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  Rugged paddling sandals
  Posted by: WaterBird on May-28-14 6:09 PM (EST)
   Category: unassigned 

After a mishap with crocs last year I came to realize the importance of rugged footwear for paddling in remote places. I'm looking for a sandal in the style of the Teva Omnium that is:

--Rugged for walking on rocks
--Fast drying
--Not hot

The Omnium is rugged but dries slowly and is quite warm on a hot day.

Any suggestions?

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Messages in this Topic


  Keens are nice
  Posted by: slushpaddler on May-28-14 7:12 PM (EST)
they have a lot of coverage though so they may be a bit warm. But the toe protection is great. I finally threw mine out after finding a new pair on sale, after about 5 years of use. They were still usable.
  Second the Keens
  Posted by: gnatcatcher on May-28-14 7:35 PM (EST)
I use the Venice H2. The H2 in the model name designates the waterproof version. They are rugged, have good traction, and the toe protection is great. Obviously not as light and quick drying as Crocs, but you can paddle and hike in these things.
  Those look good
  Posted by: WaterBird on May-29-14 11:12 AM (EST)
On tour, would those dry overnight? I don't want to have wet shoes for several days.
  Not sure
  Posted by: gnatcatcher on May-29-14 3:04 PM (EST)
I just washed a pair of mine. I'll let you know if they're dry in the morning.

But I do have a question. If you get them wet during the paddling day, won't they be still wet around camp in the evening? And if they dry overnight, won't they just be getting wet again in the morning? I'm a little confused...
  Yeah, I guess you're right
  Posted by: WaterBird on May-29-14 3:29 PM (EST)
Do others bring two pairs of shoes for touring, one for paddling and one for in camp?

My Teva Omniums take 48 hours to dry. I guess I could use rugged sandals for paddling and crocs for in camp.
  Keen Venice H2
  Posted by: sissy103 on May-30-14 6:01 AM (EST)
I have 3 pair of these. I often paddle many days in a row, and I hate putting on damp shoes. Also, if they never get dry they stink and wear out sooner---at least, that's how I justified getting 3 pair.

If I wash them when I get home in the evening, they are still damp in the morning.

I like the toe protection they afford, the good traction of the sole, and the secure fit so they don't pull off if you step in ankle deep mud.
  Teva Dozers
  Posted by: datakoll on May-28-14 8:44 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: May-28-14 8:57 PM EST --

I may see 200+ hours for a pair.

Bought a backup.

Excellent comfort walking about on the beach. I use grocery bags tied over the neo bootie reducing sand wear on bootie.

Take a good look at the interior seams of what you buy n consider softening the seams with quality silicone.

There are times when seams abrade n hurt my heel a bit cawsing sandal removal for an hour....

My placing the foot in a stressful position , weight on heel.

  Keen Hydro Guide
  Posted by: deuce on May-29-14 9:05 AM (EST)
There are lots of good choices available these days. The Hydro Guides are my second pair of Keens. Much to my daughter's relief my old Newports are finally starting to wear out after many years of abuse. I like the Hydros specifically for paddling for several reasons, one of which is no shock cord which I think presents a foot entrapment hazard. It's a de minimis risk, but a risk nonetheless IMO. Also, the velcro heel strap opens completely which makes them easier to get on over Hydroskin socks on a cool but not cold day.
  Try wet-shoes
  Posted by: magooch on May-29-14 9:23 AM (EST)
I used to wear sandals in the summer, but I finally figured out why wet-shoes were invented. Get a pair that zips up snug above the ankle and you won't be troubled with little rocks, etc. getting under foot. The only hazard with wet-shoes is the smell if you don't wash em up good and dry them on a boot dryer after each use.
  I second the wet shoes
  Posted by: Canuka on May-29-14 9:58 AM (EST)
With sandals you get all those little pebbles between the soles of your feet and the sandal. I don't know about you, but it drives me nuts.

Also, regarding Keens, I tried on a pair at REI one day and took them off immediately. It was the worst-fitting pair of sandals I have ever tried--tight AND wobbly--just awful.
  plus they're hot
  Posted by: slushpaddler on May-29-14 10:51 AM (EST)
Unless you keep them wet.

Any shoe or sandal will get manky if it never dries, so I wouldn't fault just the water shoes for that.
  Have 'em
  Posted by: WaterBird on May-29-14 11:15 AM (EST)
Beastly hot in the summer and not rugged enough or comfortable around camp.

I almost never wear my ankle-high water shoes. If the water and/or air temperature is cold I wear mukluks. If the water is warm I wear sandals. The in-between season is very short.
  Ditto on wet-shoes.
  Posted by: Yanoer on May-29-14 1:41 PM (EST)
Or mukluks.

Trying to carry a boat on land or pull it through shallows on a river and getting rocks between foot and sandal was never appreciated by me.

I'll deal with the heat of the wet-shoes or mukluks.
  Buy cheap
  Posted by: gimmewater on May-29-14 10:37 AM (EST)
-- Last Updated: May-29-14 10:49 AM EST --

My own experience, admittedly many years out of date, is that Teva sandals are less durable than what you can buy in a discount shoe store for 10%-20% of the price - probably too soft a sole material, and dubious fastening straps. So expensive brand names are pointless.

Incidentally I also found, when walking on mussel covered rocks in Florida, that a pair of water shoes can be worn mostly to shreds in one several week trip. I doubt the brand matters, but thickness and material toughness would. (My paddling partner pointed out that it would have been a lot worse if I hadn't been wearing shoes.)

Needless to say, I presume no type of shoe can provide significant protection from alligators or crocodiles. (: At best they may help you run faster on rough rocks. If you want to avoid this problem, think what Horace Greeley would have said: "Go North young man!" (Or woman.)

I've wondered how much hiking and camping people do in places like Florida, where such creatures dwell...

Just one more note: Feet shapes vary A LOT. So do shoe shapes. Comfort is everything. Try them on.

  so true
  Posted by: slushpaddler on May-29-14 10:50 AM (EST)
Tevas don't give me much support at all but I found my fit with Keens. The sandals, boots, everything.

Your recommendation makes sense, and it's one I use for sunglasses afer losing so many pair in the water or on the trail.
  I usually do
  Posted by: WaterBird on May-29-14 11:11 AM (EST)
My goal here is to take just one pair of footwear on tour. Usually I take crocs plus Teva Omniums. The Tevas would stay wet through the whole trip if I wore them in the water, so I only wear them around camp.

I'm hoping to find one rugged, fast-drying sandal that would work in the kayak, landing on a rocky shore, and walking around camp.
  Hydro Guides
  Posted by: deuce on May-29-14 2:44 PM (EST)
meet all those criteria in my experience.
  Posted by: datakoll on May-29-14 12:15 PM (EST)
Never saw a Keen ! The Dozers should last 10-12 years worn during kayaking. Comfortable plus as good as the old Dr Schoals.

Florida ? Tampa, maybe Pensacola, fishing kayaks. Both areas sport a large military retiree pop.

Try searching: Flex Maslan

While I see many kayaks, kayaking seen is rare. Kinda like sailboats.

Walk ? not much. Place is sedentary.

I know an exception but itsa secret right ?

The Olympic Peninsula and lesser, the Cascades surprised at the large active outdoor pop both male/female.

  you sure read a lot into these responses
  Posted by: slushpaddler on May-30-14 11:01 AM (EST)
  Chaco Z-1 for me
  Posted by: taj on May-29-14 11:09 AM (EST)
I live in them when not at work. Tevas have a nasty bracket thingy (no it's not a gray thing) that rubs under my ankle. Not nice. Chacos are comfortable, secure feeling, and the Vibram soles have good wet grip. I wear them everywhere outdoors in summer. Yes, I hike mountain trails in them, watching for rocks and roots of course. Toes are vulnerable but you get in a habit of walking mindfully.
  Ditto the Chaco Z-1
  Posted by: johnysmoke on May-29-14 10:32 PM (EST)
Very durable and comfortable sandal, a little pricey but last forever.
  or how about snowshoes?
  Posted by: slushpaddler on May-29-14 3:08 PM (EST)
Nothing personal against any of you. But by all accounts waterbird is not a beginning paddler and she not only asked for sandal recommendations, but recommendations for a specific type of sandal. I think most people who wear sandals know the drawbacks by now.

OTOH this tendency contributes to the charm of these forums.
  Posted by: WaterBird on May-29-14 3:44 PM (EST)
You're right. For example, I'm aware that ALL sandals let in debris that you have to fish out. I'm specifically looking for a sandal with good protection, i.e., of the toes, hence the comparison with the Teva Omnium.

I own neoprene booties, mukluks, sandals, crocs, and cheap Walmart swim shoes. They each have their uses. Say for example you had to tow your kayak some distance while walking in the water along a very rocky lake shore. For that you need a rugged sole with good toe protection. Booties, mukluks, and swim shoes have a soft sole. Crocs don't stay on your feet and are unstable. Enclosed shoes are hot. That leaves hiking-type sandals that are meant for rocks and have a good grip.

  You should be fine...
  Posted by: ByronWalter on May-29-14 3:53 PM (EST)
...with Keen water sandals that offer toe protection. I've used them for years. I have also had good luck with Salomon water shoes:

Worn a pair of these on a 12 day rafting trip in the Yukon/SE Alaska area. While others were switching out of rubber boots to climbing boots, I just worn the Salomons everywhere. I even climbed a small mountain while wearing them. I'd rate their traction as a little better than the Keens that I have worn.
  Keen Newport H2
  Posted by: Dmax on May-29-14 3:55 PM (EST)

Keen Newport H2
Dries quickly
Good sole
Cooler on your feet than crocs
Don't wear out fast (not sure about salt water wear)
I have 300 trail miles and 20 boating trips with mine so far
  Posted by: deuce on May-30-14 8:56 AM (EST)
hence my recommendation of Hydro Guide SANDALS. Waterbird, I hate to be a broken record but I pinky swear they're exacty what you're looking for. Okay, I'll stop now. LOL.
  Posted by: gnatcatcher on May-30-14 10:44 AM (EST)
I thought the Hydro Guide looked interesting as well, but they appear to have been discontinued and are only available in very small or very large men's sizes.
  Aw man. Why would they do that?
  Posted by: deuce on May-30-14 11:49 AM (EST)
Well, in that case I'm with slushpaddler. Snowshoes!
  Posted by: rblturtle on May-30-14 4:42 PM (EST)
I have a pair that I have used on countless trips including 5 mi carrys. When going lite I put socks on under them when arriving in camp and rotate/dry socks till they are dry. My two complaints about them are that traction on slippery rocks isn't good and they are heavy. But I haven't found anything better though. About smell-I fasten them to the roof rack on the way home to avoid smelling up the car-glad it's not just me!
  On my 2nd pair of Keen H2s.
  Posted by: string on May-31-14 10:04 PM (EST)
Also have Chacos but the Keens keep a lot of trash from underfoot.
  Posted by: Andy_Szymczak on May-31-14 10:37 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Jun-01-14 10:00 PM EST --

Have two pair, one set for paddling only and the set for walking. Have walked around NYC in them and hiked up a mountain on Oahu.

I have Teva TERRA FI LITE. Stones under toes are easily ejected by dragging sole on ground, heel forward.

  Posted by: ppine on Jun-01-14 2:47 PM (EST)
Sandals have problems in tough conditions like portaging a raft. I bought some aqua shoes made by Asolo for hiking side canyons in the Grand Canyon and use them for everything near the water. They are a big step up from sandals, canvas basketball shoes, wet suit booties and all of the other old solutions.
  Asolo aqua shoes
  Posted by: WaterBird on Jun-01-14 7:42 PM (EST)
Can't find them at the Asolo website. Do you have a link?
  Rugged paddling sandals
  Posted by: AustinKayak on Jun-17-14 3:43 AM (EST)
While it's hard to argue with the toughness of the Omnium, I would stay within Teva or Chaco brands for a paddling sandal. That said, you may want to expand your search to water shoes. There has been some cool developments in this category, such as the Sperry Top-Sider or one of the NRS wetshoes.


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