Even with waterproof boots, sometimes it is a challenge to keep those ever-important dry feet dry when on long treks during deeper slogs in spring melting, especially in meadows that tend to be a bit soggy even in summer. What are your favorite, go-to tricks for maintaining dry feet/"protecting your transportation" for the rest of the backpack mileage?
There's a few things I do to keep the feet dry. First off, I often use waterproof boots as well, as the Northwest is notoriously wet. However, many people, especially thru-hikers, swear by trail runners that are super breathable, because they can get them soaked in a river crossing or something, and they will dry out within a few hours. If I know I'm going on a wet trail, I'll often bring an extra pair of socks to switch into if my feet get wet, and maybe a bandana or something to help get some moisture out of the insides of my shoes. Having a good pair of gaiters/rainpants also helps a lot, as this drastically reduces the amount of snow that can get to my feet, and is useful in muddy conditions or in the morning dew on the trail. Finally I always have wool socks, as they retain their ability to insulate when wet, and don't rub against your feet as much as cotton might.
Hope that helps!
In my experience there are 2 schools of thought:
For each, there are multiple strategies. Advice is a bt of an echo-chamber in the way that people tend to like what they already do (and thus swear by it). I consider myself to hate wet hiking, though I do it pretty often... the only perfect solution is dry alpine hiking 🙂 With that said, my favorite strategy for each school of thought is:
I personally prefer to keep dry feet, so I'm into waterproof boots and gaitors. I find that you have to re-waterproof your boots annually to keep it up though.
Exactly what @nealos nealos said.
But please don't do what the other person said. If you put your dry socks into your wet shoes, what do you think will happen? You will have 2 pairs of wet socks.
Once your socks/shoes are wet, the issue is to walk it dry, a lot more than a few hours with trailrunners unless you're in the desert and/or to stay comfortable. Neoprene booties are terrific for this.
Now, back to those wet socks in camp, if you're suffering and need to put on the dry socks, use a plastic bag to put over the socks before putting on the wet boots/shoes. zip locks work ok, better - bread bags, best - doggie poop bags.
An old school method for waterproofing boots is using mink oil and just smearing it on with your hands. I used this method for last months trip to iceland, covering my merrils, worked great.
hope this helps
REI member since 1979