▷ Do you need Water Shoes for Paddling ?
The term "Water Shoes" can be used to describe a number of types of shoes, but they are all designed to be worn near or in water. However, it should be noted that they are not essential for paddleboarding. However, in some situations wearing shoes will be very useful, depending on who you are, where you are paddling and how you plan to paddle.
Wearing water shoes is a personal choice
Many paddleboarders choose to go barefoot on their board. The feeling of being one with the board is a factor in control, responsiveness in turns and maintaining balance. This view is widely shared by SUP (Stand Up Paddle) riders, surfers and yoga enthusiasts, paddlers for whom subtle and rapid changes in position can be crucial.
That's not to say that bare feet are a must, even for these activities. However, for paddlers who need foot support, perhaps due to injury, hygiene issues or long-term pain such as plantar fasciitis, the benefits of wearing shoes of water will outweigh any perceived inconveniences.
Another common rejection of water shoes is the fact that most SUPs come with grip textures on the deck that are enough to prevent slipping. While this is true, the design of some water shoes can actually increase the friction between you and the board, but whether or not you need them is up to you to be comfortable and comfortable. confident.
Why wear Water Shoes ?
At the end of the day, water shoes are a great option if you need reassurance and protection. This aspect should not be underestimated, especially if you are new to paddle.
Water shoes provide good insulation against the cold
It's great to go barefoot when the weather and water are tolerable. But in more northern countries, especially in winter, the prospect may be less appealing. Water shoes provide excellent protection against the cold and sometimes can keep your feet dry.
You can burn your feet
At the other end of the scale, the risk of painful burns caused by UV exposure on exposed feet must be reduced. It can be difficult to judge the strength of the sun's rays when you're on the board and a breeze is blowing. A pair of water shoes can make the difference.
Walking on rocks and underwater hazards can be painful
One of the main reasons given for wearing water shoes on a paddleboard is to avoid injury when entering the water. This is especially true when paddling rocky riverbeds or an open sea area with sharp terrain or thorny animals, such as oyster shells. It can also provide protection against unpleasant surprises, such as stepping on a sea urchin.
You may have to walk
If you need to disembark your board on an excursion and are moving overland to get over an obstacle, or if you're just planning to set up camp for the night, water shoes
A bit of common sense
What you should never do is wear regular dress shoes such as trainers or trainers, as they will absorb water when submerged. As well as being uncomfortable, wet and slippery shoes can seriously interfere with balance and grip. They will also add weight to your body if you fall into the water.
Standard shoes also have soles that are unsuitable for boarding. In addition to not providing grip, debris and stones will get stuck in the soles causing bumps, scrapes and gouges that you really don't want.
Which water shoes to buy ?
The most important criterion when choosing a water shoe is that your foot does not have much room to move. If fitted properly, the chances of slipping, losing balance or injuring themselves by skidding on the board are greatly reduced.
Experienced paddlers, or those who simply think bare feet are a superior experience, will insist on the need for a thin sole. The thinner the better. To move on the board and feel confident on the deck, it is important to be able to move on the board feeling perfectly all the sensations at the level of the feet.
Be sure, especially after use , that the water shoes have had time to air out and dry. A wet shoe is the perfect breeding ground for microorganisms that cause odor or, even worse, infections. Quick-drying antimicrobial coatings are helpful. We recommend washing them in fresh water, especially after use in salt water, which will also extend the life of the material.
If our article has convinced you that buying water shoes is a necessary investment, then we suggest you take a look at our many models, some of which are totally adapted to the practice of Stand Up Paddle.