I have purchased a variety of water shoes and returned them.
I’ve paddled for about 8 years now and I’ve owned a lot of crappy footwear so far.
Chota’s suck. Bottom line the sole is not rigid enough so that when you get out of the kayak on rocks you are essentially in a floppy slipper. Mine have essentially disintegrated.
I had some teva water shoes that had a more rigid sole, but these also disintegrated in less than a year.
I tried all of the attack shoe model from NRS. My wide foot does not fit in the top of the sock and I literally cannot get the shoe on when I have my drysuit on.
So does anyone have a recommendation for a good wet shoe that has some neoprene so I can wear it barefoot when necessary but big enough to wear with drysocks from a kokatat drysuit?
I have purchased a variety of water shoes and returned them.
Nunavuts. Very solid sole.
you might need two (pair that is)
Personally I love the NRS Attack shoes, but I only wear them barefoot or with thin mysterioso socks. I found that I really needed 2 differently sized paddling shoes once I got my drysuit with socks. For over the drysuit, I have the NRS Desperado shoes - the sole is definitely not as rigid as the Attack shoe, but because I need to get them extra big to fit over thick wool socks plus the goretex drysuit socks, I found them the most comfortable. Also - my issue is not wide feet persay, but I have very high arches and a relatively small foot, which also makes ankle high shoes a hard fit for me (they get too tight around the ankle real fast).
Guess all I’m saying is you really might need 2 different sized pairs to work. Several other folks I know also use a larger paddling shoe for the winter to accomodate heavy socks plus the drysuit - I think it’s not uncommon.
two shoes I listed I didn’t want are suggested…
I am looking for a pair
that have reasonable soles but very thin otherwise so i can wear them in my sof. I am thinking the best alternative is to get some of that liquid plastic people use to cover the handles of their tools and just paint on a sole on a pair of my waterproof socks. Dunno how long they would last before having to resurface.
attack of the short attention span
People forget from the time they read a post to the time they post a post. I know I do.
neoprene socks, plus a separate shoe
Try something very thin for paddling, and just bring shoes in the hatch to put over them for portaging on rocks. I wear neoprene socks, either alone or over my drysuit socks to protect them from the bottom of the boat. If I’ll need to portage anywhere, I bring a pair of keens in the hatch (tevas, chacos, etc would work fine too). My low-volume kayak is uncomfortable with anything more rigid than a neoprene sock.
how 'bout tevas then?
Chotas but there are different models and they are made very differently. You said that yours had “floppy soles” and so I assumed that you had one of the models with a very flexible sole. The Nunavuts are different and have a very thick one.
harder shoes to put on is impractical
for popping out of the kayak when surf landing
nrs desperado shoe… 1-2 sizes larger
I LOVE the desperado sock and I think it’s the most comfortable kayak shoe around. However, when I need more of a sole, I go with the desperado shoe and I also go 2 sizes bigger so that I can fit into with drysuit booties and big wool socks. Even barefoot, I still have a decent enough fit that it’s not too bad.
I have the NRS Attack shoes as well and for the most part they sit unused in my garage since I don’t like them nearly as much.
Look at Mion
I have the Mion Flood Tide. I wear size 11 EEEE with a high instep and these are the only river shoes I have ever found that I can fit into and feel comfortable. They are cut wide across the width and can be adjusted for my instep. It doesn’t have neoprene, but it does have a mesh bootie which keeps out the small rocks.
I haven’t tried them with my neoprene or hydroskin socks yet but it feels like they would fit better than the New Balance shoes I used to use. Besides the mesh bootie can be removed if you need more room for a neoprene bootie.
They aren’t cheap but the fit my big fat feet!
You can check out their product on their web site:
yeah those are also too small
and I ordered them too big as well.
Lots like that!
Teva Neutrons & Protons are pretty minimal. NRS Paddle Wetshoe too. Also a lot of neo dive booties/shoes should work (soles aren't that tough, but walkable and the flex is nice in SOF).I found a decent pair at West Marine a while back. A bit more beef try stuff like NRS Kickers, and such, but you seem more like the NRS Desperado Sock type to me Paul. Much like the soled sock you described. If too floppy/soft soled, the Desperado Shoe is same thing with 2mm plastic insole added (see Alex's comments below).
For Keith's rocky shores - maybe NRS ATB Wetshoe (older model on sale...)? Neo with more of a sneaker/workboot sole and no laces or other nonsense that have no place in kayaks. Not as crazy as their Workboot and Storm Boot. If fit with Attack was an issue, maybe NRS is a no-go, but I've heard the Attacks run small.
You might like the MEC brand
I have the MEC CFP Lowrider Paddling Booties and they seem pretty durable so far.
not attention span…
My suggestion was not to buy the shoes that I like…my suggestion was to consider two different sizes since he wants shoes to wear both barefoot and over drysuit booties. Sorry if giving examples with the shoes I use was confusing.
On the subject
of water shoes… Does anybody have an opinion on the Mion Tide Scramble? I’ve fallen in love with these shoes online but can’t seem to find the size (woman’s 7) and color (sonic blue) that I wantm either online or in real life. Are they worth persuing or should I forget about them?
Yeah I wear the Current Sandals. They are bulky, but they are by far the most comfortable, well fitting pair of water footwear I have ever worn. They’re really light weight, have great stability, and fit so well I can actually jog in them no problem.
However, they are kinda funky looking. You’ll get past that after wearing them for a few days
Anyway, definitely second the suggestion to check out Mions.
Agreed on Tevas
I have had several pairs of Tevas, and none have lasted more than a couple seasons.
I’ve actually had better luck with some cheaper brands. So far, some $10 Pacific Coast Highway river sandals have lasted the longest.
I am not really happy with river sandals, but haven’t found anything better so far.
Have you ever thought about some low top Converse All Star Chuck Taylor’s for warm weather?
i know, i was just exploiting the little humor he pointed out