BWCA Footwear

Taking a newb on his first BWCA trip this fall, and my usual partner in crime and I wear the LL Bean Bean Boot while paddling. We recommended he get a pair, but I was wondering if any of you veterans had any other tall boot preferences.

I love the Bean Boot, but want our friend to have all the information available before he makes his decision.

I’ve never owned a pair but
Chotas are awfully darn popular.

The Beaner’s won’t keep your feet dry if you have to step into water more than a couple of inches deep.

Being the heavier of the two, I’m always the last in and last out of the canoe, meaning I am usually stepping in 6-8 inches of water.

The first time I went to BWCA, I wore regular hiking boots, and the first thing on the first day, both my feet were soaked. The rest of the trip I was miserable. The next time, I made sure I got a pair of the tall Bean Boots and with the exception of time my partner dumped me out of the canoe while dragging it ashore and I put my food down in about 18 inches of water, my feet stayed dry the whole time. It made a huge difference.

Thanks for the heads up on the Chotas. I’ll point those out to the new guy.

NRS Boundary shoes
We wore them all over Alaska and many other places in cold water.

They have a good firm sole and bottom for hiking and portaging, and have waterproof neoprene uppers.



we must be
talking about different shoes. The tall Bean boots sound quite different from the Maine Duck Hunter shoes, or whatever Bean called the ones I had (still have, I think).

they are
Bean Boots have a stiffer sole.

The Maine Hunting shoe is a softer sole so you can feel a twig before you snap it and scare away your prey.

I portage better in something like Merrell Waterpro Maipos, having a tendency to trip in thicker soled boots…so I will bow out.

Plus I am a kneeler in the boat and cant manage that in Bean boots though I can get a pair for three bucks.

I’ve got two kinds of Chotas, the neoprene and rubber ones are what I use in the BWCAW. Can’t remember their name, but will be wearing them next week when I’m there. Here’s a pic of me with them, I don’t think they make the camo anymore. WW