One of the most important items you’ll need for your adventure in Florida is appropriate footwear for the marine environment you’ll be exploring.
At North Carolina Outward Bound School, we require you bring two types of footwear on course.
1. “Wet” Shoe
These are the shoes you will paddle in, and they will get wet. This pair of shoes should:
- Enclose the entire foot.
- Have a hard sole.
- Fit securely on your foot.
An old pair of running shoes or sneakers are great examples of a wet shoe. Having a hard sole is essential in that it can withstand sharp oyster shells commonly found in these environments. For this reason, you should leave your aqua socks or thin neoprene water shoes, flip flops, open-toed, open-heeled, or open-sided sandals like Tevas, Chacos, and Vibram 5 Fingers at home. Crocs are also not a great Wet Shoe option since they have no back, but they could be a good option as your Camp Shoe.
2. Camp Shoe
You should also bring a quick-drying shoe that will stay dry with you. Once you finish paddling for the day, they will switch to these. A good example of this could be a Croc-style shoe or another old pair of running shoes.
Check out this video for further explanation and examples of appropriate sea kayaking and canoeing course shoes.