Boating Boots: A Key Piece of Your Boating Apparel

Living in Canada we do a lot of our boating in cold weather, so I like to wear rubber boating boots a lot of the time.

We start boating in March and are still going out in October.

In July and August on the sunny warm days on our lake, sandals are great. But even on the warmest days of July on the west coast of Vancouver Island rubber boating boots are the first choice for the whole family for happy warm dry feet!

When launching in cold water I prefer a tall pair of boots to allow wading into the water.

I liked the look of the tall yellow boots at a marine store.

So I bought a pair of Viking brand yachting boots.

They are comfortable and flexible and I highly recommend them.... if you own a yacht.

What I didn't keep in mind is that in a 4.3m/14ft inflatable I don't move around or stand a whole lot, so a sole designed for traction on smooth wet surfaces, is of little value except walking up the odd slippery dock.

We like to stop and go exploring, beach-combing, and climbing about on the rocks.

After a few slips and falls while hiking in my fancy rubber deck boots I realized I need footwear with good traction soles.

So now I either buy a yacht to go with the boots, or a new pair of boating boots to go with what I do.

I have purchased cheap rubber boots in the past, and they work reasonably well, but they are not very comfortable and they don't last very long.

A durable material like natural rubber or neoprene will last for many years, it will be way more comfortable when sitting in a boat for extended periods, and neoprene boots will also provide some degree of insulation. I like warm feet.

Boating specific boots are different from other rubber boots in that the soles are designed for walking on wet smooth boat decks without slipping. Traditional rubber boots, which also go by the names, Wellingtons, Ditch boots, and Irrigation boots, tend to have some type of sole with treads for traction on uneven ground.

The best place to shop for this type of footwear are marine suppliers, and outdoor retailers, you will also find good rubber boots at farm supply stores.

Of course online retailers allow you to find out what types of boots are available, but I am pretty fussy about comfortable footwear though, so rarely buy footwear without trying it on first.

Waterproof footwear tends to fit into one of the following categories, you need to decide what is most important for you.

  • Sailing boots
  • Commercial fishing boots
  • General use boots
  • Fashion boots
  • Paddling boots
  • Insulated rubber boots
Some brands of boating boots or boots suitable for boating include:
  • Aigle - neoprene - very tough
  • Bogs - neoprene - warm and comfortable - different heights and styles
  • West Marine
  • NorCross - Shrimp boots - PVC to resist chemicals and grease for commercial fishermen
  • Shimano - Musto deck boots - HPX Ocean Goretex - high tech boot with leather lower and integral gaiter
  • Sperry - neoprene ankle boot - topsider has breathable leather and mesh
  • Xtratuf - neoprene tall boots
  • Gill - short, mid calf, and tall yachting boots - natural rubber and synthetic materials - models include Graphite, Fathom, and One Design
  • Maramu - very expensive natural rubber lace up yacht boot
  • Muck boots - neoprene boots with variety of heights available - similar to Bogs
  • Dubarry - water resistant leather with Goretex lining - sailing/yachting boot with emphasis on comfort
  • Helly Hansen
  • Henry Lloyd - high tech waterproof breathable boots
  • Lalizas
  • Guy Cotton - pvc - deck and work models
  • Le Cahmeau
  • Treton
  • Servius
  • Proline

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