Wednesday, November 13, 2013

My New "Water Shoes"

For my aborted backpacking trip of last week, I was pretty sure I would have to ford a river - the North Fork of the Thornton River.  I don't think it would be a wide, deep river, but from what I had read about the trail, I would have to find a shallow spot to wade across rather be able to rock hop it.  And I was not eager to have soaked boots.  My pair of river shoes is supremely uncomfortable.  I had bought them years ago out of desperation when unexpected kayaking the Contoocook River.  They are also bulky and heavy.  Time for something more comfortable and light that can just slip in my pack.

So last week, I went back to REI and picked out a pair of Teva Terra Fi Lite shoes, kind of like a sandal.  I figured I could switch out of my boots at the Thornton River, slip these on, and wade across.  Plus, they looked comfortable enough to wear around my campsite, although with the dipping temperatures I expected, maybe not warm enough.  The salesperson who I talked to told me that he actually uses them exclusively now for hiking, and does not even bother with boots.  He recommended a special pair of socks to go with them, so I got them too.

As it turned out, I scrubbed my trip because of the back injury.  I wondered if I should return the Teva's, but then decided I would use them at some point.  So on my six mile hike at High Bridge Trail State Park last Saturday, I decided to try wearing them to see how they would do.  It was an easy, level trail with a nice gravel surface.  To my surprise, I really liked them.  I don't know if I will ever use these instead of boots, but I do know they will be in my pack in the future when I hike anywhere I may have to cross water.  I may even try hiking in them in the mountains at some point, just to see how they do.
Here is my left foot in the funky socks that I bought.  I am trying to spread my toes out so you can see that they are kind of like gloves.  I was surprised to find that I kind of like them!
I can see wearing the Teva's a lot in warmer weather without socks, especially if I were not planning a lot of walking.  I think to hike in them without socks would invite friction.  And my original intent being to get a new pair of water shoes, these will be perfect for using in a kayak or canoe, or for making a portage with a canoe - not that I have had the pleasure of that event in many years.


  1. Seems like it would be pretty cold walking in the water at this time of year!!

  2. Yep, would have been a chilly water crossing, but I think pretty short. But I shall find out another time, I guess. Art

  3. I think it depends on your purpose. Since I was going to use mine while backpacking, I wanted light weight and strong - and supportive enough that I could hike in them for a while when carrying a pack if need be. I have generally liked the ones I bought. They do rub a sore area if I wear them a lot without socks (like at a beach). So I typically wear some kind of sock with them.