Footwear in cold water

What footwear can I use to launch from the shore, where I can get my feet in the water without getting them wet, and be comfortable once in my kayak. The same goes for landing and exiting.

I use Chota Mukluks . NRS also makes a good paddling boot.

@string said:
I use Chota Mukluks . NRS also makes a good paddling boot.

The NRS boot is called the Boundary Water. It looks better than the Chotas because it has an over the arch strap that helps them fit better.

Use a drysuit with attached waterproof socks to keep your feet dry, and paddling footwear to protect the socks.

If your feet are uncomfortable in the water, what’s going to happen with the rest of your body when you go for an unintended swim?

@string said:
I use Chota Mukluks . NRS also makes a good paddling boot.

Love mine too. Bought two sizes one for heavy socks. Size 12 is about 1" taller than size 11. Super comfy.

NRS Boundary Water boots work very well for me.
Current pair are over 5 years old; previous pair lasted for 10.
Good investment.


NRS Boundary Boots, neoprene socks and for really cold, wear appropriate stockings inside the neoprene socks. Be sure you try on Boundary Boots before buying (the sizing is not very accurate) and get them big enough to allow for the socks.

When comparing Chotas to NRS, the Chota style with laces is actually more form-fitting than the Boundary Boot. It’s best not to compare apples to oranges. NRS and Chota both are fine (as long as you get the lace-up Chotas and not the plain old lace-less mukluks). The lace-up model Chota also has a pretty sturdy sole.

I use the Chota mukluks (with laces) especially if I know I will have to walk in and launch from deeper very cold water and the air temperature is very cold. If I think I may need to walk for any distance, I also have the lower cut chota Trekker, used with matching neoprene socks in cold water. Not quite like a hiking boot, but close enough to be sturdy and comfortable for trail portages.

I prefer the Chota Mukluk Lites without laces for kneeling in a canoe - the ankles are much more flexible.

I use the NRS Boundary shoe’s.

Thank you all for the input!

I love my Kokatat Nomad knee-high boots, similar to the Chota mukluks but the top is Gortex fabric and easy to push down around your ankles while in the boat on hot days, then pull back up when you want to wade back in. I bought them for colder weather but like them so much for keeping my feet dry I use them year round now. No laces to mess with or get caught on things either,

ahhh… dry feet…, just give it up- You’ll stay wet in wool socks and sneakers, fancy gummed soled river shoes (like rastlers), nrs booties, and yes even in a drysuit my feet get damp, so just give in and expect to have damp feet, think warmth rather than dry. If you are extended tripping do take dry shoes and change immediately. when shore bound and consider foot powder. Otherwise your feet will turn into red scaley lobsters. There’s a reason why rafters like sandals- gives there feet a chance to dry out when they are on the river multiple days in a row… Avoid the trenchfoot but do expect your feet to get wet while in the boat. The real bummer is putting on semi frozen booties- now that just sucks… You’ll be dipping your feet in the water to warm them up.

@tdaniel, you have to remember that there are so many kinds of boating trips. I find that it’s almost never necessary to have wet feet on the multitude of river trips that I do. Certainly in colder weather (the OP’s topic) I have no problem keeping my feet dry. Of course, I’ve never gone rafting for a week at a time, and I don’t go out in pounding surf or Class IV whitewater. So far, we don’t even know what the OP is doing.

Unless warm I like my feet dry. Have not had a problem sea kayaking and landing with the right gear.