Calling all canyon creepers

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desertdryad
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Calling all canyon creepers

Post by desertdryad » Aug 26 2012 8:03 pm

.. what do you wear on your feet for backpacking through water for long distances?

I'm an experienced backpacker soon to go to Aravaipa for a few days. I've day hiked Aravaipa and other wet canyons, but not backpacked. I tend to need good ankle support, even with a light backpack for overnighting. I'm leary of relying on my Chacos to carry the weight. Are there good river shoes /waterproof boots with ankle support that are worth considering, or should I be just wearing old hiking boots and hop for the best the next morning...

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outdoor_lover
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Re: Calling all canyon creepers

Post by outdoor_lover » Aug 26 2012 8:17 pm

The best advice I got was to wear something that you don't care about ruining, as you may ruin them having them be wet for such a long time. I wore an old pair of mostly mesh running shoes with socks and they worked great and actually held up. I'm still wearing them on other Water Hikes. The Mesh allows the Water to drain, while keeping the bigger pebbles from getting in. I only had to stop and remove one bothersome pebble, the whole trip. If you wear something without mesh, you are either going to have waterlogged shoes or on the opposite end, you're going to be removing your shoes to get the pebbles out that get lodged under your sandal straps. If you absolutely have to have ankle support, your choices are going to be alot more limited. Maybe a cheap pair of hi-top mesh sneakers??? I'm sure other people will chime in on what's worked for them....Have fun, it's a great Hike!!! :)
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"

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RedRoxx44
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Re: Calling all canyon creepers

Post by RedRoxx44 » Aug 27 2012 4:51 am

54 miles Escalante River--old pair of Salomon hiking boots. 66 miles middle and West Fork Gila trips same boots. Shorter trips along the Dirty Devil and main Gila Forks some sort of boot, don't remember. Just bring several pairs of socks and camp shoes and you'll be fine.

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Trishness
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Re: Calling all canyon creepers

Post by Trishness » Aug 27 2012 5:44 pm

I've tried and don't like "water shoes" for backpacking or hiking. I bought a pair of Keen water shoes to hike the Escalante River this past spring and all the sand did was pack it's way into the toe box making it very uncomfortable to walk. The sand also worked it's way under the ankle strap causing a huge abraded area. Tevas have always left my toes too exposed and I wind up bashing them on rocks and stuff. I agree with the posters above....use an old pair of hiking boots and bring lots of socks.
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cactuscat
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Re: Calling all canyon creepers

Post by cactuscat » Aug 27 2012 10:26 pm

Trishness wrote: The sand also worked it's way under the ankle strap causing a huge abraded area
I had that happen at Aravaipa with Teva's ... extremely unpleasant.
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joebartels
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Re: Calling all canyon creepers

Post by joebartels » Aug 28 2012 6:07 am

if you wear sandals, wear smartwool
even after rubbing my feet so raw in Chacos that I couldn't walk without severe pain
Janelle's smartwool socks made a water hike out feel like pillows
since then I've tried others
while socks in general help, the smartwool (or perhaps wool in general) seems to have less friction in water

if you wear shoes, I think you'd be more likely to abrasions without socks too
if you're in the water for hours your skin turns mushy unless you've been walking barefoot for months

personally I wear shoes more often in water as you don't have to worry about banging up the sides of your feet
yet I've had good results in sandals, just remember socks and to tighten down the straps
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cindyl
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Re: Calling all canyon creepers

Post by cindyl » Aug 28 2012 2:10 pm

last year, i bought a pair of teva water shoes (churn is the kind i got) - not to be confused with teva water sandals. the first time i did aravaipa i did it in keen sandals and neoprene socks (a colder time of the year). i was constantly having to pull out rocks from between the sandals and the socks. the water shoes are made out of a mesh - like the pair of sneakers that outdoor lover was describing, and i didn't have a single rock or pebble get in. i did wear regular cotton socks, too, so i wouldn't get any blisters that are sometimes associated with bare feet rubbing up against any type of shoe. and the sole is super grippy, so even while climbing on rocks directly after getting out of the water, you're not going to slip.

aravaipa is a constantly changing canyon - it's different in each photoset i see here, and in each trip i make to it. the only constant is the "wow" factor. have fun!
There are just two switchbacks left. And another half-mile to the destination...

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joebartels
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Re: Calling all canyon creepers

Post by joebartels » Aug 28 2012 2:15 pm

I get rocks with neoprene too
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MtnBart01
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Re: Calling all canyon creepers

Post by MtnBart01 » Aug 28 2012 3:18 pm

I agree with the wool socks and wear injinji merino wool socks for almost every hike with my vff's.
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chumley
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Re: Calling all canyon creepers

Post by chumley » Aug 28 2012 3:35 pm

joe bartels wrote:Janelle's smartwool socks
Looks like it's been a few days since Janelle shaved her legs! :sl:

And I second (third, fourth?) smartwool socks. And in colder weather/water, they insulate quite well even when wet. I got plenty of sand and gravel into my shoes in Aravaipa over the weekend, but only had to take shoes off to empty them every two miles or so when something bigger than 3/8" got in there. Anything smaller than that the socks prevented me from noticing.
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Trishness
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Re: Calling all canyon creepers

Post by Trishness » Aug 28 2012 7:07 pm

ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS...smartwool or merino wool socks. They're pretty pricey but I've found "seconds" at the East Mesa Flea Market on Baseline Road (between Signal Butte and Crismon). I still have merino wool socks from several years ago that are in great shape......the elastic is wearing out a bit. But you can get 3 pairs of socks for like $20-$25 instead of paying $16 a pair. I think they still won't work well with "water sandals" but have worn them with old boots for water hikes.

Trish
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chumley
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Re: Calling all canyon creepers

Post by chumley » Aug 28 2012 9:09 pm

Here's a short video of my socks/shoes in Aravaipa. I was cleaning them out just because we were taking a snack break ... not because I was bothered at all by what was in my shoes! I credit the socks!
http://youtu.be/xXAoCUBqzaA
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cactuscat
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Re: Calling all canyon creepers

Post by cactuscat » Aug 28 2012 9:18 pm

I found a smokin' deal at the Bright Angel giftshop - believe it or not - and bought two pairs of "Fits" brand merino wool blend socks on clearance for $5 apiece! I wasn't familiar with the brand, but they were originally $21 per pair, so I figured they were too good to pass up for 75% off ... I have been hiking in them almost exclusively for about a month now and they are fantastic socks! The fit really is outstanding, the wool is perfect, and they are holding up to heavy use and frequent washings well.
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writelots
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Re: Calling all canyon creepers

Post by writelots » Aug 29 2012 10:40 am

I'll echo the wool socks and old running shoes vote (and toe socks are the bomb). I like running shoes because they're light and they usually breathe well - which means they let the water out. It's contrary to what many hikers usually think - which is that you have to keep your feet dry. I still cannot think of a single time I was actually happy to have waterproof shoes - but, then, I haven't had them in a long time,either ;)
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desertdryad
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Re: Calling all canyon creepers

Post by desertdryad » Sep 03 2012 3:14 pm

Thanks for all the feedback, everyone (and sorry to take so long to post back!) I think I will go with old hiking boots and wool socks that (hopefully) will dry out. I'm more concerned with ankle support than comfort, so I think for me, it's the way to go. I hope the creek won't be too cold in mid October!

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