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Podcast 284 : Keeping Dry in Antarctica with Neos Adventurer Overshoes

This is a short video to show you how I used my Neos Adventurer All Season Overshoes from Outdoor Photo Gear, to keep my legs and feet warm and dry while in Antarctica and the Falkland Islands recently. It's not an incredibly difficult subject but it took me a few...

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Martin Bailey
Martin Bailey is a nature and wildlife photographer and educator based in Tokyo. He's a pioneering Podcaster and blogger, and an X-Rite Coloratti member.
  • Bruce
    Posted at 05:41h, 10 May Reply

    While these look to be very nice boots and overshoes, they are essentially overkill for an Antarctic summer and anyone going there at that time shouldn’t feel that these are essential items to pack. During my two Antarctic trips (totalling six weeks and travelling to the bottom of McMurdo Sound as well as along the Peninsula and in temperatures down to around -20°) everyone on the ship used ordinary rubber boots with no problems at all. Buy them a size larger than your normal shoes and wear two pairs of socks (thin ones first, then thicker ones).

    I’d also recommend steel caps after getting my foot caught between a zodiac and the steps leading up to the ship with a heavy swell running. They definitely saved one set of toes from a lot of pain.

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 01:59h, 19 June Reply

      Hi Bruce,

      The boots are what I use in very cold conditions, and while yes, they are overkill if you are buying just for Antarctica, they weren’t overly warm, and when I had to use Wellington/gum boots one day, my feet were freezing, and I couldn’t wait to get back to these. I personally woudn’t recommend rubber boots, but then I didn’t go in summer. The times I’ve been to Antarctica are spring and fall, and I was happy to have these.


  • Martin Bailey
    Posted at 10:10h, 10 May Reply

    Thanks for your comment!

    That may be the case for a summer trip, but, I didn’t find the above combination to be overkill for our expedition. There were many people on our expedition that used only the gum boots provided, but they complained of cold feet during our Zodiac cruises and landings. I enjoyed the warmth of my Baffin boots with overshoes.

    Note though, we were there in the tail end of summer, right at the end of the season, so the temperatures were lower than a typical Antarctic summer. It’s really about knowing what conditions will be for your particular expedition.

    On trapping your toes, the way our ship, the Polar Pioneer is built, there are two long bars below the gangway, so there is really no way trap your feet between the Zodiac and the gangway, so I’m not sure I’d recommend steel toe-caps for this. If you know the ship you’ll be on though, I imagine this is good advice.

    I should say though that the main reason I used my Baffin boots is because I already have them. I thought they worked well, but if I was kitting up for a trip from scratch, I might have bought something else. If people are buying specifically for an Antarctic expedition, I suggest you contact your tour guide before buying your boots.


  • Bruce
    Posted at 06:05h, 11 May Reply

    Alas Martin, it was the on the Polar Pioneer that I came to love my steel toe caps. Things that seem impossible under one set of conditions are always possible under others, and a 2 m swell can do all kinds of things to a stationary zodiac next to a big lump of steel.

    My trips were at the beginning and end of summers, with temperatures well into the negative teens on the Ross Sea voyage. As in any cold conditions, the main thing was to have excellent underwear and outerwear, and pretty well anything you like in between as long as there was a fluffy layer in there somewhere. This applies especially to socks and gloves because feet and hands are the most vulnerable parts to chill (apart from the face). Avoid tight boots of any kind: they crush any air out of a fluffy layer and don’t allow blood to circulate as well.

    I love the photos you’ve posted because they capture so much of the beauty and weirdness makes Antarctica addictive. Thank you for sharing them.

  • Martin Bailey
    Posted at 09:41h, 11 May Reply

    We had some two meter swells or more, and I know how much the Zodiac can move up and down. I guess you might trap your toes if you put your foot to the outside edge of the side of the Zodiac, and you have that experience, so there’s no denying it. Thanks for sharing.

    Even knowing this though, I personally still wouldn’t go for steel toecaps. I’d say that’s overkill too, but that’s my opinion. 🙂

    I’m a little confused by your advice above, as it seems to conflict with your original comment. I used my winter boots, with thick socks, because they are nice and warm. On my recent trip, I felt them to be just right. I also liked how the Neos Overshoes protected my boots from the salt water, and kept everything dry, and hence warm. When I find something that works, I like to share it, but you announced that it’s overkill. Now your telling us how to keep warm. Is that not a little strange?

    Anyway, I don’t want to fight over this. I had a great experience, partly because I was able to keep my feet warm and dry, so I’m sharing what I learned in the hope that it will help others. One certainly doesn’t “need” to do this, as the ship provides gum boots, but I was happy with my decision to take this footwear. You have a different opinion, which you are entitled to. But let’s not argue about it.


  • April Cook
    Posted at 23:05h, 04 September Reply

    For me, the Neos Adventurer Overshoes are great shoes! I like how they are relatively light and packable for boots, and I love being able to my regular shoes dry underneath. Excellent traction, easy to put on and take off, stay on once they’re on. Thanks for the video!

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 01:31h, 06 September Reply

      You’re welcome April. I’m pleased the NEOS worked for you too. Great overshoes, for sure.

  • Corey Kohr
    Posted at 17:47h, 07 December Reply

    I agree with Bruce. It is uncomfortable and might cause foot pains.

  • Norastic
    Posted at 17:18h, 05 July Reply

    Hey Martin!, love your webpage!… look, I have this upcoming trip to Iceland at the end of October and I was browsing through the web and saw this post about the overshoes but what really caught my attention were those waterproof pants that you used in this video… Can you tell me the model of those pants? Of course if you’re using more modern ones that would be great. Also do you know what kind of hiking boots would be suitable for Iceland in October? Snow boots maybe? Thanks.

  • Richard
    Posted at 19:29h, 15 June Reply

    I never heard about this option. Up until now I was thinking about Musk Polar Arctic boots that most of the people recommend. Also Baffin has a model called Titan which is 100% waterproof and graded to below -100 Celsius. But they look huge. This is first time I hear about Neos. At first glance they look very fragile. I am going to Antarctica in February 2018 and still on lookout for suitable clothing and footwear.

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 12:17h, 22 June Reply

      Hi Richard,

      The NEOS are not standalone boots, they are overshoes, designed to be worn over other boots, so yes, they aren’t very thick, but not necessarily fragile. I’ve given mine hell and they are doing fine, but you do wear them over other boots, if that wasn’t obvious.

      You don’t need super-warm boots for a summer visit, so -100 Celsius Baffins might be overkill if you are buying specifically for your February visit.


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