NRS River Booty Shootout

The NRS River Shoe and Sock Comparison Guide

NRS manufactures a very diverse line of river shoes and socks. No matter what the application, whether it be squirt boating in 40 gallons of fiberglass, exploring a remote creek in British Colombia, or rafting the Colorado river..... NRS has the right shoe for you.

NRS Attack Shoe

When you’re looking for a boating shoe to keep you on your feet – on land and in the water – the NRS Attack Shoe is your best choice. It will handle everything from the scouting scramble, to in-river rescue situations, to a long portage or side hike. Built tough for the boater who likes to hit it hard and often. Creekers, guides and whitewater professionals pick the Attack because it performs for them and holds up to the abuse they can dish out.


  • Material: 2.5-mm neoprene upper, reinforced with PVC-coated woven polyester
  • Sole: Grippy, wrap-up HyperGriprubber, with drain ports
  • Insole: Extra heel cushioning, ventilated for drainage
  • Closure System: Adjustable instep strap with side release buckle and adjustable heel strap
  • Drainage mesh in upper
  • Rubber toe and heel armor


  • A water shoe is meant to be worn in and around water and often that means you’ll be walking on slippery and rough terrain. The Attack has an aggressive tread pattern and a sticky rubber formulation for good traction on both wet and dry surfaces.
  • Rock scrambling and river wading puts the hurt on your feet. The HyperGrip sole and tread pattern wraps up around the sides, toe and heel. And, PVC-coated woven polyester material over the toe and up the sides gives added protection.
  • While the sole is tough, it’s flexible so you can still fit it in your low volume kayak cockpit.
  • The top opening of the shoe is stretchy and generous in size, making it easy to get your foot in and out.
  • And this shoe will stay on your foot, whether you’re swimming or hiking. The instep strap adjusts with hook-and-loop, then there’s a side release buckle for easy on and off. There’s also an adjustable heel strap for extra security.
  • Drainage mesh in the upper and in the sole bottom get the water out of the shoe without letting in sand and grit.
  • Cushy 2.5-mm neoprene in the upper adds warmth and cushioning for your feet.


  • The drainage built into the shoe keeps water from staying next to your foot, which is nice. At the same time it can pull some warmth away from your foot. When boating in cold water, you may want to slip on HydroSkin Socks before donning your Attacks.


  • When you want a shoe with great traction, protection for your feet and low-profile cockpit fit, the Attack Shoe is an outstanding choice. Some shoes are good in the water and some are good on the trail. Finding one that’s good at both is rare. The Attack…rare, right and ready for your next adventure.

NRS Desperado Sock

This is one comfortable low-profile paddling sock. Excellent 3-mm neoprene warmth and a slim sole that allows a good fit in today’s low volume kayak cockpits. You’ll especially appreciate the ankle-high top when you’re pairing the sock with a drysuit ankle cuff.


  • Upper material: 3-mm neoprene with titanium adhesive.
  • Sole material: Tough 1.5-mm textured rubber sole, with 3-mm neoprene insole
  • Closure: Bungee cord with barrel-lock
  • Synthetic leather wraps around the sock for extra padding'


  • The sock wraps your feet in the warmth of 3-mm neoprene and the seams are glued and blind stitched for durability.
  • You’ll appreciate the thin, flexible sole when you curl your feet into the shallow bow of your cockpit. Still, the 1.5-mm rubber outer sole and 3-mm neoprene insole give you plenty of cushion from nature’s rough and tumble terrain.
  • The top of the sock is nice and stretchy for easy foot entry and the bungee drawcord/barrel-lock closure ensures it stays on your foot in a swim.
  • For extra durability, the toe, sides and heel are wrapped in gray synthetic leather.


  • The sock is built on a narrow last pattern, so some boaters with wide feet find it more comfortable to go up a size.
  • They aren't as beefy as some other river shoes out there like the NRS Attack Shoe or Teva Avators.


  • Kayakers really appreciate the Desperado Sock. Plenty of warmth, plus it’s low-profile and flexible for fitting feet into small cockpits. And there’s plenty of cushion in the sole to handle the rocks and rough terrain around the river.

NRS Rodeo Socks

When whitewater kayaks got small, so boaters could cut, carve and flip, yakers started saying, “I can’t get my feet in the boat; my shoes are too bulky and stiff to fit.” NRS heard them and developed the Rodeo Sock. You get the warmth of 3-mm neoprene and a thin protective sole that lets you curl your feet into those small cockpits.


  • Upper material: 3-mm neoprene with titanium adhesive.
  • Sole material: Tough 1.5-mm textured rubber sole, with 2-mm neoprene insole.
  • Closure: 1.5” wide elastic hook-and-loop strap


  • You can have the burliest, warmest bootie in the world and if you can’t get your feet in the boat, they don’t do you a darn bit of good. The Rodeo Sock is super low-profile so it doesn’t take up much room in the cockpit. At the same time they’re warm and comfortable.
  • In addition to the warmth of the neoprene, the adhesive that bonds the foam to the stretchy nylon face fabrics contains millions of flecks of titanium metal. This shiny metal reflects your body heat back, much like a “space blanket,” significantly upping the warmth factor.
  • The sole is thin, but gives you plenty of cushioned protection from the rocks and rough spots along the river. The sole rubber wraps up around the sides, toe and heel for extra shielding.
  • This sock is very dry. The seams are glued and blindstitched for waterproofness and the snug top really helps keep out water.


  • This isn’t the footwear you want for a hike to the Mt Everest base camp. But it handles the put-in, take-out and scouting scrabbles just fine.


  • This is one classic that is still valued by playboaters the world over. It does just what it’s designed for – giving warm, flexible protection for your feet, while letting you comfortably fit your feet in the boat.

NRS Wetsock

Let’s face it, when your feet are cold, you’re miserable. Period, full-stop, end of story.
Your booties may be plenty warm when the water’s cold, but when it’s really cold you suffer. There’s no need to have both cold water booties and super-cold water booties; just slip on a pair of Wetsocks for extra insulation. If there’s room in the shoe for an athletic sock, there’s room for the Wetsock. And wear them with your river sandals for cool spring boating.


  • Material: 2-mm neoprene, with Titanium adhesive
  • Seams: Sturdy, low-profile flatlock stitching
  • Construction: Three panels, so there are no seams on the sole or back


  • These socks are warm. In addition to the full 2-mm of closed cell foam, the adhesive that bonds the foam to the stretchy nylon face fabrics contains millions of flecks of titanium metal. This shiny metal reflects your body heat back, much like a “space blanket, ” significantly upping the warmth factor.
  • They’re comfortable to wear. There are no seams on the bottom and back of the foot, where you put the most pressure, and the flatlock side seams don’t chafe or bite. The fabric that covers the neoprene has a soft, brushed finish that feels good for all-day wear.


  • The socks are aptly named: they’re “wetsocks,” not “drysocks.” Water will get between your foot and the sock, but not much water because they fit snug inside your footwear. And what little water does enter is quickly warmed.

The Verdict:

  • The NRS Wetsock belongs in every boater’s gear bag. It packs small, delivers lots of warmth and is a great value for the money. You may even find yourself slipping them inside your snowboard boots!
    Just remember, cold feet is not just a state of mind.

NRS Kickers

For almost 20 years the Kicker has been a mainstay of the NRS footwear line. This classic water shoe continues to be a best seller – and for good reasons. Low top comfort, 3-mm neoprene warmth, tough traction sole and secure foot fit.


  • Material: 3-mm neoprene upper
  • Sole: Durable wrap-up high-traction rubber
  • Seams: Glued and blind-stitched for durability
  • Insole: 3-mm neoprene
  • Closure System: Drawcord with barrel-lock and arch strap
  • Extra rubber armoring over the toes and sides of the foot and heel


  • A full 3-mm of neoprene wraps your foot in warmth. The titanium adhesive used to bond the face fabric to the neoprene reflects back your body heat for additional thermal protection.
  • The tough rubber sole gives you excellent wet and dry traction. It wraps up on the toe, heel and sides for protection from the rough terrain you’re walking through.
  • There’s an extra layer of rubber over the toes, around the front part of the foot and sides of the heel. All this armoring is designed to protect your feet inside and outside the boat, while still being flexible enough for boaters wearing them in lower volume kayaks.
  • A shoe doesn’t do you much good if it doesn’t stay on your feet. The Kicker definitely stays put. A drawcord with barrel-lock snugs the top of the shoe around your ankle and the hook-and-loop strap across your arch adds additional security, in a swim or on the trail.
  • Available in whole sizes, in Men’s 4 - 14, for feet from petite to whopping.


Gads, after almost 20-years of refinement there aren’t many cons to consider!


If you’re looking for a low top water shoe that’ll give you great warmth and protection for your feet, look no farther than the NRS Kicker Wetshoe. A shoe doesn’t stay in production for this many years if it doesn’t have a loyal and growing fan base. The Kicker – flexible, functional, affordable. What’s not to like?

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