A very nice article. I read the one you originally wrote on Bedrock and Paradox and tried out your suggestions. I already owned the NRS hydroskin socks for boating.
This past weekend in 30-degree weather I took some folks out for a hike with a guaranteed stream crossing. All wore hiking boots with no alternative footwear (except my wife, an experienced hand, who brought Crocs for the crossing). All, except my wife, balked once they saw the knee-deep water. They thought their gortex hiking boots would only have to cross ankle deep water. We would have to turn back.
Just for the experience I waded the stream in the liner socks topped with the hydroskins in mesh trail runners. The others kept watching me expecting, I suppose, that I would either topple over and be washed downstream or begin howling in pain. Actually the part of my leg that did ache was the part above those Patagonia ultralight ski sock liners, which was exposed to the water. I walked around a bit on the far side, my feet cool but not really cold, then crossed again. As we hiked back I had to hike more briskly than the rest, deliberately scrambling up some hillsides to keep my feet warm. I needed to hike rather than stroll to stay warm.
I was so delighted that this worked that I declined a ride home and walked the 10 miles back to my house, my feet, socks and shoes slowly drying out, and still warm.
I took full credit for your clever neoprene sock idea, to no avail. The consensus was not that I'd hit on a great sock and shoe combination, but that I was plainly nuts. Probably both are true.