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Heyteach
  
08/20/2022 09:54AM  
Looking for advice on footwear in late Sept. Planning a solo trip Sept. 19 - some longer portages - 120 or more rods. All of my trips in the past have been with Keens sandals - barefoot, or with smartwool socks. I am certain that there are many opinions on this; I am wondering about wearing Tingly 17 in. high overboots, other knee high boots, or wool socks and my keens, or wool socks in old running shoes. I understand that the weather can be mild or less than mild.
 
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08/20/2022 12:33PM  
Early/late season I wear sealskinz with a pair of altra trail runners. Rarely do I have to get the entire sealskinz wet so they stay mostly waterproof. The shoes have a wide toe box, which I prefer, and have served me well in gripping the ground regardless of the conditions. My feet stay warm and I haven't had a need to change into dry boots to portage.

In the past, I've just worn a pair of nice wool socks to stay warm but I found sand would eventually work its way through and bother my feet. I also used to wear boots for ankle protection but I found they were just too heavy when wet. I know there are some portage-specific boots out there, or even wading boots for fishing, and folks on this board will probably provide feedback, but I haven't felt a need to go that route yet. I do see the advantages though.
 
Heyteach
  
08/20/2022 02:04PM  
Thanks - I saw the sealskinz advertised - looks like a reasonable alternative.
 
08/20/2022 03:15PM  
The older I get, the colder my feet get. I have wet-footed late Sept. with wool socks and boots designed for wet-footing, sometimes comfortably, sometimes not. I have also worn heavy high boots which were warm and dry but clunky. I currently am wearing a pair of NRS Boundary Boots and have been satisfied. I tried Keen sandals once but too much stuff under the foot and not secure enough in boot-sucking mud. People have different comfort levels and needs. You will probably be fine whatever you do but may want to make a game-time decision based on the forecast. I've seen 75 degrees and sunny, and I've also seen snow, freezing rain the last week of Sept.
 
Waterboy
member (28)member
  
08/21/2022 07:15AM  
During Fall trips, I prefer to dry foot and have tried several different options. My two preferred options are the NRS Boundary Boot and the Neos Trekker overshoes. Both are fully waterproof and cinch around your upper calf, just below the knee.

For trips with few and easy portages, I prefer the NRS.

For trips with more technical/rugged portages, I prefer to wear hiking shoes and the Neos. I slip the Neos off at the start of the portage and simply strap them to my pack then slip them back on for loading at the end of the portage. The Neos provides the benefits of dry feet during canoe exit & entry and hiking shoes provide good traction and support over the portage.
 
straighthairedcurly
distinguished member(1876)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
08/21/2022 12:50PM  
Waterboy: "During Fall trips, I prefer to dry foot and have tried several different options. My two preferred options are the NRS Boundary Boot and the Neos Trekker overshoes. Both are fully waterproof and cinch around your upper calf, just below the knee.


For trips with few and easy portages, I prefer the NRS.


For trips with more technical/rugged portages, I prefer to wear hiking shoes and the Neos. I slip the Neos off at the start of the portage and simply strap them to my pack then slip them back on for loading at the end of the portage. The Neos provides the benefits of dry feet during canoe exit & entry and hiking shoes provide good traction and support over the portage. "


I am a huge Neos fan for fall trips!
 
ockycamper
distinguished member(1334)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
08/21/2022 04:37PM  
Our groups have tried every kind of footwear. We go up last week of September each year. Most (we bring up 3 groups of 4-6 men in a group) now wear knee high Muck Boots for paddling and portaging, and bring other shoes for camp. Feet stay warm and dry.
 
Chuckles
distinguished member (245)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
08/22/2022 09:56AM  
ockycamper: "Our groups have tried every kind of footwear. We go up last week of September each year. Most (we bring up 3 groups of 4-6 men in a group) now wear knee high Muck Boots for paddling and portaging, and bring other shoes for camp. Feet stay warm and dry."


We trip the same time of year and everyone has migrated to insulated muck-style boots over time. In warm years, it doesn't really matter. But when the snow is flying or a cold wind is blowing, warm feet are a difference maker. I'd recommend 18" boots over 16 or 17". That extra few inches makes a difference. I wear these for everything from pheasant hunting in the fall, deer hunting and chores all winter. They're honestly my favorite boots ever, but they're pricey and wear out more quickly than I'd like, but I'll be purchasing another pair when mine wear out. The last two trips I packed other footgear for camp and never unpacked them. I've done 1-mile+ portages in them and never regretted it.

My favorite ones aren't made anymore, but the Lacrosse Alpha-Burly are the current favorite for guys buying them:


Alpha Burly
 
08/22/2022 11:39AM  
I’ll be going with Keens and socks, if colder.
 
ockycamper
distinguished member(1334)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
08/22/2022 11:59AM  
Chuckles: "
ockycamper: "Our groups have tried every kind of footwear. We go up last week of September each year. Most (we bring up 3 groups of 4-6 men in a group) now wear knee high Muck Boots for paddling and portaging, and bring other shoes for camp. Feet stay warm and dry."



We trip the same time of year and everyone has migrated to insulated muck-style boots over time. In warm years, it doesn't really matter. But when the snow is flying or a cold wind is blowing, warm feet are a difference maker. I'd recommend 18" boots over 16 or 17". That extra few inches makes a difference. I wear these for everything from pheasant hunting in the fall, deer hunting and chores all winter. They're honestly my favorite boots ever, but they're pricey and wear out more quickly than I'd like, but I'll be purchasing another pair when mine wear out. The last two trips I packed other footgear for camp and never unpacked them. I've done 1-mile+ portages in them and never regretted it.


My favorite ones aren't made anymore, but the Lacrosse Alpha-Burly are the current favorite for guys buying them:



Alpha Burly "


Our guys wear either Mucks Marshland boots or Artic pro boots
 
08/22/2022 05:25PM  
I'm normally a keens & wool socks guy, but one month from now I'll be wet footing with merrell moab ventilators that I recently got from rei. I will be doing a trip in 2023 through the Scout base on Moose, and they require boots for everyone so I'm auditioning these boots during that trip.
I also got some heavy wool socks to go with them from Minus33.
 
08/22/2022 05:42PM  
From mid September to the end of October I wear muck boots. They are great to wear at portage put in or take out and during those cold rainy fall days.
 
08/24/2022 07:33AM  
Muck boots here for May and fall trips.
 
Chuckles
distinguished member (245)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
08/24/2022 11:53AM  
One other note, I used to live in fear that water would top my boots and I'd be wet and cold from then on. However, when water inevitably ends up in your boot, it has never been a big deal. I thought, well once I stop I'll change my socks and try to dry them out, but honestly, I forgot about it and didn't change them. My sock was a little wet when I took them off at the end of the day, but not enough to notice.
 
08/24/2022 08:42PM  
I've used Muck Wetlands on Late Fall trips, longest portage was a mile. I liked them a lot
 
scottiebaldwin
distinguished member (166)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
08/24/2022 10:43PM  
Like boonie and Waterboy, I like the NRS Boundary Boots. One thing of note though, they are full neoprene boots so if you have them on for more than an hour, when you go to take them off you will think that your boots have a leak somewhere. It’s so clammy that your wool socks will be damp from your own sweat. It’s essentially like wet footing anyway but in your own sweat. I still wear them when I want to dry foot as they are light and have a very good feel for the grip that you have underneath you. Too bad about the unavoidable clamminess from perspiration though.
 
Minnesotian
distinguished member(2278)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
08/25/2022 08:09AM  

I use a pair of DryShod boots. My first pair of muck boots brand gave out after about 3 years. So far I like the DryShod better. DryShod USA
 
HowardSprague
distinguished member(3342)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
08/27/2022 07:25PM  
For that time of year I wear these plus a pair of wool socks plus a pair of wading boots that have a decent hiking sole with a good insole for support.
 
Northwoodsman
distinguished member(2022)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
08/29/2022 11:55AM  
For early May and late Sept. trips I like Muck Wetland boots. On two trips I used Chota Hippies and Caney Fork Boots, those were really nice and allowed me to go in deeper water without worrying. It sure is nice having warm dry feet all day.
 
northerncanoe
member (17)member
  
09/17/2022 07:36AM  
I have been through most all footwear options over the years. In the summer, I wet foot with wools socks and sturdy hiking shoes, I have tried waterproof socks for spring and fall trips but they are not very comfortable for days in the canoe. Your feet still "feel" wet all day and the pair I used leaked before the end of a 8 day trip. I used Muck boots for several spring and fall trips and they are great for hopping in and out of the canoe during portages, but I have always found them floppy and without support on the portage trail. I actually think they are somewhat dangerous on long difficult portages and they are not fun to wear while hanging out in camp.

For my upcoming fall trip I am trying something new, I bought a pair of Meindl comfort fit hunting boots. They are 9" tall and have a gusseted tongue to about 8 1/4 " height. They are super sturdy and they seem built to last. They are expensive around $325 dollars, but I am outside a lot and I only get about one year of waterproof wear out of Keens and Oboz's. The Meindl boots are resolable, so I am hoping to get several years of use out of them and keep yet another pair of disposable boots out of the landfill.

I will update my experience after returning from my fall trip.

Mike
 
Bjelde
senior member (54)senior membersenior member
  
09/18/2022 03:51PM  
The late great Calvin Rutstrum wore wool socks and moccasins in a rubber overboot. For decades I've donned a variation of that with Chuck Taylors inside Tingleys. Keeps your feet dry getting in and out of the canoe and on portages. If it's not raining, I kick the Tingleys off while paddling and let the dogs breathe.
 
ogarza
senior member (68)senior membersenior member
  
09/22/2022 08:18PM  
Chota hippies + Caney fork boots... been using this combo late September and it is suuuuuper comfortable, never cold, never worry about stepping on mud or 1-2 ft of water, and the boots are so strong you will feel like the terminator not even bothering to check if you are stepping in a crack between two sharp rocks.

I wear wool socks under the hippies which are waterproof neoprene, at the end of the day turn them inside out and they are ready to go the next day, they will feel damp at the end of the day because of the neoprene, but you get the benefit of being toasty warm and feeling like you are walking in clouds the whole death march portage.
 
10/01/2022 11:12PM  
mirth: "I'm normally a keens & wool socks guy, but one month from now I'll be wet footing with merrell moab ventilators that I recently got from rei. I will be doing a trip in 2023 through the Scout base on Moose, and they require boots for everyone so I'm auditioning these boots during that trip.
I also got some heavy wool socks to go with them from Minus33."


This combo, plus a light liner in the form of synthetic dry socks, helped my feet stay happy recently. The boots drained well, and weren't very heavy when wet. The traction on portages was awesome!
 
kona
distinguished member (273)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
10/08/2022 07:41AM  
scottiebaldwin: "Like boonie and Waterboy, I like the NRS Boundary Boots. One thing of note though, they are full neoprene boots so if you have them on for more than an hour, when you go to take them off you will think that your boots have a leak somewhere. It’s so clammy that your wool socks will be damp from your own sweat. It’s essentially like wet footing anyway but in your own sweat. I still wear them when I want to dry foot as they are light and have a very good feel for the grip that you have underneath you. Too bad about the unavoidable clamminess from perspiration though."


Big fan of the NRS boundary boot. To avoid the sogginess you describe, I’ve had good experience with a wicking liner sock next to skin topped with a thick wool sock. Moisture remains but it is much more comfortable for full days.
 
10/08/2022 08:50AM  
Hey, teach, how'd it go?

I was in from 14th to 28th. It started out pretty warm, but was really cold at the end - mid-20's overnight. I was glad I had my NRS Boundary boots then.
 
Heyteach
  
10/08/2022 01:55PM  
Boonie - you were in longer than I was. Wish I could have taken that much time. It was an epic trip. Got some great advice from Andy at Tuscarora Lodge and Canoe Outfitters regarding the route and which days to travel, campsites and more. For the footwear, I used an older, but not worn-out pair of New Balance cross trainers with a polyester sock inside a quality knee high wool sock for portages. The not-worn-out part was important for traction on some of the portages. The Round to Missing Link to Tuscarora portages had the deepest mud, only halfway to my knees. Even though my feet were wet, they were not cold. It got chilly on the morning of the 23rd. For wet footwear, I may go with this setup even in the summer. For dry shoes in camp, my regular cross trainers worked well on this trip.

Only one windy / rainy day. Stayed in camp that day and wore wet shoes when I had to venture out, and dry shoes when I hunkered down under the CCS rain fly.
 
10/08/2022 09:43PM  
Sounds like the trp went pretty well.
 
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