The Perfect Kayaking Shoe for Me

I use the men’s Brewers & I give them a Fair +. That’s mainly because I don’t think that the heel comes up quite far enough for my foot. That may also be due to a difference in craft as well. In my Arctic Tern & with a Kokat “paddling suit” they didn’t want to stay on my heel when paddling. This year I’ve spent much more time in a Delphin 150 & haven’t felt the problem. They are comfortable, drain well, and provide good protection. I used them for hiking in the Narrows at Zion.

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Good info. Thank you.

I will second the Brewers, never saw a shoe drain so well or dry so fast.

However, the drain holes do let some sand and grit in, so that might be a problem if you are in areas with gritty sandy areas, like mine. And, if you go barefoot, the inside of the sole does have little nubs that help with drainage, but you may find them a bit of a bother.

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Thanks GregofDelaware. I’m seeing a pattern emerging here. I like the fast drain and dry aspect. Sand and grit I can deal with.

I live in Fla, so sharp rocks aren’t an issue.

The Body Glove soles are soft and rather sticky, so they may not be great in your circumstance. The Keen Uneek has a sole almost like a regular shoe and might work well. Like all Keen shoes, they are a bit short in the toe. They also are tight at the top and stay on you feet well. There isn’t much stretch in that paracord macrame that they are made of.

I wasted money on a pair of Keen water shoes, only wore them once. The big holes allow gravel in, and once the gravel gets in it won’t come out until you remove the show. And something I didn’t think about, the bulbous toe and heel make my feet a lot longer and I have to point my toes way too much to fit them under the kayak deck.

… unless you need to cross oyster beds (as I do for my daily paddle)

But, sorry, I’m not going to give you an answer you are looking for, it (perfect) doesn’t exist (for me).
Though, what I do is use one pair of shoes for getting from land to sea (long walk to put in, crossing rocks, deep sand, etc). Then, once on the water (or just outside the surf zone), I’ll slip on some very comfortable sandals (with good heal), something I can slip on & off without having to get into the cockpit (leave sprayskirt on), and comfortably wear for many hours. (I’ve been using Mion Ebb Tide’s for many years; Mion - long since out of business).

I have tried scores of shoes and prefer the Brewers. I need a shoe that protects from hazards like oysters as well as resists being pulled off my feet in heavy muck, drains well, and has a reasonably stiff sole. As a negative, the mesh uppers let in enough sand, that for long events like the Everglades Challenge, my toes have been badly abraded and bleeding at the finish. For that reason I now wear thin lycra socks (like you wear under scuba fins) with the shoes to prevent that issue. Another option, if you need more support is to buy a size larger and add a thin superfeet carbon insole (on-top of the non-removable original insole). That works for me.

Greg Stamer


I know that I said that it should come below the ankle bones but are there any Rassler users who can make an argument for it over the Brewer?

Here is another vote for the Loyak and Loyak AC. Soles have good grip as these are made for paddlers. Note the name, “lo” “yak” as in low-rise kayak shoe. There is also a higher version, coincidentally called the Hiyak.

I have both versions of the Loyak and they are both great. The AC has a finer mesh upper, while the non-AC has a thicker mesh. Both versions have built in drains and the soles are thick enough to give decent protection. I use the non-AC version for paddling and the AC version for casual summer walking when I want more protection than a sandal.

No need to wear socks with these shoes. They fit like a slip-on, but have laces to tighten up if you want. I find the laces quick and easy to use.

Good luck.

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