Footware for hiking thru deeper water.

10:23 p.m. on June 18, 2007 (EDT)
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I just bought a pair of Vasque Clarion boots that I like very much. They keep my feet really dry unless I submurge them in deeper water. What is the ideal way to trek through water that is 2-3 feet deep? Bare foot, Sandals, watershoes or just keep your boots on and dry them out later? I chose barefoot on my last adventure, but tend to think that there has to be a better way. Any opinions?

1:31 a.m. on June 19, 2007 (EDT)
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560 forum posts

I wade on through. Stop on other side, take my socks off and wring them out. I attach them securely to the back of the pack to dry out...ready for the next crossing.

I then towel out the insides of the boots and dry my feet. I then put on a fresh pair of socks and I'm off.

My feet seem to sweat enough so that my insides of boots are usually damp anyway...not too much less than the toweled out boots after a ways down the trail.

I like my Clarions. On my third resole.

Bare footed is not a smart way to be if you are a few miles in on the trail. It is a long walk out with a bruised or cut foot, or pulled toe nail.

If there are going to be several crossings, take the socks off before you cross and reuse them after toweling off feet.

6:52 a.m. on June 19, 2007 (EDT)
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I agree with the speacock method for occasional crossings - however - if you're going to be - for example - hiking up a creek bed - sandals or wading shoes (the kind you use for fly fishing) might work better for you. You do want to protect your feet - I winced when speacock mentioned pulling out a toe nail - by the way - you really don't understand the meaning of discomfort until you do that on the trail.....

Creek wading can be an enjoyable way to explore new territory - especially when it's hotter than heck out. But that's another topic for another thread!

7:36 a.m. on June 19, 2007 (EDT)
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I use a pair of Teva's. My wife likes the croc's. We always carry a pair of sandals with us for creek crossings and just "airing" our feet out at our campsites. The Teva's are pretty sturdy (for sandals) that I even hiked in my Teva's on flat terrian at times.

11:50 a.m. on June 19, 2007 (EDT)
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If the stream is shallow enough and I am not wearing the mesh-top boots, I keep the boots on. But I usually have a pair of either Tevas (the type with the toe protector, not open toe) or water "socks" that I wear if I expect streams deeper than boot height. Blisters develop too quickly with wet socks.

You really want protection for your feet. It is way too easy to hurt your feet on slippery rocky stream bottoms. The Tevas give a little bit of grip, but still you should be very careful, and use hiking poles for balance.

Streams more than knee deep are a different matter and require training and special techniques to wade through, especially when fast flowing. People have been drowned getting knocked off their feet or slipping in knee-deep streams (one in Yosemite just this year).

4:37 a.m. on June 20, 2007 (EDT)
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I always carry paper towels just for this reason.

Boots and socks come off, stream or swamp crossed barefoot, sit on dry bank and dry the feet and your back on the trail.

Your feet are your best friends. Keep 'em dry.

9:45 a.m. on June 20, 2007 (EDT)
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I wore a pair of REI hiking socks, which are supposed to keep your feet dry, and they did just that. At the various crossings, I took off my socks and boots and crossed bare foot. At the other side, I towel tried my feet and then put my socks and shoes back on. I see how this can be dangerous, the rocks do tend to be a little slipery. I think Im going to invest in a pair of Teva's.

6:37 p.m. on June 20, 2007 (EDT)

a.k.a. Dean Zeisset

When hiking or backpacking with light loads (under 30 pounds), I hike in mesh trail runners, like Montrail Hardrocks. The shoes & socks are dry within 20 minutes, as long as you keep moving, regardless of temperature. Changing into a dry pair of socks could be an option if you can't stand to have wet feet. Your feet should stay warm in cooler temps. The key is to keep moving.

7:11 p.m. on June 20, 2007 (EDT)

a.k.a. Steve

The ultimate water hiking boot is the Five Ten canyoneer. Its the boot of choice for people doing technical canyoneering or prolonged stream hiking. See the review in Todds Dessert Hiking Guide (google search Todds hiking).

June 23, 2018
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