Paddle boarding is an excellent way to exercise, relax, and explore the water. However, it’s essential to have the right gear, including shoes that are comfortable, supportive, and protective. In this article, we’ll explore what to look for when choosing shoes to wear when paddleboarding.
1. Water Shoes
Water shoes are a popular choice for paddle boarding because they’re designed to get wet and dry quickly. They’re also lightweight and provide excellent grip on slippery surfaces. Look for shoes made from quick-drying materials such as neoprene, mesh, or synthetic fabrics. Make sure the shoes have a non-slip sole to prevent accidents on the board.
Sandals are another popular choice for paddle boarding. They’re comfortable, breathable, and easy to slip on and off. However, not all sandals are suitable for paddle boarding. Look for sandals with a secure strap that can keep them in place while you’re on the board. Avoid flip-flops or sandals without a back strap, as they can easily slip off your feet.
Sneakers are not the ideal shoes to wear paddleboarding, but they can work in a pinch. If you’re going to wear sneakers, make sure they are lightweight and breathable. Avoid shoes with heavy soles and thick padding, as they can make it challenging to balance on the board.
Some paddle boarders prefer to go barefoot, feeling more connected to the board and the water. However, going barefoot can be risky, as you’re more susceptible to cuts, scrapes, and injuries. If you’re going to go barefoot, make sure you’re in a safe area, and the water is free from debris and sharp objects.
5. Aqua Socks
Aqua socks are similar to water shoes but have a more minimalist design. They’re made from stretchy, quick-drying materials and provide excellent grip on wet surfaces. They’re also lightweight and easy to pack, making them a convenient option for travel.
6. Size and Fit
When choosing shoes to wear paddleboarding, make sure they fit snugly and comfortably. Shoes that are too loose can slip off, while shoes that are too tight can cause discomfort and restrict blood flow. Consider trying on shoes with the socks or inserts you plan to wear while paddleboarding to ensure a good fit.
7. Design and Style
While function is the most important factor when choosing shoes for paddle boarding, style and design are also essential. Choose shoes that match your personal style and preferences, but keep in mind that bright colors and patterns can make it easier for others to spot you on the water.
8. Care and Maintenance
To ensure your shoes last as long as possible, clean and dry them after each use. Avoid leaving them in direct sunlight or extreme heat, as this can damage the materials. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for care and maintenance, and replace your shoes when they show signs of wear and tear.
Choosing the right shoes to wear paddleboarding can make a significant difference in your experience on the water. Consider the type of shoes that will work best for your needs, and make sure they fit well and are comfortable. With the right shoes, you can enjoy a safe and comfortable paddleboarding experience.
If you’re looking for more information on paddleboarding shoes, check out these resources: – REI’s Guide to Water Shoes – Paddling Magazine’s Top Paddleboarding Shoes – Outdoor Gear Lab’s Water Shoe Reviews.