Recently I had been wearing NRS Storm Boots while on my wilderness canoe trips. I really liked them, but while on my Woodland Caribou solo canoe trip in June I experienced pain in the tendon on the outside of my right ankle.
Since I was by myself and at the time I didn’t know if my ankle was going to get any worst I decided to cut my trip short. I wrote a report on this trip from June:
When I got home I went to the foot doctor and found that I had stressed the tendon that I have hurt a couple times in the past. I had a 21 day trip planned for August to Wabakimi and surrounding areas. I needed to find another boot. After doing some research I came up with the OTB Odhin boot.
Rory posted on a thread I started about then the upcoming, 21 Day Canoe Trip to the “Little North” on solotripping.com.
Today Rory posted a message on my blog:
I'm looking forward to your trip report, whenever you finish it. If you recall, I questioned you about your tripping footwear on solotripping.com. How did the OTBs perform?
I replied earlier today:
Thanks for checking out my blog! Yes, I do remember your question on solotripping.com . It's not that I wasn't going to respond, but I was going to put it in my trip report.
Since I just started my trip report and I have a ways to go on it I'll quickly answer your question, hopefully, later tonight. I'm planning to being gone most of the day.
I noticed that you are from the Detroit area. I grew up in Flint and suburb area from the age of 5 to 17. The second day after high school graduation I got the hell out of there.
I'll probably post my answer on the OTB boots on my blog and then link it back to the thread on solotripping.com.
I'm planning on attending the Near North Symposium here in Minneapolis later today.
We finished our 21 Day Canoe Trip to the “Little North” in 21 days of straight paddling in extremely high water conditions. This was probably close to a 300 mile trip. It seemed like we were lining, tracking or portaging as much as we paddled. Another words, we did a lot of walking and some swimming in them.
I liked the support they offered for my ankles. Since I wore a support on my right ankle I wore a thin polypro sock under the support then a thin wool sock over it. On my left foot I wore a thin polypro sock and a heavier wool sock. That heavy sock never dried out the whole trip.
Another thing was the boots drained very quickly. I wouldn’t consider traveling with boots that didn’t drain for comfort and for safety reason.
As for the soles they were ok for the most part. They definitely don’t grip like the soles on the NRS Storm Boot. I didn’t have too much problem at all, but the terrain in Wabakimi is relatively flat compared to say Woodland Caribou. While we walked on rocks under water while lining and tracking we didn’t have the opportunity to walk down wet slippery rock faces that I feel the NRS Storm Boots excel in.
What I didn’t like was the boots had no neoprene liner like the Storm Boots. We spent hours at a time in the cold water lining and tracking while cutting sweepers. It wasn’t just our feet getting wet. When we were in the water we were usually up to our waist and our chest in the other areas.
There were places where we walked through the bog/moss where the ground water really had cold water and it numbed the feet quickly. The feet stayed colder while in the canoe, also.
If I stay with these boots I will look into getting a neoprene sock. Nothing like having warm feet even when wet to be comforable.
The boots took a beating. There were several places on the uppers that the stitching was worn and coming loose. The soles stayed attached to the uppers. The old style NRS Storm Boots would probably not have held up either. That was one of the reason they stopped selling them. They fell apart. This summer I heard they were being re-designed and they were supposed to be for sale at the end of this year. I haven’t checked to see if they are back at NRS.
Dave who went on this trip bought the OTB Abyss boots. I know he complained about them. These are made slightly different from the Ohdin boot and they don’t go up as high.
My brand new Whiskey River paddle took a beating, also!!