Body Glove Dynamo; $60 (www.bodyglove.com)
Lightweight and fast, the Dynamo Rapid is all about keeping your feet protected while not slowing you down. If you’re not carrying a load and prefer the lighter feel of a simple shoe with decent traction, these would be a good fit. The Dynamo can be worn barefoot or with a neoprene sock for colder water as they conform to foot contours in the tradition of a surf bootie/toe shoe, where tight fit means quicker reaction to micro-movements that favor standup paddlers. The benefit of that thin-sole sense of feel does mean, however, you’re sacrificing a bit of off-river traction as these foot gloves feature not-so-defined lugs on the sole. The more slipper-like fit also plays well sliding in tight playboat foot spaces. The drainage is good, letting water out and air in, creating a quick-drying and versatile river shoe option. This minimal profile comes with a trade-off though; those looking for solid ankle support should look elsewhere.
More 2017 Footwear Reviews:
The NRS Boundary Boot is a calf-high neoprene boot for cold, wet, muddy conditions.
C&K’s team of expert gear testers reviews the year’s best paddling shoes before the 2017 season.
Five Ten applies their legendary rubber to a sleek and durable paddling shoe.
A classic, low profile neoprene bootie with a thick rubber outsole.
A trail-focused water shoe with breathable mesh on top and plenty of support underfoot.
A purpose-built paddling shoe with ankle support, grip, and a thick sole.
A sturdy hiking shoe for heavy loads and muddy conditions.
The NRS Velocity is a sturdy. purpose-built, high-top paddling shoe with plenty of support and cushion for long portages.