**What’s your footwear of choice when it comes to muddy, rainy festivals?**
The goal is to have warm, dry feet for the entire time at the festival.
Just to be clear: we’re talking really bad weather with multiple days of rain. Also a disclaimer: I haven’t tested every option in information, so it will be interesting to hear from those of you who have tried one of the following options:
* **Barefoot**: absolutely no fun. You’ve got broken bottles, cigarette stubs, ticks, other people’s boots all trying to ruin your day. And even if you avoid all of those, there’s still cold feet, bruised skin, blisters, torn toenails and very likely a cold to deal with. I would also add sandals to this category, since they don’t offer too much protection.
* **Sneakers**: wear a pair of beaters and trash them afterwards. Still leaves you with cold feet and if it’s your only pair, a mild version of [trench foot](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trench_foot#Causes).
* **Plastic covers**: look [weird](https://www.dhresource.com/0x0s/f2-albu-g1-M01-7B-6F-rBVaGFXLXXOAYWsmAA0ASHJ-tE4742.jpg/elastic-disposable-plastic-protective-shoe.jpg), are likely to get torn and don’t have any traction.
* **Surfer shoes**: Just for the sake of completeness. These also look out of place, but are light-weight (neoprene) and have decent traction (rubber profile soles). Unless you also surf frequently, also a questionable investment.
* **Waterproof socks**: worn with any footwear of choice (e.g. canvas sneaker). Expensive (e.g. Sealskinz) and reviews are very mixed for most of them. Some say they still eventually leak. Either way, you would end up buying at least another backup pair. Unless you’re also going to use them for hiking, not really a good investment.
* **Leather boots**: even if you apply a load of Obenauf LP to them in advance, a muddy, rainy festival just seems to be the quickest way to completely ruin a pair of good boots. Also heavy, bulky etc.
* **Hiking boots**: Very comfortable, mostly waterproof with decent breathability. But usually bulky and heavy (not good for traveling or dancing). Only worth buying if you also hike a lot.
* **Wellington boots**: very bulky and heavy. However, there are versions out there that roll up/fold and are adjustable around the calves. Definitely the most waterproof variant but depending on the mud, you can also get stuck easily. Quick and easy to clean. Decent breathability, if you wear wool socks. Harder to find a well-fitting pair and less comfort compared to lace-up boots, because they don’t conform to your feet. But let’s face it, no matter which ones you get, you look like Paddington bear or a farmer. Also, pretty useless for dancing.
And finally, in my opinion the best option:
* **High-top canvas sneakers**: Almost everyone already has a pair (chucks, vans, etc), they come in all shapes/forms/sizes, are super cheap ($20), light-weight, compact, easy to wash, dry quickly, ok for dancing, can also be worn with shorts and are the least eyesore compared to most of the options above.
However, you need to wear this combination to have a waterproof pair: thin wool socks (breathability), then a pair of tearproof plastic bags and finally a pair of thin wool socks. Laces should be long enough to wrap them around the top of your shoe to keep everything in place.
Since most people already have most of the above at home, I’d consider this variant also quite cheap.
The only catch to me seems to be really deep puddles (which can be avoided) and spending a little more time getting the shoes on/off.