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Don't Let Cold Feet Ruin Your Kayaking Trip: Try These Boots!

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

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

Updated on 7/10/2024
Abigail ScottBy Abigail Scott
Hi, I'm Abigail 👋 Since embarking on my kayaking and boarding adventures in 2010, I've navigated rivers and lakes across North America and beyond. With over a decade of experience and countless waterways explored, I'm here to help enthusiasts like you embark on unforgettable water adventures!
Learn More about Abigail Scott


Kayaking is a thrilling adventure that allows you to explore the outdoors and take in the beauty of nature. Whether you're paddling down a calm river or navigating through rapids, kayaking can be a fun and exciting experience. However, one of the biggest challenges kayakers face is keeping their feet warm and dry. Cold, wet feet can quickly ruin a kayaking trip and make it difficult to focus on your paddling. But don't let this issue keep you from enjoying your time on the water. With the right gear, you can keep your feet comfortable and protected, even in the harshest conditions. One such piece of gear is kayaking boots, which are specifically designed for kayaking and provide the necessary insulation and waterproofing to keep your feet warm and dry. So, if you're looking for a solution to cold feet on your next kayaking trip, try these boots and get ready for an enjoyable adventure!


Best Winter Kayaking Shoes 

Astral Hiyak Water Shoes

These water shoes are the ultimate solution for kayakers seeking grip, insulation, and style. With a thickness of 3.5 millimeters on their soles, they offer unbeatable grip and stability, even on slippery and rough terrain. And with a variety of colors to choose from, you can express your unique style while staying protected.

Astral uses their proprietary fabric to achieve the perfect balance of stiffness and flexibility in the Hiyaks' uppers. No more worrying about neoprene chafing or restricting your movements. The laces allow for a customized fit and the Velcro overwrap keeps them secure and in place, allowing you to focus on your paddling. Plus, the toe box is roomy, providing ample space for your toes to move freely, even with multiple layers of socks.

These shoes are not just for kayaking, but also for walking and trekking, making them a versatile option for all your water-based activities. And with their high-quality construction and attention to detail, the Astral Hiyaks are worth every penny.

In fact, the latest version of the Hiyaks is even better than its predecessor, offering improved warmth, flexibility, and comfort. So, don't miss out on the chance to experience the best kayaking shoes on the market. Just be sure to size up if you're unsure, as these shoes are only available in full sizes and sell out quickly!


NRS Freestyle Wetshoes

Men's Chelsea Boots
Our Overall Review
Read full review

Kayaking in cold conditions just got a whole lot better with the NRS Freestyle wet shoes. These shoes offer the perfect balance of durability, comfort, and lightweight design, making them an excellent choice for any kayaker.

Their soles are thick and flexible, with a thickness of 1.5 millimeters, allowing for easy maneuvering in mild terrain while still fitting neatly inside your kayak. And stand-up paddleboarders will love the sensation of going barefoot while still being protected from the elements.

The lateral rubber support bands add extra stability to the ankles, making these shoes sturdy enough for light walking and trekking. And the inside fleece lining and 3mm neoprene construction keep your feet warm and comfortable, although you may need to wear extra layers of socks in very cold conditions.

The toe box of the NRS Freestyle shoes is also roomy, giving your toes plenty of space to move freely, even with multiple layers of socks. And at an affordable price point, these shoes are a fantastic choice for those who kayak in cold to moderate conditions.


NRS ATB Wetshoes

Product tested by Board and Kayak
NRS ATB Kayak Shoe
Our Overall Review

Things we like:

  • 100% Synthetic
  • Synthetic Rubber lining
  • 100% Stretch
  • Sealed

Things we don't like:

  • Not made with natural materials
  • Synthetic rubber lining may not provide the same level of durability as natural rubber
  • Limited stretchability compared to other products
  • Sealed design may be difficult to repair or modify
Show more
Read full review

For kayakers who also love to trek on challenging terrain, the NRS ATBs are the perfect wet shoes. These ultra-rugged shoes offer protection and solid traction both in and out of the water, making them ideal for any adventure.

The thick workboot bottoms protect your feet and provide a comfortable cushion with 7mm neoprene insoles. However, they are bulkier and may not be suitable for shorter kayaking trips without significant trekking. The rear tab for swimming fins is a useful feature, but it adds to the bulkiness of the shoes.

While the NRS ATBs are not designed for hiking, their neoprene top zipped at 5 millimeters provides a snug, warm fit, and the velcro-fastening strap over the instep keeps the shoe securely in place. This allows for a customizable fit and the ability to wear multiple layers of socks.

Overall, the NRS ATBs offer a unique combination of ruggedness and comfort, making them a top choice for kayakers who also love to trek on challenging terrain.


NRS Boundary Boots

For kayakers looking to stay warm and dry in any weather, the Boundary Boots are the perfect solution. These knee-high boots measure 15 inches in height and are constructed from 5 millimeters of neoprene, making them suitable for winter paddling and transitional seasons.

Each boot is thoroughly inspected and tested by the factory to ensure waterproofing, giving you peace of mind that your feet will stay dry. And with the height of the boots, they are ideal for kayaking in knee-deep water or for situations where you need to frequently get in and out of the water.

The Boundary Boots have a number of features that make them stand out from the competition. The seamless, watertight construction eliminates rubbing, and the adjustable lacing provides support and stability for your feet. The shoelaces can be tucked down inside the shoe to prevent getting caught on anything, and the 3 millimeter rubber sole is sticky and secure on boat ramps and muddy rocks. The sole also extends up the side of the foot for added protection from underwater obstacles.

Designed with the needs of kayak anglers and paddlers in mind, the Boundary Boots are a must-have for any kayaking enthusiast. Stay dry and comfortable on your next kayaking adventure with these high-performance boots.


Kokatat Nomad

Our Overall Review
Read full review

For canoeing, kayak fishing, and traveling, the Kokatat Nomads are the ideal waterproof boots. These boots combine waterproof nylon shafts and 3 millimeter thick neoprene shoes for the ultimate protection from the elements.

The shafts can be quickly folded down, allowing the boots to be worn like shoes, and the adjustable fit at the top and above the ankle ensures comfort with various socks. The Nomads are also lightweight, easily foldable, and have robust soles with excellent grip.

However, it is important to make sure the bungee cord at the top of the shaft is tightened before entering deep water, as the boots are susceptible to water entering if not properly fastened. Additionally, the firm seam where the neoprene and nylon shaft are sewn together can make putting the boots on and taking them off more challenging than other shoes without such a stitch at the ankle.

But with the addition of diving socks or one to two pairs of wool socks, your feet will stay dry and warm. The Kokatat Nomads are the perfect combination of functionality and convenience, making them a must-have for your next kayaking adventure.


Kokatat Hydrus 3.0 Launch Socks

Kokatat Hydrus Socks
Our Overall Review
Read full review
  • 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

For those who plan on wearing a wetsuit while kayaking, Kokatat's Launch Socks offer the perfect solution for keeping feet dry. Made from Kokatat's breathable and waterproof Hydrus 3 material, these socks feature three layers that prevent water from entering while allowing perspiration to escape.

With bungee cords attached to the top, the socks can be pulled up to knee height for added protection. Despite not functioning as a watertight closure, the Launch Socks provide enough protection to keep feet dry even in wet conditions. And with the added convenience of not needing to pack extra dry shoes for multi-day kayaking trips, these socks make the activity much more enjoyable.

Simply put on the Launch Socks and cover them with your usual wet shoes or Crocs for maximum protection. Invest in Kokatat's Launch Socks for a comfortable and dry kayaking experience, even when wearing a wetsuit.


Crocs Clogs

Product tested by Board and Kayak
Our Overall Review

Things we like:

  • Imported
  • Ethylene Vinyl Acetate sole
  • Heel measures approximately 0.5'

Things we don't like:

  • Synthetic material may not be as durable as natural materials
Show more
Read full review

When kayaking in cold conditions, it's essential to keep your feet warm and protected. One way to do this is by wearing an extra pair of socks. To ensure that the Crocs will fit comfortably even when wearing multiple layers, it's recommended to purchase a size larger than your typical size.

While Crocs can provide protection for the front of your feet, the strap in the back may not offer the same level of protection. Additionally, the boots may come off easily when launching in muddy terrain, so make sure not to leave them behind! Also, be mindful that your heels may scrape against the interior of the kayak.

By taking these factors into consideration, you can still enjoy the comfort and warmth of Crocs while kayaking in colder weather. Just remember to wear an extra pair of socks and choose the right size for a cozy and safe kayaking trip.


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

When kayaking in the winter, it is important to wear socks that will keep your feet warm and dry. Wool or synthetic materials that wick away moisture are good options. Avoid cotton socks as they will become wet and stay wet, which can lead to cold and blisters. Also, a thicker, insulated sock is recommended to keep your feet warm. It's always a good idea to bring a spare pair of socks in case your first pair gets wet.


What Size Kayaking Wet Boots Do You Need?

When purchasing kayaking wet shoes, it is important to make sure that they fit properly. It is best to try them on and make sure that they are snug but not too tight. Your feet should be able to move and flex inside the shoe, but the shoe should not move around on your foot. It is also important to keep in mind that when your feet are in water for a prolonged period of time, they will tend to swell up a bit, so you may want to consider getting a shoe size that is slightly larger than your normal shoe size. This will ensure that your feet have enough room to move around and that you are comfortable while kayaking.

Should You Purchase Kayaking Shoes online?

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.



Frequently Asked Questions

What are waterproof kayak boots?

Waterproof kayak boots are specialized footwear designed for use in kayaking or other water-based activities. These boots are typically made of waterproof materials, such as neoprene or rubber, to keep the feet dry and protected from the elements. They are designed to be worn in wet conditions and provide both comfort and protection while kayaking.

What are the benefits of wearing waterproof kayak boots while kayaking?

Wearing waterproof kayak boots while kayaking offers several benefits, including protection from the elements, improved comfort and stability, and increased safety. These boots help keep the feet dry and warm, even in wet and cold conditions, and provide a secure fit that helps prevent slips and falls. Additionally, waterproof kayak boots often feature reinforced toe and heel areas for added protection and durability.

How do I choose the right size of waterproof kayak boots?

When choosing waterproof kayak boots, it is important to select the correct size to ensure a comfortable fit. To find the right size, measure your feet and consult the manufacturer's size chart to find the best match. It is also recommended to try on the boots and walk around in them to ensure a comfortable fit and adequate room for socks or other foot gear.

What are some features to look for when choosing waterproof kayak boots?

When choosing waterproof kayak boots, it is important to consider several key features, such as waterproofing, insulation, durability, and support. Look for boots made of high-quality, waterproof materials, such as neoprene or rubber, and with insulation to keep feet warm in cold conditions. Consider boots with reinforced toe and heel areas for added durability, as well as boots with a secure, adjustable fit for improved stability and support.

Can waterproof kayak boots be used for other water-based activities?

Yes, waterproof kayak boots can be used for other water-based activities, such as fishing, stand-up paddleboarding, or boating. These boots are designed to provide protection and comfort in wet conditions and can be a versatile addition to any water-based adventure.

How do I care for and maintain my waterproof kayak boots?

To care for and maintain your waterproof kayak boots, it is important to rinse them with fresh water after each use and let them air dry. Store the boots in a cool, dry place to prevent the growth of mold or mildew. If the boots become dirty or stained, clean them with a mild soap and water solution, avoiding abrasive cleaners or brushes. Regular cleaning and proper storage will help extend the life of your waterproof kayak boots.