BWCA NRS Boundary boots on long portages Boundary Waters Gear Forum
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Travler
  
05/20/2023 07:11AM  
I'm planning a BW trip in June and expect about 10 miles of portages over the week-long trip. I'm considering getting the NRS Boundary boots. I've read a lot of discussion regarding these boots on previous forums so I feel confident they will work in the canoe and around water. But I'm curious if anyone has experience hiking in them. Are they comfortable on long portages or on multi-mile day trip hikes?

Thanks in advance.
 
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05/20/2023 07:32AM  
That's going to be as much a personal experience as anything. I haven't used mine extensively, but have done some days with 3 miles of walking without issue. I put a pair of aftermarket insoles in them and wear wools socks with liners. I'd suggest you try them out around home before the trip.
 
05/20/2023 07:50AM  
I've used the NRS Workboot Wetshoe on portages in excess of a mile--no issues.

TZ
 
tumblehome
distinguished member(2976)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/20/2023 05:32PM  
I’ve never seen MSR Boundary Boots until today. Those look amazing!
I’ve been a mud boot guy forever. I hate wet dirty feet and wear Muck brand mud boots on every portage. I love my boots but those MSR boots look better since they are an actual shoe/boot.

Absolutely try them out.
Tom
 
jillpine
distinguished member(911)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/20/2023 07:40PM  
Last May, I took a trip with four others. Long portages, bushwhacking, high water, cold water, wet-footing, rapids, lakes, etc for eight days.
Three had NRS boots (actually two were NRS and one was the Kokatat version).
One had rubber boots with neoprene sock.
I had my trusty Mucks that I’ve used for a long time.
I came home and purchased NRS Boundary boots.
:)
 
kona
distinguished member (277)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/20/2023 08:05PM  
You might have seen my positive reviews of the boundary boot. I think once you try them on you’ll answer your question, likely in the affirmative. The insole could add a lot of stability. They have a very flexible sole, so if you need something super supportive on trail maybe not for you. I’ve done a lot of rough and longer portaging w mine and love them
 
05/20/2023 09:18PM  
boonie: "That's going to be as much a personal experience as anything. I haven't used mine extensively, but have done some days with 3 miles of walking without issue. I put a pair of aftermarket insoles in them and wear wools socks with liners. I'd suggest you try them out around home before the trip."


With insoles, socks, and liners what size boot do you have versus your shoe size?
 
05/21/2023 06:12AM  
I sized up one size, bobber, and have plenty of room.
 
05/21/2023 11:25AM  
Thanks for asking this question, and thanks to all who gave feedback! I've been meaning to post the same question! I think I am sold...going to try 'em.
 
05/21/2023 11:25AM  
Thanks for asking this question, and thanks to all who gave feedback! I've been meaning to post the same question! I think I am sold...going to try 'em.
 
05/21/2023 07:03PM  
So, those of you who have already purchased Boundary Boots, how was sizing? The Workboot Wetshoes ran small--if I order the Boundary boot should I go a size larger?

TZ
 
Minnesotian
distinguished member(2356)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/21/2023 08:43PM  
jillpine: "Last May, I took a trip with four others. Long portages, bushwhacking, high water, cold water, wet-footing, rapids, lakes, etc for eight days.
Three had NRS boots (actually two were NRS and one was the Kokatat version).
One had rubber boots with neoprene sock.
I had my trusty Mucks that I’ve used for a long time.
I came home and purchased NRS Boundary boots.
:) "


Hemm...very high praise. As a Muck Boot wearer, I have yet to find something better. Your review does have me thinking though.
 
jillpine
distinguished member(911)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/21/2023 09:13PM  
Minnesotian: "
jillpine: "Last May, I took a trip with four others. Long portages, bushwhacking, high water, cold water, wet-footing, rapids, lakes, etc for eight days.
Three had NRS boots (actually two were NRS and one was the Kokatat version).
One had rubber boots with neoprene sock.
I had my trusty Mucks that I’ve used for a long time.
I came home and purchased NRS Boundary boots.
:) "



Hemm...very high praise. As a Muck Boot wearer, I have yet to find something better. Your review does have me thinking though. "


They’re like wearing neoprene moccasins. They’re especially nice when kneeling to paddle. And they hold up well on a portage and when lining. I used them all fall last season and several times on the river through the winter and recently in ice-out. I’ll be taking them to Canada in two weeks.
If ankle support is a priority, they may fall flat in that category for the user… and before you take this review too much to heart, remember that I’m the person who loves Crocs in camp.
 
gravelroad
distinguished member(1021)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/22/2023 11:41AM  
TrailZen: "So, those of you who have already purchased Boundary Boots, how was sizing? The Workboot Wetshoes ran small--if I order the Boundary boot should I go a size larger?


TZ"


I usually wear 11 or 11.5 in all kinds of footwear. I bought a pair in 11 and returned them for a 12. The 11 would never have been comfortable, no matter how thin the sock I wore. I have a hard time remembering this until someone brings it up. :-)

I use mine for sea kayaking on Gitche Gumee when the air temp drops below 25º F. I haven't portaged in them, because my fall trips in the BWCA also involve some serious bushwhacking.
 
05/22/2023 07:05PM  
gravelroad: "I usually wear 11 or 11.5 in all kinds of footwear. I bought a pair in 11 and returned them for a 12. The 11 would never have been comfortable, no matter how thin the sock I wore. I have a hard time remembering this until someone brings it up. :-)"


Thanks! The 'Workshoe Wetboot' ran small--I usually need 11.5, ordered 12, and they're tolerable with thin liner socks. Would prefer thicker sock, will probably order the Boundary in size 13.

TZ
 
hairtux
member (9)member
  
05/23/2023 08:54AM  
I wore the older style boundary boots for the entire 8 miles of the grand portage during a colder, muddier May a few years back. Feet were a little sore but otherwise they were great. I've since added insoles, but I think the model of boundary boots they sell now might be more comfortable out of the box, not sure.
 
jillpine
distinguished member(911)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/23/2023 09:03AM  
The NRS Boundary shoe runs small. I sized up one, like others, and I wear it with a wool sock.

I still use the Muck boot, but it tends to be when "passively paddling", not on trips anymore. It is the "Chore" style. It is almost twice as heavy as the NRS boot (shoe).
I like the NRS shoe flexibility. I can effectively flex the ankle when paddling in a kneeling position. See the picture and you can see why this is.

As far as durable and heavy-duty bushwhacking, I put in a picture of the type of conditions the boots were used in last May. It was just after ice-out, and we were trying to find old portage routes in Crown land around Wabakimi, and doing some bird work for the Ontario Atlas. I thought the conditions were pretty "rugged". Everyone's different boots held up fine, and everyone stayed warm (but not dry - water comes over the top, regardless of system). But when I got home, I decided to get a pair of the NRS boots specifically for their flexibility. I've been happy so far. And, for me, they can handle a lot of walking through boreal and rocky terrain. YMMV.

 
NikonF5user
senior member (77)senior membersenior member
  
05/23/2023 10:47AM  
TrailZen: Thanks! The 'Workshoe Wetboot' ran small--I usually need 11.5, ordered 12, and they're tolerable with thin liner socks. Would prefer thicker sock, will probably order the Boundary in size 13.


TZ"


So if I generally wear 13.5, would 14 suffice, or would you recommend 15? I am going to mail-order from the REI sale, so unfortunately I will not have an opportunity to try them on first.

As an aside, I am nervous about ankle support with the NRS Boundary Boots - thinking I may have to rig some type of brace within...
 
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