Hello, I’m planning on getting a farmer John wet suit for cooler days. I have wet suit booties. What is the best option to keep my feet warm and dry? Should I go with waterproof socks and tuck them under wetsuit? I’m totally lost and advise would be appreciated. Thank you
Boundary shoes or better yet spring for a dry suit.
If you paddle in a place where a wetsuit would be sufficient (i.e. a little leak through the waist wouldn't bother you if you took a swim) then I'd get the Kokotat Tempest pants with built-in booties. Lately I've been seeing them for $160-$180 if you shop around. http://www.nrs.com/product/25051/kokatat-hydrus-3l-tempest-dry-pants-with-socks
but I wear Smartwool Mountaineering extra heavy crew socks under my 5mm neo (hard soled) boots. They’re 74% Merino wool and keep my feet warm even if the socks get damp.
My wetsuit has a zipper at the bottom of each leg, so it’s easy to cover the top of the boots. A bit more challenging if I’m wearing Kokatat surfskin pants over the wetsuit, but doable.
Since it’s a Farmer Jane wetsuit, I also wear a neo hydroskin paddling jacket.
A drysuit might be nice (not 100% sure), but right now a new boat has a higher priority.
What are you doing?
Are you kayaking or canoeing. Whitewater, flat water of open water? Are you only trying to keep you feet dry getting in & out or will you be spending quality time out of you boat? Do you need dry or will wet but (mostly) warm be ok?
Cold weather gear
I will be kayaking on flat water. I’m trying to keep my feet dry. Many launches around my area may require me to get a little wet. I hope to extend the season some but I can’t justify a dry suit. Any other options? Thank you
Reading that then I’ll either second the recommendation of the NRS boundary shoe or the Kokotat pants I recommended earlier.
When I wear my wet suit, I just accept being a little wet. If my feet need insulation, I wear wet suit booties. Or if not so cold, water socks or the like.
Hanz Submerge Socks
With a short mid weight wool sock under it. Not too tight of neoprene bootie over it. Hanz sock seals against skin. Allows you to stomp in water deeper than you would with tall boots. @$40
See you on the water,
The River Connection, Inc.
Hyde Park, NY
My 365 day cold water season…
…is often made very comfortable by my Chota Quicklace Mukluks:
These come up to my knees, so stepping in a bit of water several times a day isn’t a problem.
I’ve been using these for years. With some nice long wool socks, I’ve dragged my boat over beaches in deep snow, launched and landed where I had to step into the water several times a day, etc. Always warm and comfortable.
Thank you for all your help. I think im leaning towards the kokatat dry pants.
I’ve got the Chotta and NRS Boundary boots. The Boundary boots are better and actually cost less. I wear neoprene wet socks inside the boots. If it’s too cold for that setup to keep my feet warm, I will use some not too thick socks inside the neoprene socks, but generally if its too cold for that, I don’t need to be paddling.
Here’s a warning: Be sure you try on Boundary Boots before you buy. The size designation tends to run a couple of sizes too small. I normally wear size 10, but I had to go with a size 12 Boundary Boot. Be sure to leave a bit of space for socks; you do not want a tight fit.
I’ll throw in a plug for another pair of boots similar to the Chotas – I got the Kokatat Nomad knee-highs 4 years ago and hardly ever use my shorter boots anymore (Chotas and DeepSees). The Nomads are hard-soled with neoprene foot section and a Goretex shaft. Though I got them for cold water and to wear over a drysuit that does not have built-in socks, they are so comfortable that I have taken to wearing them even in the summer with shorts. So many of the launch sites I go to locally require wading out over my ankles, sometimes in muck, that the dryness and protection offered by the high boots has made them my favorites. On hot days, I can just shove the shafts down around my ankles once I am situated in the boat. I wear them sockless or with thin polypro liners in warm weather and with neoprene socks in colder temps.
Boundary Boots better in what way?
I switched from Chota Quick Lace to Mukluck Lites for the more flexible ankle when kneeling in the canoe. It’s much more comfortable to kneel with a flexible ankle and back of the heel so circulation isn’t cut off.
I haven’t worn an NRS Boundary boot.
For kayaks or sitting in a canoe, flexible ankles aren’t as important.
Chotta vs NRS
I just like the look and design of the NRS Boundary Shoe (boot). Despite the sizing discrepancy, the Boundary boots fit better and are built a bit more ruggedly. If at all possible, you should compare the two boots side by side and try them on. You will wonder why the NRS boots are cheaper (barring special sale pricing).
Which ever you might choose, be prepared to take very good care of the boots, but accept that they may spring a leak after some use. No worries though, Aquaseal will fix em. My advice is to not buy a large tube of Aquaseal, because once you open a tube, its shelf life is relatively short.
Canoecopia is my only chance to try both
brands and models. That would have to wait another year.
The heel on the boundary boot looks like it would cut into the achiles tendon when kneeling, but that could only be determined by actually kneeling while wearing the appropriate size, so, it will be at least 11 months before I could test the theory.