Swimming with water shoes?

dc_in_sfdc_in_sf San FranciscoCharter Member

The last few years I have been up at Camano Island for the 4th of July, it's a nice spot for swimming with the water temp is ~60F and since it is crabbing season you can swim amongst the crab pots with some degree of assurance that boaters will not be running you over.

The one downside is that the water entry and exit is a bit painful due to lots of sharp rocks/shells. I've been considering just getting a pair of water shoes to make the entry/exit process easier and just swimming with them on (not trying to do any kind of official swim, this is just for muck around swims).

So my question is does anyone have any experience with this sort of approach? Any issues with swimming with water shoes on? Any recommended brands or models?

http://notdrowningswimming.com - open water adventures of a very ordinary swimmer



  • JSwimJSwim western Maryland, USMember

    I just saw an article about these. They are supposed to be water proof. Pricey, since they are not reusable, but for occasional use, they'd have to interfere with your stroke less than regular pool shoes.

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  • danswimsdanswims Portland, ORMember

    I knew a guy who would use duct tape on the soles of his feet, not sure how well it would stay on for a longer swim. There is also kineseo tape. https://www.theratape.com/

  • ssthomasssthomas DenverCharter Member

    I stick my flip flops in the butt/back of my suit when this situation comes up. I wouldn't want to do a real long swim this way, but I haven't lost a shoe yet.

  • IronMikeIronMike Arlington, VACharter Member

    I swam for 3 weeks in Croatia with swim shoes on. Including some long (~5-7k) swims. No biggie. My family makes fun of me b/c the bottom of my feet are so damn sensitive, walking on anything not sand and you'd think I was walking on hot coals. But those shoes have solved this problem for me. I used the very cheap ones available to tourists and they lasted not only for my 3-week Croatia trip, but for the rest of the summer at lake Issyk Kul in Kyrgyzstan.

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  • wendyv34wendyv34 Vashon, WASenior Member

    My feet are completely flat, so my "arch" is flat on the ground and walking on barnacle covered rocks is just hell. I try to dive from a dock whenever I can. I almost always swim with a kayaker, so he throws my Tevas out of the boat when I'm ready to get out.

    Rather than water shoes, (with a bulky rubber sole), you could try neoprene socks, which are lighter and less likely to chafe and drag. Camaro makes some with a coating on the bottom, for durability. They will obviously wear out faster than shoes with a rubber sole, but are easier to swim in. Our local (Vashon Island) hardware and grocery stores carry them. I've also swam short distances in my Tevas; the straps need to be tight and will chafe after very long, but it's like swimming in flippers. I wear them lifeguarding, so it's nice to have that extra boost when you need to get to and carry a victim.


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  • Kate_AlexanderKate_Alexander Spring Lake, MichiganMember

    I wear Vibrams. Sometimes I tuck them in my suit, other times I leave them on. Neoprene socks is a great idea - easier on and off than shoes and easy to tuck into suit.

  • emkhowleyemkhowley Boston, MACharter Member

    Kate_Alexander said: Neoprene socks is a great idea - easier on and off than shoes and easy to tuck into suit.

    I agree with Kate on this one--neoprene swim fin socks are the way to go for foot protection that offers minimal drag and issues. I wear them when training in the winter at L Street. When your feet are frozen solid, it's easy to step on something, not realize it, and slice yourself open, especially when you're entering and exiting the water where we do at anything less than high tide. (Lots of mussel beds near the fences at the L.) I just keep them on the whole time while I'm out there swimming. They're super low profile--they don't even cover the ankle-- so it's like wearing a tiny pair of socks like I would when I go for a run. I've had a pair of Sporti neoprene ones for years, but they are starting to fall apart, so it may be time to order a new pair. https://www.swimoutlet.com/p/sporti-neoprene-swim-fin-socks-31148/


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  • Kate_AlexanderKate_Alexander Spring Lake, MichiganMember

    Neoprene socks was @wendyv34's idea

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