Paddling Footwear - Much choice?

I am searching for a paddling shoe that will pad my heel and provide some insulation. I haven’t been able to find much on this site and the local shops carry a very limited line of NRS models. Any suggestions.

If this helps, I have a touring boat, live in NC and do most of my trips in lakes, the ICW and along the coast. I’am not a winter paddler(yet!)


Take a look at NRS…
online or get the catalog. My latest catalog seemed to have a very good selection of water socks (I’m considering the Desparado) as well as booties.


foot wear
Have you checked out Chota boots? They have a moccasin style that has good sole, but no heel (sometimes better for kayaking). They are warm, are like a neoprene mini wader…something to thing about.

I like neoprene socks

– Last Updated: May-05-04 12:06 PM EST –

and watersnoes of mesh. Hi tec Aquaterra from mec in canada, the latest thing fron teva ect. Look for low heels, midsole support is nice

The watershoe, if bought a touch large, can accomodate wooly socks and my drysuit bootied feet in winter and neo socks or ligh wool ones in summer. I remove the innersole in winter. I always wear liners under any neoprene to cut the stink. Thin polypro at minimum.

My shoes are chota 5mm zips. Minor abuse to my big ankle bones by the zippers. Gussets keep the zippers fron biting though

Pad your boat.
It is very simple to add some padding to the bottom of your boat under where your heel goes. Make it as thick or thin as you like. You can use neoprene with one side already glued. It comes in a variety of thicknesses including quite thin. Or use thin foam, which will let you to slide your feet around easier. For booties, you can go with system flexibility. Wear something while paddling that is comfy and as warm as you need. For when you need to get out of your boat stow a pair of Teva sandles (or similar) behind your seat which you put on over what you wear to paddle. I wouldn’t get heavier, thicker booties unless you are going to be doing surf landings on rocky shores.

Check this month’s
kayak mags. Think it was Sea Kayaker that had a review of 8 water shoes.

I have a pair of Teva Neutrons that have been working well for warm water for almost 2 years. Pretty simple item. Comfort of a neo sock, enough sole for decent protection (but not for hardcore portaging methinks), grippy on most surfaces, one Velcro strap over top to keep them on should you step in deep muck or have to swim in strong current, very small for max room in cockpit, and no open sandal straps to catch on anything. Downside is they will let in sand and gravel which tends to stay in. No biggie.

Many available now are similar, just avoid the Walmart/Walgreens type $6 neo/mesh beach shoes. May look similar - but that’s as far as it goes. They tend not to stay on in the water! Also usually have rough seams that get real annoying if you wear them a lot, wear out fast and generally suck for walking.

I’ve been paddling in a pair of Teva sandals (w/wool socks on cool days). But, I’ve also hung the sole (near the heel) on the seat, as I was exiting, a couple of times. So, I needed to find something better. I really like the Chotas, but think that they’d be overkill for me. Instead, I just bought a pair of Teva Protons (similar to Neutrons, I think). I’ll be spending the summer in the Great Lakes area (cooler water than the SW), so I’ve ordered a pair of NRS Expedition wetsock, to wear with the Protons (and wetsuit).

This will give me a layered approach to my footwear. Tevas alone, when it’s hot; Tevas and wetsocks when it’s cold.

I’ve also ordered an NRS E-Tour semi-dry top. Best prices I could find were at NWOC.


sole thickness is important
if you neeed to feel the foot peddles. Lessthan 3 mm is good. Chota makes a good line of boots. NSR has some booties with zippers.

I love my Nike’s
I’ve used many brands and currently have paddling shoes from Nike, Columbia Sportswear and Teva.

My favorite is the Nike

I have them in mid-top and low-top version. I prefer the Midtop in winter and low in summer. I also have them in different sizes since my winter paddling includes socks and goretex booties (drysuit).


I’ll second that
and I’ve a pair of each, as well!

Good support, good sole, drains well, and works for short walkabouts.

Feels kind of like a neo climbing shoe!


I think it’s short for Ocean Pacific. They sell them at chain athletic stores and they cost under $10.00, have a thick enough sole to walk on broken glass and rocks (important on NYC beaches), with stretchy upper webbing to keep your feet cool and drain water. Very comfy - the perfect summer paddling shoe for me.


You have lots of choices
NRS Makes some shoes

Check out teva’s water shoes

Even patagonia makes a hard soled river shoe.

ggo to E-bay and
type in “dive Boots” in the search area.

Kayak shoes
I have been very pleased with the Solomon wet shoes. I believe they and others were reviewed on the Sea Kayaker web site and these were their favorites too.

Foot wear
I bought the Teva Gamma Pro and really like it. It’s like a tennis shoe but has a mesh covering so it drains very well. The rubber sole is very grippy(nice word) on wet rocks or other surfaces.

If you pull up the site it is the first shoe you see that is orange and black.


Cool Shoe!
Thanks for the info. I didn’t even know Nike made this kind of shoe.

yak pads
yak pads makes a gel heel support now besides their gel seats. I don’t need the heel protection, but husband likes it. They have a website. Outdoor Provision carry’s the heel pads too ~