NRS Desperado Socks


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The Desperado Sock is the solution for boaters trying to fit into today's low-volume kayaks, offering enough protection for put-ins and portages. Comfortable fitted lycra upper combined with 3-mm neoprene padding in the toes and heel for in-the-boat protection. 1.5-mm rubber sole for traction, flexibility and feel. The perfect sock for boaters looking for maximum comfort with minimum bulk.
These shoes are running snug - If you are in between sizes or have wide feet you may want to consider the next size larger.


  • 1.5-mm sole
  • 2-mm neoprene
  • These shoes are running snug - If you are in between sizes or have wide feet you may want to consider the next size larger.

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Review Summary

4.5 out of 5

27 Reviews

  • Build quality: 8
  • Great value: 7
  • Performance: 5
  • Great design: 4

  • Bad design: 1
  • not true to size: 1
  • salt water stains the velvet material.: 1
  • smell funky after weeks of use: 1
Durability: 4.5 / 5
Quality: 4.5 / 5
Fit: 4 / 5

27 Ratings & Reviews

Best available shoe to fit in low volume boats.
October 23, 2006

I play kayak polo and have to fit in a carbon/kevlar boat the size of a slalom kayak. Regular neoprene socks wear against the kevlar hull in a few weeks, and don't provide protection while walking through the parking lot and the grass to the water's edge. Other kayaking boots have too much rubber on their soles, and this makes them bulky and not flexible, thus hard to fit inside a small boat. The Desperado sock is the best available compromise between walking and boating comfort for people that routinely paddle low volume boats.

Durability: 5 / 5
Quality: 5 / 5
FitClothes: 2 / 5

Good sock for Kayak or SUP
November 13, 2011

The fit seems to be an issue in most of the reviews so I will address that first. I am a female and usually wear an 8.5 or 9 in athletic shoes. By the fit chart I should have ordered a small but I purchased the medium and the fit is correct. There is room for a light liner sock but not for heavy wool or a dry suit. They have enough sole to manage walking on some rocks and sand but I would not trust them over oyster beds. There is padding on the bottom but when used on a stand up paddle board they still allow a good feel and grip of the board. Great "socks" and good value.

Pros: Build quality, Performance, Great value

this is one tough sock!
October 20, 2008

I've had mine for two years and they're still going strong. Not only do they feel good in the boat, I've used them for multi-mile hikes through some pretty rugged portages and they show no signs of wear except for slight thinning in the soles. I've been through quite a few brands of paddling footwear- I find these babies nothing short of amazing - after all, these are supposed to be just socks!

Quality: 4 / 5
FitClothes: 2 / 5

from Puget Sound
45-54 yrs

September 29, 2010

The "sock" seems to be made very well. I can't comment as to the durability since I have only worn them about 5 times so far. The sizing is small, I normally wear a women's 8 1/2 - 9, I ordered a size Small - I could use just a tad longer. They have a thin sole, but are cushy enough to walk over whatever is on the beach. I am also looking forward to using them for stream crossings in the mountains. I like that they keep my feet warm enough in the cold, cold water of Puget Sound. Overall, I am very happy with the purchase and am looking forward to wearing them often.

Durability: 4 / 5
Quality: 4 / 5
55-64 yrs

Hard to off and on
December 13, 2010

I've only used these socks one time, but they felt good without binding, were durable over a rocky shoreline and kept my feet warm. HOWEVER, I'll be looking for a replacement because they are extremely difficult to get on and almost impossible to remove, once wet. All this could be remedied with a simple zipper over the heel instead of the pull loop. Zip on, zip off, instead of yanking and yanking to get on and pulling and tugging to remove. Very frustrating. This is a great company, however -- high quality products with quick delivery. I had to return an item that was the wrong size and had no problems. We will continue to purchase products from Altrec.

Pros: Great design, Build quality, Performance, Cons: Bad design

outstanding sock!
December 28, 2006

best wet watersock I ever owned. good for low volume boatsand large feet

I like 'em
May 25, 2005

A littly cushier on the sole than I was expecting. That extra is welcomed when walking around outside the kayak. I used to wear rodeo socks, but I think that I've made a good switch.

Poor Design for Fit
January 28, 2006

NRS says that these socks fit snug, to buy a size up if your shoe size is a 'half' size. Even doing that, these socks fit too tight in length, jamming the toes.

Durability: 5 / 5
Quality: 5 / 5
FitClothes: 2 / 5
from NC
45-54 yrs

Great water shoe
May 13, 2011

These are well-made water shoes. They are flexible and protective. They do run small (which it says very clearly on the web page for this shoe). My feet are size 8, and I ordered small. They fit and are comfortable, but if my feet were any larger, I'd need a medium. Some folks have said that they are tight or hard to get on and off. They are tight but not binding. I have worn mine twice all day long (so they are comfortable enough to wear all day long). They are supposed to be a little tight to keep debris out of the shoe.

Pros: Build quality, Performance, Great value
Durability: 4 / 5
Quality: 4 / 5
FitClothes: 2 / 5
from Denver
55-64 yrs

Little Desperado
July 18, 2011

THese "socks" are typical of NRS products - very good quality. But when it is said they run "smal" - they really do. I wear a size men's 8.5 street shoe and the medium (size 9) were too small. Returned for size large.

Pros: Great design, Build quality
Durability: 4 / 5
Quality: 4 / 5
FitClothes: 2 / 5
from MA
25-34 yrs

Great summer paddling boot
June 28, 2011

They call it a sock, but it's really a wimpy boot. The neoprene and rubber sole are thin enough for summer use, but thick enough to take a little abuse. The low profile makes for a great fit inside a tight whitewater kayak. Sizing ran tight. I'm usually a 8.5 and ordered the 9, my toes are pressed right up against the tip of the boot. Since they are neoprene, this doesn't seem to cause any discomfort. I borrowed a pair of 10s from someone else and they fit perfectly.

Pros: Build quality, Great value
Durability: 4 / 5
Quality: 4 / 5
FitClothes: 3 / 5
from Smyrna TN
35-44 yrs

Excelent product
January 03, 2012

My husband and I, we all have this brand of shoes, I bough this one for my daughter, they are very good design and offer confort when you are in the river. Very fast delivery.

Pros: Great design, Lasts forever, Performance, Great value
Durability: 5 / 5
Quality: 5 / 5
from Avon, CO
25-34 yrs

Awesome Kayaking Shoe/Sock
June 12, 2011

Very Comfortable! You won't have to worry about these not fitting in you boat or cramping your feet! I've done a lot of walking on rocks, asphalt, sand and these hold up great!

Pros: Great design, Build quality, Lasts forever, Performance, Ease of use, Great value

Fine Product
December 20, 2009

Sizing is not typical: order l or 2 sizes larger.

worked well at isle royale
August 22, 2004

kept my feet warm and comfortable on our isle royale trip in mid to late August 2004. A good product at a good price.

A Must Have
September 23, 2009

After getting a sandal caught inside my boat, it was either barefoot or water-socks. These were by any means the best investment in all my gear. I've only worn them a few times, but they show no wear, and have a great fit.

Quality: 4 / 5
FitClothes: 2 / 5
from Buffalo, NY
45-54 yrs

Made very small
April 19, 2011

I ordered those to use over my dry suit but they were too small. They are very nice shoes and definitely would be appropriate for any other use. They are made small b/c I order a size larger than my usual size and they barely fit even without the dry suit!

Pros: Build quality, Great value, Cons: not true to size

Perfect for kayaking
September 04, 2010

We are two novice female kayakers with big feet. We had problems with shoes, slippage, etc. These are perfect. We ordered a size up after reading reviews and they fit both of us perfectly.


nice footwear
April 01, 2010

I needed footwear for use in my skin-on-frame. Most shoes are either to bulky or have something that might snag in the event of a mishap. The desperado sock offers good foot protection as well as a smooth profile to avoid a snag. They do run a little small, so adjust up a size.

Very comfortable sock
May 22, 2009

This sock is extremely durable yet very comfortable. I have a wide foot, but this sock fits great and is stable while walking.

They are great when your regular paddling shoe won't fit
January 30, 2006

The have much more support than the rodeo socks when walking on rocks or standing in the current

Durability: 5 / 5
Quality: 5 / 5
from Avon, CO
25-34 yrs

Awesome Kayaking Sock!
March 19, 2012

I loved these so much I bought second pair just incase I couldn't find my size later on. I use them for kayaking and they allow my feet to fit comfortably in my boat. The traction is great on wet rocks or sandy river bottoms. I would highly recommend these to a friend!

Pros: Great design, Build quality, Lasts forever, Performance, Ease of use, Great value, Cons: smell funky after weeks of use
Durability: 5 / 5
Quality: 5 / 5
FitClothes: 4 / 5
from Fredericksburg, VA
35-44 yrs

Soft & Dry
June 09, 2011

These are extremely comfortable. Can walk around in them if need be. Good fit around ankles. Slightly roomy in the foot, but it may just be me. Pretty durable. Don't keep water out, per se, but drain well to allow comfort after they've dried some. Keep you warm in mild chill and still comfortable in the heat. I recommend for your next whitewater or recreational experience.

Pros: Build quality, Ease of use, Great value
Durability: 4 / 5
Quality: 4 / 5
FitClothes: 4 / 5

from Orlando, Florida
35-44 yrs

Protect your feet
May 08, 2012

I purchased these shoes for kayaking and other types of aquatic activities I enjoy doing here in Florida. It's imperative for me to have protection on my feet at all times because of the marine life that lives in Florida coastal waters. I liked these because of the color and style. Also they are easy to slipped on and off. They also rinse off easy in clean cold water.

Pros: Build quality, Performance, Ease of use, Great value, seem to be slip resistant, Cons: salt water stains the velvet material.

Outstanding for skin kayaks and large feet!
December 11, 2009

I normally wear a size 13XW shoe and have had a great deal of problems finding footwear for lake kayaking. After a great deal of trial and error, I found the XXXL Desperado Sock fit nicely over top of a Chota waterproof knee high sock and liner and allows me to launch my kayak without getting chilled in the colder water off season. Soft and quite comfy with just enough support where & when needed, and still allows me to feel and adjust the rudder pedals. A superb product!

Runs small
July 04, 2009

XL too tight for Men's size 10.5. Order larger size

Good Solution to a Painful Problem
February 22, 2005

Because of our really foul weather in Southern California, I have only had a couple of chances to wear my new NRS Desperado Socks. But my initial impression is very positive. They were acquired to address a unique problem. I took delivery of a new surf kayak in early January. The design of this particular kayak left very limited room for my feet. At first I tried a pair of water booties, but because of the fairly inflexible sole, I could not wedge my feet into the available space. Next I tried to go barefoot, but quickly discovered that the rough interior surface of the kayak rubbed the skin raw on my toes. It dawned on me that white water kayakers must have a similar challenge in their super-short boats. A scan of the footwear used by the WW crew revealed several options. I selected the NRS Desperado Sock and I think I've found the solution to my problem. The Desperado Sock is flexible enough to allow me to wedge my feet into the tight recesses of my new kayak while at the same time, providing enough protection to keep my feet from abrading on the sides of the boat. It also affords enough padding to permit a relatively comfortable traverse over a rocky coastline. My only objection...and a minor one at the color scheme of these particular socks. My choices were light gray with either orange or baby blue panels. What ever happened to good old basic black?

Also Available

NRS Desperado Socks Photo

Blue/ Grey and Red/ Grey.

Available sizes, while supplies last, include size xxs, size xs, size small, size medium, size large, size extra large, size extra extra large and size xxxl: xxs, xs, s, m, l, xl, xxl, xxxl.

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