Does anyone have a solution for cold feet?

My drysuit does not have booties, so I wear the Seal Skinz socks and NRS neoprene ancle boot. I have tried wearing smart wool under the socks and also a layer of wicking sock. Nothing seems to work. I’m thinking it’s mainly the “wet” issue.

Thanks for your suggestions.

Chota boots
For toasty toes!


Chota Mukluks, worn with a pair of thin wool socks, are both comfortable and warm. Waterproof. Just don’t wade in higher than the boot tops and you’re all set.

I only use mine for what little paddling there might be from December to early April.

3rd on the Chotas. The only time my
cold sensitive feet even got cool I was in the Tarpon SOT . It was cold with a stiff breeze. evaporation got to me, I think.

put on a wool hat
Since you loose most of your body heat from your head a hat will make your whole body warmer.

In really cold conditions I use a noeprene paddling or surfing hood.

They also sell liners for WW helmets that really help.

Drysuit Booties
work a whole lot better than Chota Mukluks.

you don’t lose most of your body heat
through your head. You lose the highest percentage of your body heat through your head per square inch. Your legs or torso have more square inches than your head so you lose more heat because of the larger surface area.

If your feet are cold from being wet then try to keep them dry. If they are cold from surrounding temperature keep them warm. If they are cold from both keep them dry and warm. I use neoprene socks and low cut neoprene booties - my feet are wet but warm. If it is really cold I put an extra layer on my legs. This insulates a large surface area of my body AND keeps the blood from cooling as it travels down my legs to my feet.

If you want to keep your feet warmer insulate your legs. If your hands are cold insulate your arms. If your head is cold put on a hat and neck gaiter. The neck gaiter keeps the blood from cooling as it passes through your neck to your head.

ankle gaskets
Some times the ankle gaskets are too tight and they are cutting off your circulation. If you can afford to replace them with goretex booties or even latex booties, your feet will be more comfortable due to circulation increasing. It is also important to keep them dry. Try wool socks with high boots such as Mukluks. Make sure you don’t walk into water higher than your boots and your feet will stay dry.

Of course if you were to swim with wool socks and mukluks your feet will get wet so bring extra socks to change into just in case.


you do lose more heat through your head
if you’re cold. (The time when it counts)

Typically, at rest, when not shivering, a person loses about 7% of their body heat through their head. But research has shown that if you are shivering (with vasoconstriction in the extremities, the shunting of blood to the core and concommitent reduction of circulation to the skin), heat loss through the head can go upward of 55%.

So your mother was right, it’s important to wear a warm dry hat in the cold.

I wore a warm dry hat last night.
My wife likes a cool house.

Cold Feet
Cold feet used to plague me in the winter. I had the problem both using seal skin dry socks and attached dry socks on my drysuit. Two changes fixed this. First, I got bigger shoes. If found that the combination of wool socks under dry socks made my neoprene boots tight and therefore cold. Not enough room to encourage circulation in my toes. Also, all those extra layers must have made me taller. Moving the footpegs back one notch also seemed to help keep the blood moving and toes warm.

My answer to cold feet was Mukluks
also. They’re great. I have eczema so I don’t like to be too hot; however, I suffer when my feet get cold. Wool socks and Mukluks work for me. I do have an assortment of paddling boots for different trips. Mukluks for most trips are too hot so I only bring them when I know the water is going to be cold.

Keep your core warm
I spend quite a bit of time outside in the winter, hunting. The best thing I ever did to keep my extremeties warm was to increase the insulation for my core, IE torso. When your body cools down it restricts bloodflow to the extremeties first to maintain warm blood circulation in the torso. Thats why your hands and feet get cold first. Insulation of your hands and feet are certainly important, but a little more insulation around your torso and legs will help greatly keeping your hands and feet warm. With a perfectly warm torso your body will freely circulate warm blood throughout your entire body, thus your feet won’t get as cold.

Of course if you stick your feet in cold water in the middle of winter it’s gonna suck. :slight_smile:

I make my wife wear socks to bed…

…nothing else ever worked.

Cold Feet
I also suffer from cold feet and refuse to stop paddling until the water gets hard. If i’m sure I’ll not have to step into water that is over the tops, I love Chotas. Just make sure they are large enough so that they’re not tight even with heavy socks. I also use the small toe warmer heat packs. They make an amazing difference.

When I am whitewater paddling in early spring I wear a drysuit. You mention that your’s doesn’t have booties on it. Have a pair installed. It’s not that expensive and once done you’ll have dry feet.

I have two other secret (not anymore) weapons for flatwater paddling. I wear a fleece neck gator that keeps drafts off my neck. It make a huge difference. I also paddle with three fingered “mittens” available from any good cross country ski outfitter. They are almost as warm as regular mittens and give me almost the dexterity of gloves. They are not waterproof so care is required to keep your hands out of the water.

Marc Ornstein

Dogpaddle Canoe Works

an ounce of prevention NM

I Use the Lightweight Chotas & Socks
One pair of wicking, one pair of wool, scuba neoprene socks, then the lightweight Chotas over all these.

The Chotas snug against my drysuit bottoms just below the knee, but even if I step in over my knees my feet stay dry (unless I stay this way too long, in which case water EVENTUALLY finds my feet).

Anyway, I kneel in my canoe using this set-up. Water from paddle drip surrounds my feet and my feet eventually can get cold. Winter sucks.


When you get the new drysuit, make sure
you get the goretex booties. It will make all the difference to have your feet dry.

Some drysuit makers will add booties
I know Kokatat will, good investment if you have cold feet. Also makes it a lot easier to get in and out of your suit.


Yup - get the booties
For a couple of years I’d been using a wetsuit which was OK at keeping my body warm, but not my feet. It didn’t matter how many layers of wool and neoprene I wore - feet were always cold. I finally broke down this year and got a drysuit with the booties - what a difference.

I took a prety good swim last weekend about half way through a trip. Was on the river for at least another couple of hours after that, and never felt a chill. Can’t beat it.