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NEIowapaddler
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01/20/2023 06:10PM  
Why aren't waterproof knee boots more popular in the BW? Based on my limited experience there, and on watching videos from quite a few different canoe trippers, it seems that most people use non-waterproof boots and just accept the fact that their feet will get soaked when getting into and out of the canoe, and on portages.

I absolutely hate getting my feet wet, so I'm thinking of taking Muck boots (or similar) on my trip this year, but given their relative unpopularity I'm wondering if I shouldn't. Thoughts?
 
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billconner
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01/20/2023 06:28PM  
I wet foot May to October, and honestly my feet never feel better than after a week or two in the wilderness

I'm in and out of canoe so often, and I don't like bang canoe against rocks. I get out in and out of canoe in knee deep water. And my feet in boots would be wetter from sweat than they are wet foot.

So I'm not help. Just get tall boots if you respect your canoe.

Would love a post trip report. You might discover something that others like.
 
01/20/2023 06:32PM  
Just did a trip this Oct with Muck boots, no complaints what so ever.
 
Lawnchair107
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01/20/2023 06:34PM  
I believe because once you overstep your boot height, water inside those suckers become a mess.
 
RedLakePaddler
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01/20/2023 06:50PM  
I wore La Crosse knee high boot until I ran a rapids in the BWCA and dumped. The boots were pulling me down and the life jacket was pulling me up. Now I make sure my boots float.
Also learned Wenonah 18’ Jensen canoes knife though standing wave don’t go over them. Ended up with 2 holes, thanks for duct tape we kept going, a little wiser now!

Carl
 
NEIowapaddler
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01/20/2023 07:25PM  
billconner: "I wet foot May to October, and honestly my feet never feel better than after a week or two in the wilderness


I'm in and out of canoe so often, and I don't like bang canoe against rocks. I get out in and out of canoe in knee deep water. And my feet in boots would be wetter from sweat than they are wet foot.


So I'm not help. Just get tall boots if you respect your canoe.


Would love a post trip report. You might discover something that others like."


Will definitely do that if i make a trip with them. Thanks for the input!
 
Hammertime
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01/20/2023 10:33PM  
Most people are posting their videos of canoe trips during summer.

Early spring or fall waterproof boots could make sense, but I can’t think of anything more miserable than wearing muck boots all day in a boat in July.

Of course, this is a very personal thing. You could always slip on the boots for portages and wear flip flops in the boat if that works for you.

Have fun and good luck!

 
MDVancleave
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01/20/2023 11:15PM  
Based on my own missteps I've concluded all waterproof footwear will eventually flood. I do have a pair of Chota Hippie waders I wear in colder weather. One advantage of the soft booties is I can flip the whole sock inside out to dry faster and they don't collect sweat as bad as boots. Still not idea for summer months when I'll wet foot.
 
01/20/2023 11:44PM  
Bottom line is people will wear what is comfortable to them. Some people have no qualms about standing thigh deep in swamp gunk while others don't even want to get the soles of their shoes wet. Really nothing but experience will tell you what you like. Wear what you feel comfortable wearing. For me it's Merrell trail hikers and Darn Tough socks in all but the coldest weather. I hate tip-toeing at landings and portage trails.
 
01/21/2023 08:37AM  
I wear Muck boots on May and October trips and like them a lot. While in the canoe and around camp on warm days I roll the tops down. They are too warm for me in the summer months and I just let my feet get wet and it doesn’t bother me. I started using them because of many discussions on this message board.

As mentioned above, you need to watch your step so you don’t get water over the top. Luckily that has only happened to me once in the many times I have used them.

Another thing I like about wearing the Muck boots is that I bring a lot less water and mud into the canoe with me when I step in. But it’ doesn’t out way the heat factor to wear them in the summer for me.

 
01/21/2023 09:28AM  
These might be a workable alternative to the muck boots.
 
NEIowapaddler
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01/21/2023 09:37AM  
HighnDry: " These might be a workable alternative to the muck boots."


Man, those look promising. I wasn't familiar with them. I think I'm gonna order a pair and try em out. I'll post a review here if i do. Thanks a bunch!
 
YetiJedi
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01/21/2023 09:58AM  
NEIowapaddler: "
HighnDry: " These might be a workable alternative to the muck boots."



Man, those look promising. I wasn't familiar with them. I think I'm gonna order a pair and try em out. I'll post a review here if i do. Thanks a bunch! "


Here's a waterproof sock thread you might find helpful.

I use the sealskinz when it is colder and like them alot. Otherwise I simply wet foot.
 
Tomcat
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01/21/2023 10:56AM  
dschult2: "Bottom line is people will wear what is comfortable to them. Some people have no qualms about standing thigh deep in swamp gunk while others don't even want to get the soles of their shoes wet. Really nothing but experience will tell you what you like. Wear what you feel comfortable wearing. For me it's Merrell trail hikers and Darn Tough socks in all but the coldest weather. I hate tip-toeing at landings and portage trails."


Agree, wear what works for you.

I wear water shoes and wet foot in warm weather and hip waders and dry foot in cold weather.

 
Lawnchair107
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01/21/2023 11:48AM  
I’ve been wearing NRS Boundary Boots the last couple May trips. I have found those to be extremely comfortable paired with some merino wool socks.
 
NEIowapaddler
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01/21/2023 01:00PM  
Lawnchair107: "I’ve been wearing NRS Boundary Boots the last couple May trips. I have found those to be extremely comfortable paired with some merino wool socks."


Those look intriguing too. Do you take another pair of shoes for wearing around camp?
 
Lawnchair107
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01/21/2023 03:56PM  
NEIowapaddler: "
Lawnchair107: "I’ve been wearing NRS Boundary Boots the last couple May trips. I have found those to be extremely comfortable paired with some merino wool socks."



Those look intriguing too. Do you take another pair of shoes for wearing around camp? "


Yep, crocs
 
billconner
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01/21/2023 06:14PM  
I didn't mention before but I've worn Chota Caney Forks with Smart Wool socks for over 10 years. Unbeatable from my experience.
 
Loony_canoe
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01/21/2023 07:31PM  
To save my canoe and my feet, I wear waders. Either Chotas or wader bibs depending on the time of year. Chotas can go to the top of my legs and I like them in warmer weather, because they can be pulled down to below my knees to cool my legs. Waders cover above my waist, which I have no business being in water that deep, but keeps my behind dry in the rain and are warmer. I also fly fish, so they have a purpose once in camp.
My son wares Muck boots and likes them. Keeps his feet dry when placing gear into the canoe. they do not allow deep water exploration. I think, for summer, they would be a lighter alternative to Chotas.
 
01/21/2023 08:35PM  
I always bring two pairs of shoes. My camp shoes are usually an outdoor hiking shoe like those from Merrell or Keen and usually a model with a waterproof membrane. My boat/portage shoes vary by season. In summer or very early fall, I wear a boot that has drains and dries quickly. In spring trips after ice out, I wear a muck boot. I am open to experimenting with higher/more waterproof boots in the early spring.
 
01/23/2023 04:03PM  
I use hiking boots (not leather) with 2mm neoprene sox paired with gaiters in May. Doesn't matter that much if the water is ankle or knee deep, the gaiters keep out mud and rocks on sloppy spring portages and keep wet pant legs from flopping around. (warmer too) I skip the gaiters for Aug. trips, kinda silly with shorts but keep the neoprene and hikers combo.
 
jillpine
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01/23/2023 04:57PM  
At ice out or almost- ice on, I use Mucks. Those sealskinz are great.

Water gets over the boot all the time, but the idea is to stay wet and warm instead of wet and cold.

Two tips: a pair of very lightweight liner socks inside wool socks or the sealskinz, then into the boot. It’s a simple game-changer. Going without the liner sock is like a blanket without a sheet. There’s just something about the liner sock that makes a real difference in comfort. The other tip: baby powder at bedtime on the tired, pruned feet.

And crocs. Forever. Without shame. ;)
 
01/23/2023 06:48PM  
Lawnchair107: "I’ve been wearing NRS Boundary Boots the last couple May trips. I have found those to be extremely comfortable paired with some merino wool socks."


Do these boots offer any ankle support at all?
 
01/23/2023 07:51PM  
If considering neoprene boots (great for shoulder season) I suggest Dryshod over Muck Boots- They are simply much better made. Last for years. My last two pairs of Muck Boots have failed (sole separation) in relatively short time.
 
Lawnchair107
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01/23/2023 08:12PM  
moray: "
Lawnchair107: "I’ve been wearing NRS Boundary Boots the last couple May trips. I have found those to be extremely comfortable paired with some merino wool socks."



Do these boots offer any ankle support at all? "


They’re alright. If you’re seeking a neoprene boot with average to above average support, I’d look elsewhere to be honest.
 
01/23/2023 10:50PM  
Lawnchair107: "
moray: "
Lawnchair107: "I’ve been wearing NRS Boundary Boots the last couple May trips. I have found those to be extremely comfortable paired with some merino wool socks."




Do these boots offer any ankle support at all? "



They’re alright. If you’re seeking a neoprene boot with average to above average support, I’d look elsewhere to be honest."


Thanks!
 
billconner
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01/24/2023 05:47AM  
Lawnchair107: "
moray: "
Lawnchair107: "I’ve been wearing NRS Boundary Boots the last couple May trips. I have found those to be extremely comfortable paired with some merino wool socks."




Do these boots offer any ankle support at all? "



They’re alright. If you’re seeking a neoprene boot with average to above average support, I’d look elsewhere to be honest."


I went to the Chota Caney Forks because of their ankle support. Nearly as good as my Zamberlan hiking boots.
 
madpaddler343
  
01/24/2023 09:24PM  
I've done alot of research on this topic. Ive found out the best solution for me was getting Solomon jungle ultra boots paired with will socks. I can be standing in the water for hours, and in 10minutes in a warm Sunny day my feet would be dry.
 
Bjfinnegan
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01/24/2023 10:35PM  
Lacrosse Alphaburley's have been great in the early season but definitely have to use much more caution when exiting the canoe. I'm always in the back so there's definitely been a few times where I'm balancing on a rock or even unable to properly exit. But otherwise they're great and made for backcountry hunting so walking in them is comfortable and you can just stomp through anything on the trail.

Last year with the high water and flooding on portages I opted for wet footing for the first time and it was quite good too. Astral shoes, thin smartwool socks, and quick drying pants worked well. Only complaint was that the Astrals I had have a thin sole. Great for smooth rocks and traction in water, but not as well for sharp rocks on the portage walk. The issue with cold is less with the water and more with after your back in the canoe on cold or windy days and long paddles.

Majority I see are wet footing.
 
01/25/2023 12:28PM  
Lawnchair107: "
NEIowapaddler: "Those look intriguing too. Do you take another pair of shoes for wearing around camp? "



Yep, crocs"


Same here. Keen Voyagers for my boot and crocs for a camp shoe.

I've come to realize that staying dry is impossible in the boundary waters. Even if you have something completely water tight, you are going to get soaked from sweat. This is why my efforts are better spent on drying out quickly and staying warm even when wet. This is why I use multiple thin synthetic layers, wool socks, and crocs/Keens.

Just walk through the puddles, step into the lake when pushing off, and don't worry about getting wet. Keeping your feet somewhat dry just isn't worth it.
 
01/25/2023 07:11PM  
rubber knee boots ALWAYS.
 
AlexanderSupertramp
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01/26/2023 08:51AM  
I'm pretty much fed up with wetfooting in closed-toe sandals, which is what I have been doing, with wool socks. Eyeballing some Chota Hippies and probably pairing them with older Merrell Moabs for now (the non-waterproof version). Seems like for most of the season, I could wear these all-day and not get too overly hot. Maybe July would be tough, but for Shoulder Seasons I'm not seeing a lot of better alternatives that check all the boxes, aside from full on shoe waders, but that seems clunky.

Not sure I want to drop the coin on Chota Hippies AND the Chota boots. That would be like $400 lol. Spendy stuff.
 
NEIowapaddler
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01/26/2023 09:17AM  
AlexanderSupertramp: "I'm pretty much fed up with wetfooting in closed-toe sandals, which is what I have been doing, with wool socks. Eyeballing some Chota Hippies and probably pairing them with older Merrell Moabs for now (the non-waterproof version). Seems like for most of the season, I could wear these all-day and not get too overly hot. Maybe July would be tough, but for Shoulder Seasons I'm not seeing a lot of better alternatives that check all the boxes, aside from full on shoe waders, but that seems clunky.


Not sure I want to drop the coin on Chota Hippies AND the Chota boots. That would be like $400 lol. Spendy stuff.
"


After weighing all my options, that's what I'm thinking of doing too. I do a lot of trout fishing in hip boots, and my feet do sweat a bit in hot weather, but that's still not as aggravating to me as dunking my feet and legs in cold water over and over again. Not to mention mucky portages. I already have a pair of the non-waterproof Moabs, so the Hippies would be the only thing I'd need to get.
 
Tomcat
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01/26/2023 09:45AM  
Deleted - duplicate post
 
papalambeau
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01/26/2023 10:47AM  
Knee high Muck boots for the trips in and out and then crocs for camp and fishing.
 
01/27/2023 04:39PM  
Muck Boots with heavy wool socks for all seasons. Footbox is sturdy as any hiking boot. Snug calf fit with no cutting or constriction from flexible neoprene uppers. If I overtop them I just empty them out and go on. If I dump boots are so buoyant they will raise my feet to the surface rather than drag me down. Since they float they are easy to retrieve should I need to kick them off to swim. I dislike wet feet. To each their own.
 
01/27/2023 07:27PM  
I use an off brand of waterproof boots that come up a couple inches short of my knee. With wool socks my feet have never become uncomfortable in them, sometimes even forget to take them off for an hour or so once I get to camp. I have to be cautious to try not to get out in water deeper than the top of my boots which isn't a problem...most of the time. Inevitably i will underestimate a time or two on a trip and a little water gets in but my feet remain comfortable anyways. They fit fairly tight around my upper calf so usually not a lot of water gets in.

I use them for shoulder season trips only for the most part but we go every May and they are always with me. Aside from making wetfooting more comfortable it is really nice to be able to just push right through any wet muddy slogs you encounter on a portage without trying to pick your steps to avoid getting your feet wet. And I have found that they provide pretty good support too, never had an issue with that.

I usually will not bring them on a summer trip because it just isn't necessary but May or later in September, they are worth having for sure. I have had mine for 15 years or so and they still work great.
 
foxfireniner
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01/30/2023 10:21AM  
I wet foot/wet leg everything. Once you stop worrying about getting wet, it doesn't bother you anymore. It doesn't hurt that I am over 55 now and my furnace is always kicking.

I just wear keens in the canoe and have a pair of crocs for camp. I like slip on/off shoes for camp so changing up isn't a pain. Some people I have taken up use lace up shoes for camp but eventually decide to do something that gets their dry shoes wet because changing was a too big a hassle for a 30 second task.
 
ockycamper
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01/30/2023 12:20PM  
NEIowapaddler: "Why aren't waterproof knee boots more popular in the BW? Based on my limited experience there, and on watching videos from quite a few different canoe trippers, it seems that most people use non-waterproof boots and just accept the fact that their feet will get soaked when getting into and out of the canoe, and on portages.

I absolutely hate getting my feet wet, so I'm thinking of taking Muck boots (or similar) on my trip this year, but given their relative unpopularity I'm wondering if I shouldn't. Thoughts? "


I would say that Muck boots are very popular in BWCA. Most of our group wear them.
 
01/30/2023 12:29PM  
How many of the “I always wet foot” people here take trips right after ice out or when most but not all of the ice is out?
 
YetiJedi
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01/30/2023 01:29PM  
LarryS48: "How many of the “I always wet foot” people here take trips right after ice out or when most but not all of the ice is out?
"


I do. Last year I went in solo on May 11-18 and then again with my Dad from May 22-June 2. On the very cold days, or the times there was ice around the edges, I wore sealskinz over wool socks if that counts as wet-footing. Otherwise I just use the wool socks. I wear tennis shoes (Altra brand for the wide toe box and good rubber soles) and bring a wet pair and dry pair of nearly identical shoes. On my trips in June and July last summer I switched out the sealskinz and used a thinner wool sock.
 
01/30/2023 06:37PM  
LarryS48: "How many of the “I always wet foot” people here take trips right after ice out or when most but not all of the ice is out?
"

I do as well. Entered Kawishiwi last year on May 14th which was only a few days after the ice was out. I did start out with Sealskinz's but my feet got wet anyway from sweat and overstepping and would not drain at all so I switched out to Darn Tough wool socks the rest of the trip. Of course I do switch out shoes and socks when I get to camp. But again, my opnion is use what works for you. We're all out there to have an enjoyable trip. Some people like wet feet, some don't.
 
02/01/2023 03:08PM  
LarryS48: "How many of the “I always wet foot” people here take trips right after ice out or when most but not all of the ice is out?
"


Time of the year matters. I would not wet foot in ice cold water. I have not gone on trips that early though. If I did, I'd find some way to keep my feet dry. Either by being very careful and wearing boots that can handle a little water, or by wearing a waterproof sock.

Ice cold water is a concern though, and the reason why we wait until June.
 
02/01/2023 07:17PM  
In spring or fall I use knee-high rubber boots or 16" LLBean boots. In the summer I use a lightweight hiker like a Merrill Moab Ventilator. I pair all my boots with wool Darn Tough socks.

As mentioned above, I find I have a lot less water sloshing around in the canoe if I wear the knee-high boots.
 
mgraber
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02/03/2023 11:04AM  
We use Muck boots for portages, Crocs or sandals (closed toe) for camp. Wet feet are not a problem if you aren't traveling hard or far, dry feet are critical if you travel all day and travel long distances. Regardless of what people say, I have seen some pretty gruesome injuries from those wearing sandals, I'm talking trip ending stuff. I rarely go over my muck boots or Dryshod boots, and when I do it is usually just a little water. They can get hot in the summer so it is good to have alternate footwear handy for a quick change. Wet feet mean blisters and rot and leeches. If you travel for 3-4 hours and set up camp then it might not be too much of a problem. If you travel 15+ miles a day with several miles of rough portages (Quetico) then wet feet, and particularly sandals, are not a good idea. So I would say it depends. There are a lot of alternatives.
 
preacherdave
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02/03/2023 01:03PM  
NEIowapaddler: "
HighnDry: " These might be a workable alternative to the muck boots."



Man, those look promising. I wasn't familiar with them. I think I'm gonna order a pair and try em out. I'll post a review here if i do. Thanks a bunch! "

I use them all the time with hiking boots. Work well and I don't have to put my feet in cold boots every morning. They can still get hot though
 
RunningFox
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02/03/2023 03:12PM  
I have used Muck boots (edgewater model) that last couple of years. I find them to be comfortable when sitting in the canoe. As you might imagine, sometimes the water has gone over the top. From there you worry about how long it will take them to dry out.
 
02/04/2023 08:19AM  
Lawnchair107: "I’ve been wearing NRS Boundary Boots the last couple May trips. I have found those to be extremely comfortable paired with some merino wool socks."


I have the same. I've also used the knee high chota's. I bring slippers for camp shoes in the shoulder seasons and sandels in the summer.
 
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