footwear recommendation

I have no idea
I have a dozen pair of watershoes. I have no idea where you are paddling or what you are paddling in.

For kayak I have two type of watershoes depending on drysuit or not

For canoe I have about 10 depending on where I am canoeing and if I am portaging frequently or if I am on the rocky river or if I am on a mucky river or if I want to swim in the lake or if its hot or if its snowing. Dryfoot or wetfoot?

More info on your environment would be helpful

fully enclosed shoe
made of neoprene and a sole is what I would suggest. A strap to re-enforce securement is also a good idea. Oyster beds, sharp rocks, dull rocks, broken bottles, discarded hypodermic needles, fish hooks, cans, nails, sea shells and other hazardous stuff is something one might encounter when getting in and out of the boat. Yes, I have seen all the above along the west coast of Florida and in the DC area. Better safe than sorry. Furthermore, the enclosed shoe is streamlined to allow in and egress from the boats without having to worry about them entrapping you in webbing or in your painter lines. And they will stay on in the muck and sand. Best wishes.

more on the issue
One poster started by saying “they all suck”. In large part, this is entirely true. Many, many years ago I worked at a large outdoor retailer during the Christmas season. The store had a large footwear department. People working floor sales were told to try to sell as much footwear as possible, since the markups were so high. Most sneakers, etc. cost next to nothing to make, and are sold for outrageous prices.

Most watershoes are essentially a piece of rubber secured to the foot. There are two choices for this type of shoe: Something that costs $7 and falls apart, or something that costs $50 and doesn’t.

For now, I’m looking for something to wear in warm weather. For coldweather use, I’ll cross that bridge when the time comes. I’m looking for this: something that will keep me from cutting my feet on glass, etc. when walking around. A somewhat grippy sole in a pluss. I want these to be very light, and take up very little room. At one time I had “deluxe sandals” by Teva, and was surprised how much room they took up.

A sock with a thick bottom able to resist glass would be ideal, but I can’t seem to find one. I might just get a neoprene sock and dip the bottom in rubber at this point.

A favourite of mine…
for the last couple years has been the NRS Desperado wetshoe. Works well in cool weather and up until the very worst of the summer heat here. Good sole for general walkabout. In the nice weather I often paddle barefoot and carry these along in the boat for lunchtime get-outs and nature calls.

I find NRS footwear runs small for me thus I order one size larger than my norm. I generally wear liner socks or a lightweight performance sock.

Here’s the current version:

Astral Loyak for men
"I’m looking for this: something that will keep me from cutting my feet on glass, etc. when walking around. A somewhat grippy sole in a pluss. I want these to be very light, and take up very little room."

I wear the women’s Loyak. It meets your specs, plus more. Nor do they create any issues when doing a deep water re-entry.

wetsuit booties
For protecting your feet with a sturdy sole I like my Deep See short wetsuit booties – cheap, durable, easy to put on and comfortable with decent traction for launch approaches. Usually easy to find for around $35 to$60, depending on style.

Sometimes you can find the older versions with the side zips in dive stores – easier to get on and off and to dry out afterwards (though I always stick rolled up newspapers in my booties to hasten drying.)

I disagree that “all water shoes suck.” I got a pair of the Kokatat high top neoprene and Goretex hard sole boots a few years ago, originally thinking I would only use them in cooler weather, but like them so much I often wear them year round, even with shorts, switching off with the Deep See shorties. They can be a little snug to pull on at first but eventually loosen up at the ankles. I wear wetsuit socks under them in cooler waters and wear them “commando” on warm days. The fact that I never think about my feet at all while paddling since I switched (from sandals, crocs, flexible shoes and sneakers that I had used in the past) entirely to boots is a testament to their comfort and utility.

Interesting boot…
believe I just may try a pair of those. Thanks for the heads-up.

I like the socks also

– Last Updated: Aug-31-15 11:32 AM EST –

...but I usually don't need a hard sole right out of the boat. When I do need a sole I just put my sandals on over the socks.

When I'm able to, I'd just as soon go barefoot.