How to Avoid Cold Feet when Stand Up Paddling

Cold wet feet while winter paddling

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Are you looking for ways to avoid cold feet while Stand Up Paddling?

Are you looking for ways to avoid cold feet while Stand Up Paddling? I first considered wearing footwear when I got my SUP wetsuit. Previously I had not needed to worry about cold feet as I lived in Queensland, Australia. When I moved to Scotland I realised just how short the summer SUP season was. I decided to try extend it by a couple of months by getting a wetsuit. After paddling in Orkneys particularly cold water I found that a wetsuit wasn’t enough. I was going to need something extra for my cold feet. So I did a bit of research and started to explore the options.

Booties for Cold Feet while Stand Up Paddling

Many board riders use booties to avoid cold feet in cooler months. I didn’t feel that they would be enough for me though as my feet get really cold. I soon came across waterproof socks as an extra option. On reading reviews, it didn’t seem that they would keep my feet dry if they became fully submerged. The socks did however have a thermal rating meant an extra layer of warmth.

Socks for Cold Feet while Stand Up Paddling

Unfortunately when my socks and booties arrived I couldn’t wear them both together. I had ordered the wrong size booties and had to return them. This left me with the advantage of being able to test drive the socks without the added layer of booties. Instead I decided to wear some light weight runners/trainers with my socks.

Do water proof socks help cold feet?

My feet still felt cold while wearing the waterproof socks. As mentioned previously, I do suffer from cold feet a lot. However I did notice that they were warmer than if I had not worn anything upon my feet. As with booties, the socks were able to trap a layer of water around my feet. The idea is that the water stays next to your skin long enough to warm up. I expect that when I try them with my booties (when they arrive) I will experience ever greater temperature change. Stay tuned for my review on booties for cold feet.

Test Driving SealSkinz waterproof socks

The Waterproof socks that I ended up buying are from a company called SealSkinz. SealSkinz have created a line of socks, hats and gloves for outdoor enthusiasts. Their products are for varying degrees of temperature and are all waterproof. Check out their entire range here. As previously mentioned, this doesn’t cover them being fully submersed. I have yet to test them out when hiking which is one of the activities they are designed for.

Initially I found the socks to be a little on the tight side. I have quite small feet and am usually between a 4-5. The sizing meant that I needed to purchase the 3-4 as the next size up would have been too big. At first I was worried that the socks would be too small which is what some of the reviews said, however they soon stretched to fit my feet perfectly. I am not sure how much they are able to stretch before water permeability becomes an issue however.

I am quite happy with the purchase, as is SUP Bloke with his pair. They are quite pricey and I will be interested to see how they perform when we go hiking. As mentioned we got the shorter length to easily tuck under wetsuits but there are many lengths available.

Further reviews for Sealskinz Socks can be found here

Pros and Cons of Waterproof Socks

An extra layer of warmth for your feet
Reduces chaffing
Short length ensures easy fit with wetsuit
Easy to clean
Still able to feel and sense board with feet
Can also be used for any other sport where cold or wet feet are an issue
Not waterproof if fully submerged

Sealskinz waterproof socks come in different lengths and colours and can be used for any activity you like from hiking to skiing and everything in between.

Click the image above to discover current cost or find where to purchase

For more information on what Stand Up Paddleboarding gear we use please read our Frequently Asked Questions.

Read our article “What to Wear Stand Up Paddleboarding” here.


5 thoughts on “How to Avoid Cold Feet when Stand Up Paddling

  1. worldwidewalkies says:

    In my more keen days I used to windsurf more-or-less year round and the best booties that I found were 3.5mm Atan boots, which have a fleecy lining and cover the ankle, so they really keep your feet warm. The foot section is entirely are latex, with no solid sole, so they retain the best barefoot ‘feel’ of any bootie that I have tried.
    I have used these throughout winter for windsurfing and never had cold feet. Atan do make a thicker, 8mm version. My friend, who really feels the cold bought these, but I feel they are unneccessary and the thickness sacrifices sensation, as they feel very spongy.
    24-7 Boardsports is my favourite watersports shop, owned by the lovely Jon who runs Solent SUPers, so here is a link to the product on lovely Jon’s website!

    • says:

      A fleecy lining sounds nice and toasty!! I am still waiting for my replacement boots which are 5mm so I am hoping with the added thickness of the socks they will be enough to brave the Shetland waters in a couple of weeks time!

        • says:

          Exciting news for us!! Weโ€™ve joined the campervan gang!! We bought a wee Talbot so hope to take it with us! It should make the current accomodation challenges easier!! Already itโ€™s opening doors for more travel and a good step along the way to getting a unimog one day ๐Ÿ˜Š

          • worldwidewalkies says:

            Woo Hooo! I am made up for you! That is such exciting news. It’s very helpful to do some camper-vanning, because you get to know what you need and what you can do without. We have a very firm idea of what we want with The Beast having lived with Caravan Kismet for five year. Happy travels! ๐Ÿ™‚

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