I'm very satisfied with my Chota Mukluk Lights. They allow me to extend the paddling season into the fall and early winter, and start up again in early spring. They really are waterproof, no problem there. I wear them with a pair of warm hiking socks. I do not feel the cold standing in 35-degree water.
I'm impressed with how well they clean up even after walking in deep mud---they still look like new.
They fit well. They have a soft, comfortable fit. I don't find the fit loose, as other reviewers mentioned---I don't need them to fit tight in the ankles, and there is a cinch strap on the calves that works fine.
The one weakness is that the sole is not very rugged. You can walk on rocks, but be careful not to subject them to extensive walking on sharp rocks. Also they do sweat a bit, but this has not really been a problem.I bought a pair of these at Canoecopia 09 and have used them about a dozen times now in very cold water canoeing. They are exceptionally warm, blocking nearly all the cold even when standing in 35 degree water for several minutes.
I was originally looking to buy the breathable model, but they didn't fit over my abnormally large calfs. The lite models are a tight fit on my calf, but it's a good thing as they are nearly water tight on me when I tested them to see how much water they would take in.
I have high bones in the top of my wide feet, and these are flexible enough for an excellent fit whether I am wearing light socks or super thick wool WigWams. While my legs are a little sweaty when I remove them, they are totally comfortable for hours at a time.
My only complaint would be that they could use a stiffer sole with some arch support. I am not using them for long portages and such, more for launching and in the canoe. The felt lined models would be better if you plan to do much hiking in them. But for at the launch and in the boat their awesome.
To sum it up I am extremely happy with these and would buy them again in a heartbeat. Highly recommended.When deciding which neo-mukluks (neo-kamiks ?) to buy, I briefly entertained the idea of getting Chota's Quicklace Mukluk. Some advisors cautioned against the possibility of hooking one of the laces on a foot peg or other hardware during a wet exit. OK, it might be a remote possibility - but it would ruin your day. Mostly, I didn't want to spend almost $50 more for essentially the same boot with laces.
I've used the 'Luk Light now in tepid to near freezing waters for one winter season. It has substantive insulating value. Unlike most neo-booties available, it has adequate room in the toes and ankle for heavy socks to fit in, even when you buy your true shoe-size. The calf fits tight however, and that might be an issue for stouter boaters. This boot is high, it's about a 16" riser. If you are shorter, but have large feet, it may come up to your knee. It has a good cinch around the calf and makes a tight seal against a wetsuit leg. It's a little less useful with gusseted drysuit legs designed for booties however. Swimming, you WILL take on a good bit of water, but not an excessive amount.
I'm rating these an "8", taking a point off for a loose fit on the lower calf (where the water gets in)and another point off for no hint of an arch support(I reckon nothing will score a 10 then). The loose area above the ankle flops a bit and that's where the water accumulates also. Boot makers have no excuse for omitting even a small arch. The integrated footbed on these guys is neoprene and perfect for including an arch support. The solid, treaded, wrap-around rubber soles lead you to believe you can walk some on these. But carrying your boat without good support could crush your arches. Still a great product though. I wanted boots that were high enough to keep the water out while making wet foot entries and to walk through the shallows. Boots like the traditional Wellys and Lacross 18 inch rubber boots had substantial tread system and are more bulky than I wanted. I saw the Chota Mukluk Lites at Canoecopia and they seemed to be just what the doctor ordered.
The ad says the fleece-lined 3mm closed-cell neoprene boot keeps you warm and dry up to the knee. They are not fleece lined. They are lined with the fabric normally found in neoprene wet suit material. “Sized extra roomy for use with thick socks”. That is true, so I got size 11 to go on my 10.5 EEE feet. Worn with medium weight wool socks, they fit me close around the ball of the foot and a little loose at the heel. There is room for another layer of socks or one pair of very thick socks.
I have used them in 50 degree water with the mid weight wool socks. They stay up probably because of the cinch strap and their natural tendency to hold their shape. Good for wet foot entry and walking through shallows. Good traction from the tread on submerged branches and slimy rocks. Flexible and very comfortable for kayaking and the little bit of walking I have done in them. The design does not seem to lend itself to really long walks but I have not used them that way so can’t say for sure. I would design a little more take up in the cinch strap it were me.
After a couple hours in the boat, I can start feel the cold through the boat but not too bad. Thicker socks would probably eliminate this issue. Never used them for extended multi day use, but I would think changing your wool or other wicking fiber socks daily would make for very comfy practical kayaking use. Haven’t gone swimming in them yet or stepped in water over the top, so don’t really know how long they take to dry. They never get in the way and you sort of forget about them in the boat. They are just about perfect for the way I use them.