Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Dealing with wet footwear
Display Avatars Sort By:
David Poston
(dgposton) - F

Locale: Texas / Colorado
Dealing with wet footwear on 05/16/2008 11:51:07 MDT Print View

I know this topic has probably been discussed exhaustively, but here goes...

For above-freezing temperatures, what is the most efficient way to manage moisture in footwear? I have read much conflicting opinion on the pros and cons of wp/b layers in footwear. It makes sense to me for boots designed for colder weather, but for warmer weather, is it really necessary?

How many of you would prefer their trail shoes or lightweight boots (read suede & nylon mesh) WITHOUT a Gore-tex liner? If so, how do you deal with wet feet? Are synthetic socks preferred over wool in this situation?

thanks much


Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Dealing with wet footwear on 05/16/2008 12:08:33 MDT Print View

Hi David.
After 30+ years of hiking in Scotland, wet feet are par for the course. But, wet doesn't need to mean uncomfortable. On a day walk, what the hell. On a multi-day walk, as long as you dry your feet at night you should be ok. As soon as i finish for the day, i look after my feet. Wet socks off, dry socks on. Reverse in the morning. I've just purchased a pair of down booties from Feathered Friends that will be my 'friends' in camp.

Jeremy Greene
(tippymcstagger) - F

Locale: North Texas
drilled soles on 05/16/2008 13:09:14 MDT Print View

As long as you don't have air soles, you can drill a few small drain holes. (Try with an old pair first). You may want to carry something to clear heavy clay out.

I came up with this because Tevas don't fit me. Clearly, I don't wear these in industrial areas.

Eric Noble
(ericnoble) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Dealing with wet footwear on 05/16/2008 14:30:47 MDT Print View

I wear Salomon Tech Amphibs and Smartwool Utralight Micro Cycling socks. Like Mike, I rotate between 2 pairs so I always have a dry pair at night. Sometimes I have to hang a pair to dry over night but usually they are dry after an hour on the trial. A Goretex liner would just ruin a good a system. I prefer wool socks to synthetic because my feet tend to stink less in wool.

David Poston
(dgposton) - F

Locale: Texas / Colorado
Re: Re: Dealing with wet footwear on 05/19/2008 10:07:21 MDT Print View


Do you dry your Smartwool socks by wearing them wet, or do you switch pairs?

Also, to what temps do you use this system? When it gets to freezing, do you switch to boots or Gore-tex trail shoes?


David Poston
(dgposton) - F

Locale: Texas / Colorado
Trail shoe options on 05/19/2008 10:17:24 MDT Print View

I should have mentioned that these are the models I am currently considering, primarily based on fit:

Keen Southern Traverse

Keen Bend

Merrell MOab Gore-tex XCR

Garmont Nagevi

I've tried on all of these except for the Garmont. The Keens and Merrells seem to fit my wide feet well, and I've heard that Garmonts are good for wide feet as well.

Don Selesky
(backslacker) - M
Re: Dealing with wet footwear on 05/19/2008 11:43:57 MDT Print View

I've seen this topic discussed many ways, from stream crossing to rains, and I think one thing missing is the extent to which your feet will be exposed to wet versus dry conditions. Out west, you may have a short stream crossing followed by the rest of the day in sunny, dry weather. Out east, you may get three days of soaking rain, and have to walk through wet grass and foliage. In the first case, your boots will dry out. In the second case, good luck.

If you're talking about a bit of rain or water, lean toward a synthetic shoe that won't hold much water and will dry quickly. If it's going to be prolonged exposure to water, then either an aquatic shoe, some kind of GoreTex liner, or an overshoe to protect your boot when necessary.

I hike out east mostly, and have to deal with rain and stream crossings, so I picked up a pair of Neos overboots that are almost knee high. Also good for the occasional trek through high mountain snow fields in the spring.

Frank Deland

Locale: On the AT in VA
wet feet on 05/19/2008 16:30:45 MDT Print View

I have worn the Merrells which were fine, although pre gortex, but recently I wore the Montrail Hardrock through a rainy dya on th AT and were surprised at how dry they kept my feet until I put a foot into a puddle. Dry socks with foot powder help my feet dry out in the evening. Let them breath during a lunch break, too. Remove shoes, insoles and socks at mid-day. I have used hydro/gel etc., but I cannot say that it really works. Gortex loses its effectiveness,when dirty, but gortex in footwear helps them dry out faster.

You might find reviews of the footwear here at BPL. Remember, too, fit is the key.

If its not cold, wear ankle length socks, less to dry when they get wet. Wear Crocs for stream crossings. They float and water rushes through the holes when they are submerged. They do not give any sideways support, however. At least remove socks and footbeds for crossings when wearing your shoes. I like low cuts: less to dry, faster to dry, lighter and enough support.

Edited by rambler on 05/19/2008 16:41:39 MDT.

Eric Noble
(ericnoble) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Re: Re: Dealing with wet footwear on 05/19/2008 18:21:21 MDT Print View

Do you dry your Smartwool socks by wearing them wet, or do you switch pairs?

Also, to what temps do you use this system? When it gets to freezing, do you switch to boots or Gore-tex trail shoes?
I wear them wet while hiking and they usually dry out while I'm still hiking. I rotate to the dry and clean pair before I go to bed. I don't want to sleep in nasty socks. On a trip of more than a few days, I will even wash the socks I used that day with a little unscented Dr. Bronners if they are getting too nasty. This works in temperatures where you are not concerned about your feet getting too cold and when there is an opportunity for your socks and feet to dry out. If your feet don't have a chance to dry then you will eventually start having issues with maceration and the like, that Hydropel and it's kin can help to prevent. If it's too cold for the above approach then a Gortex sock or shoe is a good approach. See Will's articles on footwear for a more authoritative treatise than I can give.

Edited by ericnoble on 05/19/2008 18:22:37 MDT.

David Poston
(dgposton) - F

Locale: Texas / Colorado
Keen Shellrock - did they revamp it? on 05/20/2008 09:48:27 MDT Print View

I also want to add to my list the Keen Shellrock:

I noticed that Will Rietveld did a review here of the eVENT version of this shoe:

In the review, he found the waterproofness of the eVENT somewhat suspect. So...did Keen pull this one from the market? Why is the current one sans eVENT?

(sheilabaynes) - F
... on 05/20/2008 12:00:40 MDT Print View


Edited by sheilabaynes on 10/30/2014 11:17:22 MDT.