Forum Index > Gear Talk > Recommendations for Footwear Used in Water Crossings?
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steve_podleski
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PostFri Jul 06, 2018 3:31 pm 
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What do people use during hikes/backpacking?
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AlpineRose
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PostFri Jul 06, 2018 4:05 pm 
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I use Vivo Ultras
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DigitalJanitor
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PostFri Jul 06, 2018 4:09 pm 
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We use Vivo Barefoots, which are super light and have worked a treat BUT.... I also use them for camp shoes and just recently on a 3 night hangout @ Waptus drove what was probably a tiny little stick right through the sole into my foot. It bled like a stuck pig (probably a good thing) and I wiped it out as best I could for a puncture wound with hand sanitizer, let it dry out, and hoped for the best. Hiking out was OK thank goodness but it was a little sobering to realize, again, how easily a perfectly relaxing trip can turn into A Real Adventure™.

I briefly considered taking my heavier Keens instead, but honestly there's random ways I could bung up my feet in those also. So.... they were in my backpack for the next trip. Livin on the edge, lol!  horsey.gif

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DIYSteve
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PostFri Jul 06, 2018 4:28 pm 
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Yeah, water crossing shoes double as camp shoes.

I've been through, i.e. destroyed, two pairs of Vivobarefoot Ultras, the lightest ultralight camp shoe/river crossing option. They work fine and pack great, although they wear out fast, especially at rocky camps.

I replaced them with Salomon Crossamphibian Swift water shoes, twice the weight (although still very lightweight), much more supportive and puncture-proof sole (see DJ's post).

I put my boot insole/orthotics in both for longer crossings and around camp.
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Ski
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PostFri Jul 06, 2018 5:01 pm 
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steve_podleski -

I've forded lots of rivers. Best footwear is the Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star high-top. Hands down.
Downside: when they're wet, my size 13s weigh about 5 pounds and they don't dry out for two days.

shoe shot - Upper Crossing Way Trail - Queets Valley 080917
shoe shot - Upper Crossing Way Trail - Queets Valley 080917

I've worn Tevas - they work okay if they stay on, but they're not the most stable choice.
Downside: small pebbles caught between your foot and the top of the sole will raise hell with your foot while you're standing out in the middle of a river with a pack on your back. The Velcro closures can come undone.

The "Vivo Ultra Pure" is the lightest weight choice, but without the liners you've only got maybe a quarter inch of sole between you and the rocks in the streambed.
Downside: Spendy. Soles are awfully thin and don't provide much protection to the bottoms of your feet. (see notes above)
That said, I bought these based on Steve's reviews - they far exceeded expectations because they weigh almost nothing. (see HERE )
For kicking around in the river they're great. I prefer something a bit more substantial when carrying a pack. (Personal preference thing.)

New Balance made a Minimus MT10v2 Trail Running Shoe that was fabulous for fording. This particular model has been discontinued, but I'd think you'd be able to find something similar - maybe that model Steve mentioned just above.
They've got a bit more sole, and they get a better grip on slippery rocks than those Vivo models.
Downside: Spendy. First pair started falling apart in less than 20 miles. REI replaced them. Second pair has held up decently.

==

There's more discussion on the Vivo and other models you might consider in this camp shoe discussion thread from 2014.

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Waterman
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PostFri Jul 06, 2018 5:05 pm 
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Acorns. They are a heavy wool sock with a thin leather sole. Only good for 1 or 2 seasons.

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DIYSteve
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PostFri Jul 06, 2018 6:24 pm 
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IMV, fast drying is a requirement because I want dry shoes for camp, so, for me, that eliminates cotton canvas and leather soled wool sox/slippers. Vivabarefoot Ultras, rubber flip flops or rubber slides are the clear winners for fast drying, although my Salomon water shoes (and some other water shoes) dry quite fast. (They've always been dry for camp. Contrast typical running shoes, which, once soaked, are damp for a day or two or more.)

FTR, I switched from Ultras to a more supportive water crossing/camp shoe because I was doing more trips in the interior West, where sometimes there are long water/swampy crossings, e.g., aptly named Broadwater River in the Beartooths. I'll likely get another pair of Ultras for the Cascades.
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RandyHiker
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PostFri Jul 06, 2018 6:25 pm 
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AlpineRose wrote:
I use Vivo Ultras

I have those as well and they are nice and very light.  You need to use them with care.

The lightest option is thick callouses on the soles of your feet.  But these require lots of time walking barefoot to develop.
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texasbb
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PostFri Jul 06, 2018 6:42 pm 
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AlpineRose wrote:
I use Vivo Ultras

up.gif
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HitTheTrail
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PostFri Jul 06, 2018 6:59 pm 
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Barerun Barefoot  are $15 and weigh 6.5 oz per pair.

Vibram Hemp Sneakers are $100 and weigh 6.7 oz per pair.

I have both and they both pack down very flat under your top strap.
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Ski
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PostFri Jul 06, 2018 7:26 pm 
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DIYSteve wrote:
"IMV, fast drying is a requirement because I want dry shoes for camp, so, for me, that eliminates cotton canvas and leather soled wool sox/slippers. Vivabarefoot Ultras, rubber flip flops or rubber slides are the clear winners for fast drying..."

^ The Vivobarefoot Ultra Pure dried out faster than my feet did sitting on a gravel bar in 80° F weather.

Converse Hi-tops = 2 days to dry
New Balance Minimus = day-and-a-half
Tevas = several hours for the Velcro to dry thoroughly

==

HitTheTrail that "Barerun" looks interesting, but I have to wonder how securely they stay on your feet crossing a fast-moving stream with a pack. The few user reviews I skimmed through don't seem to give them high marks in that regard.

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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contour5
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PostFri Jul 06, 2018 7:37 pm 
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A heavy pair of wool socks usually works fine for me. Also, it's a textbook example of multi-threaded multitasking- the socks go in dirty and come out clean!
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HitTheTrail
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PostFri Jul 06, 2018 7:40 pm 
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Ski wrote:
but I have to wonder how securely they stay on your feet crossing a fast-moving stream with a pack.

Yeah maybe, if you leave them stock. But there are ways around these kinds of problems. There is a loop on back, just go through that with a velcro strap around your ankle! Or take an even more pea brained approach and buy a half size too small. For $15 you can afford to experiment.
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DigitalJanitor
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PostFri Jul 06, 2018 8:42 pm 
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DIYSteve wrote:
I put my boot insole/orthotics in both for longer crossings and around camp.

DOH! I'm going to experiment with this, I have plastic orthotics for my archless flippers.

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RumiDude
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PostFri Jul 06, 2018 9:20 pm 
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Wow, I use my Crocs and they work very well. I have used them in all sorts of river crossings and they have never come off.

My only complaint with Crocs is that they do not pack small. But that has not been an issue for me so I keep using them. And by far they are the best camp shoe. As soon as I arrive in camp they go on my feet.

Rumi

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