I am looking for recommendations for light kayak shoes with excellent non-slip traction.
I live on Lake Como in Italy, and kayak year-round.
Where I launch my kayak has very slippery mossy rocks.
And I have big feet (US 12, UK 11, EU 46) that need to fit into my Dagger Stratus 14.5L.
After a lot of research, I bought the Crocs Swiftwater Mesh.
They are exrremely comfortable to wear, but don’t fit well in my kayak.
I haven’t tried the traction in the lake, but will soon.
Thanks in advance
I would suggest Astral Brewers. They are nice a ‘sticky’. I have been using them for about ten years.
I have Saloman water shoes . Very light weight with a reported very grippy sole. I say reported because I have few occasions to walk on wet rocks. Sorry I don’t know the model.
Astral makes great shoes, fast drying and sticky soles. Unsure if they ship to Italy. I believe they are available in the U.K.
No experience with Salomons but I looked at them earlier. I doubt they will work if your feet are squeezed for room under the deck like mine, due to their big rear bumper.
I’ve had good luck with Body Glove water shoes where foot room is a concern. They have multiple styles with laces and without, with separate toes (barefoot style) and open toe boxes. They don’t have any thermal properties but I’ve found they have good traction and are comfortable.
Some advise felt soles for handling stuff like seaweed. Can’t vouch for how long they last myself though.
Good points on the Body Glove shoes. A better term is slippers. They are cheap and have good soles but are only good for one season.
I like my ASTRAL Brewers. Wife even says was he look small and can’t believe my feet fit in them.
I also like Astral: I have both Brewers and Loyaks and the Loyaks are lighter, thinner, and more flexible with a very good non-stick sole.
After reading your recommendations and doing a little research, I decided on the Astral Loyak AC shoes - not shoes I had ever heard about before. I ordered from Amazon.com in the US, and they arrived very quickly.
I used them for the first time a couple of days ago.
- the traction is AMAZING! On some really mossy rocks, I had to slide my foot a tiny bit to get a good grip. On most rocks, there was no way I was going to slip from the first instant. Where my wife and I were unable to stand at all in our previous shoes - Keen sandals for her, Olukai Nohea shoes for me - I stood and walked completely solid and secure while launching and landing both our kayaks.
- the shoes fit really well inside my Dagger Stratus 14.5L kayak - they really don’t add much bulk vs my bare feet.
- the material inside the shoes is scratchy on my skin - especially on the tops and sides of my feet. I won’t be wearing them for just walking around.
- the laces are really unnecessary, get in the way, and could be eliminated from the design.
- the size is a little small. I can “just” wear the US 12 men’s with no socks. I probably could have worn the 13’s. With my dry trousers and integral socks, I can only get the shoes on by taking out the insoles - which works fine and is comfortable enough for launching, landing and while paddling. So, in summer, I will wear barefoot with the insoles and in winter with my drysocks and no insoles.
I am now ordering a pair for my wife, and we will both use them for launching, landing and paddling. Neither of us will likely do any walking in them.
Thanks again for the recommendations!
NRS makes an AWESOME paddle wet shoe in both high ankle & low cut versions. https://www.nrs.com/product/30034.03/nrs-mens-paddle-wetshoes