Winter paddling footwear suggestions

I have been using cheap neoprene socks in a pair of water sandals and this year am looking for something better. They will mostly be used in a canoe and SOT in Florida with the yearly Fall trip to Maine.

What do you use and how do you like them? Are they true to size or do you need a size larger or smaller?

Go one size bigger.

Kokatat Nomads
Love my Kokatat knee high Nomads. They seem to run true to size and are nice and wide. Worn with neo dive socks I have never had cold feet. Good sturdy sole too.

Also Chotas, but…
… for me, the same size as my shoe size works. My shoe size is 11 1/2, and Chota size 11 works fine with light wool socks. I have a pair of size 12 Chotas to wear over the feet of my dry suit.

By the way, I wear the ones that have a sturdy walking sole and ankle laces, not the lightweight ones used by most kayakers.

Chota Mukluk Litte.
The Lites are much more flexible in the ankle than the sturdier Quicklace and therefore much more comfortable for kneeling.

Hanz Submerge Socks
Knee high waterproof (seals against skin of the upper calf) and breathable (provided they are not submerged, then they’re just waterproof).

Generally sized generously enough to put a light to medium wool crew sock to the inside to increase the insulation. Works well with sandals/crocs.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

I like my NRS Boundary boots
They are neoprene, knee high snug and waterproof.

Use them on the Suwannee in November and December, and your tootsies will stay toasty

jack l

NRS Zip Up Paddle Boots
Year round. I buy them a half to a size larger.

NRS Boundary
I have Chotas and Boundary boots. The Boundary boots are the better deal ($) and I think better built, but I would not buy them before trying them on. I had to go two sizes larger for the right fit. Remember to leave room for socks etc.

I always wear neoprene wet-socks inside the boots and when it gets a little colder, I use regular socks inside the wet-socks. If my feet get cold with that combination, it’s too cold to be paddling.

Do you kneel with that combination?

Hi Ken,
After that freezing paddle on the Ocklawaha and camping at Alexander a few years ago, I got myself some Chota Lites and also Chota Quick Lace mukluks.

Mostly I use the Chota Lites because they are more flexible, but the quick lace ones are warmer.

I wear smart wool socks with them, and they’re perfect for Florida’a cold mornings and warmer afternoons.

Two different shoes
For sit on tops where it is warm like in Florida I use these very warm very flexible shoes:

These also work well in sit inside boats where I cannot normally have shoes at all because of the restricted space. Sinks are not made for size 12 wet suit boots.

For very cold canoeing and sit on tops with lots of room I use these:

NRS Boundary shoes
Are great and NRS stands behind them 100%.

How cold is “very cold”?

– Last Updated: Nov-25-15 8:55 AM EST –

My feet (hands too) don't keep themselves warm as well as most people's. For canoeing in cold weather, I wouldn't want low-top shoes that normally would be completely wet inside. I'd choose taller boots and keep my feet dry.

I don’t have a canoe, so no I don’t kneel with that combination. I think it could be done, but with any kind of boot, it would probably be best not to kneel in such a way where your toes are bent for extended periods.

I Like The NRS Boundary Shoe

– Last Updated: Nov-25-15 10:44 AM EST –

I think I said, "Boundary Shoe," but it's a BOOT. The sole is heavy enough that my feet don't get bruised on rocks yet I can get them under the seat to kneel in the canoe.

I wear size 11 normally, but prefer to use 12 because if it's cold enough to wear them I generally use bulky socks. If it's really cold I wear their Boundary Socks, and sometimes the little stick-on foot-warmers called "Toasti-toes."