Really quick-drying shoes?

I noticed the Merrell Barefoot Water Rapid Glove among the new product announcements here, advertised as “quick drying.” I called Merrell and they told me that realistically, these shoes would take 24 hours to dry. My experience with the Teva Omnium, otherwise a very solid shoe, is that it takes 48 hours to dry indoors.

I usually take two pairs of shoes on tour—Crocs for the kayak plus the Teva Omnium for the campsite. It would be good to narrow that down to just one pair, but it would need to be really quick drying to avoid foot problems after 5 days of wet feet. Walkability on rocks would be good. Crocs aren’t good on rocks.

Neoprene in my experience takes a long time to dry.

Any ideas? Or do most people take 2 pairs of shoes on tour?

Aqua Ducks
If you can find them anywhere (I just did a search and it turns out the parent company has not yet decided if they will continue them in production for 2012) I really like the Aqua Duck water shoes that look like lightweight jogging sneakers. They lace up and are made of mesh and synthetic leather with a perforated sole and removable perforated stiff foam innersole. They have good traction on rock, are supportive and protective enough for camp and dry very quickly. Remove the innersole and leave them on a rock and they will dry in the sun in an hour or two or overnight. I’m bummed to see they are not readily available on line since mine are close to blown out after 5 plus years of heavy use, I got them at Dunhams, as I recall, so it might be worth checking their stock. L.L. Bean makes what looks like a similar water sneaker – I think I will look at them this weekend and will let you know if they seem to be equally non-absorbent.

The only drawback to the Aqua Ducks I had was that in squishy mud, it will ooze up through the drain holes in the sole. But it flushes out easily so it has never been a major problem in use.

I also have a pair of shortie perforated neoprene “felt-sole” fisherman’s wading shoes from Chota that dry quickly. Comfortable and protective, good traction too. But, again, may be out of production.

Try to find Teva Protons lowcut booties
I loved my first pair so much that when I saw them on sale, I bought 2 more pairs. They were discontinued a few years ago but you might find some available at deep discount. I saw a pair at Sierra Trading Post not that long ago.

The uppers are mesh and the bottoms have wraparound tread. The insole is surprisingly quick to dry as long as you put the shoes out in open air or sun. (Here in CO, these shoes dry in only a few hours–caveat: our air is usually dry and the sun intense.) The tread is flexible but still thicker (more protective) than some other commonly-available mesh booties.

The only shoes I’ve tried that dry faster are Keen water sandals and Croc-type sandals. Teva makes a Croc-like sandal from much sturdier material (it is not foam). Firm enough that walking on rocks would not hurt your soles. I’ve actually paddled in these with neoprene socks inside, not a bad combo as long as you’re not worried about the sandals coming off if you wet exit.

Idea for watershoe manufacturers!
Make water shoes with “burrito style” folding that can be secured when paddling and walking, but unfolded completely for quick drying in the sun.

Velcro would be the easiest way to fold/unfold/adjust fit, but if you can use something less vicious to other objects (straps with low-profile buckles, maybe), that would be better.

Had a chance to watch “Walking the Amazon” documentary. A British gent by the name of Ed Stafford was using Crocs in both mountains and the jungle. Took him more than 2 years, +4k miles.

He also had hiking boots and carried his gear.

Just saying

Dry Bag one pair
Keep one pair dry and one pair for Put-In/Take-Out.

I do this often when I paddle and hike. No blisters.

BTW, neoprene socks
dry faster because you can turn them completely inside-out. My pair has a fuzzed inside surface that helps them dry faster as well as feel more comfortable. Made by Warmers. (I would NOT buy their neoprene booties, though.)

maybe Keene, defintely fresh socks
My Keene sandals (somewhat similar to may dry a bit faster given more open areas. But even if not totally dry a fresh, dry pair of wool socks will go a long way to avoiding foot problems from damp shoes.

Wet or humid weather
I think the biggest concern is damp, humid, or downright wet wether. Sure, shoes will dry fairly quickly in the sun on a day with low humidity. Crocs dry literally in seconds in all conditions. But if you have a neoprene shoe or a shoe with any considerable amount of absorbant fabric, even mesh, I don’t think it’s going to dry overnight in your tent if it’s raining or very humid.

Maybe the only real solution is rubber shoes plus camp shoes if something sturdier is needed. I worry about the crocs because they’re so loose and not safe on rocks.

It bugs me a bit that manufacturers say “quick drying” when what they really mean is “has lots of holes and water will drain out.” The shoe can still take one to two days to dry even if all the water drains out. I only wore the Teva Omniums once in the water and learned that the hard way—they’re not water shoes. Great for everything else, though.

Should have mentioned I’m only talking about warm weather here.

As one who paddles daily if…
the weather permits, I have set my NRS kickers aside, and just use one pair of Tevas for round the clock use.

I find that having my feet exposed really is keeping them healthy, and then even though the tevas might be wet at night, when I take them off, they are only slightly damp in the morning.

My kickers are not happy, but they’ll get over it!

Jack L