The Top 7 Waterproof Kayak Boots [To Keep Dry & Warm]

7 Best Kayaking Shoes for Winter [To Stay Warm & Dry]

7 Best Kayaking Shoes for Winter [To Stay Warm & Dry]

Abigail Scott

Abigail Scott
Mother, Professional Kayaker, and Software Engineer

Updated on 12/6/2022

Here is the top 7 waterproof kayak boots [To Keep Dry & Warm] .The shoes and booties used for kayaking are not the same as other types of footwear. Launching and walking on jagged rocks and gravel need to be light, flexible, and give a high grip, but they also need to be sufficiently durable. In addition, footwear designed specifically for winter kayaking can assist in preventing wet feet and maintaining foot warmth. 

In this article , I will assist you in locating the ideal kayaking footwear for paddling throughout the winter. I'll begin by providing a rundown of the top ones, and then I'll instruct you on how to select a set that is ideally suited to your requirements.

Best Winter Kayaking Shoes 

Best Winter Kayaking Shoes

Best Winter Kayaking Shoes

The following is a rundown of the best shoes and booties that can be purchased for use while paddling in cold weather.

1- Astral Hiyak Water Shoes

  • Having a low profile yet being robust
  • Strong support for the ankles
  • Lacing for a more personalized and secure fit
  • Soles with a good amount of grip and traction.

The Astral Hiyaks are high-performance water shoes that offer excellent grip and insulation. They come in a variety of colors. Even on damp and rough terrain, the soles have a thickness of 3.5 millimeters and are pretty sticky. Additionally, they have a low profile, allowing them to fit neatly inside kayaks; yet, not only are they designed to offer support for walking and trekking, but they also have a low profile.

Due to the absence of neoprene in their construction, these kayaking shoes are among the select few that offer enough protection for the ankles. Astral uses a fabric that is exclusively theirs to achieve the desired stiffness in the uppers.

In addition, these shoes include actual laces, which means that you may tie them as tightly or as loosely as you desire. Because these shoes have a Velcro overwrap that covers your loose lacing, your laces won't get hooked on anything or come undone while you're in the water. Instead, you'll be able to focus on the task at hand. Because the toe box of the Hiyaks is broader than that of other wet shoes, there is plenty of room for your toes, ensuring they will not become cramped. This is an enjoyable benefit while wearing many layers of socks in addition to dry pants and drysocks.

1- Astral Hiyak Water Shoes

1- Astral Hiyak Water Shoes

To tell you the truth, these are most likely the kayaking shoes of the most outstanding quality that you can get. You should not be surprised to see that reflected in the pricing at all.

Astral recently released this version of the Hiya. After trying out both, I can confidently declare that both versions are a significant improvement. This particular model is:

They were constructed to be superior to its predecessor in terms of being warmer, more flexible, and more comfortable. Which, by the way, was already of high quality.
The Astral Hiyak is only offered in its complete size configuration. If you are unsure about the size to choose, it is recommended that you get the next size up. If you can even locate them, given how quickly they go out of stock.

2-NRS Freestyle Wetshoes

  • The low profile design is fantastic
  • Rock traction is outstanding; the sole is just the right thickness.
  • Both neoprenes with a thickness of 3 millimeters and fleece offer toasty warmth.
  • Toe region that is naturally formed and has plenty of freedom to move around
  • Long treks on jagged rocks are not something that should be attempted with soles that are too thin.

When kayaking in chilly conditions, the NRS Freestyle wet shoes are an excellent option for footwear. Despite their durability, they are not only exceedingly comfortable but also relatively light.

You may use these shoes in kayaks of any size since the soles have a thickness of 1.5 millimeters, making them thick and flexible enough for mild terrain while maintaining a low profile.

In point of fact, paddlers who use stand-up paddleboards adore these wet shoes since they provide a sensation not dissimilar to that of going barefoot while at the same time shielding their feet from the elements as a wet shoe ought to do.

NRS Freestyle Wetshoes

NRS Freestyle Wetshoes


In addition, they are constructed with lateral rubber support bands, which offer your ankles a greater degree of support than the neoprene alone would. I should clarify that it does not transform them into hiking boots but makes them more sturdy.

They are comfortable and warm because of the inside fleece lining and the 3mm neoprene they are made of. However, if I don't wear many pairs of socks under my drysocks, I might not be able to utilize them in scenarios where the temperature is shallow.

The NRS Freestyle shoe's toe box is roomier than most other shoes, ensuring that your toes will never be crammed into a tight space. This is another fantastic feature of these shoes. Not even if you wear many layers of socks at the same time. Because of the fantastic pricing and the fact that these shoes are suitable for cold to moderate conditions, I believe you should consider them.

3-NRS ATB Wetshoes

NRS ATB Wetshoe

  • I am getting a grip and being protected.
  • It is simple to slide into drysuit drysocks, even when wearing thick socks.
  • The zipper facilitates putting it on, and the strap ensures a snug and comfortable fit.
  • Because of their size, the soles and heels of the shoes take up a lot of space in the boat.
  • Their porous soles and thinner insoles take longer to dry than other shoes.
  • These are not trekking shoes. Therefore you need to be careful not to roll your ankle.

The NRS ATBs are ultra-rugged wet shoes that you may wear for kayaking if you also intend on trekking on challenging terrain. They are compatible with both activities.

They have thick workboot bottoms that offer protection to your feet and solid traction both in and out of the water. They are lovely to have when you need to walk over jagged rocks, and they offer excellent protection for the drysocks of your drysuit.

The insoles of the shoes are made of 7 mm neoprene, which is a comfortable cushion against any impact.

But this, of course, comes at the price of additional bulkiness, which is not ideal for short kayaking outings in which you won't be trekking too much. NRS further attached a tab at the rear for swimming fins. These are useful if you need them, but if you do not, they will only add to the bulkiness of the shoes.

Waterproof Kayak Boots

Waterproof Kayak Boots

However, it would help if you didn't consider ATB's suitable hiking shoes. Although the soles are rugged, there is nothing to prevent you from spraining your ankles on rough terrain. This is in contrast to hiking boots, which typically have higher ankle support and are more rigid.
The neoprene top that is zipped at 5 millimeters helps the ATBs keep your feet toasty. When fully closed, it has a beautiful, snug fit, which prevents pebbles from getting into the shoe.

In addition to that, they include a velcro-fastening strap that goes over the instep of the foot. This ensures that the shoe stays securely on your foot at all times and does not slide. Because the strap can be adjusted to fit your foot, it enables you to purchase a larger size and wear as many socks as you wish underneath the shoe.

4-NRS Boundary Boots

NRS Boundary Shoe

  • A warm and dry climate
  • A sole that is gripping and firm.
  • Lace-up closure for a personalized fit Potential drawbacks
  • If it becomes submerged and the top buckle isn't secured, there's a chance that some water will seep in through the top.

The Boundary Boots are waterproof, knee-high boots that measure 15 inches in height. These boots will keep your feet toasty and dry in any weather. The top is constructed from 5 millimeters of neoprene, which, when combined with the fact that socks should be worn below, makes these shoes suitable for winter paddling.

Because it does not in and of itself produce an excessive amount of heat, it may be worn even during the transitional periods between seasons. Because the factory inspects and tests each boot to ensure it is waterproof, you can be confident that you won't receive any defective footwear. Due to the height of the shoes, they are suitable for placing your kayak into water that is around knee-deep, as well as for situations in which you will need to go in often and out of the water.

The following is a list of some of the features of this boot that I particularly like:

  1. I was glued, making it watertight while removing the possible rubbing caused by complicated stitching.
  2. The lacing provides the boot with additional support and steadiness. You may adjust the fit to your preferences, ensuring that your feet will not move within the shoe.
  3.  The shoelaces may be tucked down in the shoe, preventing them from getting stuck on anything.
  4. The sole is made of 3 millimeters of rubber, is lovely and sticky, and securely navigates boat ramps and muddy rocks.
  5. To protect things like underwater cliffs and oysters, the shoe's sole extends up onto the side of the foot.
  6. As can be seen, the boot itself is constructed using elements that provide value and are something that paddlers, in general, will cherish. When developing this product, NRS paid careful attention to the requirements that kayak anglers and paddlers require.

5-Kokatat Nomad

Kokatat Nomad

Kokatat Nomad

  • Warm and not wet
  •  low profile soles, yet good traction Pros:
  • The rigid ankle stitch makes them challenging to put on and take off.
    If it is not correctly fastened, water can enter through the top. The Kokatat Nomads are a pair of waterproof boots that are great for canoeing, kayak fishing, and traveling.

They mix waterproof nylon shafts and neoprene shoes that are 3 millimeters thick. You can quickly put your kayak into the water using the rods. You may assume that they would get in the way, but the folks at Kokatat were astute enough to design them such that the shaft can be folded down quickly, allowing them to be worn like a shoe. Additionally, the post may be folded beneath the legs of your drysuit to make a double fold.

There is one place at the very top of the shaft and another just above your ankle. Because of this, it is possible to adjust the fit of the boots to ensure that they are comfortable with various socks.

The Nomads are not only extremely lightweight but also fold up neatly and can be easily stored in a backpack. The soles are well made and robust and offer an outstanding grip level. They have a discreet appearance and are not cumbersome, making getting in and out of the kayak a lot less complicated.

Waterproof Kayak Boots

Waterproof Kayak Boots

Your feet will remain dry and toasty with the addition of diving socks or one to two pairs of wool socks. However, the Nomads do have two drawbacks to their system.

The boots are susceptible to acquiring water if the bungee cord at the top of the shaft is not pulled as tightly as it should be before entering deep water. Keep this in mind when you are beginning to launch your kayak.

Second, the seam where the neoprene and the nylon shaft are sewn together is firm, making it more challenging to put these shoes on and take them off than with shoes that do not have such a stitch at the ankle.

6- Kokatat Hydrus 3.0 Launch Socks

Kokatat Hydrus 3.0 Launch Socks

Kokatat Hydrus 3.0 Launch Socks

  • Dry feet even while not wearing a drysuit
  • Fabric with a breathable Hydrus 3 rating
  • Both in the kayak and at the campground, comfort is a priority.
  • Expensive

Invest in a pair of Kokatat's Launch Socks if you plan on wearing a wetsuit rather than a drysuit but are still concerned about keeping the moisture off your feet. 

Because they are constructed out of Kokatat's breathable and waterproof Hydrus 3 material, which has three layers, they do not allow water to enter. Still, they do allow your perspiration to escape. The cloth is sturdy on its own; however, it is recommended that you put shoes or sandals over them. As I previously stated, this material is Hydrus 3, the same material that Kokatat employs for their drysuits.

Waterproof Kayak Boots

Waterproof Kayak Boots

Bungee cords are attached to the top of the Launch Socks, which may be pulled up to knee height. The cable ensures that the sock is kept at knee height but does not function as a watertight closure. You may launch your boat while wearing it, and you won't have to worry about water getting into your ankle-cut water shoes as you would if you were wearing regular shoes. Even when worn in wet conditions, the Launch Socks will keep your feet from becoming waterlogged. Because you won't need to pack additional dry shoes on multi-day kayaking adventures, they make the activity much more pleasant. Putting on your Launch Socks and then covering them with your usual wet shoes (or Crocs) will ensure that your feet remain dry.

7-Crocs Clogs

Crocs Clogs

Crocs Clogs

  • Cheap \sComfortable.
  • It can be removed quickly and simply from your kayak.
  • Not very warm; it's possible to lose it in the mud.

Sandals are a viable footwear option for kayaking, provided the water temperature is not very frigid, and you do not mind paddling around barefoot.

 Crocs in particular, since they are all of the following:

  • Simple to put on and take off whenever you want.
  •  Comfy.
  •  Float well. 
  • Dry out very quickly, and don't smell.
    To keep your feet warm, wear an extra pair of socks. You should purchase a size larger than your typical size to ensure that the boots will fit even when wearing four layers of wool socks.

However, there are a few trade-offs involved while wearing Crocs: In the front, they will protect the dry sock of your drysuit , but in the rear, where the strap is located, they will not. When you launch in muddy terrain, they tend to fall off your foot quickly. Crocs should not be left behind!
Your heels may scrape against the interior of the hull.

What Socks Should You Wear When You Go Kayaking In The Winter?

socks for kayaking

socks for kayaking

If you are going to go kayaking in water that is chilly, you should wear socks so that your feet will stay warm. In point of fact, the number of layers of socks you wear will likely need to be determined by the temperature of the water. You'll need more layers of clothing when the temperature drops.

When I go skiing, I wear socks that go all the way up to my knees, and they are designed to go up into the legs of my suit and provide additional warmth for my lower legs. In addition, they absorb the moisture from the water, allowing my drysuit to function normally. You have your choice between the following materials for your socks:

Avoid wearing socks made of cotton. Because they are porous and take a long time to dry, your feet will feel chilly if they become wet.

Merino wool clothes, even if they become wet, will still keep you remarkably warm, making them an excellent choice for fabric.

It's likely going to be better to go with polypropylene. Even when wet, it manages to keep your foot warm, does not absorb much water, and dries out quite quickly.

Acrylic is nearly on par with polypro in terms of quality.

How many layers of socks should you wear if you are going kayaking while it is chilly outside? You only need one layer and your kayaking shoes during the shoulder seasons to get out on the water.

How Do You Pick The Correct Shoes For Kayaking?

Waterproof Kayak Boots

Waterproof Kayak Boots

Shoes, figuratively and literally Shoes are a crucial component of your kayaking ensemble, but not just any pair will do.

Let's take a look at some of the most important features of kayaking shoes so you can make an informed decision about what gear is necessary for your kayaking adventures.

Feet-Friendly Temperature

temperature

temperature

When looking for shoes to wear when kayaking, you will find that the thickness of the textile varies drastically from brand to brand.

Neoprene shoes that are thick and at least 4-5 millimeters are required if you want to go kayaking in chilly water. Because they are designed to give additional warmth to your feet and legs, they are cut at the ankle or knee.

Even though you will need to wear one to four pairs of socks underneath your shoes, the neoprene will significantly aid in keeping your feet warm.
If you were paddling in warmer seas, you would need fewer layers of socks, shoes made of thinner neoprene mesh, or even sandals. Keep in mind that it will be much simpler to cool your feet down while kayaking than to warm them up.

The Topography Of The Area

topography

topography

The water temperature is not the only thing to think about; you need also make preparations for the terrain you will be walking on.

It's possible that the trip may be bumpy or muddy, and you can find yourself riding high over the sand, stones, or even more debris.

There are many different types of terrain, and choosing shoes appropriate for that terrain is one of the most important things you can do to ensure your comfort and safety.

You'll need to wear high-heeled and closed shoes to navigate locations with stones and sand. It is unpleasant to have stones stuck in your shoes, and you do not want to have to take your shoes off and clean them out every time you step out of your kayak because of this problem.

Waterproof Kayak Boots

Waterproof Kayak Boots

A pair of shoes with thicker soles is the most fantastic option to have on hand if you are exploring a region with sharp rocks.

The combination of moss and water may make surfaces dangerously slippery. If you do not exercise caution, you risk sliding and injuring yourself. For optimal traction, you should look for shoes with a gripping sole and a solid tread. Because you frequently find yourself in slick settings, you should carefully select your footwear.
Suppose you enjoy paddling your kayak in a variety of settings. It's possible that finding the proper shoe will be more challenging. After all, you are very likely to experience every difficulty that was mentioned in this article.

If you don't have enough money to buy two pairs of kayaking shoes, think about the types of terrain you paddle on the most often and get a couple of footwear suited to those situations.
It would help if you kept in mind that you may adjust to the water temperature by wearing numerous layers of socks; however, you will need to size more prominent to have room in your shoes.

The Fabric That The Shoe Is Made Of.

Waterproof Kayak Boots

Waterproof Kayak Boots

Neoprene is the most frequent material utilized in the production of kayaking shoes.

It is a material that is flexible and that:

  • Does not slip easily.
  •  Is lightweight, keeps you warm .

Neoprene

Neoprene

Due to these characteristics, it is an excellent choice for kayak use.

These days, manufacturers blend several types of materials to create water shoes that are ideal for various sports. For instance, adding a small amount of polyester to the mix makes the shoe more long-lasting, while adding lycra to the mix makes the shoe more flexible.
If you are forced to pick between the two, you should prioritize finding a sturdy shoe above finding a flexible one.

The Bottoms Of Your Shoes (Soles).

 bottoms of your shoes

bottoms of your shoes

When you go kayaking, you need a shoe that provides a good grip and protection, so it is necessary to take a close look at the bottoms of the shoes you are considering buying.

The rubber of varying densities, which is both long-lasting and durable, is typically used in producing the sole. The thicker the sole, the more protection it offers against jagged pebbles; however, it also makes the shoe more inflexible.

Some footwear features a hole in the heel cup of the sole to facilitate water drainage, enabling the footwear to air dry more rapidly.

Shoe Height For Kayaking (In Cm)

Low cut, ankle height, and knee cut are the three different heights of shoes that are offered.

Low Heel

low cut shoes

low cut shoes

Low Cut Kayaking Shoes

These are quite comfy and have a high degree of flexibility.

They are composed of neoprene that is quite thin, which makes it simpler to walk around while wearing them. They do not, however, produce sufficient warmth when used in cold water.

Ankle Shoes

ankle cut shoe

ankle cut shoe


Ankle Cut Kayaking Shoes
These are more protective for your feet and keep your feet warmer than traditional kayaking shoes with a lower cut. Because you can wear them regardless of the temperature, low-profile ankle shoes are the greatest option if you can only purchase one style of shoe.

Knee Height

knee height

knee height

Knee Cut Kayaking Shoes If you plan on paddling in really cold water, these are the shoes you should wear. They are water resistant to a large extent and will keep your feet toasty while you are traveling. In the event that you fall into the water while wearing them, however, they may flood from the top if they do not fit you well.

The Bulkiness And Profile Of Kayaking Shoes

profile of kayaking shoes

profile of kayaking shoes

The profile of your kayaking shoes indicates how cumbersome they are to wear.

Shoes with a low profile are highly recommended because they make entering and exiting your kayak more straightforward, and in addition to that, they may fit into playboats with a limited capacity.
However, some trade-offs need to be taken. If you want thick bottoms, the profile of the shoes will become more prominent; nevertheless, this will make putting the boots on and taking them off more complicated, and you may have trouble fitting your footholds within the shoes.
Some kayakers opt to paddle while wearing regular boots. However, wearing boots when swimming is uncomfortable since they make it difficult to get into and out of the kayak. Because traditional boots are not designed to be submerged, you will run into significant issues if you take them underwater.

What Size Kayaking Wet Shoes Do You Need?

kayaking wet shoes

kayaking wet shoes

When it comes to winter kayaking shoes, I've found that it's best to either size up if you're between sizes or purchase one size larger than you typically wear to give space for socks and dry pant socks. Suppose you're in between sizes, size up; if you're already between sizes, size up.

Compared to the shoes you use daily, your kayaking shoes should have a more snug fit once you have layered your socks. Imagine supposing the boots were more like socks or gloves instead of shoes.

Getting kayaking shoes in the correct size for your feet is essential. Shoes that are overly constricting will give the wearer cramps and slow blood flow. Shoes that are too big for your feet can let water in and cause your feet to slide about while you walk. This is especially risky when done on rocky terrain with sharp edges.

After you have had your shoes, you should try them on and determine whether or not you can comfortably flex your toes and feet while maintaining a snug fit in the shoes. It is essential to remember that neoprene is a flexible material that will expand somewhat when it comes into contact with water.

Certain shoe brands come up huge, while others tend to run tiny. This indicates that you must try on the shoes before putting them through their paces in the water.

Should You Purchase Kayaking Shoes On The Internet?

purchase kayaking shoes on the internet

purchase kayaking shoes on the internet

It is possible to obtain a better bargain and more options when you get your boots online instead of walking into a traditional store to make your purchase.

However, there is a possibility that you will not order the correct size, which is why it is essential to purchasing from a retailer that has a hassle-free return policy.

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