New paddling footwear - what to get^

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Bruxy
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New paddling footwear - what to get^

Post by Bruxy » Wed Jun 12, 2013 2:41 pm

Hi all,

after seven years of hard service - paddling most weekends - my Argyll wellies have finally given up the ghost and I'm wondering what's out there to replace them with.
I've had these Argyll jobs, as I say, for a long time and they've been perfect. The heel was small and set in to the sole enough to make getting the things in and out of my Explorer painless and it's been handy to have good, solid footwear for boat handling over tricky ground.
They've also been great for keeping the ticks at bay while wandering about long grass.

So why not get another pair if they've been so good? Well, I've just found out that they're made by Hunter - who have a terrible reputation for quality now that their manufacturing side has moved from Scotland to the middle east. Reading reviews of Hunter (or Argyll ) wellies now makes for sad reading - many, many dissatisfied customers so I'm inclined to give thema wide berth now.

So ... what are folk wearing that they're finding good?
I definitely want welly-type footwear - I've tried Lomo boots and sandals and neither do it for me, even though I tend to wear salopettes with integrated feet.

Any suggestions gratefully received, thanks.

Cheers
Chris

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Grian
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Re: New paddling footwear - what to get

Post by Grian » Wed Jun 12, 2013 4:07 pm

Have you tried the Lomo welly style boots?

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Ceegee
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Re: New paddling footwear - what to get

Post by Ceegee » Wed Jun 12, 2013 4:58 pm

I swear by mukluks - I have a pair of these from Canada, about half the price of the Chotka ones and probably nearly as good. Soles good enough for hard ground and a bit of walking without being too stiff or bulky for under-deck.

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Cheers,
Steve C. G.

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puddled
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Re: New paddling footwear - what to get

Post by puddled » Wed Jun 12, 2013 5:23 pm

I wear Lomo boots http://www.ewetsuits.com/acatalog/dive-boots.html

with ....

Reeds Wading Socks http://www.chillcheater.com/aqshop/cata ... 2604&page=

on the inside and then ....

an ordinary pair of non-bulky walking socks inside the lot.

I find it a great combination as the Lomo boots are good for walking over beach boulders and the Reeds socks keep my feet completely dry even if standing in welly depth water.

pud
Northshore Atlantic/Burn 2/Greenland T/Prospector

johnysmoke
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Re: New paddling footwear - what to get

Post by johnysmoke » Thu Jun 13, 2013 3:40 am


Nick P
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Re: New paddling footwear - what to get

Post by Nick P » Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:05 pm

Sadly, I can only concur regarding Hunter wellies. I have 2 pairs: an older pair that belonged to my late father in law, which are still going strong and a newer pair that are virtually worn out after 18 months.
I think you can do far worse than just get a pair of cheap Dunlop PVC wellies from yer nearest agricultural merchant.
N

GEOFF S
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Re: New paddling footwear - what to get

Post by GEOFF S » Thu Jun 13, 2013 1:15 pm

Recently Aldi had a pair of wellies in the fishing gear section which are welly-like round the foot and neoprene up the leg. I got a pair and on my recent week-long trip round Morven I never had them off my feet ( 'cept in my sleeping bag of course for the pedants out there ). Around a tenner I think.

Boots
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Re: New paddling footwear - what to get^

Post by Boots » Thu Jun 13, 2013 6:51 pm

crocs...

AllanC
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Re: New paddling footwear - what to get^

Post by AllanC » Thu Jun 13, 2013 7:09 pm

Another vote for ordinary Dunlop wellies. I bought a pair more than 5 years ago now as an emergency measure prior to a trip and they're still what I wear for all my paddling other than wet work. They've just seen me through a week on St Kilda as well as digging out and rebuilding a retaining wall in my garden. The best value paddling kit I own!

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Bruxy
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Re: New paddling footwear - what to get^

Post by Bruxy » Thu Jun 13, 2013 7:30 pm

Thanks for all the replies - some interesting options to look at.

I must say I liked the look of the Xtratuff boots but a (very) quick Google didn't seem to find any UK distributors ... as I say, I didn't look too hard so there could be places over here to see them ... but maybe not in the Highlands ... and for the price, I'd like to try them before buying.

One further question for the folk who favour long, neoprene boots ... do you tend to find they pull a lot of water into the boat with them as you get in?
That was one of the things I didn't like about my Lomo boots - they seemed to act like a very efficient sponge and I was always surprised by just how much water they released. I also found that my feet slid around a bit inside them when walking in them whilst wet.
Also, (two questions, I know!), would you be able to put them on over a pair of dry socks (not drysocks) and walk about in the evenings with dry feet after they've been used to launch/recover or does the neoprene get soaked and therefore would need something like a barrier sock to make wearing around camp feasible.

Maybe, if I could find cheapo wellies with an inset heel - that would be the best way to go. Could probably get 4 pairs for the cost of new Argylls - and they'd outlast them too!

Such a shame that a well-known and respected make like Hunter/Argyll have gone the way of so many and taken the fashion rather than the functional line and gone for cheaper and more shoddy manufacturing processes.

Thanks all

Chris

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MikeB
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Re: New paddling footwear - what to get^

Post by MikeB » Thu Jun 13, 2013 8:32 pm

Indeed - Loakes shifted manufacture to India as well and the leather is now seriously hard, and the sizes seem to be half a size down on the UK originals. Not that the price has dropped either!

To your questions - I use Lomo boats with drysocks. I went a size up and they're fine - yes, a little "slidey" but not a big deal. I've had mukluks (NRS ones) and didn't like them at all. They were too long for the overlap on my drysuit legs, gave virtually no ankle support and the sole was way too thin for walking on the average Scottish beach. They were, however, waterproof neoprene.

I've no idea whether the Lomo ones are - give them a shout and ask? I share your frustration at the amount of water my Lomo booties seem to take into the boat.

A pal of mine went to Canada (or was it Alaska) some years ago and bought Xtratuff's iirc - maybe you know him? Tim Dawson - -

Regs, Mike.

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Bruxy
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Re: New paddling footwear - what to get^

Post by Bruxy » Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:45 pm

Hi Mike,

thanks for that.
I agree the long Lomo boots seem to tick the boxes - except I've used the short boots and spraydecks and I suspect they'll be using the same quality neoprene ... which I've found tends to be quite "sponge-like" and not completely waterproof so not really suitable to slipping on over a dry pair of socks at the camp site and going for a wander in after a paddle.

Yes, I've met Tim - I had a further look at the Xtratuf boots and, while I still couldn't find a UK distributor, I did discover that they (since 2010) had moved to ... can you guess ...yep, India .... and recent american reviews were sadly similar to those for Hunters; another quality product torpeoed by cost-cutting.

In lieu of finding anything better, It's looking like a cheapo pair and accept that they'll not last long but won't cost as much to replace. 21st century philosophy?

Cheers
Chris

Phizz4
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Re: New paddling footwear - what to get^

Post by Phizz4 » Tue Jun 18, 2013 9:45 pm

Have a look at Aigle wellies, as sold by Uttings, among others. They have a very good reputation for quality.

johnysmoke
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Re: New paddling footwear - what to get^

Post by johnysmoke » Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:20 pm

That's a shame about the xtratuffs, and your wellies... I got a pair of extratuffs when I was guiding in Alaska a few years ago, they held up pretty well to 2 years of use, but don't get much use now I'm in the city. I wonder if the Bogs brand boots, which are made in China, are better quality than the India made stuff?

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