Whether you're creek boating or stalking spring steelheads, cold water shouldn't chase your river fun away. These booties combine state-of-the-art traction with time-tested neoprene to keep your toes toasty and your footing dependable.
4. Expedition kayaker Brad Ludden custom-tweaked his paddle shoes on a 2002 descent of Zambia's boat-munching Luapula River. The upshot: NIKE ACG's TOKETEE MID, which sports a neoprene upper and supertough Velcro straps. With a climbing-shoe-style outsole, it's sweet for slippery cliffside traverses. ($60; 800-344-6453, www.nikeacg.com)
5. As any fly-caster will tell you, nothing grabs a streambed like a felt sole. TECNICA dressed up a high-density polypropylene version of the old-school fabric for its rugged all-purpose, amphibious IMMERSION FLT. The aqua-grip rivals the best rubber on the market, while the neoprene and adjustable straps deliver superior support and fit. ($80; 800-258-3897, www.tecnicausa.com)
6. FIVE TEN's alchemists modified the company's best-in-the-business AquaStealth sticky rubber specifically for the WATER TENNIE, and the new stuff hugs the wet and mossy like a jealous lover. Zip-tie-style plastic buckles may foil fingers numbed from winter creeking, but beefy soles are welcome on long, rocky portages. ($89; 909-798-4222, www.fiveten.com)