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 Post subject: Portaging Footwear
PostPosted: March 4th, 2018, 5:03 pm 
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Joined: August 10th, 2016, 9:37 am
Posts: 23
So I recently bought a new pair of boots to wear while portaging/camping and it got me wondering what footwear other paddles choose for portaging.

My new boots are Oboz Crest mid bdry. They are lightweight and supposedly quick drying which I figure would be great for when I get a soaker. They also provide some decent ankle support which I think is key for a rough portage.

Anyways, I was hoping to hear what others choose to where on the feet when portaging and why.


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 Post subject: Re: Portaging Footwear
PostPosted: March 4th, 2018, 5:18 pm 
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Joined: August 8th, 2017, 9:14 am
Posts: 663
I just wear my MEC paddle shoes but then again I also choose routes with less portaging. But no issues at all on what I've hit so far.

https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5028-584/ ... Watershoes

If I were doing something with serious portages I might go your route.


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 Post subject: Re: Portaging Footwear
PostPosted: March 4th, 2018, 11:04 pm 
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Joined: June 20th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 3339
Location: Toronto, Ontario Canada
I use these NRS Work Boots

https://www.nrs.com/product/2338/nrs-workboot-wetshoe

I'm on my third pair, love them! I treat them like crap so they get pretty worn out (not the sole) after 2 - 3 years of hard use.

If you consider them take note that they are sized smaller than you might expect. I wear a 9.5 in most shoes, use 11's in these boots when wearing a drysuit with integrated socks.

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 Post subject: Re: Portaging Footwear
PostPosted: March 5th, 2018, 12:05 am 
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Joined: April 6th, 2007, 8:42 pm
Posts: 382
Recped, I followed your advice re: Kokatat pants w/ sock. I'm looking for a shoe/boot to tuck them into. Maybe this NRS boot is it. Looks good for in-and-out of boat, for knee-deep muck and for lining with the dry pants on. But for frequent and long heavy carries does it give enough support?


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 Post subject: Re: Portaging Footwear
PostPosted: March 5th, 2018, 12:31 am 
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Joined: June 20th, 2001, 7:00 pm
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Location: Toronto, Ontario Canada
They do for me, I wear them all day every day and that includes a lot of boulder scrambling in and out of the water because I hate to use the actual portage trail unless I have to and most of where I travel there are no trails so lining shorelines is often the best or only option if I can't run or need to scout from shore.

The do not give the same ankle support as a good pair of mid-height hiking boots. On the other hand the soles are thick (small stones, roots) and grip reasonably well (mucky trails).

They do stink!

They take forever to dry out!

I find them a bit cold when the temperature is low, wind is high and the boots are wet but that's probably true for any footwear and it's only when sitting in the canoe not when walking around.

If you kneel a lot you may have more issues, the sole is quite stiff, in my boat with a pedestal I have ankle blocks made from small pieces of pool noodles. In my tripping boats I only kneel for CII+ so it's generally for fairly short periods of time.

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 Post subject: Re: Portaging Footwear
PostPosted: March 5th, 2018, 10:57 am 
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Joined: February 26th, 2009, 11:13 am
Posts: 99
Location: Eganville, ON
Interesting topic, with I'm sure an infinite variety of opinions!

I think I've tried just about everything over the years. Like most I started with sandals and hiking boots. Boots were great until they got wet, then it feels like walking around with lead weights tied to your ankles.

Next iteration was all manner of wet socks and wet shoes. Some of them worked quite well, but like the NRS boot it was tough to get past the smell!

Then on one trip we ran into a canoe outfitting guide, and he wore plain rubber boots. We thought it was crazy, until we tried it.

Now for the last 10 years I trip with a pair of tall rubber boots with good merino wool socks, and a pair of moccasins for camp and dry days in the canoe. The boots are easy to take on and off, and the occasional soaker dries out quickly. For some the boots may not offer enough ankle support, but I've never had a problem yet. They are not comfortable for extended periods of kneeling in the canoe, but I generally only kneel for WW, then stretch out during the calm stretches so they work for me.

My current boots:
http://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/brown ... p.html#srp

Cheers, Simon


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 Post subject: Re: Portaging Footwear
PostPosted: March 5th, 2018, 11:38 am 
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Joined: May 19th, 2014, 9:48 pm
Posts: 26
Second the big rubber boots. Get good quality ones though - cheap ones wear out in day.

I use a poly liner sock and knee high wool blend wading socks. The height of the socks absorbs water quickly if it over-tops the boot.

LLBeene boots for the longer ports where more support is needed.

Mid summer temps and canvas Converse High Tops work well. Ankle protection/support from the canvas and they are fairly comfortable to wear for long periods and don't tend to get to smelly.


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 Post subject: Re: Portaging Footwear
PostPosted: March 5th, 2018, 12:55 pm 
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Joined: June 26th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 654
Location: scarborugh, Ontario canada
Broke my ankle on the last portion of the last portage on the upper pet last year........wearing keen sandals. Will be looking for something with better support.
BTW, those NRS boots do really stink and your foot sweats beyond belief..............still looking for the right boot.
jim


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 Post subject: Re: Portaging Footwear
PostPosted: March 5th, 2018, 4:48 pm 
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Joined: October 28th, 2011, 8:51 pm
Posts: 104
Another vote for rubber boots. Was a summer fall canoeist so never needed them, but decided that on an early spring trip it would be nice to avoid cold feet. bought the women’s ones at Cdn Tire as they seemed to fit better (I’m a man), for forty eight dollars on sale, and then I put an insole into them (montrail endurosole, I think). Great in the muck. Not going back.




This Christmas found out they are identical to $120 Bogs my sister bought, with matte instead of shiny exterior.

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 Post subject: Re: Portaging Footwear
PostPosted: March 5th, 2018, 5:19 pm 
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Joined: November 7th, 2010, 4:35 pm
Posts: 218
What about rubber boots in deep water? While not an everyday occurrence I expect to be wading through knee to waist deep water somewhat regularly. I'd think they could be a liability in that situation, especially if you unexpectedly lost footing and found yourself suddenly swimming.

So far I've been using boots like the New Balance Abyss and Rocky S2V Jungle boot. The Rocky is a bit heavier but built much better. I wear the boots all day long and change into dry shoes/socks in camp. The main thing I don't like about this style of boot is that if you only have to step in a few inches of water your feet are going to get wet and stay that way the rest of the day where with nearly any other type of boot you would keep your feet dry in that situation. When the temps get into the 50's and lower they can get pretty chilly (when wet) if you're not portaging regularly.

I'm tempted to go with something like 16" pac boots such as Schnee's or Bean boots. The rubber would keep your feet dry in shallow water indefinitely. The leather would keep out nearly knee deep water for brief immersions and for anything higher or more prolonged you'd just resign yourself to getting wet, which is going to happen with nearly any other footwear as well. I worry about the traction on moss/lichen covered rocks though. I think those rocks are my biggest safety concern on my solo trips.

Alan


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 Post subject: Re: Portaging Footwear
PostPosted: March 5th, 2018, 6:19 pm 
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Joined: August 8th, 2017, 9:14 am
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Yeah in my book you wear something that is intended to get wet. I think the boots in the original post are the best bet if you will be on challenging terrain. For easier portages the ones I mentioned are great.


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 Post subject: Re: Portaging Footwear
PostPosted: March 5th, 2018, 7:31 pm 
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Joined: April 26th, 2012, 2:42 pm
Posts: 53
Also use the NRS workboot now...used to take more risks with low cut paddling shoes...then fractured an ankle on Skull Canyon portage on the Clearwater River...had to do the Methye Portage shortly there after...that was 15 years ago...wore hiking boots for years, putting them on for each portage...few years read about the NRS workboot in a Bill Layman article...no going back now.


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 Post subject: Re: Portaging Footwear
PostPosted: March 6th, 2018, 8:18 am 
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Joined: August 11th, 2002, 7:00 pm
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Location: Sunny Wasaga Beach
When I did any rough ports I always used hikers---never water shoes or 'wellies'---they have no ankle support.

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 Post subject: Re: Portaging Footwear
PostPosted: March 6th, 2018, 8:35 am 
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Joined: May 19th, 2014, 9:48 pm
Posts: 26
When salmon fishing in the fall I wear my waders since I am getting in and out of the canoe all day. Same could apply for canoeing.

For those deeper water areas that overtop boots you could get a breathable waist high pair of stocking foot waders or a pair of hip waders. Stay dry and have good ankle support for the ports


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 Post subject: Re: Portaging Footwear
PostPosted: March 6th, 2018, 10:27 am 
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Joined: March 30th, 2010, 4:10 pm
Posts: 303
Location: Ringwood, NJ
For rough rocky portages and frequently being in and out of the boat - self-bailing 5.10 Canyoneer 3.


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