NRS Boundary Shoe vs Chota Quicklace

I asked about winter footwear options last week, and I’ve narrowed it down to these two options. I’m leaning towards the Boundary Shoe as it’s less expensive, and the neoprene is thicker. But I’m interested in hearing some user experience with the shoes, and maybe why you chose it over something else?

I’m looking at getting one of these for winter canoeing, but also for cold weather and cold water boating. I’ll be using them all shallow midwest rivers, as well as Oregon rivers.

Which one is best for portaging, light hiking, gravel hopping?

Which company has better customer support and warranties?

How secure and comfortable is the fit?


I chose Chotas
because they were on sale in South Carolina for twenty bucks.

I have no idea about customer service. If you need CS that means most likely you had something go wrong.In five years I have not and its unlikely I will get mad if the boot fails now.

The fit question is something only you can answer.

I guess the two end questions were because you are contemplating an Internet order. I have never done one for boots because there are a number of fit dimensions that are critical. I would look for free returns if that is what you are doing.

The Quicklace is a rigid boot on the heel and ankle panels and has a relatively rigid sole…and the laces do snug up so it may be better for hiking. Its a PITA to get on though as the rigid parts make the neoprene main boot twist and rotate.

My husband has Chotas similar to the Boundary boot and they are not as supportive for hiking but far easier to get on.

I think that if I had to replace my Muks with another boot I would go for the Boundary Boot as the sole has to be more flexible. I dont like how I cant kneel in the Mukluks without foot cramps. The only downside is that strap looks like velcro. Get any dirt in Velcro and it stops working.

I’d Choose the Chotas Again
Mine have a LOT of miles on them. Bought them in 2002 or 2003 and have repaired the soles with “Shoe Goo” a few times and they are still going strong. I’ve done “Fish counts” in them and they didn’t fill with water, maybe a bit damp inside at worst. Only complaint is they do get warm if you use them in the summertime, and they’re bulky for kneeling. Also use them for hunting and around the farm. Also used mine in the BWCAW with it’s rocky portages. When the weather turns cold, from late October through about April, they are the only paddling footwear I use. WW

Not just “fit” is individual
My Chota Quick-Lace boots are very easy to slide on and off. No struggle or temporary deforming of the boot is necessary for me. Mine go on and off about as easy as my everyday “sneakers”, thanks to that slightly oversize region of the boot just above and behind the ankle. Just as the size and shape of the foot affects “fit”, so the size and shape of a person’s ankle and lower leg apparently must affect how easy it is to put the boots on or take them off.

I totally agree that the laces of the Quick-Lace style work very nicely, and without those laces, I seriuosly doubt the boots would be as comfortable for “plain old walking” as they are. Knowing only what I know (which is all I can go by), I wouldn’t choose a boot that has no means of lacing-up the ankle area if I planned on doing much walking.

My Chota Quicklace must be too loose,
because they’re very easy to get on. I bought them with room for insulating layers.

Mine developed a small leak somewhere on the top, recently. I need to locate and repair it before the winter river trips.

Mine are about three years old.

Mine don’t fit snugly enough around my calves to seal out water when overtopped when wearing semi-dry paddling pants. They probably would seal with a neoprene wet suit.

Tip for taking off Chota Quiklace boots
I have big calves, and if I’m wearing these boots I’m also wearing the drysuit. Lots of bulk.

Yet it’s not too hard to don and doff, with a simple tip: Extend the foot while keeping the calf muscles relaxed. Let the foot and lower leg go limp, and the boot will slide over without a struggle.

The boots have soles stiff enough for moderate walking. Not much ankle support. Whether it’s enough for you is hard to say, because people’s feet and ankles vary a lot.

I recently went to order a pair of Chota Boundary boots, but was told they were on backorder until January from a few different suppliers.

I called an retailer about two hours away and they had a NeoSport 5mm boot that they said was made by the same company. It looks exactly the same,but $20 cheaper. They shipped a pair to me saving me time and gas. I wanted the Boundary Boots, as I kneel and the thinner sole is more comfortable.

My wife and I had our NRS Boundary
shoes on yesterday for an all day paddle. This is the third time this year in the last three weeks.

I can’t compare it with the others, since we have never had the others, but we have been using these in the cold weather for about six seasons now, and I can only say if they wear out, we’ll replace them with the same.

When we got these, we did as you did and tried to research which was better, the NRS or the Choatas, and at that time we finally settled on the Boundary boots because they were cheaper.

The NRS are very comfortable for walking around in too, since they have a good firm bottom.

Good luck with your decision.



Owned both-
I like the NRS better for two reasons

(I did not have the quick lace, just the generic Chota’s)

  1. The bottom of the boot is stronger, seems more durable and offers more stability when walking on rocks
  2. They have an ankle strap that allows you to tighten the boot firmly around your ankle and foot

    I like the Chota better for one reason

  3. The boot is taller therefore allowing me to walk in deeper water by 3-4"

Chato testing
I had a chance to try on some Chota basics and the quicklace today. Both were pretty baggy around my calf, which might be nice for some extra room and breathability, however, I was a little concerned with taking on a lot of water with them.

No place has the boundary shoe local, so I might just order them and see how they work out.

Thanks for the thoughts and input!

I like my NRS BB
After decades of avoiding mukluks, I got the Boundary Boots this year only because I found them for $40 in my size.

Staying with the size issue, my experience is the opposite of Eric’s. I wear a 10 shoe but took an 11 in the Boundary Boot. Same with the NRS Kicker wet shoe.

The BB fits well and snugly when you cinch the two straps. Easy to get on and off when you roll the boot down. The sole is thicker and firmer than the typical wetsuit bootie, but is flexible enough for kneeling under low canoe seats.

NRS says each boot is individually tested for waterproofness. So far mine haven’t leaked.

I have no experience with Chota’s.

I have been wearing the BB’s all fall and am sure they would be warm in winter with a thick sock.

Smaller leg
I’m pretty thin and the Chota’s are way too big for legs. BY the way, I wear a 13 shoe and ordered 13 in the NRS and they are a good fit with a pair of thick wool socks.

Boundary Shoe Ordered
I decided to go with the Boundary Shoe. Hoping for a good fit. They are actually out of stock until January through NRS, and this is reflected with most online stores as well. Found a semi-local online shop that had a size 13. Hopefully it will be here soon!

Not sure if I had mentioned this …

– Last Updated: Nov-19-09 10:16 AM EST –

in another post, but they go on and off a lot easier if you wear a pair of socks, (in my case it is smart wool or equal).
I also tuck my splash pants into the socks prior to sliding them on.
In taking them off, Just step on the back of the heel with the toes of the other boot, and you can lift your leg right out. Then do the same with the toes of your other foot to the other heel.


If you kneel…
…the Quicklace soles may be too stiff. Don’t know about the NRS versions. I ended up with the Lites because I kneel and paddle more than I portage.

Or, they may not (YMMV).
Kneeling is the only way I ever paddle (except for brief leg extensions to rest while underway), and the Quick-Lace Chotas work fine for me. However, perhaps partly because my exercise routine includes lots of range-of-motion training, I can do lots of things with my feet to make them fit under the seat. Sometimes I rotate my lower legs so my toes point toward the center of the boat so less ankle extension is needed, and sometimes I use NO ankle extension at all and put the balls of me feet against the bottom of the hull so my heels are up high, right against the bottom of the seat or poking into the gap between the seat rails on either side. And of course, having my ankles fully extended so my toes point straight toward the back of the boat works too. I find the boots to be only “marginally too stiff” to allow ankle extension to be comfortable, meaning that for me, that position works “well enough”.

Boundary Shoe
I purchased a pair of the NRS Boundary shoes about a month a go I considered the Chota’s but there not readily available locally here in CT plus I wanted to try them on. I was concerned about the laces possibly getting caught on something should a wet exit be required from my kayak. I must admit the Boundary shoe did leak when I tried them in the lake but the dealer sent them back to NRS and the second pair is bone dry.