Rugged paddling sandals

After a mishap with crocs last year I came to realize the importance of rugged footwear for paddling in remote places. I’m looking for a sandal in the style of the Teva Omnium that is:

–Rugged for walking on rocks


–Fast drying

–Not hot

The Omnium is rugged but dries slowly and is quite warm on a hot day.

Any suggestions?

Keens are nice
they have a lot of coverage though so they may be a bit warm. But the toe protection is great. I finally threw mine out after finding a new pair on sale, after about 5 years of use. They were still usable.

Second the Keens
I use the Venice H2. The H2 in the model name designates the waterproof version. They are rugged, have good traction, and the toe protection is great. Obviously not as light and quick drying as Crocs, but you can paddle and hike in these things.

Teva Dozers

– Last Updated: May-28-14 8:57 PM EST –

I may see 200+ hours for a pair.

Bought a backup.

Excellent comfort walking about on the beach. I use grocery bags tied over the neo bootie reducing sand wear on bootie.

Take a good look at the interior seams of what you buy n consider softening the seams with quality silicone.

There are times when seams abrade n hurt my heel a bit cawsing sandal removal for an hour....

My placing the foot in a stressful position , weight on heel.

Keen Hydro Guide
There are lots of good choices available these days. The Hydro Guides are my second pair of Keens. Much to my daughter’s relief my old Newports are finally starting to wear out after many years of abuse. I like the Hydros specifically for paddling for several reasons, one of which is no shock cord which I think presents a foot entrapment hazard. It’s a de minimis risk, but a risk nonetheless IMO. Also, the velcro heel strap opens completely which makes them easier to get on over Hydroskin socks on a cool but not cold day.

Try wet-shoes
I used to wear sandals in the summer, but I finally figured out why wet-shoes were invented. Get a pair that zips up snug above the ankle and you won’t be troubled with little rocks, etc. getting under foot. The only hazard with wet-shoes is the smell if you don’t wash em up good and dry them on a boot dryer after each use.

I second the wet shoes
With sandals you get all those little pebbles between the soles of your feet and the sandal. I don’t know about you, but it drives me nuts.

Also, regarding Keens, I tried on a pair at REI one day and took them off immediately. It was the worst-fitting pair of sandals I have ever tried–tight AND wobbly–just awful.

Buy cheap

– Last Updated: May-29-14 10:49 AM EST –

My own experience, admittedly many years out of date, is that Teva sandals are less durable than what you can buy in a discount shoe store for 10%-20% of the price - probably too soft a sole material, and dubious fastening straps. So expensive brand names are pointless.

Incidentally I also found, when walking on mussel covered rocks in Florida, that a pair of water shoes can be worn mostly to shreds in one several week trip. I doubt the brand matters, but thickness and material toughness would. (My paddling partner pointed out that it would have been a lot worse if I hadn't been wearing shoes.)

Needless to say, I presume no type of shoe can provide significant protection from alligators or crocodiles. (: At best they may help you run faster on rough rocks. If you want to avoid this problem, think what Horace Greeley would have said: "Go North young man!" (Or woman.)

I've wondered how much hiking and camping people do in places like Florida, where such creatures dwell...

Just one more note: Feet shapes vary A LOT. So do shoe shapes. Comfort is everything. Try them on.

so true
Tevas don’t give me much support at all but I found my fit with Keens. The sandals, boots, everything.

Your recommendation makes sense, and it’s one I use for sunglasses afer losing so many pair in the water or on the trail.

plus they’re hot
Unless you keep them wet.

Any shoe or sandal will get manky if it never dries, so I wouldn’t fault just the water shoes for that.

Chaco Z-1 for me
I live in them when not at work. Tevas have a nasty bracket thingy (no it’s not a gray thing) that rubs under my ankle. Not nice. Chacos are comfortable, secure feeling, and the Vibram soles have good wet grip. I wear them everywhere outdoors in summer. Yes, I hike mountain trails in them, watching for rocks and roots of course. Toes are vulnerable but you get in a habit of walking mindfully.

I usually do
My goal here is to take just one pair of footwear on tour. Usually I take crocs plus Teva Omniums. The Tevas would stay wet through the whole trip if I wore them in the water, so I only wear them around camp.

I’m hoping to find one rugged, fast-drying sandal that would work in the kayak, landing on a rocky shore, and walking around camp.

Those look good
On tour, would those dry overnight? I don’t want to have wet shoes for several days.

Have 'em
Beastly hot in the summer and not rugged enough or comfortable around camp.

I almost never wear my ankle-high water shoes. If the water and/or air temperature is cold I wear mukluks. If the water is warm I wear sandals. The in-between season is very short.

Never saw a Keen ! The Dozers should last 10-12 years worn during kayaking. Comfortable plus as good as the old Dr Schoals.

Florida ? Tampa, maybe Pensacola, fishing kayaks. Both areas sport a large military retiree pop.

Try searching: Flex Maslan

While I see many kayaks, kayaking seen is rare. Kinda like sailboats.

Walk ? not much. Place is sedentary.

I know an exception but itsa secret right ?

The Olympic Peninsula and lesser, the Cascades surprised at the large active outdoor pop both male/female.

Ditto on wet-shoes.
Or mukluks.

Trying to carry a boat on land or pull it through shallows on a river and getting rocks between foot and sandal was never appreciated by me.

I’ll deal with the heat of the wet-shoes or mukluks.

Hydro Guides
meet all those criteria in my experience.

Not sure
I just washed a pair of mine. I’ll let you know if they’re dry in the morning.

But I do have a question. If you get them wet during the paddling day, won’t they be still wet around camp in the evening? And if they dry overnight, won’t they just be getting wet again in the morning? I’m a little confused…

or how about snowshoes?
Nothing personal against any of you. But by all accounts waterbird is not a beginning paddler and she not only asked for sandal recommendations, but recommendations for a specific type of sandal. I think most people who wear sandals know the drawbacks by now.

OTOH this tendency contributes to the charm of these forums.

Yeah, I guess you’re right
Do others bring two pairs of shoes for touring, one for paddling and one for in camp?

My Teva Omniums take 48 hours to dry. I guess I could use rugged sandals for paddling and crocs for in camp.