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Needing good shoes

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Looking to pick up a new pair of good boat shoes for racing primarily. I often do a lot of bow work so good grip and lightweight is essential. Have mostly used Sperry in the past but anything I have is worn out. Suggestions from any other racers who tend to wear out gear? 

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You dont need "sailor shoes"  go to the sports section of your local shoe store and get something with soft soles

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Just get some relatively lightweight running shoes with a soft sole like the Nike Free or ASIC whatever’s...

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On 2/25/2018 at 2:08 AM, ASP said:

Just get some relatively lightweight running shoes with a soft sole like the Nike Free or ASIC whatever’s...

wrong. running shoes do not have good traction on wet fiberglass nor are they made with side loads in mind. Court shoes ( tennis, basketball,)work but not as well as a good boat shoe. I have been using the zhik shoes that look like vans for a few years and I've been very happy. they are a neoprene material so work well in the wet and are the grippiest shoe I have ever worn.   

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I had a pair of Zhiks and loved them.  super grippy and lightweight.  I didn't find them terribly durable so I switched over the Adidas.  Still very good, but the fit isn't as glove like as the Zhiks as the Adidas so I don't feel as stable on the bow.  Next pair will likely be the Zhiks (in retrospect, the durability is fine...I'm just tough on shoes.

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On 2/25/2018 at 10:17 AM, Haligonian Winterr said:

Adidas terrex boat shoes. Best I've ever worn.

 

And they come in black.

 

HW

This.  Had mine for a couple of years.  mostly Drive little boats, but never wear them on shore.  Grippy and dry fast.  

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6 hours ago, surf nazi said:

wrong. running shoes do not have good traction on wet fiberglass nor are they made with side loads in mind. Court shoes ( tennis, basketball,)work but not as well as a good boat shoe. I have been using the zhik shoes that look like vans for a few years and I've been very happy. they are a neoprene material so work well in the wet and are the grippiest shoe I have ever worn.   

Guess my feet are lying to me. And all the pros on 52's, Maxi 72's, Supermaxi's etc.. are just schmucks who haven't figured out what the best thing to put on their feet are. I'll continue to enjoy sailing in my 30 dollar running shoes. 

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13 hours ago, ASP said:

Guess my feet are lying to me. And all the pros on 52's, Maxi 72's, Supermaxi's etc.. are just schmucks who haven't figured out what the best thing to put on their feet are. I'll continue to enjoy sailing in my 30 dollar running shoes. 

Really ? All the pros on 52's, maxi 72's and supermaxi's are wearing $30 running shoes ? Unbelievable...and by that I mean I don't believe you.  And if your feet are telling you that running shoes are better than zhiks, then yes, they are lying to you.  

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1 hour ago, surf nazi said:

Really ? All the pros on 52's, maxi 72's and supermaxi's are wearing $30 running shoes ? Unbelievable...and by that I mean I don't believe you.  And if your feet are telling you that running shoes are better than zhiks, then yes, they are lying to you.  

Quite a few of the guys on those boats are wearing non sailing specific shoes and doing just fine. Check out pretty much any photo or video from anyone of those classes and you’ll see your fair share of Asics, Nike’s etc.. don’t see many zhiks...

I have worn the Zhiks and found them to lack any kind of stability and my foot slid around whenever I planted. Yes they had excellent grip(better than my nikes), but I feel much more sure footed with a conventional running shoe/trainer. 

Shoes are a pretty personal, people figure out what they like and don’t like and as long as they’re happy with it, who cares. The point is that you can look outside of sailing specific gear to find something you like.

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Adidas Terrex climacool are easily the best shoes I've ever had for sailing. they even seem to be immune to that thing that harken shoes do when they suddenly turn hard as a rock and twice as slippery. 

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Water shoes for me.  I do bow a lot on bigger boats and they grip well, are cheap, and let me feel whats under my foot.  I can get 3 pairs for the price of one pair of 'sailing' shoes.  

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Get yourself a pair of Volvo Pro.

its technical gear.

Everyone has a pair in thier sea bag. 

allows you to project forward of the bow pulpit..gives that winning edge 

Very handy when taking a pee over   reverse transom boats 

great for log windward legs 

IMG_8192.JPG

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This is a bit of a rambling rant, but please bear with me.

I'm frustrated by athletic shoes in general, and sailing shoes in particular.

It seems that some company will come out with a great shoe, and then discontinue it after a year or two in favor some new concept that doesn't work as well.

For years, the standard for me was the basic Sperry Topsider canvas sneaker.  The sole was razor cut, it was grippy, and your feet were securely held close to the deck.  The popular leather slip-ons by Sperry where fine for casual sunny days, but I've seen them decide to slip off and overboard (better the shoe than the wearer I suppose).

About 25-30 years ago, Harken came out with something that looked like a court shoe, but with the razor-cut grippy sole.  These worked even better than the classic canvas Topsiders.

Then everybody started making what amounted to running shoes with non-marking soles.  They had super-thick, squishy midsoles that felt very insecure when planted on a sloping foredeck - maybe the sole would stick to the deck, but would your foot stay on top of the sole, or just roll off?  

Every boat shoe now has grooved rather than the old razor cut soles. I'm not sure this improves grip, but it sure improves the ability of the shoes to pick up grit and tiny pebbles.  I'm not real keen on sanding my boat's non-skid smooth as I walk around on deck.

For some unimaginally stupid reason, some of the soles now have a very hard, almost waxy feel.  This was something that used to take years to develop, but now you can have useless slippery shoes right out of the box. 

I found a pair of Sperry's a couple years ago that had a sole of modest thickness and the sole was grippy.  I changed into them once on board to avoid the problem with grit in the grooves.  I was happy with them. Even though the soles were starting to wear smooth in spots,  they still gripped well until I washed them on the advice of my wife.  Hand washing in Ivory hand-washing detergent seemed a safe thing to do; it cured the smell, but instantly aged the soles to that hard, waxy consistency. It appears Sperry has stopped making these. They have about 100 (not exaggerating) versions of the slip-on slip-off leather "boaty" shoes, however.

So now I've got a couple pair of the Addidas Terrex Climacools on order. I hope one of the sizes I ordered fits.  I'm glad to see some of you enthusiastically recommending them.  If the soles would keep their grip after several years in storage, I would order more pairs if I find one I like. 

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I found a pair of Merrell minimal running shoes with Vibram soles excellent. Have lasted a good three or four years. I think their similar model now is the 'vapor glove'.

Vibram in general is awesome. Grippy and wears very well.

 

With all My shoes, the biggest problem seems to be the stink. I'm sure there's a common factor, if I could only find it.

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Take a look at Keen.
I like sailing with Newport's.
Good arch support.  Good grip.  Water doesn't bother them at all.
Comfortable in most weather.

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⁰Well I like peanut butter and jam more than another shoe thread. Who needs shoes anyways? But if you must, consider Merit 25's post. Water shoes (e.g. Speedo) work great.

even-cows-were-clogs.jpg.e8775de74ce8be939cf91f3898552105.jpg

Whoops, clicked on the wrong photo. I will look for the correct one. Sorry.

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 $17 USD at Costco a few years ago.20190423_171839_resize_94.thumb.jpg.f8706a125548965200291c1af32622f9.jpg

Edit.. add some Gortex socks and you are good to go when the weather takes a turn.

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+1 for Adidas.

I've had mine for about five years, and they are just starting to get hard and slippery. I have run them through the washing machine a few times to get rid of stink after occasionally leaving them wet at the bottom of a bag for a week.

Has anyone had luck with hitting the soles with some sandpaper? Or have they hardened through and through? 

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Converse high tops are always a favorite. Just wear good poly socks

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21 hours ago, duncan (the other one) said:

I found a pair of Merrell minimal running shoes with Vibram soles excellent. Have lasted a good three or four years. I think their similar model now is the 'vapor glove'.

Vibram in general is awesome. Grippy and wears very well.

I’ll do you one better. Vibram fivefinger KSOs. 

https://www.amazon.com/Vibram-Mens-KSO-Cross-Trainer/dp/B001JYIM1A/ref=mp_s_a_1_5?crid=3OM5QHEC382QG&keywords=vibram+kso&qid=1556086678&s=gateway&sprefix=vibram+k&sr=8-5

And fuck you all for your judgements. 

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1 hour ago, socalrider said:

Tried that.. they suck for sailing. Fiddly to get on and off (so no good on long passages) and ropes get stuck between your toes.

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Meh. Just find some that you like, and be prepared to wear them out quite often, as long as you do bow. Your shoes will never last as long as the shoes people further aft in the boat, anyway. You simply use them more, and they are rubbed against the deck more. In comparison, people in the pit or the spinnaker trimmer, will need to replace their gloves more often than others. 

 

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7 hours ago, socalrider said:

Seen a few broken toes from wearing them.

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On 4/23/2019 at 2:09 AM, Shu said:

So now I've got a couple pair of the Addidas Terrex Climacools on order. I hope one of the sizes I ordered fits.  I'm glad to see some of you enthusiastically recommending them.  If the soles would keep their grip after several years in storage, I would order more pairs if I find one I like. 

I've been pretty happy with the climacool over the last few years

I buy a new pair pretty much every year.., but not necessarily because i have to. I don't wear them off the boat - I think the sole would not last long - and anyway, I sail on some boats where that's the policy.

there is no perfect shoe.., but they do address one of your concerns - they are low to the deck, and pretty stable. I also find that the nonskid works well on most surfaces.

they have drain holes in the sole so your feet are going to get wet - but they are going to get wet anyway.

I think of them as a summer/caribbean shoe

I fly with my gear a lot, and these are very light, so easy to travel with -  probably half the weight of some other deck shoes.

i usually wear them with thin wool socks.., but they are fine without socks

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Also a fan of the climacools although on the pair I bought the adhesive that holds the sole in place started to let go pretty quickly. A shot with shoe goo resolved that though and they have been going strong since.  

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One thing to consider, I learned the hard way, is arch support.  I have been wearing the zhik shoe since they came out.  I love them.  However, I did a week long regatta where i was on my feet the entire event. (it was a really big boat)  By the end of the event, my arches were so bruised I could barely stand.  

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Addidas ClimaCools for me. First pair lasted a couple years, current pair is 3 years old and going strong. 

Weaknesses:  narrow last, not a ton of arch support if you are always standing, although the snugness of the narrow last on my duck feet allows me to lace up the shoes in a way that they provide some support.  Minimalist protection against big toe stubs. Smell like ass after a while.

Pluses:  fit me like a slipper, so very confidence inspiring when this driver goes forward.   Super grippy.  Many drains in the sole so water drains right out.  Cool in the summer, good down to about 56-58 degrees if it's not raining.  Bonus points:  always some on sale at half price on Amazon, if you can handle the colors they offer on discount. 

You can also extend the temperature range with wool socks or scuba socks, seen some high level guys doing that.  My Keens are my alternate, but they are so big and bulky that they don't provide the same stable feel as the Addidas.

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For summer sailing Keens sandals have been my go-to deck shoes for years.  The closed toe protects your toes from stubbing on cleats etc. They are cool, they drain well if your feet get doused, and dry quickly. 

You just have to make sure you pick a model that has the razor cut siped soles, and they will give you phenomenal grip.

 

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On 4/23/2019 at 4:09 AM, Shu said:

This is a bit of a rambling rant, but please bear with me.

I'm frustrated by athletic shoes in general, and sailing shoes in particular.

It seems that some company will come out with a great shoe, and then discontinue it after a year or two in favor some new concept that doesn't work as well.

For years, the standard for me was the basic Sperry Topsider canvas sneaker.  The sole was razor cut, it was grippy, and your feet were securely held close to the deck.  The popular leather slip-ons by Sperry where fine for casual sunny days, but I've seen them decide to slip off and overboard (better the shoe than the wearer I suppose).

About 25-30 years ago, Harken came out with something that looked like a court shoe, but with the razor-cut grippy sole.  These worked even better than the classic canvas Topsiders.

Then everybody started making what amounted to running shoes with non-marking soles.  They had super-thick, squishy midsoles that felt very insecure when planted on a sloping foredeck - maybe the sole would stick to the deck, but would your foot stay on top of the sole, or just roll off?  

Every boat shoe now has grooved rather than the old razor cut soles. I'm not sure this improves grip, but it sure improves the ability of the shoes to pick up grit and tiny pebbles.  I'm not real keen on sanding my boat's non-skid smooth as I walk around on deck.

For some unimaginally stupid reason, some of the soles now have a very hard, almost waxy feel.  This was something that used to take years to develop, but now you can have useless slippery shoes right out of the box. 

I found a pair of Sperry's a couple years ago that had a sole of modest thickness and the sole was grippy.  I changed into them once on board to avoid the problem with grit in the grooves.  I was happy with them. Even though the soles were starting to wear smooth in spots,  they still gripped well until I washed them on the advice of my wife.  Hand washing in Ivory hand-washing detergent seemed a safe thing to do; it cured the smell, but instantly aged the soles to that hard, waxy consistency. It appears Sperry has stopped making these. They have about 100 (not exaggerating) versions of the slip-on slip-off leather "boaty" shoes, however.

So now I've got a couple pair of the Addidas Terrex Climacools on order. I hope one of the sizes I ordered fits.  I'm glad to see some of you enthusiastically recommending them.  If the soles would keep their grip after several years in storage, I would order more pairs if I find one I like. 

I too miss my Harkens.   They gripped the deck well, lasted a long time on the boat and were comfortable.   I had been using Sperry's prior and the soles would get hard, I would break the sand paper out to cut through it to softer material.

I made sure that I did not wear the Harkens off of the boat very much.  That kept the bottoms of the shoes lasting longer.

If someone has an idea for a modern version of the old Harkens, I would snap it up.

Hell, I troll Ebay every so often to see if there is a NOS pair up for sale!

- Stumbling

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My Adidas Terrex Climacools came in last week. One of the pairs fit and I used it on the boat this past weekend.  I'm quite happy with them.  They keep my feet very low to the deck and they stick really well, even with no grooves or razor cuts.  They won't pick up any sand or grit, but I plan on wearing them on the boat only. They have a comfy fit for my feet as well. 

Lex, I hear you on the stink. I almost never wear shoes without socks for that reason.  In an unrelated anecdote, the first pair of climbing shoes that I fitted without socks had the then relatively new Cambrelle liner.  After a few outings, I couldn't stand to be with myself when I had them on, let alone take them off.  A good wash and super thin socks salvaged them.

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Stumbling,

The Harkens seemed to combine all the good things - low to the deck, grippy sole, good arch support, a good rand which helped keep the uppers from wearing out, and generally sturdy construction that kept your foot firmly connected to the sole.  They had a comfy fit for my foot.  My dad bought a pair for himself.  He liked them so much, he bought a pair each for my mom, me, and my wife.  Eventually the soles got hard, so I got a second pair, but by the time those were toast, I couldn't find them anymore.

 

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On 4/22/2019 at 7:09 PM, Shu said:

This is a bit of a rambling rant, but please bear with me.

I'm frustrated by athletic shoes in general, and sailing shoes in particular.

It seems that some company will come out with a great shoe, and then discontinue it after a year or two in favor some new concept that doesn't work as well.

For years, the standard for me was the basic Sperry Topsider canvas sneaker.  The sole was razor cut, it was grippy, and your feet were securely held close to the deck.  The popular leather slip-ons by Sperry where fine for casual sunny days, but I've seen them decide to slip off and overboard (better the shoe than the wearer I suppose).

About 25-30 years ago, Harken came out with something that looked like a court shoe, but with the razor-cut grippy sole.  These worked even better than the classic canvas Topsiders.

Then everybody started making what amounted to running shoes with non-marking soles.  They had super-thick, squishy midsoles that felt very insecure when planted on a sloping foredeck - maybe the sole would stick to the deck, but would your foot stay on top of the sole, or just roll off?  

Every boat shoe now has grooved rather than the old razor cut soles. I'm not sure this improves grip, but it sure improves the ability of the shoes to pick up grit and tiny pebbles.  I'm not real keen on sanding my boat's non-skid smooth as I walk around on deck.

For some unimaginally stupid reason, some of the soles now have a very hard, almost waxy feel.  This was something that used to take years to develop, but now you can have useless slippery shoes right out of the box. 

I found a pair of Sperry's a couple years ago that had a sole of modest thickness and the sole was grippy.  I changed into them once on board to avoid the problem with grit in the grooves.  I was happy with them. Even though the soles were starting to wear smooth in spots,  they still gripped well until I washed them on the advice of my wife.  Hand washing in Ivory hand-washing detergent seemed a safe thing to do; it cured the smell, but instantly aged the soles to that hard, waxy consistency. It appears Sperry has stopped making these. They have about 100 (not exaggerating) versions of the slip-on slip-off leather "boaty" shoes, however.

So now I've got a couple pair of the Addidas Terrex Climacools on order. I hope one of the sizes I ordered fits.  I'm glad to see some of you enthusiastically recommending them.  If the soles would keep their grip after several years in storage, I would order more pairs if I find one I like. 

Got a pair about 5 yrs ago.  Worked a treat, religiously only used them on deck.  Finally went on a trip where i needed sailing shoes, but could not afford the room to bring more pairs, of sneakers, so wore them home after regatta (flip flops purchased at regatta had basically been destroyed at said regatta.) so, long story short, I still use the old ones as dock shoes and slip on the new ones on the boat.  To this day the old ones don't stink (never wear sox) and are still grippy. 3+ guys in my fleet are now wearing them on the boat.  Good stuff.  

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Razor cut soled sneakers and boots for racing. Cheap and ditch when worn or sole toughens or leaking.

Leather boat shoes for cruising. Though my current new Mustos threw an eyelet on their side which hung on the lacing. If you’re reading Musto, feel free to replace either my shoes or my skin from the fucking nasty slice the rivet’s edge did to my other ankle. :)

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Bought the Adidas Climacools based on this thread and used them for NOODS.  Very grippy, but could use more arch support.  

I use leather topsiders with 3 eyelets for casual sailing.  Usually don't stink, but if they do, I leave them in the sun for a couple hours to kill the bacteria.

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