Drysuits and Footwear - Mountain Buzz

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Old 10-10-2017   #1
kayakerps's Avatar
Salem, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 55
Drysuits and Footwear

I recently purchased a drysuit to extend the rowing season and wonder what the best shoe is to wear. Of course, the summer Chacos aren't going to work and I see that Astral makes some shoes advertised for river runners. However, they look just like casual sneakers. Is there something else I should be looking for or are just an old pair of sneakers the way to go? Thanks in advance.

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Old 10-10-2017   #2
Groveland, California
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 229
I've got a couple years on a pair of Astral Brewers and I've been happy with them. The soles are very sticky, much better than Chacos/tennis shoes for scrambling on wet rocks.
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Old 10-10-2017   #3
KSC's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,104
I guess it depends what you're looking for. Sneaker is probably fine if you don't care about grippy rubber on the sole and wearing it out for other uses. With the drysuit you don't have to worry that much about the shoe providing warmth (neoprene not necessary).

I've been pretty happy with the Astral offerings. The "sneaker" models differ in their use of sticky rubber, draining features and quick drying materials. They also offer the Rassler and Hiyak if you're looking for more support. Fiveten is another common goto for watersports.

I usually bump up a 1/2 size for use with the drysuit, but depending on how snug of fit you tend to use, you may be fine with your normal size.
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Old 10-10-2017   #4
Rick A's Avatar
Henderson, Nevada
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Apr 2016
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I have the NRS Velocity water shoe. It is a high top but not too high so it has ankle support for hiking, it drains well and is reasonably warm but they do not dry fast at all.
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Old 10-10-2017   #5
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1987
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 140
I treat the booties on the drysuit like I would a pair of waders. I wear the NRS work boot which has a neoprene sock inside, or a pair of thin neoprene booties over the drysuit inside of wading boots. Sand in your shoe is a good way to get a hole in your drysuit boots. If you are not hiking/scouting a bunch then any neoprene boot/shoe will work. Just make sure your boots are not too tight. Like suggested go up a half size or size.

The neoprene boots/socks never dry out on a multi-day trip and are likely to be frozen. Soak them in the river to thaw them out so you can get them on!

A nice pair of wool socks inside is nice too!
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Old 10-10-2017   #6
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2013
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 303
I rock the river sneakers over the dry suit.
I used to use the NRS crush but they didn't dry well and didn't last long. Then I used the Chaco river sneakers and they a meh rating. I just got the Astral TR1 mesh shoes, grippy, go on easy, DON'T collect sand, have really comfortable cushioning and unlike other laced river shoes don't loosen. They are really pricey but worth it.
I have a guide friend that uses old mesh running shoes an they seem to work fine if you don't care about grip.

I second the buying a half size up. I second the sand in the shoes concern.
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Old 10-10-2017   #7
UriahJones's Avatar
Salem, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 210
I've been using these.


They have seen about 60 river days this last year, and are holding up great. The traction is good, and having laces is unbeatable for keeping your shoes on in the water!
"...and beyond; a far green country under a swift sunrise."
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Old 10-10-2017   #8
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Central Point, Oregon
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 398
I still like the NRS ATB boots. They are warm, protect the suit and and are fast to get on and off. If I was more in the billygoat kayaking club I can see looking for something more like the astrals.
May the water be under your boat and the wind at your back.
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Old 10-10-2017   #9
Salt Lake City, Utah
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 244
5.10 water tennie. The bomb.

Five Ten | Water Tennie Men's Amphibious Shoe - Ocean Depths
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Old 10-10-2017   #10
Vail, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 66
I love my Astral Loyaks (if you are deciding between two sizes, go smaller)
5.10's are supposedly solid.
Adidas has gotten into the game of river shoes
Vivobarefoot makes some neat river worthy shoes as well
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