Kayak/rafting footwear ideas - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 07-01-2018   #1
 
fort collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2014
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Kayak/rafting footwear ideas

Hey all,

This is general footwear question. What footwear do you wear on the river, why do you like it, and what would you want to improve? I'm thinking about trying to design a more durable and affordable river shoe and would really like to hear your thoughts. As much detailed feedback on the type of footwear that is available for whitewater kayakers and rafters would be appreciated. Thanks!

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Old 07-01-2018   #2
 
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Roaring Fork Valley, Colorado
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Old 07-02-2018   #3
Don
 
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Shoes depend on the purpose. Smaller kayaks restrict the room and what size shoes will fit. Plus they may need to have more freedom of movement to fit comfortably in the kayak. Maybe a rubber sole with a very shallow tread is needed to fit. Bigger kayaks allow for really any shoe to fit, but because people may be running harder WW they want a shoe that protects more for scouting and running around on wet rocks. Rafter may want shoes that allow their feet to dry easier to prevent foot rot like sandals. You can find everything you need at your local kayak or rafting store. I like Astral's options the best for my needs.
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Old 07-02-2018   #4
 
Northern California, California
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I loved my Five Ten Water Tennies. Super bummed that Addidas decided to discontinue them. If you could just make the same shoe that lasts longer than a season. My only complaint with them was how quickly they always fell apart.
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Old 07-02-2018   #5
 
Flagstaff, Arizona
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I loved the old Patagonia water tennie. The 5.10's water tennie was second best. I have a pair of old teva water shoes and they fit in my kayaks and are a dependable shoe. They get filled with sand when on southwestern rivers. That my complaint. I have had them for 6 seasons and they are holding on by threads, but I haven't found that new shoe yet. I am now looking at the NRS crush or the astrals. I like a shoe to cover my ankle but be movable. good toe protection and a good sole are important for me.
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Old 07-03-2018   #6
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I like river sandals, and my 1st pair of Chacos was my hands down favorite ever. When I wore them thru to the midsole, they could not be resoled so I bought another pair which I do not like! The 1st pair was purchased in the late 90's the 2nd pair probably around 2005 or so. The difference-

-The 2nd pair had a much stiffer sole, less comfortable to stand on and less comfortable for walking, not as
- The 2nd pair was following the trend of making the soles with deep lugs, more like a shallow Vibram sole. Rather than making a better grip on rocks and such, all they do is hold mud and allow it to be tracked all over my boat and making it easier to slip on rocks.

My first ever river sandals were Tevas and Fibas (defunct, I think), both had a plain textured EVA sole that gripped rock, concrete, Mayan ruins, etc very well and did not bring a pound of mud into my boat. They were also nice and light.

If you doubt the plainer sole giving better traction, look at your favorite rock climbing shoes..............
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Old 07-03-2018   #7
 
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The Astral Loyak is a perfect river-trip shoe for me - drains water and sand quite well, great traction for exploring, dries fast, fits in a playboat.

Teva used to make a boot that had a fairly sturdy sole, neoprene upper and webbing closure - I've used that for creeking for years and been happy. What made it good was a sturdy sole for portages/scouts (because I am a pussy), durable/wears well, and not a bunch of laces or stuff to get stuck when making an unplanned exit of one's boat.
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Old 07-03-2018   #8
 
Boise, ID
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Keen Utilas that are neoprene with a knobby rubber sole in my playboat (discontinued), 5.10 water tennies (discontinued) in my creeker or if we're rafting more difficult stuff or low water when we know we'll be pushing in the river (MFS <2') or wearing drysuits, and Chacos for everything else.

Why do good shoes get discontinued? I guess because they are not selling enough...I need to be better about stockpiling.
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Old 07-03-2018   #9
 
SLC, Utah
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I've always thought the old original Patagonia kayak-specific booties set the standard. After wearing mine out, I've switched to minimalist running shoes (Merrill) with a little extra ventilation added to let water drain out faster. They work well but I miss the sticky rubber. Being able to hike/run a long ways in them (vs a neoprene bootie) is nice.
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Old 07-04-2018   #10
 
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Westminster, Colorado
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Chacos w/ 5.10 soles, probably the best fitting, great traction, long lasting
Chacos Z/Volv, comfortable foot bed, good traction
Tevas...in the early days, velcro was the fastener, sucking mud trapped a couple
Alps...too many straps that were weirdly adjustable
Keens...too many pairs to recount attributes, but overall an OK river sandal, elastic
cord does wear and could never get them quite tight enough
Merrells, Columbia...various styles, better for the street

And yes, I have a LOT of sandals...
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