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.
Full Size Sail Rig
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