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DaisyChain 01-02-2008 12:04 PM

Flats boots for Acklins
Will be returning to Acklins next month and am wondering the preferred flats boots setup that others have used? I had the "Bite" primal flats boots and they could not withstand the sand and muck during parts of our walks. Plus I recieved several nasty blisters. Can someone advise me of a setup (ie boots, neoprene socks, gravel guard, etc) that has worked for them in the past, specfically on Acklins?



DaisyChain 01-02-2008 12:10 PM

Sorry if one of the mods can delete one of the posts that would be great.

wrke 01-02-2008 12:55 PM

I've done DIY Acklins 3 yrs now and I really believe in the Patagonia Marl Walkers II. The Simms were uncomfortable for me, a friend had the Bites and returned them. I use thin Simms neoprene sox and Simms neoprene gravel guards. Perfect (for me).

cc charlie 01-02-2008 12:59 PM

Flats Boots
Just back from 2 weeks in Acklins. DIY trip all walking (up to 8 miles a day)

I bought a pair of Cabelas flats sneakers for the trip. They're lighter than my Chotas and held up really well. A lot of the hikes were over coral and limestone , no problems.

I bought them 1 size larger than I normally wear. I did get a little chafing around the collar of the boot, but not bad. I wore high socks and folded the tops over the top of the boots, that seemed to keep out most of the sand. Perhaps you might want to cement over the vents.

Hope this helps.

CC Charlie

Vince 01-02-2008 02:14 PM

I've used he simms for some time and find them fine. Good foot protection on coral. Have a new pair of the marlwalkers I am going to try out this Winter. The key is to wear neoprene socks and try to seal off the top so sand/muck does not enter into your boot, or at least into your neoprene socks so it can rub on your skin and cause abrasions. I use a pair of surfing neoprene booties--got them at a store in San Diego--I believe they are called h20. They have a velcro strap at the top to seal off at your shins. Work pretty well, and they are not too thick so size of the boot does not become an issue.

Swalt 01-02-2008 02:28 PM

I have the old style Marlwalkers and they have served me well for 3 years. They protect your feet well but are difficult to get on and off. I have been told the the Marlwalkers II are better. The key like many have said is to wear a neoprene booty inside them. I use a liner sock and then the booty.

DaisyChain 01-02-2008 02:43 PM

Wow thanks for the quick responses! I was thinking either the Patagonia or Simms boot.. I will have to find a cabelas and try both of them on.


juro 01-02-2008 03:23 PM

Narrow feet - Simms, wider foot - Patagonia. Life's too short to bother with second-rate flats shoes.

Wear cushy (e.g. hiking style) socks under, tuck over the boot tops. Bring aquaseal for field repairs from coral cuts etc.

FredA 01-03-2008 04:45 AM

I had the marlwalker I's on my one trip. Tough but not too comfortable. Had some pretty annoying blisters by the end of the week. I'd try the marlwalker II's or the simms if I were going back. Good socks are a must.

josko 01-03-2008 05:25 AM

I wear Marlwalker I's and like them a lot. The trick is to wear just a thin 'liner' sock inside. It's comfortable and somehow keeps sand from accumulating inside.

GMflyfish 01-03-2008 07:09 PM

Flats Hikers
I made a trip to Acklins last April (going again in '08), and acquired a pair of Orvis Flats Hikers. They have a removable thin neoprene sock with built in gravel guard, and a sturdy lace boot. I wore a moderately thick pair of synthetic (probably polyester) socks inside. I also had some neoprene gravel guards that went over that. The arrangement worked well, and we had some sections with thick marl to wade through. I did not have any blister or abrasion problems. I got the boots via ebay at a good price.
Another possible suggestion is to wear the boots on the airplane flights, so you don't arrive without them.

Vince 01-03-2008 07:36 PM

Definitely wear them on the flight--good reminder.

tight-lines 01-03-2008 07:50 PM

Didn't we have this same conversation last year? :-)
I used the Cabela's flats sneaker for my trip (fit my budget and my narrow foot)worked great also used hiking socks with high spandex count and rolled them over the top of the boot to keep muck out. Went through some pretty soft stuff at times and very little got in my shoe. I also brought a couple velco straps as an extra seal but didn't need them.
Have Fun

Swalt 01-04-2008 07:11 AM


Originally Posted by Vince
Definitely wear them on the flight--good reminder.

I agree. Waded out island flats for 5 days in my New Balance 991's. My flat boots have been with me on the plane ever since.

Geordie Shanks 01-04-2008 05:02 PM

I had one of the marlwalker's the first year they came out (late 1990's) and I absolutely trashed the hell out them in one week in Belize. Of course, your hoofing around on nothing but coral there, but I was pretty unimpressed with them. However, they have revamped them and I bought some of the II's and have so far been very happy with them. I do have a wider foot, and the tip about wearing a liner sock is a great one. The first time I wore them I didn't wear some socks and got a blister, but after using a liner sock they are comfortable and pretty much bombproof. Another friend has used the Simms, but they seem to be a little lower on the ankle so I've always been skeptical. Good luck. I like the tip about wearing them one the plane, other than the 5 minutes it takes to get them on and off again.

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