Water shoes are an often overlooked, yet crucial piece of equipment for many types of water-based sports. While there are a number of designs for water shoes, a good pair will protect your feet while engaging in activities near or in water and will be made of a material that is designed to be immersed in water. Good water shoes should be made of relatively quick-drying materials and should remain somewhat light on your feet even when they are wet.
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Why Wear Shoes in the Water?
Water shoes can help protect your feet from unexpected bruises and lesions, as well as prevent the transmission of fungal infections like athlete's foot. Water shoes are worn while engaging a diverse range of activities, including kayaking, wading at the beach or lake and visiting water parks. Each of these types of activities demands a slightly different type of water shoe.
Shoes for Pools and Water Parks
A pair of jelly shoes or rubber flip-flops is perfect for a day at the pool or water park. Often at these locations, hazards like spilt food or beverages are common. Bringing a cheap pair of flip-flops or plastic jelly shoes ensures that your feet will be protected, and that your shoes will be waterproof when you need them to be. Additionally, athlete's foot is most frequently contracted from public showers, so having a pair of flip-flops or jelly shoes on hand will protect the soles of your feet while using the pool or water park shower.
Shoes for the Beach, River and Lake
There is nothing worse than going out for a nice day at the lake and cutting your foot on some broken glass. Water shoes are vital for outings to the lake or beach to protect your feet against the elements. River bottoms usually have painful rocks, and stingrays are always a looming threat when walking around in the ocean tides.
Aqua socks are light shoes with rubber soles, made from a combination of mesh and neoprene. Neoprene is the same material that wetsuits are made of, so aqua socks are very lightweight. They cling tightly to the foot, like a sock, so aqua socks are difficult to lose in the water. While aqua socks may not be able to withstand the hazards of extreme sports, they are much less expensive than performance water shoes, but are able to suit most light recreational needs like wading.
Shoes for Outdoor Sports like Rafting and Kayaking
For extreme activities like kayaking, you are likely to encounter rough conditions. Having a pair of performance water shoes, such as those made by Keen or Teva, will ensure that you will not cut your feet on jagged rocks, zebra mussels, barnacles and other hazards of nature. Performance water shoes have thicker soles than flip-flops or aqua socks. The body of the shoe is also usually made of a thicker, tougher material, to prevent tearing.
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