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Ultralight wading shoes
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Stephen Christopherson
(schristopherson) - F

Locale: Northern Virginia
Ultralight wading shoes on 12/01/2006 17:22:40 MST Print View

I'm wondering if anyone has some recommendations for UL wading shoes. Orvis has some travel/pack wading shoes (felt sole) that are very light and compact. Cabelas has a UL shoe at 2.5 lbs/pair - highly rated. But for UL backpacking I'm thinking the Orvis shoe is ideal, basically a polyester high top converse type sneaker with felt soles. Any comments?


Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Ultralight wading shoes on 12/01/2006 18:21:47 MST Print View

Try Crocs with a neoprene socks for wading. They are light, comfortable, and stay on your feet in the muck. They also serve as an excellent camp shoe.

Edited by richard295 on 12/01/2006 20:08:37 MST.

Nathan Moody
(atomick) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Lightweight Salomons...but heavier than Crocs on 12/01/2006 18:49:36 MST Print View

It's nowhere near as light as Richard's suggestion but I have a pair of Salomon Karma watershoes, the forerunners of the much-vaunted Tech Amphibians. They weigh 1.6lbs. per pair and have excellent drainage. With neoprene socks for warmth they're great for camp and water crossings. YMMV.

Stephen Christopherson
(schristopherson) - F

Locale: Northern Virginia
Re: Re: Ultralight wading shoes on 12/03/2006 08:02:52 MST Print View

Thanks, Richard. Hydro model? What's the weight? Here's some images of the 32oz Orvis boots: Orvis Pack and Travel Wading ShoeOrvis Pack and Travel Wading Shoe

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Ultralight wading shoes on 12/03/2006 09:38:18 MST Print View

My size 11 weigh 12.5 oz for a pair and they are the standard model. The hydro model was released after I purchased mine last winter.

Edited by richard295 on 12/04/2006 20:17:54 MST.

Stephen Parmenter
(parmens) - F - MLife

Locale: OH
Ultralight Wading Shoes on 12/03/2006 09:59:27 MST Print View

Has anyone tried the Nike Free 5.0? They are supposed to weigh 8.6 oz. And I would think that they could be combined with the neoprene socks others have mentioned for waders and lightweight, dry camp shoes. I haven't tried them yet, but they look intriguing.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Nike Free 5.0 on 12/04/2006 18:00:06 MST Print View

I've had a few problems researching shoes on line and with running shoes in particular. Yo have to be careful if the weight is per shoe or per pair. Any idea with the Nikes?

Stephen Christopherson
(schristopherson) - F

Locale: Northern Virginia
Re: Re: Ultralight wading shoes on 12/08/2006 06:16:38 MST Print View

I've got some LL Bean wading boots with "stealth" soles (heavy-not for backpacking). I've never had a problem with them until I tried them in a Shenandoah stream covered with aquatic moss. They were a real liability - almost busted my...I think it's felt soles from now on. It wasn't fun and I can't risk the injury, especially if I'm wading a cold stream in the backcountry.

Joshua Mitchell
(jdmitch) - F

Locale: Kansas
Mion Sandals on 12/08/2006 10:06:33 MST Print View

I noticed Mi┼Źn Footwear in my local outdoor shop the other day (along with some of those new patagonia eco-mocassin shoes, which aren't even supposed to be out yet, which were crazy comfortable though my wife didn't like the style... but I digress) anyhow, they looked like a contender for wading / camp shoes.

The stores had the Current Sandal (really want to try some of these) and either the Tide Scramble or the Flood Tide Shoe... I think the liners are a neoprene derivative on those last two...

Anyhow, figured I'd offer them up as an option.

Stephen Christopherson
(schristopherson) - F

Locale: Northern Virginia
Re: Mion Sandals on 12/14/2006 18:32:14 MST Print View

Very cool. Now I really can't decide, and won't right now anyway because it'll be few months before I need them.

I checked out the crocs at REI the other day (Richard's suggestion). Ahhh...those are possibly the most comfortable thing I've every had on my feet - very light.

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
Keen Sandals on 12/20/2006 12:39:58 MST Print View

We often wear Keen sandals with a closed toe such as the Newport (or the Venus for ladies) when wading streams on paddling trips. Sometimes I wear Teva Sandals (guide style) too. Depends on the time of year. If the temps will be cold I wear MEC Swellies (a Neoprene boot) or I wear Neoprene socks with my sandals.

Paul Wozniak

Locale: Midwest
Re: UL wading shoes on 12/20/2006 13:43:13 MST Print View

I usually just jump right in, running shoes and all. At times when really cold I have thought about my old neoprene booties from scuba diving. They have a bonded nylon outer for toughness and a semi-hard felt botton for stickiness. In my youth these were warm (enough) for 1/2 hour ice diving. Never took them along for fishing yet but I believe they're warm enough, not sure if they would protect the bottom of your foot enough. They're light, if I had to guess maybe 18 oz the pair. If you're interested I can weigh them.

Jason Klass
(jasonklass) - F

Locale: Parker, CO
Wading shoes on 01/01/2007 07:45:55 MST Print View

Crocs are not great for wading--especially if you're in a rocky stream. They slip easily and since they fit loosely, aren't very stable.

I usually just use my Chacos even though they're heavy. What about buying a cheapo pair of sandals and gluing felt to the bottom for traction?

John Mowery
(Mow) - F

Locale: Minnesota, USA
Simms on 01/02/2007 14:38:17 MST Print View

Simms makes a pair of wading sandals with felt bottoms. Those, in combination with wading socks, are great fishing shoes. Sans wading socks theyre great camp shoes.

Cloudveil and Patagonai both make a great pair of lightweight wading shoes. I have never had a great experience with Orvis gear - it falls apart on me.

Dave Heiss

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Wading shoes on 01/15/2007 15:20:03 MST Print View

I have just worn socks for some stream crossings, or an old pair (1970's vintage) Nike lightweight running shoes that weigh a pound and double nicely as camp shoes. The new Free 5.0's sound like a reincarnation of that lightweight design - about time too since my old pair is falling apart!

Update: In the quest for a better stream crossing solution, I just came across a lightweight 2mm neoprene sock with rubberized grip pattern on the sole that should work perfectly for wading. They are called "Sandal Sock" (the brand name is Warmers) and REI has them in the kayaking/canoeing area for only $15. Weight for a pair (large size) is 3.9 oz.

I think they will provide reasonable foot protection and a bit of traction for any streams I need to wade across, and may even do double duty as a camp slipper. It doesn't look like they will absorb much water, so unlike my socks or old Nike's they should weigh about the same after wading as they do before wading.

Edited by DaveHeiss on 05/10/2007 17:43:37 MDT.

matthew hart
(jomatty) - F
Re: Wading shoes on 03/08/2007 04:27:52 MST Print View

i really like my keen boulders although they are heavy to bring along extra as just wading shoes. i find i can comforatably carry 25 lbs or so in them and that they are very comforatable for hiking in such situations. ill often wear socks with them and just take them off for wading or stream crossings. i like chacos too for all of the same reasons but prefer the toe protection in my keens although the tradeoff is occasional silt accumulation. i find the chacos comforatable for hiking too.


Edited by jomatty on 03/08/2007 04:29:06 MST.

Edwin Lamberth
(ALFisher) - F
Re: Re: Wading shoes on 05/22/2007 10:21:50 MDT Print View

I, too, wondered whether you could hike in some of these "sandals." I thought about trying it but have decided against it. I am going to give the off road crocs a try and report back to you, probably later this summer. Here is a link to them:

I just couldn't justify spending nearly $100 on wading sandals like the Simms or on Keen's when I know that I will wear them so little. These crocs, I can see wearing a lot, and they're only $39. Probably not as sturdy as other sandals, but they will stay on because of the strap and they are lightweight. After I buy them, I will post the weight.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Off Road Crocs on 05/22/2007 11:15:41 MDT Print View

My size 11 Off Road Crocs weigh 7 oz each. They have an adjustable heel cinch so that you can lock them on your feet. The closed toe reduces foot bruising and the amount of gravel that ends up under your foot.

By contrast my lightest size 11 conventional felt bottom wading shoes, Patagonia RiverWalkers, are double the weight of the Off Road Crocs at 13.5 oz each.

The Off Road Crocs as serve dual function as camp shoes since they are instantly dry. By contrast my wading shoes are still wet the next morning when I put them back on.

Edwin Lamberth
(ALFisher) - F
Re: Off Road Crocs on 05/22/2007 12:07:45 MDT Print View

And I bet that 13.5 oz. each is dry, not wet. The wading boots that I have tried to lug around seem to have problems drying, making them much heavier.

Bill Anderson
(wb4tjh) - F
Cabela lightweight felt sole booties. on 06/02/2007 09:06:36 MDT Print View

I have fished and canoed for years in a pair of the zip up neoprene boots with felt soles made by Cabelas. They give good lightweight support and protection to my feet and the felt soles make it easy to walk slippery stream beds. I have spent days in them canoeing Northern Arkansas streams where I was in and out of the canoe all day long. For $30 you can't beat them.