Never flip flops. They are dangerous when wet.
Barefoot: I have broke my little toe twice! It's painful as hell for a few days. Once it was broke out 90 degrees to my foot! They catch on cleats etc.
I am with you 100%. I always tell people when they come aboard that they can wear whatever they want on their feet or nothing, but if you break your toe it's going to ruin the trip (for everyone). I've done it too, slipped and caught it on the stanchion and man what a disaster. Wearing shoes was not even an option for days afterwards, couldn't get my foot in.
I've worn NB cross trainers with my orthotics in them for years.
Like Ann, both of us wear orthotics so our choice of sailing shoes has mostly been limited to closed shoe styles (until recently).
Both of us have favored Crocs in the past because they are so light and comfy, specifically the Hydro model that has a neoprene collar to hold the foot firmly in the shoe. Also, we've worn the Crocs Islander model that has a leather boat-shoe top. Unfortunately, both of those styles are no longer manufactured, although you can still purchase them on eBay sometimes.
Due to unavailability of our favored Crocs, I switched to Keen Venice sandals. These are a leather top walking sandal with a neoprene lining and have held up quite well (the orthotics stay in place with a little industrial vecro). Lael has switched to a Crocs sandal; sorry don't know the name of those, but they are really sturdy and provide excellent toe protection with firm foot support.
DuBarry leather boots when itís snotty and wet
Sherry mesh boat sneakers with high grip
Non marking Adaptive Wave Soles when the sun is out
These are not to be confused with leather soled topsiders
They plain suck
A broken toe is painful enough. Try ripping half your toenail out by the root with the other half just hanging off while catching a jib car/track, or a chainplate/toggle. Think of the cotter pin in the toggle pin 2" off of the deck just waiting to savage your toe and/or nail...
No thank you. For all of you who are super-coordinated and have never broken a toe or ripped a nail out going barefoot I say, "good for you." I've got nerve damage in my lower left leg from knee surgery due to a shattered and smashed tib-fib and sometimes I'm not super sure-footed on deck even pushing 20 years later, especially when conditions are getting "sporty" and it is you can do to keep onboard.
I wear high-quality boat shoes with effective sipes on the soles creating good wet or dry grip and protecting my blind little piggies. Period. You can wear or not wear anything you want on your feet. Life is full of choices, and likewise it is full of consequences too.
In my younger days I gleefully ran around and sailed barefoot and in flip-flops and sandals.
Unfortunately I have duck feet - flat and wide with little to no arch. I probably should worn better foot gear. My feet are old and tired now. I rarely go barefoot anymore, even just around the house. On the boat I have a pair of sailing tennis style shoes.
Of course, when the anchor is down and the sailing is done, or when I'm beach walking, the shoes do come off, and gladly so.
Barefoot.. or these if chilly and wet.. Occasionally trainers and socks if really cold
Buga... Download image not working with the phone.. surf socks are my wet weather option.. great grip and light also easy to swim in and protects feet well on bottoms/beach landing on shelly beaches
I went to the web site and my first impression was wow, that is a nice looking shoe, but then I saw the price and well where is the safe to put them in.
On a side note, I have noticed that in the interest of cheap footwear, we get just that. Soles that crack or wear thru in less than 6 months, and stated leather uppers, yea, its a thin skin over some synthetic that the first drop of a solvent and it starts peeling apart. It really is hard to find a decent pair of shoes, at least here in the US. The poor cobbler can't make a living anymore as the new stuff can not be repaired. Buy another. Rant over.
HOPCAR, why don't you sell Teva's?
__________________ www.sailboatvigah.com Boats don't like being neglected, but then neither do significant others!
It has always seemed to me that the world of sailors is divided into those who think anyone who wears shoes on a boat is nuts, and those who think anyone who doesn't wear shoes is nuts! And never the twain shall meet.
I grew up in a culture where wearing shoes in someone's house was considered rude and filthy.....and if you think about it, it IS filthy.....don't know why anyone does it. My shoes, to this day, are always left at the door when I enter someone's house. And, since my boat is my house, well, you can guess which side of the divide I am on.
Feet have great traction (designed that way) and are fine when gotten wet or immersed! In decades of sailing, I have had a ding or two, including one broken toe - on the stripper on a self tailingwinch, no less - handled quite easily, as Zee suggested, with some blue tape. In return, I don't think I have ever, even once, slipped and fell. And, my decks aren't marred by soles, or more importantly, the sand, pebbles, grease, and detritus that attach to shoes worn ashore.
If it is really cold, then I wear boots kept for the job. If I have guests, who for some reason are required to wear shoes, we clean the soles when they come aboard, and if they are going to be on the boat for awhile, that pair stays onboard until they leave.
Oddly, I find it is the shoe wearers who randomly snag their feet on things and the barefoot folks who very rarely do. Perhaps going barefoot sharpens awareness....wouldn't be the least surprised....or perhaps habitual unawareness makes them wary of going barefoot.
i sail barefoot. always have since very young, before the invention of boating and sailing shoes and apparel. i found there are no true nonskid shoes and staying on boat is more important than dealing with a minor injury such as a broken toe. tape that to next one over and continue on. or ignore it.
Agreed. I find bare feet as non-skid as any shoe, and they afford more tactile feedback about the possibility of slipping, especially on smooth, wet surfaces. Besides, bare foot sailing is romantic and natural.