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Old 10-11-2018, 12:50   #1
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Keeping your feet dry without boots

I've never been a fan of slip-on boots. In part, this is because I've never found a boot that works well with orthotics. But I also find them clumsy. I never liked any sort of slip-on boot.

When I wear a dry suit the problem goes away; the feet are attached and I can wear wet suit boots or common deck shoes. But I don't always wear a dry suit when it is wet. Often it is not cold enough.

So what works for you? Waterproof socks? Bread bags? Lace-up dinghy boots?
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Old 10-11-2018, 13:49   #2
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Re: Keeping your feet dry without boots

Only sail in warm water!

In past cold weather sailing Ive used either full sea boots or wet suit boots tall enough to lap my rain gear pants leg over. Cant think of many other options, we could wear fishing waders, but those are really awkward.
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Old 10-11-2018, 14:03   #3
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Re: Keeping your feet dry without boots

Gortex socks and running shoes, dry feet and good grip all without being clumsy. Get mid calf high or higher, I used them for years an never found a better combo.
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Old 10-11-2018, 14:10   #4
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Re: Keeping your feet dry without boots

When the weather gets snotty I don some special neoprene booties. I usually wear gortex socks with them. The boots have flexible plastic soles, which works great with my teak (non-skid) deck. I find this much better than big, clunky deck boots. And my feet stay warm and dry.
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Old 10-11-2018, 14:39   #5
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Re: Keeping your feet dry without boots

For us, the desire to keep our feet dry is usually coupled with cooler Wx.

Therefore, for cold, extreme Wx we like the Duberry Ultima Sailing Boot [comfortable, dry, warm, not clunky...] They have a lightweight boot as well, but we haven't tried that model.

Any other time where dry feet are desired, we have never found anything better than Sealskinz waterproof socks paired with the choice of shoes for the task at hand.

Both of these recommendations seem pricy, but are worth every penny because of their quality and durability.

In case this is useful.

Cheers! Bill
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Old 10-11-2018, 15:49   #6
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Re: Keeping your feet dry without boots

not sure how well they'll workout on a boat..
but the Army gortex boots I bought for riding my motorcyle might work.
drove 15hrs in rain..at 60plus MPH..feet stayed dry.. just wool socks inside, because they help make the boots fit better
no problem walking in water over my ankles either


otherwise gortex socks with an inner wicking liner..not all water comes from outside.


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Old 10-11-2018, 16:31   #7
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Re: Keeping your feet dry without boots

I've used Goretex socks and boots before. Basically, once the shoe is wet the Goretex cannot breath, so whether it is permiable or not is off the point in wet weather. In dry weather there is a difference... but then you don't need them and they dry slower.


No free lunch....


On the other hand, they do stop the movement of water through the sock, like a wet suit, so even if you are pretty sweat-soaked, you are warmer, which is half the battle.
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Old 10-11-2018, 17:03   #8
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Re: Keeping your feet dry without boots

I have been quite happy with my Gill Tall Rubber Boots. I use them with SmartWool Trekking Socks or if it's really cold some old Cabelas wool socks that are crazy thick.

These boots are not clumsy; they are well fit and comfortable. I've been known to wear them off the boat if I don't have to walk too far on pavement or gravel.

The Dubarry boot look like a tough boot and may be my next boot...if my Gill's ever wear out. They are on their third year.
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Old 11-11-2018, 10:40   #9
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Re: Keeping your feet dry without boots

I like Sealskins, worked great crewing CAN ONE races out on Long Island Sound. Feet dry and warm. Works with a variety of outer footwear.
https://www.sealskinzusa.com/socks
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Old 11-11-2018, 10:57   #10
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Re: Keeping your feet dry without boots

I don't care about keeping my feet dry, I care about keeping them warm
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Old 11-11-2018, 11:00   #11
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Re: Keeping your feet dry without boots

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
I don't care about keeping my feet dry, I care about keeping them warm
Agreed. Almost all my cruising has been in cold waters. After trying various boots and other options I settled on the neoprene booties. They stay warm. And I love the firm grip they give on the deck.

ADD: Although it’s possible I have a higher tolerance for cold.
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Old 11-11-2018, 11:01   #12
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Re: Keeping your feet dry without boots

Dry feet are warm feet, just say'n.
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Old 11-11-2018, 11:08   #13
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Re: Keeping your feet dry without boots

I find it more important to keep my butt warm, cold hands and feet I can deal with.

I use US Navy unbleached wool socks at about $6.00 a pair. I have DuBarry boots, but don't wear them ashore and for jiust knocking around, I wear white rubber shrimper's (or butcher's) boots with the Navy socks and just have to worry about keeping my butt warm...
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Old 11-11-2018, 12:15   #14
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Re: Keeping your feet dry without boots

Hmm, battery powered feet heaters in seawater?
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Old 11-11-2018, 12:40   #15
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Re: Keeping your feet dry without boots

"once the Goretext is wet it cannot breath"
I would disagree. The GT membrane will STILL be trying to pass water molecules from the hot side to the cold side, even when saturated. You just won't notice any "breathing" until the liquid has all been passed, which may take quite a while.

But whenever you mention "orthotics" and footwear in the same breath, you get bigger issues since the key one may simply be getting something you can tolerate standing in.

I've found that 1/4" (6-7mm) neoprene divers booties, with a side zipper and a firm bottom layer, do a pretty good job in wet weather. Your feet won't be dry but they will be as warm as they can be, while they're wet. Sealskinz are great but of course you still have to wear something over them.

I used to have a great pair of Vredstein boots, high calf height, great soles, great support, but from what I was told they were polyurethane and the Dutch were banning that on ecological grounds, couldn't replace them. If you want something that accomodates serious orthotics though, you will need serious boots. With good wool socks (Wigwam, SmartWool, Darn Tuff, other premium merino wool blends) you may get squishy but you will stay warm.
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