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#94200 - 04/12/08 09:51 PM Shoes and river crossings
urbansix Offline
member

Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 52
Loc: Atlanta, GA
I am in the need of new shoes for hiking. In the past I have preferred low top approach shoes or trail running shoes, but now that I am getting in to backpacking more I have been considering something with a little more sole rigidity, such as from the "light hiking" section. However, this past weekend I went with my son on an overnighter that involved a couple of river crossings. At the last minute I chose to wear a pair of running shoes instead of my old Solomons, figuring that the lightweight material would be faster to dry if they were to get wet. It worked OK, if a bit squishy. The hike & the river made enough of an impression on us that it is a must-return.

This new discovery has added a complicated variable to my shoe shopping. What is the best way to deal with anticipated or unanticipated river crossings and the like without investing in or dragging along multiple specialized types of shoes? Do they now make water shoes with all-day hiking comfort, cushioning and support (including not filling with gravel along the trail)? Or real hiking shoes that are ventilated and synthetic enough not to be ruined or waterlogged by multiple total immersions, and dry out quickly?
Or does one pack along a pair of sandals or crocs just for the crossings? I don't relish the idea of buying two entirely separate sets of expensive shoes for my next two hikes. I am into it more for the hiking than the river play, but don't want to limit myself to "dry" hikes now.

What are your thoughts or suggestions?

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#94201 - 04/13/08 06:00 AM Re: Shoes and river crossings [Re: urbansix]
Pika Offline
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1814
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
I have been using running shoes of one kind or another for trail and most off trail other than mountaineering since about 1980. When I come to any kind of a stream or river crossing, I just take my socks off and cross in my shoes, sock-less. The shoes themselves don't hold much water and can be shaken out. The socks don't get terribly wet from the wet shoes once I put them back on, and so, I'm back on my way in a non-squishy mode. I do use gaiters with the shoes to keep trail rubbish from getting into the shoe.
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#94202 - 04/13/08 09:18 AM Re: Shoes and river crossings [Re: urbansix]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3973
Loc: Bend, Oregon
urbansix

just fill your shoe with grease prior to putting it on, this should make a good seal. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" /> Flyfishing boots are the way to go I tell ya. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> Wrap a plastic bag around each leg then slip em on over. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> actually I think FF boots would also work with snowshoes. hmm <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

Maybe carry some sneakers for stream crossings then change? Or cross above the streams on a rope, or log.
Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" /> YMMV
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#94203 - 04/13/08 09:50 AM Re: Shoes and river crossings [Re: urbansix]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

There are two main schools of thought for this, and it really depends on your personal comfort level with wet feet and how you react to hiking in wet feet. One school brings along a light set of river crossing shoes, also perhaps dual use as camp shoes, such as nike aqua sox, crocs, tevas, etc. etc. They then change at each water crossing.

The other school just plows on through, and will often select shoes (like trailrunners, or even sandals) which will drain and dry quickly to hike in.

I personally tend to fall into the latter category, but I still wear boots in heavier terrain. however I personally deal with wet feet no problem, so I never bring along a second set of shoes. as long as it's not really cold (and then it's my booties). I have hiked with some people who simply can not do this, because their feet become very suceptible to blistering when soaked for a while.

If you had good luck on your past trip with the runners, there's no reason to think you can't continue to hike in trail runners and save yourself the weight on your feet.
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#94204 - 04/13/08 01:54 PM Re: Shoes and river crossings [Re: urbansix]
aroth87 Offline
member

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 193
Loc: Olathe, KS
I recently switched to a pair of Inov-8 Flyrocs after using Salomon Tech-Amphibs for over a year. The Tech-Amphibs really spoiled me in terms of how fast they dry. I could splash through a creek and have dry socks in about a mile on warm days. The Flyrocs, while super comfortable, do hold onto water much more, since they are a real shoe.

My personal preference is to spend the time I would use changing shoes to just look for an easier spot to cross, and if that's not possible, to just splash on through. The key is to wear train runners, or something not waterproof, and a good pair of socks that dry quickly. Synthetic or wool work, though my preference is wool, cotton is a poor choice.

After the first couple of times my waterproof boots turned into buckets I decided I would be much happier wearing something that let the water out once it got in. Bringing along an dedicated pair of 'dry' socks makes life a little more comfortable in camp as well.

Adam

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#94205 - 04/13/08 04:28 PM Re: Shoes and river crossings [Re: urbansix]
Wolfeye Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/07
Posts: 413
Loc: Seattle, WA
I've taken both routes. I've gone on a few trips where I have a regular pair hiking boots as well as a $20 pair of sandals for creek crossings. Lately I leave behind the sandals, and when it comes time to get wet I just take off my socks, take out the insoles, roll up/take off my pants, and let my shoes get soaked. So long as I don't do that often enough to get trenchfoot I think it's fine, and I don't mind if my shoes are a little squishy for a while.

It's also nice to have some sandals to switch into when at the campsite. If you choose to only have one set of footwear then you can just change into fresh socks and loosen up the laces.

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#94206 - 04/13/08 05:36 PM Re: Shoes and river crossings [Re: urbansix]
BrianLe Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Washington State, King County
My approach (each to their own):

Fast-drying (non-waterproof) trail runners or similar.

If crossings are frequent or walking in streams, just leave shoe inserts in and a thin liner sock on and go for it. If this is likely to get cold, some sort of neoprene sock is very nice, sirius storm socks or neosocks or the like.

If crossings are infrequent then take out inserts and take off socks prior to crossing, just bare feet in shoes. Once on the other side, dry feet, squeeze out what water you can from shoes. Put inserts back in shoes, put on dry socks, and cover with gore-tex socks. This way your feet stay dry while you walk the shoes dry.

Goretex socks and/or neoprene socks are somewhat dual use as they're good for snow as well as stream crossings.

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#94207 - 04/17/08 02:50 AM Re: Shoes and river crossings [Re: urbansix]
urbansix Offline
member

Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 52
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Thanks for all the "advise"! The Merrell Moab Ventilator is looking good to me, and from what I can find gets great reviews and meets the quick-draining, quick-drying criteria I was looking for.

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#94208 - 04/18/08 04:33 PM Re: Shoes and river crossings [Re: urbansix]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3917
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
I have a five dollar pair of Wal-Mart water shoes that I removed the insoles from and I bring those when I know I'm doing a wet crossing. I'd rather cross bare foot than get my shoes soaked. I hate wet squishy shoes <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />

Bill

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#94209 - 04/18/08 07:04 PM Re: Shoes and river crossings [Re: urbansix]
mockturtle Offline
member

Registered: 06/06/07
Posts: 251
Loc: WA
I strap a pair of Crocs to my backpack. They weigh 10 oz., are great for river crossings, have excellent traction and also make comfortable camp shoes.

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#94210 - 04/18/08 11:11 PM Re: Shoes and river crossings [Re: mockturtle]
jasonlivy Offline
member

Registered: 01/02/04
Posts: 654
Loc: Colorado
Quote:
I strap a pair of Crocs to my backpack. They weigh 10 oz., are great for river crossings, have excellent traction and also make comfortable camp shoes.
I agree with mockturtle here in that Crocs for river crossings and as camp shoes are an excellent way to go (my usual setup). However, different trips require different solutions.

Case in point, I recently did a trip to Buckskin Gulch and the lower Paria Canyon. My initial approach was to take Crocs for the river crossings and then use my regular hiking shoes when the trail was dry. This worked for awhile, but when I entered Paria Canyon the stream crossing became so frequent that it was a huge inconvenience to keep changing shoes, especially when trying to keep up with everyone.

Thus I wore my boots through the the water. My feet were wet most of the hike and I ended up with some pretty bad blisters due to my wet feet. Can I just tell you I hate blisters and would pay any amount to keep them from forming! As a seasoned backpacker (and one that tries to avoid getting my footwear wet) I have figured out how to avoid getting blisters in most types of terrain, but it is very difficult when your feet are constantly wet, especially when carrying about 30lbs of gear over a week long trip and over 50 miles of terrain.

Some guys wore Crocs during the whole trip, but ended up with bruised feet bottoms (but no blisters). Others wore Merrill Moab Ventilators, but had to deal with sand getting in the shoes (causing blisters) and little or no support (very sore feet). Others had full on leather boots which irreversibly altered the leather, but finished without blisters (they had to buy new boots though). Still others opted to change shoes often which caused them to constantly rush to keep up. They were exhausted after the trip.

I have since bought a pair of Five Ten Canyoneer 2 Boots (www.fiveten.com) which seem to allow for multi water crossings, but also be supportive for long hauls with a fair bit of weight in the pack. I've talked to many people who think these are the best for areas such as Paria that make switching shoes way too cumbersome.

If you are faced with a dozen or less water crossings in a trip, then changing shoes is the best. I would recommend Crocs and a good pair of boots. For more than a dozen and especially trips that mean you are in the water much of the time (i.e. hiking on a meandering river bottom) then the Five Ten Canyoneer 2 Boots may be the ticket.

If neither of these options meet your needs, at least find boots that are supportive but are 100% synthetic. There are some trail running shoes that have more support and under feet protection, but are light and quick drying. Also, the lighter the pack the less substantial your footwear needs to be. This probably goes without saying, but NEVER buy Gore-Tex shoes or boots when constant water crossings are expected, unless you don't expect the water will be over a couple of inches deep. If water does get into the footwear (enters on the top of the shoe), your feet will remain wet indefinitely because the Gore membrane will act as a plastic bag keeping the water from draining out. This ultimately means your feet will never dry out.
_________________________
Believe, then you will Understand...

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#94211 - 04/20/08 06:32 AM Re: Shoes and river crossings [Re: urbansix]
urbansix Offline
member

Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 52
Loc: Atlanta, GA
I've noticed several posts mention removing the inserts. Something I would not have thought of if I decided to get my shoes wet. What is the purpose? Does it affect or damage their performance when wet? Or just to keep a dryer shoe-interior for your feet once everything is re-installed?

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#94212 - 04/20/08 08:44 AM Re: Shoes and river crossings [Re: urbansix]
Pika Offline
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1814
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
Water gets between the insert and shoe and takes longer to dry out. I take the inserts out of my shoes too; I just forgot to mention it in my earlier post.
_________________________
May I walk in beauty.

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#94213 - 04/21/08 07:39 AM Re: Shoes and river crossings [Re: urbansix]
BarryP Offline
member

Registered: 03/04/04
Posts: 1574
Loc: Eastern Idaho
I would love one footwear that does it all!

1. slough through 10 streams/rivers per day and dry out fast.
2. accommodate changing foot sizes (my feet can change 2 sizes while backpacking)
3. can take on multitudes of thicknesses of socks—for 60F temperature extremes (this happens to me on backpacking trips).
4. maintains grip on sloping wet slippery rock. This comes up a lot on trails (especially in rain storms).
5. weigh 10oz or less per shoe. Energy is saved with lighter footwear.
6. provide good cross-lateral support. This helps on tricky trail maneuvering.
7. provide framework to prevent ankle twisting
8. eliminate hammer toes (big toe box critical for going downhill) yet tight enough to prevent slippage (which causes rubbing, which causes blisters).
9. eliminate blisters for all terrain!--- desert, swamp, low altitude, high altitude, cold, hot, etc.,
10. cushiony heal to prevent foot/bone stresses
11. rigid sole to help give a little spring when going uphill. This also cushions the foot on scree.
12. good arch which let’s the feet relax more.
13. Will also feel like a slipper in camp
14. No need to rotate socks since the foot-wear dries out fast.
15. Thus this shoe would require no ‘camp shoe’ or ‘river shoe’

Can one foot-wear do it all? So I don’t repeat myself (too often), and for the sake of laziness, I just refer you to my other post: (hopefully this link works) http://www.backpacking.net/forums/showth...o=&vc=1

May everyone find their foot zen <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
-Barry

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#94214 - 04/21/08 10:14 AM Re: Shoes and river crossings [Re: BarryP]
urbansix Offline
member

Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 52
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Interesting - definitely a consideration. I had a similar revolt to sandalswithsocks as some of the other commentors, but am keeping an open mind.

Do you find the soles form fitting and rigid enough to prevent sore feet-bottoms from terrain? I was considering some SOLE footbeds on less-rigid-than-hikers Merrell Ventilators. Seems inappropriate for use on sandals? Or?

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#94215 - 04/22/08 10:42 AM Re: Shoes and river crossings [Re: urbansix]
BarryP Offline
member

Registered: 03/04/04
Posts: 1574
Loc: Eastern Idaho
“Do you find the soles form fitting and rigid enough to prevent sore feet-bottoms from terrain?”

Very well with the terrafi2. It also has a high R-value to insulate from hot dessert rock or cool tundra granite.
I did not know what I was missing until I wore the terrafi2. I wore the hurricane 2 (teva) before that and the sole is not as rigid. At first my feet muscles would hurt and I didn’t like small scree. It wore me down. My muscles eventually got used to it (maybe that was a good thing). Then I tried the terrafi2 and I was surprised about the night and day feeling of traveling on scree and hiking up hills. I also liked the more cushiony heels.

“I was considering some SOLE footbeds on less-rigid-than-hikers Merrell Ventilators. Seems inappropriate for use on sandals? Or?”

It should work (if you like inserts). My wife used to wear inserts in sandals. This got rid of her heal pain. Then she tried the terrafi2 last year and stopped wearing the inserts. She does wish the arch was higher. However, she has no more foot pain. All I can suggest is try it with and without inserts. I don’t need inserts in sandals but I do need them in my deep winter boots.

I only had to adjust the backstrap once or twice; and that was to get my arch centered perfectly. If not centered, you will get a sore foot. After that, there are just 2 quick straps to tighten up or loosen up, quickly, at will. I have fallen in love with Velcro; no more tying shoes!

May everyone find their foot zen <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

-Barry

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#94216 - 04/23/08 02:03 AM Re: Shoes and river crossings [Re: urbansix]
frenchie Offline
member

Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 461
Loc: Lyon, France
For me, it's simple:

1; warm climate, jungle, keep my shoes and bear wet feet (jungle boots or trail shoes)

2; cold or cool climates, sandals, sometimes I wished I had neoprene socks to add!.

But I never really hiked in winter condition with a need to ford rivers, just streams I could jump over, or risk a quick step through (still, Iceland's icy rivers fording is no fun, turns your skin purple, even in august <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" />!)

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#94217 - 04/23/08 10:03 AM Re: Shoes and river crossings [Re: urbansix]
Paul_C Offline
member

Registered: 07/14/05
Posts: 506
Loc: Beaverton, Orygun
When I first started upping my mileage for trips, I used a pair of Solomon XA Pro 3Ds. They are very airy running shoes, and dried out in about an hour of hiking. But now I've switched to Merrell Moab ventilators (with a much better Vibram sole), and while it is very ventilated, the leather makes it takes longer to dry.

So for those trips now where I;ll cross rivers (lots in the Cascades) I've taken to bringing a pair of Croc knockoffs. They have made camp very comfortable, too. I'll lug the 5 ounces or whatever they weight now every trip for sure. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
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#94218 - 04/27/08 05:48 AM Re: Shoes and river crossings [Re: BarryP]
urbansix Offline
member

Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 52
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Well, dangit, I went to REI and tried on a pair of Teva Terra-Fi 2's. Very impressed. Now I'm seriously considering returning my new only-worn-on-carpet Merrells+inserts in favor of these. In discussion with the usually fairly knowledgeable REI shoe staff guys, they highly recommended them for light hiking with river crossings, but started to back off when I suggested regular hiking or implied any kind of distance or a multi-day backpack. I could tell they were thinking "riiiiight - like he's doing any real hiking....".

OTOH, to make them as truly versatile as they claim to be, one would indeed have to be willing to wear them in non-hiking situations with socks. Since I'm not that guy (yes, you become that guy, notthatthere'sanythingwrongwiththat <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> ), it leaves an $85 hole in my shoe wardrobe in the year-round casual category, currently occupied by my "hikers". To get both digs in to my budget in places I hadn't planned. I'll end up with both in the end... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

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#94219 - 04/28/08 05:20 AM Re: Shoes and river crossings [Re: urbansix]
leadfoot Offline
member

Registered: 07/16/03
Posts: 954
Loc: Virginia
Try some Chaco's. I love mine. I have both with the toe loop and without. I can adjust them if my feet swell or decide to wear socks. Heavier than the Teva's but I think they may last longer.

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#94220 - 04/28/08 05:45 AM Re: Shoes and river crossings [Re: leadfoot]
urbansix Offline
member

Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 52
Loc: Atlanta, GA
I did check those out and they are nice (with a capital $ - whats up with that?). Did not try them on though. However I like the fact that the Tevas have the adjustable heel strap. Lets you position your foot on the footbed relative to the arch, front & rear overhang, etc.

I do know some Chaco owners/wearers and they truly do live in those things. They must have a secret handshake or something - much more apt to strike up a conversation with a total stranger over their Chacos than any other brand of shoe wearers I've seen.

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#94221 - 04/29/08 04:03 AM Re: Shoes and river crossings [Re: urbansix]
leadfoot Offline
member

Registered: 07/16/03
Posts: 954
Loc: Virginia
you can get them without paying the $$$. Just have to snoop around and be patient....then strike! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" />

I can't share the secret handshake unless you become one of us. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

Seriously...the one-strap adjustment does it all.

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#94222 - 04/29/08 12:02 PM Re: Shoes and river crossings [Re: urbansix]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Quote:

OTOH, to make them as truly versatile as they claim to be, one would indeed have to be willing to wear them in non-hiking situations with socks. Since I'm not that guy (yes, you become that guy, notthatthere'sanythingwrongwiththat <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> ),


So, what are you trying to say about those of us who wear socks and sandals? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> Well, my wife seems to give me a hard time every time I do it. I guess it is good that I am already married. I also wear my cell phone in a case on my belt. I read somewhere that a cell phone on the belt is similar to socks and sandals. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
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#94223 - 04/29/08 12:38 PM Re: Shoes and river crossings [Re: urbansix]
BarryP Offline
member

Registered: 03/04/04
Posts: 1574
Loc: Eastern Idaho
“but started to back off when I suggested regular hiking or…”

<img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />I got the exact same response last year <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" />. When I was looking for hiking footwear, they immediately showed me their boots <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />.
“No I want the Teva sandals.”
“Well, your pack better be light…” etc.,





“Since I'm not that guy (yes, you become that guy, notthatthere'sanythingwrongwiththat ),”

I’m still a little conscious. I tried my size on at REI, and then I ordered ‘black’ on the net. The black ones NEVER go on sale <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />. So I have my casual black terrafi 2’s. When worn with a black sock, people really don’t notice. I usually have to point it out and then they do a double take.

For backpacking, I bought ugly terrafi2’s for $50. These are sometimes at STP or Campmoor. I buy 3/8” bigger (longer) than needed for stubbed toe protection; which so far has worked beautifully (knock on major wood).


Happy decisions!

-Barry

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#94224 - 04/29/08 01:58 PM Re: Shoes and river crossings [Re: BarryP]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Quote:

For backpacking, I bought ugly terrafi2’s for $50. These are sometimes at STP or Campmoor. I buy 3/8” bigger (longer) than needed for stubbed toe protection; which so far has worked beautifully (knock on major wood).


That is probably what I need to do. I don't care much what color it comes in, but I can't pay almost 100 bones for sandals (or any kind of foot gear). I got my Merrel Continuums for $50 on sale, and my heavy Waffle Stompers for $80. I went and tried on the Terra's at REI and liked the sole (a major factor that I look for). I think they might do. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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