Needing good shoes

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? 

 
G

Guest

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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

 

MPH

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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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surf nazi

Super Anarchist
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.   

 

bloodshot

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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.

 

MPH

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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. 

 

surf nazi

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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.  

 

MPH

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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.

 

Mike in CT

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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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Merit 25

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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.  

 

slug zitski

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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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Shu

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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. 

 

duncan (the other one)

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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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