I’m married to a guy with size 14 feet and would like to surprise him with a pair of mukluks this Christmas. Chotas and NRS only go to size 13. Any suggestions for neoprene socks or other options? I’d like to get him something that’s over the calf. He already has wetsuit booties, but needs a heftier sole. He could wear socks inside his current water shoes.
What ever you find.
If it is possible to find something like Chota mukluks that fit your man, be sure they are big enough to allow room for socks. I recommend wearing neoprene booties inside. I would also recommend being very careful with neoprene boots, because the neoprene is easily ripped if you happen to catch it on something.
If there is to be much portage involved, the very flexible soles of the standard mukluks might not be suitable.
I’ve only bought neoprene socks and
booties from Chota, but I’ve found that they consistently run large. It’s possible a 13 mukluk would fit him.
I wear a 15, and Chota 14s have always been big enough. But it is disappointing that they offer so few things in 14 now.
Are these boots
flexible enough to kneel comfortably in? His feet are so large that he has to maneuver them sideways to fit them under the seat.
They were flexible enough to fit my size 13’s in a kayak comfortably all day. I think they are fairly flexible around the ankles, and have a flexible but thick chunky sole on them. Plenty of support to portage in. Not 100% certain about kneeling in a canoe, but I think they might work. Warm enough to wear down into the low 40’s with good wool socks, while just sitting around camp in. The snow sucks the heat out of them fairly quickly though, not great for extended shoveling sessions, which is about the only use they see now that I’ve been domesticated.
I love the subject line
I couldn’t help but think, “Why does Bigfoot need canoeing shoes?”.
I wish I could help, but I only wear a size 12, and just wear Maine hunting boots for colder weather canoeing.
NEOS (New England Overshoe) makes a Trekker model (their XXL size meets your Size 14 request) which might suffice for your Big Foot friend. The waterproof fabric uppers and light but sturdy soles offer warmth and a decent amount of flexibility when worn over shoes/boots/booties, as they are intended.
However, they’d probably be like sporting two toe-sucking, spasmodic tunas heading to opposing polar regions, should Big Foot or other semi-hirsute beings like myself have occasion to “swim” them. But, size 14 Chotas being in short supply, they might be worth the risk for wearing over neoprene booties. I’ve worn my pair (a different model than the Trekkers, possessing a more aggressive tread) a few times over my Chota Mukluks when supremely cold January outings were afoot. I believe, if cinched up extra tight, that they’d also be a welcome exterior armoring to neoprene footwear when portaging over rough and/or twitchy-switchy terrain. They’ve worked quite well for me in the last four years for several shallow stream surveys, when I wore them over my 8" work boots to gather thalweg measurements, and didn’t need the full rise of hip or chest waders.
Also, they’re nice and easy to pack along as backups/supplemental encasement for a light pair of shoes you might have on a wet/swampy camping excursion. This idea comes by way of Topher, whom on one wet 'n windy Assateague trip bailed out a friend of mine whose boots developed holes, thus to suffer chilly dog discomfort in his backup tennis shoes. Voila! Over the tennies the NEOS went and he was quickly both warmer of foot and wet-launching with impunity.
Alas, like most things of relative build quality, they ain’t cheap! (Possibly you’re looking in the 80 to 85-dollar realm.) But, should designs like rubber and neoprene wellingtons/ Muk Boots (also not cheap) prove to be a tad too stiff for kneeling, these might be your viable alternative to those elusive Size 14 Chotas.
On another thought, I sure wish Chota would bring back those mukluks that had heels to go along with all the other fine features their Quik-Lace models possess. Sometimes standing for two hours in a canoe (bilge dances of dummy’s dumping default aside), they’d sure go a long way to alleviate leg fatigue.
I've paddled in all kinds of different footwear, some good, some bad, some so-so. Among those were fairly lightweight hip boots having that same very "traditional rubber boot" for the foot portion that you'd get with those Tuffboots. I've done it because I needed the hip boots for wetland walking, NOT because they are any good at all for kneeling in a canoe. Further, I'm a lot more limber and slender than most guys, and am better able to "get by" kneeling with marginally acceptable footwear than a lot of people. I would definitely NOT recommend a boot like that even for someone like me if canoeing is the main job of the boot (rather than getting out and walking in the marshes like I did in those cases). For a person with big feet, it would be even worse.
A kneeling boot needs to either flex "back" quite easily so the top of the foot contacts the floor of the boat, OR flex "forward" so that the balls of the foot can contact the floor. Unfortunately, you need a very high seat or fairly small feet for the second option to work. In any case, that kind of "utility-style" of rubber boot allows neither type of foot flexing, and I'd strongly recommend against that kind of boot for kneeling in a canoe, especially for someone who already has issues getting feet under the seat. Trust me on this: The fact that someone found them to be okay for kayaking only tells you that they worked when sitting with feet outstretched, possibly flexing a little to squeeze under the kayak deck. Kneeling puts demands on footwear that are completely different.
Related Comments, Similar Option
CWD speaks of NEOS boots likely becoming big, floppy, water-filled bags if the paddler ends up in the water, and he may be right. However, that reminds me of an idea I’ve had which I’m pretty sure would help a lot. I’ve thought of using home-made velcro straps to provide additional wrapping on such boots. If the boot is wrapped tightly to more closely conform to the lower leg and ankle, they’d surely be a lot less cumbersome when swimming.
On that note, you can always fall back on the “cheap” old standby: Tingley boots. Tingley makes 18-inch-high, pull-over boots that are very light and designed to fit over work shoes. I used to wear them a lot for canoeing (over hiking boots), and I still do wear them over bulky, heavy-duty hiking boots for long treks in the rain. Considering that they are made of such thin, delicate-looking rubber, they actually last a pretty long time (I wear them very frequently for my job, directing earthwork on construction sites, and I typically replace that pair of boots every two years). Tingleys will have the same floppy, fill-up-with-water issue as mentioned above, but again, I think clever use of velcro straps would minimize the problem. You can get Tingleys at any place that sells work/farm clothes. They aren’t much of a “gift”, being so simple and cheap, but they may get the job done.
I’ve looked at the Bogs brand neoprene shaft boots several times in stores like LL Bean and wondered how they would be for canoeing and portaging. Easier to pull on than conventional wellies and very flexible. I just checked the manufacturer web site and they make them in sizes up to 21! I didn’t even know men’s sizes went up that far. Now THAT’s a Bigfoot.
Thems Big Hounds!
(ain’t gotta Baskerville Holmes)
through Baskervilles slogs
Shaq’ing Size 21
Thems scary dogs!
Don’t ya try ta dunk!
Bogged in miasmic funk!
Hoop dee do
did not go through
tis you gone Holmes 'n sunk!
a cumming es que re
mem (FIZZZZ) wence
go eth (Like your big-shoed boy, Mr. Death?)
et dude Baskerville Holmes
neoprene rec boats?
Heck, one of those size 21 low cut Bogs could concievably be used as a low volume rec boat.