Water Shoes

The never-ending search…
The perfect water shoe for my purposes does not exist, but I could design it. It has to be very quick-drying. It has to have a good neoprene type stretch seal at the top to keep out gravel. It has to be high-topped, for the reasons somebody else gave above. It has to have good drainage, sandal-type drainage, BUT the drainage has to be covered with fine mesh to keep out fine gravel. It has to have a sticky rubber sole for clambering on slick rocks.

The ideal water shoe, therefore, would have uppers made of the same kind of plastic as Crocs, so that it would not soak up water at all, with drain holes similar to Crocs as well, but the holes would be covered with fine mesh. It would have some kind of quick lacing system that would enable you to draw it up tightly around your feet. Around the top would be a strip of neoprene that fits snugly but softly around the ankles. The soles would be sticky rubber with good traction.

Nothing even comes close that I’ve found recently.

This topic and types/makes of paddles are a main focus for this 1st time Kayak buyer. You all have given me much food for thought.

I will be checking the Rei site for sales.

Omnium dry time; soles
My concern about drying time would be for touring—your shoes would literally never dry.

The Omniums had a serious problem with the sole delaminating but apparently they’ve fixed that. They replaced mine for free when the soles fell off.

I wear my Omniums virtually every day of the year. I take them on tour but only for wearing around camp, not in the kayak. They’re great for biking too. They’re suprisingly warm with heavy socks.

actually got some cheapo water shoes
at wally world this Spring that I like- ozark trail brand- low cut mesh tennis shoe style- worn them two times- so far so good, sole has good grip, shoes really comfortable, they probably won’t last long and for wally world they were expensive, $20.00

keen newport h2

– Last Updated: Apr-22-13 10:58 PM EST –

Started with some salomon amphibious shoes, then keen taos, and now on the new ports, they are the best of the three.

kick boat Chotas
I’ve been surprised how comfortable Croc knock-offs can be. Bought a pair (trim profile closed back clog style) from a Walgreens for $14.99 on a trip when I realized my regular paddle shoes were not in the car. Ended liking them so much for warm water paddling that I choose them over the fancy sneaker types more often than not.

For chillier water and muddier take outs I used to use over the ankle Deep See 5mm neoprene dive booties for their protection and sure footedness, but they are a problem because they don’t drain and you end up sloshing. Solved that by getting a pair of Chota Kick Boat Booties which look just like dive booties but have patches of synthetic felt in the soles for more grip on rocks and the uppers are a perforated neoprene with a fine mesh sandwiched between. Good barefoot in moderate weather or with thin neoprene socks or drysuit socks inside in colder weather. Water drains out but sand and gravel can’t get inside. Only problem is that Chota seems to have discontinued that exact style (with the instep strap). There are still assorted sizes for sale at various outlets.

I bought some Asolos for a Grand Cyn trip with side hikes. They are great and way ahead of canvas high top sneakers or the best sandals.

Check out Water Spiders
You have lots of options for sit-on-top paddling.

I have wide, flat feet and finding anything with real support that fits is very difficult. Haven’t tried these in the water but I just bought a pair of “Water Spiders” by Under Armour. I wore them around the store about 15 minutes and they were awesome: wide enough especially in the toe box, supportive, very light. Look great, very light. They’re expensive but if they drain and dry well I have hit the motherlode for me. I’ll post an update in mid-May after wearing them.


Water Shoes
Keen Newport H2’s are hard to beat. They are comfortable, rugged, adjustable…and last forever.

5 dollar shoes in a 4k boat
The van dusen ski has waterline width of about 15 inches and the foot area is very tight for my size 11 feet so I use small cheap shoes with heavy magic feet insoles. Then use very long laces that tie up around the ankle. These work good for eft and glider. regular shoes will do except all 3 boats have a toe strap for racing so I can pull and push, like a bike. Adjusting the toe strap is a hassle.

In the 90 miler it is sad to have shoes sucked off in the mud with so much congestion and someone pawing in 3 ft of water while run over by by boats in and out of water. PLEASE USE HIGH TOPS SUCH AS MY OLD CONVERSE OR LONG LACES TIED UP AROUND THE ANKLE. If one shoe comes off during wet exit, you could be walking with one shoe off.

Wrestling shoes!
I’d go the cheap route: wrestling shoes! I bought some Asics off Zappos a while back for $35. I punched a couple holes in the soles for water drainage. They are comfortable and last FOREVER. The soles are no-slip and have some great grip.They’re high top for added protection. I used to jet-ski all the time, and bought water sock after water sock after water sock. The all fall apart fast and they are all pretty pricey.

depends on the season, and the trip
my nrs neoprene booties have taken a beating and keep on going, as long as I’m not doing a lot of walking. But, I paddle all winter long and I like my knee high LaGrande rubber boots for that…and they walk better.

I got mine at Bass Pro shops, and
after trying on all the high end brand name ones, found that Bass Pro shops own were the most comfortable for me.

I am in my second year with them and am still happy with them.

Check them out. You just might like them

jack L

They used to make the black model out of some man-made smooth material instead of cloth for the uppers. Wish I could find another pair.

But I feel like I’ve done the entire circuit and the Newport works best for me, I throw on a neo sock if it’s cold. Mine sit behind the seat when I’m paddling, I either go barefoot or with socks.

Shoes chosen
I ended up going with Adidas Climacool Boat Lace Shoes. Used them on three paddling trips so far and found them to be comfortable and drain quickly. Got them at Eastern Mountain Sports.