Cold feet options

Discussion in 'Gear Talk' started by pawsplus, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. pawsplus

    pawsplus Paddler

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2015
    Messages:
    932
    Location:
    Landlocked in Tennessee
    In the past, I just used the chemical foot warmers, which I use daily on the farm in the wintertime, and which worked great in my kayak. This was when I was wearing dry pants. I think that enough O2 got in via the waist to feed the foot warmers, b/c I was fine.

    Now I have a dry suit, and apparently it's nice and tight, b/c the foot warmers are just DEAD. Nothing happens. I froze my feet so much on Saturday that when I got out of the boat I fell over when my frozen feet hit the bottom, and I got to test my dry suit. It worked, but then my hands were freezing LOL.

    Anyway, I need some ideas for my feet. My mom has diagnosed Raynaud's and I probably have a touch, b/c my hands and feet are hard to keep warm in the winter. I've got the hand thing licked--little "magic gloves" with neoprene mittens on top of those, inside pogies, seems to work great for me (unless I capsize--I will need to put the drysuit gaskets OVER the mittens, I learned on Saturday, if I'm to keep my hands dry!).

    I already wear 2 pairs of wool socks. Are there foot warmer thingies that don't require O2 to work??

    Here I am in my new drysuit. It clashes horribly with the boat, but will match the trim on my new Pilgrim perfectly, once I am in possession of it. :) DSCF9888.JPG
     
  2. pawsplus

    pawsplus Paddler

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2015
    Messages:
    932
    Location:
    Landlocked in Tennessee
  3. pawsplus

    pawsplus Paddler

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2015
    Messages:
    932
    Location:
    Landlocked in Tennessee
  4. AM

    AM Paddler

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    Messages:
    710
    Location:
    Vancouver
    I have a small blue foam pad under my feet in all seasons. Primarily to reduce pressure on my heels during long days, but it also helps keep the feet warm in winter.
     
    Dan_Millsip likes this.
  5. pawsplus

    pawsplus Paddler

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2015
    Messages:
    932
    Location:
    Landlocked in Tennessee
    Yeah, I think I'm gonna try that. I can feel how cold the hull is, and I can't do anything about my feet being right against the hull/icy water beneath. Insulation seems like an easy fix.
     
  6. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

    Joined:
    May 31, 2005
    Messages:
    5,469
    Location:
    Astoria, Oregon, USA
    Paddled with others who used this method, blue foam backpacker pieces. Really made a difference. Unless the pads are firmly attached, some entrapment hazard. Blue foam is not as abrasion resistant as minicell. Minicell is more flexible, but more expensive. Tricky to site velcro patches.

    Contact cement is permanent, and removing cemented foam is awful.
     
  7. pawsplus

    pawsplus Paddler

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2015
    Messages:
    932
    Location:
    Landlocked in Tennessee
    I'll see if I can just wedge it. Will need something temporary (as current boat will be sold when new boat arrives and I'm not ABOUT to do anything permanent and possibly ugly to the new boat LOL).
     
  8. nootka

    nootka Paddler

    Joined:
    May 26, 2007
    Messages:
    1,454
    Location:
    Campbell River
    I don't know what you're wearing now, so disregard if superfluous ...
    When I spent lots of time outside in winter (near Banff), we dressed for cold: patagonia capilene tops & long johns, fleece or pile bibs, fleece tops, knee high (knicker) socks, etc
    An Icebreaker pocket hat under a neoprene hood will be warmer than just the hood
    Also MEC low tide boots will be warmer than ankle high boots.
     
  9. Tangler

    Tangler Paddler

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2016
    Messages:
    27
    I have some thin sleeping pad foam glued to the inside of my hull. Primarily for comfort but it would also insulate. You could experiment with a piece that is not glued. If you don't move your feet too much it will probably work.
    I also do a lot of fly fishing and in the spring my feet are immersed in rather cold water for hours...
    Do they get cold? Yes, but not numb. I wear 3 mm neoprene waders with boots on top. Inside I wear thick wool socks, but one of the key factors is making sure that none of it is tight. Anything tight will restrict blood flow and the feet will get cold.
    Also, keeping the feet dry might help, though wool socks in reef booties kept my feet reasonably warm while surfing in the winter. Pretty high exertion though...
    Good luck!
     
    JohnAbercrombie likes this.
  10. jamonte

    jamonte Paddler

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2015
    Messages:
    45
    Gluing closed cell foam inside your cockpit is a good idea, though I have never tried it. I have the same problem with cold feet and hands (not Raynaud's, just poor circulation to my extremities.) I normally wear a size 10 shoe, but for winter paddling, I bought some huge (size 12) booties from NRS that give me so much room I can wear two pairs of thick socks underneath the Gore-tex dry socks and it's still not the least bit tight inside the booties. This has worked well for me.
     
    JohnAbercrombie likes this.
  11. WGalbraith

    WGalbraith Paddler

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    Messages:
    183
    Location:
    Victoria
    I paddle all winter and use the blue "Ensolite" foam. I cut a rectangle slightly larger than my feet, marked the hull with a sharpy, then using contact cement, glued it to the hull. This keeps my heels from becoming numb from pressure and cold water. It lasts roughly two seasons before replacement requiring new foam and scraping off the old glue from the boat. I found that using a larger piece of foam allowed gravel and sand to accumulate under the pad, causing wear and funky smells.
     
    JohnAbercrombie likes this.
  12. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,580
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    +1 on keeping enough space. 'Extra' socks can actually make my feet colder, if there's not room in the boot.

    It depends on having enough under-deck space but lately I've been wearing these 'rubber boots' from Level Six.
    https://www.levelsix.com/collections/footwear/products/mens-shoreline-boot?variant=26443392645

    I don't know if the women's model will clash with your new boat color scheme: :)
    https://www.levelsix.com/collections/footwear/products/shoreline-boot?variant=26442782789

    For 'rubber boots' they are fairly 'compact- not as bulky as my Xtratuff boots, which don't see much use.
    With a thick pair of wool socks under the drysuit, they've been keeping my feet warm. However, the water here (Victoria) doesn't get really cold, even in the winter. I wouldn't want to walk far in snow with that footwear combination.
     
  13. Tangler

    Tangler Paddler

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2016
    Messages:
    27
    What is the sole like on those boots John?
    Does it provide good protection from rocks and how is the grip on wet grass/logs/kelp?
    Awful colour...
     
  14. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,580
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    Here are a couple of pics- Level Six and XtraTuf, both size 10 (though the XtraTuf is slightly larger inside, it's much larger outside- wider sole)
    Level Six at top of picture
    mini-DSCN2770.JPG
    Level six on left, XtraTuf on right
    mini-DSCN2771.JPG

    XtraTuf is almost double the price of the Level Six boot. Also, notice the Level Six boot has a top drawstring and it fits well inside the outer leg of my drysuit.

    I'd rate it as 'reasonable' - I wouldn't want to carry a boat or heavy pack over sharp rocks for hours in either boot. But it is WAY better than any of my neoprene 'Creek boots' or 'water shoes' which have a much softer/more flexible sole.
    Terrible, like most footwear. I think you'd need 'caulk' (aka 'cork' ) nailed boots for good traction on wet logs/kelp.
    I kinda like dirt colour boots ... :)
     
    Tangler likes this.
  15. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

    Joined:
    May 31, 2005
    Messages:
    5,469
    Location:
    Astoria, Oregon, USA
    Couple added comments on XtraTufs ... to supplement John's excellent synopsis.

    1. Indeed, they do slide around on kelp and wet logs. Every boot does. Except maybe felt soled ones, or, of course, corks. But XT's are about the best rubber-soled boots for traction, in my experience, short of felt. People at Englund Marine agree.

    2. I cannot wear them ... and you cannot, either, if your instep is taller than average. They kill my feet, if fittted for foot length and width. If I go up a size or two, they are "comfortable" but my feet swim around, providing very poor control, planting me on my butt frequently. Caveat emptor. [ Instep = the top side of the foot, above the tallest part of the arch. ]

    3. Outside the US, they are expensive, to the degree that my Canadian-emigre' son asks for a pair of bootlegged boots every three years or so. Do not know why. Certainly not MAGA. ;)
     
  16. Tangler

    Tangler Paddler

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2016
    Messages:
    27
    Thanks John/Dave.
    I had a pair of wellies with similar soles to the Level Six's which I wore around camp a lot. I didn't notice any problems around here (gravel/sand/dirt) but when I wore them on a trip in Nova Scotia I found they had poor grip on grass and nearly landed me on my derriere. Perhaps they had just worn out?
    The Level Six's do look like a useful boot, especially if you can wear them paddling.
    I thought the colour was more like something else often found on the ground... :)
     
  17. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,580
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    I bought mine in the US (WestMarine in Port Townsend) and I recall paying $100 USD ??
    In Victoria they are 'silly' priced, usually.
    I got the Level Six boots on sale ($42 USD) so not a fair comparison, really.
    The 'regular' Level Six price is $72 USD.
     
  18. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,580
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    I notice that the colour is listed as "BARK" at Level Six, so you may 'be on to something' there.... :)
     
    Tangler likes this.
  19. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,580
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    I don't have a tall instep (as far as I've noticed, yet... :) ) but I can't 'load up' on socks inside the XtraTufs as much as I expected without having tightness across the top of my feet. So the same characteristic as Dave finds.
    The LevelSix boots feel a lot more secure.
     
  20. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

    Joined:
    May 31, 2005
    Messages:
    5,469
    Location:
    Astoria, Oregon, USA