fording rivers..crossing creeks
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Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: fording rivers..crossing creeks on 07/02/2006 19:12:57 MDT Print View

In my on-going quest for light camp and wading shoes I came across some Skecher shoes today. They are the women's "Biker Outburst" model and I think they embody what is needed for a Spartan camp and wading shoe for ultralight hiking. The upper is mostly mesh and the sole is minimal, yet wraps around the tender parts of the foot that might contact a rock. Unfortunately don't have the weight.

Skecher Outburst

I also got a look at the Salomon Techamphibian, which looks like a great shoe, and it brings me to ask why we don't wear shoes like this for all warm weather hiking. It seems to afford enough support and protection and it certainly looks like it would dry quickly. I think these hybrids are promising. I'm thinking about some sort of cold weather liner to make them at least 3 season shoes.

Edited by dwambaugh on 07/02/2006 19:18:33 MDT.

Ken Walsh
(kwbackpack) - F
Sprint Aquatics arrived... on 07/03/2006 21:15:15 MDT Print View

So the crazy mesh shoes showed up today, I'll second what Dave has said so far:

1. Ridiculously light - 2 oz for a pair.
2. They size to the small side, what I ordered was listed as 9-11 and has a 11 sticker on them. I'm a 9 and glad my feet aren't any bigger!
3. Great camp shoes if you are good to them.
4. Perfect for crossing sandy fords. I'd say if you are up high where the water isn't too treacherous yet and you can find wider, shallower crossings without rocks (trails for horses nearly always have such crossings) these are the hot ticket.

I'm going on a trip in a few weeks, not sure how much if any water I'll cross, but I'll find an excuse if I have to. I'll give these a try. If they work, I'm ordering a few pair for myself and my wife - obviously not super durable and they are so dang cheap I'll just stock up.

Thanks for the great tip!

Ken

Sven Klingemann
(svenklingemann) - F
Re: Sprint Aquatics arrived... on 07/04/2006 05:56:22 MDT Print View

Hey,
I used the Sprint Aquatics on a week-long trip to New Mexic (Gila Wilderness) with a lot of stream crossings. I would NOT recommend them for this purpose. The soles are very slippery and offer no traction, especially on rocks. In addition, the started desintegrating after 3 days of almost exclusive camp use (after I gave up on the stream crossing idea with the Aquatics). I was very hopeful especially given the weight but would not buy them again. You may use them as camp shoes but in all likelihood even they will not last long even with careful use.
Best,
Sven

Douglas Frick
(Otter) - MLife

Locale: Wyoming
Re: Re: Sprint Aquatics arrived... on 07/04/2006 22:30:11 MDT Print View

>...stream crossings. I would NOT recommend them for this purpose. The soles are very slippery and offer no traction...


I have the Sprint Aquatics but haven't used them yet. I'm planning to take them on a trip in a few weeks where we will have to ford a river (N. F. Quinault), twice. Any recommendations for making them less slippery? I wouldn't feel bad adding an ounce or two of something, since I'd still be saving over a half pound compared to my Airwalks/Crocs (which did work well crossing the Elwha last fall).

Edited by Otter on 07/04/2006 22:31:29 MDT.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Sprint Aquatics slipping on 07/05/2006 10:23:58 MDT Print View

"Any recommendations for making them less slippery?"

How about dots or squiggles of silicone? While you have the stuff out, you might put a bead around the base of rhe mesh to reinforce it a bit.

Edited by dwambaugh on 07/05/2006 10:24:38 MDT.

Mike Barney
(eaglemb) - F

Locale: AZ, the Great Southwest!
Re: Sprint Aquatics arrived... on 07/05/2006 18:04:06 MDT Print View

I got back from Philmont yesterday, having taken a pair of their mesh shoes.
Yes, they're incredibly light, and are throw-away considering the price and durability, but...

You can't use them for a backup pair of hiking boots (my Montrail GTX split)
You're feet are going to get incredibly dirty.
Anything smaller than a 1/4" diameter with a mild point will penetrate the sole of the shoe, including small rocks, thorns, stickers and branches.
They are relatively slick to walk in, in a wet or muddy environment.
They didn't hold up that well over several days in a camp environment.

I really think one needs to evaluate the type of environment you'll be in before considering these for anything beyond relatively smooth and clean terrain. There are other options that are not that much heavier.

MikeB

Edited by eaglemb on 07/05/2006 18:06:42 MDT.

Janet Schmidt
(maliu) - F
Re: fording rivers..crossing creeks on 07/14/2006 00:56:16 MDT Print View

I want these...

http://www.wiggys.com/moreinfo.cfm?Product_ID=5

cat morris
(catt) - F

Locale: Alaska
Re: Re: fording rivers..crossing creeks on 07/14/2006 15:07:33 MDT Print View

Thanks to all for turning me on the the sprint aquatics! Received mine today just in time for a 3 day backpack crossing Alaskan creeks. I only had 3 choices in size: Mens S, M, or L. The men's small fits fine on my size 8 woman's foot. Now we'll see if they also hold up as a camp shoe in our dry tundra!

David Lewis
(davidlewis) - MLife

Locale: Nova Scotia, Canada
Fording in your regular hiking shoes? on 09/23/2007 12:09:27 MDT Print View

Everyone in this thread seems to be talking about a second pair of shoes for fording. Since most of us hike in lightweight trail runners with mesh uppers... would it be ok to just ford with your hiking shoes on since they would dry out pretty fast in warm weather? That's what I've been thinking.

I have a VERY wet trip coming up this week... LOTS of fording... and I was thinking I would just stomp right thru without changing anything. Bad idea?

I was looking at the Adidas Cardrona shoe since the uppers are almost all an extremely open, durable, single layer of mesh. You can actually see your feet inside the shoe. They would dry in no time. Almost an amphibious shoe actually... but with a proper heel cup. But I found they felt a little flimsy and was worried they would not offer very good support. So I stuck with the Solomon XA Pro 3D.

Anyway... just debating if I should try to find a store open today that sells neoprene socks. Or maybe I could take my surfing booties with me. Not sure what to do. There is one side hike I want to do that is essentially 2 hours walking upstream... in water. I wouldn't want to do that in crocs or flip flips or anything like that. Too dangerous I would say. I think you want proper footwear on for that.

Thoughts?

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: Fording in your regular hiking shoes? on 09/23/2007 12:20:56 MDT Print View

David,

I was one of the readers of this thread. My assumption (many of which have proved to be incorrect) was that this "fording shoe" business applied to winter crossings when getting wet could be synonymous with dangerous.

Whereas, a good splash in the creek with thin, low-cut socks and mesh trail shoes in the summer is a welcomed relief.

Edited by mad777 on 09/23/2007 12:22:30 MDT.

David Lewis
(davidlewis) - MLife

Locale: Nova Scotia, Canada
Reef Boots on 09/23/2007 12:24:49 MDT Print View

Ok... since I'm a surfer anyway... I was thinking maybe I'd buy a pair of reef boots. Reef boots are ankle high surfing booties that surfers wear just for "reef" protection... i.e... they are not meant for warmth as part of a wetsuit... just meant for foot protection when surfing in shallow area or just for walking on rocky beaches and such. They would be heavier that neoprene socks... but the advantages are...

1. My shoes won't get wet at all
2. I can use them for surfing in the summer... which is a different kind of "dual use"... LOL. (I always wear something on my feet even in warm water... for toe protection)

http://www.oneill.com/mens-products.php?sport=surf&categoryID=-1&typeID=7&seriesID=10&id=52

Edited by davidlewis on 09/23/2007 12:27:12 MDT.

David Lewis
(davidlewis) - MLife

Locale: Nova Scotia, Canada
Re: Re: Fording in your regular hiking shoes? on 09/23/2007 12:26:18 MDT Print View

Thank Michael. So you're saying... don't worry about it in warm weather... just jump in and slosh across? I guess in summer / early fall not getting your feet wet is more of a comfort issue than a safety issue?

Still wondering if I might want those reef boots for that 2 hour walk upstream. Sneakers might be safer tho'... more stable... better grip?

Edited by davidlewis on 09/23/2007 12:48:06 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Fording in your regular hiking shoes? on 09/23/2007 16:32:21 MDT Print View

> Everyone in this thread seems to be talking about a second pair of shoes for fording. Since most of us hike in lightweight trail runners with mesh uppers... would it be ok to just ford with your hiking shoes on since they would dry out pretty fast in warm weather?

Well, we go walking in Wollemi National park here in Oz with lightweight joggers, and we often spend the entire day (or several days) walking IN the creek. It beats hell out of fighting the dense jungle on the creek bank. Does no harm at all, and does NOT create any blisters.

We have forded rivers in the snow as well in our joggers or boots. Yeah, a bit chilly for a minute, but by removing our socks before we cross we get to warm up pretty quick once we are over.

One thing we do NOT do is cross stony creeks in cold water in bare feet. The dangers from the stones are too great, especially when the water is so cold your feet are kinda numb for a bit.

The common idea that you have to keep your feet dry at all times is just a myth. It doesn't hurt them to be wet. In sumemr, cool water can be quite nice ...

David Lewis
(davidlewis) - MLife

Locale: Nova Scotia, Canada
Thanks on 09/23/2007 16:37:28 MDT Print View

Thanks Roger. Not sure why I was thinking it was so important to keep my feet dry. I've never done a trip with this much water before... in fact... I've never done a trip with any river crossings really... so I wasn't sure how to proceed. One thing I do know is that in the past when I have accidently gotten a "soaker"... my shoes don't stay wet for long.

Don Wilson
(don) - MLife

Locale: Koyukuk River, Alaska
Agreed - get wet on 09/23/2007 18:21:01 MDT Print View

In summer, I wholeheartedly agree with the just get wet approach. I've hiked hundreds. maybe thousands, of miles with wet feet and never got a blister that I attributed to my feet being wet. It just doesn't happen, at least not to me. Same is true for most others.

When wading a lot in creeeks, you do need to be careful to keep sand and grit from grinding up your feet. If the bottom of the river is sandy, you just need to stop often enough to clean out your shoes/socks. Otherwise, march on.

In the winter though, it's a whole different story. I think this thread started with a question of how to handle this in cold weather. In that case, I'd be more careful, depending on the specific conditions.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
re sand in shoes on 09/24/2007 04:03:44 MDT Print View

> When wading a lot in creeks, you do need to be careful to keep sand and grit from grinding up your feet.
Don is very right about sand. Apart from 'grinding up your feet' there are several other problems:
Sand chews the hell out of good socks
Sand makes soft socks very hard by getting inside the knit
Sand builds up inside your shoes until there is no room left for your feet (seriously!)

So ... we take short light nylon river gaiters which have elastic around the top edge and around the bottom edge and a strap (string) under the shoe. These are enough to stop 90% of the sand from getting in. We do have to clean out our shoes each evening in the creek though.

At least with river walking you know you don't need to carry water!

Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
nylon river gaiters on 09/24/2007 06:59:53 MDT Print View

Roger, what brand of nylon river gaiters do you wear?

Montbell have 1.5 oz gaiters, and they have two sizes,
7-10 men's sizes (medium)
10-12 men's sizes (large)

What is your philosophy if you wear a size 10 shoe? get
medium size gaiter, or large size gaiter?

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: nylon river gaiters on 05/21/2012 16:46:04 MDT Print View

Hi Roleigh

> Roger, what brand of nylon river gaiters do you wear?
You should know me by now. I MYOG, for both of us.

I couldn't find any gaiters on the Montbell web site, so dunno about your Q. But trying to get wet gaiters on and off over wet socks and shoes is hard enough anytime, so I would probably go for the large.

Incidentally, I have been using heavy Lycra to make my own Dirtygirl-style gaiters. I rather like them for trails and places where the scrub is non-existent. They might be a thought for river work too.

Cheers