Coxing in the winter is demanding. Daylight can be fleeting, your rowers can get cold during drills or when sitting out and you have the challenge of staying warm enough to remain mentally sharp. If you cox in cold weather, the warmth of your feet and hands are critical to your success.
If your team buys Vespoli boats, there is probably a box full of Vespoli neoprene booties that come with all new Vespoli boats. These booties are meant to be worn in the VHP shoes but are sometimes left in the cardboard box they came in because rowers rotate through boats too frequently to assign booties individually. If this is the case in your boathouse, ask your coach if you can borrow a pair of Vespoli booties.
If you’re coxing in cold weather, wear a pair of insulated socks (wool or synthetic; not cotton) inside a pair of easy-on-easy-off shoes (boat shoes, duck shoes, slides). Since it’s bad form to wear shoes in the cockpit (always protect the shell), when you get to the dock, slip out of your shoes, immediately get into the cockpit and then put your booties on. It’s critical that you keep your feet dry during this process. Tuck your shoes in front of your stroke seat’s footplate or under your legs so you have them when you are done with the row and can quickly put them as you step onto the dock after you land.
Vespoli booties are great insulators, will keep your feet mostly dry in rainy conditions and will keep your toes warm during cold-weather rows. If your boathouse doesn’t have a box of booties you can grab a pair from, you can purchase them on the Vespoli web site (vespoli.com) for just over $28.