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Thread: Wading and Hiking shoes configurations for backpacking fishing trips

  1. Default Wading and Hiking shoes configurations for backpacking fishing trips

    Hi All,

    I'm planning backcountry single day and multiday fishing trips in the Virginia, Pennsylvania areas. I'm concerned about the weight that I'll be carrying and am trying to figure out if I can get away with one pair of shoes?

    Have any of you hiked for 5-6 miles in wading shoes wearing booties or waders? How was that experience? Also, how about hiding in wading shoes wearing booties (ie no waders) for wet wading - hiking with wet feet for a long time sounds uncomfortable for feet and may cause blisters.

    On the other hand if I'm carrying my hiking shoes as well as wading shoes, I'm adding an extra 3-4 pounds of weight. For this purpose, I did find Korker's Torrent shoes as they are only 2 pounds, but they don't have any ankle support. The next one up Guides with ankle support, but they are about 2.5 pounds and take more space.

    Any advice about techniques that you guys have used would me much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Missouri City (near Houston), Texas
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    Default Re: Wading and Hiking shoes configurations for backpacking fishing trips

    This isn't fully responsive to your questions, but keep in mind that Korkers have interchangeable soles, so you can save on the weight of carrying several pairs of boots by merely taking extra interchangeable Korkers soles with you.
    On the whole, I'd rather be in Wyoming . . .
    Fly2:

  3. Default Re: Wading and Hiking shoes configurations for backpacking fishing trips

    Thanks for highlighting that Fly2Fish! Yes, I know about that, and if somehow I could dry the shoe, I'd be golden! Just swap out my wet socks with dry socks and start hiking. But the wet shoes will wet the dry socks, so....hence the 2 shoe configuration..

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Wading and Hiking shoes configurations for backpacking fishing trips

    Yeah, Musphuss, you're right. I'd forgotten about my Paratroop days when you lived or died by your feet. Dry footware is essential if you're to march quite a bit. I'm thinking that for a serious hike, you do need two pairs of walking boots after all.
    On the whole, I'd rather be in Wyoming . . .
    Fly2:

  5. Default Re: Wading and Hiking shoes configurations for backpacking fishing trips

    One question-- what are the kind of waters are you are hiking to?

    Here in Colorado, when I backpack and fly-fish the types of backcountry streams are usually headwaters or lakes. The former of which tend to be somewhat shallow and narrow.

    When I first started to hike-in, I would just take my hip-waders, but I soon found out that when I cast, it was usually just from the bank-- in fact I would cast a couple of feet back just so I didn't spook the fish. I can't recall a moment were I really needed something more than my regular hiking footware-- beaver ponds excepted.

    So the question is-- do you really need to enter the water? In the backcountry, the answer is generally no.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Wading and Hiking shoes configurations for backpacking fishing trips

    Quote Originally Posted by musphuss View Post
    Thanks for highlighting that Fly2Fish! Yes, I know about that, and if somehow I could dry the shoe, I'd be golden! Just swap out my wet socks with dry socks and start hiking. But the wet shoes will wet the dry socks, so....hence the 2 shoe configuration..
    I know your feet would eventually get sweaty but what about a thin pair of neoprene booties? Might be too hot, but just a thought.
    Okiemountaineer

  7. #7

    Default Re: Wading and Hiking shoes configurations for backpacking fishing trips

    I haven't done a lot of hike-in fishing trips, but I have backpacked extensively. If you aren't wearing comfortable and purpose built hiking footwear, your feet are going to hate you. Hiking in waders seems totally out of the question.

    I have a pair of water shoes that I got at ross for like $10 that are made out of a similar material as crocs and weigh very little. I'm going to be doing a backpacking trip about every other weekend, starting in two weeks, and I was just planning on bringing those. They are made by speedo I believe. Also, they are about a size too big, and fit snugly over the booties in my waders, making them a light alternative to wading boots. Keens are also good, but weigh a bit.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Wading and Hiking shoes configurations for backpacking fishing trips

    I used to walk some good distances in my wading shoes with waders on. The result was that It wore hard on the neoprene bootie of the waders cutting their life span. With todays light weight waders I stuff em in a Jansport Day Pack and tie the wading shoes on the gear fob.

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

  9. Default Re: Wading and Hiking shoes configurations for backpacking fishing trips

    Quote Originally Posted by Leyther View Post
    One question-- what are the kind of waters are you are hiking to?

    Here in Colorado, when I backpack and fly-fish the types of backcountry streams are usually headwaters or lakes. The former of which tend to be somewhat shallow and narrow.

    When I first started to hike-in, I would just take my hip-waders, but I soon found out that when I cast, it was usually just from the bank-- in fact I would cast a couple of feet back just so I didn't spook the fish. I can't recall a moment were I really needed something more than my regular hiking footware-- beaver ponds excepted.

    So the question is-- do you really need to enter the water? In the backcountry, the answer is generally no.
    Leyther, I'm starting off my backcountry fishing with Shenandoah streams and then expander further once I gain more experience. I think you are right in saying that most often, I'll be casting from the bank. However, at a local stocked trout stream in Arlington, where I have been practicing casting, I sometimes prefer to get into the water either because of the tight cover or to get a better angle. I'm assuming, I'll be doing the same in Shenandoah as there is a good cover over there as well.

    But you certainly have a point, if I'm getting in the water for just a stream crossing and am not constantly fishing standing in water - no point in hauling all that stuff with me.

    ---------- Post added at 10:54 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:46 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by jcw355 View Post
    I know your feet would eventually get sweaty but what about a thin pair of neoprene booties? Might be too hot, but just a thought.
    Thanks for that suggestion jcw355. I in fact bought a pair of Simms Guard Socks recently, which aren't "thin" like you suggested but regular stockingfoot booties thickness. Although, they worked out great in filling up the extra space in my wading boots, for use without waders. The only thing that I found a bit annoying was that water would collect inside these booties, and since there is no way for the water to get out, it would be sloshing around in their while I walked. I've been thinking that maybe I should make holes in the booties, so the water would drain out into the shoe and then eventually out of the shoe.

    Another suggestion that I got was (which might also be what you were suggesting) is to carry an extra pair of dry wool socks and a thin waterproof polypro liner sock. After I'm done wading, I keep the same shoes, but swap out the wet socks with the dry one's and wear that waterproof liner below that. So even though my new dry pair will get damp, because of the wet shoe, my feet will still stay dry.

    ---------- Post added at 11:02 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:54 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by oregonism View Post
    I haven't done a lot of hike-in fishing trips, but I have backpacked extensively. If you aren't wearing comfortable and purpose built hiking footwear, your feet are going to hate you. Hiking in waders seems totally out of the question.

    I have a pair of water shoes that I got at ross for like $10 that are made out of a similar material as crocs and weigh very little. I'm going to be doing a backpacking trip about every other weekend, starting in two weeks, and I was just planning on bringing those. They are made by speedo I believe. Also, they are about a size too big, and fit snugly over the booties in my waders, making them a light alternative to wading boots. Keens are also good, but weigh a bit.
    Oregonism, thanks for sharing your experience and for your advice! That sounds like a terrific lightweight solution, however I'm thinking that you won't be getting the same traction that wading shoes will give you (I'm using Simms Rivershead with rubber soles at the moment). I'm a beginner fly fisherman and I started by wet wading in my Chacos. When I finally upgraded to waders and wading shoes, I was very pleasantly surprised and must say, am a bit spoiled now by the security they provide - greater traction, no getting wet in cold water, not having to worry about stubbing your toes on rocks.

    So I'm thinking I could copy your solution for light wading but for serious wading, I'd still have to lug around the wading boots. I'll check out those Speedos!

    ---------- Post added at 11:05 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:02 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Hardyreels View Post
    I used to walk some good distances in my wading shoes with waders on. The result was that It wore hard on the neoprene bootie of the waders cutting their life span. With todays light weight waders I stuff em in a Jansport Day Pack and tie the wading shoes on the gear fob.
    Thanks for the heads up Hardyreels. Yes, that's a good point, long hikes in waders will wear them out faster. Though, I wonder if certain manufacturers replace booties if the rest of the wader still has life left in it.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Wading and Hiking shoes configurations for backpacking fishing trips

    Korkers are the way to go!
    I do some trout fishing along the Blue ridge and some of the elevation can be a bear. I believe I have a previous post reference a hike of 2 miles down into a small stream, a fantastic day of Brookies, a long up hill climb out...all with the same boot..Korkers.
    Hiked in with the hiking sole, switched to a felt cleat for the fishing and switched back to the hiking sole to walk out.
    Never took my boots off, never got a blister, and I might add these were brand new, unbroken in boots.
    I wear a pair of neoprene fleece line socks over a pair of wick-away liners.
    I have done this three or four times since last year and just completed another all day hike in, fishing and hiking out last week.
    I am sold on Korkers.

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