Dry suit shoe - how much larger do I

need to go to handle excess fabric sock? I have a Palm Stikine dry suit and it has size 12 fabric socks. I wear a size 10 shoe. I am not finding a good selection of shoes in the local stores. I am not finding anything in size 10 or 11 otherwise I would bring my dry suit to try on the shoes.

I thought I would order a size 11 shoe from the Internet since they seem to only be available in whole sizes and it would be large enough to handle the excess material. Is this the right approach?

Also should I go for ankle high or low cut shoes?

I would go at least 2 sizes up
If you are wearing a drysuit, you will probably also be wearing THICK socks. You definitely don’t want to smoosh your feet (which will cut off blood flow) so go with BIG shoes. You will need to accomodate your feet, thick socks and the bulky drysuit booties.

Right on
with thinking ahead. I have size 12 feet and wear thick wool socks under my Gore-Tex drysuit booties.

I can squeeze on my size 12 whitewater-style booties over the top of it all as they stretch a little but they are tight. Going up a size would be preferable.

Another thing to think about is that the drysuit booties have a pretty slick exterior. Depending on your choice of shoe, they can have a tendency to slip off all too easily.

Ankle High

– Last Updated: Mar-14-06 5:39 AM EST –

any higher will just require you to pull more which in turn will end up pulling the bootie tighter up around your toes and cut circulation. The ankle high is enough that the overlapping protective cuff of the drysuit will go over the top of the booties.

FWIW, I only went one size larger on the booties. It's very snug with a thin sock combined with a fleece sock over that. However, it's for the eventuality of a swim in the surf zone. I had a bootie almost come off once in a swim.

The other possiblity is to get a surfing type bootie, 2 sizes larger. These tend to have one or two velcro cinches. So, you get your feet in with relative ease and then cinch them snug.


Overall Size
I have to pay attention to the overall size of the shoe also. I don’t have particularly large feet, size 10.5 but larger shoes and most boots wind up being too large to fit into the boat and provide toe feel for my toe rudder pedals.

BTW: I used to live in Mt.View and Los Altos Hills, nice area.

Happy Paddling,


might depend on shoe style…
I have NRS Attack shoes that I really like, but they don’t have a lot of give or stretch. So when I needed to find a larger shoe for over my drysuit booties, I went instead with the NRS Desperado shoe. That shoe upper is made of a very stretchy, flexible material, and so I was able to stay with a smaller shoe size so it’s not as long on my foot, but could still fit comfortably over heavy socks and the booties. My NRS Attack shoes are size 7.5, and the Desperados are an 8. If you go with a shoe style that isn’t as flexible/stretchy, you might need to go further up in size. I’m very happy with the Desperado over the drysuit booties because I don’t feel like it binds all that extra material too tight to my foot. Just something to keep in mind…

Happy shopping…