What do you wear on your feet?

1 month 3 days ago - 1 month 3 days ago #37514 by Arcturus
When I was in SoCal I was told most people went barefoot while paddling their skis, at least in the warmer seasons (which is, umm, most of the year there...). Their beaches are nice, soft sand.

Here in Colorado I’ve been wearing 3mm short booties for the past five months, even in summer when I could get away with going barefoot IN the ski but would need to strap on Crocs for carrying it on our not-so-nice ground between parking lot and water. With the water now cold, when I finished paddling yesterday, my feet were numb and the soles had turned whitish-yellow from the cold. It’s time to put on something warmer that fits in the footwell—probably some 7mm surfing booties I already have.

What do you cold-water paddlers use for footwear? I’m less than thrilled with the surfing booties and wonder what low-profile (laceless, buckleless, unbulky) exist.

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1 month 3 days ago #37516 by zachhandler
I like these low profile, high top, no buckles:

https://www.amazon.com/Hyperflex-ACCESS-5mm-Round-Boot/dp/B00IP46728?th=1&psc=1

It is very hard to keep feet and hands warm if your core is at all cold because your body will decrease bloodflow to your extremities to minimize heat loss. So make sure that is not part of the issue. Not sure where you are in CO but i imagine lakes will freeze over pretty soon. 

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1 month 3 days ago - 1 month 3 days ago #37521 by Arcturus
I like the rubberized coating over the forefoot—no windchill.

Those look like my surfer booties minus the strap across the arch. I’m not wild about straps that could hang up on the ski’s foot strap. Hyperflex gear is sold in dive shops, so I might actually get to try on for size.

Then again, maybe I could cut off the strap.

Reservoirs will freeze later, but administrative closures due to lack of funding to keep Aquatic Invasive Species inspectors around happens very soon. My last day to paddle will be on or before November 14, IF weather does not cause earlier closures. They aren’t going to plow snow off the access roads. Could drive south if COVID weren’t still a concern.

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1 month 2 days ago #37525 by kwolfe
I wear a pair of 3mm no names and sometimes a pair of 1mm over them.  I've had the same foot whiteness you have in the past but it was usually in my OC1 where my feet were always in some water.  Do you have venturies or a bailer.  Just wondering if  you feet were constantly wet.  Zach is spot on though.  If the rest of you isn't really warm, hands and feet will never get there.

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1 month 2 days ago #37528 by agooding2
I wear Astral Loyak shoes in the spring, summer and fall as they have more structure, good soles for wet and last much longer than anything I've used before.  My shoes are going on four years and everything else I tried rotted out after a year.  Only problem is that the boat shoe soles while good on wet docks are not good if it is muddy.

You can extend the Loyak's range with neoprene socks, but in the winter I have a pair of the Hiyak shoes, which are warm with my drysuit, though they don't fit under a rigid footstrap.  Comfy and warm without though.

Nelo 550L, Think Fit, Nelo Viper 55

Braca XI 705 EL blade, 17K shaft
Braca XI 675 marathon blade, 19K shaft
Braca IV 670 soft blade, 19K shaft

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1 month 1 day ago #37534 by Arcturus
There is a bailer, which I keep open. It keeps the footwell dry until I stop for a butt break (brief) at which point some water comes in. As soon as I paddle again, the water goes away. So yes, my feet periodically get wet, but they don’t sit in a puddle.

The reminder about overall body warmth is spot-on. Till recently, I was often a little too warm while paddling and would shed the PFD and unzip or peel down the Farmer Jane top section. This time, I was too warm at first (going into headwind) yet later zipped up and put on everything. It was a cold wind, and a few sidesmacking waves dumped water into the bucket.

Will wear the 7mm booties next time. Not sure what to do for the rest of the body. I don’t think the drysuit’s Cordura seat will rotate well, and the 5mm fullsuit would be too hot.

The Incoming winter storm might make all this a moot point.

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