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I've been looking for a pair of boots/shoes to take with me on our cruise to Alaska. I'm a Florida girl and mostly own flip-flops, ballet flats, heels, anything open toe. I don't want to spend a fortune on something for one trip, but also want something I can wear every day with comfort and waterproof protection. Nothing of which I own lol. We are going on a glacier, whale watching, and fisherman tour. 

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We are doing whale watching, glacier dog sledding & rainforest excursions.  We picked up some waterproof sneakers at our local Columbia outlet.  Although not cheap, they were a bit less than what I usually pay for my Asics.  I think they were around $70.  Glacier tours that I've looked at include glacier boots that go on over your own footwear.  I am debating on whether to take a pair of hiking/hunting boots that I snagged when Gander Mountain closed their local store.  Since we are flying, I'm trying to pare down luggage as much as possible, which would mean I would have to wear the boots most likely - a pain in the security line.  Anyway, try checking out sporting goods stores like Academy, Dick's, Cabela's, Bass Pro - do y'all have those in Florida?  Heck, even Walmart sells hunting gear - maybe they have something there.

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I have taken quite a few trips to Alaska.  I take either my waterproofed Merrells or my waterproofed sneakers (depending on my mood.)  We usually purchase water proofing spray and do our own shoes.  Both shoes that I have mentioned worked just fine on our whale watching and Bering Sea Crab Fisherman's tours. I think I used my Merrells on our helicopter glacier tour.  Whatever you decide, make sure to break in your shoes before you leave for your trip as there is so much to see and do in Alaska you will want to be as comfortable as possible.

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While ankle support is never a bad thing, unless you're going hiking then a grippy sole would be your main criteria beyond 'comfy' - so a walking shoe or sneakers should do just fine. So choose a shoe that isn't so warm you would never wear them again in Florida.

 

Even the waterproof criteria, while desirable, is workable-around - you're not camping, you've got a ship with a nice dry cabin to return to if your shoes get somewhat wet, and you can easily buy waterproofing sprays or even just apply candlewax (a hairdryer warms the candle and your shoe enough to transfer a thin layer).

 

If you're doing an actual 'land on a glacier and walk around' excursion they'll give you boots for it.

 

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I plan on living in my hiking boots on land in AK.  But DH and I visit National Parks and do a lot of hiking so the investment for good waterproof ones for us is something that we will get lots of use out of.  

 

I'd check out REI as they will have a variety of footwear both lower and midrise (and high) hiking boots.  For women they make some that look a little more girlie depending on your style such as darker colored ones such as purple or blue.  Or even black or grey with some accent colors like a yellow or pink.  

 

Or as others said, waterproof a pair of sneakers.  We are going late May so it might still be a little cool that's why I want my hiking boots as it'll provide a little more warmth. 

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My Adidas cross-trainers with GoreTex (i.e. waterproof layer) have been all over the world. I believe mine are actually men's as the arches of my feet fall in funny place for female. They are clunky gunboats, but dry feet are happy feet! I wear them with SmartWool socks (from REI) in cool weather, or thick CoolMax type socks in fair weather.

 

On our first trip to Alaska (7-day Northbound cruise, 2-WEEKS self-drive) -- the soles of my Merrell low-boots FELL APART in the YVR AIRPORT! My second (and now only) shoes were Merrell "mocs" with a hemp or jute upper! Fortunately we had largely good weather and that's what I wore for the whole of the trip. 

 

The gore-tex shoe-boots do seem to be essentially waterproof (not like, for wading, but wet weather, vegetation, the occasional puddle), as opposed to Gore-Tex jackets which we have abandoned in favor of true waterproofed but vented coats.

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DW and I both took our Merrell boots since we would be outside in mid May on the 8 day land portion. The only time you might need something warm and comfy on board the ship is when topside during the time at Hubbard Glacier or Glacier Bay. It can be cold and a pair of after ski boots might work but so would a good pair of sneakers with warm socks and long warm pants.

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I bring Brooks athletic shoes that have gortex (for rain). They would be handy in Florida's weather also.

 

I only wear boots when I scoop snow (keen). They don't come to Alaska with me.

Edited by Coral
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Buy something you can wear back home. Waterproof sneakers are usually fine for Alaska, particularly for the excursions you mentioned. The last guided glacier excursion we did, they provided all the gear including boots.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I took my Brooks running shoes and my Keen sandals.  We could hike right through small streams with those sandals.  It was also close to 90 degrees when we were up there last summer.  We were looking for ways to cool off.  I doubt we'll get that lucky this summer so I'll probably take my rain boots too. 

Edited by atobols
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My excursion shoes are Merrell MOABs, very comfortable right out of the box. With any new shoes, get them a little broken in before your trip. If you buy them and your first time to wear them is going on an excursion, you may be sorry. So bring bandaids.

 

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8 hours ago, Greg4502 said:

My excursion shoes are Merrell MOABs, very comfortable right out of the box. With any new shoes, get them a little broken in before your trip. If you buy them and your first time to wear them is going on an excursion, you may be sorry. So bring bandaids.

 

My Brooks Ghost are comfortable out of the box. No blisters! Highly recommend!

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I'm on board with Merrell MOAB waterproof. Bring good socks like Darn Tough, Smart Wool, etc. No blisters.

Mike

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk

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I bring two pairs of good walking shoes--Merrill Moabs and my Brooks Ravena--as well as a pair of Chaco sandals.  My Chaco sandals are waterproof and I use them for the pool on the ship, spa and hot tubs.  They also look nice enough to use for dinner wear with nice black pants. 

 

To summarize, I bring three pairs of shoes on an Alaska trip for both land and sea.  One waterproof walking shoes, my running shoes and waterproof sandals.

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I'm taking my Sperry duck boots with the quilted tops and also have a micro-fleece lining.  I wear these all the time for rain and snow and they are super comfortable and totally waterproof and easy to clean off.  My husband also has a pair that he will use.   These will be for our hiking, walking, and boat tours.  Now I absolutely have to take my Uggs to wear on the ship for Glacier Day and just to keep warm (super comfy).  Probably a comfy pair of Nike Free Runs for the gym or dry weather activities. Not worried about dress-up for this type of cruise, lol.  Main thing is to have something comfortable to walk in and that is totally waterproof (just incase). 😉

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