Why You Need to Wear the Correct Water Footwear
What is Water Footwear?
As you might expect, water footwear is footwear specifically designed for activities in or around the water. While some footwear is designed for casual use aboard a yacht or large ship, others give traction and safety for sports such as kayaking, river rafting, float fishing, and canoeing. Water footwear is made for people who expect to go in and out of the water often, and who need the benefits these specially designed shoes and sandals offer.
Different Types of Water Footwear
Here are the basic types of water footwear that people use. They are all designed for different activities. Some are designed for casual use, while others are specially designed for rugged performance in the water.
It is sometimes confusing because manufacturers use the different terms interchangeably The Keen Newport H2 Sandal pictured above is actually considered a water shoe here because of its toe protection and enhanced traction sole. Other manufacturers and distributors refer to their water sandals as water shoes. We will try to stay within the following distinctions here.
Water Shoes: are quick drying, and give the comfort of a water sandal, but also feature the toe protection and traction of a standard shoe. These are the most versatile type of water footwear. The foot and toe protection, combined with the superb traction, makes water shoes the ideal footwear for anyone who climbs in and out of the water often.
Water shoes are just at home on land as they are in the water. Because they fit like an athletic sneaker, they are comfortable for trail hiking, walking around the mall or other day-to-day uses. Water shoes are the most versatile footwear available for people who take part in active water sports, especially in rocky terrain.
Water Sandals: quick-drying and comfortable, water sandals do not offer the added traction and protection of a water shoe. Water sandals are easier to put on than water shoes, and are often much less expensive.
Boat Shoes: are comfortable, look great and work well for large boats, and casual wear away from the water. These shoes are not designed for use in the water although they will add traction when walking on a boat’s wet deck.
Wet Shoes: these are comfortable and work well in certain situations, but are practically useless out of the water, and offer limited foot protection.
Flip-flops and Slides: these may be comfortable for walking around the house, the pool or at the beach, but they offer the least traction and protection of any water footwear, and are not safe for use in the water, because they might not stay on the foot.
Why You Should Use Water Footwear
Safety and Protection: The proper water footwear is designed to give traction when surfaces are wet or slippery. These conditions can range from the deck of a million dollar yacht to a rocky shoreline.
Most water shoes cover the entire foot and have thick soles to protect the soles of your feet from stone bruises or cuts from shells, sticks or glass, as well as hot surfaces. Styles that have built-in toe shields can prevent stubbed toes.Most water shoes also feature specially designed treads for the most traction on slippery surfaces, including rocks, boat decks, docks and water equipment. Their rubber outsoles also give a better grip on these wet surfaces.
Slip-on wet shoes help guard your skin from the sun while keeping sand off your feet while enjoying a day at the beach.Although slip-on styles are great for the beach and underwater use, they don’t offer the ankle support of their lace-up counterparts, which are better suited for hiking wet trails, streams and creek beds.
Durability: Because water footwear is designed to not degrade when immersed in water and to not mold, they are more durable than regular shoes.
Comfort and Warmth: Regular shoes become soaked or waterlogged when submerged causing them to become heavy, uncomfortable and prone to causing blisters. Good water shoes or water sandals will be made of well-ventilated fabrics and have multiple drainage points and perforations to help water drain; will not hold water and will dry quickly – making them more comfortable.
When to Wear Water Footwear
Water-resistant slides or even flip-flops may be good enough for poolside protection, but water shoes deliver added benefits required for other activities. They also come in different styles. Slip-on water shoes are perfect for a day at the beach and ocean swimming, while lace-up styles offer more support for hiking and more intense outdoor activities. Other variations feature adjustable bungee-cord lacing for the ease of a slip-on and security of a lace-up.
Water footwear is ideal for watersports, such as: canoeing, kayaking and other paddle sports. They should be used for swimming in oceans, lakes and rivers, and they’ll provide foot protection while doing aquatic aerobic exercises or outside of the pool. Boaters and anglers appreciate the secure footing that is provided.
Whether enjoying the beach with your family, paddling down a river or hiking through mountain creeks, be sure to wear your water footwear. The right water footwear will keep your feet protected, drier and more comfortable, so you can enjoy every moment of your time at or in the water.