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Thread: Wet & Sweaty Feet

  1. #1
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    Wet & Sweaty Feet

    After a winter hike, my feet are extremely wet. I though my sorrels boots had a leak, I waterproof and even purchase a new pair. My problem still
    exists. I normally ware liners and wool socks. Any suggestions on solving
    my cold wet feet.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Mongoose's Avatar
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    Vapor barrier socks solved that problem for me.

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    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom and Maria
    After a winter hike, my feet are extremely wet. I though my sorrels boots had a leak, I waterproof and even purchase a new pair. My problem still
    exists. I normally ware liners and wool socks. Any suggestions on solving
    my cold wet feet.
    The problem is because the shoes are waterproof. Moisture evaporates from your warm, damp feet, condenses on cool/cold waterproof shoe, and soaks into your socks. A breathable shoe will allow at some or most of the moisture to escape (but may leak external water). As Mongoose suggested, vapor barrier socks can solve the problem too because less water will condense on the warm VB and your socks are between two waterproof layers and will therefore stay dry. (Your feet may still become damp, but will be warm and damp.)

    For info on VBLs, see http://home.comcast.net/~pinnah/DirtbagPinner/vb.txt

    There have been other threads on this topic--a search on "vapor barrier" will bring up a number of theads.

    Doug

  4. #4
    Senior Member daxs's Avatar
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    I have the same problem. I have a prescription for something called Drysol. Its a prescription strength deodorant. I use it on my feet a couple times a week 1-2 weeks before hiking and I have no problems with wet feet. Also works on other sweaty body parts. Of course, Botox injections also work.
    Carol

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    Senior Member Jason Berard's Avatar
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    I agree with Mongoose. That has helped my feet stay warmer this winter.
    Also, I put anti-perspirant on my feet now.

  6. #6
    Senior Member nartreb's Avatar
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    Another option is to wear larger boots. Your feet will sweat much less with just a little air around them. They will also feel a lot warmer, and get fewer blisters. My old boots were at least two sizes too big, which was enough to noticeably improve my flotation on snow. (But not good for using crampons on very steep ice.)

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    I seem to remember many years ago an instructor from a winter climbing course saying that each foot sweats at least a pint of water per day. Vapor Barrier socks work for many folks but they are expensive and sometimes dont fit well. The old boy scout trick was plastic breadbags, start with a liner sock, slide a bread bag over the sock and then slide your heavy winter sock over that. I have done many a winter summit in the past with this system. The major downside is that you may have to stop on occasion and pull your outer socks up.

    One of the claims with VBL socks or bread bags is that the skin tries to maintain a microclimate around it, by putting in a vapor barrier the foot stays damp and tends to sweat less.

    The alternative is to find a pair of army surplus Mickey Mouse boots. They have a layer of insulation encapsulated with rubber. Therefore the insulation cant get wet and your feet may be wet but not cold. These boots used to be a mainstay of winter campers and hikers.

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    Not a very scientific observation on my part, but for some reason if I put synthetic fabrics against against my feet they sweat and stink horribly. I suspect this has something to do more with chronic foot funk and a ph reaction.
    I tend to do better with less sweat when I put a higher percentage of wool against the skin of my feet. This does not seem to be the case with the rest of my skin.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Mongoose's Avatar
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    I bought my vb socks from RBH Designs http://www.rbhdesigns.com/ I sent them a tracing of my foot and they sent a custom made pair for $26. They've been holding up for 6 years now and are still working well.

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    Senior Member UNFROZENCAVEMAN's Avatar
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    Tried using anti-perspirant on your feet? Or Bodyglide?
    "Not all who are lost wander." - Me

    "The Great Way is very level but people greatly delight in tortuous paths."
    - Te Tao Chin

    "Strength without flexibility is rigidity.
    Flexibility without strength is fragility." - It's all about YOGA

  11. #11
    Senior Member dug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom and Maria
    After a winter hike, my feet are extremely wet. I though my sorrels boots had a leak, I waterproof and even purchase a new pair. My problem still
    exists. I normally ware liners and wool socks. Any suggestions on solving
    my cold wet feet.
    Second the VBL suggestion. Another thing to think about, Sorels are often TOO warm. Many models are insulated to 40-below. When you start putting on wool socks and exerting yourself, the boots are just too warm. I would get returns all the time from people complaining of cold feet with these boots.

    VBLs will keep the moisture in and should do the trick
    Last edited by dug; 01-24-2008 at 08:35 AM.

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    I also use the socks by RBH Designs - they work great and keep my feet much warmer - 4 years and counting on the same pair. They go through the wash just fine and still look like new.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mongoose
    I bought my vb socks from RBH Designs http://www.rbhdesigns.com/ I sent them a tracing of my foot and they sent a custom made pair for $26. They've been holding up for 6 years now and are still working well.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Chugach001's Avatar
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    Beware of VBL's

    You have a sweaty feet issue - not a boot issue. VBL's will only trap your sweat and turn your foot environment into a jungle. This is dangerous. I have permanent nerve damage in 3 toes due to trench foot. You need to dry your feet at least nightly. My damage happened from a rare, long-term exposure but my hot sweaty feet (along with boots and socks) never dried well over an 8 day period and caused lifelong issues as a result.

    A dermatologist friend suggested drysole as well for excessively sweaty feet. Other than that, you have to live with it and manage around it. Air your feet out during breaks - don't trap the moisture in with VBL's.

    Best of luck,
    Jeff

  14. #14
    Senior Member cbcbd's Avatar
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    Wear one sock, and make it a thinner one - forgo using "Mountaineering" socks. Your feet will sweat less.

    If you're like me and your feet sweat while driving the car to the trailhead, then your problem is just sweaty feet. I've yet had to try the antiperspirants, but they sound like a good idea.
    Doug

  15. #15
    Senior Member spider solo's Avatar
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    among the other suggestions, I would lose the sock liners.
    The thought being that the liners are always in a constant state of wicking, therefore perpetually wet.

    There is truth to the fact that the boots don't breathe, nor do any foot wear that is traditionally tanned or boots made of rubber.

    I "retired" my Sorrels and even my Mouse Boots in favor of untanned mukluks..much like wearing a tall moccasin...light as can be as well. Popular with dog sledders among others.

    For a rigid boot, for hiking etc. I go with most anything that says breatheable.

    I'm not a vapor barrier person (except if it were an emergency bivy) I try for the exact opposite.
    Last edited by spider solo; 01-24-2008 at 11:06 AM.
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