I remember when I was little, going out & playing with friends, my feet were always bare & yet I don’t remember them getting injured too much, not like they did when I attempted an outdoors jaunt a few weeks ago.
Walking about on the lake shore getting stabbed by stones & pebbles, wondering where did my unflinching carefree childhood attitude towards pain go? It was suggested to me that I wear my regular sneakers in the water while attempting lake fishing. Being fond of those sneakers, the foolish decision to go bare foot was made with vacation ending results.
I swore to myself that the next time I would try a camping trip I will be much better prepared, and that is how my search for shoes to be worn in water began.
What are water shoes?
Without getting too technical about what these shoes are made of they mostly consist of quick drying mesh held together by a lightweight rubber sole.
With the manufacturers providing enough drainage from both the sole and the top mesh area which prevents the sloshyeffect that would happen if regular sneakers got soaked in water. Those that have laces are made of a synthetic material that makes it easier to tie/untie when the shoes are wet, unlike their cotton laced counter parts. In the past, water shoes would have just been used for activities such as kayaking or canoeing and the like, but nowadays their range & usefulness has extended greatly.
If it is something you want to do outdoors & don’t want wet feet (or poked by sharp rocks) then there is a water shoe style for you. The range is so vast, people have started wearing them for activities other than what would be considered “outdoor activities”.
More of those activities include:
- Beach walking/running
- Water Aerobics
- Swimming Pool Fitness
- Scuba Diving
- Rock fishing & fly fishing
- Water Running
- Paddle Boarding
- Sailing & Motor Boating
- Kite Boarding
There seems to be a similarity to water shoes and barefoot shoes, which it could be argued, serve the same purpose in some situations. I will discuss barefoot shoes and the “barefoot movement” in another post.
With shoe brands like the Vibram Five Fingers, that are made to simulate barefoot running, styles in their range that suit activities like gym workouts are what actor Hugh Jackman has used while training for film.
Solutions for women
When they aren’t roughing it in the wilderness and would rather relax with a nice spa session, water shoes or spa shoes will prevent you from slipping on those tiles when walking from each treatment.
With women’s water shoes being not too dissimilar to men’s water shoes in appearance (except being slightly smaller and with a few color options) their effectiveness is certainly clear.
Solutions for men
Expanding on the already mentioned uses, men’s water shoes can also suit other outdoor activities such as gathering Mussels and other seafood from the sharp and slippery rocks by the ocean. They would also do well to protect against other sea creatures such as sea urchins and other dangers that live between the ocean rocks.
Solutions for kids
As I mentioned earlier, being a barefooted kid and traipsing through the wilderness with reckless abandon doesn’t have to be the kind of activity that a parent approaches with dread. The whole family can enjoy their time together with most of the big brands providing toddler water shoes in their ranges.
Different brands of shoes
Certainly spoilt for choice, a large array of both popular and emerging brands that have tackled the water shoe.
Brands such as:
Nike’s offering in this area appear to be a thing of the past. Nikes’ ACG (All Conditions Gear) range used to have various water shoe styles such as the Nike Air Moc & Nike Aqua Sock, but now it seems that they do not have anything similar in their 2015 range.
With the assorted range of shoes that are available, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find the right pair for whichever activities suit your interests. Whether its rock hunting at the beach or just simply hanging around by the pool side, there are plenty of brands to choose from that will make sure your regular favorite sneakers won’t get ruined by the elements & your feet will stay injury free to enjoy your entire vacation.