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fording rivers..crossing creeks
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Sunny Waller
(dancer) - M

Locale: Southeast USA
fording rivers..crossing creeks on 02/03/2006 10:39:30 MST Print View

What do YOU do when you know your feet are going to get cold and wet and its wintertime out. What shoes/sock combination works for you change out your shoes on each side or just keep on slogging on in wet shoes?

jonathan hauptman

Locale: A white padded room in crazy town.
Re: fording rivers..crossing creeks on 02/03/2006 12:04:30 MST Print View

-inov-8 shoes and ultralight waterproof/breathable sealskins socks

I have loved this combo and highly recommend using it. It is a good idea not to wear another pair of socks under them because they will just obsorb sweat and get all soggy(IMHO).

p.s., some of inov-8 new shoes look a little more water repellant.

Mike Storesund
(mikes) - F
Re: fording rivers..crossing creeks on 02/04/2006 00:30:00 MST Print View

Going through water in the cold weather can be extremely uncomfortable if you keep your shoes / boots on. A couple years ago I had to cross a river with ice forming along the bank going out and coming back. It was about 45 feet wide and the water was just under my knees. Cold water filled the boots even before the water was over my gaiters… Can you say shrinkage!?

I was wearing Gore-Tex lined Asolo boots and had a pair of Asolo Cross-Training shoes for camp shoes in my pack. (Asolo’s fit my feet very well) I kept “slogging on” for about two hours after crossing the river and my feet were becoming very uncomfortable. Wet, cold, pink and wrinkled like a raisin, I put some Gold Bond on them and changed into fresh socks and my camp shoes, which I wound up wearing the rest of the weekend until I had to cross back over. The camp shoes I wore the rest of the weekend still got a little wet from the ground moisture, but hind-sight told me that the boots would have handled the little moisture better.

To make a long story endless; the next time I crossed that river in the cold, the following year, I had a pair or Speedo Surf Walkers that I wore going through the water and my boots remained dry and warm. That will be the gear I have when we go again this March. Taking the few extra minutes to change out of the boots is well worth the time and effort. I would even go barefoot or just a pair of socks before wearing the boots through the river again. Your feet are going to get that cold anyhow.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: fording rivers..crossing creeks on 03/03/2006 17:52:46 MST Print View

Has anybody tried Crocs for fording? All the "water sock" shoes I have looked at were very heavy. I think I would haul Tevas before that.

Fishermen use wading shoes with felt soles for better traction. A minimal shoe with a felt sole might be easy to make -- take some really light running shoes and glue some felt soles on them, etc.

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Re: Re: fording rivers..crossing creeks on 03/03/2006 18:07:19 MST Print View

I've used Waldies with added heel straps - about the same thing. They worked OK. Get gravel under your foot is all.

In ice water, your feet go numb to the cold. Then it's fine. The water is never ever cold enough to be dangerous. Like, you won't get frostbite or anything like that until you get out.

Edited by vickrhines on 03/03/2006 18:19:47 MST.

Douglas Frick
(Otter) - MLife

Locale: Wyoming
Re: Re: Re: fording rivers..crossing creeks on 03/03/2006 21:11:53 MST Print View

> Has anybody tried Crocs for fording?

Yes. They worked fine. They're pretty decent camp shoes--very breathable but still provide a bit of warmth.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Re: Re: fording rivers..crossing creeks on 03/03/2006 23:18:35 MST Print View

Vick Hines wrote: "In ice water, your feet go numb to the cold. Then it's fine. The water is never ever cold enough to be dangerous. Like, you won't get frostbite or anything like that until you get out"

Yup, I was raised on glacier fed streams and lakes and cold salt water. Puget Sound varies maybe 5F from winter to summer--- that is 45F to 50F. You don't really swim in it as a kid, you kind of wade and dunk under, stay in until you turn some ghastly color and go sit on the beach and shiver. Mind you, a hot summer day in Seattle is anything over 75F. Cold water doesn't do a lot to make you more graceful, that's for sure. The first time I went to Hawaii, it was the water temperature that blew me away-- I just couldn't get the idea of *warm* salt water.

I was curious as to what others found with the Crocs and variants staying on your feet and basic traction. I love 'em as camp shoes.

As to my idea of adapting a pair of running shoes to wading shoes, I found a fellow with a Web page that does a nice job of explaining how to do it. He's a fly fisherman, so he's spent a lot of time in running water with waders. Check it out:

BTW, a pair of fly fishin' wading shoes run about $85US. I saw one ad bragging about how light they were at 32oz. a pair {{{{shudder}}}}.

I'm gonna find a used pair of the lightest mesh-sided running shoes and add something to the bottom for traction. I'm wondering how some of the 3m green scrubbing pads would work. Something like polyurethane glue should do the trick for applying it. You could chop the shoes up pretty good-- toss the insoles, cut the tongue out, etc, to drop the weight. They only need to be worn for 100 yards at a time, so comfort isn't really an issue.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: fording rivers..crossing creeks on 03/04/2006 14:15:01 MST Print View

Mike Storesund wrote, "I had a pair or Speedo Surf Walkers that I wore going through the water."

Wouldn't you know I went looking for a pair of used running shoes to make some wading shoes and I ran into a like new pair of Surf Walkers for $2 in a thrift store.

They are very good quality and weigh an ounce more than my Crocs (14oz.)I normally wear a size 10, but the size 9 Surf Walkers fit well. The elastic straps on the outside of the heel look good for stashing on the outside of my pack with a biner. They are still heavy by UL standards, but a lot lighter than some others I've looked at. I'll proceed with my quest to build some UL wading shoes, but these will get used.

Robert Miller
(procab) - F
Re: fording rivers..crossing creeks on 03/04/2006 15:25:21 MST Print View

I have a pair of these. I added a short piece of cord to ensure they don't fall off in swift streams. For under four bucks and 2oz for the pair they are hard to beat.


Edited by procab on 03/04/2006 15:26:08 MST.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: fording rivers..crossing creeks on 03/04/2006 17:47:50 MST Print View

They have a bunch of water shoes that look promising, but the mesh shoes win the fanatic fringe award. I couldn't make anything lighter myself without a lot of trouble. How is the durability?

They do charge $6 for shipping, so the bagain factor does slip a bit.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Re: fording rivers..crossing creeks on 03/08/2006 21:02:38 MST Print View

I ordered a pair of the Sprint Aquatics mesh shoes and they arrived today.( see ). I wear size 10 and ordered 10's and what came in the mail was makred size 11. Not to worry, they fit fine-- a little snug it seemed at first.

The shoes are like a sock with an insole sewn to the bottom. At first glance they seem flimsy, but they are well made and weigh just 1.8oz a pair. The tops are a stretching mesh fabric and the bottoms are a flat foam pad with a light waffle pattern on the bottom.

They will make fantastic camp shoes, and would be fine for fording slower moving water with a sandy bottom or smooth stones, but I wouldn't take on a cold, fast-moving mountain stream with them. I would order a size larger if you plan to use them as camp shoes and want to wear socks.

I'm going to continue my search for a used pair of lightweight shoes to cut down and add non-slip material to the soles.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Re: Re: fording rivers..crossing creeks on 03/12/2006 17:07:25 MST Print View

I made it by Payless Shoe Source to check out the Airwalk clogs (Crocs knock-offs) and fisherman sandals. They are certainly worth the price -- $14.99 for the clogs and $17.99 for the sandals. I didn't take a scale, so I don't have a weight on the clogs, but I went ahead and bought a pair of the sandals and a pair of mens size 10 are 12.0 oz-- just 1 ounce less than a size 10 Crocs Cayman clogs.

I could do some surgery on the topsides of the sandals, but I doubt I would drop much weight -- the majority of the mass of the shoes are in the soles. I do think they will make good water shoes and excellent camp shoes.

I've started to make my own wading sandals. I had a 72" closed cell sleeping pad that I got in a thrift store (REI 50th Annivesary, brigh yellow, with a honeycomb pattern, $3) and I was going to cut it down to 48" anyway and use the remainder for a sit pad. I traced the sole of a pair of Tevas and cut out four soles.

Someone had mentioned that many sandals were made by sandwiching the straps between the sole layers and that sounded like a plan to me, so I'll be looking for something like polypropolene webbing to put between the layers. Another option woulld be to cut fabric to form flaps that could be glued between the layers and laced over the foot. I've seen kids roller skates made that way.

The foam isn't going to last long, but it is light-- 4 sole-shaped pieces weigh 1.1oz total. I could glue the 3M scrubbing pads to the bottom for better traction and that would extend the life of the soles by quite a bit.

Edited by dwambaugh on 05/16/2006 20:05:39 MDT.

David Olsen

Locale: Steptoe Butte
footwear for river crossings in winter on 03/16/2006 11:07:56 MST Print View

I bring neoprene socks for VBLs and use them alone
without shoes for stream crossings. I then change
into my backup wool socks and dry the neoprene ones in my bed at night or hang them on my pack if it is sunny. I've also used my rock climbing shoes if
I've brought em.

A rule of thumb used by outdoor schools for safe
stream crossing is not to cross anything fast
moving that is over knee deep.

cat morris
(catt) - F

Locale: Alaska
payless shoe sale on 03/18/2006 12:39:28 MST Print View

At the end of summer, those air clogs at Payless Shoes go on sale for a couple dollars. Those with neoprene socks are a good combo.

Mike Barney
(eaglemb) - F

Locale: AZ, the Great Southwest!
Re: Re: fording rivers..crossing creeks on 03/27/2006 11:08:49 MST Print View

You indicated you added a short piece of cord so they don't fall off.
Any pics or can you tell us where / how you attached each end?

Ken Walsh
(kwbackpack) - F
Airwalk wieghts... on 06/26/2006 18:24:47 MDT Print View

Old thread, just adding info for the archive. I did bring a scale to Payless and compared the Airwalk sandles to the clogs. For a men's size 9 the clogs wiegh 1 oz less for each shoe (so 2 oz less for the pair). The sandles weigh 11.4 oz for the pair. The sandles would definately stay on a lot better in a stream.

I decided on the sandles, they were on sale for $14.99. I'm also going to order some of those mesh shoes as well - for $10 and 2 oz how can I not try?


Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Airwalk wieghts... on 06/26/2006 20:44:12 MDT Print View

Don't be afraid to go up a size on those mesh water shoes. I wear a fairly standard US 10 and they shipped shoes marked size 11-- no idea what sizing system. Anyway, they just fit and I would want to try a size larger, epscially for camp shoes. My toes are stretching the mesh quite a bit and I could see my big toenail making a hole over time. There isn't room for socks, that's for sure.

I found the Airwalk sandals very comfortable and no problem with them staying on while walking. I've had no blisters or abrasions from them.

cat morris
(catt) - F

Locale: Alaska
Re: Re: Airwalk wieghts... on 06/27/2006 12:08:05 MDT Print View

Here's my newest creek crossing find, Super Sandal by Muck Boot Company. I wear the smallest women's size, which is 6 oz for the pair:

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Super Sandal by Muck Boot Company on 06/27/2006 14:17:07 MDT Print View

Looks like a great camp shoe and the weight is really good, BUT, will they stay on in fast water? Perhaps a strap could be added for water stuff?

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: More water sandals on 06/27/2006 17:54:37 MDT Print View

I found Chota brand sandals on Sierra Trading Post. This is a great design--- if it is light weight. Does anyone have experience with them? I'm thinking something akin to flip-flop soles with a light fabric top.

Chota Sandals Chata water sandals

Update: the sandals in the LH photo above are the boating model -- note the white layer of rubber on the bottom so the soles don't mark the decks.

The RH version is what appears to be a near identical sandal that has all black soles and I assume have a good carbon content for traction. I did order a pair and I'll report back on the weight, etc.

I went to the Chota website and found a fishing version with felt soles. If you want a shoes just for stream crossing, the felt soles give good traction on wet rocks. Also, I did not find the other models that are on sale at Sierra Trading Post, so they may be discontinued.

Taking the basic concept of this design in hand, it would be easy to take a flip-flop sole and sew or even glue a fabric top to it. With oversized flop-flop soles, they could be sewn on the outboard side. I could see using felt insoles from rubber boots or stacking and sewing felt layers for soles and adding the fabric tops. The felt would be heavy after a stream crossing until it dried.

Chota wading sandals

Update (7/3): the sandals arrived today. The fit and quality are great, but lightweight they are not! 27oz for a pair--- ouch! The soles are quite heavy and stiff and the topsides grip the foot well. I'm sure I would feel comforable using them in fast moving water, fishing or rafting, but not for UL stuff. My search continues.

Edited by dwambaugh on 07/03/2006 17:18:30 MDT.