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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What are paddlers doing to keep feet warm and dry?. I used the neoprene socks last year. They worked pretty well alone and in combo with the wetsuit, but they seem to have lost all ability to withstand moisture after a year (is that typical neoprene degradation?).

I can switch to waders, but a lot of the season that's warmer than I want to be for the air temps. Looking for a way to keep my feet warm and dry with some expected exposure to the water for launching, shallow wading, etc... with/without waders and wetsuit.

Any such thing exist?
 

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I have been using scuba socks. Heavy duty neoprene, with hard plastic soles. Not even close to keeping the feet dry, but was warm enough. These have been used quite a bit, so they have some holes worn on them, but protected my feet well from the oysters.
 

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WOOL

That'll take care of the "warm" part, as long as you're not flowing cold water over 'em... Not sure how hard the wind cuts thru 'em; it seems Druminator would have tested his pretty well this past weekend. But even sopping wet, they'll still trap the heat.
 

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I've had the same results with neoprene socks, i.e., no longer waterproof. but now i put a thick non-cotton sock over them, then slip on a neoprene bootie (like diver's boots -- zipper on side) over that, at least on very cold days. still not waterproof, but it keeps my feet reasonably warm. i got the boots at REI for about $50, but have seen them cheaper elsewhere (e.g., campmor).

have thought about sticking one of those feet-warmer pad on each foot before i pull on the boot on extra cold days. but what happens when those heat pads get damp or wet? (these are the inexpensive heating pads that have a chemical reaction when exposed to air and warm up ca. 100 degrees or so).

// joel
 

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I think Sealskinz makes a neoprene sock with taped seams.

I have some Storm Socks that are not taped but stay pretty warm. The initial shock will take your breath but they warm up quick.

Lefty mentioned the wool socks I had this weekend. By themselves they worked extremely well. It took me by surprise. I was out and wading around in them and it after a minute or so I got a little chilly. After hopping back in the boat and wiggling my toes they warmed right up. I'm going to partner them up with my Storm Socks (so long as I don't forget to bring them again).

I'm going to pick up some Mion Fast Canyon shoes hopefully soon. They have a fleece lined one that should be pretty warm. Plus they're nice and heavy duty.

How's it going Dub? Have you been fishing much lately? I saw somewhere, I think KFS, where you had some trouble with your seat. Did you ever get that taken care of?
 

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I have a pair of NRS dry socks and they keep my feet pretty warm. The only way water can get in is over the top and if it does your feet still feel warm. I used to wear old shoes over them but, I bought some Mions last spring and I'll wear those over the dry socks instead.
 

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I have a pair of Simms Guide weight waders with neoprene feet. I just use the wool wader socks that come up to your knees that can be purchased where waders are sold. Then just put a pair of oversized sandles on. We are not out wading so you don't need that much "protection" foor the neoprene feet.
 

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Treated myself to a pr of soft calf-high Chota neopreme waterproof boots, with firm grey rubber sole, last year and love'em. They cinch tight to the neopreme bottom section of my dry suit (top section is loose nylon suff). Been in the winter water more than a few times with the set and stayed dry & safe. Boots a bit expensive (~$95) but also use them for other mucky tasks all year and holding up well. RickZ
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for all the replies. On short notice the best I was able to come up with for this weekend was a pair of Seirus Storm Socks. They're an upgrade over my neoprenes, but still not the answer for a day of coastal kayaking where you've got to get out and drag the yak over the skinny places.

I think I'm headed toward waders (with mixed emotion - not a fan of being that encased). But short of a drysuit, a properly worn wader+drytop combo is well accepted as the next safest, driest, most comfortable and reasonably priced option. Will be a major upgrade over the wetsuit for trips when you must get out and do some wading in water that may be above the knee. And I can use them for some cool water river wading close to home too.
 

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I think I'm headed toward waders (with mixed emotion - not a fan of being that encased).
AH! Go ahead with the waders Jeff. Mike occasionally wears his when he is on his computer replying to some of my posts. :D You'll find many uses for them. The Neuse usually marks their waders 50% off after Christmas.
 

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took an accidental dip in the drink off my yak at jordan lake this past friday. still not sure exactly how it happened; lost some gear but most was lashed down -- but wasn't exactly worried about my gear once i realized what was happening when the boat flipped. but my new 2.5mm farmer john wetsuit worked great. not sure of the water temp (ca. 50 degrees?), and the initial cold shock took my breath away. but after just a couple of seconds i realized i was fine and not uncomfortable while in the water. i drug myself back on the yak and picked up my scattered gear. once i started paddling again, i was warm if wet. also had on neoprene socks and 5mm diving boots. not a planned test of the new suit, but it worked great -- was really impressed how comfortable i was in the water altho i did get out of the water pretty fast. prob one of the most important--and *really* difficult--things to do was to remain calm and not panic. for a second i even forgot i had on a pfd and was clawing to get back on the boat before i realized how relatively buoyant i was with the pfd and neoprene.

i would really encourage those of you who wear waders, even with a chest belt and dry top, to test it out in a pool or in safe water. performing a deep water kayak re-entry is not necessarily a simple maneuver, and you certainly don't want to try to do it with flooded waders. i really should have tested out my suit in a friend's pool before i (accidentally) performed this real-time experiment!

just reporting back; thought it relevant to this thread

-- joel
 

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Glad you made it out OK!
 

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I used the seal skins one season, which was all they lasted. Seems the seams couldn't take the stress of being tugged on over socks. The waterproof liner began tearing away from the sock at the seam. Overall I was disappointed with their short life.

Joel - glad to hear your dip turned out well. If you don't have a heart attack from the shock the next thing you have to do is remain calm, not an easy thing to do but vital with all life challenging situations.
 
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