Chota Quetico Trekkers ?

I am looking to upgrade my portage boots for North Country travel during the warm weather months. I want something I can wear while getting in and out of my canoe, while paddling and on muddy portage trails. I expect to have wet feet. The Chota Quetico Trekkers look just about right.

I’d like feedback from those who have actually used this boot please.

I’d like to keep this thread on topic, so no comments on other Chota products please.



Good boot… dem Trekkers
Ah’ been waarin’ dem fer a least 4 years not only canooin’ but pretty much as me everyday footwaar. First pair ah’ had - de outer layer of de sole delaminated but haven’t had de problem on de 2 pairs ah’ had since. One thin’, dems do take awhile ta dry out, though.


Thanks for your reply FE.

Anyone else have experience with this boot?

I have experience with the Chota Quetico Trekkers, but it was bad experience. I bought the boots in 2006, I think it was (or might have been late in 2005) for a planned 25 day trip. After the second day, the bungee lacing cord started coming apart - the outer sheath tore/seperated leaving just the bungee inner - that I think was due to too tight a fit for the lacing through the small lacing loops.

(I have since replaced the bungee lacing with parachute cord - that works better, as you can tighten the boots better.)

Then the sole started to come off, after about the third day or so, it started peeling off at the toes - that I think was due to the toes rubbing on the bottom of the boat while I was kneeling - that happened on both boots, and the sole also started to come off at the heel on one of the boots.

When I got back from that trip (I cut it in half) I sent in the boots to Chota - they reglued the soles at no cost (customer service was good). The soles have since started coming off again, and I don’t use the boots much at all anymore.

Things I did not like about the QT’s aside from the poor workmanship -1) they do not dry very quickly at all, and smell bad all the time when wet. 2) The very small ridges of the sole caked up with mud and I thought the traction was quite poor - I kept sliping in spots that I thought I wouldn’t/shouldn’t.

Since that one big trip, I have not wanted to use the boots much at all, except for day trips, or short overnight trips with no portaging - I will not take them on a long trip agian. One of the hooks at the top of the lacing has also broken / come undone and is useless now - so that boot is very hard to tie snugley.

I know a lot of people really like this boot, and people I know recommend them - BUT - they have had thier boots for a long time, and It’s my guess that the older boots were made better - I suppose it could be I just got a “lemon” pair of boots as well. I suppose it could be the Chineese manufacturer’s fault, and perhaps Chota is using some other factory now? who knows, but that is my experience.

But I would not recommend them - my take is I paid a hundred bucks for a boot that gave me 39 dollar performance. If I’d paid $39, I wouldnt be complaining.

I do recommend the OTB Abyss boot, which I bought as a replacement for the Quetico Trekker. After two 12 day trips in Quetico (58 portages this spring trip) - I can see no issues with the boots - there is a little wear on the threads where the toe cap is sewn on that I should probably just put a dab of seam sealer on , but otherwise, the boots are as good as new. They dry much faster than the QTs (that makes them more comfortable to wear all day), and have much superior traction with a great lugged sole with lugs that are a 1/4" high/deep.

So that is my experience with two different boots that I bought for use a portage boots. Your experience could be different.

Thanks Mattt
I appreciate your thoughtful and thorough reply regarding the Trekker boot plus your recommendation of an alternative. I hadn’t previously seen or heard of the OTB Abyss boot – looks very interesting, I’ll check it out. Thanks

OTB boots be de cat’s meow…
Great boot - fast drainin’ wit all dem little drain holes in de bottom o’ de sole. Like mine alot. Dems be de booot ah’ most often use in me canoo while ah’ waar de Trekker more on dry land.

One woyd o’ advice about de OTB… iffin’ yer ever step inta hound doo-doo (cats at least gots de decency ta bury dem’s poop in yer vegetable garden) yer in fer a big nasty surprise an’ ah’s hope yer have a 3000 psi pressure washer available… ah’ knows all about dis - ah’ done it a couple o’ times.


My experience so far:
I used them in teh BWCA a couple of years ago and had mostly positive results. One problem was the cheap-o foam innersoles - they would slide forward while portaging and lump up under my toes. Of course, I bought them on the large side so I could use Brookie neo socks in cold weather. For warm weather a good set of arched innersoles solved the problem.

Another aggravation was the length of the bungie cord lacing. I have high arches, and had a struggle slipping the boots on until I bought 1/8" bungie at REI and made a longer set. No problem now.

As I seldom kneel I have not had any sole separation problems. And yes, they do dry slowly. But I look at them as being essentially a wading shoe, and as such they have too much material )for protection) to dry quickly.


Again -Thanks
From what I’ve read at this thread and from what I’ve heard other friends say it would appear that the Choto Quetico Trekker is a pretty good “kick around” boot. But it doesn’t seem like it would hold up very well to the rigors of real world canoeing/portaging on North Country canoe trips. I’ve crossed that model off my list.

I’m impressed with what I’ve read regarding the OTB brand, specifically the Abyss model. It would seem that it offers the type of durability, drainage, grip on wet and dry surfaces, ankle support and relatively quick dry features that I’m looking for in a portage boot. I’ve found it online in the same price range as the Trekkers. Unless I hear of something even better that’s the direction I’ll go. Curiously though I regularly receive the NRS catalog and the OTB Abyss model is featured in it I never really paid attention… Gotta work on reading for comprehension I guess… ;^)

Since I am also looking for portage boots for my wife and daughter and OTB only list’s men’s sizes I e-mailed OTB regarding size conversion. Someone at OTB replied within an hour, I’m impressed with that! Here’s what their representative wrote: “The best way to convert is to simply subtract 1 from the woman’s size. Example: Size 8 men’s = Size 9 women’s.”

Thanks very much folks – your input has been very helpful!


PS to Martin: your alter ego’s comments regarding stepping in doggy do-do while wearing OTB boots was duly noted. Where I’ll wear these boots I’m more likely to step in bear and moose droppings & those varieties don’t stink as much… but still… I’ll definitely watch my footing & I’ll be thinking of Fat Elmo’s stinky socks! Thanks ;^)

Another thought
Why don’t you check with Cabelas for wading shoes? They serve much the same purpose, are available in numerous makes & models, and probably come in smaller sizes as women are often found amongst the ranks of fly fishermen, errr, fly fisher persons, errr, fly anglers.


I’ll check them out. Thanks, Randall

thanks for the reviews
I have tried wading shoes with siped soles and they have insufficient traction and no longevity for portages.

I was afraid the Trekkers would be the same…I found that Vibram soles with an agressive stick the best to lichen covered sloped rock in the boreal forest.

You saved me some money!

What Matt said
Pretty much sums up my experience with the Quetico Trekkers.

I sent my pair back after one weekend trip to the BWCA and they had started to fall apart. They sent a brand new pair to replace what they said was a manufaturing problem with that lot of boots. They next pair was falling apart after 10 days in Woodland Caribou, again they replaced. After my next Quetico trip they said they would repair only. These have lasted for three years but have been in a state of “falling apart” a little at a time. I wouldn’t buy another pair and my next pair will be OTBs. I have other Chota products that I use and like, the Trekkers are just not one of them.


I Like Mine
Had mine at least 3 years, but I believe it’s closer to 4. Bought mine from Piragis in Ely. The afformentioned “Sole” problem waited about a year for me, but I fixed myself with shoe-goo. The Shoe-goo started losing it’s hold this spring, so I used Gorilla glue. Looks funny with the foamy seal around the edges, but it’s holding. Two things would cause me to buy them again; first, they are very comfortable. I have flat, wide feet and not all boots and shoes fit well on my feet. Secondly, they dry quickly for such a sturdy, supportive boot. I’ve been happy with mine despite the “Sole” issue. Take care, Randal. WW