Footwear in June?

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Footwear in June?

Postby John M » Tue May 19, 2009 7:21 pm

I live in Florida and our undertaking our first trip to the BWCA the first week in June. What is the best suggestion for foot wear while paddling? I have heard 16 " rubber boots, which I am sure will be dry but not as comfortable. We will be doing little portaging. Regular running shoes for camping? any suggestions will be appreciated. I have been warned it might be wet this time of year and flies will be out.(Nothing like the Everglades)

I dont imagine my flip flops will cover it. But Keens? is the water really 40 degrees this time of year? I think we have it all covered but the footwear, which is probably the most important. Thanks for any insight or help. Cant wait.

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Re: Footwear in June?

Postby bwca » Thu May 21, 2009 11:46 am

I grew up being taught to never let the canoe touch any rocks or the shore, which meant always jumping out of the canoe before beaching. I still follow that practice, which means wet feet. I use high top leather boots.

Whether you follow that practice, or if you want to strive for keeping dry... it is important to select footwear that gives you plenty of ankle support. Your boots must be the right size so they do not shift. Portages can be very rugged and rocky and you need to have foot wear that will protect you on those jaunts.

It is often difficult to keep your feet dry... even if that is your goal... Many portages have low lying areas that can be wet, muddy, or even submerged. During low water times, you may need to walk your canoe through some areas on streams, or you may choose to walk your canoe through a channel rather than portaging.

I do not recommend tennis shoes, water socks, rain boots, or flip flops as your main footwear. I do recommend packing a pair of water socks for swimming though.
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Re: Footwear in June?

Postby John M » Thu May 21, 2009 3:50 pm

Thanks BWCA,
I have a pair of Simms Flats sneakers that have good ankle support, but they are not water proof. Is this necessary? I typical were a neoprene sock. Down here everything drys within hours. I am concerned that the shoe will stay wet,all day, one of the reasons I have been told to get rubber boots. but most dont look like I would want to do any portaging with. I will have a dry pair of sneakers to change into around camp.
My wife is wondering why we would leave 82 degree sunny weather for highs in the 60's, rain, and bugs. One word--fishing. It is planning to be an epic father/son trip.
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Re: Footwear in June?

Postby bwca » Fri May 22, 2009 10:32 pm

Different factors would play in whether your boots/shoes would dry or not.... their material, the weather, how much of the day you will be canoeing, etc. I would expect in most circumstances, they would not dry. Bringing extra socks and dry shoes for camp is a good idea. Also bring Tinactin to help with any foot rot, and Moleskin to help with any potential foot blisters/chafing.
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Re: Footwear in June?

Postby Adain21 » Wed Jun 24, 2009 1:15 am

Thanks for taking the time to help, I really apprciate it.
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Re: Footwear in June?

Postby Abigail » Fri Jul 03, 2009 1:12 am

I will read from time to time for that.
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Re: Footwear in June?

Postby Thomas » Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:20 am

Thats cool....:D
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Re: Footwear in June?

Postby RaisedByBears » Sat Apr 28, 2012 11:11 pm

I use tennis shoes or running shoes for portages, water shoes or barefoot for getting out of the canoe when it is close to shore. I used to bring Tingly overshoes in case it was too cold, but I never used them and last year I noticed they'd deteriorated to the point of uselessness.
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Re: Footwear in June?

Postby VoyageurNorth » Tue May 01, 2012 1:20 am

Rubber pull on or rubber shoe boots mostly for colder weather (or cold water like a nice spring that still has really cold water).

In July, I just use tennis shoes and have an extra pair of shoes for camp like my Crocs, Keen sandals or another pair of tennis shoes.

if you have weak ankles, then find something that supports you. I find that something around my ankle bothers me.
Not to commercialize, but just to let you know I am one of those "outfitter types" :-)

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Re: Footwear in June?

Postby bwca » Tue May 01, 2012 9:28 am

For swimming or wading, Voyageur North has a variety of water sock shoes on sale in their outfitting store.
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Re: Footwear in June?

Postby VoyageurNorth » Wed May 02, 2012 5:02 pm

thanks Erik! Almost forgot about those! :-)
Not to commercialize, but just to let you know I am one of those "outfitter types" :-)

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Re: Footwear in June?

Postby valeria » Tue May 15, 2012 2:24 am

It sounds really interesting. I have read your article and it is very helpful for me.
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Re: Footwear in June?

Postby AlumnaPig Mike » Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:07 am

The greatest joy I experienced for summer canoeing was when my wife bought me a pair of Keen sandals. They offer support, are good wet or dry, and on any portage and can be worn with smart wool socks if you want to keep your tootsies warm and dry. They don't fall off and you won't lose them in mud or swamp trails. They also eliminate dancing around like a peacock trying to get in and out of a canoe without getting your feet wet. Rubber and big leather boots are probably great for ice out or late fall canoeing. I never heard of Keen sandals and they are pricy ($70 on sale). I am not a name brand LL Bean type outdoorsman but I have had the same pair for 3 years and love them like my grandaughter! AlumnaPig Mike

PS. The Sring 2012 issue Boundary Waters Journal has an amusing article "Hunter Island Showdown" that pits boots against sandals (among many other disagreements) with two veteran guides, Stu Ostoff and
Rob Kesselring.
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