Water Shoes


Seems almost an oxymoron when I think about it. I have a collection of “cruel shoes” rivaled only, perhaps, by the Kardashians or Imelda Marcos. They haven’t seen the light of day lately but that doesn’t diminish their importance to the story. I have written repeatedly about footwear and its importance in my life. I have examined how shoes and boots dictate activity, or vice versa. I think I just may have found the perfect, useless shoes.

Today I stopped at Ocean State Job Lots, or “Joblotsky’s” as I like to refer to it. I perused the cheap kayaks before turning my attention to the list. I needed bird food and those nasty killer bug coils (that are no doubt carcinogenic but after all these years is one more going to make a difference?) My eye was drawn to a display of rubbery water shoes. “I don’t have any of those!” and they do make some sense when climbing in and out of kayaks on a rocky river bed.

Appropriate footwear, as one friend used claim, is the key to successful enjoyment of life. He donned soft, sheepskin slippers around the house and had a collection of sturdy work and hunting boots for the rest of life. He would have to look up “sandals” in the dictionary to even know they existed in his size, not that there was any appropriate time in his life where he would need them. Feet were to be protected from the environment.

My feet have known the sloughing sands of Bali and soft leather of riding boots. We have traversed life together in three-inch heels and study clogs. Cowboy boots, ballet flats and sensible winter boots line my closets and floor. At the end of the day I offer my feet a chance to expand into barefootedness and I remember the custom of leaving one’s shoes at the door in Asia. The terrazzo floors were always polished and cool beneath my tired feet. It was a welcome respite to sink down into my soles.

The idea of needing shoes in water is foreign but these shoes were overwhelmingly tempting…”I don’t have any of those!”

Perhaps it is merely a design flaw in my particular pair, but so far they are a giant fail. The rubber soles are sweaty, the mesh above allows sand and small pebbles to sift in and settle on the rubber foot-base. When wet, as in stepping from the water into the boat, they carry an inordinate amount of liquid. I flooded the table tray when I settled back in my seat.

I’m going back to barefoot and being careful on slippery rocks.


N.B. I know, I used this photo on Monday. Don’t shoot me!


18 thoughts on “Water Shoes

  1. Those have toes! But water shoes always looked like they would bucket up water. I have some old ugly water “sandals” for rafting and tubing…but they have big bumpers like bumper cars which work pretty good for uneven sidewalks and sklutzie dog wanderer…(have this badly scraped knee right now)

  2. I agree, they aren’t particularly comfortable, but they do give a bit of grip to slippery rocks and they also stop the squishy of the mud between my toes. I almost always wear them. I reserve barefoot for inside.

  3. Funny! After a flare-up of psoriatic arthritis or “sausage toe” 10 years ago, I’ve been extra kind to my feet. I only wear sandals and shoes with good arch support. No flats or high heels. Yet, there’s nothing quite like going barefoot.

  4. I bought a pink pair for Mexico. They do feel odd but after a huge crashing wave caused me to severely sprain one of the toes on my right foot, it seemed a small price to pay.

    I do like the colors. 🙂

  5. I love my walking shoes, just boring Mary Jane type let her things but so comfortable, and my boots that have sprung a leak and need replacing. Best of all though I love being barefoot inside and out. The only time this doesn’t work is on the gravel walkway around the side of our house. Gravel and bare feet do not mix.

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