Water shoes are becoming more widely used in activities where the feet are prone to getting wet. The uppers are usually made of mesh, while the soles are hard but flexible in order to prevent cuts and abrasions. Hiking in waters with sharp rocks and shells especially demand this type of shoe. Kayakers find water shoes more comfortable given the challenges of the wet environment. Here are five places you can find this type of shoe in Minnesota.
Big Island Swim & Surf Co.
229 Water St.
Excelsior, MN 55331
“Water shoes have become a cult thing,” says salesperson Maggie Prochow. “People who have them come back to buy more. We even have men in suits and ties wearing water shoes. The shoes are like Sperry Shoes, only they don’t get wet and stinky.” Find a wide selection of styles and colors of the Swims brand water shoe at Big Island, a retail and e-commerce store offering an eclectic mix of swim and resort wear.
309 Cedar Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55454
“I wear Chaco water shoes all summer long,” says salesperson Zoe Kesselring. “They give your foot good support and don’t slide around on your foot.” Midwest Mountaineering offers an abundance of water shoe brands. The business prides itself on getting the right fit every time. For example, a Chota boot is great for boundary water portaging with its thick sole. Alternatively, a Keen boot is great for just paddling around. The Astral shoe is very lightweight with sticky soles, great for climbing up and down wet rocks. For a kayak trip to Lake Superior, Zoe recommends the NRS neoprene booties because they are warmer in the cold waters of the north country.
Joe’s Sporting Goods
33 County Road B E
St. Paul, MN 55117
Exploring the water and beach is big in the summer, and Joe’s has everything you need. This second generation family-owned business makes it fun to outfit for boating, lakeshore exploring or camping. Choose from several types of gear. There are water shoes, water sandals with toe bumpers, open-toe water sandals, knee boots, shoes made for fishing environments or burly, river-ready shoes. Joe’s also has sandals with attractive leather uppers lined with hydrophobic mesh that stands up to wet mountain trails but looks sharp on city streets.
Elsmore Swim Shop
5885 149th St. W., Suite 101
Apple Valley, MN 55124
Find top brands of cool beach sandals at Elsmore Swim Shop. Located just south of the Twin Cities, the swim shop carries great styles like the Adidas Climacool Revo 3 Slide, Sanuk’s Women’s Maritime Sandals, the Sanuk Ibiza Monaco Sandal, Adidas Adissage Men’s Training Slides and Nike Male Benssi Solarsoft Slide. A successful trip to the beach starts with a trip to Elsmore where you will find all the beachwear you need, right down to fins and masks for snorkeling.
Nokomis Shoe Store
6520 Bass Lake Road
Crystal, MN 55428
Nokomis carries an extensive line of waterproof boots and shoes, from heavy duty to lightweight. The store boasts an endless roster of hiking boots and shoes by the best makers of water shoes. Check out the variety in Merrell’s line of open or closed front, laced or strapped and water proofed or vented. Try the Oboz high top or low top with the super-rugged sole. The Keen waterproof shoe can handle every terrain found in Minnesota’s north woods.
Robin Johnson was born in Annandale, Minn. and graduated from Richfield High School and then the University of Minnesota where he studied Political Science, Business and Industrial Relations. A writer for Examiner.com, he also consults with a variety of organizations and individuals helping them develop and grow. His work can be found at Examiner.com.