Who wears what? My son it very into zero shoes. I’ve always leaned towards minimalist, backpacking, fishing, hunting, and now heading towards minimalist shoes and foot wear. Who else has looked into this path?

I like to sleep on the ground, feel the earth. Listen to water, wind, silence. I like to feel less isolated from the world and more connected. I think tenkara does that, meditation does that, touching the earth does that.

Church for me is nature.

I’m an ewok. I prefer sleeping in trees in a hammock. The ground is too cold and dirty for me personally.

Nothing wrong with hammock camping!

I used to hike for miles in flip flops.

When I got to a place I liked, I kicked them off and fished bare foot.

I have caught a lot of fish on a tenkara rod barefoot.

Bit then I broke a strap deep in a GPS traverse getting back to the car. Punji sticks everywhere.

It sucked.

I don’t fish bare foot much now. I could take my shoes off I guess.

I mostly use a prior model of the Simms Rip rap shoe/sandal. I like a shoe but don’t love a boot. I like to wet wade and I “think” I wade better with a more flexible shoe that lets my foot “feel” the bottom more.

There are some cool Montbell and FoxFire shoes in Japan I would love to try one day…not so easy to try them on :slight_smile:.

I wear wading boots with neoprene socks. Mostly because of my season. I fish the salt spring through fall and the fresh fall through spring.

I like the durability and ankle protection of a boot. Stabilizing and armor for boulder fields and heavy current. The amount of water movement in the surf can really move you around with ease.

Most fresh conditions do not require boots, but because most of my tenkara is in the winter the boots add some insulating from the cold.

One thing that I use are gripStuds on all my wading footwear. The whole thread may be of interest.

I was speaking with a friend and he was noting how wading boots are overkill as hiking boots are overkill for hiking and even backpacking. I am sort of old school and also a bit older…so for me I do not think I would vary much from what I have been doing all these years, although I do understand the argument.

As with anything there are trade offs and the abuse that you put your body through in your youth you may pay for later, or as you age you find its just not as tolerant. Like the last couple years I have found my left foot has a bone spur. I really cannot wear anyfootwear without some sort of orthotics. I like and use the green superfeet insert. It has stood up to years of abuse in the salwater environment. Good and comfortable.

Most wading boots and shoes have poor arch support…a consideration to extend your day is to add one.

These are partially from Africa with vibrum soles.

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Three options for me in terms of footwear:

  1. Small stream, cold weather day trip = Old school rubber hippers
  2. Bigger water or overnight backpacking where I need waders = Ultralight patagonia waders worn with an old pair of trail runners. The rubber bootie is thin enough that I can just wear my normal sized shoes
  3. Wet wading = trail runners or sandals with either darn tough socks or neoprene water socks.
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I tend to prefer the minimal approach too. I have two options

  • Water is cold (~5-12°C) : light mesh trail runners with neoprene socks and those neoprene spats that come under the knee
  • Water is not too cold : minimal sandals

I seldom have to go much deeper than the knee where I fish so I’ve never used waders, I wear shorts. And I like wet wading better because you touch the river.

These grip studs Stephen has shared around the community have probably saved me 100 falls at this point. They are worth every penny. I have slipped such that they literally dug into a rock and I could see the cut into the rock. The stud looked no worse for the incident. Impressive product.

I am a kayak instructor in the summer and last year I purchased a pair of shoes that are made for that activity. They have become my wet wading shoe. If it is cold I wear neoprene socks. During the hot months I go without a sock. They have been great and held up well. They are from a company called Astral the shoe is called the Hiyak. They have lots of other styles as well. they are here:

What I like the most about them is that they are basically just a pair of sneakers that dry fast and grip well on slick rocks. I can hike up a trail to a stream in comfort. No clunky boots.

I have wading pants and boots but almost never use them.

I saw a review of Astral Brewers on a fishing blog once and almost bought a pair…they look like idea wet wading shoes.

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Yeah, the Brewers are nice and will likely be my next pair. I went with the Hiyak’s because I wanted the ankle support.

“Shoes” is an awfully broad topic!
I own and wear as the occasion requires everything from patent leather tuxedo shoes to Raichle leather lined backpacking boots to flip flops.
I’ve never regretted choosing shoes that were “too much for the occasion” but I certainly have gotten into situations where I erred on the other side, much to my regret.
I wade mostly in a pair of FiveTen SAR Canyoneering boots.

I apologize as I was referring to everyday shoes not fishing. That’s why it’s off topic not in a fishing section.

Ahhh! That’s what I thought. Given that, and given that I do like going for long slow walks in urban environments, I’m often wearing something stylish from the Clarks shoe store. Their lasts fit my foot shape well, they’re very well made, and very comfortable. Not inexpensive, but oh well.

I wear Altra zero drop running shoes as casual wear, Altra trail runners for most hiking/backpacking, Sockwa G4s around the house. I wear Sockwa G-HIs for camp shoes and along with neoprene socks to protect my Redball waders’ nylon feet when I carry in a UL float tube to high lakes. But when I wade, often alone on remote water, I do wear wading boots with substantial support, traction, and protection for my feet.