Bundled up

malinakamalinaka Seattle, WACharter Member

Judging by the color of my toes, it is winter again in the Northern Hemisphere. What are you using to stay warm before and after your swims? I know a few of the common answers (I'm a fan of the TruWest waterproof OLY95 parkas, for example), but I'm sure some people out there have more creative answers than that.

I'm particularly interested in slip-on footwear that is both warm and waterproof. Putting on socks and street shoes is way too tedious, and we're in that season where the rain forces us to walk through inch-deep puddles on the way to the car. Do they make rubberized Uggs?

I don't wear a wetsuit; it gives the ocean a sporting chance.



  • rosemarymintrosemarymint Charleston, SCCharter Member

    tl;dr, try low-rise snow boots that lace up.

    For footwear, I use crocs to get in and out of the water and use them to keep my feet stable while I am changing or running off to a warm car. I also use them to protect my feet from the frozen sand as I've already given myself frostnip from that and don't want to do it again. I hear they make fleece-lined crocs, but I've yet to find them and I'm also so covered in sand that I'd rather just have the plain plastic.

    Once dry, I switch into Ugg boots (the usual classic short - they make men's sizes.) The biggest challenge with Ugg boots is that they are a bitch to pull on if your skin is still wet and they hold sand like a mofo. They also are not waterproof (and if you get them too wet, they smell like an overloaded cat litter box. Don't ask how I know that.) Some people do use scotch guard, but that's not going to work for walking in the rain like where you are. AFAIK, Ugg doesn't make anything that's rubberized and their leather stuff that is more winterized does not have the fleece lining, nor will they hold up to heavy rain.

    That said, I have a pair of Colombia Bugaboo Omniheat snow boots that is amazing and amazingly warm. You can walk around in puddles and stay completely dry and the insides are so bloody warm my feet get hot, even without socks. They lace up with hooks, similar to an ice skate. In fact, I might break them out next ocean swim just to see how they do.

    As for actual wrap around, I have a Surfur that I adore, but it isn't super great in heavy winds or if it's raining. I am a bigger fan of deck changing under a massive fleece jacket and then just wearing wool or fleece the rest of the day.

  • Sarah4140Sarah4140 DenverMember

    Although we are done with open water here in Colorado, I wear LL Bean driving Mocs with sheepskin lining almost year around to go either to open water or the pool

  • wendyv34wendyv34 Vashon, WASenior Member

    I saw those fleece lined crocs on ebay last week.

    We have a puppy and crocs are a yummy chew toy.

    It's always a bad hair day when you work at a pool.

  • JanetJanet NYCMember
    edited November 2016

    Rubber gardening boots or clogs. You can add uggs sheepskin insoles for them to make them extra cozy for warming-up toes.

    My other favorite post-swim warm item is a wool neck gaiter. If you pull it over your mouth and nose while you're getting the rest of you dressed, your breath will help warm up your face and neck.

  • SharkoSharko Tomales BayGuest

    Had a swim this am in Tomales Bay which is feeling the effects of rapid nightime cooling and the water had dropped 3f in a week....wasn't prepared for the after swim dressing like last year....reminder to myself the fewer pieces of clothing the better....thick sherpa coat, fleece pants and slip on wool boots/Uggs (three wiith cold fingers and big loose holes is where I am going this winter.

    "I never met a shark I didn't like"

  • KatieBunKatieBun CornwallSenior Member
    edited November 2016

    Quickly realised that my good old US imported Swim parka was far more effective than my DryRobe at warming me up. Now I just layer a thermal plus 3-4 tee shirts and a fleece on top and elasticated joggers on the bottom, with thick, loose hiking socks and sheepskin boots on my feet. I never fail to leave my swimcap on until I can swap it for a fleece beanie. Warm as toast..... rocking the "bag lady" look. I'm happy to overheat and take the odd layer off afterwards. It's far better than having to add layers. Nothing fits the bill as well as a good, sociable coffee at the local hostelry whilst we watch each other shiver, though. :-)

  • Good down jacket and thick socks. Takes a short while to get the heat into the coat though. I know what you mean about putting trainers back on, I always forget to untie mine when I get in and have to do it with cold hands.

  • SoloSolo B.C. CanadaMember

    Even with a fleece, 5 minutes after getting out of the water I am shivering so much there is no way I can tie my shoes, so I just slide them on and hope not to trip on the laces. Maybe crocs would work better!

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