Stand-Up Paddle Boarding is becoming pretty popular among water sports in the US.
While many serious racers, free stylers, and paddle boarding yogis prefer to SUP barefoot, there are occasions in which you want to wear water shoes or booties.
Booties are recommended in extreme cold conditions to keep you from losing heat through your feet. Water shoes, however, are often recommended year-round because they protect your feet. This is especially important for beginners, who are more likely to fall off the paddle board and encounter rocks, debris, and even oyster beds.
What should you look for in SUP footwear?
1. The shoe should drain water, and be breathable in order to keep your foot cool and comfortable.
2. You want the shoes to fit snugly to reduce sores and pain from friction and rubbing.
3. The sole of the shoe should be flexible, so that you can make more contact and balance better on the board.
4. Shoes with antimicrobial features help to prevent odor and fungus, and are a good idea if you plan to hang out with your friends after paddle boarding.
Our picks for paddle boarding are the Vibram Five Fingers TrekSport, TrekSport Sandal, and KSO, as well as the New Balance WO70 and MO70.
VFF TrekSport Sandal
VFF KSO EVO
The Vibram FiveFingers Watersport shoes offer excellent balance for paddle boarding thanks to their barefoot, five-toe design. They also include antimicrobial footbeds. The glove-like fit and secure closure systems of Vibram FiveFingers means that you won’t have to worry about unnecessary rubbing or discomfort and you will be free to enjoy the great views that are associated with SUPing.
New Balance MO70 / WO70
The New Balance WO70 and MO70 have an excellent midsole, outsole, and heel drainage system. The secure bungee closure system keeps them snug on your feet and allows for stability. The sole offers lightweight protection and traction to help you on the board, and off. This shoe also offers an antimicrobial footbed.