection, terrific drainage and don't absorb water (as opposed to many other hiking shoes). I find them very comfortable, but YMMV.
 
mschi772
distinguished member(801)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
06/11/2022 06:05PM  
Astral Loyak and Astral TR1 Mesh are my choice for wet-foot.
 
schweady
distinguished member(8019)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
  
06/12/2022 01:08PM  
Darn Tough wool socks and Keen sandals fit nearly any water temp for me. Maybe neoprene socks and Keens in the coldest seasons.
 
HowardSprague
distinguished member(3340)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
06/14/2022 03:01PM  
yellowhorse: "I'll second the neoprene socks over top of wool socks. Feet and socks stay dry as long as you don't go over the neoprene."


You talkin’ knee-high neoprenes then? :)


I got the Astral Rasslers for my trip last summer and was extremely happy with them. Quick-drying and light on the feet, which felt good during hot weather.
 
LaVirginienne
distinguished member (114)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
06/15/2022 10:55AM  
Twenty9inarow: "Morning BWCA friends,
I have chosen to wet foot during our portaging, and paddling and believe during our time frame (early June) it is the best way to go. Just for the fact that your feet and legs will get wet. So, currently I have been using Teva strapped sandals, They are effective and work great, but they are getting old, and beat up. So, I am in need of a new pair. Something that dries quickly, easy to put on/off, and covers my toes. I have been eyeing up Keen Sandals, but which dry quicker, the leather or fabric? "


Astral Brewer and Brewess. They rock.
 
06/16/2022 03:03PM  
With full appreciation that they are only quasi wetfoot, having owned/returned/replaced four pairs of Chotas (two iterations including the web material) since 2015 for shoulder season camping and trips north of the Arctic Circle, my next pair of boots, to fit over my neoprene hippie style wader sock, will NOT be Chota. Their longevity has been a huge disappointment. In fact, they are terrible and wear/disassociate at almost every point of construction. And regarding the Chota Hippies, I have modified a pair of Cabela's neoprene sock waist waders for a whole lot less money. The Cabela's pair even has knee pad inserts built in (amazing plus considering how many times I kneel).

Last season I went with the Merrill Moab Tactical for a long peak weekend into the BWCA and FOUND my new warm water wet boot for use with a pair of wool socks. They are as light as a feather, comfortable and dry out quickly. I am all in on the Merrill and look forward to giving them a two week Quetico workout in a few weeks.

Considering socks, I have never been satisfied with waterproof (!?) sealskins and always satisfied with RandySuns. Almost half the price too.
 
OldGuide2
senior member (100)senior membersenior member
  
06/21/2022 01:12PM  
Decades ago we always had wet shoes for days on the water and dry shoes for camp. Sometimes they dried out overnight and sometimes they didn't. Canvas Converse All-Stars were a good choice. That went out the window a long time ago in favor of neoprene booties and a long list of wet shoes/sandals like Keens. Have never understood folks who run their canoes on the rocks because they don't want to get their feet wet. There is no sound as grating as an Aluminum canoe scraping on a gravel shore. It says tourist to anyone in earshot. The Somers guides always had a deal that they couldn't ever bring back green Seligas with scratches on them.
 
foxfireniner
distinguished member (202)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
06/22/2022 10:40AM  
So I use Keens for portaging and canoeing and have Crocs or sanuk sidewalk surfers for camp. Gotta have 2 pairs of footwear for wetfooting, IMO.

I used to use Tevas but I like the Keens better. My feet would sometimes try to slide out the front of Tevas. The tradeoff is that Tevas are easier to clean muck out of and the Keens will haul more water into the canoe with you. Keens are great for wet-footing and are solid for portaging, dirtier but worth it though, IMO. Oh, and the toe cap is nice for rocky launches.
 
tomo
distinguished member (205)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
06/23/2022 05:20PM  
Bjfinnegan: "Just went through a few weeks ago and ironically four of us all had different styles of Astrals. I can't say if they are faster drying materials in any way, but they do have extra drain holes and dried well if you have a good sunny day to leave them out. I had no issues with just smartwool light hiking socks.


Here's my thoughts on 4 different styles:


Astral Loyaks - I used these and while they were fine, the sole is a little thin for walking over the rocky portages. Great traction on wet or underwater surfaces, but the rubber seems soft and may wear out sooner than others. Somewhat meant to be work barefoot, so the fit is snug with a wider toebox. I dropped down to a smartwool light hiking sock and the fit was still fine in my normal size.


Astral TR-1 Merge - SummerSkin probably nailed it here with being the #1 or #2 choice of the 4. May just be the slower drying but seemed a little warmer if you're feet are wet in windy or cold conditions. Most expensive.


Astral TR1-Mesh - These are also a #1 or #2 choice. More aggressive sole and traction that was better over terrain than the Loyaks. Only complaint seemed to be the mesh was more prone to cold in windy conditions with cold feet.


Astral Rassler - These seemed to work good with now major pros or negatives to report. Seemed more of a casual shoe style wise. "


I can report on the Astral Hiyak Astral Hiyak

I'm especially jazzed about these for river tripping. I love the padding on the ankle, they are super comfortable. Be forewarned that they are minimalist and the soles are thin/bendy. You will feel every root and rock. They are grippy on rocks, even wet rocks. I really liked them, but no doubt they aren't everyones cup of tea. Having said that, they fared great for me in the BWCA, even on the Angleworm portage.
 
ntphinne
  
06/23/2022 07:01PM  
I tried a new pair of Astral TR1 Junction this year. Liked the water holes. Agree that they may or may not be quicker drying than other light shoes when off your feet, But still were pretty dry after a cool overnight. Last and tread are not hiking shoe level, but provided good rock protection and stability for portage length walks. I am a satisfied.
 
06/24/2022 12:56PM  
Last week I used my Keen Voyagers for the first time. They worked great. Light, supportive, decent grip (but that is more of a wet slimy rock issue than a boot issue), and they were decently comfortable when wet. I've thought about the shoe option, but I do like boots when carrying the canoe. In camp, my ankles are strong enough to get by with Crocs, but carrying a 70lb canoe that sticks out 8ft in either direction on a portage trail, I like a little support.

The boots did take a full rest day to dry out. When I put them on the morning after a travel day, they were just as wet as when I took them off, but I blame the low dew point for that one.

My buddy wore keen shoes, not draining. He was very interested in my boots after seeing me pass him on the trail, as he tried to go around a big puddle. He eventually gave up on keeping his feet dry and would have appreciated something that could drain. He also liked the mid height ankle support idea since he has had issues in the past with twisting an ankle.
 
06/24/2022 08:06PM  
Keen Voyager or Astral Mesh. No point in trying to dry them over night, they'll just get wet when you load your canoe in the morning. Make sure you have a pair of camp shoes. Lightweight running shoes do the trick
 
rick00001967
senior member (59)senior membersenior member
  
07/31/2022 04:38PM  
i am also hunting for new shoes. i know i am new here but i have a hard time understanding why so many seem to choose such light and flimsy "running shoes". i would understand of they were only using them to get in / out of the canoe. but isn't wearing these type shoes (or worse.....sandals) on a rough trail with heavy gear, just asking for trouble?
i would prefer a mid to high ankle hiking boot that is as light as possible and dries reasonably well (if that exists).
something like the keen voyageur or merrell moab suggested somewhere above seem much more appropriate for use on the trail imho.
 
mmrocker13
distinguished member (137)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
08/02/2022 11:22AM  
I've been using Keen Newport H2s for many many years and love them. Definitely get the fabric version.
 
rick00001967
senior member (59)senior membersenior member
  
08/02/2022 11:32AM  
mmrocker13: "I've been using Keen Newport H2s for many many years and love them. Definitely get the fabric version."


i can see using these to get in and out of the canoe in the water, or around camp, but you don't use them on rough trails while carrying gear do you?
 
schweady
distinguished member(8019)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
  
08/02/2022 11:41AM  
rick00001967: "
mmrocker13: "I've been using Keen Newport H2s for many many years and love them. Definitely get the fabric version."



i can see using these to get in and out of the canoe in the water, or around camp, but you don't use them on rough trails while carrying gear do you?"

Yes, I do. Much to the consternation of those who insist that I will turn an ankle. I've never felt that I was inviting danger. Sure, it may happen someday, just like a lot of things that may happen someday.
 
rick00001967
senior member (59)senior membersenior member
  
08/02/2022 05:19PM  
schweady: "
rick00001967: "
mmrocker13: "I've been using Keen Newport H2s for many many years and love them. Definitely get the fabric version."




i can see using these to get in and out of the canoe in the water, or around camp, but you don't use them on rough trails while carrying gear do you?"

Yes, I do. Much to the consternation of those who insist that I will turn an ankle. I've never felt that I was inviting danger. Sure, it may happen someday, just like a lot of things that may happen someday.
"


not meant as a critisism. i am just surprised how many people seem to wear wet sandals on rough trails.
i would not be comfortable walking an easy, flat, walking trail near home let alone on a rocky, wet, grown over, root covered trail with 60 lbs on my back when i am alone and miles from anything.
i agree anything can happen anywhere at anytime but managing risks should help reduce the likelyhood of a problem.
the upside of moving as quickly as possible in / out of the canoe and on / off the trail does not seem to be worth the possible downside. but thats just my opinion.
 
schweady
distinguished member(8019)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
  
08/02/2022 07:24PM  
rick00001967: "not meant as a critisism..."

None taken. Twice, I've toweled off my feet and changed into dry socks and hiking boots at a landing. Both were on day trips - one at the Canoe to Pine portage and on to Johnson Falls and another at Stairway Portage at the start of a hike to the west to the Rose Lake Cliffs on the BRT. Both times, it was knowing that it would be a good-sized stretch to cover, and knowing that it would involve some challenging footing. The time it took to change out of my Keens and wet wool socks was not something I'd consider even on a longer portage in the midst of a multi-lake travel day. My Keens have excellent treads and grip well. Those exposed ankles, however... :-)
 
08/03/2022 10:04AM  
I was pretty happy with our Columbia light weight boots last time They were all man made materials with little padding. We took them to a shoe cobbler and had him put a couple of drain holes in the instep. As soon as we get to camp we pulled out the insoles and set them in the sun and they were dry by the next morning. One of our biggest priorities was a grippy but open tread on the sole.

I can't wear sandals even at home. The number of injuries I've had and seen friends have wearing sandals has me too paranoid.
 
08/03/2022 03:54PM  
I've never been happy with Keen sandals, except for the Rialto sandals they had a few years ago which had a removeable velcro'ed insole. Tevas at least stayed put on my feet better... Keen's bungee laces never stay tight enough and a few times I've had the sandal actually roll around my foot.
I'm going to Northern Tier with the Scouts next summer, and they require boots. So I ordered some non waterproof Merrel MOABs on clearance @ REI and will be trying them out in September.
 
08/04/2022 01:54PM  
mirth: "I've never been happy with Keen sandals, except for the Rialto sandals they had a few years ago which had a removeable velcro'ed insole. Tevas at least stayed put on my feet better... Keen's bungee laces never stay tight enough and a few times I've had the sandal actually roll around my foot.
I'm going to Northern Tier with the Scouts next summer, and they require boots. So I ordered some non waterproof Merrel MOABs on clearance @ REI and will be trying them out in September."
Yup tried the Newports a couple of times 1) Too much crap gets stuck inside them while walking the portage. 2) Your foot slips in them way too much especially going down hill.
 
HENK
member (10)member
  
10/28/2022 06:36PM  
Any experience with pairing the astrals with Chota hippies?? I'm liking what I've read and heard about the TR1 Merge, but also kinda have my heart set on some Chota Tundra Hippies... hoping to come up with some kind of footwear that can also be effective for upland bird hunting...
 
portagedog09
distinguished member (142)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
10/30/2022 07:21AM  
The Astral TR1 Merge was discontinued this season. You might get lucky and find some old stock somewhere. My son went to get a pair early this year and was told by their rep that they were being discontinued. Hopefully it's just a between update models absence as those are really good shoes. There is no current equivalent on their website.

pd
 
11/04/2022 07:08AM  
portagedog09: "The Astral TR1 Merge was discontinued this season. You might get lucky and find some old stock somewhere. My son went to get a pair early this year and was told by their rep that they were being discontinued. Hopefully it's just a between update models absence as those are really good shoes. There is no current equivalent on their website.


pd"


That's a huge bummer! I absolutely love mine. I only wear them when I'm canoeing, so hopefully they'll last a long time. Best wet foot shoes hands down, IMO.
 
JohnGalt
distinguished member (367)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
03/08/2023 04:19AM  
Kermit: "The only trouble with keens is the large gaps let all kinds of debris in"


100% this. If this debris collecting power could be used to collect carbon the cows would be able to fart as much as they please! I also encountered slippage with these sandals. I used to wear socks with my columbia sandals though that wasn't feasible with the Keens due to slippage (they'd sometimes slip even sans socks). They grip the surface well though if one's foot slips in the shoe it is no bueno - I thought I broke my foot going from Knife to Vera from this slippage.
 
03/08/2023 11:43AM  
I switched to Merrell MOAB II boots last year. They're great!
 
Tomcat
distinguished member(643)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
03/08/2023 12:24PM  
 
MarshallPrime
distinguished member (413)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
03/08/2023 12:57PM  
I have worn Keen Arroyo II's for the last few years....LOVE them! They have the shoe sole and base (which is WAY more supportive than the regular keen sandal sole that is flat) and fits more like a shoe. You get way less rocks and sticks in them because they are more closed off and have that shoe sole that sits up higher. They also don't drain quite as well but that is a small negative.
I LOVE THEM. I will buy a new pair soon before they stop making them.
 
timf1981
senior member (71)senior membersenior member
  
03/14/2023 10:06AM  
Kermit: "If going with the Keens, definitely the fabric over the leather. With the fabric you can take them off at camp and leave them in the sun and they're dry the next morning. Not so with the leather. The only trouble with keens is the large gaps let all kinds of debris in and give an opening for the biting flies to still get at your feet.


The Chotas are a fairly popular option with both high top and low top versions. I have friends who trip in those and love them.


I've been on the hunt for the perfect portaging shoe for awhile now (I'm convinced it doesn't exist, so if anyone wants to start a company with me, let's do it). I was looking for something very lightweight, with excellent drainage, a wide toe box, and quick drying. I settled on the Altra Escalante Racers and so far I'm loving them. Heading up for a seven day loop in a few weeks to really test them out. Don't be afraid to look at shoes that aren't billed as water shoes per se.
"


Croc makes a boot. But it is a fashion statement. The
Sole is about 2 inches thick. They also make a "hiker" version.

I have seen some very interesting 3d printed shoes with some instructions
On how to fit them. But haven't had time to do more research
 
03/14/2023 10:33AM  
If you have been okay with Tevas then the keen Newport should be fine. I started with tevas, but they didn’t have toe protection. No injuries but felt like I was just a step away from jamming a rock or stick into the toes.

I currently use Salomon tech amphibian…I am sure there are lots of similar options. The most important thing in my option is how well does the tread perform on wet surfaces.
Tech amphibian
 
03/14/2023 07:53PM  
I sure liked the previous model of the Salomon Techamphibian and wore out several pairs. Previously used other brands of water shoes which didn’t hold up to trips in the Wabakimi area. I will have to give these new Salomon’s a try.
 
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