Been Kayaking for a couple of years now, looking to expand my paddling opportunities here in Central Indiana, looking for any and all advice on Cold Water paddling boots and socks. Also vendors names if possible. Thanks a Bunch.
A lot of folks around here (Adirondacks) will use one of a couple different styles of Chota boots. I find the lighter pair of Chota mukluks don't have much of a sole for rocky portaging. The quicklace model is better, but both of those make your feet sweat. I prefer the Quetico Trekkers, with the neoprene socks - still hot but more like real hiking boots and better for portaging rough trails.
Check out scuba dry boots
Same price or less than Chotas, a mill thicker and can be found on sale starting soon.
Depends upon how much wading/stomping around ice cube filled water your looking to do. If more kayaking than wading then you do have the option on converting you Watershoes to knee highs with either Kokatat Launch Socks (cinch outside of leggings) or Sealskinz Submerge Socks which seal against skin. Both can take additional warm sockage for insulation. The Kokatat more so. The Sealskinz won’t scoop water if you happen to step in past knee high.
I know a place in Hyde Park that ships.
See you on the water,
The River Connection, Inc.
Hyde Park, NY
I really like my Kokatat Nomad knee high booties with neoprene socks added inside. Got them for colder water a few years ago but have liked the dryness and foot protection they provide so much that I have worn them year round, especially for muddy bank launches.
Whatever booties you get – important to get them dried out inside between trips. A short piece of fat foam hollow-cored pool noodle shoved down into each boot keeps the top from collapsing and seems to help air circulate and speed drying.
Chota quick lace boots
Warm, waterproof, covers the leg up to just below the knee. Best when worn with a thin wool sock underneath.
Go to the NRS website and check out the Boundary Boots. These are a better buy than the regular Chota boots that are similar. Be aware that the sizes tend to be small and especially in that you should allow extra room for neoprene booty socks and if it’s real cold you might want to add some kind of socks inside the booty socks. So for instance if you normally wear size 10, go to a size 12.
With any of these neoprene boots, you will want to be pretty careful not to snag the neoprene, because it rips fairly easy. I wouldn’t recommend them for tramping through the brambles. On the other hand, they are going to work far better inside the boat than stiffer tougher material.
I’m sure you are correct about a lighter, flexible boot being better inside the boat. I’ve noticed that kayakers as a group seem to prefer a sock-like boot instead of one that’s fairly good for walking. Anyway, I thought it might be worth pointing out, in case it matters to the OP, that the neoprene of Chota Quick-Lace boots needs no babying. I combine long walks in the woods with many of my canoe trips (making the thicker sole and lace-up system of the Chota preferable for me), and experience tells me that getting the boot fabric snagged on brambles is of no concern at all with those boots. I’ve had to patch a few holes in my old Chotas which have Gore-Tex uppers, but the all-neoprene Chotas have been indestructible.
here’s what i did …
...i bought 3mm neoprene stocking foot waders and Croc shoes that fit over them. Not ideal but it works ( to a point). I wear a size 9 and had to buy size 11 Croc's to fit over my feet and the 3mm waders..Hopefully some time in the next millennium, the shoes makers ( kokotat ,etc ) will smarten up and make a neoprene kayaking shoe that's both longer ..*** AND WIDER *** per foot size ... to accommodate thick wool socks under them. the other option is to buy the rubber booted neoprene waders.